Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Want to come back?

I recieved a few emails from people asking about Mirkwood and wondering how bad it would to come back to the game and grind to the end game. I decided to do a little test.

My old PvMP toon was my level 50 Burglar. Until last week I had not even logged him in since pre-Moria. I decided I would level him to end game raid ready condition and track how long it took. My goal was to level 50 to 65, get kindred reputation with both Elf factions, level all crafts from GM to SM, and get 80 or more radiance.

Thirty eight hours of /played time later I hit my goal. I leveled in Eregion from 50 to 52, then Moria from 52-56, Lothlorien from 56-59, and Mirkwood from 59 to 65. I went back to Loth to run daily quests for rep, and I did my crafting a little each day. I started Sword Hall runs at 62 and ran about three per day as I went from 62 to 65.

Overall I actually enjoyed the grind. I was nervous that with six toons at 65 I might be bored, but It went fairly quick. I will post the /played time for five level increments in a follow up.

Bottom line, if you are thinking about coming back $30 gets you both Moria and Mirkwood plus 30 days free play time, and 40 hours will get you raid ready in the end game.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Raiding : Barad Guldur Lock 1 Tour

Due to problems with the patch yesterday we were unable to do much lock two work in the BG raid last night, however, I took the opportunity to shoot a quick video tour of the path to Durchest, the first boss of the instance. This path is also know as "the gauntlet" as you ascend the tower of Barad Guldur up to Durchest's chamber. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Raiding : Barad Guldur, Part II

An OTG test group ran BG again last night with the goal of figuring out exactly how Durchest's debuff mechanic works. The gauntlet run was very smooth (outside of loosing two people right at the start) and took us under 15 minutes to reach Durchest's chamber. The gauntlet has become much easier now that we have a better idea of how it works and when to move up, we are handling the Uruks without much problem using the two guardian system.

We had some new ideas regarding the agrro debuff mechanic going into the fight from looking at previous videos. We went in with a new strat that involved the champ shouting Durchest off of the tank during a set part of his script. This didn't work like we though it would, but we were able to recover and continue the fight with the tanks watching their debuffs and trying to figure out exactly what was going on. In what turned out to be a bit of a palm-sweating fight, we were able to get a general idea of how to control the aggro debuffs.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tip : Tricks to SG

With a 1 in 10 or 15 drop rate on 2nd Age symbols, running quick and effective SG runs is important. These few tips will help you get these runs down to 45 minutes if you push through.

1.) The first pull can be done without the two waves of guards. Have your hunter or minstrel tag the Brute on the balcony and pull them down to the door. This saves you eight guards.

2.) Use a warden to stop the Brutes absorb buff from going up. A warden uses Ambush and right before it goes off the champ or guard shouts him.

3.) Don't pop any bone piles until the fourth boss. Bone piles slow you down. Every trash pull has a safe place to fight.

4.) Summoners are only interrupted by stuns. Start any trash pulls with Summoners with a champ crafted horn.

5.) While fighting the third boss make sure to pile up on the grate running left to right. By remaining on the grate you will not be feared to the back of the room and have to run back. Plus you can AoE the adds off the healer.

A group with a warden, two champs, captain, RK, and minstrel can full clear in 45 minutes. Enjoy.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Legacies : Captain

There are some extremely important legacies for raiding captains. Most captains carry at least a main weapon and a buffing weapon, as well as a main emblem and a buffing emblem.

Buffing items max out at the same numbers regardless of their level, so it makes much more sense to use level 60 or under emblems and weapons for your buffers: they are much easier to obtain (tablets) and level (use otherwise useless runes from DN and bounties).

Buffing Weapon: Look for the trifecta for buffing which is Morale from MS, Tactics: Renlentless Attack, and Tactics: On Guard. It took a bit of searching, but I did get all three on a weapon. Level those legacies up to max.

Buffing Emblem: You are looking for Tactics: Focus. This has become a more and more important raid buff as fights get longer and hunters and RKs approach capped crit rating without the RA buff.

Main Weapon: The most important legacy for raiding is the Telling Mark legacy. This is a must have for end game raids. After that To Arms duration is important for raiding capts. Ideally I like to have one or both crit legacies (devastating blow and pressing attack). Most capts will switch from 59/60 frist ages to 65 3rd ages or 2nd ages, though it's not as crutial raidwise as a dps class.

Main Emblem: The emblem makes or breaks a raid capt. The emblem needs to have rallying cry cooldown! Our kin requires it for BO/Misstress/BG becuase it makes such a huge healing difference. In addition to that, ideally, you want healing from rallying cry, vocal skills healing, valiant strike healing, strength of will healing. In addition to those primo legacies having escape from darkness and time of need cooldowns. While a perfect 65 3rd or 2nd age may be the absolute best, it will take a lot of work to tier up the legacies to max them all. For that reason a level 59 first age offers a close to perfect heal rating while providing far more useable points!

With the right legacies, stats, and gear a 9k morale raiding captian can heal the entire fellow for 750+ every 8.3 seconds with rallying cry while boosting the raids damage by 10%, plus all the killer buffs!

See you capts in raids!

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Class : Rune Keeper : DPS

Every raid leader out there has one class that they are tougher on than other based on their own playstyle, and for me that class is the rune keeper. If you have raided with me as one, sorry ;).

The RK is an easy class to play (especially solo) but a difficult class to play well (especially in a raid). RKs tend to have two major problems in raids, both of which can be partially corrected through class traits: aggro management and power consumption. In addition to slotting class traits, adjustments to your skill rotations can increase your dps and lower your power consumption significantly.

The easiest change for most people will be slotting two class traits: Linnod of Subtlelty and Overflowing Confidence. Slotting these two traits and using them will not only control your aggro generation and power consumption but it will also increase your damage output.

