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Ruudwulf Shattershield

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re: Captain, after update 19

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Hail, Rangers!

Downtimes are great opportunities to catch up on the stuff you say will be done tomorrow...making tomorrow today, by some trick of fate.

Ahead of the upcoming Captain Convention, here are a couple things I wanted to touch upon.

  • Oathies reset (for red line). There are two ways to get this bonus. Either you get 2 pieces from the Tower of Orthanc, or 4 pieces from the Osgiliath set. (Quick note on the ToO link: the Wiki page isn't updated with the relevant info, bur trust me, it is the right set). Pros and cons:
    • ToO set: Easy to get. Coupled with the Pelennor set, you can minimize the loss of stats and get a very nice +10% damage and +5% to Revealing mark (blue mark). Depending on what you need, you may lose some stats.
    • Osg set: quick hard to get by. Depending on what stats you need, you can be better off with 4 osg pieces + 2 Pelennor pieces (+10% damage), which is my case.
  • To get the Ghost pet, just read this fine article, everything you need to know is in there.
  • To those who tell you that a Cappy can't DPS, I just hit 68k+ with Shadows' Lament yesterday, along with a very decent bunch of 40k+ hits. QED.

That's all for now! The Captain convention will touch upon, amongst other things: gear and stats in all three lines, marks, rotation in blue line/main healer and tanking.

See you all on Sunday!

Your faithful servant, Ruudwulf

Ruudwulf Shattershield

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re: O Capain, my Captain! Part 2

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The stats a Captain should look at are Might and Vitality, and then Fate. Here's a nice chart to see why, only valid for Captains (look here for the wiki article on stats):

 

 

1 point of Might

1 point of Vitality

1 point of Fate

1 point of Agility

1 point of Will

Phys Mastery

8

 

 

 

 

Tact Mastery

8

 

 

 

 

Block

3

 

 

 

 

Parry

2

 

 

2

 

Evade

 

 

 

3

 

Morale

 

3

 

 

 

Resistance

 

2

 

 

2

Phys Mitigation

1 point of Armour = 1 point of Phys mit

Tact Mitigation

 

 

1

 

1

ICMR

 

 

1.5

 

 

ICPR

 

 

1.71

 

 

NCMR

 

7.2

 

 

 

NCPR

 

 

24

 

 

Crit Rating

 

 

2.5

1

 

 

Might and Vitality seem obvious choices, whichever line you are running. Fate must not be disregarded as it affects your Critical Rating more than Agility does, contributes to your tact mitigation on a par with Will, and also to your Incoming Morale/Power Regeneration (ICMR and ICPR). Ultimately, the choice rests with you, and with you only. I've met a Captain who won't hear about Fate, and would pledge his soul for Agility. To each his own.

 

 

The Captain's Class Skill and trait point Deeds:

 

Not much to say on this account, apart from a general reminder that could apply to any class: complete those as soon as possible. If, for some reason, you have only grey enemies to deal with, I suggest that you take a 90c-ride from Bree (South Gate) to Ettenmoors and complete your daily dose of skill deeds on one of the training dummies there, instead of running around for enemies. They are by far the most convenient, accessible ones (in my opinion). Having said this, I think it's better to train in ''real'' conditions, but sometimes, what with lots of alts and/or limited game time, it's best to advance those this way as they can be very, very long... And training on dummies have the advantage of giving you ample time to observe your skills' effects and cooldown and to hone your rotations.

 

 

Warning against Squishiness:

 

This might sound odd when speaking of a heavy class, but I've seen squishy Captains. I've been one of them. Cap your Resistance Rating. Cap you Critical Defence. Use morale essences if your Physical mitigation and Resistance rating are capped, vitality essences if they're not. Get your Block/Parry/Evade ratings up to snuff, not one should be below 10%. My first time running a T2C Ruined City, I was with Tehya. Boy will she remember the atrocities that ensued for a long, long time...I was more ruined than the city I was trying to save. I just wasn't ready. Captanks can't do serious damage, so cap the stats I have just mentioned and then only go for Critical Rating and such. Saying this, it reminds me that you might want to boost or cap your critical rating anyway, it will make a difference at the end of the day.

