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  1. #1

    Leveling Captain

    On the plus side:

    1). I've managed to achieve level 40 in record time, although that may be because of changes made to the game itself. Regardless, 95% of it was absolutely smooth sailing.

    2). After 6 years of mucking around trying to find a class I enjoy playing, I have to say the captain has become the closest thing to fit such a bill. I always stayed away from the class because of its reputation as having very poor dps and being the slowest leveling class. But the majority of the first 40 levels were faster than just about every other class in my opinion (certainly faster than guardian and warden, and on par with the glass cannons), reminding me VERY much of the retribution paladin of World of Warcraft. I'm not finding myself locking up when surprised in combat, blanking out and not knowing which buttons to press (that's a huge issue with all the other classes to me). More than once I've heard the word "leisurely" used to describe captain combat, and while I believe there is nothing leisurely about LOTRO, I now understand what that means.

    But on the down side:

    1). Historically, the late-30s (specifically lvl 38-39) has been the point at which I decide I don't like <x> class and reroll. It's usually a combat difficulty issue, and I feel like at those levels the difficultly shoots up dramatically for every class. Having just passed that threshold, while I'm totally digging the class, I now know why captain's "low dps/slow leveling" reputation exists. I had MAJOR difficulties with a couple of quests in Evendim that are trivial on every other class I've played (with the possible exception of hunter). Specifically, the island full of tomb robbers in Evendim: a specific, unavoidable encounter with 3 signature mobs, plus an undending stream of wandering adds. The 2nd rough spot was the giants in western Evendim. Defeating them wasn't a problem, but defeating them in a timely manner before respawns was. (The wood trolls, oddly, didn't seem as difficult). Now I should note that I managed to make it through both areas without defeat, but it was 10x more difficult than it was on other toons, and I had to completely deplete my stock of HOT/POT potions from gift boxes, as well as several healing/power pots. In short, a lot more stressful than anything that had come before it. Once I hit 40, I basically blew off the quests near Annunimas, knowing that I would never be able to do the quest to plant the banners and get the set helm (why it's labeled a "solo" quest I'll never understand: I've certainly done it on other toons, but it wasn't easy, and I honestly think it would be impossible with captain).

    2). I can see that lack of dps and power is going to be an issue in the 40s. As far as I know, I'm doing everything correctly. I've got 4 red traits slotted, plus Strong Voice to help alleviate the power drain in combat. I've experimented with using herald of victory and Focus tactic, but the drop in kill speed makes power drain even worse. I'm geared in Evendim reputation rewards, focusing on Might, Crit and Vitality (I was advised in another thread that Will is no longer a desired stat)...I'd like to add Fate to that mix, but there's just no Might/Crit/Vit/Fate gear to be had.

    At any rate, I do believe I finally understand why there aren't thousands of captains running around. I suppose it's the penalty one pays for being a support class. Having said that, I'm not sure being a jack of all trades justifies a scenario where it takes 3 minutes to kill 2 signature mobs, putting you in some tight spots when respawns start adding.

    I know it gets better. It has to, or else no one would be playing captains at all. I would ask the community to enlighten me as to when. I realize mileage varies, but is there a skill or a series of skills that make a noticeable difference? Again, I'm still really jazzed about playing the class. I'm just concerned that how within 3 hours I've gone from business as usual to 45 second fights vs. signature mobs, followed by downtime.

  2. #2
    I found it really tough at lvs 40-45, particularly when swarmed by mobs.

    My advice - get Annuminas rep halberd (Arnorian Commander's Halberd) and armour asap, then get the Fem breastplate and boots as a minimum. Use Revealing Mark - you'll need it just to keep yourself up. Spam Muster Courage on your herald to get Strength from Within as soon as you have it for the self-heal.

    Consider running skirms to give yourself a couple of levels.

    You should have 5 trait slots by then; I'd suggest 3r/2b is a decent balance (say something like Now for Wrath + Strength from Within, plus Expert Attacks, Renewed Voice and Battlemaster).

