I know the pun in the title will elude many, but I'm really talking about the Moors
I intend to list a number of observations acquired since I've been leading groups out there, of things I deem necessary to know, to use and to understand if you venture "out there", especially since more and more Rangers join us in the heart of the fray. I know it is going to be a long post, so please bear with me.
It may seem simple, but it is a redoubtable exercise. Basically, four Rangers/non-Rangers assume this difficult role: Jaderen/Emelyn, Andelie/Issabo (better-known among the Rangers as Annalin), Fioria (aka Eyelashes-batter) and I (almost exclusively on my RK, Alcarnarmo). The success or debacle of a group, whether it be a 3-man or a full raid, depends as much on the ability of the leader to man this group as on each member of this group to follow orders. And as always, rest assured that every single one of us is doing his or her best.
Basically, there is small number of people willing to lead in the Moors, Freepside, half of which is in our kin.
Just so you understand what a leader has to do, here is a non-exhaustive list:
- organise the different groups according to the classes present
- accept/refuse incoming people in the raid; often the fewer the better.
- make sure all are geared, stocked with pots, with empty bags
- make sure everyone can hear (at the very least, voice is not compulsory though it helps)
- give clear indications of what we will do, or where we will go (I have to work on this one )
- inspire confidence, and enough confidence to follow him or her to face utter madness (outnumbered 2-3 to 1 is not unheard of)
- watch OOC for Creep activity
- watch the map to decide upon a course of action
- work with other Freep groups to coordinate attacks/defences
- answer tells of people asking for help, group, info, advice on gear...
- make sure everyone is safe, stays with the group, has the appropriate quest logged etc.
Jaderen explained here the 10 rules of how to be in a raid and here how to gear up for Moors, so I'm not going to go back on them, they are straightforward enough.
Inasmuch as we don't like having our butts nibbled by a Warg, it will happen. Especially if you are lagging at the back because of the lag or because you wanted to smell the roses, and even more so if you are new(ish) to the Moors (what we call "Red ranks" because the first five levels have a red icon). The group is always moving fast -- occasionally not, but that's not the norm -- so unless specified you should always be ready to mount up.
In the sad but likely event of you being targeted whilst the group is ahead of you, do not panic. Heal yourself, use your pots, say "Warg on me"/"X needs help at the back" (we don't always recognise voices). I know it's difficult but try and be precise. "I need help here" doesn't give any indication of location and nature of the danger. We almost always have a "fat kid at the back", namely an experienced and/or heavy class at the back of the group who can survive being picked on by a dog.
Imagine if, while we are fighting a group of 24, half the raid starts shouting that he/she has something on his back...utter confusion ensues...specially since it's more than likely that we ALL have something on our back.
So, let's keep confusion at bay by keeping communication to the strictly functional, especially when facing large groups. I know, and I'm probably one of the main ones to be so, that we are the chatty-type bunch. And often I tend to chat to try and alleviate the tension in the group. Most of our newer additions still are tensed because they know they are still vulnerable, and tensed is the leader (for different reasons -- cf supra), and though it's always fun to run with kinnies, this is not an instance, nor a Roving Threat. The predictability of what we're hunting is more often than not next to zero, in terms of location, movement, speed, action and fighting skills. We could be ganked on all sides by a Warg pack right in the middle of OR, and what will make the difference between wiping and living to tell the tale is our ability to stay focused and calm. If you are inside the group, then it's more likely than not that the healers are already throwing heals your way. If you are outside of the group, then call out as calmly as possible. Trust your healers, trust your leader.
The Leader of Men
All this leads me to say: stay with the group, move with your leader. He/She always has an icon over his or her head, which makes it easier for you to run to him/her. This icon is vital, especially if you removed floating names (helps with the lag), and especially if you want to be healed. All four of us have a healing class (which makes it harder to lead and call out targets, but we do it nonetheless ) and a ranged class if we're not healing, which means that we'll be hanging a little outside of the fray. Melee classes of course have to run in the midst of the raging battle, but they should stay within range of the heals and be ready to pull back if the leader says so.
