Category Archives: raiding

Goodbye to all that: farewell to Raiding?

Well the last time I signed up for a Raid was Sunday 29th May (which also happened to be my birthday). Since then, I’ve barely logged into LOTRO either. This last will change. The next LoTRO expansion is due out in September, Rise of Isengard. This will involve a level increase, new areas to explore, new quests (personalised quest phasing) and an overhaul of class skills and traits. There will be new Crafting recipes and the virtue cap will be raised from 10 to 12.

It sounds promising, so once more I’ll be treading the lands of Middle Earth.

But, I doubt I’ll be Raiding again.

And me, so much of a Raider. As was.

It’s partly the baggage Raiding now brings for me. In our kinship there seems to have been so many misunderstandings, unpleasantness and resentments associated with Raiding (and I know that it’s not just our kinship that’s experienced this about Raiding). As such, it’s now an activity I don’t really want to involve myself with anymore.

And the Raiding itself;  it’s a change in my preferred play style since starting Team Fortress 2. I now find the Raids static. You more or less know exactly what will happen  when and where, which mobs will spawn and what they will do, often all following a very similar formula. And in this, every Raid member has a part to play. The skill of mastering a Raid is for everyone to work out, learn and play those parts perfectly. But it’s like being the living part of a machine, a giant puzzle game.

In Team Fortress, of course, you’re playing against other people which immediately makes it more dynamic and unpredictable. And it’s this which I find so refreshing, a new sort of challenge; you need to constantly try to outplay and out think other players. It would be the same with other non-PvE on-line multiplayers, it’s the same with the PvP, or Monster play, in LOTRO which I used to play and enjoyed but stopped because it was never developed as much as it could be within the game. Different.

So this is where I’m at. Farewell to Raiding but there will be time instead, spent exploring, role playing, questing and socialising; the kin has a number of new members who I barely know and older kinmates with whom I ‘ve not spoken for a while.

It feels good.

Ost Dunhoth: the new Raid

We have now tried out the new Raid in LOTRO and so far it gets a thumbs up from the kinship. The first weekend we tried one Wing, the following weekend the other. In the first Wing we managed to get the Boss down, easy mode and then moved on to the second Boss and had a good attempt there. The fights were good….the mechanics were interesting involving disappearing islands and acidic water; I’m deliberately not saying much to avoid spoiling it for those who haven’t tried it yet. And the Boss we didn’t defeat involved the strategic use of tree sap.

The second Wing gave us a very different challenge; another nice aspect of the Raid, variation. Again I won’t say much, just think Indiana Jones running from the boulder. All the party was fully involved, there was none of the waiting for carefully timed pulls from one or a couple of players only, that we found in BG.

And throughout, there were none of the endless trash mobs to be fought through, taking time and tiring people. It all seemed much more compact and efficient.

Finally, for the whole Raid, there was the removal of cool down for skills used during the Boss fights. Thinking about it, this was a very logical move, having to wait for Rally, for instance, to come off cool down after being used, never served much purpose. It was just a time waster. Now, as soon as everyone has retreated from a wipe, everyone was able to go straight back in again, able to use all skills. After all, Raiding should be about the fight and not constrained by skill mechanics outside.

Echoes of the Dead is here…er….are here?!

New material in LOTRO. New instances, a new raid and no radiance. We’re going to have a crack at the new Raid tonight and Sunday, previously those were our Barad Guldur evenings. As I said in my last post, we’ve got the LT down Normal mode a few times but have yet to attempt Challenge mode. I’d like to think that we will one day….may be a small group of masochists will get together at some points and have a go.

However, there is still concern over the amount of new content being released. Hopefully the Raid will keep us busy for a while but I’m not sure about the instances. Apart from that there are character changes to be explored and the changes to the Legendary Items; the relic system, and the new book but for a largely end-game kin such as ourselves, there is not a lot more. No new areas to explore and no questing.

But as an alternative kin-game Rift is keeping us busy and together, which is good. The guild there is doing well with plenty of members, it’s nice. We have our LoTRO members (including some members who had drifted away), we have members who have come to us via friends, usually through blogging, and some fresh members who have simply seen us about.

It does all mean that the flavour of this blog may change a little. I’ve largely wanted to write about LoTRO in the past, but, because things have been quiet, I’ve been writing a lot less. I hope to continue with LOTRO as of all the mmos I’ve played/am playing I’ve taken to it most, but I think I will start to write about Rift, a little about WoW and Team Fortress 2, as well as the inconsequential nonsense I’ve always written about.

But anyway, with luck I can report back on the new raid after tonight. I just hope the stair count will be less.

The Lieutenant of Dol Guldur is dead!

Huzzah! At long last my kinship has managed to kill the Lieutenant in Barad Guldur. In fact we have now done it twice. Not in hard mode yet, but, after all the work the Raid group has put into it, a great accomplishment whatever. Afterwards, half the raid was so numbed we didn’t want to leave. We weren’t sure exactly what proved the final ingredient. We had had a break over Christmas, were we still fresh from that? People knew what they were doing and responded promptly and efficiently to the eye debuffs. We’d worked out where we should run and the direction. We had a caller to remind people. Perhaps it was a mix of all of this.

