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  1. #1
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    Feb 2007
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    Big Battles - Still not feeling it, could use advice

    Hey There,

    I’m looking for advice from anyone who had trouble getting into Big Battles, but found a way to enjoy them.

    I understand the intent of this system and I think in the scope of HD they made sense as a way to experience the epic moments of the Helm’s Deep Battle, but regardless of which one I do or how many times I do it, it always feels like a really, really long defensive skirmish (with a few side goals).

    A lot of effort went into the building of this system and considering that now even trait points are tethered to the ongoing use of this mechanic it is clear that Big Battles are not going away. With this in mind how do others that have found themselves feeling this way figured out a way to undertake, and more importantly enjoy, spending time in this system.

    Like many other players my continued motivation is the ongoing progress of my character, and I’m concerned that not wanting to utilize this system will end up hurting that progress. Granted 2 trait points are not really all that much, but if this trend continues in future expansions it could start to make a difference.

    Thanks in advance for the comments…

  2. #2
    I got over my initial total hatred when I learned the tactics & mechanics and had some ranks so I was able to actually do something..

    Now with my zero bad attitude towards these bb's im at the point where I am able to do them on all chars to the point I get the jewels I want
    and trait points.

    But for me to see these as a fun way to spend some time and play with friends, no matter if I could not get any reward anymore, not going to happen.

  3. #3
    Rule #1
    Try to do them with other people as much as possible. Even with the solo/duo ones, they're much easier with two people, and you will learn a lot of strategies by just playing with other people. Besides, if you want the 200 promotion points, you'll need to group with people on the larger ones regardless.

  4. #4
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    Don't just a book by it's cover, in this case, you need to get a couple chapters (ranks) in. Rank 3 of engineer allows you to actually do things, rank 3 of officer lets you actually do things that matter. Rank 5 of both let's you be effective (admittedly, you are halfway through the book in investment at this point).

    However rank three come from just running through them a couple to few times. Even less if with someone rank 6+ with you.
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  5. #5
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    Ranks help, but for me; what I like most is that the battle roles are distinct from our class roles. Here we are disguised and act as Rohirrim in the kinds of roles 'heroes' would have in parts of set-piece battles with a known outcome for each part. For me, our class roles should be suppressed, even as dps (ie Vanguard). I find being a role player rewarding versus being a class player. In other words, take on the role of a squad/platoon leader, a battle engineer, or a morale officer.

    Also, if you're going in as a scaled up character, try to get a partner for the 'solo' spaces. They really were balanced for duos. That said, some classes at 95 can still get good merit scores for some side quests.

    The strategies and tactics vary from space to space and from group size to group size. Read up on them or get an experienced (see the post about someone being 6+) to show you the ropes.
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
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    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
    We old vets need to keep in mind those who come after us.

  6. #6
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    I played BB for 5 minutes and hated it so much I stopped. Would anyone be able to tell me if I can just skip the rest of the epic story in Helm's Deep like I quit Volume 2 in Moria with no consequences?

    Seriously, I hate the gimmicks like mounted combat and Big Battles, I just want to quest.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    I played BB for 5 minutes and hated it so much I stopped. Would anyone be able to tell me if I can just skip the rest of the epic story in Helm's Deep like I quit Volume 2 in Moria with no consequences?

    Seriously, I hate the gimmicks like mounted combat and Big Battles, I just want to quest.
    During my first BB, I felt the same as you. In order to complete the epics, I just left my computer for the most part, maybe 30 minutes or so per BB. Or just watch TV while mostly just standing around in the BB. Never went back in. It worked for me, getting past them for the epics.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by webrender View Post
    Hey There,

    I’m looking for advice from anyone who had trouble getting into Big Battles, but found a way to enjoy them.

    I understand the intent of this system and I think in the scope of HD they made sense as a way to experience the epic moments of the Helm’s Deep Battle, but regardless of which one I do or how many times I do it, it always feels like a really, really long defensive skirmish (with a few side goals).

    A lot of effort went into the building of this system and considering that now even trait points are tethered to the ongoing use of this mechanic it is clear that Big Battles are not going away. With this in mind how do others that have found themselves feeling this way figured out a way to undertake, and more importantly enjoy, spending time in this system.

    Like many other players my continued motivation is the ongoing progress of my character, and I’m concerned that not wanting to utilize this system will end up hurting that progress. Granted 2 trait points are not really all that much, but if this trend continues in future expansions it could start to make a difference.

