Sunday, June 5, 2011

Noobing it up in LotRO: Part 1

This is the first in an occasional series about other MMORPGs. Basically, I'm going to try games, and report back. First off is a game near and dear to my heart, Lord of the Rings Online. This game is free to play, and while there are loads of extras you can buy, you earn currency through in game stuff as well, allowing you to never have to purchase points if you don't want to.

To that end: complete deeds. I know, you're going "wtf are deeds?" Deeds are rather like achievements, but there's a lot more of them and you get titles and turbine points and virtues from them. So, you kill x goblins, you complete a deed. You use special attack A so many times, you get a deed. See, here I just got one for Wolf-Killing.
And here's my deed log, showing an example of a virtue. There's deeds for exploration, killing stuff, questing, using special class abilities, running dailies, and probably more I don't know about yet. The toon there just got rolled this morning, and already has quite a few deeds to her name.
So, when you see a deed pop up, try to get it done.  More points = different classes, more bag space, quest areas, crafting bonuses, and a bunch of other stuff.

Now: classes....
Your creation screen won't look quite like this.  I ponied up for the two pay classes, Warden and Runekeeper cause I wanted to. But the basics are pretty similar to Wow. Different races, not every race can be every class, and oh, no female dwarves.  Dwarves and elves start in the same zone, and hobbits and humans share the other starting zone.
The class info screen is really useful. Class difficulty, role, and gameplay are all things you want to take into account when rolling up. Below is a very vague description of each class.
Captain->think pallies with squires. Yup, they're a pet class.
Champion->warriors (but not prot ones)
Guardian->the tank
Hunter->More or less the same as WoW, but no pets. Good in range, not so good in melee, kinda squishy
Lore-Master->the closest you're going to get to a mage, but with pets.
Minstrel->healers and buffbots
Rune-Keepers->Dunno, haven't rolled one yet.
Warden->weird combo of ranged and melee dps with complicated on the side. My warden's lvl 2, so it's entirely possible I have no idea what a warden actually does yet.

There are a few things to keep in mind with lotro. First, it's the journey, not the destination. Yes, there's end-game raiding (or so I'm told, my highest toon is in the low 20s), but there's a huge amount of stuff to do before then. In fact, if you rush straight to endgame, you're kinda missing the point. There's a huge world and tons of content!
Second, crafting's a bit more complicated than in WoW, but also more valuable if you keep it up (the weapons I crafted right off the bat are better than any quest drops I've seen).

So, go try lotro. You lose nothing by trying it (being free and all) and it's a fun game for explorers and quest-lovers. Just be aware, if pvp's your thing, this is probably not your game. PVP is monster PCs vs regular PCs, and is not free (last time I checked).


  1. no female dwarves?

    *is not playing that game*

  2. i've been playing LOTRO such a long time, i'm always struck by what people find unusual... are deeds really that unusual?

    re: female dwarves. Tolkien states very clearly that no-one outside the dwarves can tell the difference between male and female dwarves, and that, when female dwarves *do* go adventuring they dress as men - thus it's in-lore to have no female dwarves. i'll point out though, that dwarves, ostensibly male, are the only male avatars able to wear dresses.

    Burgs and LMs are not really like anything seen on WoW: although they *can* be high DPS, they're primarily CC classes. yes, LOTRO has two dedicated CC classes.

    Burgs can also dish out some tasty single-target DPS; LMs have the 2d-highest AoE DPS *and* pets - LMs are the pet class in LOTRO, not Cappies.

    Cappies are not a pet class, nor are they a tank or DPS class - they're a support class. any Cappie worth their salt traits such that they *cant* use pets at the earliest opportunity (depends on when you finish the relevant deed, usaully from 35 onwards). Cappies, if traited for it, can main-heal, are excellent off-healers and decent off-tanks, and are the real buff-bots of LOTRO. Cappies have the lowest DPS in the game, however, so don't roll one if you want to be Aragorn.

    RKs are the real mage class - they use elemental attacks (adjusted for the lore); they can also act as main-healers. the shiny 'look at my crit' screenies are always posted by RKs.

    Hunters and Champs are both pure DPS classes: ranged and melee respectively. Champs can tank, of traited for it, but otherwaise are actually very squishy; Hunters have decent CC and, if traited for it, quite excellent CC.

    Minstrels are healers - but also mad burst ranged damage (i cant really call it DPS, because it's not sustainable; however the most common high-rank PvMP Freep class is Minstrel; followed by RK).

    Guards are traditional tanks: all force-taunts and heavy armour; Wardens are non-traditional tanks - medium armour and no force taunts, but basically unkillable. Warden ranged DPS is not much higher than Guard DPS, which is to say, nonexistent.

    the advice that 'the journey is what matters, not the destination' is excellent: although LOTRO has a good raiding end-game (IMO), it's the story that keeps me there.

    the advice that *i* would give: dont get too far behind on your traits and virtues; do them as you level as much as possible. traits and virtues are *roughly* equivalent to talent trees, but you earn them by completing deeds - by killing mobs, by exploring, or by using a skill X number of times.