 

As a first choice, we are not made for tanking. We are not made to DPS. We are not made to heal. But we can ply ourselves to each of these roles, even though you must bear in mind that we have limits to what we can do. My max hit in red line is 19k. My max heal in blue line is 13k. Whatever we do, we do it slowly, patiently, but we do it.

 

 

PvMP:

 

First off, I think Cappies can do great in the 'Moors (I have yet to go to Osgiliath so for me it's still the Moors ^_^), even at lower ranks. I was attacked by a Rank 6 Warg on my first outing in Grothum. The fight lasted almost a minute and I made him hips. I was savagely happy about it. Yet harrowing reality caught up with me, as he did come back a few seconds and a few pots later and finished off his dirty work...but my point is that neither my RK nor my Hunter could boast of having lasted this long on their first time out. Indeed, I remember my Hunter giving the word 'wipe' a new name during my first Moors session.

Second, I still have to collect data on this side of the game, as the Moors are very quiet these days, so I'll update whenever I get a chance to spend more time out and see better action than what I've seen so far. So consider this last part as work-in-progress.

Third and last, I think Cappies are in their element in the Moors, for even though some only solo there, the vast majority group up and this area is designed to be this way. I've heard the new area is even more group-oriented.

 

I usually run in red line when I'm soloing as it's easier to get rid of the NPCs, yet if I know there's a Creep about I tend to use the blue line. I haven't found the yellow line to be very useful, even though it sometimes deters some Creeps from attacking you on 1v1 (because of the morale...mine is something like 48k at the moment, at Rank 6). But it's because I have traited Terrifying Bellow (yellow line, 10 ranks down, enables Routing Cry to stun enemies when coupled with a defeat event) while in red line. This all-round stun will save your skin and that of your group more than once.

 

Captains are usually very welcome in the Moors for the buffs they provide. The best thing to do if you are invited into a group is to ask which line/role they want you to be in (usually red, but sometimes blue). Most people playing in the Moors know what Cappies do, so don't worry about them wandering away from your passive buffs, they'll come back double-quick when the action comes.

 

Here's a few, pell-mell points:

 

- Make sure to use your Standard (Hope/Victory/War) as soon as it's off CD, and to drag your enemies in.

 

- It's interesting to send your Herald after a Warg, especially when this one has hipsed...then either follow your Henry or dismiss him after a while. It annoys them to no end, and usually stalls their ardour for a (albeit short) while. In order not to give a Creep a defeat event, dismiss your Herald when he's about 1.5-2K morale.

 

- Essence Armour vs Audacity: I decided to give the all-essence armour a try, and so far I'm not doing bad. I'm waiting to get every Audacity piece to compare (3 to go), but I've heard that there's new, specially-designed-for-PvP essence gear...to be continued!

 

-----

 

 

 That's all for now. Thanks for reading down to the end, I don't think I would've done it myself! I hope you found this guide useful. I would be very happy to read your comments, and appreciate your feedback. I know I have missed a few points, but this guide is much too long already and it's getting late here so a few spelling mistakes and unfinished sentences might still hang around somewhere... Take care all, and see you in-game soon!

Ruudwulf Shattershield

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re: O Captain, my Captain!

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Hail, Rangers of the Black Watch!

 

Since I'm barred from playing LOTRO for a while due to Real Life getting in the way, I've considered writing this (hopefully useful!) guide on Understanding Captain, or The Beginner's Guide to Being a Decent Captain in the Wild. I don't consider myself the best Captain, far from it, but I've more often helped to save the day than marred it, so here's my two cents. I intend it to be a sort of step-by-step guide, but the occasional step-aside will be required (I've thrown a couple of handy tips in), so please bear with me as it's going to be a lengthy business.

 

Important: Most of the ensuing discussion should be taken from the cap level (100) and the U16.2 standpoint unless otherwise specified.