Fall back to the Keep!
Sometimes we need to fall back, and quickly, because droves of Creeps can't stand being slayed in such great numbers anymore and are pushing with fresh reinforcements. Here, and at all times, will the infamous "protocol" apply. What we call "the protocol" is simple: when the leader orders to fall back, you simply run. Not all members have the same reactivity, so some may lag behind, resulting in them being slowed/rooted/dazed/webbed/stunned...perhaps right before your eyes. The protocol states that you do not stop. You can, of course, throw a heal on the run if your class allows it, but under no circumstance should you stop to heal that person, nor to engage the enraged horde of Creeps rushing after us. The reason being that if we all do this, we will inevitably wipe and give all our points to the opposing side. It's much better to lose one, or even two, members of the group than eight or ten. It is a heart-rending situation, we all know this, having experienced it many a time, but it is a necessary evil. One piece of advice: don't look back, run where the leader says to run, mend your wounds and start afresh, ready to avenge your brother/sister-in-arms' death.
The only exception to this is when the leader (or another player with a good knowledge of what he/she is doing) decides to stay behind to hold Creeps long enough to give the group time to retreat. Sometimes a sacrifice is needed to ensure the safety of the rest of us.
Your healers, or the Rotation of the Dead
Protect them. Keep an eye on them as Wargs like to pick on them. Trust your healers to pull you through the fiercest encounters, because without them the chances of surviving are next to none. A wise old philosopher from Ancient Greece, circa the 7th century BC said: "You can't DPS if you're dead". He couldn't have been more true.
This being said, healers are not always the primary target. If you are not geared (which is easy enough to guess by every player because the Moors gear is visually recognisable), if you are low rank, if you are a squishy class (Light), if you are a Hunter, then you suddenly appeal more to the Creeps, for you are easy Infamy for them (the equivalent of Renown for us). We ensure that everyone stays within a visual perimetre of the Leader (remember, the icon) because that's where the healers are/should be. I know it's hard for melee classes to resist the temptation of a Creep with 10% morale left...but sometimes that Creep has friends where it's headed. Don't worry about that even, because we usually get them, soon or late, and sometimes repeatedly...you'll be amazed at the number of "friends" you make if you kill a certain Creep more than twice in a row.
Because we PvP and we like it. This plugin is a must-have, and you can find it here. To install it, first make sure the game isn't launched, download it, unzip on desktop, find your "Lord of the Rings Online" folder, open the Plugins folder, copy/paste the unzipped PVMP+ folder. Start the game. Open the Plugin Manager, load PVMP+. It will ask you to enter your renown (Character panel => The War tab at the bottom). Now you're good to go.
It will keep track of your hourly/daily/total renown, your commendations (cap is 15k) BUT it will also tell you which Keep/Outpost is owned by which side; it will tell you if you are tracked (or if someone in the group gets a lootbox or a key), will give you access to a map of the Moors and many different options. Very handy tool to have, sometimes a life-saver in case of a sniffing Warg.
Yes, it is there. Sometimes we are skill-locked, can't move, are disconnected, see 1 frame every 10 seconds, die without knowing it. Too many Freeps/Creeps on screen and it's a lag festival. Won't get fixed anytime soon, so we have to make do. Use the settings mentioned below and it should reduce it to the maximum.
Whether you have a high-end computer or a decent-enough laptop to play with, you will suffer from the lag.
You can tweak a number of variables in order to reduce the infamous, but sometimes hilarious lag.
First, make sure you're not downloading something in the background, that no other program is running.
Second, open your Options panel. Reduce the Overall Graphics quality to Low or Very Low. Then go to Advanced Graphics setting, Object Draw Distance should be put back to Very High, or Ultra High if your computer can take it. Then, scroll down and set Player Crowd Quality to the minimum.
Third, you can remove floating names, mask cloaks and weapons in the Character Outfit tab, they have been known to help (a bit).
Fourth, under Combat Option, untick ''Enable persistent area effect visualization".
