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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    2,103

    Group Dynamics Have Declined Since SoA

    I remember back during SoA days the class dynamics in game made it so that you really could create a group with any classes. There were 6 burg groups, groups with all DPS and heals, groups with all hunters. These weren't always ideal, but you could get through group content with any 6 players who knew how to play and work together. Nowadays we've all been fitted into these specific roles and the game has turned into every other MMO. I see things in LFF like "LF 1 red captain, 1 guard, 2 red hunters, yellow this class, blue that class, etc. etc." It's so specific that it's painful to read. I admit, I'm 115 and haven't even gone through Mordor yet (my last raiding experience was throne), but I did play end game Rift, Helegrod, PvMP, and landscape content during Shadows of Angmar. I don't ever recall the game requiring such structured groups in the past. It seems like today you must only take in the best class and trait line for DPS, you have to have x # of "insert certain class & trait line" here.

    What happened? I really miss the days of just forming a group and going out and doing content, didn't matter what your class composition was you just had fun and made it work. 6 Hunters could just kite things around, it took longer and wasn't as safe but you could make it work.

    I feel like now you either zerg through landscape content (i.e. RT's) or you have to have the exact formula correct for picking classes to run dungeons. Is there even fellowship landscape content anymore?

    /nostalgic_rant_off
    Erendil 50 Hunter Rank 7, Mavellen 45 Warden; Officers of Disciples
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    Other Characters: Arthilius - Captain, Arthilias - Guardian,
    Claireth - Runekeeper, Harbuckle - Burglar, Lothlirien - Hunter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Any group can do t1 instances if you have at least a healer or a tank (done even some t2c stuff without healers, love reveal mark). But sometimes you just need 1 tank, 1 healer, 1 cc/debuff and 3 DPS... Just depends on the content and what you want to complete and who you are with.
    Rimenuir | Fadhroreth | Daechamnir | Rimenswords | Beornemgarth | Rimensneak | Rimenoath | Smicho | Rimentank |
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    128
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    What happened?
    1) Classes are less balanced.
    2) Many recent fights are DPS races , unlike SoA instances.
    3) After 11 years , some people understand the mechanics of the game and create optimal groups that everyone copy and follow.
    In SoA , we were all noobs. Lotro is one of the few games with locked enemy code , that's why it took a long time.

    That said , the only real instances we got since Mordor are CoS and abyss. Both of them easily gave spots to ALL classes , so this thread has bad timing. ^^

    You can start your own LFFs with your ''non-optimal'' class and do the above runs just fine.
    That's what most leaders do , that's why they lead in the first place sometimes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Tempe, AZ
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    3,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    Nowadays we've all been fitted into these specific roles and the game has turned into every other MMO.
    If this were "every other MMO", I could open a group finder, choose a role, and it would put together a group. I'd be playing the instance I want in under 2 minutes. And no one cares about your spec as long as you're doing your role with the slightest bit of competency.

    To answer your other question: Lang Rhuven in update 20 (last year) was a fellowship section of the map. It was kind of fun to group up and go in there to get quests done, which was necessary to unlock the dungeon fellowship resource instances.
    Elven Adventuress UI ~ Newbie Guide To Playing LotRO ~ Guide To Dual-Boxing LotRO

  5. #5
    I 100% agree with the thread title, but don't agree with some of the reasoning.

    Certainly a big part of the problem has been the shift to a DPS focus + stat bloat. This effects not just instances but landscape too. This has made CC unnecessary or useless in most content (may even slow things down if it interferes with balling stuff up to AoE) . It's also why conjunctions are now useless in pretty much 100% of content.

    In contrast, the slower pace of combat and increased challenge of all SoA content made CC (+debuffs) and CJs useful. This actually allowed classes to be more firmly differentiated in their role and the feel of their gameplay. It also allowed for more creative solutions to content attempted by non-optimal groups. A group with less than ideal healing could compensate with a burg or two and skilled coordination of CJs. A less tanky group could make up for it with good CC and debuffs.

    The awful trait trees haven't helped either. They gutted my captain and made my burg feel more like a single target champ.