 

Important 2: While I tried to tackle all of the main aspects of the Captain, I can't go into details for each and every feature. Tooltips are clear and should be carefully examined. I recommend you use this site for any quick trait reference.

 

Important 3: I should issue a fair warning as this is my take on the Captain class. As there are very few Captains around, I had to learn most of it by myself, hence one cannot decently rule out bias and omissions of which I am solely to be taken responsible.

 

 

The Roles of a Captain:

 

Please note the plural to 'roles', for the Captain can fulfil many, both solo or in a fellowship. The Cappy can DPS to a certain extent, tank to a better extent and heal a great deal too, revive in and out of combat, can do moderate crowd control, and debuff occasionally. But that which Cappies excel is at buffing. When they're called Jack-of-all-trade (and master of none), I sometimes itch to say: “Hey, just you take a good look at your morale and stats now we're in a fellowship.” +10% max morale from Motivating Speech, +130 Might/Vitality/Fate/Agility/Will from In Defence of Middle-Earth. (Pay attention to the 15 meter-radius of these skills, too far out and the buff is gone. Both toggle on automatically, so there's no need to press anything. One last thing: these buffs don't stack...so do not dream of an entire raid of Captains...like me...sigh...) Usually those two skills suffice to get you a hearty welcome from all the members of the fellowship. And those are just passive buffs. Add a Blade-Brother, a Fellowship of the Blade, a couple scrolls, a Hope token and a Duty Bound, and you're good to go.

 

Usually we are considered to be a support class, not able to heal, DPS or tank as finely as the best classes in these regards. Our straight damage and DoT (bleeds) are both ok, our DPS and AoEs just decent really; we have good HoTs (heals), very good buffs and some nice CC, and now is not the time to go into trait trees, but I can safely say that properly-traited yellow Cappies can tank most instances, even though they can prove slightly too weak in the Moors or in T2C in Osgiliath (as tanks). [I was in the process of refining essences, traits and virtues in the yellow line when I had to drop...so more on this later when I have gained more data and experience.]

 

So what are the roles of a Captain? Here's what, quoted from the LOTRO Game Manual (p. 6): “The Captain class is an excellent choice for players who enjoy aiding their fellows while participating in melee combat. With a number of support skills and the ability to call Heralds to fight alongside, a Captain is a natural leader for a fellowship. A Captain provides hope and leadership to his fellows, inspiring them to greater deeds. Captain Tip: Captains are a very broad class with skills and abilities covering all major roles. Because they are so diverse, a Captain will never heal as effectively as a Minstrel, absorb damage like a Guardian, or deal damage like a Hunter or Champion. Yet with well thought out trait arrangements and equipment configuration, a Captain can perform any of these roles reasonably well.” The official inspiration for the class is Eärnur, last King of Gondor. I remember scratching my head for some time trying to figure out how this war-frenzy, hot-tempered Man could inspire anything other than a Champion. I would have seen Aragorn or Boromir as more fitting models, especially since in LOTRO-lore, Eärnur has been bewitched by the Witch-King of Angmar, thus becoming Mordirith, the False King, Steward of Angmar (last boss in Carn Dûm, whom we see coming back commanding the Morgul-host besieging Osgiliath and Minas Tirith, with new powers and a new name: Gothmog. The name is entirely lore-breaking, since it was the name of the Lord of Balrogs in the First Age, and of the Lieutenant of Morgul, notably in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (the nasty-looking Orc in Peter Jackson's The Return of the King) and I'm stopping here since I guess I got carried away '^_^). On this note, the developers aren't so far off: Eärnur did go to Minas Morgul with a small host after he was challenged by the Witch-King (whom he first fought at the Battle of Fornost with the help of Glorfindel), never to be seen again. So LotR-lore-wise, preference could go to Aragorn as a fine exemplar of a Captain.

 

Last point: I drew your attention to the fact that the passive buffs do not stack when two or more Captains meet in a group. Shame or not, let's not forget that different Standards/trait lines DO stack, though.

 

In a nutshell, Captains can be a great addition to a fellowship, both passively and actively, and can be a lot of fun when playing solo because of their great versatility and resilience.

