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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    Posts
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    Helm's Dike Solo/Duo - The hell is this?

    So, having just bought HD a few days ago, I decided to try out one of the BBs. Naturally, the
    first one, Helm's Dike. I figured I could do it myself after some reading, so no worries. However,
    I didn't realize that either the scaling sucks terribly, or solo just isn't a good idea. Yes, I was
    told that duo is the way to go, but my wife doesn't own HD, and likely never will after listening
    to me scream at the game for over an hour trying to do this BB twice.

    Sure, damage was nice (not really, my wife's level 55 minstrel hits harder than my scaled level
    95 minstrel, at least on crits) and it was fun.. at first. Then came the side quests.

    Protect the Horses: Failed. Couldn't kill orcs quick enough. Healed horses, but either morale never
    increased or there just wasn't enough to overcome incoming damage.

    Guarding the Watchtower: Failed. Couldn't kill mobs quick enough. Tried disarming casks, still
    failed.

    Flames at the Gate: Failed. Can't kill uruks before archers die. Can't place catapult, no points
    available to me. Can't put out fires quick enough, and then archers have no arrows anyway.

    Helm's Dike: Failed. Uruks killed the archers and rushed Gamling while I pelted them with 600,
    1200, and 1700 damage skills. GG.

    On the second go round, I still failed all 3 side quests (same 3, actually), but managed to keep
    everything off of Gamling long enough to "win". 5.5k xp (level 39) and 8 points/1 Promo point.
    Then I see that I need 60 points to get to where I can use cats? I see now that I only
    need 20 points to be able to use barricades, but that's still 19 points off.

    So please, someone tell me just how I'm supposed to do these battles. If it involves struggling
    my way through it until I scrape together enough points to actually get the necessary ranks,
    then screw it. I'll just not do the epic quests or these annoying battles at all. I want to finish
    the epic line, but not at the cost of what pleasure I take out of the game.

    Clarification: Did this on a level 39 minstrel with poor gear under the assumption that it wouldn't
    matter due to scaling. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

    Edit: The reward points you get for completing the BBs. Are those earned just the one time? As
    stated above, I earned 8 points, so I'm at 8/20 for my first reward bar. If I complete it again, with
    the exact same medals earned (read: bronze for main, none for side), do I earn an additional 3
    points? Or do I have to do better in order to earn more points?
    Last edited by scithen; Feb 20 2014 at 02:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Lithuania
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    Almost my own experience. Went as lvl.95 Champion (but I could went as lvl.10 champion with a fork as well). My kinnie was here, operating ballista. he took some advancing Orcs, then I helped Rohirrim to fight, then some horses were killed, 1 tower blown and some mines could not be destroyed by me. Only thanks to kinnie we won, I had some (3? 5?) points.
    Invested into Engineer, but still can't build barricades.

    My own verdict: BB are useless. In order to perform well, you should be efficient Engineer; in order to be efficient Engineer, you should perform well. It's like: we would sell you a car, but you should have a garage; and cannot have a garage if you don't have a car.

    The only solution for BBs – come with very experienced player that would do most of job and you would have just to run around. Otherwise these battles are not worth any attention.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    France
    Posts
    757
    You should remember that every player start BB at some point. So while it's true it's far easiest to start BB with an experienced R6 engineer.... the real thing is to duo all BB. If you do well, you can achieve R3 within a few days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Midwest, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardhik View Post
    You should remember that every player start BB at some point. So while it's true it's far easiest to start BB with an experienced R6 engineer.... the real thing is to duo all BB. If you do well, you can achieve R3 within a few days.
    Except that not all of us like to play duo or with a fellowship. My wife doesn't even have anything
    past Lothlorien, so I can't group up with her. My laptop doesn't like grouping either, for that matter.
    I need to get a new one but they're too expensive for me, so I make due solo.

    Edit: Just did it on my 85 warden and things went much better.. so I guess level and gear do make
    a big difference. Still didn't go too well, but Defiant Challenge was a godsend.
    Last edited by scithen; Feb 20 2014 at 03:17 AM.

  5. #5
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by scithen View Post
    Clarification: Did this on a level 39 minstrel with poor gear under the assumption that it wouldn't
    matter due to scaling. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
    The level you're at, 39, matters. Scaling you up to 95 does not make you as effective as a 95 minstrel.