    Thanks in advance for the comments…

    I never learned to like them. However the 2 trait points was enough of a motivation to get me to play them on my 4 main toons just long enough to get the 2 trait points.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    I played BB for 5 minutes and hated it so much I stopped. Would anyone be able to tell me if I can just skip the rest of the epic story in Helm's Deep like I quit Volume 2 in Moria with no consequences?

    Seriously, I hate the gimmicks like mounted combat and Big Battles, I just want to quest.

    I am not fond of BB's either. I have put effort into it but there is just something about the experience that does not make me WANT to play the game. I have multiple characters at max level and not one single char has completed the Epic quests that require BB's. Some folks like them, some dislike them but have managed to complete them, and some of us just avoid them altogether.

    Mounted combat took some time to grow on me but even now I do not seek it out. If I can get by riding on my 68% pony with a possible well fed pony from time to time then this is how I travel. And I have been known to just jump off my pony to kill mobs that are more intended for mounted combat. Rounding up half a dozen mobs while you were only intending to kill one kinda sucks at times.

    It has been some time since Turbine has released an expansion that I felt excited about (several years, to be honest). If they were to offer another $70 expansion pack right now, I would be seriously hesitant to purchase it. I want to help fund this game with my money because I love Lotro .. but something is very much lacking and I am by far not the only one feeling it. Or rather, not feeling it.

  10. #10
    Ranks help, but for me; what I like most is that the battle roles are distinct from our class roles. Here we are disguised and act as Rohirrim in the kinds of roles 'heroes' would have in parts of set-piece battles with a known outcome for each part. For me, our class roles should be suppressed, even as dps (ie Vanguard). I find being a role player rewarding versus being a class player. In other words, take on the role of a squad/platoon leader, a battle engineer, or a morale officer.
    What you describe is what the majority of those posting against Epic Battles hate. The suppressing of our class roles is my number 1 complaint about playing BB. I even tried to think as you do, being a supporting role in a huge battle. For me it did not work. I guess I am too attached to my character to set it aside and enjoy this style of game play.

    Back to the OP questions. One of the issues I found was that it is a struggle to rank up but once you do it becomes way too easy. That struggle was too frustrating for me that I never tried to rank on any of my other alts. Then when you hit around rank 6 the battles become ridiculously easy. I still make it interesting by messing up some of the side quests. I guess if you want to eradicate some of this frustration then I would suggest, as others have, do as many group epic battles as possible. If you group with people who are experienced then the process goes even faster.

    Good Luck.
    they are all dead.. they just don't know it yet....

  11. #11
    There are some changes coming to big battles with update 14, especially for players just starting with BBs. So you might want to wait for U14.

  12. #12
    I came to Helm's Deep late and initially felt very strong dislike for 'epic' battles. No one seemed interested in them, forcing me to figure them out for myself. (To this day, about half of my GLFF postings go unanswered.) The first few battles absolutely suck. Nothing works as expected. Most enemies ignore you. Some of the maps are large enough that you get lost, and getting lost in the wrong place or at the wrong time leads to absolutely infuriating instant defeats. Side objectives come up, but by the time you find them, you are already badly behind and facing complete failure. The objectives often make no sense. You have no 'epic' battle skills, or the few you have seem to make no difference. Lack of knowledge causes many side quests to arrive late, such that even if you do well, they take too long and bug. The entire experience just sucks.

    If you keep with it things start to change. The first breakthrough usually comes in terms of terrain--after a few replays you figure out the map, how to get around, and where to be for the side quests. You will start to succeed at side quests, perhaps even pulling down the occasional Gold or Platinum medal, and promotion points will start to build up. At Rank 1 you can place a barricade, which helps tremendously if used on the fly at just the right time. At Rank 3 you can place catapults and ballista, at which point things really improve. By now you may have run a battle with one or two other people. You may have learned about setting Commanders or the right strategy for a difficult side quest. They start to get easier and easier. You figure out fool proof strategies for most side quests. You may even crack a few of the difficult side quests like Vandals in the Tower or Spider Assault. When I reached this point my initial hatred tempered to ambivalence.

