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  1. #26
    After a long absence I recently came back to the game and started working on my old main again. After a lot of trial and error I managed to get back on track with the main story line, and made it up to about level 93. Then I hit the Helms Deep Epic battles. . .

    It was an absolute brick wall of difficulty and confusion. I muddled through the first one, somehow, cursing violently the entire time because I was having such a terrible experience ("Wait, ### does that even mean? What do these options do? I go where now? Why can't I do anything with this? Why the hell is this taking so long?"). The second one I tried and failed at twice, and I haven't been back since.

    I really want to see the rest of the game, but Epic Battles left such a bad taste in my mouth it completely derailed the experience of LOTRO for me. I have been playing this game on and off since launch, and nothing I have ever experienced here has left me so deeply frustrated and disappointed. I can't decide if I want to (a) buck up and try one more time to swallow this bitter horse choker of a pill, (b) level in festivals until i hit 95 so i can move on the the next set of quests (and never see the conclusion of Helm's Deep), or (c) quit the game altogether save for doing low level stuff with my family. It's been a few months since I did anything on my main, so to this point the answer for me has been (c).

    My suggestion: For the love of all that is holy, add some kind of tourist mode so that those that just want to see the story and move on can. Leave the rest of the system there for those that enjoy it, but don't cram it down the throats of everyone that makes it that far in the main story. It's a complete trainwreck for your immersion that comes out of nowhere the way it's currently implemented. I doubt I am the only person that feels this way, it can't be helping long term player retention.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    125
    Epic battles are probably the less challenging kind of content there is, especially for groups.
    Everything is predictable, so success depends on preparation (setting traps, placing barricades, updating siege, changing npc stances etc.). Helm's dike for example must be set up regarding every single side quest before you even talk to the npc to start the assault.
    There's no need for any reactive game-play unless you're a first timer.
    Most of them can actually be automatically completed, meaning a player can enter the instance and stay afk till the main objective is accomplished.

    Learning mechanics and gathering promotion points alone is expectedly more time costly and harder as opposed to getting help. You shouldn't complain over that. If anything the epic battles ought to receive a balance pass, become reactive, harder and more rewarding.
    Psorokostaina/Ippokratis/Kervertros/Teucros. Officer & Raid Leader for The Aegean Eagles, Evernight {EU}.
    The Aegean Eagles Forums
    The Aegean Eagles Calendar

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeebof View Post
    After a long absence I recently came back to the game and started working on my old main again. After a lot of trial and error I managed to get back on track with the main story line, and made it up to about level 93. Then I hit the Helms Deep Epic battles. . .

    It was an absolute brick wall of difficulty and confusion. I muddled through the first one, somehow, cursing violently the entire time because I was having such a terrible experience ("Wait, ### does that even mean? What do these options do? I go where now? Why can't I do anything with this? Why the hell is this taking so long?"). The second one I tried and failed at twice, and I haven't been back since.

    I really want to see the rest of the game, but Epic Battles left such a bad taste in my mouth it completely derailed the experience of LOTRO for me. I have been playing this game on and off since launch, and nothing I have ever experienced here has left me so deeply frustrated and disappointed. I can't decide if I want to (a) buck up and try one more time to swallow this bitter horse choker of a pill, (b) level in festivals until i hit 95 so i can move on the the next set of quests (and never see the conclusion of Helm's Deep), or (c) quit the game altogether save for doing low level stuff with my family. It's been a few months since I did anything on my main, so to this point the answer for me has been (c).

    My suggestion: For the love of all that is holy, add some kind of tourist mode so that those that just want to see the story and move on can. Leave the rest of the system there for those that enjoy it, but don't cram it down the throats of everyone that makes it that far in the main story. It's a complete trainwreck for your immersion that comes out of nowhere the way it's currently implemented. I doubt I am the only person that feels this way, it can't be helping long term player retention.
    The end of volume 3 is really great and it bothers me that due to the epic battles I wont see it again. I completely agree with you that they are a mess especially for new players who have no idea what is going on. They require a different playstyle and are in a way a different game in this game. They might be acceptable or even fun once you have enough promotion points or are able to find somebody with knowledge to play them with you (I personally loathe them no matter what and I just can't get myself to do them again).

    The good news is that at lvl 93 you can start Western Gondor.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Gallifrey. I need a Jelly Baby.
    Posts
    21,331
    Quote Originally Posted by Demosthenes11 View Post
    t. If anything the epic battles ought to receive a balance pass, become reactive, harder and more rewarding.
    But not for progressing through the epic quest line. Big Battles should not be in the epic quest line at all.
    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

  5. #30
    Best advice I can give is to look up and read write-ups on the HD battles.

    Start with this one https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-General-Guide for everything about the battles.

    Go to this one for the side quests https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...de-Quest-Guide.

    At the time of HD's release, these battles took the place of instances/raids - thus it was always content designed to do in a group. Yes, solo/duo options are there, but doing them solo really required you to get deep into the skill trees and promotion points.

    To advance thru the epics, skip the side quests, and complete the main quest. With the guides above, this should be doable solo - but it is also helpful to have a experienced friend or kinnie to get you thru it.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    East coast, USA
    Posts
    2,287
    Quote Originally Posted by CRUSHUC View Post
    Best advice I can give is to look up and read write-ups on the HD battles.

