Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy 5th Anniversary, lotro!

Happy 5th Anniversary to lotro!
And Thank you all for visiting! Last Friday, the site saw its 10,000th visitor, which is absolutely amazing to me as the site is right at 2 months old. Thank you! спасибо! 谢谢 Danke! Salamat! Bedankt! Merci! Thanks, eh?! ( my Canadian friends).

There is so much excitement in Middle Earth and the Anniversary party is in full swing! It is such a hit that the party's end has been extended from April 30 to May 9.

I have been having a great time and I hope you are also! Often, when festivals start, I rarely leave to do anything else. This time my friend Lartessa set up a Helegrod run and I couldn’t pass that up (still need to kill Thorog, but at least now I am eligible to open the Dragon Wing when the opportunity presents itself), and Nimitar organized a visit to Ost Dunhoth and I had never had the opportunity to see much of that and we totally ran the tables (I got some good pictures for another post).

However, today’s post is about the Anniversary party.  Since the previous horse post went over so well, we will have more horses today. J

First of all, when planning to maximize fun, I always visit party planner Goldenstar at  . I would say I just visit for the highlights, but in reality I study and absorb everything she posts like I am preparing for the medical boards.

One of the best things about the Anniversary festival is obviously the fireworks. Middle Earth has had fireworks before but nothing on the scale of what came with the Anniversary party.

Here is a shot of me visiting the Methel stage in the Shire. The funny thing is, it seems like I’ve seen that stage before when I quested through the Shire as a much younger elf, but that has been so long ago...

I wanted to ask my friend Gandalf about it, but he seemed preoccupied, like his mind was elsewhere. He muttered something about hidden hobbits, but it was drowned out by the blasts and flash of fireworks around us. So we just stood and enjoyed the festivities.

One of the Anniversary quests, Firework Explorer, takes you on a tour to launch fireworks and bring festivities to other parts of Middle Earth, which earns the title “Firecracker”. The most far-reaching place is Elrond’s house in Rivendell. That is an easy leap for a Supergirl but was no small task for the lil danas. Fortunately, there are kind hunters and captains around to help out. Memyr delivered all the lil danas safely to aid in the spreading of party cheer.

OMG! Memyr, why are you on one knee in front of Danaszar?? <blush, omgomgomg> 
Whew, just lost a contact lens?

When Danadelion saw Rivendell for the first time, it brought back memories of just how lovely it is. Imagine fighting through the Trollshaws, hurriedly crossing the Ford of Bruinen, arriving at Rivendell, and finally seeing this breathtaking sight?

We had a great time at the beer brawl! There are three versions: Beginner (1 token), Intermediate (2 tokens), Expert (3 tokens). As long as there aren’t 50 people in the arena and you aren’t being targeted specifically to fail for some reason, the Expert version is totally achievable, gives the most tokens, and leads toward a deed which awards the title “Battered, Bruised and Contused” for 25 expert wins. For hitting others 200 times in brawls, you can earn the title “Clubber”.

When you win on Expert, you glow for 3 minutes in the glory of your victory. Danadalyn wears her glow proudly.

When you launch 50 fireworks of one color, you get an Anniversary token. When you launch 50 fireworks of all 6 colors, you earn the title of “Master Blaster”. DanaClaus was having good fun whacking people around and working toward the Master Blaster title. The interim between brawls is a good time to launch fireworks.

Macswife was one of the first people I met who had the /toast emote from the Lost Invitations quest. Ok, so it isn’t the most flattering picture. Lol. It is funny and the emote is a good one.

Even the lil dana hobbits get into the act. Danaarodel, the “keeper of dana outfits”, dressed up in a green imp outfit complete with oversized flower from the spring festival and did a lil toast-ing herself.

Danaish was the first lil dana to get a steed from the Lost Invitations. Here she is riding the “Steed of the Dusk Watch” (aka Warden’s steed). It has very nice leather-embossed tack.

It took a bit, but I also got the Lossoth steed from the Lost Invitations. The picture isn’t the best; I was mostly asleep when I took it and it was a black horse in the dead of night (Note: If you are awake, wait til daylight to take better pictures.)

Definitely, one of the best things about festival time is that it brings people together, some of whom you otherwise don’t see often. Here is a shot of my friend Jastirria who I had not seen in ages. When I was a level 48 noob, Jas was the one who pointed out that I had to go get a Legendary Item (even though I had no idea what it was or where to get one) and came and picked me up out of Forochel and drop kicked me into the Gates of Moria. Some people and events you never forget. Thanks Jas.

