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  1. #1

    Progressions, the Minstrel's Gambit System

    IMO, if there's a class that lends itself to gambit-like skills, it's the minstrel. I'd like to see something like this happen during our next 'month of the minstrel'. This would be a change to how we play the class today but not a huge change. Today we ballad up, use an anthem, possibly repeat, then coda. However, I do not think these skills, mainly the ballads, work like they should. As an example, in null stance, we have one healing ballad. I think that's just silly. For null stance healing, each ballad should augment the one played before it, and order should matter. In fact, I think the ballad/anthem/coda rotation can be replaced by Progressions. I also believe that all our healing induction skills can as well (RtS, IF, BC, FH).

    For instance, our normal rotation consists of 3 ballads, an anthem and a coda. The idea of a progression is already there. However, the ballads do not affect each other and do not affect the anthem or coda, but the anthem does affect the coda. I propose that these skills be modified so that order of the ballads matter, and that each ballad affects the next in some way. Since I am talking about progressions, let's change the names of these skills to chords (I will talk about current 'chord' skills later).

    Each chord has an initial effect when played for the first time in a progression, then it also has a multiplier effect if played again. In addition, each chord has an immediate effect, a range and possibly a duration (e.g. for buffs).

    Here's an example set of chord skills. This is the set of Null stance chords where NO CHORD is required to damage a target or target's target:

    First Chord:
    Immediate effect: single target heal
    Initial effect: +1% healing, reduce Second Chord range
    Multiplier effect: 3x single target healing, 1.5x group healing

    Second Chord:
    Immediate effect: group heal (similar to Major Ballad)
    Initial effect: +1% healing, reduce First Chord range
    Multiplier effect: 1.5x healing, 2x single target healing
    Range: 15m (IF is currently 20m)

    Third Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies (or reapplies) group Res/Mit buff
    Initial effect: +1% group Resistance/Mitigation buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x group Res/Mit buff
    Duration: 10s

    Fourth Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies group armor/evade/attack speed buff
    Initial effect: +1% group armor/evade/attack speed buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x group armor/evade/attack speed buff
    Duration: 10s

    Fifth Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies group outgoing dmg buff
    Initial effect: +1% group outgoing dmg buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x group outgoing dmg buff
    Duration: 10s

    Sixth Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies group ICPR/ICMR buff
    Initial effect: +1% group ICPR/ICMR buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x group ICPR/ICMR buff
    Duration: 10s

    Seventh Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies single target threat debuff (decreases threat of target, not just self)
    Initial effect: +1% single target threat debuff
    Multiplier effect: 2x single target threat debuff
    Duration: 10s

    Eighth Chord:
    Init effect: applies single target power return over time (PoT) buff
    Initial effect: +1% single target PoT buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x single target PoT buff
    Duration: 10s

    That may seem like a lot of 'new' skills, but potentially we could replace 3 ballads, 5 anthems, the coda as well as RtS, IF and BC. For FH, the skill would remain but would only be activated after 5 chords have been played. TS could also be replaced by a Progression.

    Each chord would only be active for a short time (1-2s), so that letting the timer expire, or reaching the max number of active chords would signal the end of that progression. The next chord played would be the start of a new progression.

    Single target heal example:
    Current rotation: Major, Minor/Perfect, Major, Anthem of Composure, Coda
    Effect: +3% healing, +1% healing, +3% healing, Resistance/Mit buff and Power Return, Big Heal
    Here, the effect of % healing are additive up to +7%.
    (With our current skills, doing Major/Minor/Major is faster than doing Major/Major/Major, but requires you to hit a target with Minor or Perfect)

    New rotation: First Chord, First Chord, First Chord, First Chord, First Chord
    Possible Effect: +1% healing, 3x healing, 3x healing, 3x healing, BFH (big freaking heal)
    Here, the effect of % healing multiply to +27%! And the speed at which you can do 3 of the same chords in a row needs to be the same regardless of what chords are played.