Fifth, under UI Settings, Floating Information, untick 'Floating Renown / Infamy" and "Floating Barter Items".
Sixth, under Social Options, tick the two options under Group Effect Options.
Finally, open your quest tracker (L) and untick "Show quest tracker" at the top right-hand corner of the panel. This one can be tricky since you don't know if you've completed such and such quest, but believe me, you'll be happy to discover that you do once you have taken a keep from the hands of those barbarians (the "now-I-have-other-fish-to-fry-than-to-have-lag-interrupt-me-because-my-quest-tracker-is-updating syndrome).
Soloing and OOC
I know it's not directly touching upon grouping in the Moors, but soloing is interesting too.
I do solo in the Moors, but that's because I know covert routes, nooks and crannies if I'm attacked, usual Creep routes and map-in points; because I'm geared to the teeth, because I even have a special build for soloing. But even then I do die frequently. If you want to venture out there, I strongly recommend that you duo with a confirmed player, Ranger or not.
OOC can be a great source of info in the Moors, but also a great trap. There are players out there who are infamously renowned for their meanness, for being tricksy and two-faced. Some switch sides, spy for the other side, have no other principles than mocking and trapping others. Some gloat over your death. But some other people are nice, and helpful, yet the only way to know is to live it sometimes, or have a nice Ranger to tell you who's who.
*EDIT 2* Spies
It so happened that yesterday and the day before (but it could be any other day), we picked someone up while riding in the Moors. One we even invited into the kin. I will be blunt and ruthless regarding the latter, but this should not happen ever again. We have the example of an Illuminatii player (infamous kinship in the Moors who constantly rile and trap players) leaving this kinship, going into 3 different kinships in the course of a week and then back into the Illuminatii. We don't want rotten apples. We picked one up yesterday and that spy gave away our position and intentions, that is why we kept on ''stumbling upon'' the Creep raid, which in turn led to more tension and frustration.
In the light of this I enjoin you to read again the Leading part...and you'll get a feeling of the responsibilities we have.
I hope these observations will help you make the most of that intense, sometimes frustrating, fun and challenging experience.
Thanks to those who kept reading to the end, those who didn't fall asleep and those who will comment on/add anything to what I've said!
As always, your faithful servant, Ruud/Alc
I forgot to mention two points, one of which can surprise people. First, if your leader tells you NOT to engage a Creep, please don't. This player might just be questing, and leveling up, and it's too easy to zerg one Creep with a full raid ("zerg" is an awful term to say that you outnumber the other party 6v1 or 12v1 and you kill it nonetheless). Totally at the discretion of the leader, who decides upon many factors...sometimes, they do regret it, but that's the game.
Second, sometimes your Audacity rating goes from whatever it was back to 1. This is a known issue, so if you notice that during a fight you are going down amazingly fast, check it (The War panel). If this is the case, take off all your Moors gear and put it back on.
Last edited by Ruudwulf Shattershield on Feb. 18th, 2016 4:10 am; edited 2 times in total
A few observations from the viewpoint of a new kid on the team. First, I'm having fun. Sure, its intense, frustrating at times and somewhat confusing... especially starting out and playing through those awkward stages when you are still building up your gear. I'm very thankful for the guidance we receive on the battlefield AND here in this thread.
Yesterday, I was running in a group with Ruudy as leader. He asked me a very simple question... "Did you read the posts on our forums?" ... I won't lie, that threw me for a loop and kinda hurt my feelings. Did I break a rule? Or did I miss a direct order? Something about using my champ's AOE skills to bring WARGS out of stealth?
Anyway, I don't mind if you use me as an example Ruudy. Perhaps explaining my blunder here will work for the good of our team. Be blunt... I can take it... I want to get better. Borrowing an adage from a couple of my favorite healers, "we're tryin' over here!"
Okay, next topic... as a Moor's newbie, it is quite hard to anticipate what is going to happen next. I'm sure with more experience, that will clear up a little. Sometimes we go into an outpost, kill npcs and exit area quickly. I worry sometimes that I missed a quest turn in and/or quest pick up... I've learned NOT to worry. Our leaders know the deal... when they say, "Move out, quickly... as a group" I don't even pause to think anymore, I just do it.