Once the fell beast was felled, it was a tense grind down. Everyone was silent, hoping that no-one would make a mistake; hoping they would not make a mistake, ‘God this is tense’, as one of our hunters remarked halfway through. Too right!

And what was nice was that I felt that it was truly a kin accomplishment. I may have mentioned before that we have two raid groups, one that focuses on BG and goes on Friday and Sunday and another that has a wider brief, most recently Helegrod, but the other raids too. That week, this group had attempted BG as well and had downed the first two bosses. They had then passed the locks onto the Friday/Sunday group who had been unable to go on the Friday. Therefore without the other group, which comprised additional kinmates, Sunday would not have been possible and our victory could not have happened (this group also went on Sunday to fight the LT and managed to get the fell beast down). First kills are a triumph for those there, but they do not happen without the support and contribution of many not actually present (at least in our kin).

So, cheers all around!

LoTRO and odds and bobs

Life in LoTRO is still a little slow. We managed to get a Raid group together (23 of us) and killed Thorog. We did it on the second run through and it was pretty straightforward, but most of us really just wanted the title and the chance for a lot of the kin to raid together. We also returned to Barad Guldur for the first time since before Christmas. Numbers have been an issue with this Raid recently, both due to the nature of the Raid and a bit of kin/raid politics unfortunately.

We have had a lot of that recently which has included some lengthy and sometimes heated forum discussions. But hopefully people have now reminded themselves that, whatever their individual preferences, helping fellow kinmates is good. And it’s not to say that these sorts of intra-kin debates are bad. I think it is always good to challenge and review whether it is about the election of officers, a new kinleader; much of the discussion was relating to how the election, nor non-election of kin officials, or just about general transparency and involvement of the membership.

Anyhow, it was Barad Guldur on Friday and we managed to get our rusty and creaking selves through the first two bosses so it is back to the LT on Sunday.  It was nice to be raiding again.

Apart from that, a fair few of the kin have been entertaining themselves outside of LoTRO. As I said, life in LoTRO is pretty slow. We need our next injection of new content. There has been a slight fear that we might find ourselves splintering off into other games. We have an Away team in WoW at the moment and many people have been exploring Rift (the new mmo still in Beta but due out in March). However, in these games, people are sticking together and there is a desire to explore these games with other kinmates so I think we are holding together. And there is the advantage that most of us are lifetime members of LoTRO, so whatever happens, at some point or other, people will return.

And what have I been doing, well the bits of Raiding that we’ve managed and WoW. WoW is impressive in it’s scale, the quests are amusing and manage to be different and the instances plentiful but somehow I haven’t fallen for it. I play weekly, a group of us are levelling up through the instances and that’s really enough for me though I will try PvP. I’m not quite sure what hasn’t grabbed me, I’m not big on the cartoon graphics, I don’t need the humour (I hate comedy and laughing), I find the user interface a bit clumsy; is it just that it is not LOTRO? One of the reasons perhaps why I want to try Rift.

And still Team Fortress 2 which I love. At the moment:

Day no play Team Fortress = Bad day

Day play Team Fortress = Good Day

Life is really as simple as that.

The Battle for Barad Guldur (epic poem)

Well we finally made it to the LT again this Sunday. Two weeks previous we had our attempt thwarted by Durchest, in the end we had another go on the Sunday and then went to Helegrod, last week a massive Server fail prevented us logging on on the Friday so again we missed out. We still didn’t get him down but the fight feels more controlled and it will only be a matter of time.

But anyhow, in the meantime, Rhiannon, official poet-in-residence, has written another poem for us all to enjoy. If anyone wishes to take it away and set it to a rousing tune for your Raid group to sing in TeamSpeak (substituting names as appropriate), feel free.

*sits by the fire and taps a steady rhythm on her war drum*

Through the doors of the dark tower,
Everyone’s mood can be so dour.
A tank goes left and one goes right,
Run in!  Run out!
Fight, Fight, Fight!

Call your targets, front and back.
Left behind and the world goes black.
All these goblins!  More than a few!
Lightning! Lightning!
Pew! Pew! Pew!

Uruks to the front of us,
Wargs to the rear.
Quick, Beoras needs a beer.

Now Rhiannon’s shrieking,
So, you better be DPS traited.

Slowly, slowly up the stairs,
Torvik’s voice is starting to wear.
Time ticks on.  Has it been hours?
Fellowship manuever!
Power! Power!

The final staircase looms ahead.
Idris really should be in bed.
Two final suits!  Lag!  Ack! We’re doomed!
Mez that warg!
Boom!  Boom!  Boom!

Uruks to the front of us,
Wargs to the rear.
Quick, Beoras needs a beer.

Now Rhiannon’s shrieking,
So, you better be DPS traited.

Now it’s time to face Durchest.
Is that dwarf really wearing a dress?
Suit squares off on curse-ed three.
Fear pot! Fear pot!
All to me!

Soldiers coming one by one.
Lighting torches just for fun.
Remove corruptions immediately!
Burn him down!
NOW you can pee.

