Saturday, April 23, 2011

Double XP and Study Breaks

To the delight of my brain, I had Friday and Saturday off from studying for exams. This meant some time to just do things that are not productive at all (i.e. LOTRO and the NHL Playoffs). Avoiding the blunders that are the anniversary "events" I finally finished book 3 of volume III on my hunter. This allowed for some LI improvements and gear improvements. Garadson now has over 5,300 total morale where my eventual goal is well over 6,000. His new main hand sword is coming along nicely at level 57 out of 70. My focus this weekend, however, is on my champion: Talmidim. I've already gotten him from level 41 to 44 since the double xp kicked in. This is exciting for me because I'm itching to head into Moria to try out the epic book changes and experience it from a champion's perspective! I would highly recommend dusting of those alts and send them out into Middle-Earth to give hope and relinquish fear in the hearts of the free-peoples!

So what exactly have I been working on with Talmidim? Book 5 and the Misty Mountains.  Last night I finished Book 5 in it's entirety which is nice to have that done with. I hate running through that zone for whatever reason; it's not fun at all! It's not even all that nice to look at! Something I'm really pumped about though is that before I started my leveling extravaganza I went and talked to Gimli in Rivendell about Tal's legendary trait books before heading to the Misty Mountains. This proved a great idea because at the end of Book 5 I had all four pages in each book except one. This is the fastest I've found the pages to a character's books! During this time (when I hit level 42) I finally got to put on Tal's full set of critted Elven Soldier's armour (pre-update 2 versions) which improved his stats drastically. I just need to update his jewelery and he will be geared more appropriately for his level. One thing I did notice was his virtues have fell far behind because of my high speed leveling. Now Talmidim is in Aughaire again finally working on getting his Fem set while working on Book 6. He has 7/8 pages in the Tome of Swords book with the others close behind. I'm quite pleased with his rapid progression thus far...

Drugoth the Death-Monger and Thorog in Book 5 (Click for larger view).
Right now I'm watching Ron Maclean and Don Cherry on Coach's Corner (First Period Intermission of the Montreal-Boston game) having a wonderfully lazy evening! I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend and making most of your time in LOTRO!

Keep your stick on the ice,

Friday, April 22, 2011

The New Anniversary Mount

Recently I won the new anniversary mount in one of the flash lotteries. This win was on my dwarf rune-keeper: Nalmer Thunderbeard, level 34. I am a little bit disappointed to win it on this alt mostly because I never really play him anymore. I just leave him at the same level as my roommate's hunter so that if he starts playing again I can jump right on Nalmer and help him out! With that being said, a free mount is a free mount and it's nice to have a horse other than the basic one's you can buy at Hengstacer farm even if it does look a little feminine (heh-heh). So for those who have not seen the newest mount to enter Turbine's Middle-Earth, feast your eyes on Nalmer's pony: Saskatchewan!

(click on images for larger versions)

Keep your stick on the ice,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Of University and Despair

My gaming area has turned into this! (essay aggro)
My lack of posts can be blamed on the terror known as "paper season" and "finals". I have barely stepped foot in Middle-Earth in the past 2 weeks and therefore have nothing much to blog about. I did recently start a minstrel and got my champion to level 41. I also worked a little bit more on LI stuff on my hunter but nothing overly exciting. I still have not finished Sari-Surma on Tier II and failed to get that nice new bracelet off Cold-Bear 3 times already. University students, study now and play later! Your future is far more important than a video game... May you destroy all essays and tests that stand in your way and leave only destruction in your wake!

Echelor Joysong, Minstrel. Level 20
My new minstrel was an impulse alt all on it's own. Since the minstrel changes dropped with the Echoes of the Dead update and my love for the beginning levels of the game finally caused me to create Echelor Joysong, minstrel. Other causes of this character creation were my desire to use the new tailoring recipes from the ground up and to attempt healing in this game. Since World of Warcraft's Cataclysm came out my roommate got me to play it casually with him. I now have an 85 priest that heals the end-game stuff which is fun from time to time. I've never healed in LOTRO so this was one of the factor's of Echelor's start. So far I've enjoyed the class but have only soloed my way to level 20. At some point I'll head into the Great Barrows and sing joyous songs to lift burdened hearts! One more week and I can play LOTRO regularly again and soon posts will follow! 

Until then, keep your stick on the ice,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Isildur Session Play: Volume III: Book 3

With what little time I've had lately playing LOTRO I've been working on the epic storyline. I really love the volume three quests and the storyline itself is cool. The biggest bonus however is the rewards themselves. Yesterday I received my level 65 second age hunter sword that turned out quite well. It now has most of the legacies I was looking for in a PvE sword and now I'm trying to get some decent relics on it. I haven't gotten to the end of the quest line yet but plan to tomorrow.

Anyways, I did want to touch on the highlight of the newest epic quests: the Isildur session play! This was an impressive and incredibly good looking instance. For those of you who did not play the session on a higher graphical setting you totally missed out! Basically what the instance's story covered was the oaths taken by the men of the mountain to fight against Sauron and aid Isildur. You get to see both King Rioc swearing his people's allegiance on the Stone of Erech itself along with Isildur eventually cursing them. This actually was pretty epic and it gave me slight goosebumps! Great job Turbine! Also, you get to fight alongside Isildur as one of his men in the retaking of a lost control point somewhere in Gondor. This is where Isildur discovers that Sauron had returned by finding a large makeshift shrine that the orcs made inside the city (this bears much resemblance to the witch king statues in Mirkwood and Angmar). The fighting itself wasn't the most interesting but the Gondorian architecture and the atmosphere was amazing! This is the first time we've caught a glimpse of what Turbine's Gondor would look like and I approve.

