Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Isengard Raids

I got to visit some Isengard Raids this past month. Overall, the teams I was with had three wins out of four runs. That seems fairly good. J Thankfully, there were many people there who knew more than I do and told me what to do and what not to do. My friend Mac took it as a personal mission to get me and others through parts of Isengard to allow us to barter for better armors. I am very grateful to know people who know more than I do, of which there were many in the various raids.

There are 5 parts to the Isengard Raid. The first three are the Acid wing, the Lightning wing, and the Fire and Frost wing. The fourth is the Shadow wing and the final is a showdown with Saruman. I was fortunate enough to see the first three. Here are a few of my pictures of my vacation to Isengard.

Acid wing:
First visit was to the Acid wing with Macrez, Mysticfyre, Dodussrond, Macswife, Dominationlove, Aaronus, Vysionmini, Dagnus, Tarandan, Corviss, Dandryf, and Aradost came in for a late fill-in. (2 guard, 2 mini, 2 capt, 2 RK, 2 hunters, LM, champ) I was on DPS.

As with much of the “trash” in the wings, we saw a lot of death before getting to the bosses. J

What I learned about the Acid wing… Jump. A lot. If you stop in the acid, you die.

Perhaps it was good fortune, but this wing seemed easier than the others. Just don’t stop jumping while the Acid is rising.

Lightning wing:

New night… “where are we going tonight Mac?”

Next up, Lightning wing with Macmerkin, Vysionmini, Kilwog, Lartessa, Macbeth, Macswife, Hahmburglar, Nunferu, Corinthianz, Magesticmyst, Assmunahi, and late fill-ins by Cherrypop and Woodstalker (2 guard, 3 mini, 2 capt, 2 RK, hunter, champ, burg).

We marched in through the trash fight. Good leadership and teamwork. No problems here.

So, the boss… The beautiful chains of lightning mean that something is not working as well for our team of heroes. It certainly is pretty though as some deadly things can be.  It was not meant to be as the hour drew late and Saruman’s forces won the night.

Fire and Frost wing:

New night. What’s next Mac?

To the Fire and Frost! Oh good, I read a strategy guide somewhere. Let’s do that. On we go with Taradactile, Byrane, Memyr, Macswife, Tarandan, Macmerkin, Mysticfyre, Aaronus, Vysionmini, Dagnus, and Corviss, and late subs by Leanansidhe and Dandur (2 guard, 2 mini, 2 RK, LM, 2 hunters, 3 champs).

Best stick together just in case.

Oh lovely, Sarumon is here. “Go away! Shoo!”

Alrighty! Two giants - something about “Fire” and “Frost”. Now it is our side versus one giant and the other half of the raid on the far side of the room versus the other giant. As long as nothing breaks down and the giants stay contained, it is easy enough.

Celebrate with a dance! I really like that chandelier/mobile hanging from the ceiling!

Lightning wing, Redeaux:

New night. We are going back to the Lightning wing? Woohoo! Hopefully, there will be less lightning-y drama than last time. Here is the entrance to the lightning wing. On we go with Macrez, Taradanag, Tarandan, Dodussrond, Gimmlet, Vysionmini, Mysticfyre, Hahmburglar, Criptek, Dagnus, Memyr. (2 guard, 1 mini, 2 capt, 2 RK, LM, 3 hunters, burg). This time I will be healing, which will be the first time I’ve healed in a group since Update 6 release.

If nothing else, we will bring a shot of color to this very drab Isengard. With the group dressed in bright reds, purples and blues, our stealthy burglar cringes at our lack of subtlety.

Saruman doesn’t want to waste his time dealing with this group. He walks off, leaving our “imminent demise” to his troll Kalbak.

He doesn’t realize that we got much smarterer since last time. One could say that we are “lightning quick”. The pretty lightning is still pretty, but we are going to give it the least effect possible.

We are in tight formation and shall win the day! “Heal like the wind, Dana!”

Nice three wings down = three pieces of armor opened. Enough seals obtained via trips to the Foundry and the 3-person Isens gave me just enough for three pieces to be bartered. Color me peachy!


So, I haven’t had a full-on confrontation with Saruman, but MW took me to his place so that we could talk face to face. Here is a shot of MW soloing Saruman. I just came along to watch; I brought popcorn. He is a worthy solo for such an uber War-mini as MW. (kidding J, might need 2 War-minis).

Saruman asked me to stay behind and chat after MW had to step away to save the day elsewhere.

Dana: You have not been playing very nice. Hanging out with trolls is not a good way to make friends.

