A Guide for the Student on the Ways and Means of the Warg and the Stalking of Prey

Rise of Isengard

State Of The Ettens Part II

In this part i’m going to be looking at the state of PvMP in general since ROI was launched. I’ll be covering different topics here, some related to wargs specifically, others more generalised for all creeps and still other affecting PvMP on both sides. Again this these are my personal views, you are free to disagree with them if you like and whether you agree or disagree feel free to post a comment (I don’t censor comments here, even the ones criticising me!).

Skills

With ROI creeps were able to purchase skills and traits from the LOTRO Store. More than any other change to PvMP over the history of the game this has probably been the most controversial. Some loved the idea, some were indifferent, and some were against. For some people this signified the final nail in the coffin and represented a ‘pay to win’ scenario. I personally don’t subscribe to that view and welcome the store bought skills because I think they are a great equaliser, especially in the case of previously very high ranked skills that were, for all intents and purposes, beyond the reach all but a very small number of players.

So how has it turned out? Pretty well as far as I am concerned. Some skills have proven more popular than other of course and for wargs that is undoubtedly the case with both Shadow Howler and especially Sense Prey and Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey.

Because low ranked creeps now have access to high ranked skills some freeps have become a bit … upset, shall we say. Some find it terribly unfair that they can now be tracked by rank 1 wargs or that rank 1 defilers can break up their zerg balls with Blight. To that I say the following: ‘Tough shit!”. These skills were put in the game to be used, but owing to the high ranking curve very few creeps ever managed to actually gain and use some of the more powerful skills. That left creeps at a decided disadvantage because freeps, at level 75, have all their abilities. Creeps were effectively fighting with one arm tied behind their back.

More to the point I haven’t seen the predicted end of the game from the usual crowd of naysayers who predict doom and gloom whenever something comes along that they don’t personally approve of. I haven’t seen hordes of rich kids running around at rank 0 with all their skills. I haven’t seen people stopping trying to gain new ranks because they have already bought all their skills. Quite the contrary, I have seen most people buy one or two skills they are interested in and actually playing more because they are enjoying using those skills.

On the whole i think offering skills through the store has been a success for both players and Turbine.

Freep PvMP Armour

On the one hand it is great to see the freeps getting some meaningful reward for ranking. The PvMP armour sets are pretty decent and definitely worth getting if you are a regular freep. it gives you a little more impetus to gain your next rank so you can wear your next piece.

Unfortunately the mechanism for obtaining these armour sets is, to put it mildly, completely daft. The armour sets are bartered for by doing quests and killing tyrants. What this has led to on some servers, my own included, is huge freep ‘zeros’, which simply steamroll the map taking the keeps before vanishing into thin air with no actual PvMP having taken place.

Why not fight them and try to prevent the keep taking? A valid question with a simple answer: the creeps often can’t. A zerg is usually a huge collection of freeps that vastly outnumber the creeps and I have personally seen this time and time again since ROI came out. I remember one night in particular when there were upwards of 30 freeps rampaging across the map and all we could muster up to defend the keeps were 8 creeps, some of which were barely out of the character creation screen. Not much of a fight that!

The problem here is in giving a PvMP reward through PVE content. PvMP rewards should either be granted through actual PvMP or simply be able to be bought from a vendor for coin. Doing it any other way ends up reducing the PvMP activity. Why not just allow freeps to buy their armour when they reach the appropriate ranks? That would give a good incentive to actually go and gain those ranks. Better yet make the armour a reward for deeds in PvMP or for killing X number of creeps. Basically anything other than the current system would be preferable.

Lock Outs Or A Lack Thereof

Seriously? No lock outs? This is nuts! Freely switching from side to side tends not to produce anything of much value. Some of the uses for this lack of lock out I have seen include:

  • Freeps switching to creep to retake keeps so they can then zerg the map and gain more poxy crests and brooches
  • Players switching to moan and QQ and players on the other side who have killed them
  • Players jumping ship and instantly switching to whichever side is currently doing well

In short the lack of a lockout doesn’t really lead to much good. Why not have an equal lock out for the Ettenmoors for both sides? It can’t be that difficult to implement surely? A one hour lock out for both freeps and creeps would stop switching, instant moaning and QQ, and help prevent keep retakes for zeroing purposes. It would also help to foster a better allegiance to each side from players in my opinion.