    One of my favourite moments was duoing a big chunk of CD at 50 with champ (sword and board) and LM. It was slow going, a lot of wipes, and of course some of it was 100% impossible - but we had a blast and got a lot further than expected. Not the sort of thing possible these days.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    1,815
    In my opinion it is completely different. Instances must be this difficult that you need a Tank and a heal in anycase. For this the dps lines of all classes must be Balance that there is no difference in the dps over the instances. Maybe a champ have more on trash and Günter on the st Boss etc. But at the end the time you will need should be the same and the dps from the begining to the kill of the endboss too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazabooboo View Post
    3) After 11 years , some people understand the mechanics of the game and create optimal groups that everyone copy and follow.
    Especially this. I saw the same thing in WoW early this year.
    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!"
    Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazabooboo View Post
    3) After 11 years , some people understand the mechanics of the game and create optimal groups that everyone copy and follow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    Especially this. I saw the same thing in WoW early this year.
    This is one point on which I kind of disagree. Beyond learning the obvious (tank heal dps trinity, etc) that most new MMO players go through, Lotro has changed so dramatically since SoA that it's not the same game anymore. Most of what we learned then doesn't apply at all now. So much has changed - and not by a little either. Gearing, damage types, traits, virtues, building/losing threat, learning CJs, CC.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    128
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemond71 View Post
    This is one point on which I kind of disagree. Beyond learning the obvious (tank heal dps trinity, etc) that most new MMO players go through, Lotro has changed so dramatically since SoA that it's not the same game anymore. Most of what we learned then doesn't apply at all now. So much has changed - and not by a little either. Gearing, damage types, traits, virtues, building/losing threat, learning CJs, CC.
    Instance trinity was there since the very beginning , it's a common concept in MMOs. That's not what i am referring to.

    You are right about the changes.
    For starters , debuffing defences was a low priority feature , unlike today where it's a must-do.
    If memory serves me well , enemies back in SoA were not mitigation heavy either and that explains it a lot.
    Every enemy's 'tankiness' was mostly balanced through their morale pools.
    I believe a 15% mitigation on an enemy back in SoA was considered ''incredible'' when inspected by a loremaster.
    Nowadays , incredible can mean over 75% mits or so. I've seen enemies that have over 80%.
    Note that those are rough numbers but should reflect reality pretty well.
    Instead , people in SoA focused more on CC.
    There was also the big change of removing main stat caps and reworking the stat contributions. This lead to each class having 1 or 2 useless stats.
    That was propably the biggest gearing change ever , that's why you see some untouched SoA loot on skirmish camp or smth and it feels sooooo outdated.
    Like halberds with agility , heavy armour with will etc.

    Anyway , putting all that aside , the game back in SoA was lacking many of today's features , like newest combat analysis/buffbars , the detailed stat panel etc.
    Without those stuff , it's extremely hard to optimise with just 'gut' feeling and no real data.

    Moving forward , after t1 and t2 was launched many many years ago, it took the community several years to realise there's mitigation penetration.
    Now 'everyone' knows it , they even made the t2 buffs visible recently , but back then we were getting wrecked for no reason.

    When threat was reworked ( think it was around HD launch ? ) , it took people months to realise how powerful force taunts are.
    It now feels so ridiculously obvious that i can't believe it.
    Back then , all we had was a misleading dev diary.

    Those things take time , especially without the option of unlocked enemy code that allows some players to create babysitting plugins.

    And that's one of the few things i still love about Lotro : D

    However , i believe the game is currently 99% explored , even behind the scenes , the top players nowadays can quickly adapt to any changes ( like recent class balance ) and create the new meta optimal builds in no time and that will once again show in U23.
    Back in SoA , that process took years and also keep in mind that you didn't really have to adapt that much , since as i said above , DPS races were not a thing.
    Now all you get is timers everywhere , or some mechanic that makes fights really hard if you don't finish them fast.
    That's why optimising is extremely important nowadays.
    Their is 1 rule in today's Lotro that is becoming more and more common. ''Kill it before it kills you''
    People are so used to it , that whenever a non-DPS fight pops up , it suddenly 'feels' hard. Look at Throne Mumaks or Unbroken one for example.
    If you time travelled and threw those fights to SoA Lotro players , properly balanced , they would certainly feel easier , but they would fail ultra hard on a simple Vadokhar.
    I am not trying to claim SoA players were better or the opposite.
    In contrast to popular belief , Lotro in SoA had few and less complicated mechanics compared to an instance created in more recent years.
    Thing is though , DPS is so out of control and bosses die so fast nowadays ( especially in scaled instances ), that some of those mechanics never really get into play.
    Mordor stat bloat did make things a little bit better , but in order to make some fights remotely similar to what they were in SoA , morale pools need to at least double , even on t2.
    Back in SoA , the few mechanics present were constantly into play on every fight.
    Last edited by Kazabooboo; Yesterday at 04:44 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cowplain, United Kingdom
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    826
    The cynic in me suspects that "dps race" is a relatively easy way to code a boss encounter and indeed at least ensures that for players where their "fix" comes from big numbers then they feel like they contribute. By comparison, morale pool increases for toons mean that some bosses hit so hard that some classes are one shotted, by the rng rather than positioning or play and I'm not comfortable with the idea that luck should be that much of a factor. Serious raiding should be working on the margins, but being done down by misfortune should not be seen as a normal outcome.