    I have a 95 minstrel. She hits mobs for 25k on a crit, and 12-18k AOE damage on a crit. I can do Helms Dike solo and platinum everything except Flames at the Gate. Minstrels have one of the easier times in this BB actually, but Turbine said from the beginning that an upscaled character would not have the same effectiveness as a true 95. I wish there was better news.

    If it's any consolation I also screamed obscenities at the monitor as I learned the BB system. Notice I say learned it, not enjoyed it. I still hate them with a passion and as soon as I got my random loot from the BBs to where I was outfitted sufficiently I quit going. I only go in now to help unranked friends, and that's only because I love my friends.
    I'd explain it to you, but I'm all out of Puppets and Crayons.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    GLADDEN: Moochy, 105 Minstrel R10 + alts CRICKHOLLOW: Moochy, 21 Minstrel

  6. #6
    There is a problem with tactical damage scaling.
    Tactical Damage Rating (TDR), which you can find on LIs scales, sortof (it scales more to like 85 than 95), but if you don't have LIs it'll only be set to a lvl 50 equivilant, since after lvl 50 LIs are the only way to get TDR (up to level 50 you get 1 TDR every level).
    Physical classes don't have this problem as much since DPS is also on regular weapons.
    ~Dwarrowdelf (Bomb Squad)~
    Freeps: Vulcwen (R8 LM), Vulciel (lvl 100 RK), and some lower level alts.. Creep: Shadowweb (R6 spider)
    My ideas on how LM should be: [url=https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?543323-LM-revamp-reconsidered]LM Revamp reconsidered[/url]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Midwest, USA
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    107
    Yeah, I knew that a scaled 95 wouldn't be as good as a proper level 95, I was just hoping I'd
    actually have a shot. I did notice a huge improvement on my 85 warden, though, even to the
    point of getting gold on the Helm Hammerhand statue quest on my second time.

    I'd already made up my mind after doing it on my warden to pretty much ignore the entire
    system until 85+.. good to see that people back that decision up. Though if I can only get xp
    and reward points for doing better on the missions, I really doubt I'll do them more than once
    per character, or whatever the epic line requires.

    I was expecting to get exp/ixp from all the quests on my warden, but that didn't seem to be
    the case. As I recall, I only got it from doing the statue quest (silver to gold), and not the
    powder quest (didn't improve on the second time). But then, there's so much "The soldier
    defeated the archer" in my chat log that I may have missed it. Need to turn that filter off. >.<

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Finland
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    All I can say is that just keep trying on different Battles and different sidequests: some of them are easier than others. I know well that before R3 things are a lot more difficult (especially when you first begin as you cannot even place barricades yet), but things will get a lot easier after you reach Rank 3 engineer. Use your other trait setup for officer traits as you need that as well so you can set focus to sappers and 2-handed mode where needed.

    Personally I have done ONLY solo big battles (in live I mean), and none of them in duo: there has been only me. I try to play all my 9 classes evenly, so first I tried to get Rank 1 with one class, after I reached it I focused on second character etc. After all were R1, I started to get them to R2 etc. At this point all my characters are R4-5, so it is possible to reach R5 solo, but it's not easy. Also there are several side quests where it's not simply possible with R4 (haven't played with my R5's yet) to get higher than gold medal, so I rather play something else than keep banging my head against brick wall. But still, after R3, you can get platinum medals from several side quests.

    Helm's Dike is the easiest battle of five solo ones, because you have unlimited time to prepare. Of course it doesn't help much if you are low ranked, but Proudcdn has made a good guide for that battle, so check that and it might give you some ideas what to do better next time. Personally I use a bit modified tactics to that, but if I prepare well enough, it's usually platinum for side quests and main quest, unless I am unlucky and a soldier dies somewhere when I occupied elsewhere.