Missing Items

I can’t finish without mentioning the lack of extra functionality on the new Enhanced Skill: Disappear trait. This is one trait that I know many wargs, myself included, were very much looking forward to. Sadly that extra functionality didn’t make it into the expansion and there has been no word of it appearing in Update 5 if the last set of patch notes from Bullroarer are anything to go by. This is exacerbated by the fact that the trait was nerved before it even went live, going from reducing Disappear’s cool down to 5min to 7min. I’m still hopeful that we will see some extra functionality for this trait (I’m an optimist!).

One last thing, no new map. This was a real disappointment for just about everyone who participates in PvMP. We have had the Ettenmoors map for the better part of five years now. It’s a great map, but it’s worn now. We know every square inch of it. We have fought all over it. It’s time for fresh pastures.

Sadly Turbine haven’t uttered a word on the possibility of this project being resurrected. I know that the PvMP community won’t let it rest, the genie is out of the bottle now.

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State Of The Ettens Part I

Rise of Isengard has been out for over a month now and I have had a chance to play my warg a fair bit and get a feel for the changes that came in with the expansion. I’d like to spend some time talking about those changes and how they affect us wargs. There is a lot of ground to cover so I am going to be splitting this into two parts; the first will be an overview of the freep classes and the second will be a look at everything else.

Ok so let’s start off by looking at the various freep classes. A few notes before we get into it though: i) all of this is from my own personal experience and your own views may differ depending upon your own experience and ii) this is not a detailed analysis of each class, rather it is a short summary of each with a view to giving an overview of their current state of play.

Burgers

In general I have found Burgers to be easier after ROI than before. Previously they had always seemed just a little too slippery, but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. Don’t get me wrong they can still pop ‘Oh Shit!’ button after ‘Oh Shit!’ button, but in-between those they don’t feel as tough as they used to.

I think Finesse might be the reason for this. Being relatively high ranked I have a fair bit of Finesse, which will of course reduce the Burger’s b/p/e ratings. They will still be pretty high, but a reduction, any reduction, means that I will be hitting more often, which obviously means they will be taking more damage. A side effect of this is that I have noticed more Burgers using ‘Knives Out’ when their morale starts to fall. Not that they didn’t use this skill before, it’s just that I am seeing it a little more often now.

Shadow Howler is making a difference here too and not just for the extra damage it brings. The increased survivability means that I can actually stick around a little longer, which means that I have a better chance of outlasting their panic buttons.

Burger damage seems to be varied depending upon the Burger. I have encountered some who seem to hit like a tonne of bricks, zapping my morale in seconds whilst others look like their hitting with wet noodles.

One thing that really sticks out though is the ability to track them. I had the stealth track before the ROI expansion so this isn’t a new ability for me, but it will be a new ability for many lower ranked wargs who have purchased it from the store. Coordinating a few wargs to track a Burger helps to negate the ridiculous double HiPS scenario and gets us our kills a little more often now.

Difficulty: Less difficult than before, but still slippery

Captains

On the whole I haven’t had any real problems with Captains. I’ve found that they hit a bit harder than before, but not so much that you are in any real danger of being zapped down quickly. They do have good survivability and Last Stand can prolong the fight, but in general they don’t feel any more difficult or any easier than they did pre-ROI.

All the old strategies still seem effective against Captains and unlike Hunters I haven’t seen any new behaviour from them to warrant upgrading or downgrading their difficulty. In groups though they can be problematic, not so much for what they can do to you, but for their support abilities that can keep the freep side up and fighting longer than you might expect. If you see one in a group you are facing it  is definitely worth assigning one warg to deal with him to at least try and keep him from helping his side too much.

Difficulty: Same as before. Not a quick fight, but no real problems either.