    It may be that the slow demise of CC links to the rise of CC resistant mobs, and the rise of more AoE skills in more classes but as an LM I find less call for it than there used to be in instanced play, and regret this. Increased numbers of linked mobs too making pulling one mob surgically from a group, itself requiring thought and planning, isnt happening as much, nor indeed the idea of ccing ranged dps while sorting out the melee.

    As a primary LM player, with Burg and Captain as most played alts, anything that moves away from a dps race is to be praised.
    Mithithil Ithryndi

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Albany New York
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    445
    Waits for other shoe to drop...
    It is logical, in view of the times in which we live. But to be logical is not to be right, and nothing on God's earth could ever make it right!
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,103
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemond71 View Post
    I 100% agree with the thread title, but don't agree with some of the reasoning.

    Certainly a big part of the problem has been the shift to a DPS focus + stat bloat. This effects not just instances but landscape too. This has made CC unnecessary or useless in most content (may even slow things down if it interferes with balling stuff up to AoE) . It's also why conjunctions are now useless in pretty much 100% of content.

    In contrast, the slower pace of combat and increased challenge of all SoA content made CC (+debuffs) and CJs useful. This actually allowed classes to be more firmly differentiated in their role and the feel of their gameplay. It also allowed for more creative solutions to content attempted by non-optimal groups. A group with less than ideal healing could compensate with a burg or two and skilled coordination of CJs. A less tanky group could make up for it with good CC and debuffs.

    The awful trait trees haven't helped either. They gutted my captain and made my burg feel more like a single target champ.

    One of my favourite moments was duoing a big chunk of CD at 50 with champ (sword and board) and LM. It was slow going, a lot of wipes, and of course some of it was 100% impossible - but we had a blast and got a lot further than expected. Not the sort of thing possible these days.
    You are absolutely right, I've thought about this but completely overlooked it when I originally started this thread.

    There are so many skills that my hunter has which are essentially useless today but were essential back during SoA. Bard's arrow, traps, fellowship manuever's, even campfire

    Turbine did so much work to create these unique skills that made group content require a more meaningful thought process, now (or at least since pre-Mordor when I last did end game content) it's all about downing the boss as quickly as possible. CC is essentially useless, the time it takes to execute fellowship manuever's make this once awesome gameplay component a waste of time, etc. etc.

    I can only imagine how bad it is for LM's and Burgs.
    Erendil 50 Hunter Rank 7, Mavellen 45 Warden; Officers of Disciples
    Ragaroth Warleader Rank 7, Marhawk Stalker Rank 5; Members of Cuddle Squad
    Other Characters: Arthilius - Captain, Arthilias - Guardian,
    Claireth - Runekeeper, Harbuckle - Burglar, Lothlirien - Hunter

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    now (or at least since pre-Mordor when I last did end game content)
    Just a friendly suggestion, you should probably play the endgame content before saying that CC is useless in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    I can only imagine how bad it is for LM's and Burgs.
    Pretty much every abyss group has a LM and burg for debuffs/CC

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,066
    Don't forget that all instances were tier 1 back in the day. You beat Carn Dum or you didn't. Only later did the idea of challenges (Moria) and tier 2 (Mirkwood) show up. Even modern instances on tier 1 can be run by pretty much whoever shows up, other than raids. Tier 2 is meant to be harder and require more specific setups.

    I would also add that most people don't want to spend hours wiping with a group that's pretty clearly going nowhere, unless it's your kin and you're just goofing around. Your group of 4 RKs and 8 LMs MIGHT beat Abyss, but is everyone prepared to hang around and give it a serious try? Specific group setups give the leader (and others) confidence that you can win.

  15. #15
    The real reason is because regarding difficulty and complexity SoA instances were a joke. Today's T2 instances are much harder compared to what SoA instances were back in the day. Also, it's completely wrong that "everything is about DPS now". Quite the opposite. Sure, high DPS is important - but so are heals, debuffs and good tanks.

  16. #16
    It's seeming more and more common for people to say "back in SoA" when what they really mean is "a vague memory from some point in the first 4 years of the game's operation."

 

 

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