Saruman: How quickly you forget; you have a history of hanging out with trolls. You and I are much the same. <flashback to the misty mountains....>

Saruman: Why have you come? I warned you before to discontinue your meddling…
<flashback to the gates of isengard...>

Dana: You haven’t been watching me very closely then. Protecting free Earth is what I do. I am the Supergirl of Lorien.

Saruman: Supergirl? You think you can help your friends? You are nothing but a frightened little girl. You are not nearly as smart or as brave as you think you are. Your friends have abandoned you. Look around you. No one cares. You walk alone.

Dana: You underestimate the power of friends. I bet that we will persevere.

Saruman: Isengard bids five.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Welcome Friday

Ahhh. Welcome Friday. You are one of my top seven favorite days of the week. I believe most of the other days would like to be you.

I am settling into Update 6. Some of the modified RK skills/traits are buggy, but overall, I do like the changes. I’ll get to it eventually. Right now, I am reflecting on Tuesday’s compendium of Relic information (relics-and-virtues) and looking through some of my pictures, so I will share a few with you.

Jousting. Elf on a steed with a long spear? (Steed of the Guardian shown here)

Haha. Yeah, you guessed it. Just anxious to go fishing.

ABBA has nothing on me...  "...you can jive... having the time of your life, see that girl, watch that scene, diggin the fisher-queen!"

A shot of Asciel meditating in the Galtrev crafting hall. That is still one of my favorite rooms. Got your crafting facilities, your vault, the AH right next door, the forge master right outside. Very nice. Could use better lighting.

Geez, loremasters. Your giant polar bear looks hungry Tarandan. Good thing I went fishing and have extras so I don't become bear food.

Assmunahi at Rivendell. Very fancy dress for visiting Elrond... I saw nothing, I know nothing...

Close-up! Hahaha. The name is missing but that is Berda Free, doing some crafting in Galtrev.

Terrentius, hanging out in Galtrev, looking ferocious in 50 pounds of metal.

This cave is one of my favorite for practicing my skills when outnumbered. RKs are notoriously one of the worst classes for handling groups. One-on-one?... yeah, an RK will end you faster than you can bat your eyelashes, but when outnumbered, the term "glass cannon" couldn't be truer. 6 wargs, Update 5 (prior to some of the effective boosts), I would go there and fight this one over and over until I lost. I could usually hang in there for 3-6 rounds of respawn before they got the better of me. Do or die, for an RK, the fight lasts less than a minute to kill 6 wargs or be eaten alive. This place is where I racked up lots of Large hides and completed the warg-slaying deed. Location is just SW of the tower of orthanc gate.

Tsynn Dyrr hanging out in Galtrev incognito.

Catching up on the words on the wind with my sis Sansanor.

Hiya Engrand. Can one ever know enough good tanks? I think not. 

Have I seen you somewhere before? I love how you do your hair Cherrybaby. Almost like looking in a mirror...

Preparing for a night out on the Moors. I will have to go see if I can figure out which steed this is. So many I lose track. As advised in the comments, this is the Steed of the Runekeeper! You would think I might remember that...

It is going to be a rough night for the creeps in the Moors as Macswife (aka MW) the War-mini prepares to lay waste to the forces of evil and raise the spirits of the free people.

Beware of elves who want to play hide and seek with you. Leanansidhe shows that I am not the only elf that can fly and is a master of the unexpected. But as a dancer, I bet she is very "light on her feet".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Update 6: All about LI Relics and Virtues

Wow! Update 6 has been very interesting!

A few things to dive into…

** The Runekeeper got a large overhaul. It has been fun learning the timing and features of the revised skills and traits and looking at the revisions associated with RK LIs and legacies. Of course you know, an overhaul means that more bloggy math is on the way. That will take several posts to fully discuss what just happened. (Tables and percentages will be involved.)

** New quests and (I believe) a new instance has been released for the “Great River”.

** Virtue traits rose to a max of 14.

** Relics have increased a Tier, up to Tier 8, with special relics just for level 75 LIs.

Let’s start with the easy ones: Virtues and Relics.


Each virtue has a primary modifier, a secondary modifier, and a tertiary modifier. I color-coded the modifiers in the chart shown (blue – primary, purple – secondary, green – tertiary). I included a Table for Virtues at 14 and Virtues at 12 to show the difference for Update 6. (As with most pictures on this site, you can zoom in on the tables to see them easier.)

Your choice of virtues depends on who you are and where you are going.