Danadelion actually won a Steed of the Champion in the champion’s lottery! This steed is the first and only steed we have ever won in the lottery. Of course, I went and bought one for myself, but I’m not catty and will let Delion have her moment in the sun. Like the rest, it is a beautiful horse. :)

In the “can’t have too many steeds category”, we all went and got our Anniversary steeds. The new one is the Fireworks steeds. It actually does randomly shoot fireworks out the saddle pack.

The 2011 Anniversary steed is the white garbed one.  For fun, I scrolled back 9000 pictures  and pulled last year's picture out of archive to show the steed. That day, for that picture, I tried on the 2011 Anniversary clothing that I had borrowed from my friend Sparowen. (Yes, I probably should have taken off the red gloves…)

Alas, time to go to sleep and dream. May your festival spark and pop and your dreams be pony-filled.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Less math, more ponies!

Alrighty. That last post was a lot of numbers. Let’s change pace. Less math, more ponies! Since it was my birthday recently, I got a new steed or two. Not that I needed a reason to get a steed… just waking up in middle earth is a good reason to go new steed hunting! Here are a few of my recent ones and a few steed pictures I liked.

Here is the Nimble Black Goat. It was the one I got on my birthday. Named Firefoot, this goat is obtained by finishing all deeds in Moria. Those darn kergrims of Skumfil for slayer-deed were the last hold-out.

I started that Moria deed journey at level 60 on February 3, 2011 when I joined a group to enter the Dark Delvings. Derffel, Behni, Tineytim, Augustuss, & Nimitar were there. I think I was supposed to be healing as I was the only healer of the six. Having never healed a group before nor understood the healer traits, skills, or LIs, I can only imagine that I was dead weight in that group. 

April 6, 2012 saw the end of that deed journey as Macrez, Pengladir, Assmunahi and I overpowered and prevailed in Skumfil.

Malledhrim steed. The next day, I went back to Mirkwood and soloed enough repeatables to finally get my Malledhrim steed. It takes 20 Malledhrim gold stars. (I think the repeatables out of Thangulhad and Taur Morvith give 3 gold stars, 25 silver tokens daily... and 25 silver can be traded for 1 gold star). The Malledhrim also have the Smokey Black steed at the same barter price.

There are two steeds available from Stangard. I bartered for the Limlight one, shown here. I will need to go back for the other Stangard one soon. Each barters for 20 gold Anduin tokens. Repeatable quests for gaining gold tokens are... 4 solo quests: 2 in Brownlands, 1 in Rushgore, 1 in the bog east of Rushgore (the queen bug), and 3 fellowship quests in Limlight: 2 at Wailing Hills (spiders and trolls), and 1 to the far west from the ents (tree chopping).

Treasure hunting Goat! I totally need to do a post on the treasure hunt. The lil danas and I had a ball of fun! Of the three steeds obtainable during the treasure hunt, I got only one, this goat. Danadelion got all three; if you let her, she will tell you all about how she is the "hunt-master".

Threanody, who I believe may have hunted at least as much as I did, appears to have fainted from the non-stop digging.

Skeleton Painted steed. After two fall festivals of visiting the haunted burrow, and with all danas searching for nearly 200 visits to the "secret chest" to look for the special skelehorse, I bought this one. Sometimes, when other options run out, you make your own luck. (This link was the first time I had seen it in 2011.... skelehorse post).

Cremello and Green Painted. Here is a shot of MW and I on the Cremello and the green painted steeds. I like the picture. :) (This link was the day I got my Cremello steed... Cremello post).

Hunter steed. I don't usually pass up a steed if i can help it. Here is the hunter steed. I dressed for the occasion to go riding in Dunland. The outfit is the green Rohirrim outfit.

It is hard for my to say that I have a favorite steed. However, my "go-to" steed is the Steed of Minas Ithil. 

Here is MI and me going into a random scary forest. No idea where that is, but it looked pretty and creepy.

And a closeup of us riding around north Dunland somewhere.

Charge! Storming the gates of Isengard!