    The initial and multiplier effect numbers I listed above are simply meant as placeholders for actual numbers that would need to be tested and tweaked. In addition, the cooldown of playing any chord should affect all chords so fiddling with this cooldown number can also be tweaked for gameplay.

    As for current 'chord' skills (is there just one?) and the immediate skills would stay the same.

    The idea is that the Minstrel class lends itself to this type of play. Let's help the devs make the next 'month of the minstrel' be a true revolution for the class!

    Now for the kicker. When I go to learn the 'First Chord' skill, there is not just one 'First Chord'. There are many. Each of these would play a different sound when used. For instance, there could be a 'First Chord in F' and a 'Third Chord in G minor'. In fact, there could be 100s! How about 'Fifth Chord in Caug7' (formed by the notes C-E-G♯-B♭). In this way, a player can literally customize his music to have his/her own unique sound. In fact, you could even hotbar 4 or 5 'First Chord' skills so instead of playing the same chord for '1-1-1-1-1', you could play 5 different chords to create your personalized Progression!

    Anyway, that's what I think!

    Harl
    Last edited by Harlinator; Feb 20 2013 at 12:40 PM.
    Harl - Minstrel - Cliff Divers of Middle Earth - Arkenstone
    Ain't no mountain high enough...
    Mis-adventure is better than no adventure at all!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Harlinator View Post
    The idea is that the Minstrel class lends itself to this type of play. Let's help the devs make the next 'month of the minstrel' be a true revolution for the class!

    Now for the kicker. When I go to learn the 'First Chord' skill, there is not just one 'First Chord'. There are many. Each of these would play a different sound when used. For instance, there could be a 'First Chord in F' and a 'Third Chord in G minor'. In fact, there could be 100s! How about 'Fifth Chord in Caug7' (formed by the notes C-E-G♯-B♭). In this way, a player can literally customize his music to have his/her own unique sound. In fact, you could even hotbar 4 or 5 'First Chord' skills so instead of playing the same chord for '1-1-1-1-1', you could play 5 different chords to create your personalized Progression!

    Anyway, that's what I think!

    Harl
    In summary, make Minstrels actually JAM!!! Heck yeah...lol.

    The class has so much potential, and this system doesn't have to be difficult to lend itself to new players trying out healing. This description I think lends very well to what it already seems like it tries to do, but then falls short in reality on Live.

    This also prunes skills, something I think devs are after, and brings in diversity and situational customization for encounter reaction, DPS, or just boosting the morale (pun intended) of your team, (please no bagpipes...lol).

    Anyway, nicely written up Harl, and I think some good foundational thinking here for the community and devs. Seems like great potential.
    TheInklingsKin.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    When I saw the term "gambit" associatted with Minstrels I initially cringed.

    Harlinator really expressed an amazing and original idea. Count me as a convert. Bring it on! Support!

  4. #4
    Its not a bad idea but I have issues... hopefully this will read as the constructive criticism its intended to be.

    1) You say your aim is "each ballad should augment the one played before it, and order should matter", I don't see how your system implements this, in fact I think it is worse. Your chords only seem to interact with previous chords of the same type, and even then only improve the buff they are providing in a multiplicative way rather than an additive way. In addition you've removed the unique benefits you can only get from using 2 skills together (Anthem + coda)

    2) Buffs interacting multiplicatively virtually forces you to spam a skill as 5 x 1% buffs to different stats is much less appealing than 1 x 27% buff.

    3)Your not particularly clear but my reading is that you expect progressions to last 5 skills based on the current 3 Ballad + Anthem + Coda rotation. This is very restrictive as your basically forcing the buff reset every 5 skills. I, and I'm sure others don't play like that. We want to be able make use of that spike in healing and drop off to sync it up with external factors, what happens if the group gets hit by a big AoE just after I hit my big group heal?