For RKs, typical virtues are Zeal, Loyalty, Confidence, Wisdom, Idealism, or Honor. I choose the first five for a good selection of morale, critical offense, and resistance, with maximum Will. If you are choosing virtues where the primary modifier and secondary modifier are not critical to your class, you need to understand what you are giving up.

Update October-2012: The virtues go up to 16 now. Check it out at rohan-begins-crafting-and-virtues-at-16.

LI Relics

I realized a while back that relics are a mystery to some and I wanted to write a post on them. I’m going to assume that you know how to find a Relic Master and basically how to slot a relic in your LI, so I will skip right to the relics themselves and compare the various options from which you could choose.

The first thing to know is that Relics come in different flavors: Settings, Gems, Runes, Crafted. Easy enough. You can get the first three types from many places including instance rewards, skirmish rewards, quest rewards, and deconstructing LIs. The crafted ones come from… Crafters. J I will now go through the options for Settings, Gems, and Runes at Tier 6, 7, 8 and the special ones. If you are over level 65 and aren’t progressing toward at least have some T6 relics, you might want to reevaluate what you are doing and why you aren’t getting relics. (We can talk about that another time.)

Each description below is set up to show in this order: Tier 6, Tier 7, Tier 8, Extraordinary (65 special), Westfold (70 special), Great River (75 special).

The level 65 specials have a set known as the “True” set. The True originals were designed by players. With Update 6, there are more True relics now available and I will list all of them here.

You will need to think about what is important to you. I circled the ones that are important for Runekeepers and will explain some reasons why as we go along. After writing this guide, I decided to leave out a lot of the math behind what is happening. Explaining what stats modify what features needs another post.

Relic - Settings

You can see that the Settings are designed in patterns. (For example, a T8 that modifies will has a similar T7 at a slightly lower will, which is better than a similar T6, and so on.)

For the T6/7/8you get a choice of +Will, or +Might, or +Morale, or +Power. At each level, all relics of that level have the same Tactical (and Physical) Mastery. (For example, all T6 have +520 Tactical Mastery.) 

The Specials 65/70/75 for settings are shown also. Are they “special” for your build?

The "of Stability" Settings give a reduction in item wear chance, bonuses to block, parry, evade, and bonuses to incoming healing. The Stability setting is for non-RKs.

The "of Beginnings" Settings give Physical Mitigation (protection from damage), ICPR, and Vitality. Vitality is important, as one would guess, because it modifies all the features that help keep you alive (resistance and mitigations).

The "of Endings" Settings give some ICMR, has a Critical rating, and +7.5% Devastate Magnitude. The Devastate Magnitude is interesting but know that the 7.5% is factor added onto your devastate damage. How often you hit a devastating blow is still calculated based on your “Critical” rating, which is modified by Fate.

The 65 True Settings are the “True Setting of the Ages” and the "True Setting of Continuance".

Relics - Gems

Like the Settings, T6/7/8 are set up in a pattern. All basic gems modify Critical rating. So with the basics, you get to choose from +Vitality, +Agility, or +Fate.

The "of Faith" Gems are built for Block, Parry, and Might. Do you have a shield? If not, block has zero value for you.

The "of Charity" Gems have the best Tactical Mastery of the available options. It also has Power and Tactical Mitigation.

The "of Hope" Gems have good Morale, Power, and Critical Defense.

Comparing the Gems as a RK, both the Charity and Hope have the same power and a smidge of some defensive protection. So, it comes down to a choice of +730 Tactical Offense or +283 Morale.

The True Gems here are the “True Gem of the Circling Seas” and the "Truen Gem of the king under the mountain". If you are going for Offense from the Circling Seas, the Charity Gem is a better option.

Relics - Runes

In the T6/7/8, there are patterns again. This time the options are (1) Incoming Healing and block, (2) ICMR and parry, or (3) ICPR and parry. None of these choices are very exciting for RK.

"of Courage" runes give Agility, Evade and Parry.

"of Power" runes, despite the name, have nothing to do with power. They boost Fate, Physical Mitigation (defense), and Physical Mastery (useful for non-tactical classes).

"of Wisdom" runes boost Will, Evade, and Attack duration. This one is a legitimate contender for a RK, although the max evade boost is ~1.5% chance to evade and the attack duration is not a modifier for inductions like I would have thought it might be (it modifies action animation time).

The interesting Rune is the “True Rune of the Two Trees”, the special for 65. It gives bonuses to Morale, Power, ICMR, and ICPR. The other True Rune is the "True Rune of the Dark Watch" for those who want more overall base stats.