The next steeds on my to-do list are 
  • (1) that other steed from stangard needs a home, for the low low price of 20 Anduin gold tokens, 
  • (2) Anniversary steed (Yay! the anniversary party started last night!) requires 40 anniversary tokens, 
  • (3) Isengard war steed requires 99 orthanc sigils (looks like I'm 60/99th of the way there),
  • (4) Dunedain war steed is obtained by completing all of the deeds in Eriador (I have only Thorog, the Helegrod dragon to beat... "that dragon has my steed!"),
  • (5) Wild Mountain goat is obtained by completing all of the deeds of the Savior of Lothlorien: Lumul-nar, Nala-dum, Halls of Crafting, Dar Nadbugud. (I am no where near complete with this one; it is a long-term project.)
  • My aware-they-exist-and-currently-so-far-unlikely-as-to-not-make-the-list: Galadhrim war steed (Dol Guldur deeds), Ost Dunhoth war steed (Ost Dunhoth deeds), Horse of many colors (Isengard deeds), Treasure laden steed and Cave-claw masked steed (treasure hunt), Perlino PAX steed (2012 PAX), Red Painted Steed (random loot box), Mahogany Bay and The People's Courser (Rank 9 and Rank 12 Moors steeds), Ale Association goat (AA isn't very nice, and I went with the Inn League).
I think that is it? hahahaha 
...until Asma tells me last night that while opening envelopes, she got a Steed from the Anniversary quest that isn't the anniversary steed. Oy vey! It begins anew...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

lotro stat math & RK gear

Today, I will explain how stats affect your abilities. Some math is involved.

Let us start at the beginning. There are five base stats (plus armor): Vitality, Might, Agility, Will, and Fate. These stats are indicators of how powerful your abilities are; they are used to calculate your abilities.

Breaking the stats down simply,

(a) Vitality is your life. It calculates your morale and drives your defense (resistance and mitigations).
(b) Might is your strength. It determines how well you swing your physical weapon. It aids your defense as a measure of how physically imposing you are to knock down.
(c) Agility is how dexterously skillful you are. It determines how “slippery” you are not getting hit and how adept you are at knowing how to critically take out your opponent.
(d) Will is your resolve. It calculates your power, which drives your ability to use many of your skills.
(e) Fate describes a certain amount of how fortunate you are in combat. It regenerates your morale and power and affects how often you critically hit an opponent.

Your abilities are categorized as (1) Morale, (2) Power, (3) Offense, and (4) Defense. Each time an action occurs (for example, you attack), these abilities come into play. Knowing your class will help decide on what abilities you should focus. I will explain some about Runekeepers as we go since that is my field.

How is that ability calculated?

Most of the stats versus abilities are easily calculated. Here is a table of calculations. Feel free to let me know if your class disagrees; my expertise is at Runekeeping so I don’t always get perspective on other classes.

Vitality * 3
(or Vitality * 5 for warden and guard)

Will * 3
Critical hit
(Fate + Agility) * 1.75


Physical Mastery
See next table.

Tactical Mastery
See next table.
(Vitality + Will) * 2

Critical Defense

Might * 4
Note that if you don't have a shield, you cannot block

(Might + Agility) * 2

Agility * 4

Physical mitigation
(Vitality + Might) * 2 + Armor/5

Tactical mitigation
Vitality * 4 + Armor/5
Fate * 1.5

30 * sqrt(Fate)

Vitality * 7.2

Will * 12

Physical and Tactical Mastery by Class:
Ok, I left the Physical and Tactical Mastery out of the table above because those abilities are modified by different stats depending on your Class. Here is what they look like by class. I’m nearly certain I got these right, but let me know if you spot an error.

Tactical Mastery
Physical Mastery
Will * 10
Will * 10
Will * 10
Will * 10
Will * 10
Will * 10
Will * 5
Might * 10
Will * 5
Might * 10
Might * 5
Might * 10
Might * 10
Might * 10
Will * 5
Agility * 10
Will * 5
Agility * 10

Ok, so what do these figures mean?
If you mouse over the Abilities on your sheet, there are percentages associated with several of them, which drive parts of your Offense and Defense. Here are a few relationships that are good to know. (Some are not linear but I represented them linearly to make the translation easier. If you want to compare one piece of gear to another, the short segment move is linear along the curve.)