    4) Putting core healing and buffs in the same system is a dangerous move. Currently buffing I have a CD I can do stuff in, such as throw off a heal. Here if I need to heal its going to ruin my buff as I'm going to have one less buff ballad in my progression.

    5) You talk about how the CD is shared, but with all our buffs and heals gated by this cooldown, then minimising this is priority one. So removes one choice.
    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

  5. #5
    Some interesting thoughts. However, I don't see it practical to expect that level of changes to the class for this game at this point in its life cycle. There just aren't the resources (development and testing). I do think those are some cool ideas though.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 00CloughRN View Post
    Its not a bad idea but I have issues... hopefully this will read as the constructive criticism its intended to be.

    1) You say your aim is "each ballad should augment the one played before it, and order should matter", I don't see how your system implements this, in fact I think it is worse. Your chords only seem to interact with previous chords of the same type, and even then only improve the buff they are providing in a multiplicative way rather than an additive way. In addition you've removed the unique benefits you can only get from using 2 skills together (Anthem + coda)

    2) Buffs interacting multiplicatively virtually forces you to spam a skill as 5 x 1% buffs to different stats is much less appealing than 1 x 27% buff.

    3)Your not particularly clear but my reading is that you expect progressions to last 5 skills based on the current 3 Ballad + Anthem + Coda rotation. This is very restrictive as your basically forcing the buff reset every 5 skills. I, and I'm sure others don't play like that. We want to be able make use of that spike in healing and drop off to sync it up with external factors, what happens if the group gets hit by a big AoE just after I hit my big group heal?

    4) Putting core healing and buffs in the same system is a dangerous move. Currently buffing I have a CD I can do stuff in, such as throw off a heal. Here if I need to heal its going to ruin my buff as I'm going to have one less buff ballad in my progression.

    5) You talk about how the CD is shared, but with all our buffs and heals gated by this cooldown, then minimising this is priority one. So removes one choice.
    Aya,

    Yes, you're right. I did not fully represent my overall idea in the example chords I gave. I made those up on the fly to show a basic idea. What I really wanted to express was that the minstrel class should be a lot more dynamic than it currently is. Playing chords in different progressions should yield different results, and I could continuously change my 'rotation' as things occur in the fight. But, I wanted the idea to be simple enough to be practical.

    Your criticisms are correct and I really wasn't trying to provide a complete solution. Each chord really should augment previous chords in each progression. As an example, consider the Third Chord. Here's a more thorough example where I have added more multiplier effects:

    Third Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies (or reapplies) group Res/Mit buff
    Initial effect: +1% group Resistance/Mitigation buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x group Res/Mit buff, 1.5x single target heal, 1.5x group heal, 1.5x other buffs
    Duration: 10s

    And maybe there should be a 'final chord' to indicate that a progression is done. However, I didn't think it was necessary. The progression ends when you stop playing or when you hit the chord limit (whatever that is). If the chord duration is 2s then if you don't play another chord by then, the progression starts over. This would not affect immediate skills like Salvation, SoS, etc.

    As for mixing healing and buffing, this already exists. Each ballad has an effect and a buff. The anthems are buffs and the coda can heal and can have a another effect (like AoE dmg, etc.).

    Each buff from the chord has a duration in which you can start another progression. Let's say that each chord can be played once per second. Within the duration of a buff, you can complete at least one more progression and be starting another.

    I hope that helps get my idea across better. I just think the minstrel can be much more of a dynamic class than it is today.

    And I would love to see customizable sounds for the skills. That could even be done w/ the current system. We would simply have more 'Major Ballad' skills that each play a different sound, etc.

    Harl
    Harl - Minstrel - Cliff Divers of Middle Earth - Arkenstone
    Ain't no mountain high enough...
    Mis-adventure is better than no adventure at all!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by warlockiii View Post
    Some interesting thoughts. However, I don't see it practical to expect that level of changes to the class for this game at this point in its life cycle. There just aren't the resources (development and testing). I do think those are some cool ideas though.
    I know what you mean. However, it seems the devs are really looking into making some big adjustments to different classes and it's my understanding that they may be looking for ideas. I hope they consider this!