    I will give an example. The first time a player enters Deeping Wall he will see a whole bunch of soldiers standing on the wall, waiting for the enemy attack. A horn sounds and nothing seems to happen. There is suddenly an explosion off to the side as an enemy catapult shell explodes. Ladders and grapples appear along the wall, soon followed by enemy orcs and goblins. The player tries to engage the enemies but they run right past, ignoring him. He sees a rock drop, builds it, loads it, and drops it with little if any effect. He pushes away some ladders. There is a message that the enemy is attacking the culvert. Where the heck is that? He runs around for a while looking, pushes away some more ladders, then a message appears that the culvert quest failed. Whatever. He pushes away some more ladders and tries to attack some more orcs. There is a brief pause, then more catapult shells rain down. More orcs arrive. There are Vandals in the Tower. He runs over to the tower and there are things on fire all over the place. He attacks a few goblins. He tries to put out a fire, which takes forever and does nothing. The winch is destroyed and the side quest fails. Whatever. He runs back out onto the wall, pushes away a few ladders, and chases some orcs. The wall suddenly explodes and he is instantly defeated, but the battle completes with a Bronze Medal. This &$%#^## sucks!

    Again, with gusto! A seasoned player of 'epic' battles enters Deeping Wall. She immediately flips to her officer build and sets the far west commander to Sappers and Shields. While running towards the tower, she flips to her engineer build, grabs the barricade, and runs upstairs to the catapult. She quickly upgrades it for damage, flips to officer, runs downstairs, sets another commander to Sappers and Shields, runs back upstairs, flips back to engineer, and upgrades the catapult for speed. The enemy is beginning to march so she loads grapeshot onto the catapult, adds leaching powder, cranks it, and fires. The enemy catapult is destroyed so she quickly runs downstairs, flips to officer, sets the last wall commander to Sappers and Shields, then runs back upstairs. Changing back to engineer, she uses triple shot and leaching powder to demolish the eastern enemy column. Damming the Culvert pops, so she runs downstairs, changes to officer, sets the Commander in the tower to Sappers and Two Handed weapons, then runs down to the culvert behind the wall, flipping back to engineer as she does so. She drops her barricade right in front of the culvert as the first enemy wave arrives and helps the defenders demolish it, taking care to kill the Dunlandings first. She quickly upgrades the barricade for damage, then fends off the second wave. If she is a healer, she checks all the laborers and tops off the wounded ones. If she is a damage dealer, the laborers should be fine. In the downtime, she runs over to the rock pile, grabs a rock, and helps damn the culvert. She repeats this sequence--attack enemy wave, heal laborers, carry rock--until the culvert seals and she gains her Platinum Medal. She breaks down and takes the barricade then runs back upstairs. She orders a commander to heal, attack, and speed up, then checks banners, healing any that need it. She pushes away as many ladders and grapples as possible, issuing heal, damage, speed up orders as fast as they come up.

    Whew! The second wave is coming so she runs into the tower, lays a trip trap by the far window, throws her barricade behind the inside tower commander, upgrades it, runs upstairs, loads grapeshot in the catapult, cranks, loads leaching powder, and destroys the first enemy catapult. She repeats this procedure to destroy the second enemy catapult. Switching to triple shot, she once again demolishes the east enemy column. Before the second side quest pops, she runs downstairs and places another trip trap inside the tower, before the middle window. She tells a nearby commander to heal, damage, and speed up. There are Vandals in the tower. She runs inside and starts attacking the goblins in the windows, most of whom get stunned on the trip traps. One gets through with a bomb but she quickly disarms it. Running back to the windows she places a third trip trap. Now she cuts down the goblins as fast as she can and heals any stores they happen to set on fire between waves. After a few waves she gains Platinum for the side quest. She runs out to the wall, orders the far west commander to heal, damage, and speed up, checks banners, and finally pushes away grapples and ladders. Aragorn yells to get off the wall so she runs into the tower and waits for the explosion. She cruises to her overall Platinum, having run her tail off through the entire battle, never having a moment of down time.

    That is how dramatically they change if you can hold your nose, gain some rank, and figure them out. Only a very few side quests involve 'standing around and waiting'. I would much prefer traditional dungeons, but I do understand the allure for some players.

  13. #13
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    My advice for Epic Battles...

    sit through the torture to finish the books.. then never even think about them again.. Ever... just ignore them...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draculetta View Post
    My advice for Epic Battles...

    sit through the torture to finish the books.. then never even think about them again.. Ever... just ignore them...
    This is not an advice . More like your hate for Epic Battles.

