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  1. #1

    Raiding in the Moors - Tips and Tricks

    It was great to see some full raid on raid action on Landy the past few weeks on select nights. I know both sides are having fun as we talk to each other after- so for those who participate - THANK YOU, for those who may be on the fence, come join us!

    I’d like to start a new thread to offer some constructive help for players and prospective raid leaders to share some ideas, tips and tricks. I encourage other experienced leaders to share your thoughts as raiding had started to become a lost art...

    PART ONE: SYSTEM PREPARATION

    The first thing that a player needs to do before joining a Raid is to be prepared. Prepare your system, your character and your consumables. Here are a few suggestions for system preparation:

    1. Graphics: the graphics PvMP Overide can be helpful for those without the best video card - but a few tweaks can make it smoother and better. At the bottom of your Advanced Graphics tab are two boxes that need to be checked: Synch to Refresh Rate and Triple Buffering. They are unchecked by default and can be the difference between a frozen screen and smooth play. You should also overide the distance to see mobile objects (or whatever it is termed) to at least Very High so you can see them when they see you! It’s worth the system resources. Try to zoom out as far as you are comfortable to best see the battle field... don’t be myopic like the Trolls who only see what is under their nose or you may get surprised!

    2. Social Setting: there are 4 boxes about halfway down the panel that toggle on and off viewing the buffs and debuffs of yourself and your Raid. You want to see what is on YOU and who you are fighting, but not on others. Check the top two boxes and uncheck the bottom two. Few systsems can handle updating 24 toons to report who is buffed, debuffed etc. This is perhaps the biggest lag issue (outside of server lag).

    3. Under Combat Options, check the box that says to Show Assist Window. This will show you who in your raid is assigned to call targets and what they have selected. The Target caller should also reinforce this by calling out the Target and any change to try to get folks on the same page as quickly as possible. Which brings us to audio...

    4. Please activate voice whenever in the Moors as “Typing = Death.” You need to hear the raid leader and target caller. As LOTRO in-game voice is not the greatest, we suggest you turn down all the combat, music, background sounds to say 10% but leave the voice settings at 100% so that the voice is not masked by music and other sounds.

    5. If you have a Microphone USE IT! It’s hard to lead 23 folks with several typing. If you see something, say something... for example, “the Freeps are behind us!” Heck, when on the road, I sometimes use my iPhone buds with built in mic and they work just fine... so there should be few excuses unless speaking the server language is difficult for you. That said, when in a fight, let the leader and caller do the talking, but feel free to chat it up in-between combat and movement commands. It is a social game after all. If your Tribe has Vent or other voice options, I suggest you run the Raid using in-game to make sure ALL can hear but use Vent to chat when not in combat- just be careful to pay attention to the Raid leader/caller.

    6. Finally, I always start a Moors session after a full system reboot so that Windows can clear its cluttered soul as the game slowly leaks your system resources over time. This should help with the lag monkey too.

    If you have any more System’s prep advice to share, please reply to this thread. I will start others that address further categories and look forward to learning from you.

    Cor/Aak
    Last edited by Corwelleon; Apr 05 2018 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2

    Part Two: Prepping Your Character

    The next area of focus, once the system issues are reviewed, is to prepare your character to fight and survive in the Moors. Fortunately, both Freeps and Creeps have many things they can do to get ready BEFORE setting foot outside the comfy confines of Gramsfoot or Glan Vraig. Unlike the system prep, you need to do this EVERY time you log on!

    1. Have a Stack of 50 of each potion (purple, yellow, red, green) to pot debuffs that will be stacked on you. Running out of potions on the battle field is not a good idea.

    2. Have plenty of Green Morale potions. Gold vendors offer some decent ones, but as you rise in rank, you can buy much better ones from the potions vendor for commendations in each camp. If you have comms to spare, this is good stuff. If not, use your silver and gold to have a couple stacks. I keep at least 100 Green and 50 blue ready to use.

    3. There are three special pots you can buy from vendors that remove stuns (yellow), roots (red) or fear (purple - not to be confused with non-fear purple effects). Fear is a huge debuff as it keeps casters from casting - so you need to remove this quicky.

