Death under the Downs
So the old Fancy Hats crew got together in LotRO to run the Great Barrow instances. We had an interesting group, I’ve played off and on since release, one of us had played since Beta, but had lapsed a couple years ago, another was new to LotRO but not to Theme Parks, the last one has literally never played a theme park style MMO.
This has presented a challenge to me and to the others as his progress gets tripped up by things that most MMO players haven’t even really thought about in years. Things like combat/non-combat states, inventory management, grouping mechanics, and party composition/the “Holy Trinity”
Which brings us to tonight. I had my lowbie Guardian, along with a
Sith Lord Runekeeper who was a bit ahead of us level-wise, Minstrel, and Hunter rounding out the Fancy Hats contingent, joining us literally as we set out was a higher level Burglaer, who happened to be a Role-Player. We ran through “The Maze” with a couple issues. First progress was rather slow, I had forgotten how to set up targeting assists, I was trying to explain some concepts to my erstwhile minions, and of course our Burglar buddy wasn’t on teamspeak so we had to type to him to let him know we hadn’t all gone AFK.
This confusion led to our one wipe of the evening. I was trying to explain how we were going to pull one of the first big rooms when our RK inadvertently threw out some
Force Lightning PERFECTLY EXPLAINABLE WITHIN THE THE LORE OF THE BOOKS NATURAL LIGHTNING THAT HAPPENED TO SPROUT FROM HIS FINGERS UNDERGROUND. 20 Silver if you can guess where I fall on the “Are Rune-Keepers Canon” debate. With full-room aggro we were quickly very hard-pressed and at level 23 my guardian simply didn’t have the threat-management to keep the healers up, or even himself without burning through all my potions and cooldowns. The wipe happened slowly but there was no chance at surviving that pull. Especially with the mini-boss happily joining in the affray.
Recriminations were kept to a minimum, mainly an admonition to watch pulls. We steamrolled the rest of the room taking our time to make sure our pulls were done cautiously, and the room itself gave us a perfect example of how “Not to Stand in the Fire” Hordes of worms showed up and promptly went into a writhing spasm of death, dropping copious puddles of green goo that melted our poor
Sith Lo RUNEKEEPER into a vaguely elf-shaped puddle. One quick song from our Minstrel later and he was rallied and ready to go. We pressed on and simply steamrolled the final boss. It was actually a bit embarrassing. We went back to town for a quick re-set and delved straight into Thadúr.
Thadúr presented us with the most frustrating encounter we would hit. We didn’t die in it. We didn’t come close to dying during it. However several members were ready to pull what little hair they had left out before it ended. The encounter centers on these small, fairly tough lights that spawn in sequence. The first one triggers the second “wave” of two, spawning at random locations, which must be defeated within seconds, 15 for the first and maybe another 5 for the second. The next is a group of three with a similar pattern, and finally a group of four. The problem is that some people didn’t understand the encounter, others simply lacked the muscle-memory to help much in pulls, and as frustration set in we quickly lost any semblance of unity.
Those who know me know that I tend to be rather terse in voice during fights. I was very frustrated myself, no less than my minions certainly as I was more-or-less leading things and things were going poorly. Finally we got the idea ready, and our Hunter, despite almost no experience in MMOs managed to get the pulls handled. By shooting each of the mobs and dragging them in close it allowed our burglar and myself to hammer down and transfer DPS efficiently leading to us FINALLY staggering out of the room, leaving only our dignity behind in tattered shreds. Thadúr himself was an afterthought, a simple single-mechanic boss requiring us to burn down adds between vulnerable periods.
Sambrog was simply a cakewalk. While we spent lots of time with the tank AND healer stunned we simply didn’t find anything that could challenge our party enough to slow us down. Murder and Mayhem followed and we ripped through the dungeon so fast we barely noticed it. All in all it was a pretty satisfying afternoon. Defeat barely rared its’ ugly head and all of us had a good time and even learned something, not always easy when you’ve played a game for five years.
Next week we plan on pressing through and evening up the level gaps hopefully, as well as some sight-seeing. Hopefully I remember to take screenshots this time as well.