Lotro: Downtime, More Beorning Thoughts and a Beorning Comic

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I had it all planned out at work today. The amount of TP I’ll need to purchase XP boosts, which deeds and virtues I wanted to complete first and the quickest route to 100. Alas, I come home to un-announced downtime (as of writing this post). Malaysian prime time sucks.

Moving on swiftly, I’ve had more Beorning time, and have come to the realization that the Beorning’s DPS attack skills for The Claw line in Human-form at the moment, is underwhelming. The bleeds that proc on two of its skills (Slash and Biting Edge) doesn’t scale well with level, and I find myself struggling to defeat mobs in purely Human-form, within an acceptable amount of time. I’d like the choice of switching to Bear-form when I feel its necessary and not feel like I am forced to shape-shift to win 80% of my fights. This only lends more credence to what I said in the last post about over-relying on Bear-form skills.

Hearten, the only healing skill in the Red line, is also a mixed bag. Early levels its a good self-heal and it can be casted onto other players as well as NPCs. However, once you’ve invested more points into Composure (Supposedly and upgrade from Hearten), it transforms the skill into a self heal only, doing less healing than it did before the class trait point investment. It should be noted that Composure can be ranked five levels, but at this point I’d rather stick to Hearten and invest the points elsewhere.

Minor gripes aside, the class still is beary fun to play with and definitely refreshes the Lotro experience for me. There’s still the Blue and Yellow trait lines to play with in a group setting which I am very much looking forward to.

At this stage, there are plenty of Beorning players who have passed the level 50 threshold and are providing some insightful feedback on all the skills and existing bugs, among others. Do ask your local server level-capped Beorning on their thoughts if you need more opinions. For those currently levelling a bear and are looking for information on racial traits and deeds, check out this post by the Department of Strategy (Formerly Lotro Strategy.)

Is downtime over yet?

Anyway, with all the free time I made a comic out of screenshots. Want a series? Pray for more downtime. No, don’t.

Hafflewrath Beorning Comic Ep1

Lotro: Early Beorning musings

lotro opinion

Article may contain spoilers for players who have yet to purchase a teddy.

After 16 hours of /played time on my newly created Beorning, Bearmark, I think the class has a lot of potential. I’ve been using the red trait line for DPS, and it’s decent and even possibly overpowered if used well. I even managed to spend an hour in PvMP with the Beorning at level 20, which was fun (I made 2 ranks!). I haven’t tried out the blue or yellow lines, but from reading and listening to others in and out of game, the overall feeling people are getting from the new class and its three trait lines is that the Beornings are the new breed of hybrid Captains, or what the Captain class should have been, prior to Helms Deep. I don’t have an opinion on that for now. I’m Captain biased and no bear should be compared to my fellow leaders of men. Yet.

Beorning cosmetics are nice on the eye

Beorning cosmetics are nice on the eye

The first fifteen minutes or so after character creation introduced me to the new starter zone of the Beorning, the Vales of Anduin. It’s pretty refreshing and in my opinion, not a rehash of other existing zones. You can even catch a glimpse of the Carrock halfway through the introduction quests. Speaking of which, by the third quest, I was already getting a taste of the Beorning in combat. The bears, as many of you know, doesn’t use power to execute attacks, instead spending its pool of Wrath to unleash damaging skills, heals and other gambits. Players build up wrath by executing ‘builder’ skills, much like how the Champion builds up fervor pips. The catch is, the bulk of your wrath will be spent in Bear-form, to use powerful finishers.

ScreenShot01395

The DPS red line is aptly named “The Claw”

Skills at early levels are as expected, adequate and okay, but at level 20 and above they do become more potent, after I invested some class trait points deeper in the red tree line to increase crit, bleed damage and unlock more attacks. Despite cheesy bear animations, bear-form skills that consumes wrath like the tiered Thrash can dish out a lot of damage, but a downside I encountered is my own over-reliance of using that one particular skill. This happens because Thrash scales in damage up to three times, and the third strike completely mauls mobs – peons and landscape bosses alike.

ScreenShot01397

ScreenShot01396

The Beorning racial traits are interesting and most are decent, but the one that caught me off guard was the trait that grants you the skill to bake honey cakes. Yes, you read right: Beornings get a skill to bake honey cakes. With a short cooldown for making free consumable health and power regeneration food on the go, I think it’s a good and interesting addition to the game. If it is confirmed that these Beorning-baked honey cakes scales with level, then I will be amazed – and very thankful. Away with farming and cooking!

Gear-wise, Beornings wear Medium Armor but aren’t as squishy as the Hunter or Burglar, and are more in-line with the toughness of the Warden. From questing throughout Bree land, old quest reward armor suffices, and the new addition of giving me the choice to pick any piece of medium armor (from helm to feet) from a chest is a nice touch. Might is the main stat for Beornings, and these quest reward armor chests offers medium armor with might and vitality variants. This is mostly due to the lack of might on crafted and guild crafted armor, which is somewhat disappointing. I’m an OCD crafter and have a tendency to gear my toons using the best possible crafted gear, such as teals and purples that requires rare shards and guild reputation. Sadly as mentioned above, most of these crafted armor doesn’t have might on it. I guess landscape rewards will have to do for the time being.

Bearmark foraging the Midgewater Marshes for honey

Bearmark foraging the Midgewater Marshes for honey

Weapon choices are also interesting. During the infancy levels, I wielded a a two-handed axe to devastating effect. Among others, Beornings can also pick between spears and clubs, with the latter granting a damage bonus (or to hit bonus, can’t recall) from a racial trait. I like racial bonuses, but I hate clubs, period. They just look awful, and there’s nothing menacing about wielding a Legendary Club of the CaveBearMan. You’ll find me using spears, which really is no better without a shield for company.

