I spent most of my time in LoTRO cleaning and rearranging inventory, and then tweaked skirmish traits.
My inventory on each character was a mess, just a jumble of stored items. Turbine revamped LoTRO’s vault system and I had yet to take advantage of any of the improvements. So I spent some time moving items around, and it was well worth every minute spent because I have now taken control of my inventory. The new vault lists 10 tabs on the right, plus 2 more (“main”, and “all”). The overall space is available to each chest, since each draws space from a common pool. This is great because each chest can be as large as it needs to be, as long as I have the overall space needed.
Every character has saved off various pieces of equipment they’ll probably never use again, but want to hang onto. Typically these are class quest or epic quest rewards, which were great at the time but have since been replaced. Plus each had several cosmetic items and various doodads, and so on. All things like this I dragged into Chest 10, putting way at the bottom of my inventory, mostly out of sight but still easily reachable.
Similarly, I arranged crafting and crit items into Chest 9 (raw materials), processed crafting items and crafting scrolls into Chest 8 (partial or finished products), reputation or reward tokens into Chest 7, and so on, leaving some empty chests (I don’t have that much stuff!) and putting key items into Chest 1. For shared storage, I collected Moria reputation items (since Naerys is actively working through Moria right now), battle and warding scrolls, hope tokens, and items traded back and forth. All characters donate their found scholar items into the shared vault, where Aillas (my Historian) can grab them occasionally and crank out some battle/warding scrolls, which he leaves in the shared vault for others to use.
After that, I revamped my skirmish traits. Dhrun tried a few different soliders (Warrior, Bannerguard, Protector, Archer) and I think the archer works best. Fundamentally, the extra DPS is the greatest benefit, especially for solo skirmishing. It helps end every fight faster. Since the others hadn’t skirmished since the last reset, I picked an archer for Aillas (my lore-master), Rhaenys (my warden), and Suldrun (my minstrel).
That left Glyneth (my hunter), and Naerys (my guardian). I thought it redundant to have an archer for Glyneth, so I chose the Bannerguard instead. I like him well enough on Dhrun, and the heavy armor and various buffs will come in handy as Glyneth stands in the distance and fires arrows. I was thinking about choosing an archer for Naerys, but decided to try the Sage, the skirmish LM equivalent. The Sage does good damage also, but is light armor instead of medium armor like the archer. However, Naerys is a guardian and should keep all the monsters attacking her and not the soldier. Besides, it will be great practice as a guardian to keep the mobs off her sage!
I haven’t invested many points into personal skirmish traits, and instead funnel remaining skirmish marks into soldier traits. I figure I can get by just fine with my gear and skills, where the skirmish soldier really benefits the most from an extra edge.
Two of the solider traits I picked are “Resurgent Power” and “Resurgent Morale”, with boost ICPR and ICMR. My reasoning here is that many fights last a long time, so in-combat regen helps far more that out-of-combat regen (generally, breaks in between fights are long enough to restore quite a bit of power and morale). Another benefit of these two traits is they are useful to all soldiers, so if I decide to try a different one, I don’t waste the points spent – as compared to a trait like “Medium Armor Usage” which is great for an archer, but a sage wears light armor and a bannerguard wears heavy armor and can’t use that trait.
The third trait I picked is “Avoidance Penetration”, which lets the solider bypass some of the mob’s BPE. This is more of a benefit for melee or ranged soldiers, and not so much for casters so for Naerys’ sage I chose another one that lowered tactical resistance.
The fourth trait I picked (not everybody is high enough level to equip all 4 soldiers traits yet) was one that increases crit: for archers – ranged crit, for the bannerguard – melee crit, for the sage – tactical crit. I think these are good general overall choices for enhancing my skirmish soldiers.
Ford of Bruinen skirmish
I found the 21st Hall Skirmish Camp and entered the Ford of Bruinen skirmish with Naerys and her sage. It was good practice as a guardian, keeping threat away from Elrond’s sons, Elladan and Elrohir, two NPCs that must survive the skirmish, and of course the sage. The tricky part is gathering threat from an archer – since one of the two NPCs is an archer (sorry I forgot which!), he starts shooting when mobs enter his range, while the remaining mobs and party run towards each other. I’d gather up the mobs that ran to meet us, and after a few seconds, run over to the one engaged at range. For lieutenant fights, I concentrated on keeping aggro of the lieutenant, figuring the rest of the NPCs would be OK fighting the normal mobs. Plus, a side effect of using my various threat skills, I would often drag over extra mobs to me.
The final fight is against two elites, Gorûrz and Ningrat. Ningrat is a normal fight, but Gorûrz absorbs all damage – the key to defeating him is to let the waves from the River Bruinen wash over him and lower his defenses. All I did on Naerys is attract his attention, and slowly back up as we fought – eventually I walked him far enough out the river waves got him.