And my last bit for today... probably our biggest problem out there on the battlefield is server LAG. I've followed all the suggestions and reset my graphics, which helps to a certain degree... but there are times when I get so frustrated because I can't move at all. For example, yesterday fighting on THAT hill. I started at back of group, took a few steps forward; by the time I can move again I'm now at the front of the group, frozen and dying from poison and bleeds. I honestly don't know how to handle this situation. Should I just back off for a while? Should I relog? Map back to GV? I don't want to start making excuses for being out of position but most of my ugly deaths are due to lag... either my own or the group is floundering about trying to regain control of their computers.
I'll start by answering your questions from the bottom up. First, there is nothing you can do against the lag. As I wrote in my previous post, whatever the configuration your PC has, you will have it, whether you live 2 miles from the datacenter or 4,000. And yes, the lag is the main cause of death in 75% of the shuffles (TR-GV shuffles or like yesterday Lugz-Grams) and in 50% of open field battles, because you either freeze and find yourself surrounded by enemies which don't seem to suffer as much from the lag, or you are skill-locked and none of your skills fires off, while poison and bleeds slowly but surely shorten the agony. Some people think it's based on where on the map you are, and true enough some locations do generate more lag than others, but more often than not it's just the sheer number of players, effects, buffs and debuffs, pets, cosmetic pets and animations that have to appear on screen which generate the lag. All you can do is either wait if you froze, or run away from the battle if you are skill-locked.
Second, true you are Randy in pointing out that the whole experience of being led, of being part of a group, can be confusing as we all have been used to safely go to a ring on the radar to click on it and get the quest. Even pre-merger, Meneldorian PvPer could safely do this. Now on Arkenstone, it's faster-paced. Let me explain some game mechanics there. Keeps like Tirith Rhaw (TR), Lugazag (Lugz), Tol Ascarnen (TA) can be flipped either by physically going there and kill the tyrant and its adds, or by sitting and waiting for it to flip automatically. When a Keep has been on one side for too long, the system flips it back to the other side, just to be fair and to allow players on both sides to do some quests. SO, when you see a Keep flipping, it could mean: 1 Creeps are there, 2 Auto-flip. Outposts (OP) like Hithlad OP, River OP have to be flipped manually. The auto-flip (because it does exist) flips the OP neither to Creep nor to Freep side, but to the Forces of the Delving of Fror (neutral side, attacks both sides equally), so both sides lose the +3,400 Mastery buff.
Now, having said this, I have seen a few Keep auto-flipping in the morning for me (which means late at night for you guys in the US), but even then rarely, and I have never seen an OP flip to the Delving of Fror. Never. Which means that there is always a Freep or a Creep playing in the Moors. No longer any respite, questing or farming quest items possible without the possibility of being jumped on. SO, when the leader says to quickly jump on your horse right after taking a Keep or an OP, just do it, like you do...as chances are that the leader or somebody else in the group has the quests already (think of Grothum) and can share them while riding away from a possible Creep incoming. So yeah, it IS fast-paced.
Last point, but not least, I won't say I am sorry for being blunt sometimes, and in that specific case I meant it in some sort of caring-but-firm way. You are a fast learner, for sure, and I wanted to make sure you had read this post as I wouldn't have taken the time to write it if I thought it to be a mere trifle. I have now a good knowledge of the Moors and of its mechanics -- though I still have loads to learn and grouping with Yellowcab yesterday made me realise a good few things -- and even though it mightn't appear this way, I care about the safety of the group and ensure that all have their share of the fun. Which means that sometimes I will have to press a specific player because he/she is lagging behind too much, sometimes I will make a sacrifice for the greater good, or give a direction/order which you will disagree with or not understand straight off the bat. Or might use a different lingo or word that will bog you down. Sometimes, yes, on the spur of the moment, dozens of words flash in my mind (sometimes in a language other than English) and I choose one...all I can say is "We're trying over here" (on a side note, those people responsible for this quote should really trademark it, royalties would pour in).