    4. Sigil of Battle: a special sigil (with a cool down that can be long or short based on your rank at purchase) is very helpful to have as it can be used when your special stun or root pots are on cool down. If you can’t move, fight or cast, it will be hard to stay alive and help your raid.

    5. The special items vendors will sell Creeps a special corruptor services item (looks like a bard’s lute) that is a permanent item and lets you retrait corruptions on the landscape without having to return to DG or Grams. Freeps do not need anything like this as they can easily change trait trees. My Cappy has 3 special trait trees specific to the Moors ready to roll on those occasions that I Freep. As Creeps have fewer build options, being able to have exactly what you need for the next fight can be terrific.

    6. My Freeps have lots of fire or light oils, food and other consumables on hand so that they can fight optimally. Most of these items can be crafted, purchased in the auction hall or perhaps shared by members of your Kin. Creeps just buy them with gold or comms - to include defensive potions available at mid-tiers (3 levels of each, get the best for your rank) and special food at rank 10. Creeps can also buy a special tracking token - Uruks can track men, Orcs can track elves etc. - I start off carrying 100 of these and use them often.

    7. Freeps are pretty much come as you are, so that the glossy new items they pick up outside the Moors can be used inside the Moors- much to the consternation of many solo creeps that look at this as the original sin of LOTRO! Well, as much as I understand that it hurts solo, we can and must use our Raid to overcome OP Freeps and then brag about it afterwards!

    8.Next, pick up the daily quests at Grams/DG Glan Vraig/OR as doing them when running around the moors is easy and you can get lots of Infamy/Glory and comms for completing them. Creeps will also earn comms and very valuable maps by completing deeds tied to the various quest hubs scattered in camps and castles. Your Raid leader will often share quests they are about to do in case you missed it, but be prepared to share quests too. But be careful, DG and OR are not secure and burgs or wargs have been known to lie in wait next to the quest givers. So, bring a friend, drop some traps, use the tracking tokens etc. You have been warned!

    9. You can also buy items in the LOTRO store (go figure) or get some good items from chests - of course the keys are rare! (But for sale in store, hmmm...). If you are VIP, knock yourself out, if mommy is rich or your spouse is kind, feel free to indulge. However, if you are on a budget, these items can be nice but are not the be-all-end-all so never feel like you have to buy gear or items. Creeps may be wise to spend some comms on higher level skills if you want to punch above your weight at lower ranks, but given server populations, most raids will not boot you if you are low rank and unskilled. In fact, most Raid leaders and members will help you! Arkenstone may be a little more particular and I hear they suffer no fools...

    In summary, every time you enter the moors, you should first visit the vendors, top off necessary consumables, grab quests and then report that you are ready for battle! If you are in an active Tribe or Kin, they will likely bring you in right away and won’t mind giving you some free comms as you prep. However, it may be best for unaffiliated raid members to have all that done first before they ask to join a raid.

    Aak/Cor
    Last edited by Corwelleon; Apr 05 2018 at 05:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Part 3: Creep Raid Composition

    As I have mostly been leading Creep raids, I will comment on Creep raid composition and roles and invite Freep Raid Leaders to share their thoughts. Roleplaying can mean play-acting but a more fundamental definition in an MMO is that each character has a defined role. Whereas the Freeps have some lattitude to modify their role using Trait Trees, Creeps are pretty much locked into a specific role with some tweaks by selecting specific skills and corruptions.

    I have one Creep of each class, all at mid-tier or higher. I think it is important that a raid leader understand each class in their raid, know their basic skills and know how to work with each. Let’s briefly review each class and role - then comment on Raid composition.

    Warleader: Buffer and Healer. As this is the only Creep that can pick up the fallen, he can often be a focus of combat and will likely need to trait very defensively in a Raid. Mine runs with 6 tactical mit, 3 physical mits, 3 crit Ds when leading a raid to take those invevitable punches. Once he is tanked-up, I often stride into combat with a melee buff up and put all the Reavers and/or Wargs that do melee damage with me as between my buff and banners, they can do 35% more damage. Like a yellow-line cappy, the WL can also drop damage reduction bubbles on threatened raid members. I typically use mine on: other WLs, Defilers, DPS target callers in that order of priority. If you are not in that role, you can ask for a bubble, but don’t rely on it. I think this is the most difficult creep class and don’t pretend to have it fully mastered. It can also be one of the most rewarding as the WL allows a Raid to get away from Grams and take the Raid into the field! Ideally, a Raid will have at least 2 WLs.