 

 

Concerning Heralds:

 

A Herald is a Captain's aid, and for this reason he/she should be out at all times, unless you don't want to draw aggro or you need to sneak about. They tend to act somewhat oddly, and my Henry is eager to get into a brawl, so sometimes calling them off or leaving them put is best. In my opinion, the Hope Herald (+3% mitigations) is for PvMP and tanking, the Victory Herald (-10% power costs) is for tanking and healing, the War Herald (+5% damage) is for raiding and solo. This being said, you can refine the use of a given Herald to a given situation or play style, e.g. I sometimes use the Victory Herald if I know some players have power problems (like some Hunters or Rune-Keepers) or in long fights (T2C) or I use the War one in the Moors if in a group for the extra DPS.

 

Heralds are considered pets, so those who have toyed with Lore-Masters know that they can can be of great help. Often have I sent Henry to grab the aggro of a group while I took another group on. Often has he died in combat and often have I called him again (in-fight summon, 1s induction, 0s CD) to finish off what he had started. Often has he dealt the final blow to an enemy.

 

A Woodworker can craft very nice Crests which can boost their capacities. A notable example is the Westemnet Blazoned Crest of Victory, giving +768 critical defence and +585 morale for 10 minutes. Also, several traits (in all lines) boost their damage or their capacities, and can also transfer up to 60% of their buffs to the fellowship.

 

And don't forget to use a Herald's skills whenever needed! They have a set of three skills which can save the day...make sure you know and use them well.

 

 

Passive and miscellaneous Skills:

 

You can use every weapon (both one and two-handed) from level one, with the notable exception of the spear at level 10 and the Halberd at level 15. You cannot use bows, but you can use shields (not the Heavy type though) from level 15 onwards. You cannot dual-wield any weapon.

 

You gain a boost to your Critical Defence at level 20 (calculated thus: 6x[level+1], so a maximum of + 606) and to your wielding the halberd at level 30 (+5% Halberd damage).

 

You can start using Armaments (which go in the ranged item slot in your character panel, crafted by Tailors, see the Armaments section below) very early in the game and use a Finely Carved Rallying Horn at level 40. Very useful to call an entire Fellowship to your side, the horn in question is available from Captain Class Trainers for a few pieces of silver (functions the same way as a rally horn, except that it is reusable and has a 10s CD).

 

 

All-round Skills:

 

Here's the list of skills you will automatically acquire upon levelling, regardless of which trait tree you chose. Underneath the chart I have indicated a description of some skill uses whenever I thought of anything of note.

 

 

Active Skills Category Cooldown Range Level:
Battle-shout Tactical 20s 40m 1
Sure Strike Melee 3s 2.5m 1
Devastating Blow Melee 4.2s 2.5m 2
Rallying Cry Heal 15s 30.2m 2
Cutting Attack Melee 20s 2.5m 4
Call to Arms: Herald of Hope Pet + Buff 0s Self 6
Call to Arms: Herald of Victory Pet + Buff 0s Self 6
Call to Arms: Herald of War Pet + Buff 0s Self 6
Make Haste Buff 3m 30.2m 8
Routing Cry Tactical 15s 7.2m 8
Pressing Attack Melee + AoE 4.2s 4.2m 10
Watchful Shield-brother Buff 3s 50m 10
Song-brother Buff 3s 50m 10
Blade-brother Buff 3s 50m 10
Withdraw Buff 2m Self 12
Words of Courage Heal 3s 25m 14
Muster Courage Remove Effect 20s 30.2m 16
Motivating Speech Buff 3s Self 16
Escape from Darkness Revive 5m 25m 20
Inspiriting Call Revive 3s 25m 20
Inspire (Shield-brother) Melee + Heal 15s 2.5m 22
Inspire (Song-brother) Melee + Heal 15s 2.5m 22
Inspire (Blade-brother) Melee + Heal 15s 2.5m 22
Call to Arms: Archer Pet 0s Self 26
Blade of Elendil Melee 4.2s 2.5m 30
Grave Wound Melee 20s 2.5m 30
Command Respect Force Emote 2m 30s 20.2m 40
To Arms (Shield-brother) Buff 1m 50m 40
To Arms (Song-brother) Buff 1m 50m 40
To Arms (Blade-brother) Buff 1m 50m 40
Kick Melee 20s 2.5m 44
Improved Motivating Speech Buff 3s Self 46
Cleanse Corruption Melee 15s 2.5m 50
Improved Blade of Elendil Melee 4.2s 2.5m 52
Fighting Withdrawal Buff 2m Self 62
Improved Sure Strike Melee 3s 2.5m 66
Improved Cutting Attack Melee 20s 2.5m 72