    Still, I would say solo Big Battles (and especially some side quests) are (IMO) balanced more for duo instead of solo (although the goal was vice versa), and they can be very frustrating at times. But the best tip I can give is to try every battle and every side quest you can, as even without rank you might get bronze/silver from some side-quests and that nets you those valuable promotion points. 60 points / Rank 3 is the goal, and you will get there little by little.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Stockholm, Sweden
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    949
    Hi,

    To compensate for some sidequests that are more or less impossible (if not very lucky) to plat solo i recommend glittering cave 3-mans. 'bats' and 'stalactites' are doable silver/gold already on r3 engineer solo, platinum on r5. This is how i got my solo-only high-level char to r6.

    r5/r6 might actually proove to be be impossible on some low-levels solo. I have done some testing on an xp-disabled level 20 Mini just to see how the scaling works. Some sidequests are impossible to me because of to bad dps. 'Siege-ladders' is a good example. Even if i only go for the ladders it takes me longer time just to 'kill' the hooks than the mission allows. Rank won't matter so it's a guaranteed fail. I can still get platinum-rewards so not a big issue tbh, but the dps-scaling for low levels could need some work. (And you can all probably guess what platinum EB rewards i have gotten so far. Yeah, right, pocket-items... Really lovely for a tortoise-equipped char)

    I will keep on testing and see how far i can take it. R4 is probably doable without much hassle, but r5+? Not sure.

    Regards
    /T
    Dawarad HNT | Dawadan MIN | Dawfast CMP | Dawaran CPT | Dawmur GRD | Dawared WRD | Dawagrim RK | Dawaras LM | Daweric BRG | Dawagar MIN | Dawarar CMP | Dawnakh WRG | Dawbag BA | Dawgil WVR | Dawglob WL |

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by scithen View Post
    However, I didn't realize that either the scaling sucks terribly, or solo just isn't a good idea.
    Actually it's both. The scaling system is very crude and not really effective for levels below 65-70 (when the RoI gear becomes available and you'll have most of your trait-deeds done usually). The "starting at level 10" is basically a marketing joke. And for obvious reasons doing them solo is more difficult than in a duo as the instances don't change. Especially at the beginning when you have no "role" points and don't know the quests and areas they are a horrible grind (on some classes more than others).

    Short story: Ignore Epic Battles until you're about level 85 (better 95 of course), and if possible try to bring an experienced friend along.
    Used to play: 85 Champ / Captain / Runekeeper / Guardian, Guild Master of everything but cooking.
    Playing now: Hellcat / King Tiger / GW Panther / IS / KV-5 / M4 Sherman and more

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    575
    Quote Originally Posted by scithen View Post
    So, having just bought HD a few days ago, I decided to try out one of the BBs. Naturally, the
    first one, Helm's Dike. I figured I could do it myself after some reading, so no worries. However,
    I didn't realize that either the scaling sucks terribly, or solo just isn't a good idea. Yes, I was
    told that duo is the way to go, but my wife doesn't own HD, and likely never will after listening
    to me scream at the game for over an hour trying to do this BB twice.

    Sure, damage was nice (not really, my wife's level 55 minstrel hits harder than my scaled level
    95 minstrel, at least on crits) and it was fun.. at first. Then came the side quests.

    Protect the Horses: Failed. Couldn't kill orcs quick enough. Healed horses, but either morale never
    increased or there just wasn't enough to overcome incoming damage.

    Guarding the Watchtower: Failed. Couldn't kill mobs quick enough. Tried disarming casks, still
    failed.

    Flames at the Gate: Failed. Can't kill uruks before archers die. Can't place catapult, no points
    available to me. Can't put out fires quick enough, and then archers have no arrows anyway.

    Helm's Dike: Failed. Uruks killed the archers and rushed Gamling while I pelted them with 600,
    1200, and 1700 damage skills. GG.

    On the second go round, I still failed all 3 side quests (same 3, actually), but managed to keep
    everything off of Gamling long enough to "win". 5.5k xp (level 39) and 8 points/1 Promo point.
    Then I see that I need 60 points to get to where I can use cats? I see now that I only
    need 20 points to be able to use barricades, but that's still 19 points off.

    So please, someone tell me just how I'm supposed to do these battles. If it involves struggling
    my way through it until I scrape together enough points to actually get the necessary ranks,
    then screw it. I'll just not do the epic quests or these annoying battles at all. I want to finish
    the epic line, but not at the cost of what pleasure I take out of the game.