    Harl
    Harl - Minstrel - Cliff Divers of Middle Earth - Arkenstone
    Ain't no mountain high enough...
    Mis-adventure is better than no adventure at all!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Anavalar View Post
    When I saw the term "gambit" associatted with Minstrels I initially cringed.

    Harlinator really expressed an amazing and original idea. Count me as a convert. Bring it on! Support!
    LOL ya I debated the thread title for a while. Thanks for kind words!

    Harl
    Harl - Minstrel - Cliff Divers of Middle Earth - Arkenstone
    Ain't no mountain high enough...
    Mis-adventure is better than no adventure at all!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Harlinator View Post
    For null stance healing, each ballad should augment the one played before it, and order should matter. In fact, I think the ballad/anthem/coda rotation can be replaced by Progressions.
    ...
    Single target heal example:
    Current rotation: Major, Minor/Perfect, Major, Anthem of Composure, Coda
    Effect: +3% healing, +1% healing, +3% healing, Resistance/Mit buff and Power Return, Big Heal
    Here, the effect of % healing are additive up to +7%.
    (With our current skills, doing Major/Minor/Major is faster than doing Major/Major/Major, but requires you to hit a target with Minor or Perfect)

    New rotation: First Chord, First Chord, First Chord, First Chord, First Chord
    Possible Effect: +1% healing, 3x healing, 3x healing, 3x healing, BFH (big freaking heal)
    Here, the effect of % healing multiply to +27%! And the speed at which you can do 3 of the same chords in a row needs to be the same regardless of what chords are played.
    ...
    Now for the kicker. When I go to learn the 'First Chord' skill, there is not just one 'First Chord'. There are many. Each of these would play a different sound when used. For instance, there could be a 'First Chord in F' and a 'Third Chord in G minor'. In fact, there could be 100s! How about 'Fifth Chord in Caug7' (formed by the notes C-E-G♯-B♭). In this way, a player can literally customize his music to have his/her own unique sound. In fact, you could even hotbar 4 or 5 'First Chord' skills so instead of playing the same chord for '1-1-1-1-1', you could play 5 different chords to create your personalized Progression!
    Harl,

    Interesting idea, however playing devil's advocate the idea sounds much better than it represents in the "New rotation" above. It sounds like you are saying every first chord would be different and have different effects and sounds yet above it sounds like you are suggesting we spam 1 skill button 6 times in a row.

    That can't be what you mean? I just don't want to see a great idea potentially lost in misinterpration.
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/022040000000b1e1a/signature.png]Kangas[/charsig]
    [URL="http://helmsdeep.guildportal.com"]Helm's Deep[/URL] Kangas-Captain Kangdoom-Champ Furtive-Burg Wildlife-Hunter

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Thermight View Post
    Harl,

    Interesting idea, however playing devil's advocate the idea sounds much better than it represents in the "New rotation" above. It sounds like you are saying every first chord would be different and have different effects and sounds yet above it sounds like you are suggesting we spam 1 skill button 6 times in a row.

    That can't be what you mean? I just don't want to see a great idea potentially lost in misinterpration.
    You're absolutely right. It's not my intention to spam a single skill (in fact this proposal stems from the desire of *NOT* wanting to do that...). My explanation went in that direction as you've pointed out. My '1-1-1-1-1....' example was only meant to be just that, an example. And the idea as I've presented it may not be feasible. It was just meant as a basis for a new system of minstrel skills.

