The New Warg – Part II
In the last part we left off just as I had managed to gain my first rank and the disappointment that followed as I realised I couldn’t actually buy any of the new abilities that I had gained.
The Quest For Commendations
With my newly gained rank I had to set about gaining some commendations! I had managed to earn 500 or so infamy through questing and occasionally snatching some scraps from the table during actual fighting. This left me with a few hundred commendations. Nowhere near the 2,000 I needed for a skill or even the 1,000 I needed for a corruption. What to do now?
Yes folks, my PvMP experience was still mired in PVE land as I set myself the task of gaining some more commendations. Grouping up with my mates again (one of whom had managed to get his Weaver up a few ranks already) I set about doing some quests as well as trying to take down some freeps. The going was definitely not easy; well that is probably not the right word to use as it wasn’t exactly difficult, more time consuming and dull than difficult. Killing slugs each day or picking up shards of troll stone isn’t exactly heart pounding excitement. Nevertheless it’s what I had to do.
We did manage to get a few kills it has to be said. I would like to say that even though I was playing a rank 1 warg my experience helped a bit, but to be frank success in killing freeps more often than not came through two methods: shamelessly leeching the efforts of those higher ranked than myself and sheer luck. Mixed in with those was a good dose of recklessness; basically just going for anything that looked like it might be killable, which usually meant a freep that looked like he was about to keel over anyway.
I died a lot of course, but that’s par for the course. After much effort, late nights, copious quantities of coffee and several batteries for my mouse, I finally had 1,500 commendations! Now what to spend them on .. ?
My First Skill
Actually the title is a bit misleading because my first purchase wasn’t in fact a skill at all, but rather a trait: Enhanced Skill: Stealth. Sad it may be, but I was actually genuinely excited and relieved to finally be able to afford to buy this trait. The regular reader of this blog will know just how much importance I place on this trait so it was always going to be my first purchase. Skipping with joy to the bard NPC I equipped my new trait and entered stealth …
… I was moving like a normal person again! Not fast, but at least I wasn’t crawling along like an asthmatic sloth. The difference between having and not having this trait is night and day folks. Without it your warg’s speed is measured using geological timescales. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
One other thing was available to me at rank 1, the Battlefield Promotion. The effect was less than stellar. There is a wonderful invention scientists use to peer into the foundations of creation called the electron microscope. This piece of scientific equipment actually allows scientists to see individual atoms, the building blocks of the universe. Using this microscope I’d still be unable to see the difference this Battlefield Promotion made to my warg. In all seriousness it was just the first step and these Promotions actually do add up a fair bit as you acquire more of them. It’s actually a pretty good system. One down, several to go.
How the Mighty Have Fallen
With my new found ability to actually walk I set about trying to acquire some more infamy so I could get my next rank and unlock more skills I couldn’t afford to buy. I was getting sick of quests by this point, in no small part due to the seemingly omnipresent freep patrols that insisted I was not to have that last piece of slug meat I needed, but mainly because I wanted to fight other players.
I grouped up with my mates again and together we strolled around the map getting involved in fights where we could. Kills were forthcoming at least, usually through the efforts of others it has to be said, but still I was getting some infamy. The thing was that I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated. Now if you have played a creep for a while you might be sitting there thinking “Tough luck mate, we all had to go through that so just get on with it!” and you would be right.
The reason I was getting frustrated wasn’t because I was dying or losing or not getting much infamy from kills, rather it was because I had already gone through all this before on my other warg. It was frustrating to be fighting people I knew I could beat if only I had my precious rank 11 warg! There were so many times I found myself reaching for a skill I didn’t have on my new warg or sizing up an opponent and mentally going through my rotation for the attack only to remember that half the things I was planning to do I physically couldn’t.
That meant adaptation. I had to throw out all the stuff I knew and adapt to my new found circumstances. Maybe this is a similie too far, but it’s like going from being wealthy to being poor. You have to learn to deal with your reduced means and make do with what you have. That was easier said than done of course, but gradually I learnt to make best use of what little I had. It’s a great lesson in humility I might add because I had to accept that here I couldn’t solo freeps or pull off risky little tricks. I had to accept that I was supporting others and essentially living off their efforts for the time being.
I Gave In
Initially I wasn’t planning on making use of the LOTRO Store to buy skills or traits for my new warg, but I gave in. I have nothing against people buying skills, traits, etc from the store by the way so don’t think I am judging anyone with that statement. It was simply that I wasn’t going to do it with this new warg, but this is war folks and as we all know, war is the mother of necessity.
I bought Shadow Fang. My damage was really quite paltry so I thought I’d improve the situation a bit by at least giving myself the ability to hit with something other than Common damage. The effect was noticeable, but not overwhelming. My base damage was so low that low base Shadow damage, whilst better than low base Common damage, was still low base damage. Nevertheless it did give me a bit of a boost, which helped with gaining infamy and soon I was rank 2!
Onwards to rank 3 …