 

1 Battle-Shout (tact): The only ranged attack (40m), single target, deals Light damage. It puts you into a battle-readied state (+5% melee and tactical damage) which triggers new skills.

6 Call to Arms (pet and buff) Herald of Hope/Victory/War: For more info, see the Concerning Heralds section.

8 Make Haste (buff): The ''happy feet'' skill, which can benefit from the DA armour set by gaining a 5s root immunity.

8 Routing Cry (tact): Good AoE tactical melee skill dealing Light damage. In yellow line, it will force nearby targets to attack you and can stun as many as 6 targets (works only after a first defeat event). A legacy can improve its damage by 40%.

[to be continued]

 

 

The Trait Trees

 

Remember that traits cost one point in the main line, and two in the other two lines. I recommend that you have all 4 increments of Steeled Resolve (yellow line, +4% max morale) traited, regardless of which line you intend to use. I'm not going to go into details or the guide will be much too long, so please read the tooltips and don't hesitate to ask questions if something isn't clear.

Bear in mind that if you trait everything all the down, you'll have 22 points to spend in the other two lines.

 

The Blue Line:

 

The interesting specificity of this all-heals line is that you have to hit an enemy in order to heal yourself/the fellowship! Contrary to a Minstrel going full heals who can't deal significant damage, and to a Rune-Keeper who has to sacrifice healing attunement to deal damage, a blue Captain can still do some very decent DPS while significantly healing an entire group. When I write 'significantly', I don't want to go into details: the fact that no-one dies on my watch while I'm healing (not in full raids or T2C endgame instances though, for this would be folly to consider the Captain better at healing than a Minstrel) is good-enough proof of the reliability of the blue line.

 

The list of skills and set skills specific to the blue line can be seen here.

 

The Red Line:

 

This is the damage line. Pretty straightforward. Good thing is to dash a bit of yellow for the bleeds (Call them out!). Light damage is a big thing in this line, so make sure your tactical mastery is up to scratch. Time of need, whilst granting a Battle-Readied state, also gives you very interesting damage and crit buffs. Two Emblem legacies upgrade its duration by up to 10s and decrease its CD by up to 150 seconds, making it an almost permanent buff.

 

The list of skills and set skills specific to the red line can be seen here.

 

The Yellow Line:

 

The tanking line, which also gave us a fun nickname to define yellow-line Cappies: Captank! Of utmost necessity as first or off-tank in a fellowship (once I tried to tank in red line...won't do it again), it can also be very useful soloing bosses or 3-man instances. Tanking necessitates a lot of concentration and a refined knowledge of your skills and their specificities in order to respond to any situation that might arise, for there is only a handful of aggroing skills available, namely Threatening Shout and Grave Wound (when traited thus with Demand Attention, and even then it's a single-target skill). Using Routing Cry is also a good way to get or keep the aggro, yet remember it is not a taunt, so it remains aleatory in efficiency.

One last thing concerning Strength in Numbers (20 ranks down): this skill heals you for X morale (usually somewhere between 150 to 200 uncritted) every second for 10s for each member in your group. It has a 1m CD. Very handy. I have yet to determine if your pets count or not.

 

The list of skills and set skills specific to the yellow line can be seen here.