    Anyway, try to duo BB instead of soloing it, even with a low level friend. I duoed with a lv76 champie who are rank 3 in Engineer, and his tripwire save me a lot trouble because I'm not yet used to BB.

    I believe the reason why class role is overshadowed by promotion role is to help low-lv players contribute to BB. How can a hunter lv10 with only Swift Bow and a Trap can help in BB even with level upscaling? But if he is a ranked engineer or officier, he can still do something that a maxed-lv player can do. Who said a tripwire by a lv10 scaled hunter is not as deadly as a lv95 one? That has been proven by the example above.

    And, our classes role can still affect the outcome of BB. The statue of Hammerhand is being quacked by troll? Save your precious plantium with your Guardian's challenge. Put a barricide at the choke point, and an AoE champ can have fun AoEing to his heart content. You have to repair this near-burn banner, but another sapper is targeting another banner? Ranged class can do both repair and DPS at the same time.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Vexendynamus View Post
    That is how dramatically they change if you can hold your nose, gain some rank, and figure them out. Only a very few side quests involve 'standing around and waiting'. I would much prefer traditional dungeons, but I do understand the allure for some players.
    Very good post.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexendynamus View Post

    When I reached this point my initial hatred tempered to ambivalence.
    I wanted say that for someone ambivalent, your description of an experienced player doing Deeping Wall was actually quite inspiring. At least now i can see how some (a very few?) people actually enjoy them when they gain rank. I also understood more about what to do in this thing after your post than i have through reading any number of guides. Hope this helps the OP get motivated. Plus rep.

    For those who say they see this non class related play style, as good RP? How do you justify being an officer one second and an engineer the next? I'm very curious about that. My character is my class and my class forms my character. Playing in these feel like session play gone horribly wrong to me. And the tutorial justification is nonsense-Aragorn doesn't lug barricades in the actuall BBs. Gimli doesn't give officer orders in the caves. Legolas isn't seen lugging rocks or firing ballistas. They are still themselves and do what they would normally do in any battle-play their strengths. Why can't my character do the same?-defend a ramp and use my class skills effectively, or heal the npcs as well as an officer can?

    Apart from completely empathising with Vexendynamus' brilliant description of what they feel like to a new player in them, this is my main source of frustration-the total disconnect from my character.

    And I absolutely won't try them again while CLASS points are gated in them, just to justify a poor decision opposed by a huge number of PAYERS with misleading metrics that can be thn used to make us do more of these horrors.

  17. #17
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    The biggest pieces of advice I can give are...

    1. Do not go into them expecting Big Battles to be the same as other types of instances. A lot of people tend to do this... and are disappointed... because they expected Big Battles to be something they aren't.

    2. Try to understand how the skills your character already has interacts with what you can do in each Big Battle. A good many of your character's skills are going to function somewhat differently... or may have "enhanced" usage (like being able to heal objects to repair them). Be willing to experiment and find out which of your skills combines well with the [new] abilities you get from acquiring promotion ranks.

    3. Whenever possible, try to run them with a partner... even if you are rank 6 and your partner is rank 0 the extra person can help make everything a lot easier. You can run them solo, but they are a lot more enjoyable with a friend.

    4. Understand that you will "suck" until you start getting some ranks/abilities that really help you. It won't matter what class you play or how well you play... the battles are designed such that it is harder to do well the lower rank you are. But, once you get to at least rank 3, the battles start getting a lot easier and you can start getting Platinum rewards much more frequently. A partner will help compensate for this very easily.

    5. Learn how to use barricades and where to place them. Barricades are arguably the most effective tool you will get access to. Learning how/when/where to use them will make life easier.

    I think that should about do it for the most helpful advice anyone can give you to help with the learning curve.
    [i]Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary.[/i] - C.S. Lewis
    =
    [i]Saruman believes it is only great power that keeps evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things... the actions of ordinary folk... that keeps the darkness at bay.[/i] - Gandalf

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexendynamus View Post
    That is how dramatically they change if you can hold your nose, gain some rank, and figure them out. Only a very few side quests involve 'standing around and waiting'. I would much prefer traditional dungeons, but I do understand the allure for some players.
    Also understand you may never get to like them. I am R6 on my minstrel, one of the easier classes to play in a BB, and I don't like them any more now than I did to start. I played them enough to learn them, rank up, get jewelry, including one gold pocket (three times for the identical gold pocket). For me ranking up and getting more skills didn't translate to enjoyable, and the RNG with the loot distribution made it worse. Now I avoid them.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexendynamus View Post
    When I reached this point my initial hatred tempered to ambivalence.
    I agree with the others that this was a pretty brilliant description of what the Epic Battles are like, both for a player new to the Battles as well as for a player super experienced at them. (I've never been able to get anywhere with Vandals solo, so I'm impressed at your description of what to do).