    Luckily, this is only a brief hump along the road. Lv45 gets easier because you can do the Moria prequests and get your first LI. This will MASSIVELY increase your combat effectiveness. And once your cappy gets to Moria, particularly lv56+, there are all kinds of awesomeness in wait.
    Last edited by Aedfrith; Apr 17 2013 at 04:11 AM.
    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)
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  3. #3
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    First of all regarding the Annuminas banner quests: I soloed it with my Captain. Granted I had outleveled it a bit (I think I was level 45 at the time) and it was hard, but not impossible. (Doing that questline at lvl 40 is darn hard for any class.)

    As for power issues, a must-have trait is Now for Wrath which causes your Rallying Cry to restore power.

    I think you will see a noticable overall improvement when you get your first Legendary Items. With the right legacies they will really make a Captain come into his/her own.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ertr View Post
    I think you will see a noticable overall improvement when you get your first Legendary Items. With the right legacies they will really make a Captain come into his/her own.
    Yes, I'd totally hit Moria at 45 to grab your LIs. Then go back to Eregion or whatever suits your fancy until you are leveled up some more. Key legacy for soloing and grouping is Rallying Cry cooldown on your emblem, which gets its cooldown to 15 seconds. Other very helpful soloing tool is PA targets on weapon, as our AOE damage is pretty limited and it gets you many more defeat events in AOE situations.

    Lower level captains have limited tools. Without our legendary items, and without our capstones, you are missing a fair bit of the classes power. Revealing mark can be very helpful for slowing down the damage you take, and usually is the best mark if you are having trouble soloing. Going all out to kill one of the mobs is also good, as the earlier you can do rallying cry the better. But unless things are different than when I leveled (which was before sure strike came out), you will do a fair bit of auto attacking and waiting for things to come off cooldown.

    If you have power problems, eat some food before big fights. And if you can get a bit of fate (from jewelry if nowhere else) , it helps.

  5. #5
    Having just brought my first cappy into Moria I just recently levelled through the levels I usually dread most: 38-50 (with the exception of getting your first LIs) especially the holw between ending evendim and starting forochel.

    I might be alone in this but giving up my herald for a banner is what helped me most with dps and levelling speed.
    I plan to get the herald back once I have fellowship brother and/or the archer. However I feel quite comfortable without my pet at the moment.

    The only con for me is that some deeds really do not advance and i want to play - not spam my skills while sitting in a town.

    I am not sure if at later levels the boost in phys mastery from the banner will still outweigh the herald (it likely does not with the FS bro advantages) but I will see.

    As for speed alone I cannot complain really at least not in my current setup. But I really did not like it with my herald out. Maybe that is just me and my not liking of pet classes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by monk_tbd View Post
    Having just brought my first cappy into Moria I just recently levelled through the levels I usually dread most: 38-50 (with the exception of getting your first LIs) especially the holw between ending evendim and starting forochel.

    I might be alone in this but giving up my herald for a banner is what helped me most with dps and levelling speed.
    I plan to get the herald back once I have fellowship brother and/or the archer. However I feel quite comfortable without my pet at the moment.

    The only con for me is that some deeds really do not advance and i want to play - not spam my skills while sitting in a town.

    I am not sure if at later levels the boost in phys mastery from the banner will still outweigh the herald (it likely does not with the FS bro advantages) but I will see.

    As for speed alone I cannot complain really at least not in my current setup. But I really did not like it with my herald out. Maybe that is just me and my not liking of pet classes.
    It's not just you. For solo content, I agree with you that the war banner outshines the herald and archer. The only time I think heralds are more useful is when you are soloing group content and need them to eat a stun for you or provide you with the additional effects of a Brother Skill. They can also help you shave off some extra seconds on your Valiant Strike if you are wearing hytbold. But for just quickly mowing your way through solo content, War Banner is king I think.
    Last edited by Jeremi; Apr 17 2013 at 01:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by monk_tbd View Post
    Having just brought my first cappy into Moria I just recently levelled through the levels I usually dread most: 38-50 (with the exception of getting your first LIs) especially the holw between ending evendim and starting forochel.

    I might be alone in this but giving up my herald for a banner is what helped me most with dps and levelling speed.
    I plan to get the herald back once I have fellowship brother and/or the archer. However I feel quite comfortable without my pet at the moment.