    Clarification: Did this on a level 39 minstrel with poor gear under the assumption that it wouldn't
    matter due to scaling. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

    Edit: The reward points you get for completing the BBs. Are those earned just the one time? As
    stated above, I earned 8 points, so I'm at 8/20 for my first reward bar. If I complete it again, with
    the exact same medals earned (read: bronze for main, none for side), do I earn an additional 3
    points? Or do I have to do better in order to earn more points?


    Pretty much the exact experience I had. Some people on the forum pointed out that it's nearly impossible to rank up starting at 0 solo, so you've got to group up with people better than you so they can carry you through the instances and help you rank up.

    Except for two things:

    1) Almost nobody does HDBB's anymore because they're boring as all heck.
    2) The people who are miraculously still doing HDBB's are looking to grind out Platinum medals and refuse to take anyone who isn't already highly ranked.

    My prognosis: F#@% this s@#^.

    Haven't run a BB in over a month. Much happier this way.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir3 View Post
    Pretty much the exact experience I had. Some people on the forum pointed out that it's nearly impossible to rank up starting at 0 solo, so you've got to group up with people better than you so they can carry you through the instances and help you rank up.
    I disagree entirely. It's not at all impossible to solo these. You simply won't get any plats or golds, at first. Be satisfied learning the battles, so you can do better next time, and be really happy when you get a bronze or silver medal. If you take this approach on all five instances, before too long you'll be gaining engineer/officer ranks. And as you get those ranks, you'll start seeing bronze and silver results turn into silver and gold results, then silver and gold into gold and plat. By rank 6, you'll be platting most of the side quests (a few really are all but impossible to plat solo) and talking about how easy it all is.

    I think a big part of the problem is that people just expect too much top-tier success, too early. Instead accept that growing into it is part of the challenge.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angadan View Post
    I disagree entirely. It's not at all impossible to solo these. You simply won't get any plats or golds, at first. Be satisfied learning the battles, so you can do better next time, and be really happy when you get a bronze or silver medal. If you take this approach on all five instances, before too long you'll be gaining engineer/officer ranks. And as you get those ranks, you'll start seeing bronze and silver results turn into silver and gold results, then silver and gold into gold and plat. By rank 6, you'll be platting most of the side quests (a few really are all but impossible to plat solo) and talking about how easy it all is.

    I think a big part of the problem is that people just expect too much top-tier success, too early. Instead accept that growing into it is part of the challenge.
    Agreed. I am ranked 5-6 now with all my 9 classes (some of them are R6, some still R5 but they will be R6 as well within a day or two) and every single one of my BB's has been done solo. BUT I know R6 would have been impossible for me if I would have skipped 3-man version of Glittering Caves. For reasons unknown, 3-man version is easier to solo than solo version. I am soloing 3-man and getting 20-24 promotion points out of that battle, no matter which class I play (didn't try it before I was R5).

    Quote Originally Posted by Angadan View Post
    I got R6 solo, on my hunter (2nd toon I took through it), and I mean entirely solo, no duos either. And didn't even try to solo GC-SF. So it is (and was, this was before 12.2) possible.

    Recommended, though...? I didn't attempt that again. Far easier to group up to make rank faster.
    If you got R6 solo (and didn't do ANY group battles, not even GC 3-man), it means you got platinum from ALL solo side quests and ALL solo main quests. That's quite a feat, I wasn't ranked high enough before 12.2 to test that, but I am pretty sure I can't solo Spider Assault, Civilian Defense, Vandals in the Tower, Defilers In The Water, Searching The Debris or The Final Blockade for platinum now. For gold, yes, but not for platinum. (and for example with Civilian Defence I mean solo version, I can easily plat that in 3-man but not in solo version)

    But yes. Getting to R6 is not hard at all IF you want to do group battles as well. But a lot harder (while still definetely possible) if you only solo.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Screw BBs. They're a nightmare. Even when I win, I lose. Did glittering caves the other night on my capped hunter, the spider side quest--was given platinum only to have it bug out at the end and say I failed... then the instance proceeded to strip me of any medal whatsoever AND quest directions. gg.

    If you need marks/meds, solo Icy Crevasse tier 3. You get about ~520 marks and some odd meds per run.