Uruks to the front of us,
Wargs to the rear.
Quick, Beoras needs a beer.

Now Rhiannon’s shrieking,
So, you better be DPS traited.

I bet you hope this song is done,
Well, like the tower it’s just begun.
The elves move in and set up camp.
Loot coin!  Loot coin!
Head up the ramp!

Even minstrels need a break.
And for the reader’s sanity’s sake.
I’m pausing here now don’t be stunned.
I’ll be back!
Run!  Run! Run!

*puts down her drum and disappears into the gloom*

In spitting distance of the LT – Not!!!!!


We wiped on Durchest Easy Mode this evening. Yes, after downing him more or less weekly on Hard Mode for a while. The damage he seemed to be doing seemed to have increased massively. Is this something since F2P? We are not sure. Reading the forums, other kins have reported a similar experience. But others have been fine. We managed to clear him last week but of course didn’t check the combat logs to see what damage he was doing.

We are now thinking of having another go on Sunday; see if we get a repeat and revise our tactics. Feelings are mixed. We could just go and have fun in Helegrod. An attractive thought. But I would also like to try and find out what went on tonight. Have we actually got a problem that could keep us from the LT or were we just very unlucky.

We’ll see what everyone thinks.

Us after Durchest tonight


In spitting distance of the LT

Last night we took the Fell beast down twice. And got the Lieutenant (LT) down to 300k. I feel we are in spitting distance of getting it.

It’s taken a while. A long while. The fight requires everyone to be focussed. At any point, someone might get a yellow eye and have to kite the Fell beast. Or after the transition phase when the LT gets off the Beast, they may get the yellow eye or a purple eye. If they get a purple eye, then they have to move from the group as fast as possible before it expires….the purple eye causes much damage and can wipe a raid. If they get the yellow eye then it’s kiting time again, but now they have to avoid the purple eye person, the purple shadow damage clouds dropped by the beast and try to avoid kiting the beast through the rest of the Raid and there is the additional problem of a slow debuff caused by the LT’s corruptions. We have to have people on special corruption remove duty to manage the various corruptions led by the guardian. The ‘slow debuff’ or corruption is the red one which we use a lore-master or minstrel to remove immediately.

Anyhow, at first it took people a while to learn when, where and how to move at various points. It took us a little longer because we use a system of rotation when allocating places so we had a larger pool of people who needed to learn the Raid; and we also had people who could not attend on a regular basis. So, from time to time, progress seemed pretty painful and sometimes we seemed to take a step back.

But yesterday it seemed more-or-less to come together. We did tilt things a little in our favour. Normally we try to bring two from each class (captain, champ, hunter, lore-master, minstrel, guardian; other classes rotating within these if they sign up). This is to make sure no-one is excluded because of the class they play. However, I have started to bring my hunter alt and changed to her from my guardian just before the fight. And last night one of the two lore-masters came on his hunter alt. So we had four hunters. This allowed to bring down the Fell beast much faster with fewer clouds. And then focus damage on the  beast to kill it.

We still got wiped by eyes, we still have a little way to go but it felt more controlled and I think people were getting used to the fight and more confident in what they were doing.

So here’s to a successful attempt next week…(or the week after that, maybe)!

Oh my; a disconcerting gap

Oh my, I haven’t posted for all of October! What have I been up to? Well stopping organising Raids for a start. My out-of-game life is pretty stressful the moment and I’m spending much of my evenings exhausted and slumped so giving it a break is one less thing to think about; exhaustion and in front-of-telly-slumping is also a reason for my blogging less.

I haven’t been doing much in game really either. I’m Raiding still, but now I’ve stopped organising I’m contemplating giving it a break once we’ve got the Lieutenant down and just join in to help when needed. It’s odd, Raiding does seem to bring the worst out in people; resentments, rivalries and mistrust. I feel it would be good if I spent a bit of time just away from all that clearing my mind, poddling about on my lower level alts. Or I could roll an alt on the new server once F2P goes live and see what that’s like. I’ve also got loads of single-player games that are demanding to be played at some point.  So I might give LOTRO itself a break.

Who knows. As I said, I haven’t fully decided what I want to do yet. Or what I feel is best for me.

Anyhow, I have some time off next week so I hope to be able to write a few posts then;  we have a new poem from our honoured and official poet-in-residence, there are the mixed and frustrating experiences various members of the kin have had with the EU F2P Preview, the advent of F2P itself and of course the promised exploration of my dice collection. Good times eh!

Blind One defeated: a triumph in verse

Yes…the Blind One was downed.

And to celebrate,  Rhiannon has risen to the occasion, once more, and penned a verse so we can all rejoice and share in the triump. Huzzah. It may be a few days late, but an opportunity to exult is an opportunity to exult.

Deeper down and darker still,
We followed blindly, Beoras’ will.
And then when darkness seemed to end
We came upon our sightless friend.

Valiantly we engaged the foe,
Whilst being told just where to go.
The darkness swirled, the darklings swarmed,
Minstrels trapped by tentacled arms.

Once, twice, thrice, we held our breath.
How many of us would meet our death?
In silence stunned, we beheld the gore,
The Blind One finally dreams no more.