Interrupt Changes: Part II
In the last part I looked at what was changing warg wise with the revisions being made to how interrupts work in LOTRO. In this part I am going to focus on how these changes will impact our gameplay.
The changes being made to interrupts will see us unable to interrupt opponents as often as we can at the moment. It naturally follows therefore that opponents will be able to get off more inductions. This is good news for Hunters, and quite frankly it’s about time Hunters had something going for them. However, the likes of Minstrels and Lore-masters are more of a problem, especially their self-healing abilities.
It is already pretty difficult to punch through self-heals given the disproportionate power level that healing enjoys in PvMP at the moment. Even under the current interrupt regime it can be next to impossible at times to break through the likes of a Minstrel’s self-heals as they merrily back-peddle away. I have personally seen a Minstrel self-heal his way through two rank 11 wargs and a rank 8 Blackarrow pounding on him. They simply didn’t have enough oomph to get past the heals. Now with wargs having even fewer interrupts and less frequent usage of their remaining interrupts as well as less frequent stuns this sort of situation will only be exacerbated.
So too our ability to harass healers and other induction classes during raid fights is reduced by these changes. This is one area that wargs were genuinely useful in raid fights, and whilst the situation won’t be dire, it will impact upon our ability to carry out that role.
What Can We Do?
What we always do in the face of nerfs … adapt.
Let’s look at each of the three areas affected and see what can be done to help mitigate the damage coming with Update 9:
Stuns – Our ability to stun using Sudden Pounce/Pounce will be reduced from potentially every 10sec to every 15sec. Remember that this ability doesn’t guarantee a stun, it just has a chance to do so and requires that another skill (Crippling Bite) be used first, all of which makes the nerf even more unpalatable.
There isn’t really much that we can do about this one except to employ Tendon Shred a bit more liberally. Unfortunately Tendon Shred is on a 5min cooldown, but for those of you who were perhaps reluctant to use it before it might be worth pressing into service more. Alternatively teaming up with another warg will of course help to produce more stuns …
Interrupts – We’re loosing an entire interrupt whilst another is receiving an increase in its cooldown. Fortunately there is a way to offset some of the reduced functionality. At the moment Sudden Pounce/Pounce is on a 10sec cooldown whilst Eye Rake is on a 15sec cooldown. After Update 9 Sudden Pounce/Pounce will be on a 15sec cooldown too. The class trait Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake reduces the cooldown of Eye Rake by 5sec though. That means that using this trait we can have the same cooldowns on these two interrupt abilities as we do currently, only switched around.
Unfortunately Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake is a rank 11 trait so to use this strategy you either need to be rank 11 or get your credit card ready for a store purchase. Either way it means sacrificing an important class trait slot to bring us back up to the functionality we currently have.
Brute Bonus – The current Raking Caws Brute Bonus is disappearing entirely and I’m afraid there is simply no way around this or even a means to help soften the blow. Its replacement is a debuff that will increase the targets induction times by 50%. Frankly this will be next to useless.
Remember that there is only a 5% chance to even apply this effect in the first place (or at best 25% if we want our stealth ability to be on cooldown for 45sec). With those odds the magnitude of the effect is just too low in my opinion. An extra 50% induction time looks rather nice on paper, but most inductions are pretty short so all we will really see from this bonus (assuming it applies) is perhaps an extra 0.5-1sec added onto an induction. With our reduced ability to actually interrupt the extra induction time, short as it is, won’t count for very much. A better option would be to have added something like an incoming healing debuff, for example, if the current Brute Bonus must go