Champions

Champions received some major buffs with ROI and it shows on the Moors. The Champions tanking trait line received some hefty boosts to survivability and it is quite common to see Champions using the Glory stance along with a number of tanking ‘blue’ traits these days. Of course this means they loose out on the extra damage that Fervour provides, but even so they can still hit very hard, especially as they got a skill that makes the next use of Remorseless Strike, a big hitting melee skill, auto crit.

The increase in survivability is very noticeable and chiefly takes the form of two morale bubbles, both of which provide significant amounts of temporary morale. These bubbles effectively give Champions huge amounts of morale and it takes sheer brute force to wear them down, all the while being hit for fairly high damage in return.

What I find though is that the outcome of battles varies a great deal depending upon the skill level of the Champion involved to say nothing of their gear. For example, recently myself, another high ranked warg and a Blackarrow struggled to kill one Champion on his own. He did eventually die, but not before getting us down to around 3k morale! Compare that with an incident just yesterday where I managed to kill two Champions by myself one after the other.

In short it’s a bit of a mixed bag with Champions. They have the tools available now to output a lot of damage whilst also having fantastic survivability. The key ingredient though is the player behind the Champion. If they know what they are doing it will be a very tough fight that will be nothing short of a war of attrition. If they are a poor player the fight might still last a while, but you will know you are pushing inexorably towards victory from the outset.

Difficulty: Definitely more difficult than they were before, but depends a lot on player skill.

Guardians

I’ve found Guardians to be similar to Burgers in that they feel a bit easier than they did before. It’s not that they are any more squishy because they aren’t, rather it’s that they don’t seem to be hitting quite as hard as they used to. I think this might be a combination of the increased warg morale pools, improved Shadow Howler, and Guardian dos not having skyrocketed. In other words they are more balanced now in the sense that they have great survivability, but without tremendous damage to match.

Where the Guardian can shine though is in simply wearing you down. They are still extremely tough and you will have a hard job in battering them down, which gives them plenty of time to wear down your power pool and gradually beat down your morale. However, I have found that because they aren’t hitting me as hard as they used to, coupled with Finesse, I am actually able to get them down.

Like Champions player skill and gear do count for a lot and a good Guardian can still do some serious damage and give you a good beating. Poor Guardians though seem to go down fairly easily in the sense that whilst the fight might still drag a little owing to their inbuilt survivability, they don’t present too many problems.

Difficulty: Slightly easier to take down now, but in the hands of a skilled player still a serious challenge.

Hunters

This is an interesting one because in a sense nothing has really changed with Hunters in my experience and at the same time everything has changed. Ok so that sounds a bit Zen. I shall explain.

On the one hand I have found that Hunters in general are playing exactly the same way as they did before. They are stacking as much morale as possible; treating mostly in the red ‘damage’ line, and still use all their old (and useless) tricks like messing you for a few seconds to get some distance, etc. In this respect they are no different to how they were before and are the easiest class for a warg to take on. Success in a 1vs1 should be somewhere around the 99.9% mark for the warg.

However, some Hunters have actually started to think a little differently and are playing to their strengths rather than thinking that they can simply ‘tank’ you with a high morale build whilst trying to hit you with high damage ranged attacks that can be interrupted. What I’ve seen from a small number of Hunters is a very effective ‘blue build’.

The Hunter’s blue trait line focuses (pardon the pun) on building focus, some melee skill enhancements, and speed & movement. In short it’s a kiting line that also produces some very effective damage, indeed in some respects the damage is better than the red ‘damage line’. With these blue traits Hunters can build Focus, which they need for their highest damage attacks, more quickly as well as moving and losing less Focus than they normally would. Couple this with a buff they have called ‘Fleetness’ and they gain an in-combat movement buff whilst building and retaining Focus.

When this build is coupled with equipment geared towards maximising damage instead of morale what you end up with is a glass cannon of sorts. These Hunters can output tremendous amounts of damage in a very short space of time. They can also move fast and get off more of their highest damage skills more quickly.