    The only con for me is that some deeds really do not advance and i want to play - not spam my skills while sitting in a town.

    I am not sure if at later levels the boost in phys mastery from the banner will still outweigh the herald (it likely does not with the FS bro advantages) but I will see.

    As for speed alone I cannot complain really at least not in my current setup. But I really did not like it with my herald out. Maybe that is just me and my not liking of pet classes.
    I'm one of the few captains on the forums that actually uses a herald for dismounted solo content. I will concede that a banner is faster on the landscape, but it feels odd NOT running around with a herald after 85 levels OF soloing with one.

    Yes, I need help -_-

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almagnus1 View Post
    I'm one of the few captains on the forums that actually uses a herald for dismounted solo content. I will concede that a banner is faster on the landscape, but it feels odd NOT running around with a herald after 85 levels OF soloing with one.

    Yes, I need help -_-
    I think I have literally the exact opposite problem that you do. I've gotten so used to not using a pet on captain that I forget to bring them out on my LM too.
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  9. #9
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    I tend to advice soloing with a war herald to make use of brother skills and herald heals, plus using the herald to off tank can help deal with multiple mobs. Before Moria the level 50 crafted club was an amazing weapon, but a legendary weapon properly build can make a captain shine. Fem armour set is a must, trollshaws quests are a better place to level up than angmar, where mobs are ganging upon you all the time. Forochel is a dream solo area, but for a faster legendary weapon, Eregion is better. Captain DPS is bad until you a LI with + targets for pressing attack. Then DPS skyrockets when you gain Master of war capstone coupled with helegrod armour, only to a slow decline between 65-75, when you finally have acess to dagor set and faster shadows lament. From there until level cap you have amazing DPS soloing but are a joke in RAIDs. Hytbold gear will make you a good healer, then you should proceed to moors and get 2 pieces of Perseverance, which will give you a bump in all roles.

    So run to eregion, grab the moria quests, get a LI, put + targets to pressing attack, level to master of war capstone and enjoy the DPS.

  10. #10
    Is it worth getting "In Defense of Middle Earth" before I do all that? I've only done the 45 trait quest once before, on a Minstrel years ago, and I do remember it wasn't fun at all.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm8818 View Post
    Is it worth getting "In Defense of Middle Earth" before I do all that? I've only done the 45 trait quest once before, on a Minstrel years ago, and I do remember it wasn't fun at all.
    That's a useful class trait, and one that I have slotted almost all the time.

    That said, you should check into a skirmish camp and/or with other people on your server to see if they have items lying about.

    Most aren't that hard to get (at least for the captain), and you can normally find someone go blow up CD or Uru and help you get the items (or level up to the 70's and go roflstomp those areas).

  12. #12
    This either requires spending real money or a LOT of marks so it's clearly not for everyone...

    ...but I've found that bringing your skirmish soldier onto the landscape with you makes it MUCH easier to solo things. You get to use a banner AND your brother skills
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  13. #13

    Thumbs up Captain Levlling

    Due to the double xp weekend i shot from level 39 all the way to 46 in 4 days
    im f2p so thats impressive for me as it was all by skirmishes. My friend has advised me to get moria isengard and rohan, possibly get mirkwood to be safe as moria might not take me to 65
    and i was recomended to almost complete a bunch of quests and buy an xp perk that effects quest xp from the ah(destiny if vip) and then hand them all in
    That is all i can give but i hope it was useful
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  14. #14
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    On a somewhat related note..... see if you can't get some kinmates to take you through DN for the armor pieces sometime...

    That armor set is one of the best for a leveling captain, and it will serve you well throughout most of the 60's.

    Also, as soon as you hit 75, start working on getting a warsteed and use it as often as you possibly can in Rohan. It will be a tremendous help in leveling.
    Last edited by Almagnus1; Apr 25 2013 at 03:59 PM.

  15. #15
    Since this thread is still on the front page I thought I'd share an update of my progress.

    1). Currently level 59. Great advice all around in this thread. While I'd like to say it was smooth sailing, it most certainly was not. Moria was absolute hell, and I will NOT be leveling another toon in this game as a result, so captain is my main, come hell or high water.