 

 

Rotation(s):

 

Now to get into the thick of it. Having no other ranged attack than the Battle-Shout and the Archer, a Captain has to go into the thick of it, and double-quick. If, like me, you had never rolled a melee character prior to this, let me warn you against the thrill of the fray! 'Tis a most exhilarating feeling to come out alive of your first battle against a boss and half a dozen adds, but if you don't keep your gear up to snuff, this feeling will turn to frustration as death shall come many a-time as you level up. Rotations play a great part in the game, and I believe many of the skills we use, and the order in which we use them, are mostly induced by the mechanics of the game. Yet we naturally use more skills than others according to our play style and to what we see fit. That's why having three trait trees makes for really diverse rotations from one player to the next (granted, not as diverse as pre-trait tree system), especially when you add the legendary legacies (pre- and post-imbuement) in, since you can really put the accent on how you want your character to be.

 

Now and again, I'm asked to give my rotation in such-and-such line, and always loth am I to give it, first for the reasons explained above, and second as I find the Captain to be very circumstantial. Let me explain. Considering the versatility of the Captain's skills, any given situation calls for a different rotation. Of course, there is an aspect specific to some skills (discussed in the Battle-readied and Battle-Hardened section below) which is compulsory, yet more often than not, I tend to wait during the 'grace period' of a skill (time during which a skill is available) to do other things. For example, if I had to perform Pressing Attack in order to grab the aggro on a couple enemies, then I could shoot Blade of Elendil. But I also have time to put bleeds on both my targets before hitting BoE. But I might want to use it asap because the improved version BoE can remove a Corruption from the target (if Cleanse Corruption is on CD)...and that's only in red line! Of course, this could be said of every class, but I find that the various choices between damaging, healing, tactical, melee, buffing, debuffing skills call for a higher gymnastic of the mind than with the other classes I've played.

 

Yet again, I have never refused to discuss any aspect/situation that you might have in mind, and never will!

 

 

Marks:

 

Whether you be using the blue line's Revealing Mark, the red line's Telling Mark or the yellow line's Noble Mark, all three should be put on the targeted enemy as soon as possible, even before combat begins. Once toggled, the skill will continue to affect this enemy until this one dies or you choose to remove the mark. Only one Mark can be active at any given time, which means that you cannot have any two marks on a single target, nor can you target two different enemies with two different marks.

Both the Revealing and Telling Marks come into action only when you hit the enemy, and will not make you enter combat. Only the Noble Mark, because it is dealing damage over time (Light), will push you into a combat state. This Mark is very interesting in the sense that you can single out an enemy from quite far (40m). I said earlier on that Battle-Shout was the only ranged attack, and I maintain this to be true, as a BS may draw aggro from nearby enemies while the Noble Mark will not.

Also, NM (like all Marks) has virtually no other induction than the animation that goes with it (about a second, if not a tad bit less), which makes it possible to tag/untag an enemy and then move on to the next mob, thus drawing ranged aggro from many mobs at a time. This feature is also quite handy when it comes to untagging a dying enemy and tagging another.

 

 

Blade-Brother, Shield-Brother and Song-Brother:

 

Nice mechanics in any circumstance. You can define a player within your group/fellowship as your brother-in-arm so he/she can benefit greatly from this temporary partnership by sharing some of your abilities with him or her. As this is percentage-based, the more you have of these abilities, the more your Brother will benefit from it. The skill has a 50m radius, so quite comfortable. All these skills increase the Critical Defence, the Physical and Tactical Mastery ratings, putting the accent on a different stat according to each line:

 

Red line: Phys Mast Blue line: Tact Mast Yellow line: Crit Def

 

The traits Fellowship of the Blade (red line), Fellowship of the Song (blue line) and Fellowship of the Shield (yellow line) all apply the same type of boost to the entire fellowship, Brother excluded (who still benefits fully from the skill), up to 60%.

 

Best chain trait ever: 30 ranks down each line you can find Blessing of the Song (blue), Blessing of the Blade (red) and Blessing of the Shield (yellow), which make you benefit from the skills directed to you Brother. In one word, it throws your skills right back at ya. Inspire, To Arms and X-brother's Call are all concerned by this (I'll let you read the tooltips).