When engaged in melee combat they are very squishy from having sacrificed morale and possibly mitigation, etc so they do go down pretty fast. However, because of their high damage and fast fire build they can do significant amounts of damage before you kill them, possibly taking you down.

These are the Hunters to be careful around. If you see a Hunter with less than 7k morale then be wary. He might just be poorly geared, but he might also be packing a bazooka instead of a bow.

Difficulty: Mostly as easy as they always were, but a few are starting to wise up and can pose a real threat.

Lore-masters

Lore-masters are a class that can either be a dream for a warg or a nightmare. Arguably more than any other class they personify the concept of player skill being important. It’s a difficult class to master and the range of options they have at their disposal is both potent and complicated. In the hands of a n00b a Lore-master can be one of the easiest classes for a warg to take on because of their inherent squishiness. However, in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing you are simply not going to win. That part isn’t so much opinion as fact. The Lore-master has a counter to almost everything you can do and can do a hell of a lot more to you that you have no answer to.

This is pretty much still the case after ROI, but things are now a little easier on the n00b Lore-masters owing to some very potent buffs the class received to its damage output. The ability to stack the Burning Embers DoT up to three times and keep all there eon you continuously is a very serious threat. So to is the ability to vastly increase their critical chance so that when they do use something like Ents Go To War you might be on the receiving end of a 4-7k crit.

I haven’t faced too many Lore-masters since the expansion went live and those I have faced have mostly been of the n00b variety. They were easy kills. However, with the enhancements they received well played Lore-masters are more dangerous than ever.

Difficulty: Easy for poorly played LMs, extremely difficult from well played LMs.

Minstrels

If the Lore-master represents a major challenge for the warg the Minstrel is nigh on impossible to beat. The problem here is that Minstrels have the ability to do three key things that spell disaster for wargs. First of all they have the potential to output tremendous amounts of damage. I really want to stress the term ‘tremendous’ here because Minstrel damage, when properly treated and equipped, can be extremely potent. Add to this the ability to very effectively self-heal and they have great survivability. The third ability is to counter almost everything we can throw at them with the exception of our stuns.

Let me give you an example of a recent 1vs1 fight I had with a kinmate who plays a Minstrel. He is is a very good Minstrel and plays that class and only that class so he knows it inside and out. I of course started with a pounce to stun him and get some damage in whilst also silencing him. Upon waking from his stun he was able to self-heal after the silence had worn off. This self-healing effectively neutralised the damage I had delivered. my next silence from Dire Howl was a waste of time as he had made himself immune. Rabid Bite was useless as he has over 6k power and can regen his own power through skills. My stuns rarely proced after this, but even if they had they would have been less and less effective owing to diminishing returns. Meanwhile his fears proved effective on me. What happened was that he simply self-healed whilst i vainly tried to deal damage. When he had exhausted my power reserves he could then start doing his own damage. At that point, with no power and pots on cool down, I had two choices: i) flee and forfeit the kill or ii) stay and die. In other words it was pointless me attacking him in the first place.

This is the trouble we face with Minstrels. They have no appreciable weakness at the moment. They combine great damage with great survivability. The few means we have of crowd controlling frees or reducing their fighting power can either be neutralised by the Minstrel or grow rapidly less effective as the fight wears on.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had a few Minstrel kills, but these have been mostly poorly played Minstrels who panicked and didn’t really use the full array of options at their disposal. When up against even a half competent Minstrel the fight is a tough one and facing a well played Minstrel it becomes close to impossible for the solo warg.

Difficulty: Extremely high. Might be better not even attempting it if low ranked or Minstrel is known to be competent.

Rune-keepers

Pre-ROI Rune-keepers were known for their high spike damage from lightning attacks. These days it is all about fire damage! The Rune-keeper has always had fire attacks and a whole trait line dedicated to them, but it wasn’t used as much as the lightning trait line in the Ettenmoors pre-ROI. With the fire trait line having received buffs that has changed.