Relics - Crafted

There are now 5 levels of crafted runes.

Each crafting guild can make a different type of crafted relic, depending on what you want to modify. The modifiers and their associated guild are (a) Morale  –  Cook, (b) Power – Scholar, (c) Vitality – Weaponsmith, (d) Will – Jeweller, (e) Fate – Tailor, (f) Agility – Woodworker, (g) Might – Metalsmith. Good to know, breaking a crafted symbol is a good way to get shards.

Here is a shot of what Tailors make. The other crafts are similar with the modifications (stat, morale, power) just mentioned.

(1) Minor Symbol: The options for the first level “minor symbols” are +10 to any of the five stats, +50 morale, or +50 power.

(2) Symbol: The next level of crafted relics require a Compendium volume 1, obtained in Moria (repeatable orc and dragonet slaying) or the skirmish camp (86 marks, 9 medallions). Similar to the minor symbols, these symbols come in flavors that modify +20 to any of the five stats, +100 morale, or +100 power.

(3) Device: The third level of crafted symbols are new for Update 6. They are similar to the previous symbols. These devices come in flavors of +30 to any of the stats, +150 morale, or +150 power.

(4) Symbol of Tactics: The fourth level of crafted symbols require a Compendium volume 2 and are not shared by outsiders. When a crafter makes one, it is bound to the crafter. The Compendium comes from Mirkwood (repeatable spider slaying) or from the skirmish camp (258 marks, 18 medallions). The crafter can trade them for one of two options: (a) +390 Critical, +390 Tactical mastery, or (b) +390 Critical +390 Physical Mastery.

(5) Device of Tactics: The best crafted symbols, also not shared by outsiders, require a Compendium volume 3, which comes from Bron in Galtrev. The crafter can make symbols for 

  • (a) +20 Will, +540 Tactical, +540 Critical 
  • (b) +20 Fate, +540 Tactical, +540 Critical 
  • (c) +20 Agility, +540 Physical, +540 Critical 
  • (d) +20 Might, +540 Physical, +540 Critical

Table of Crafted Relics:

Cooldown to make
Shards obtained on Refine
Crafter only?
Minor symbol
+10 stat

+20 stat
2d 18h

+30 stat
2d 18h

Symbol of (Tactics)
+390 Critical,
+390 offense
6d 18h
Device of (Tactics)
+20 stat,
+540 Critical,
+540 offense
6d 18h

Need to make a specific relic?

The Relic-master can help you meld any relic you want, for a price. His price is in shards. Shards are obtained randomly while breaking LIs and merging relics to higher tiers. OR, you can obtain them deliberately by breaking other relics. The greatest source for relics to break is by crafting them for the purpose of breaking them. The primary job of my entire team of lil danas when we are not at festival is the creation of relics for conversion to shards or for sale on the market (where others break them for shards).

Table of relic melding costs:

Relics needs
Shards needed
1 T6
1 T7
1 T8
Extraordinary (65)
3 T6
Extraordinary (65 True)
4 T6
Westfold (70)
4 T7
Great River (75)
4 T8

Personal preferences?
My advice is to make a plan and go for it. Without a plan, you will be in the moment wondering if that +Block and evade relic is good for you.

My current Relic sets for my 2 DPS and 2 Healing LIs are the same; since the modification to Tactical (offense and healing are now combined into one modifier), I don't differentiate relic needs based on when I am healing versus hitting. My current relics were fairly good for Update 5 but could use a tuneup now that Tier 8 and Great River 75 are available.
(1) I have the Tier 6 Gold Setting of Precision (for morale) and am following the same line toward the Tier 8 Calendard Setting of Boldness (similar but more).

(2) I have both the Westfold Gem of Hope and Westfold Gem of Mastery. I took them both, one for the stone and one for the bag, because I liked the morale of the "Hope" and the tactical of the "Charity". I will continue along the same line toward the better gems of Hope and Mastery... the Great River Gem of Hope.

(3) I have the True Rune of the Two Trees. The only other rune that is reasonable for a RK is the Westfold/Great River of Wisdom, which give Will. In my opinion, the tradeoff is not worth it, and I will keep the Two Trees (compare +180 morale, +160 power, +96 ICMR, +96 ICPR ...versus... +26 will, +584 evade, -2.5% attack duration and the cost of construction).

(4) I have the crafted Symbol of Tactics (#4 above) and as soon as my cooldowns are done, I will move to the new Devices of Tactics (#5 above).