We all make mistakes, and a leader making a bad decision happens, once in a while. It's a learning curve for everyone, and none should actually feel hurt in their amour propre (hence the title of this thread). Yet, and I cannot stress it enough, the Moors are not an instance, its main characteristic is unpredictability. To conclude, as I already wrote in the original post, trust your leader, trust your healers. And we will all have fun :D
Thanks for taking the time to check back here each day and answer questions. I can't say how blessed our kinship is to have folks that share their knowledge of the game.
I know you do this IN-GAME too but posting ideas, strategies and guidelines here is a great way for us to keep informed. For instance, your explanation of the 'flipping' mechanic... hells bells, I always thought OP stood for overpowered... LOL; so even the smallest details are appreciated.
PS... not that we have the time to jot down notes while running the Moors, but I'll try to keep posting questions to share with our kinmates
Here's one: after running in a group for even a few hours, my bags were filled with all sorts of NEW/STRANGE items. What should I keep for quest turn-ins? What should I sell off to vendor?
The quickest, dirtiest answer to this is, if it has a green background (like crafting items do in PVE), keep it, as most of these are associated with quests.
With that said, there are some green items that don't have quests attached to them, or require so much Moors PVEing as to make completing them often unlikely - especially if you're on with a group doing PVP runs. There are some items, which drop much less often, that are also useful, such as the Moors pots - their uses are pretty self-explanatory from the tooltip info. Sometimes you will get drops that are meant for Creeps, and not Freeps. Most of these are obvious (hobbit feet, elf ears, blood of the free peoples), but they're usually rare anyway.
I'll poke around and see if I can find a full list online - not sure if there is one.
_________________ Massan, Captain Nutter of Withywindle
Neddor, Untrustworthy Guardian of Meneldor
This is a list of what you need to keep on a daily basis, and some for various quests (up to 4 for some items, so I'll put a umber in parentheses to give an approximate of how many you should have at hand), so when you come into the Moors, keep those with you at all times. Remember, if you don't have many or any, it's still ok :) And before I proceed, thanks Ned for pointing out something I hadn't noticed before (the background colour)!
There is no particular order to this list, as completing any specific quest really depends on which Keep is blue.
* Food sacks (30) -- Two quests
* Hoarhallow ale (34) -- Two quests
* Historical Notes of Rhudaur (10)
* Historical Books of Rhudaur (5)
* Tracker's Badges (10)
* Soldier's Patches (10)
* Taskmaster's Brands (5)
* Chieftain's Seals (1)
* Tyrant's Lash (1)
* Grimwood logs (10)
* Grimwood Branches (10)
*Grimwood Kindling (10)
* Isendeep Ore (40) -- Arguably the most needed yet the most difficult one to gather on a regular basis, so don't worry if you don't have all that's needed...you will, at one point.
* Barrels of Oil (10)
* Drake Teeth (4)
* Untreated Leather Hides (20)
* Norbog Gizzards (10)
* Slabs of Norbog Meat (10)
* Shattered Blades (10)
* Thistledown Hides (20)
* Tokens of Valour (36) -- You need to keep this number of tokens available in your bags in case the two NPCs haven't been already killed by the Creeps, as each gives 100 Renown.
Remember that you should NEVER spend any commendation to do the two quests in GV, as they are Session Plays and really a waste of time and comms, and that you should wait to have secured 36 Tokens of Valour daily before spending them in The Valorous Quest (25 tokens) and not in any of the other two quests available at Quatermaster Ash (which quests you don't need to pick up, by the roundabout way).
One last thing before I go: depending on how often you come to the Moors (the oftener the more you'll need), you need between 10 and 20 slots open in your quest log. We don't want to be stalled because 2 or more people need to choose a quest to cancel before picking one up...there's lots to pick up.
Hey gang! First I just want to say how grateful I am for the fantastic leadership we have, and the willingness you all show for teaching us how to play the Moors! It's been almost three years since I've been in the O so blessed land of the Moors, and I can't wait to get back and join in with you all.