 

 

Battle-readied and Battle-Hardened:

 

The concept is quite simple: some skills can only be used when you are in a certain state (akin in function to the Guardian's parry/block response, or the Burglar's gambles). Devastating Blow and Pressing Attack are greyed out until you enter a Battle-Readied (BR) state which lasts 10s. Once you have activated either of these skills, you enter the Battle-Hardened (BH) state which also lasts 10s and allows you to activate the (Improved) Blade of Elendil, final skill in a continuously-more-damaging chain.

 

There is no other way to perform a Blade of Elendil but by being in a BH state. Yet there is another way to be in a BR state: the Battle Tonic! Find ye a Scholar and have him or her craft those. They are a very nice way to enter a fight, or to pick up another after a second's interval: using a Westemnet Battle Tonic puts you right into a BR state (5% melee and tact damage) PLUS it gives you a splendid -70% skill power cost lasting 10s (3m CD).

 

 

Sword and Shield Vs Two-handed:

 

Most Cappies will tell you that S+S (Sword and Shield) is for healing and 2H is for soloing and tanking. And from my experience, I tend to say it's meant to be this way, even though I've seen the advantages of tanking with S+S (bar the loss of a few buffs, DPS and some morale) and the fact that I soloed my way through Moria with S+S. Yet, in my humble opinion, you lose efficiency if you're not healing.

 

Consider the yellow line which offers this great set bonus (called 2-handed Prowess) after spending 5 points down the line: you can block with a 2H weapon (like a Halberd (nudge-nudge-wink-wink)) and have +25% morale boost, making a shield somewhat redundant in this line.

 

S+S in red line is close to a nonsense, as you would lose too much DPS over a 2H weapon. Having said that, I found myself tanking in red line with a S+S...fun times, but hybrid build/gear make for a lot of confusion, and for medium results.

 

All this to say that S+S is great, though not compulsory, in blue line.

 

 

Legendary Items:

 

I will, against all odds, leave this part as open as possible. Legendary items have a tricky mechanics of their own, which need a separate article (I have written a guide on LIs, pre-imbuement, which is getting old, but you can find updated ones on the LOTRO forum and the Wiki). Once you have understood those mechanics, you should have a fairly good mastery of your Captain, and know which skills fit your style best. The next section is discussing briefly the pros and cons of having two sets of gear and Lis, for you might want to consider having different sets for different trait trees.

Moreover, please consider carefully which relics you fit in, as those will put a definite focus to your Lis. I nonetheless provide a wikilink to a summary of all the legacies and their effects. Legacies up to level 99 and Legacies after 100.

 

 

Twofold or not twofold:

 

Having two or more sets or armour/jewellery/weapons is not uncommon in LOTRO. My RK has one rune for the yellow line, and one for the red line. Not to say that I have refined the art of Cappy-ness to its farthermost boundary, but I have two partial sets of essence armour and one set of weapons, depending on my needs. A tanking set (for survivability) and a DPS one (for, well, more damage). I can't tell you to do it, because it is time-consuming...but I recommend you do if you want to make your Cappy invaluable and enjoyable on all occasions.

 

Also, it is quite cumbersome to devote crucial space in one's bags to carry those: one needs 6 slots. I have three essence pieces, a cloak and a 2H/S+S that I swap, and I use this very handy plugin (which incidentally could also be used for Warden's gambits or any skill rotation).

 

Some of you might see where I'm driving at...but the reality is quite other. Of course, you can have a tanking gear and use it with your DPS LIs. Of course, you can do this and run in blue line. Of course, you can do all this and use a Herald of Victory. You can. Many different settings are possible. But the actual application is relative, as I was just dabbling into this before stopping. I will come back to you and give you some heads-up when I have tested it more thoroughly.