What I am finding is that the fire attacks from the Rune-keeper, whilst not producing the ridiculous telephone number damage of the lightning attacks, is actually producing very significant damage, both directly and through DoTs. The DoTs in particular are very nasty. They can be ticking away for several hundred points of fire damage and some of them can last a long time. One attack in particular is very worrisome for the warg in that it places a DoT on us that tiers down. When the first DoT has expired the second DoT is automatically applied and so on. this continues for a full minute!

When we think of DoTs we tend to not place much importance on them as a source of damage. They knock us out of stealth and they might even kill us if we are already low on morale and our pots are on cool down, but generally DoTs aren’t too bad and we can keep on fighting away. This isn’t the case with the Rune-keeper DoTs, because if they are allowed to stack up they will strip your morale off very quickly.

Thankfully the Rune-keeper is as squishy as ever when actually engaged so they do go down fast. However, the DoTs can last long enough for the Rune-keeper to kill you from beyond the grave. The key thing I have found though is that because the fire attacks don’t have the huge spike damage of the lightning attacks the fight can actually last long enough for you to get in some serious damage and take the Rune-keeper down. Sure the DoTs might still kill you, but at least you get a kill too.

Difficulty: A bit easier than before, but DoT damage can drop you fast so don’t underestimate.

Wardens

There aren’t many Wardens on the Moors and that seems to be the case for most servers so my experience is quite limited when it comes to this class. Having said that I have fought some since ROI was released and gained a few insights.

Wardens don’t hit you very hard for the most part, at least not with direct damage. They rely on DoTs to take you down and unfortunately for us they have a lot of DoTs. These DoTs can be applied relatively quickly by the Warden and you can soon find yourself with numerous DoTs all ticking away burning through your morale.

The real problem though is that the Warden has ample opportunity to apply these DoTs because of the length of time it takes to kill them. They are pure tanks, they have no other significant role in the game and as such they are built for survival. They have high morale pools, on par with creeps (they will probably have more morale than you do!) and they can also count on high avoidances too. Not only that, but they have a skill that restores 75% of their morale then they are near death. Effectively this resets the fight for them meaning you have to kill them twice.

What I find though is that not many Wardens play regularly in the Ettens so they tend not to have a good grasp of how to deal with wargs. Of course this won’t apply to those Wardens who do regularly PvP. This unfamiliarity can lead them to panic, which can give you an edge as I have often found. Wardens don’t need to run from a warg, but if they panic and flee then you stand a good chance of winning.

For those who have stood and fought me I find that stuns and silences work wonders. Wardens can make themselves immune to stuns for 10sec, but they can only do this once every 30sec so you can still get in a few stuns. This is when you can really burn them down and force them to switch from stacking bleeds to self-healing. The silences are also useful because it denies them access to a number of their gambits for a few seconds, which can interrupt their flow.

On the whole I’ve resigned myself to fighting a war of attrition with Wardens. The key is making them burn their power pool so make sure you use Rabid Bite. Once their power is gone they are effectively just a walking morale pool that can be killed. I see the best results when burning their power pool before they activate their big heal because then they still can’t do anything even though they are back at almost full morale.

Difficulty: A bit harder than before due to being able to heal 75% morale, but no real threats except when building DoTs on you.


Update: 1vs1 Guide – The Hunter

I’ve updated the Hunter 1vs1 guide to reflect the changes the class saw with the release of Rise of Isengard. The guide hasn’t changed substantially because the Hunter remains largely the same as it was before. There are a few new points though, mostly relating to the Hunter’s ability to score critical hits often as well as their ability to spam focus skills.

In short though the Hunter remains the easiest class for the warg to beat 1vs1, but as before, indeed more than before, a good Hunter can be a dangerous opponent so don’t underestimate them.


Update: Lore-master 1vs1 Guide

I’ve updated the Lore-master 1vs1 guide in response to the class changes that came with Rise of Isengard. The Lore-master didn’t receive too many changes and none that substantially altered the way the class works on a fundamental level and that is reflected in the minor changes made to the 1vs1 guide.

Having said that some of the changes the Lore-master saw with this expansion are significant. I’ve highlighted some of the more important changes below as well as adding them to the main 1vs1 guide.