Ruudy, this is a fantastic write up on the Moors and what it takes to work as a group, lead, and have fun while doing it. Thank you Jade for his write up on the gear, Anna, Fio, & all our other Rangers out in the Moors as well, for all the hard work and attention to allowing people the chance to become better at the game!
You all truly do make this game enjoyable to play!!
Attempting to keep this thread interesting... more personal curiosity than anything; but could we get some explanation about the creep-side spawn points on the map? I've never played a Creep so I have no clue as to how those mobs move around on the map.
There are 15 maps altogether, in 5 sets of three (plus a map to instantly get you back to gramsfoot). You gain them through questing for each area and you get the crude map first, then the poor map, then the good map.
1 Good Isen
2 Poor Isen
3 Crude Isen
4 Poor Lug
5 Crude Lug
6 Good Lug
7 Poor TA
8 Crude TA
9 Good TA
10 Crude Grimwood (LC)
11 Poor Grimwood (LC)
12 Good Grimwood (LC)
13 Crude TR
14 Good TR (and new orc camp?)
15 Poor TR
best map I can find with all the spawns not are server but its all the same. hope this helps :D
If you open your PVMP+ plugin and click on the + icon, you'll get a small panel with your last 5 kills, a window in which you can enter the number of Creeps facing you and press send (which will post a help message on the OOC with coordinates) AND also a View Map button, which will in turn open a map with ALL Creeps spawn points.
Randy: Creeps don't have access to mounts or out-of-moors ports to get them around the map, and so they are given - as Elle said - mapping points as rewards for doing different quests on their side of the game. These work much in the same way as traditional ports/milestones: each of them takes the creeps to a specific location on the map, and has a cooldown associated with it (the better the quality of the map, the shorter the cooldown).
That's how creeps are able to move around quickly, and why they can sometimes seem to appear in great numbers out of nowhere. If one creep (or a freep spy) spots you near a map-in point, they can call us out on the Creep OOC, and any interested creep or craid can map in to quickly visit you.
_________________ Massan, Captain Nutter of Withywindle
Neddor, Untrustworthy Guardian of Meneldor
1) Now that we've acquired the Moors essence armor set by bartering our commendations... what is the best way to spend commendations in the future?
2) Does anyone use audacity gear outside of Moors?
3) (this one is a little harder to phrase) when you are checking your stat levels, should we NOT be in Moors area? For example, if I'm standing in Bree, my morale is less than 30,000... but when in GV, morale is 30K+...
Well, let's answer these, they don't seem too difficult for a lazy Sunday morning :)
1) If you're not thinking of bringing another toon in the Moors -- who in their right mind would level more than one toon in the Moors? Who said we were in our right mind? -- you can spend your comms by doing the following:
a. Since anything bartered against Commendations is Bound on Acquire, you can still bring a capped toon to the Moors and barter for Anfalas Scrolls of Empowerment (they used to cost 7,500 comms, now they're at 1,000) to level up your LIs, available at the class trainer (filter: Legendary Weapons lvl 100).
b. Same for Essences. Bear in mind they are level 95, but since they are Greaters, they are still better than Purple 100s. They are available from Alwuld (Item Trader) near the rock at the entrance to the safe path.
c. You can barter for a relic (filter: Equipments and Runics) at your class trainer, which you can decon for shards.
d. There is a number of interesting consumables obtainable from Alwuld.
Before doing so, you should make sure that you have bartered for a) your Precise Map to GV at Rank 4 and b) the proper insignia for your rank.
2) The long answer to that is: no :P Yet I have toons with ONLY Moors gear at cap level (Mini/Guard) and they're doing just fine. What you need is what I call 'fine tuning' of the stats to met the demand.
3) If you want to check your stats for the Moors, go the Moors. If you want to check your stats for PvE, don't be in Bree since you have a +1 Hope there, and it alters some of your stats :P Bree is a little better than Rivendell in this regard, for there you'll have +5 Hope. Which is great if you want to have a look at your prospective stats with a Hope token on.
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