 

 

Armaments:

 

These are permanent buffs applied to the Captain only (not to the Herald nor to the fellowship). There are three main types: the Standard of Hope, of Victory and of War. The Intricately Wrought Eorlingas Standard of Hope gives +4,268 Physical mastery rating and +2,335 Morale. The one of Victory gives +4,268 PM rating, +746 Power and +1,168 Morale. The Standard of War gives +5% Melee damage, +5,339 PM and +1,168 Morale.

They almost all function on the same basis at different levels (look at the tooltips if in doubt). Tailors make them from a couple pieces of leathers, so it is not an excuse not to have one. Plus, they really make a difference (make up in stats for the fact that we can't wield a heavy shield). Tailors can also craft different armaments, called Herald Armaments: Footsoldier, Defender, Warden, Commoner, Man-at-Arms, Squire, Pilgrims, Shield-Maiden, Swordswoman, Maid-at-Arms which all give armour value (different number according to the armament) to the Herald and not to the Captain, this time. Remember that some of those require that you be Kindred with a certain reputation. I tend to consider those as leaning more on the cosmetic side, unless you engage your Herald in more serious battles. I'll let you discover how some Captains have acquired the Oath-Bound Herald (the ghost one)...all I can say is that it involves a certain Book .

 

When you start playing, you can acquire basic armaments from your local Captain trainer.

 

 

Virtues and Stats:

 

I could recommend fundamental Virtues that all good Cappies should, nay, ought to have. In the end, we can all read tooltips and decide for ourselves.

 

Instead, I'll warn each and every one of you Rangers of something which is easily forgotten: cap levels. For there is, in the end, no need to boost an already-capped stat with either a Virtue or a relic. Here's a quick tour of cap levels regarding stats for all classes (the number in parentheses is the actual number you need to hit):

 

Armour: 100% Physical mitigation and 20% tactical mitigation (not sure how this works, I would love to read/hear more about it!) 1 point of Armour amounts to a 1-point increase in Physical mitigation and a 0.2-point increase in Tactical Mitigation.

Base stats (Morale/Power/Might/Vitality/Agility/Will/Fate): NO CAP, yay!

Critical Rating: 25% (16,843). Magnitude at 40% (20,000) and Devastate at 10% (14,778)

Finesse: 50% (36,834)

Physical and Tactical Mastery: 200% (80,000) for damage, 70% (66,584) for Outgoing Healing Rating.

Resistance: 50% (36,834)

Critical Defence: 100% (19,990,000) A short note for this stat: though there is a virtual cap, it is unreachable as it's meant to reduce the critical rating of any hit (which is believed to be at best 50% more damage on top of a max hit)...so even though you can virtually bring the critical rating of any hit to 0%, you'll still take the base damage of this hit. Hope I'm clear :p But look on the bight side, you only need 40,000 points to reach 80%.

Incoming Healing Rating: 25% (15,815)

Block/Evade/Parry: 25% (36,045) Partial avoidance 10% (14,778). Partial avoidance mitigation 15% (7,000)

Physical and Tactical Mitigations: Light Armour: 40% (12,500), Medium Armour: 50% (18,750) Heavy Armour: 60% (16,658) A rather long note concerning Physical Mitigation: if you hover your mouse over the stat, you will notice how you can still increase Orc-craft and Fell-wrought mitigations even though the Physical mitigation cap is reached. I have yet to find the cap for these two stats (mine, all buffed and perked up, go as high as 51.2%...guess it could cap at 60%). Orc-craft damage is dealt by siege weapons in Epic Battles, and by Orc and Uruks in PvMP, and bypasses a lot of Critical Defence and Physical Mitigations. Fell-wrought damage is dealt by arrow volleys in Epic Battles, and by Spiders and Wargs in PvMP, and bypasses a lot of Critical Defence and Tactical mitigations.

 

Now that we know almost all there is to know about cap levels, suffice it to say that one doesn't need to go for a virtue which won't add up to a capped stat pool. So please check carefully where you're at before toying with those. For example, my red-line Captain has her crit rating, parry and finesse capped, while in yellow-line she has her resistance, block and crit def capped...while having her mitigations and ICHR capped at all times.

 To be continued in the next post...

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