Improved Burning Embers

This is an uprated version of the Burning Embers skill and is gained at level 74. The main difference here is that Burning Embers can now stack with itself up to three times. It was already possible for multiple Lore-masters to stack their Burning Embers DoTs with one another, but now they can stack their own DoTs too!

With the appropriate legendary weapon legacies the DoT from this skill can last up to 40 sec and can tick for a significant amount of damage; somewhere between 200-300 fire damage every 5 sec.

A separate legendary weapon legacy can extend the range of Burning Embers from the base value of 30m to as much as 46m. This makes it the longest range skill in the game, even longer than the reach of Hunter skills!

Improved Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire

Previously Lore-masters had two separate Signs of Battle; Wizard’s fire, which dealt fire damage and Wizardry, which dealtlight damage. Wizardry has been removed from the game to be replaced by Wizard’s Fire and that skill receives an upgrade through an improved version: Improved Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire. The improved version has no cooldown and cannot be resisted.

In addition to doing its base damage it also places a DoT on the target as it did before. This DoT cannot be stacked by the same Lore-master, although multiple Lore-masters can stack their DoTs together.

With the appropriate legendary legacies the duration of this DoT can be extended to as much as 40 sec.

Improved Staff Sweep

This skill upgrades the base skill: Staff Sweep. The skill functions exactly the same as it did previously with the exception of a new feature. Upon a successful hit with this skill the Lore-master will receive a buff that increases his chance to score a critical hit with his next fire damage based skill. The magnitude of the buff is 15% and it can be stacked up to 3 times. The buff lasts until the Lore-master scores a critical hit with a fire skill or is out of combat for 9 sec.

Offence Ratings

Because Lore-masters now use Will for both their tactical and melee offence ratings they are able to gain significant ratings in both. Lore-masters can stack huge amounts of Will relatively easily to the point where their tactical and melee offence ratings can be very high, indeed a Lore-master’s melee offence ratings can even approach that of some melee classes e.g. Champions now.

What this means is that a Lore-master’s melee capabilities have been greatly enhanced. Lore-masters were always fairly decent in terms of dishing out melee damage because they are able to dual-wield a two handed weapon (a staff) and a one handed sword. Two handed weapons tend to deal fairly large amounts of damage anyway and with enhanced melee offence ratings Lore-masters can look to crit for somewhere in the order of 1.5-2k with their melee skills now. Even their auto-attacks can stack up to around 400-500 damage.

Wisdom of the Council

This is the Lore-master’s large heal. Previously it was on a 10 min cooldown, but that has now been reduced to 5 min. The implications are clear here, the Lore-master can use this skill more often, which means an increase in their overall survivability.

Call to the Valar

This skill serves two functions; on the one hand it resets the cooldowns on many of the Lore-master’s skills although thankfully not Lightning Storm, Ents go to War or Wisdom of the Council, and on the other hand it makes the Lore-master immune to interrupts for 10 sec. Previously this skill was on a 10 min cooldown, but this has been reduced to 5 min.

This is an easy skill to overlook, but it is actually an extremely potent skill for the Lore-master as it enables them to use their largest attacks with almost impunity.

Wound & Disease Removal

I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the Lore-master’s wound/disease removal skill has been nerfed somewhat. Previously there was no cooldown for this skill, but that has been changed to a 10 sec cooldown. This can be reduced to 5 sec if the Lore-master is traited 4 deep in the blue pet line.

This is an important change for wargs as it means that our Savage Fangs bleed will be a little more effective now although to be honest not much more effective.

Damage

I have a Lore-master myself and he is now at level 75 with some decent gear, but nowhere near what I would consider a completed setup. Even so I hae noticed a fairly large increase in his damage output. I am seeing some very large crit numbers and the general impression I get is that when traited for damage the Lore-master has the potential to be one of the most powerful damage dealing classes in the game.


Questing Freeps – Hotspots

One aspect of the Isengard changes I have been looking is the change to quests. Creeps now gain infamy and freeps gain renown from these (now) daily quests in the Ettenmoors. That means more people questing. That means more people spread across the map. That means more opportunities for wargs to kill freeps!