(click all the images for full size)

The session play itself is not hard in any respect. Even the most inexperienced casual player could finish it without any problems. This is mostly due to the fact that you are given some very overpowered attacks to play with as well as a 75% morale heal that is on a ten second cooldown (you can actually use this heal on Isildur and the other Gondorian). Just make sure your escorts stay alive and all will be well!

Keep your stick on the ice,

The Glacier Fortress of Sari-Surma: Part Two

The Short Path to Osan

After defeating Coldbear it is not far to the next boss: Osan. You encounter a grand total of six mobs before arriving in the arena where Osan is just 'chillin. None of these mobs are overly difficult and only require simple tank and spank measures. There are two Fanatics (goblins) and four giants just outside the hallway out of Coldbear's room. With patience you should be able to fight the fanatics separate from the giants causing no grief to the group. The Legionnaires (giants) are in pairs so when you pull them it is good to have someone use a crowd-control skill on one while you burn down the other. Simple. The fanatics are nothing special either. They from time to time throw people in the air with their whirlwinds but it is still tank and spank fighting. Once you've defeated these mobs go down into the arena and prepare for Osan!

Boss Two: Osan

To trigger the boss fight all you have to do is light the huge cauldron, lamp-like item in the center of the room. There will be some dialogue by Drugoth (the final boss) as Osan wakes up and slowly makes his way to the cauldron. Once Osan destroys the cauldron the fight commences! Once you defeat Osan you can go up the ramp and encounter Drugoth for the final fight.

Tier I

This fight is not overly complicated and is one long phase. The tank should grab Osan and take him  to the opposite side of where Osan walked from. This is in the space between the stairs. The beginning of the fight is the simplest: tank and spank Osan. Eventually wight adds (the same ones as seen in the Coldbear fight) will make their way into the arena so all the DPS should be killing them off quickly. Focus fire back on Osan. Fanatics and Legionnaires will make their down into the arena as well. When this happens the designated off-tank should grab threat immediately so the DPS can burn the adds down. You may have to fight two Legionnaires at once as well as the wights so the group's crowd control skills will be necessary to achieve stability. This fight is not hard but it is long; so communicate, use the right fellowship maneuvers when the group needs morale/power, and drop the adds as fast as you can.

A notable thing to watch for is a corruption that Osan applies to a random fellowship member which will kill them upon expiry. As soon as this is applied the tank should be ready to use corruption removal on the boss. If Osan resists the corruption removal someone else needs to jump in and remove it. Don't waste time in removing it. Other than that nothing that Osan does will likely kill anyone. According to Lotro-Wiki Osan gets damage buffs for every wave of adds that makes their way into the arena so the faster the fight goes the better (Lotro-Wiki, 2011).

Tier II and the Challenge Mode

The tank should grab Osan and take him  to the opposite side of where Osan walked from; this is the space between the stairs. The DPS should refrain from doing high outputs of damage to Osan throughout the fight if you plan on doing the challenge. The challenge consists of having to kill Osan's four Lieutenants that eventually show themselves over the course of the fight.  You will not be able to finish the challenge if the DPS goes to town on Osan. This is a long drawn out fight that requires communication and patience. Wights will present themselves first so the DPS should track them down and kill them as fast as possible. Eventually you will start seeing Legionnaires and Fanatics. When this happens the off-tank needs to grab threat while the rest of the DPS burns them down as fast as possible. If at some point you face more than one of these mobs at once it is extremely important that crowd control measures are used on the bigger mobs not being attacked. You want the healer using the least amount of power as possible. After you defeat these adds the first Lieutenant will appear (this will be announced by text on your screen). Off-tank and spank the Lieutenant until dead. The DPS should now be throwing a small amount of DPS on Osan. Repeat this until you have defeated the fourth Lieutenant. Once he has fallen, finish off Osan. Keep an eye on Osan's morale throughout the fight. You can refrain from hitting him at all save the tank throughout the fight but it is better to have him at low morale by the time you finish off the last Lieutenant in my opinion. The best I've had it was Osan was at 7,000 morale when we killed the fourth Lieutenant making for a real quick finish.

Notable Events: Osan applies a corruption to a random fellowship member which will kill them upon expiry. The tank should be ready to use corruption removal on the boss for when this happens. If Osan resists the corruption removal someone else needs to jump in and remove it. Don't waste time in removing it. When you kill a certain amount of adds Osan will become angry and declare that you and your fellowship members will die and will proceed to AOE. This is an extremely hard-hitting move so when you see or hear the dialogue and he raises his arms all players need to get out of range as soon as possible. Other than these things nothing that Osan does will likely kill anyone. The author behind the Lotro-Wiki guide to Tier II does note that each Lieutenant gives Osan a buff upon their death but honestly the only thing that will likely kill anyone in this fight is Osan's mean corruption and his giant AOE (Lotro-Wiki, 2011). You will run into power problems in this fight so whenever a fellowship maneuver presents itself go for what the group needs which will most likely be power. Noble Blood, Pure of Heart, and an all blue FM are the one's you will most likely use.

Thanks for stopping by On Distant Shores! If you have anything you would like to add to this article or you found it useful you can leave a comment below. If you want to read part three to this guide when it comes out you can subscribe to my feed in the column to the right!

Keep your stick on the ice,