1% shift in the strength of X is proportional to…
(example: 1% gain in Tactical Mastery = a shift of 280 tactical mastery points)
Tactical Mastery
Physical Mitigation
Tactical Mitigation

So, what is important for you?
I can only talk intelligently about Rune-keepers, but the other Tactical classes are similar. For RKs, the three most important things to weigh when deciding which pieces of gear you desire are (1) Tactical Mastery, (2) Morale, and (3) Critical hit.

The second line is (4) Defense: (a) Tactical mitigation (moors and some raids), (b) Physical mitigation (most general questing), and (c) Resistance (always good to resist elements). But as you see, I am no tank. I would hope a tankly built tank has more awareness of his defense. I count on the tank to take the blows that I cannot so that I can end an enemy quickly, or heal the tank so others can fight. Role assignment in a group is critical to success.

Why these Abilities, RK?
(1) Tactical mastery is straightforward; it determines how much damage (or healing) you can do. The mastery figure represents an “increase in damage done for tactical attacks” (as a % increase in damage) and a corresponding % for healing improvement. As a RK is a prime force for dps or healing, tactical mastery is king.

(2) Morale. Inevitably, the tank gets stunned, the fires of the enemy rise, or a rogue orc breaks free and the RK will need to be able to stand on her own for a moment while the team regroups. Morale is the difference between being dead or alive in that situation. You cannot heal or fight when you are dead. For every decision of gear, virtue, or relic, there is a tradeoff. Did you take Morale? Did you give up Offense? Defense? It is a matter of understanding the options and balance. For a RK, some Morale is good, though what did you give up? A RK with a high 20,000 tactical mastery and low 4000 morale is going to get thunked dead by the first bad guy that aggroes. Learn a balance; I will discuss balance more below in this article.

(3) Critical is the ability that determines how often you are landing critical hits and devastating blows. Some other mathy people have built curves to determine at what level you might be better off with more Critical and less Mastery.

Example, Critical versus Mastery: Let’s look at a simple example of two relics that are on the same T6 level - Adamant Gem of Lore (22 fate, 520 critical) versus Adamant Gem Precise Eye (22 agility, 520 mastery). For the moment, let’s only focus on the critical versus mastery part without stat add-ons. The fight begins, no buffs or bonuses are in place, with an extra 520 mastery, the hit would do an extra 1.86% damage. With an extra 520 critical, the hit would have an extra chance of critical +1.44%. Not showing all the work here, at most levels the Critical would win out over the course of a fight 75% of the time. All other aspects equal, 520 Mastery appears to be an even trade with 502 Critical (assuming you aren’t past a diminishing returns point, 27000 Mastery or so).

However, another math nerd of the web says that a good breakpoint for RK to start deliberately choosing Critical over Mastery is around +100% Tactical. By current design (Update 6), there is a lot of logic in that and I would agree that is a good breakpoint. At 100% Tactical damage, one is near 27,000 Tactical, which is near the cap for Healing (50%). If you are pushing over 27,000 Tactical, what did you give up to get there?

How do you build Dana?
Back in "best-laid-plans-of-elves-and-runekeepers", I showed statistically what it looked like when going from Level 65 to Level 75 but I didn’t go any deeper. I will pick up from there and explain how I evolved and where I am heading. I will also point out where a RK might be when equipped with Isengard gear and with Moors gear.
Danania 75 RK
Level 75 begin
Current build
6 Raid
6 Moors
Tactical Mastery
Tactical Mitigation
Physical Mitigation

Compare Level 75 begin versus Current 75 build:
So, what happened? At the beginning of Level 75, I was working to make a sturdier solo build. As time progressed, I targeted being a more deadly force within a group while giving up very little. And of course, more gear options became available via Isengard raids and Great River barter options.

In short, just from stats and abilities, I do +42% more damage, have +21% more Morale to work with (even though my Vitality went down), hit Critical +2% more often (even though my Fate went down). Because I traded for damage/healing output and Morale, I gave up some defense and take 8% more damage from the enemy (lower mitigations via the reduced Vitality).

So, +42% damage and +21% Morale versus taking 8% more damage is a good trade for a non-tank.

6 Raid Eglerin: This column depicts what would happen if I went with the full set of Isengard raid armor. Net result: +5.6% Tactical damage, -4.0% Morale, -1.7% Mitigation (resulting in more damage taken). It works well if I don’t get hit.