    For instance, instead of 'chords', perhaps we just have notes. I start off by playing the first note of the Progression. Let's say it's a C (and therefore the in-game sound is actually a C). This particular skill will have some immediate effect (like doing a small, single-target heal) and a 'Progression' effect that is to be built on by the next note or chord. Naming the skills 'First Chord', 'Second Chord', etc., were just meant to be placeholders, but they need some name that's not just 'C' or 'C-minor Chord'. So, as my second note, I play F, so that the in-game sound is C and F together to make a 4th. This has an immediate effect like another single-target heal, but since it's in a progression, the heal is 'bigger' due to the Progression effect of the previously played C note. Or I might play E as the second note so that the in-game sound is a 3rd of both C and E. My 'E' skill doesn't have a healing immediate effect, but maybe a buff of some sort (Mit buff, attack speed, etc.).

    As a different example, let's say I start a progression by targeting the tank with 'First Chord' which is meant to be a single-target heal. Then I play another First Chord but target the LM because he decided to assume tanking duties and needs some attention, so the base heal of this chord is now higher because it's the second chord played in the progression. Then the group eats an AoE from the mob and so I immediately hit Second Chord which is a group heal. Since it's the third chord in this progression the healing is bigger than if I had simply used Second Chord once. At this point, I can use Second Chord again if the group is still hurting or First Chord if there's a specific player who needs it. Or I can use a different chord to apply a group-wide buff.

    In this manner, I can shift skills on the fly depending on the situation. And if I've been constantly playing chords, then the multiplier effect is always there to some degree (until I reach the progression limit whether that is 3, 4 or 5 chords). So, although I could simply spam First Chord on a player in dire need, that is no different than spamming RtS today, but it gives me the opportunity to alter the progression on the fly to switch to group healing or buffs or what have you.

    I hope that explanation clarifies my idea better. Like many ideas of this nature, it always sounds really good in my head but sometimes doesn't translate to written medium so well!

    Harl
    Harl - Minstrel - Cliff Divers of Middle Earth - Arkenstone
    Ain't no mountain high enough...
    Mis-adventure is better than no adventure at all!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Harlinator View Post
    Third Chord:
    Immediate effect: applies (or reapplies) group Res/Mit buff
    Initial effect: +1% group Resistance/Mitigation buff
    Multiplier effect: 2x group Res/Mit buff, 1.5x single target heal, 1.5x group heal, 1.5x other buffs
    Duration: 10s

    And maybe there should be a 'final chord' to indicate that a progression is done. However, I didn't think it was necessary. The progression ends when you stop playing or when you hit the chord limit (whatever that is). If the chord duration is 2s then if you don't play another chord by then, the progression starts over. This would not affect immediate skills like Salvation, SoS, etc.
    If it was me I would suggest a) just having the same multiplier, even a small difference forces you to spam one skill eg 3,3,3,3,3 would give you a buff of 16%, whereas 3,3,3,3,1 is 12% and 3,1,1,1,1 is 5%(ish). This encourages variation in your skills as you buff multiple areas without sacrificing one area. b) Don't force completion, have ballads start to overwrite, I think this is very thematic, your introducing themes to your composition which build to a crescendo before disappearing. This prevents the problem of huge effectiveness fluctuations and reduces to penalty from using the same chord again, say you play 1,3,1,4,1,5 your healing would be dropping from 16% to 8%, rather than 0% and recoveres much quicker. You can then have a 'Finale' skill which completely resets it (Is it just me or should Coda really be called Finale).
    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

  12. #12
    I think this sounds interesting, but in terms of difficulty, the minstrel has always been one of LOTRO's self-described "easy" classes. There is a category of players who need to find three or four obvious skills that can get them from level 1 to 85, and I'm not sure this system could accommodate that.

    There's just too much music theory and math here for the average player. The connection between minstrels and actual music has always been superficial in LOTRO, and I think it's okay if it stays that way.

  13. #13
    And let's not forget that current bane of the minstrel, and particularly the warden, LAG.

    Let's not make basic healing something that we need uber computers to even have half a chance on.

    As a musician in real life I applaud the concept but balk somewhat at the complexity.