    2). Power drain is consistently an issue, but luckily I've gotten plenty of crit power/healing potions and crit food from gift boxes during this anniversary festival. Have captains always had such issues with power, or is it a result of a poorly conceived conversion from Will to Might (pardon my ignorance)?

    3). Since stepping out into the Dimril Dale, the game's fun factor has gone from <I'm this close to ragequitting> to <Ok, that's better. The game is fun again>. So I'm optimistic I might actually eventually taste endgame.

    4). Unfortunately, I didn't get the memo that I was supposed to be leveling 6+ legendaries at all times for deconstruction, so I've only just started that AFTER leaving Moria. To me this is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in any MMO (slightly above artifact leveling in DAOC, which was the cause of the decline of that game!!). IIRC there were maybe 7 legendary weapons/items TOTAL in the entire history of Arda up to the 4th age. And here I've got half a bag full sitting there for the sole purpose of being destroyed. Stupid. This is an aspect of the game I never understood, and I certainly didn't know about this particular metagame. However, this isn't a captain issue, so I probably shouldn't be whinging about it here.

    5). Master of War/Archer has helped a ton for the lacking DPS, as has +targets to Pressing Attack (I've currently got it at 5 max targets, that should honestly be enough, right?). I'm also enjoying the 15 second rallying cry, although I haven't really needed it all that much. Captains are tough, and survivability is acceptable. But the kill speed is ridiculous, and even with all these DPS traits and the archer, I feel grossly underpowered. Still, it's more fun than playing whack-a-mole on a guardian /shrug.

    6). I've nearly got all my class traits (easy enough to grind them out on herald while on the move), but I haven't equipped much beyond Lead the Charge traits. My "role" has always been "DPS", and I haven't found an opportunity to experiment being a "tank" or a "healer" or a "supporter". It's going to be tough at endgame learning how to tank/heal/support (by the way, I still don't know what "SUPPORT" means.....buff/debuff/dps? offheal/offtank/buff/debuff? MacGuyver?). As I understand it, due to the recent changes a "healing" gearset is also a "dps" gearset. Is that an agreeable statement? Meanwhile for tanking I think I'm looking at lots of vitality, mitigations and block (a trait allows you to block with 2 hander?)...also agreeable? I just feel like there's a lot of work (notice I typed "work") for me to do before I would even dream of trying to join a fellowship as a captain in this game.

    Anyway thanks for all the helpful advice. It has served me well. And for all the moaning I've been doing about what a pain captain is to play, I have to say it's also pretty darn fun!
    Last edited by psalm8818; Apr 29 2013 at 10:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm8818 View Post
    Since this thread is still on the front page I thought I'd share an update of my progress.

    1). Currently level 59. Great advice all around in this thread. While I'd like to say it was smooth sailing, it most certainly was not. Moria was absolute hell, and I will NOT be leveling another toon in this game as a result, so captain is my main, come hell or high water.
    A lot of the areas in the game get easier your second or third time around. It's especially true for Moria, since you can use a high level alt to get a better goat for your lowbies (via Thorin's Hall rep) and you have an idea of where all the paths lead from running through it on your main, which both make navigation significantly easier. That being said, Moria's not for everyone so I can understand if you still plan on staying away from leveling another alt through there.

    2). Power drain is consistently an issue, but luckily I've gotten plenty of crit power/healing potions and crit food from gift boxes during this anniversary festival. Have captains always had such issues with power, or is it a result of a poorly conceived conversion from Will to Might (pardon my ignorance)?
    It may have been (I started playing after the conversion) but I doubt it, since Will never contributed to ICPR anyway, it just contributed to max power. Now for Wrath is definitely a saving grace though. I know we've said it before, but I'll restate it: equip that trait. It has the added bonus of making that 15s Rallying Cry more important too.