Every fight should start with Calming Verse running. Keeping Calming Verse up everytime it's up will increase dps and drop aggro generation. Using Cleansing Fires will also help with threat reduction.

Traited Self Motivation is an extremely important RK skill in prolonged combat. In the first half of a fight a RK can use Self Motivation to keep their power topped. In the latter half of a fight Self Motivation is a perfect complement to using Epic Conclusion, as it counteracts the penalty on power consumption.

The next step to managing power is to examine skill rotations. This can be done by parsing your skill damage with Cstats and adding skill power cost to the spreadsheet to get a handle on not only what skills net the highest damage but what each point of damage cost you. I was able to increase dps by 15% and drop power use by 20% by changing my rotation.

The last, and most crutial, step is to make sure you are watching your buff bar. Here are some tips:

1.) Never use Epic Conclusion without Harsh Debate and Thunderous Words active. Having the dps increase from these buffs is the only way it makes the damage/power ratio worth it. Also make sure Calming Verse is running!

2.) Always build argument using Ceaseless Argument. This skill is the best damage/power skill and it gets your attunement and Harsh Debate up. Once attunement is up you get a much better damage/power ratio for Scribe's Spark and Shocking Words and you limit aggro generation while the tank builds it.

3.) Use Self Motivation following Epic Conclusion.

4.) Use Cleansing Fires at all times and use Distracting Winds preventively if you are worried about aggro following crits.

Hope that helps your RK!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Raiding : Barad Guldur

Last night twelve brave OTGers assembled for our third exploratory run at the new Mirkwood raid. Our previous attempts had taught us a bit about the initial pull as well as the gauntlet run.

We handled the initial pull of the shadow and fire twins (100k Nemesis mobs) without a problem. We spilt them using LOS and burned Shadow then Fire.

The path from the I initial pull to Durchest (first boss of BG) is called the guantlet. This is a 15 to 20 minute fight as you push your way up the tower as enemy reinforcements steadily join the fight. The tricky part of this run in the Uruks who do massive AoE damage. We used two guardians on this run with one taking front and one rear guard, handling the Uruks as they came. The ranged DPS group burned the Uruks as the melle group dealt with wargs and goblins. We moved square to square and handled the run with little problem (even with having to wait for my LD in the middle). There was one rough period with three Uruks but we were able to recover. At the top of the stairs we handled the shadow gate keepers with the guards splitting and ranged DPS burning.

Durchest was up next and with our previous wipe on him, we were extra careful. The gauntlet does not turn off until he is cleared so stakes are high. Durchest has some tricks up his sleeve! Until 160k he summons adds which are 49k fire or shadow axe men. He puts out a fear which must be cleared. He has a scripted distributed damage attack. And just to make things fun he stacks an aggro debuff on the tank. Oh yeah, should anyone die in the last phase, he heals a bit (by a bit I mean 200k). With a few deaths we were able to power though for our first clear of lock 1 in BG.

Everyone got two medallions. We got 6 copper settings and 4 40k ixp runes. The SK loot was the BG Boots and a caster necklace.

We spent the next hour working on trash between boss one and two. There are some crazy new things going on.

Stayed tuned for a BG update next week!

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Flake Dropper : Mirkwood

This flake dropper paths all the way along the northern edge of the Dourstocks. The easy to solo 62E Morroval i sfound between the bat cave (shown) and the Morroval camp.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Flake Dropper : Mirkwood

Drunkah is a 62E wood troll the paths a large circle around the Drownholt swamps. He hits fairly hard but can be cc'd, so the biggest tip is getting him alone and not pulling swamp cats or bog lurkers in with him. Also try to avoid the water that will give you the nasty debuffs.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Flake Dropper : Mirkwood

Durkam is an easy flake dropper to cross paths with as he is right in the Gathburz daily quest area. He is a 21k Elite mob with a T3 corruption but he is readily soloable if you come across him!

Video : DN : Blind One

Blind One Fight, HD FRAPS

After a few requests, I finally got a video posted of the Blind One fight in DN. This fight tends to lag me out bad, so I have never dared to run FRAPS in it before, but with the settings backed down I was able to get one done last week during OTG's DN 5-6 run.

The first phase of the fight is sped up by 3x because it's boring for anyone other than the MT and OT. Everyone spreads out 12m apart while the MT/OT handle the Blind One in the middle of the room. Hunters spam S:E QS and everyone else heals or stands around.

Phase two is sped up by 2x because it's rather bland too. Melee classes begin working on the Blind One while the Hunters burn down Darklings. We use this pahse to make sure everyone is topped off and ready to go.

Phase three is the fun phase. Corruption removal and interrupts become paramount. The RK throws up a Writ of Cold, champs spam clobber and feral strikes, and a burst removal rotation begins with RK, Burg, LM, and Hunters. The LM starts CCing dopplegangers full time. The LM calls out for Call to Greatness so he can handle the last few seconds of the fight while the group finishes off the BO.

Tip : Warden : DPS Rotation

With all the masteries completed, there are some impressive skill rotations out there for wardens. I have been doing a lot of learning from a fellow guild member, Dev, about effectively playing a warden.

For solo play, there is a quick four gambit rotation that will finish most mobs normal-con off by it's completion. You need all of the skill masteries (fist, shield, and spear) to make it quick and effective.

Here is what I am currently using:
1.) Warden's Triumph - Spear-Fist, Shield-Spear, Fist
2.) Mighty Blow - Spear-Shield, Fist-Spear
3.) Power Attack - Spear, Shield-Fist
4.) Onslaught - Spear, Shield, Spear

By the end of that rotation you are ready to start with WT again should you need to. This melts mobs very quickly. For signature mobs I have been throwing in Desolation instead of Onslaught and it seems to work well.

Thanks Dev, and enjoy all.