    And by the way, I think minnies are currently OP. I do enjoy my little d0rf (Hrolfdan) but when a skill (harmony coda) heals a group for ~4k each and does 2.5k AOE damage...
    105s: Aedfrith (HN), Aldnoth (CP), Brai (RK), Hrolfdan (MN), Aeldfryd (WD), Morriarty (CH), Aednoth (LM), Mishhar (BR), Hraldan (GR), Rummbold (BG). Tinies - Rumbelina (MN), Aenghus (CP)
    Rangers of Eriador (officer), ex-Snowbourn now Laurelin - A Noob for All Seasons

  14. #14
    I understand the concerns raised, but I think my examples may simply be overly complex. This is not meant to be complex, but it is meant to allow complexity....

    Briefly, let me rename my 'chords' to these: Heal (single target), Group Heal, Buff #1, Buff #2, Buff #3 (assuming for now the Buff chords are all group wide).

    I can play any chord in any order in a progression. The later a chord is played in the progression, the more powerful its effects are (using whatever multiplier that is deemed appropriate). A progression ends when the max chord is reached or the player stops playing the progression for some specified time (or perhaps we have a "start a new progression" skill).

    That's it. I can simply spam Heal chord or Group Heal chord over and over, or I can create Progressions of varying healing/buffing combos as the fight changes. Customization comes into play where I can simply select the audible sound that is heard when different skills are used.

    I cannot speak to the lag of such a system. Perhaps it is unfeasible. I'm not sure a supercomputer would be required to play one of 12 different audible chords w/in an already complex system. My rig certainly isn't capable of carrying the bootstraps of a modern system..... But I'd still like to try

    Harl
    Harl - Minstrel - Cliff Divers of Middle Earth - Arkenstone
    Ain't no mountain high enough...
    Mis-adventure is better than no adventure at all!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,025
    I really don't see the need for this kind of revamp. It's an interesting idea, but... why? As a class, Minstrels are currently not just viable, but great at what we do.
    Narlinde, level 100 Minstrel, Rank 11, Member of Trucido ~ Windfola

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    390
    Sounds like a very fun class concept...
    "Shepherds of the Forest" -- RIP

  17. #17
    LEAVE my mini alone im tired of having to relearn my class after ive put so much time into it. the minis are NOT broken at all leave em be
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/0c214000000067ad6/signature.png]Tacito[/charsig]

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    I like this idea. I actually suggested this before as a replacement to the RK, but using words instead of notes. Go back a few pages in suggestions and you will find it.

    Might I suggest that the chords/note(chords for instruments that allow multiple notes at a time, notes for those that don't) be named as such: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII. In a C major scale this would be C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C In A Minor A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A. You must end on a I, IV, V, (or VIII, I think) as those are the perfect chords and make a song sound complete. Have a skill called tuning that allows you to switch your scale and stances that allow you to change to minor or diminished scales. Minor would be the equivalent of harmony and diminished would be the equivalent of war speech allowing you to deal damage. With that, you can play most songs. Have the "gambit chains" be the themes of famous pieces like I, V, VI, III, IV, I, V (pachelbel's canon) and you can continue until you finish a theme at which point you start over

    It would be based in music theory, but those who didn't want to discover that could just memorize the progressions and wonder why the skills are named like they are.
    Lore-Monkey(not a Lore Guardian) and proud of it.

    .

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Please no, come on, why do we need these huge class revamps.

    No one ever heard of 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it?', really, I've had to learn to play my minstrel 3 times now, I really have no desire to do it again when the other 7 classes I have at cap have not had anything NEAR that drastic done to them.

    When you do a MAJOR revamp, such as changing the core skills to do something completely different, you change the ENTIRE game. Unless something has gotten to the point of being beyond repair, or just utterly useless, it should only be tweaked...

    As for the comment on making minsrels 'Jam', have you ever heard people playing in the music system WITHOUT ABC files? Man, its scary...

 

 

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