    Defiler: this is the Creep Healer- and in a raid should do little else other than the occasional Debuff. Unlike the WL that can often be found near the front line, a Defiler is often in the middle or rear- ideally standing in traps and webs laid by Black Arrows and Spiders. Unlike a WL whose heals can reach its own group (within range)- most Defiler heals are single target but go off fairly fast and STACK. So, when the Raid leader asks you to stack heals on yourself and the WL, that means do the ones that provide Heals Over Time (HoT) and refresh them periodically. A Defiler needs to trait with crit O and mastery to make the heals big, but also needs to have some defense. Mine will often go 3 of each corruptions (mastery, Crit O, tact mit, phys mit) but I use my corrupter services token liberally to trait what I need when I think I need it. A Raid leader will likely get a little anxiety if he (or she) sees the Defiler on the front line or playing scout- which is fine in a small group, but not a raid. This class is so necessary, each group of six should have one (generally).

    Black Arrow: The “Nuker” is like a Hunter, but tougher. He has great Range and special survival skills that can keep him on his feet. Traps, trained for extra bleed are a HUGELY important skill as they can pop burgs out of stealth and keep you and the healers alive. Two signature skills include Headshot (knocks the opponent to the ground and stuns them) and Vital Target (massive DPS plus heal debuff) when trained properly. Given this combination of offense and defense, a BA makes for a great Raid Target caller to direct all range attacks (spiders, BAs and tactical attacks). MY BA often has mostly offensive corruptions (3 Crit O, 3-6 mastery and the rest in defense). As he can evade physical damage, when training mits, I favor tactical and/or Crit D to reduce that burst damage.

    Spider: Damage over Time (DoT) is the signature of the spider and like a Defiler’s heals, the can STACK! Many view the Spider as the ultimate DPS class, and although I like my BA more, I can see why. Their ability to use a burrow defensively or in ambush is another nifty trait. Damage reflection at high rank (or purchased) is a game changer. Every raid should have spiders! Their pet is cool too. I tend to trait my spider with a balanced build of DPS and mitigation (6 and 6) or it, like many spiders, will go squish!

    Reaver: this is the Champ of the Creeps- melee DPS and Area of Effect. Like a Spider, the Reaver can often stack DoTs as most skills add bleeds. He also has excellent physical mits. This is a very useful class in PvE as a gatherer of items for the raid, but when paired with a WL, the DPS and bleeds can be quite profound on PvMP. Stay with that DPS buffed WL and keep the burgs off him and/or attack the called melee target. I favor at least 6 offensive corruptions (Crit O and mastery) and 3-6 defensive to stay alive long enough to get those slow but powerful WL heals. As the shock troops, they don’t always get lots of love by the healers, so it takes a certain mindset to really have fun with a Reaver!

    Warg: most view a warg as a Burg in wolf’s clothing, which is one excellent and well-feared role. Perhaps the highest DPS of all the Creeps, he also can be killed before the healer even sees him going down! So, although a glass cannon build is terrific fun in a warg pack or solo, a warg in a raid may want to boost their morale and/or defense more than they oterhwise would like. If only devoting 3 corruptions to defense, I favor Crit D as it works on both tactical and physical crits and expect to be Crited often. Some Wargs are really good about shifting from Shadow into Flayer stance to become a Reaver-like DPS machine but with burst vs AoE DPS. This can be very useful in a raid as shadow wargs need to hit and run or be prepared to be scraped off the field. I would be remiss by not mentioning that a Warg is also the best Scout (in shadow stance). Other toons should stay with the raid and not pretend they are a Wargs! This makes your Raid leader grumpy too... If I have a lot of Wargs, I sometimes put them in one pack to scout and hit with surprise. If I have fewer, I keep them with a WL and Reavers.

    I’ll comment more on raid composition and tactics in another message as this seems more than long enough. Feel free to comment on each topic, but please stay on-topic.