    (This all coming from a solo player--I don't usually have luck finding a partner to grind BBs with and my laptop kicks me if I try to raid)
    [center][font=andalus][size=2]akara / [/size][size=1]warg[/size][IMG]http://i59.tinypic.com/16iyt5f.jpg[/IMG][size=2]blays /[/size][size=1] hunter[/size]
    meneldor[/center][/font]

  15. #15
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    Lmao, you were screaming and yelling at a game?

    The mind twists and bends to shake the horrors of life
    The mind, keeping it's sanity, bends so far that it snaps in two.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilean-EU View Post
    I am ranked 5-6 now with all my 9 classes (some of them are R6, some still R5 but they will be R6 as well within a day or two) and every single one of my BB's has been done solo.
    I'm curious how you were able to solo your captain to R5 or R6 completely solo. Mine can't even win a side quest without points.
    I'd explain it to you, but I'm all out of Puppets and Crayons.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    GLADDEN: Moochy, 105 Minstrel R10 + alts CRICKHOLLOW: Moochy, 21 Minstrel

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaniemooch View Post
    I'm curious how you were able to solo your captain to R5 or R6 completely solo. Mine can't even win a side quest without points.
    My cappy is currently still R5, 107 points at the moment. With him I did Glittering Caves 3-man when I was still R4 (twice, so I got both west and east side quests, and then Civilian Defense as final quest, as Preparing The Charge is a bit too much in 3-man for my captain), so 21 points of those 107 are from soloing GC 3-man. Now, as I am R5 and get access to damage upgrade, I can squeeze the remaining 13 points out of those solo quests where it is possible.

    For me the class don't do much difference really. I rely mostly on barricade/ballista -combo, and now at R5 in GC 3-man I don't use my class skills much at all. That's also why Hornburg is maybe the most difficult for my captain because there is no portable siege equipment available (haven't got platinum yet with my captain there from any side quests). Anyway, my captain is red-specced, and using archer herald, naturally on aggressive mode. Placing improved standard of war helps a bit with it's AoE when needed.

    But when I look at my papers (where I have ticked highest medal I have got from each side quest for each of my characters), I don't really see difference between my captain and my other characters: they perform pretty much the same: if I am able to get platinum on side quest, I can do that with all classes, and if I cannot get higher than gold, that's also true with all my classes Although for example I really feel my burglar is so much worse than my minstrel, the points tell me otherwise.

    Anyway, because I can solo 20+ points from GC 3-man, that means I can pick and choose those 20 points from solo main/side quests that I think I cannot get without banging my head against brick wall too many times - and skip them. And still get 120 points needed for R6 Naturally the last points are hardest to get.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by scithen View Post
    So please, someone tell me just how I'm supposed to do these battles. If it involves struggling
    my way through it until I scrape together enough points to actually get the necessary ranks,
    then screw it.
    The battles are intended to be a repeatable challenge, in which early experience provides rewards that enable improved performance on subsequent runs.

    It's fine if that doesn't appeal to you -- you can then profitably spend your time on more enjoyable aspects of the game. If you want to skip them but still finish the epics, then you'd only need to run them once, when called for in the storyline. (As long as you wait out the battle until its end, you'll get epic quest credit, if little else.)

    They *could* make it so that any competent player can easily beat all battle challenges on their first try, but then it wouldn't be very compelling as a repeatable challenge.

    For myself -- up to a point, I enjoy repeatables. When I fail, I think through what happened and try something different next time. When that thought process yields improved results, that's a nice feeling. (When it doesn't .... well, back to the drawing board.)

    As you've already noticed, even when starting with 0 points, you can end up with a handful to put into new skills. If you make any effort at all on the 5 battles in the Epic questline, you should finish them with maybe 20 points. More importantly, you'll have experience with each battle, allowing you to avoid some rookie mistakes. So you'll get further on the next run, resulting in more points to spend. A virtuous cycle.

    That process appeals to many players, but not all, so feel free to skip it. But if you do decide to go further with it, I think most people would say the Engineer line is a good one to level up while you're learning some strategies.
    Theofrid, Wyndriel, Wendros, Glydia, Halfrid, Fridward, Friddis, Fridli, Gondaglir

 

 

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