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LotRO: Correspondent - Response to Book 14

In his debut Correspondent article, Dustin Onesti writes this response to the most recent Book update from Lord of the Rings Online and even gives some strategy tips for defeating the boss in Book 14 Chapter 1, The Heraldry of Lindon.

A Small Introduction

Welcome fellow MMORPGers, I feel that an introduction is in order. First of all, to clear the murky water, a game correspondent does not work for mmorpg.com or the companies that develop and publish the game. I am here writing articles purely out of the goodness of my heart to keep avid gamers up to date with the current state of the game. Enjoy the article and hopefully many more to come!

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The journey begins…sort of

Preparations are made and finally the fellowship is saying goodbye to the valley of Rivendell. This is a little side storyline Turbine has provided to their players. It makes perfect sense…wait what? That was pretty much my reaction when I first read about time sensitive instances. Basically, they decided putting a date on the bottom when you walk in a time sensitive instance would explain some things. Now don't get me wrong, even though I think that the idea is plain and uncreative, it works well enough to shrug your shoulder and say, "Meh whatever." It can kill your immersion if you think about it too much, so don't.

Opps pulled the wrong plug! Put it back! PUT IT BACK!

Book 14 came with many issues, mostly performance wise. While Turbine worked at it quickly and fixed it in a reasonable time frame, I couldn't help but laugh at some of the comments that the players and forums were spouting around like a diseased riot. "Did Funcom buy out Turbine?"

But in all seriousness, this is Turbine's first screw up since they put on the smoothest launch I've witnessed. There were many speculations as to why this happened, but none are truly written in stone or confirmed to be right or wrong.

Hilarity was assured on that eventful day of wrongness. My character was stuck in The Last Homely House, players were screaming around that their vault wouldn't open, mail boxes were not loading up the mail, and even more hilarious was players getting literally stuck in zones in a little 5ft by 5ft imaginary box. These problems were fixed within two days and everything ran smooth once again.

Fixing the wrongs with so many rights.

The issues Turbine tried to fix included the problem of new players not being able to advance through tough epic quests (For those that don't know the epic quest series is the main storyline plot) because of higher level characters not being willing to participate in the quests again and the low traffic of alts and new players. It seems a new scheme has worked to their fullest intentions. The idea was to make the players that went through the epic instance quests already, go through them again but now to reward them for their valuable time (yep the days of helping out someone just to help are long gone) and effort by giving them barter items to trade for various items and gear. At first I was thinking, "Oh great so the players will burn through the barter items for the gear and then just stop helping." Well, apparently Turbine was reading my mind at the time (scary, I know!) and put in items that will always be needed such as the beryl shard and crafting recipes. Also for players who absolutely hate raiding or have no time to do it, you are in luck with this new barter system of helping players. You can trade in your barter items for a random piece of end-game armor within the set of armor of your choice. A win-win for all of us.

Oh noes where did our Easy-Button GO!

One of the biggest impacts I have seen to the community is the use of Helegrod again. It was truly a well designed raid that got neglected because of its difficulty. When the Rift came out and the Helegrod armor set could be retrieved by doing it, Helegrod was no longer a plan of attack. Now it is back and being raided like it was intended. If you missed the Helegrod raid because your kinship blocked it out, I suggest you to take a stab at it now.

Story! Story! The players demand story!

We can't forget about the major direction Turbine was going with this book, the storyline. One of the most unique things about this storyline addition is the use of Turbine's live event system. For those that don't keep up with the story, Book 14 is the end of Volume 1 and even though it is the end, we still have yet to see the final page of this book as the live event system has all players frantically collecting ring-lore so that we may open up these final chapters. This is a server-wide event and some servers are further along in the collection then others, my server (Arkenstone) just hit over 21k out of the 70k ring-lores that are needed to unlock the next piece of content. Though this really is a neat way to end the volume with a bang by making the effort worthwhile and full of memories, there are players that are just bluntly pissed off that they can't blow through this content. I welcome the change with open arms and hope this is a system is the way of the future in MMORPGs to come. Live content is something that is both needed and encouraged.

Time for HBLS!

Before I launch right into it, I'm going to explain what this section is for and what the hell HBS stands for of course. HBLS is a quick abbreviated section called HBLite’s Strategy. In no way are any of the strategies I explain now or in the future set in stone. There may be other strategies or group setups that will work otherwise then what I note. For some feedback let me know what you think of the strategy addition to my articles:

HBS: [Book 14 Chapter 1] The Heraldry of Lindon -> Boss Strategy

The boss for this chapter is very troubling and causes a lot of fellowships to break and try to reform a new fellowship in the hopes of finding more knowledgeable players or a better setup. The key is organization; this isn't your normal “Leeeeeory Jenkins” type of boss. First, let's go over the best fellowship setup and their jobs at this point in the instance:

Minstrel – Will stand between the tank/dps helping the tank and the other dps' that are getting the adds and must keep everyone alive. Being the minstrel myself for this boss, I didn't find it all too hard to keep everyone healed. The key is to stay on the stairs so that you can run in the corner if the archer adds pick up on you. Just standing there is going to get you killed fast… you must find cover.

Guardian – Simple task, tank the boss. The guardian must start the battle and then slowly pull the mob up the stairs into the corner and continue to keep aggro and beat on it.

The next four members can be a mixture of things and really don't matter as long as they deal decent DPS. A Lore Master, for example, will make things easier but it is not needed. Our DPS members were as follows: 2 champions, 1 captain, 1 hunter.

Basically, you want your best dps on the boss with the tank and all that dps does is spank the boss with whatever they can. This will turn a slow battle into a quicker one.

Now that we’ve got the members down we can go on about the actual strategy: The room that the boss is in is a confined space that spawns four mobs each time the boss reaches a certain percent of morale. When you begin, have the tank slowly pull the boss out of this room and up the stairs into the corner of the next room. This is done because the adds will heal the boss if they come in contact with him. Now like I said on the DPS management, you should have one team member on the boss with the tank so that you can actually do damage to the boss. The other 3 DPS members should jump on the boss at first until the adds start to spawn. At this point the 3 DPS members should run down stairs and stick to the mobs in the room the boss was in. If each member takes one add and the minstrel sleeps the other one or better yet a burglar mezzes one, you can do fine without too much chaos. The minstrel should heal when needed and never use any combat skills. This fight is pretty long and add control is the main reason, but eventually your tank and dps will take out the boss. As for fellowship maneuvers (FMs) try to get a GGGBBB going or something equivalent to that, power is a major concern for everyone. So keep the blue flowing and you'll be fine. Good Luck!

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