    Aak/Cor
    Last edited by Corwelleon; Apr 05 2018 at 10:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Something I think might be helpful for melee classes is to turn on combat movement assistance in their combat options. When raid assist targets are changing quickly, I would think this would make it a lot easier to close in on the newly selected targets more quickly rather than spinning around trying to locate the target..... just double-click on the target. For raid leaders or raid assist targets, tool-tipping the other side's healers and key targets helps locate and engage priority targets more quickly from encounter to encounter. There is a UI or combat setting that will also put a large arrow over your target's head (yellow if friend, red if foe). This can be helpful, as well, when trying to track or locate targets from a distance. Raid assist targets need to be very vocal about changes to targets so that the DPSers can switch quickly when a target changes.

    Oh, and there's a really good plug-in for the Moors called PvMP+! Other plug-ins such as combat analysis and buff bars can also be very helpful http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/cat8.html
    Casinoari - Rank 15 RK
    Malakorou - Rank 10 Defiler
    Casinari - Original Challenger of Saruman Minstrel

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nouri View Post
    Something I think might be helpful for melee classes is to turn on combat movement assistance in their combat options. When raid assist targets are changing quickly, I would think this would make it a lot easier to close in on the newly selected targets more quickly rather than spinning around trying to locate the target..... just double-click on the target. For raid leaders or raid assist targets, tool-tipping the other side's healers and key targets helps locate and engage priority targets more quickly from encounter to encounter. There is a UI or combat setting that will also put a large arrow over your target's head (yellow if friend, red if foe). This can be helpful, as well, when trying to track or locate targets from a distance. Raid assist targets need to be very vocal about changes to targets so that the DPSers can switch quickly when a target changes.

    Oh, and there's a really good plug-in for the Moors called PvMP+! Other plug-ins such as combat analysis and buff bars can also be very helpful http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/cat8.html
    Terrific suggestions. Keep them coming! Movement assist can be problematic when soloing as a good opponent knows how to use it against you. But in a Raid, it can be golden.

    I also agree that the Target Caller(s) requires voice and needs to call out all changes. This is a great time to discuss how many Target Callers per Raid. I have been in Raids that have only ONE. The Advantage here is that it is really easy to keep everyone on the same target. This can be very helpful if your Raid is mostly PUG and not Tribe.

    However, for a Raid that has a good core group, I favor TWO (and sometimes three) target assists. One Primary, one Secondary. Having two has a few advantages (at the expense of some confusion for less experienced players). The primary should be the top Assist and it should be the target caller (who may or may not be the Raid Leader) with a call-out to “attack my Hunter- Shilo!” The secondary can be on the same target, but should often be looking for the next target to shift to- e.g. “stay on primary target, but switch to Graysea, healer, when it is defeated). Rinse, repeat.

    Having a secondary caller thus helps the Raid to quickly acquire the next target. Also, if the primary caller is defeated, the secondary can take-over if the caller needs to retreat or the combat moves away from his fallen corpse (which can still call near targets!). I will often have one caller being ranged, the other melee so that melee move together always and range can shift fires quickly.

    When would I have three? If my Raid has a strike force or Warg Pack that operates independently, then they need their own Assist. For example: Groups 1-3 - we are storming TR, follow me! Warg Pack, guard the back door! If we run together, then #3 needs to be on the primary or secondary target as needed.

    Aak/Cor
    Last edited by Corwelleon; Apr 05 2018 at 12:02 PM.

  6. #6
    When I used to lead raids, I liked having two target assists for precisely the reasons you stated.
    Casinoari - Rank 15 RK
    Malakorou - Rank 10 Defiler
    Casinari - Original Challenger of Saruman Minstrel

  7. #7

    Leading a Raid

    I direct this to my fellow Raid leaders, and more importantly, those who aspire to lead a Raid... it’s a tough job and you will alway be wrong! That being said, here are some suggestions (that may be aspirational).

    1. Remember that it is a game! It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of wins and losses. Try to keep the rage in check when things go wrong, take a time-out or let the callers bear some burden.

    2. Don’t try to do it all. Ideally, you will have two callers who have strong skills and a strong voice. At a minimum, only be the seconardary and not primary if your group does not have two skilled callers.