6 Moors Tranquility: This column depicts what would happen if I switched out all of my armor with the Moors Tranquility Armor set; Tranquility is the healer’s armor and has the most similarities to the Eglerin. Net result: +6.2% Tactical damage, -2.5% Morale, +0.3% Mitigation. Between the Tranquility and the Eglerin, the Tranquility makes for a sturdier build, but gives up 3% Critical chance (about 1000 Critical), which is big.

Current gear and the future?
Where am I and where am I going?

Since some of you have asked what gear I am choosing, I will list my current gear with thoughts about what comes next. My objective was to be at 26,000-27,000 Tactical offense, over 8,000 Morale, and as much Mitigation as I could obtain without sacrificing the first two.

Here is a shot of me “in disguise” and “out of disguise”. One thing for sure, while in the Moors, I need some dye-work for my mixed set as those pieces of black, navy, purple, and white do not match at all. Hymne @ Cosmetic Lotro would probably be embarrassed to be seen with me.

(1) Cloak: Wyrmscale wizard from Draigoch. It requires three scales from Draigoch (one win plus good roll) and a tailor.

Better Cloak = Shimmering wizard via a “Broken Clasp” dropped in Saruman raid. It is the only better cloak, and I’ve never actually seen one. I’ve been told that the clasp drops 50% of the time from a Saruman win. So, one shot at a clasp 50% of the time on a once-per-week raid divided among 12 raiders in the group = not a practical target.

(2) Chest: Padded Cobalt of the Moors. It is currently obtained for 6000 Moors Commendations. Mine is matched as a set of two, with the Legs. It is an interesting piece since it offers more Morale than any other RK chest piece.

Better chest = (a) the new Moors gear (barter for 7500 Commendations), or (b) the Isengard chest via Saruman raid (beat Saruman, then barter 873 Medallions, 232 Seals). (c) The Clever Counselor (Draigoch series, barter for 1035 Medallions) offers the most Tactical Mastery. If you are going to the Moors, the “Audacity” of the new Moors gear is essential.

New Moors chest piece is one of my first targets on returning to the Moors.

(3) Legs: Padded Cobalt of the Moors. It is currently obtained for 4000 Moors Commendations. Mine is matched with the Padded Chest piece. Between the two, they give a set bonus +535 tactical and physical mitigation, which is nice.

Better Leggings = As I have recently unlocked the Isengard Shadow wing leggings, I am on trajectory to barter for those leggings (786 Medallions, 203 Seals). As of today, I am at 125/203 Seals.

(4) Shoulders: Isengard – Eglerin series. It barters for 786 Medallions, 203 Seals, and requires a win in the Fire&Frost wing. I currently have three Eglerin pieces, and am targeting a fourth piece (the legs).

(5) Head: Isengard – Eglerin series. It barters for 698 Medallions, 174 Seals, and requires a win in the Lightning wing.

(6) Hands: Isengard – Eglerin series. It barters for 698 Medallions, 174 Seals, and requires a win in the Acid wing.

Eglerin series versus Erebraw - Right now, with a few exceptions (and the Audacity need in the Moors), the Isengard raid gear is some of the best gear by piece in the game for RK, and with the set bonuses only Moors gear is comparable. Of the three options, I chose the Eglerin (healer) series. The Eglerin offers more Morale; the Erebraw (lightning) and the Puignor (fire) offer better Criticals and more Finesse. It was a close call but for a full set, Eglerin (vs Erebraw) has +549 Morale and +1314 Tactical Mastery and -576 Critical. Both have good set bonuses, but Eglerin matched my objective of more Tactical and more Morale.

(7) Feet: Ryscdail. This named pair of boots is a nearly-every-time drop in the Foundry (mebbe T2 only, I’ve never seen Foundry T1).

Better boots = (a) the new Moors gear (barter for 4000 Commendations), or (b) the Isengard shoes via Saruman raid (beat Saruman, then barter 873 Medallions, 232 Seals).

When I return to the Moors, the boots are the first gear change, and the matching Moors chest piece will be the second.

(8) Necklace: Ancient Jade & Sapphire. This necklace is built with Orthanc sigil fragments. Run Isengard instances, get fragments, build up to the necklace at the Ox Clan barter merchant.

            Better necklace = The only necklace I have seen that is better is “Laerur”. It is available from the same Ox Clan merchant and requires a “Broken Clasp” which is a drop from Saruman (see Cloak section above for Clasp).