    Start with this one https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-General-Guide for everything about the battles.

    Go to this one for the side quests https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...de-Quest-Guide.

    At the time of HD's release, these battles took the place of instances/raids - thus it was always content designed to do in a group. Yes, solo/duo options are there, but doing them solo really required you to get deep into the skill trees and promotion points.

    To advance thru the epics, skip the side quests, and complete the main quest. With the guides above, this should be doable solo - but it is also helpful to have a experienced friend or kinnie to get you thru it.
    This is definitely the way to go as things stand now.

    I am still hoping for a battles revamp for the release of Helm's on the Legendary servers. How different an experience it would be if the first battle served as an actual introduction, even solo. At the least, maybe give the solo/duo option a buff that takes the place of a lack of promotion points to spend. Things like ladders should not be so painfully slow.

    So, fingers crossed. I really want to like the actual battles as much as I like the idea of the battles.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    In a Hovel
    Posts
    184

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeebof View Post
    ... was an absolute brick wall of difficulty and confusion. I muddled through the first one, somehow, cursing violently the entire time because I was having such a terrible experience ("Wait, ### does that even mean? What do these options do? I go where now? Why can't I do anything with this? Why the hell is this taking so long?"). The second one I tried and failed at twice, and I haven't been back since.
    I've passed on to the next books in line that do NOT need to do BBs
    this post was brought to you by a Misguided Misfit ... no pixels were harmed in its making

  8. #33
    I solo Epic Battles almost every day. About 75% of the time I get all Platinum. About 25% of the time I get one or two Golds. It did not start out that way! Working through each battle to claw out Promotion Points was a struggle. However, as Promotion Points build up Epic Battles become much easier! Each one is a puzzle. If you spend the time to figure them out, or ask someone to show you, you acquire lots of Promotion Points and, eventually, they all go off like clockwork. If you step in and just bumble around, disaster usually ensues. If you give up after a few tries, you will obviously not get anywhere. I like them because I can do them by myself, they require brain power to solve, the progression system works very well, and they offer pretty good rewards. I hope the developers add more as they make a good activity for solo players like me.

    For what it is worth, the developers dumbed down Epic Battles a few times. They are mostly easier now than ever before.

    Please note, I am not making light of the people struggling through Epic Battles. I am saying that, if one takes the time to figure them out and work through the progression system, they become rewarding for some people.
    Sophie the Enchantress - Creator, Dreamer, Explorer - Happy yet Sad - Seeker of Beauty and Wonder

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    East coast, USA
    Posts
    2,287
    Quote Originally Posted by SophieTheEnchantress View Post
    I solo Epic Battles almost every day. About 75% of the time I get all Platinum. About 25% of the time I get one or two Golds. It did not start out that way! Working through each battle to claw out Promotion Points was a struggle. However, as Promotion Points build up Epic Battles become much easier! Each one is a puzzle. If you spend the time to figure them out, or ask someone to show you, you acquire lots of Promotion Points and, eventually, they all go off like clockwork. If you step in and just bumble around, disaster usually ensues. If you give up after a few tries, you will obviously not get anywhere. I like them because I can do them by myself, they require brain power to solve, the progression system works very well, and they offer pretty good rewards. I hope the developers add more as they make a good activity for solo players like me.

    For what it is worth, the developers dumbed down Epic Battles a few times. They are mostly easier now than ever before.

    Please note, I am not making light of the people struggling through Epic Battles. I am saying that, if one takes the time to figure them out and work through the progression system, they become rewarding for some people.
    I see what you are saying here and, in general I do like figuring things out in games. But at some point it comes down to the variety of players and playstyles out there and how different people will react when presented with the epic battles for the first time. As you say, it is definitely a struggle at first. Based on some of the comments I have seen, it is a very frustrating experience to a good number of players and thet is where things can go off the rails.

    I really like the idea of the epic battles. Now that I am past then in the story, I will eventually go back and try to earn more points to gain better skills to earn moe points to gain...you know the drill. That does not mean, though, that I like how they are presented to a player at first. I stand by all the things I said earlier in this thread about the problems and frustrations of getting through them.

    Helm's Dike is very spread out, does not do a great job indicating where a player is supposed to go, and presents a good number of what are essentially no-win scenarios for someone just starting on a first battle. Put all of those things together and you run the risk of driving a player away well before they could develop any desire to spend more time figuring it out.

    I want the epic battles to be a pert of the game I enjoy. And maybe they will be once I go through more of that struggle to build out the trait trees. But even if I do get there, I can't lose sight of what the original experience is like. It would be similar to telling players who start a new MMO that, yeah, the first 60 levels or so will be a frustrating struggle, but once you are past that, the game can be fun! How many people would last through that long before just giving up and going to another game that has a better starting experience for players?

    I'd much rather see the epic story versions of the battles act as a tutorial for players who then want to go back for the challenge. I'm not sure how possible that would be this far past when they were developed, but I do think there are some things that can be done for their launch on the Legendary servers that would be a benefit to all players.

 

 
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