Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turbine finally got me to open my wallet

Well, Turbine's second free "welcome back to Lord of the Rings Online" week did the trick and got me to open my wallet. I found I spent the week pretty much playing LOTRO to the exclusion of other MMOs, and the $9.95 "buy Mines of Moria including a free month's subscription" deal was finally too good to pass up.

So, now, with the Moria expansion installed, I was able to check out the two new (OK, they're not new any more, but new to me!) classes, Warden and Rune-Keeper. Inspired by this post on Dub's Diatribe, I decided to try a Warden, and I'm quite glad I did - I'm finding the "gambit" system quite fun, and it certainly seems to be a unique mechanic amongst the many MMOs I've played.

The super-quick summary is that it extends the "combo point / finisher" system used by WoW's rogues, LOTRO's champions and WAR's witch-hunters by having three different colours of combo points. Different colour combinations lead to different finishers, starting off with simple two-colour combinations (e.g. green-red is "Persevere", an attack that also places a mild heal-over-time on me) and apparently builds up to mighty five-colour combos like green-yellow-green-yellow-green, "Conviction", which places a heal-over-time on your entire group and also transfers threat from every group member to you. So far the most complex ones I have are a couple of three-colour combos, it does a good job of gradually increasing your options, with a new gambit being available every couple of levels.

I'm currently level 17 on Marchomir the Warden, and have not yet died. So I'm closing in on the apparently fairly challenging "the Undying" title which is awarded for reaching level 20 without dying. Once I hit, I think, level 10, I decided this might be fun to focus on. I'll be happy to get it, but I will confess that as I get closer and it feels like more is at stake, it is sucking some of the joy out of the gameplay. I'm not about to flex my muscles trying to solo a fellowship quest with a risk like that. Oh well, it'll be over soon one way or the other, then I can cut loose!


  1. I am really enjoying the Warden class as well. I hit level 30 the other day and received my first four combo gambit, and it rocks. It took me awhile to grasp the gambit system, about 25 levels really. But I am glad I stuck with it because it's really fun.

  2. Did you tested Aion?. Its pretty, movements are very nice, but in a focused pvp game i´ve feel too much grind needed.
    I was all time money ruined, really hard to solo play, and got bored. Did you have some opinion about?.
    Very interesting blog, by the way. Thanks.

  3. I'm really glad you like LOTRO. While WoW currently has me at the moment (I can only play one game at a time and both WoW and LOTRO are the two I tend to switch between) LOTRO has a huge soft spot in my heart, probably because I'm such a huge Tolkien nerd. Both the Warden and the Runekeeper are a lot of fun. I played ever since the game game out for several months. I went back to WoW while in Moria, simply because I felt that WoW had more to do end-game wise. But when it comes to leveling, I honestly don't think you can beat LOTRO. It's amazingly fun. With their next expansion coming out next month I might buy it just to get some more leveling in, depending on how WoW's patch 3.3 turns out.

    I believe my warden is 20 or so and have been having a ton of fun on her. I'm glad you leveled through the Shire as well. For me, the game was only so-so when I tried it out in beta... and then I went to the Shire. I can't even explain what it did to me. the moon was reflecting on the water, simply gorgeous, and I was running around taking pictures so I would remember what the Shire looked like in the future. I send all of my lowbies there now.