I revamped my class traits a little, and redid my action slots… just trying to optimize things!
The action slot changes were to optimize my layout so I don’t have to hop all over just to do my normal attack routine. Before a typical sequence would be: 5, 4, 3, 9, alt-9. Don’t ask. Well just to show I’m not insane, shortly after starting LoTRO a friend got my to try a gamepad, the Nostromo N52. What I did was layout my skills and map them to the keypad so skills were easy to get to when I used the gamepad. Now I have a new computer, a notebook, and I’m not using the gamepad anymore… but my skill layout was leftover from when I did. Anyway, after moving a few things around I using 1 through = and ctrl-1 through ctrl-= with less jumping around. I’ll see how it goes.
On Dhrun I swapped in Side-Step for Footpad, Disabling Attack for Blind Fury, Perplexing Riddle for Trickster, and Stick and Move for Flashing Blades.
I really like the Mischief-Maker traits, and used those before Mines of Moria released and trait lines were added, but I play a Gambler now because the trait set bonuses are pretty good for a soloer. MM seems more geared towards debuffing for groups. My Gambler traits are Honed Wit, Cruel Odds, Swift and Subtle, Leaf-Walker, and Side-Step. I traded out Footpad because the stealth bonus is nice, but I basically never used Burgle from stealth to try to apply a debuffing gamble. Meanwhile, I can always use +evade. Those 5 traits let me also equip Dealings Done, which greatly lowers the cooldown on Lucky/Gambler’s Strike. My LI reduces it further so Gambler’s Strike has a cooldown of 15s!
My other two traits are Disabling Attack, and Perplexing Riddle. PR is nice because of the initial 5s stun, that lets me Riddle a mob and have somebody else (including my Archer soldier) hit a few times without breaking the mez. Disabling Attack strengthens Trick: Disable, which I use quite a bit. I also like Blind Fury, which makes Trick: Enrage draw ranged attackers into melee range, and Trickster, which makes Trick: Dust in the Eyes AOE, but I can’t have them all so DA and PR win out for now.
I swapped out Flashing Blades for Stick and Move, both Legendary traits. S&M makes my crit chain open on an evade, which helps because I was noticing yesterday I couldn’t enter my crit chain very often. Flashing Blades is OK, the animation is lengthy, but I already have 2 crit chain finishers with Gambler’s Strike Exposed Throat.
With all that done I entered the “Thievery and Mischief” skirmish, and eventually beat it. It took a while to get used to my new action layout, but I think it is much better that it was before. Two optional encounters spawned, Ned Ashleaf and Padfoot, and I took them down without too much trouble. The switch to Stick and Move worked great because my crit chain was open a LOT more often. Yesterday I was too reliant on Aim, but since I don’t have space to trait Focused Eye (reduces the cooldown on Aim by 30s) I was just waiting and auto-attacking sometimes.
Next up was “Defense of the Prancing Pony”. The optional encounters Ufglup and Rat-catcher spawned, and I drew them into battle (via Enrage) and fought closer to the Prancing Pony just in case a torch-bearing brigand showed up. In the end, my archer and I were successful in helping with the defense.
After that, I entered the “Ford of Bruinen” skirmish. Things went very well there too – the only scary part was when both Elrohir and Elladan charged the middle shore, right before we were attacked by another group that included a Lieutenant! One of the brothers was down to less than 500 morale before we defeated the enemies, which was cutting it VERY close. For my troubles I completed the “Supply the Archers” deed, as well as the optional encounter Bruidagnir.
Finally I entered “Trouble in Tuckborough”, whose optional encounters gave me such problems yesterday. Today, Ghâshfog fell without too much trouble, and I went on to complete the skirmish. I guess my new traits and action layout are better!