    I don't know how serious you were being in the quote I pulled above, but to me a real question is: Why are the developers making content that leave many players, at best, ambivalent? Shouldn't the goal be to have content be actually enjoyable for as many players possible? Is this even feasible any longer?

    I haven't seen any Bullroarer reports of anyone trying out the Epic Battles after the changes to the low-ranked skills. Since Epic Battles are here to stay, it looks like, here's hoping that they make substantial meaningful changes to increase everyone's enjoyment.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteIL View Post

    I don't know how serious you were being in the quote I pulled above, but to me a real question is: Why are the developers making content that leave many players, at best, ambivalent? Shouldn't the goal be to have content be actually enjoyable for as many players possible? Is this even feasible any longer?
    First, I think it is important that we stay away from using phrases like "many players". We really do not know how many people enjoy/dislike Epic Battles. We don't even have any way to measure how many people have even tried Epic Battles.
    And, I think that latter point is probably more important... I would be willing to bet that a significant number of people probably have not even tried running Epic Battles... just like (with current trends and that infamous Sapience quote about raiders/PvPers being less than 10% of the population) there seems to be a good chunk of the population who has never really done much with instances/raids as is. Again, that is an assumption...
    But, also, a large number of people (including myself) probably opt to run the Epic Battles with a friend, thus, naturally you won't see many people advertising for them (though that may change with the upcoming World channel) unless they are running the larger versions.

    Second... there are those, like me, who do enjoy them thoroughly... but the size limitations of mostly 2 people... that does hurt the flexibility of Epic Battles. So, those who do enjoy them find it difficult to rope other people into doing Epic Battles when we can only take 1 other person for most of them.

    Third... I think it is important to remember that the developers' job is to construct a good story and make sure they are using the most effective means for telling the story. While I am sure they try to make sure all of those methods are enjoyable, the developers can't possibly hope to please everyone all the time. They chose to use Epic Battles to try to convey the battle(s) at Helms Deep because, in their minds, other methods were not sufficient. As is typical, the reception of the new content varies greatly depending on what each person likes to do. Some people like it. Some people don't really like it. You will get the whole gamut of responses for every type of content in the game.

    Fourth... when people ask for help/advice learning Epic Battles... it would be better to help them learn how to run the battles... not use it as a platform to unload anyone's dislike for them... let the person know how to run the Epic Battles and let them decide for themselves whether or not they like it. If the person never really learns how to run the battles properly... their view of epic battles will be skewed because of not really knowing how to run them. Most of the time, if someone knows how to do them, that goes a long way toward alleviating the confusion/frustration they have. They may not love epic battles, but they understand what to do.
    [i]Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary.[/i] - C.S. Lewis
    =
    [i]Saruman believes it is only great power that keeps evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things... the actions of ordinary folk... that keeps the darkness at bay.[/i] - Gandalf

  21. #21
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    Thank you everyone! There is some good advice in here.

  22. #22
    Id like to point out that this was in the B1 release notes for U14:
    "The vast majority of the big battles promotion benefits have been rebalanced to provide larger benefits earlier on. The tier 5 values have not changed."

    So it looks like people new to BBs will not be so bad.
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  23. #23
    First of all, you may want to suffer through the first two solo big battles once alone. You will suck at it, maybe with luck you will get gold for some side-quests. But: with the first two solos done you can join in on 6man dike or on the raid-wall. And there you can learn, get many bb-points (because the organizers of 6 and 12 man usually know what they're doing) and you'll improve a lot.
    Afterwards, do the solos with someone else. It is much easier. And if you manage to team up with someone with bb experience, you will get a grasp of the different strategies and will learn the quests, so that you will always be in the right place at the right time.
    You will perhaps start to enjoy them - at the very least you will get your 200 points.
    I know it worked for me.

    PS. I don't understand the part "you don't get to play your class". In the raid the class mix matters quite a lot, perhaps more than the last 50 bb points.

 

 

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