    3. Manage the battlefield. Discuss your plans BEFORE you do them... for example, “we are mapping to TR, if the Freeps run off, we will pursue...” or, let’s take HoP, and if they don’t come, we will then move to Lumber Camp! Be prepared to Map to Poor Grim.... hit your poor grim map now!” Keep that Raid moving in the right direction- movement plans should not be your special secret!

    4. As General George Patton once said: “a plan, no matter how poorly conceived, executed violently will succeed!” YOU are the Raid leader and you need to have a Plan, be willing to change the Plan and call out orders. Others can and should offer suggestions, but should NOT issue commands for movmement or strategy. You manage the battlefield, the Caller(s) manage the battle.

    5. The Raid leader should offer guidance on when folks should retreat or stay defeated. Everyone moving on their own is a recipe for failure. For example, “my WL Rez will be up in 30 seconds, if you fall, please wait unless they get me first!” or “all dead retreat now, then map together (or move together) to Good TR...

    6. Make sure you add some Raid Assists who you trust to allow others to enter the Raid. It’s hard for you to monitor all facets, so have a few admin helpers... our Tribe Leader is an “HR Lady” who is perfect for this role!

    7. Find out what other Creeps are on and coordinate with them. This requires you to be friendly and respectful of others in different Tribes at ALL times. For example, if I know that a Warg Pack is out, I will send a Tell to their leader to get that tab open, then call out to them where where we are going or ask if they have eyes on the enemy. Hoarding all the fun can be enticing, but coordinating with other groups may be the only way to win against strong enemies. Oh, feel free to Heal tag me anytime! Just keep the heals coming...

    8. When the chips are down... wait! There is a rythem to the Moors. It ebbs and it flows as folks come and go. Take 5 and retake the field after if hard-pressed. Your foes with short attention spans will log or maybe break into smaller groups... Another strategy is to go take a camp or OP then regain contact with the enemy. That little win may help morale and improve the map to boot.

    9. Get some healers, get somebody that can in-combat Rez and get off the front stoop! Camping Grams or GV is not always a fun night. Creeps have maps, Freeps have horses. Use them! Try not to be overly predictable, unless you have the odds in your favor. We have won many battles that could easily have been lost because of the element of surprise. We have lost some the same way!

    10. Pay attention to the Map and buffs. Try to keep the OPs balanced - don’t take them all, don’t allow the enemy to hold them all. Try to have at least 1 of the three big castles, ideally TR or Lugz for the Rez circle. TA is nifty due to its location if the battles are not just GV or Grams camps. Use the NPCs on the landscape to help you. Goldie for TR (Freeps), the Tyrant for TA (Creeps), Golly for the Mine (freeps) and “the beagle” for Lugz (creeps). They will also help against foes that try to stop you from storming the walls!

    11. Use the terrain to “cover your move” - they can’t cast or fire through a rock- and most can’t see over them- although mouse looking can help. In the Army, we learned to move tactically from one covered or concealed location to the next. Stay off the tops of hills unless you want to be seen from a distance!

    In summary, being Raid leader is hard and tiring. It can also be quite rewarding. Lighten your load by trying not to do it all. Have a good Target Caller (or two), have a couple Admin Assistants. Manage the tempo of battle so that it ebbs and flows to keep people fresh. Use the terrain, maps and NPCs to your advantage. Allow your enemy to do the same if you have a clear advantage. The buck stops with YOU and if you are good, you will develop others that can lead the Raid when you are away or you just want to join the crowd! Above all, have fun and allow others to have even more fun- including your opponents- or they won’t come back out!
    Last edited by Corwelleon; Apr 05 2018 at 06:15 PM.

  8. #8
    I approve of this message.

    for added fun have someone like me call TA, someone who mangles and mispronounces all names or just gives up and calls them whatever.
    .

    Mortem Tyrannis

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by subadar View Post
    I approve of this message.

    for added fun have someone like me call TA, someone who mangles and mispronounces all names or just gives up and calls them whatever.
    Poor t-urine.
    Landy Pawpatrol Stalker 7, Horrorbuisness BA 9
    Landy Tridis LM 7, Barnabras Warden 4
    Arkenstone Redrighthand WL 13

 

 

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