I finally got some quality time in LoTRO!
I decided to spend some time on my burglar Dhrun, and logged in planning to participate in Harvestmath (Fall Festival) and a skirmish. Since the Fall Festival ends tomorrow, I wasted no time in traveling back to the Shire and then riding over to the Party Tree, to speak to Opal Goodbody (what a great surname!) and do the intro quests to let me into the Haunted Burrow. After finding Lobelia Sackville-Baggins cowering around the corner from the entrance, I was allowed to freely explore the area.
The Haunted Cellar was decorated in a Halloween haunted house theme, complete with pop out ghosts, spiders, and cool special effect such as fog and blindness. It was very well done. I started the bottle riddle quest, and got most of the way through, but stopped since the camera zooming was making me dizzy. (I like to zoom out for a third person almost bird’s eye view of my char, and the camera would zoom in/out going through doorways.) No biggie, before leaving I visited each area of the Haunted Burrow, and found the mystery door to Bag End.
After that, I used my map to return to Caras Galadhon, and took the swift travel route to Echad Andestel and the skirmish camp.
I reallocated item points on my Legendary Items (mace and tools), but didn’t attach any relics. Part of that is because I’m holding out for better LI’s – the ones I’m using are the level 59 3rd age items available in Moria by trading Khuzdul tablets. Those were OK when the level cap was 60, but now I’m looking for better LI’s and attaching relics means I have to level the LI to the next reforge point to get the relics back. On the other hand, any LI I get on the way to the highest level LI I can barter for will be junked, so I’ll probably hang onto my current LI’s until that time, when I have to start the search and upgrade process.
Once I allocated points on my LI’s, it was time to do the same for my skirmish soldier. I was using a bannerman (captain) and thought he was fine, but since I was starting over due to a point refund, I decided to try an archer (hunter) instead. His chief advantage, as several posters on the forums pointed out, is doing lots of damage, helping you down mobs quicker. So I gave him a try.
I had 4000 some odd skirmish points, so I leveled the archer to 59, and bumped up the various traits and skills I picked: deadly shot, distracting shot, pinpoint shot, refocus, and then onto stats buffs: resurgent morale, resurgent power (I like in-combat regen!), medium armor, and buffs for me while in skirmishes: battlemaster (melee crit) and defensive warfare (block/parry/evade). I might swap that last one out if it doesn’t do anything (bpe is capped, but I’m not sure I’m near the max and maybe skirmish traits will let you exceed the max during a skirmish) but I’ll check on that later.
I entered the Ford of Bruinen skirmish with my new soldier, and proceeded to defend against several waves of enemies.
It took a few battles for me to remember the burglar skill rotation and tactics – applying tricks and removing them for the best benefit, and so on. I’m using Gambler traits and capstone, so I need to remember which trick removals lead to what potential gamble effect, etc. Fortunately the lorebook has a great gambler guide. During the fight I wasn’t concerned about all that stuff, it’ll come back to me. It was just fun to be playing again, defending Rivendell against Mordor enemies! I won the skirmish and called it an evening.
Dhrun is midway through level 61. I plan to skirmish more, build up some “muscle memory” of skill rotations (this really means get used to my hotbar setup; I used the N52 speedpad for a long time but I want to simplify my setup) and then make more progress in the epic story quests. Several skirmishes open up with progress through Volume II. As I recall, Dhrun is just past the Mirkwood intro quests.
I’ll also look for better LI’s, and probably switch from a mace to a dagger. I used a dagger originally but switched to a mace because it did much more damage. However, this isn’t true any longer as weapons have been normalized, so I’ll go back to a dagger. Dhrun is a hobbit burglar and daggers appear more natural!