I am still looking to get accurate data on where exactly the best points to hunt freeps are going to be, but some have already started to make themselves known:

  • Grothum – not the hub of freep activity thatI was expecting post-Isengard, but still a few freeps use this area for questing
  • Hoarehallow – freeps are popping down here for some easy questing it seems and of course have to travel along the approaches
  • Gramsfoot – the campers are out in force of course trying to camp he new Reavers so looks to be a good spot to hunt them back
  • Hoardale Cleansing – both creeps and freeps use the same location for a very easy quest and it seems to be attracting a fair few players

These are just my initial thoughts and I’ll be looking to create a full guide later on, but if any of you have any particular spots you have noticed are particularly attractive for questing freeps please leave a comment!


Kelsen: Creep Damage IS Too Low

A recurring theme that I’ve heard mentioned from different people since Rise of Isengard launched is that creep dps in general feels a bit weak. I’ve seen a few wargs in particular complaining that they think their damage is on the low side. Now some might just put this down to ‘creep whining’, but in fact those people are spot on. The damage on creep side is indeed too low. How do I know this? Kelsen said so himself.

Responding to a player created thread on the matter Kelsen posted the following:

Bust out some mustard for those pants, here comes a reply.

The damage output from Creeps has not scaled as well as we had hoped (when examining small scale battles) and this is being addressed in patch; along with some nagging bugs that popped up.

Do we read the forums: Yes
Do we have time to answer every post: No – work needs to be done for the patch! 

I understand your angst, but keep in mind that there are hundreds of other people all posting with same urgency. Sometimes it is better to compile the data, do the work, and then later make a statement about what is being changed.

For those that feel nothing has been done to Creeps, I’m sorry you feel that way. I feel like the changes that went into RoI were not insignificant, but I also understand that this is only the beginning. Making adjustments to a system of this scope take time.

I hear and acknowledge your concerns. Work is being done to address them as quickly as possible.

I’ve added red highlighting to emphasise the damage issue. Now Kelsen didn’t give any numbers so we don’t know how much creep damage is going to rise nor do we know where it is supposed to be at. At least one player has theorised that his warg’s damage output is a good 30-35% lower than what it should be, but we have no way to confirm how accurate that figure is. What we do know is that we will see a damage increase in the next update. Huzzah!


Shadow Howler Worry

As the title says I am worried about Shadow Howler, not a huge amount, but enough to warrant posting about it. Why am I worried? Well ironically enough because it’s a good skill. Ok that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense so let me explain.

With Rise of Isengard Shadow Howler got a major overhaul and it is now a very effective stance for wargs. It boosts our damage, raises our defences, increases our survivability and offers us an opportunity to be a bit more useful in a raid. It does come at the expense of stealth though, but the trade-off definitely seems worth it. That’s all great, but therein lies the problem … I’ve been hearing from other players that they’re doing wonderful things with Shadow Howler, but I am wondering if perhaps Shadow Howler is becoming too much of a default option for wargs.

Is Shadow Howler going to become necessary to defeat freeps? is it going to be a prerequisite for taking on an opponent? Will it become an integral factor to consider when making changes to the class or updating other skills? This is what I mean when I say that it feels a little too good. I am certainly not asking for a nerf, rather I am wondering if perhaps we, as wargs, are in danger of becoming too reliant upon Shadow Howler.

Since any rank of warg can purchase and use Shadow Howler now it does mean that it has a more universal application than it did previously. No longer will it be a valid argument to say ‘oh it’s rank 10 so you can’t really factor that into whether wargs are too strong or too weak’. Yet it is a rank 10 skill and it does still need to be purchased if lower ranked players want to use it. That’s where we get into trouble with it because if it does become seen as a necessity it could end up being the case that wargs of lower ranks feel they must purchase it and all wargs who have it may end up having to use it whether they want to or not.

Maybe I’m being alarmist, but hopefully I am proven wrong.