(9) Earrings: Empowered Anduin Mendor and Glimmering earring.

Empowered Anduin Mender is a barter earring from Limlight Gorge vendor in Stangard. It requires some gold and silver tokens (common from the Great River) and an unhatched Spider egg. The egg comes from “The Roots of Fangorn” fellowship instance. In my opinion, the Empowered Anduin Mender set of three jewelry pieces (earring, ring, pocket) are some of the best RK jewelry pieces available.

Glimmering Earring is a barter earring from a Galtrev vendor. I chose it for its excellent Morale.

Better Earrings = The Mender is the tops, but the Empowered Anduin Sage earring is a good option (same vendor). The Mathom Tender (skirmish raid drop), Great spider earring (Roots of Fangorn drop), and the Great River earring of Will (jeweler crafted) are also very strong choices.

The Empowered Anduin Sage is my target to replace the Glimmering.

(10) Rings: Empowered Anduin Mender and Willful Defence.

            Empowered Anduin Mender… see earrings above. It is tops.

            Willful Defence of the Moors was the tops before the Great River expansion. I am not sure its current barter price; it costs Moors Commendations.

            Better Rings = These rings are two of the best rings available. However, there are a few others depending on your Abilities’ need, including Band of the Codex Archivist (skirmish raid drop), Limlight Tactician Ring (simple token barter in Stangard), and Empowered Anduin Sage (bartered with Spider eggs like the Mendor ring).

(11) Bracelets: Limlight Tactician and Thoughtful Counsel.

         Limlight Tactician Bracelet is a simple token barter item from Stangard. It requires some reputation with the Stangard-ians to obtain (Limlight Gorge rep I believe).

            Thoughtful Counsel is a skirmish raid drop from the Prancing Pony skirmish.

            Better Bracelets = Of all my gear, I feel that my Bracelets are the least. However, I have not seen much better for a RK. The Root Poisoner's Bracelet is a good blend but gives up Vitality and Mitigations; it is a random drop from the Roots of Fangorn chest. “Oaths spoken” (a simple Galtrev barter item) was the last bracelet I had before Limlight.

(12) Pocket: Empowered Anduin Mender. This one is the third piece of the Mender set, along with the Earring and the Ring.

            Better Pocket = My set of three is complete, and I shall not want. However, if you are working toward a set, Angolwir (Dunland quest reward), WesternSeas Navigation Chart (skirmish raid drop), Galadrhim Medicinal Pouch (skirmish raid drop), Gold-inlaid flask (skirmish raid drop), and Empowered Anduin Sage (same vendor as the Mender) are all good options.

Geez Dana! Long-winded much??
Summary of the “Future” versus Current build:

(A) 125/203 Seals until Eglerin Legs.

(B) One Roots Spider egg = Empowered Anduin Sage Earring.

(C) Return to the Moors and get Tranquility Chest and Boots. For the Moors “Audacity” alone, keep obtaining more Moors gear.

(D) Saruman and his goodies (cloak, necklace, chest, boots) are written off unless the unexpected ensues. Eventually, I may gain victory over Saruman. And then, I would need 542 Seals to complete the Isengard set. It has taken 7 months to obtain 676 Seals for the first 3 and a half pieces. But if I did get the rest of the Seals, would it be better than my current build?

(E) RK gear is DESIGNED to make a more deadly but more fragile, glass cannon. You can see by comparison to the “Level 75 begin” column that the high end pieces are stripping away defense to offer even more explosive Offense. To combat that issue, I will flip 4 out of 5 traits, basically all the Will I have cherished, to traits that offer better defense. In effect, I give up very little because the better gear offers all the Offense I was targeting. Flip to Honor, Fidelity, Innocence, Tolerance, Zeal.

 (Finis) Changing these four pieces plus the traits; Net result = +9.4% Tactical damage, +0.4% Morale, +4.8% mitigation.

Against objective: 26,000-27,000 Tactical offense, over 8,000 Morale, and as much Mitigation as I could obtain = 3 wins. As I build the Moors set, I will look for ways to optimize and pull out a smidge of Tactical Offense to replace it with a helping more of Mitigations and Critical. 

Update January-2013: Well hello! There was a lot of detail here; however, I went into specifics about Mastery versus its diminishing returns and show more math at lotro-math-mastery-diminishing-returns?. If you stuck with me so far, you might find that one even more interesting.