    4). Unfortunately, I didn't get the memo that I was supposed to be leveling 6+ legendaries at all times for deconstruction, so I've only just started that AFTER leaving Moria. To me this is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in any MMO (slightly above artifact leveling in DAOC, which was the cause of the decline of that game!!). IIRC there were maybe 7 legendary weapons/items TOTAL in the entire history of Arda up to the 4th age. And here I've got half a bag full sitting there for the sole purpose of being destroyed. Stupid. This is an aspect of the game I never understood, and I certainly didn't know about this particular metagame. However, this isn't a captain issue, so I probably shouldn't be whinging about it here.
    Fun fact, if you end up playing captain to its potential you'll fill all those LI slots with LIs you're actually using instead of ones you're gonna deconstruct. I currently have 9 LIs and I'd like to make a 10th, but I need that last slot open for trash LIs.

    5). Master of War/Archer has helped a ton for the lacking DPS, as has +targets to Pressing Attack (I've currently got it at 5 max targets, that should honestly be enough, right?). I'm also enjoying the 15 second rallying cry, although I haven't really needed it all that much. Captains are tough, and survivability is acceptable. But the kill speed is ridiculous, and even with all these DPS traits and the archer, I feel grossly underpowered. Still, it's more fun than playing whack-a-mole on a guardian /shrug.
    You could probably make due with +3, that will give you 5 max targets. Since you're primarily soloing, you're probably not gonna be hitting more than 5 at a time.
    As a bit of advice, try crafting a critted war banner (or get someone else to) and run around with that instead of the archer. I have a feeling that right about at level 60 is when the banner starts to contribute more DPS than the herald/archer.

    6). I've nearly got all my class traits (easy enough to grind them out on herald while on the move), but I haven't equipped much beyond Lead the Charge traits. My "role" has always been "DPS", and I haven't found an opportunity to experiment being a "tank" or a "healer" or a "supporter". It's going to be tough at endgame learning how to tank/heal/support (by the way, I still don't know what "SUPPORT" means.....buff/debuff/dps? offheal/offtank/buff/debuff? MacGuyver?). As I understand it, due to the recent changes a "healing" gearset is also a "dps" gearset. Is that an agreeable statement? Meanwhile for tanking I think I'm looking at lots of vitality, mitigations and block (a trait allows you to block with 2 hander?)...also agreeable? I just feel like there's a lot of work (notice I typed "work") for me to do before I would even dream of trying to join a fellowship as a captain in this game.
    You are correct in your gear assumption for healing and DPS. The only changes you may make are armour (for set bonuses) and there are some other pieces you'll swap out that have physical mastery (better for DPS) or tactical mastery (better for healing). Might contributes to both but some pieces very specifically give +phys or +tac.

    A "support" role is a mix of buffs and off-heals. Usually you'll want to be traited blue for this (for the boost to heals) but you can pump out some pretty good heals red-line too. The important parts are making sure the tanks have the parry buff, everyone else has the crit buff, you're hitting War Cry once a minute and Rallying Cry when you can, and you're using Strength of Will and To Arms. You do those things and most people won't even notice if you're doing absolutely nothing else the rest of the fight. This is nice because it gives you time to learn. A subpar captain won't usually cause a group to wipe, but a good captain really makes a group shine (and while subpar captains won't usually wipe a group, a good captain can actually prevent wipes caused by almost anything or anyone else). I wouldn't worry about trying to learn how it all works until you're at least 75 though, since you're missing a few skills you'll need to get the hang of things.

    Side note, to play a support role you'll need a "buff stick" which is a weapon that has +On Guard, +Relentless Attack, and +Motivate Morale. When you're at cap, do not put these on your main weapon. These are required legacies but the buffs are 30 minute buffs, usually applied out of combat. It's a waste of legacy slots to put these on your main weapon. As you level, it's acceptable to have +crit (or +parry, depending on what you use on yourself) on your main weapon, only because you'll be swapping LIs so much and it's a handy self-buff. Motivate can always go on a swap, because no matter what level the LI is, the bonus at max is always +5%. Just hang on to a lower level LI with the legacy on it, max the legacy and then make sure you don't decon it.

    Don't even bother worrying about tanking until you're positive you've got healing down perfectly, very rarely are captains called upon to tank and you need to be really, really good at your class to do it, not to mention have some really good gear.
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