First world Beorning problems

First world Beorning problems

My final thoughts on the bear: For a thousand Turbine Points, it definitely has great potential and the early levels were good fun as I dabbled with skill rotations and gear. The early DPS red line is as you would expect: hard hitting, crit heavy and oozing bleeds, which made levelling fast and efficient. Bear-form can be improved, with animations somewhat lacking while the mechanics of bear-from skills are basic. At a glance the class offers the classic trinity of tanking, DPS and healing right from the get-go with its trait trees, but will need to be fully tested in future to learn if they are excellent at fulfilling all three roles. I will be taking a harder and more critical look at these aspects of the Beorning, especially the higher level skills and the other two trait trees after level 50 in Moria when things start picking up for most classes. Overall I am interested enough to continue levelling my Beorning as I’m genuinely eager to see how it performs in PvMP and instances at end game. Oh, and to quell the talk of Beornings replacing Captains.

More to come on the Beorning. Till the next post, thanks for reading and have a great week to all!

Fast Forward: To the White City

Hey, one can dream, right?

Hey, one can dream, right?

Couldn’t help it, the views and vistas in GW2 are amazing and this one had Minas Tirith written all over it. I’m taking a brief break from Lotro – I pre-ordered Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and while waiting for the game to launch on the 30th, I’m currently playing LOTR: War in the North and GW2. Not disappointed at all as both has offered plenty of fun. I can see myself hanging out in Tyria as a supplementary adventure to Lotro, just as I did with Wildstar back in May. As for Shadow of Mordor, I can’t wait to decapitate orcs and take names..or have mine taken, thanks to the Nemesis system. Might write a review for it here on the blog. We’ll see.

Have a good week folks.

LOTRO: Haffleheim Flying Through the Moors

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While in the Ettenmoors today, I rode over what seemed to be an invisible black hole of flying goodness. This ‘bug’ propelled me into the air, and gave me the notion of continuous jumping – I call it flying – which was hilarious. Apparently, this bug has existed forever and was never fixed. Video below for giggles. Warning, this might make you dizzy or something.

Don’t go looking out for this bug people. While fun and funny, it does your Moors group no help if there’s a fight going on, and can only be fixed by closing the game and logging in again.

Lotro: BVM Returns as Men

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I’d like to begin this post by stating that there will be no excuses from me as to why I’ve not been blogging. But if you really must know, it’s work. As most of you already realize, I am a proud Malaysian. This year, the nation has suffered multiple demoralizing blows, and the industry I work in has been in overdrive. That consists of countless late nights and long hours that have kept me away from the game. That’s not to say I didn’t have short stints in-game. I’ve been on during the weekends, slowly chipping away at the 5 levels to 100. Things are quieter these days, and as tomorrow is Malaysia Day (public holiday), I thought I’d post this tonight. Special note to a great friend, Obeah, for reminding me that I owned a lotro blog and was hoping to see me post again. This one’s for you Obe.

Commander Haffleheim & Beyond PvMP

Welcome to Gondor, Haffle

Welcome to Gondor, Haffle

I miss the Moors.  I stopped logging in shortly after hitting rank 11, sometimes for weeks on end. Combined with crazy periods at work, I had to forget about PvMP. When Haffle did get to log in, Update 14 had arrived and brought with it new regions, content and of course, a brand new grind. It took me nearly 2 months to hit the new level cap, as I would log in, complete a couple of quests, get bored and off I went to another game on Steam. I can’t explain it. I was excited for the new content, but just didn’t have the will to quest. Five levels did somewhat feel torturous. It was just two weeks ago that I hit 100, and have since been figuring out the new Dol Amroth dailies, grinding OD for symbols and just catching up with friends. I’ve said this too many times on my blog already, but it’s good to be back. At this point, I’m still deciding if I want to sell myself to weeks of grinding armour and essences, or grinding moors gear and progress towards rank 12. Time will tell. I’d like to thank my friends in the Riddermark for helping nurture me back to strength. Literally.

Welcome Back Weekend for the Black Veil Mercenaries (BVM)

When I first started playing lotro 3+ years ago, I began the adventure with 4 of my real life best friends. We started our own kinship, the BVM, when we were all in university. By the end of 2012, most of us had trouble keeping up with the game. One, left for flight school to become a pilot. Two went overseas to study engineering and the remaining two had soldiered on in-game. By the end of 2013, it was just me by myself. My kin a shadow of its former self, and I had moved my main toons into new kinships where I fostered great friendships with amazing and friendly people. Sometimes, lotro just isn’t the same when you’re not playing with your real life buddies. I’ve been pestering the guys to come back and look at all that the game has been through since they left. And I’m glad to say they heeded the call. This past weekend, most of them patched their clients and logged in, dusted off our abandoned BVM toons and spent a good chunk of time failing skirmishes. It was a blast and I’m glad they’re back. Hope we can maintain this weekend rendezvous thing.

Back in action!

Back in action!

Lets put some faces to the names.

 

BVM Founders L-R: Aldref, Pinchakko, Bregraus, Haffleheim, Kevarandr

BVM Founders L-R: Aldref, Pinchakko, Bregraus, Haffleheim, Kevarandr

Till the next post, which will hopefully be soon, happy gaming to all. And to all Malaysians, enjoy your Malaysia Day holiday!