Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Post-Newbie Learning Curves

My new Runekeeper alt got her ceremonial first death out of the way. This milestone is a rite of passage for new LOTRO characters because the game offers a title for reaching level 20 un-defeated. Having gotten it over with, I'm free to play Kelthwyn (Kelethin + Gorowyn, because I've decided that I'm officially stealing names for my characters from other games henceforth) without altering my playstyle out of worry of breaking the streak.

The thing that struck me about the death - at level 10, shortly beyond the earliest newbie quests in the game's non-instanced world - was how abrupt it felt. One quest, I was fighting mobs that had half as much HP as I did, who would die in about three hits and who could be pulled singly without difficulty. The next quest sent me up against mobs with as much HP as I have, who like to attack in groups. By the time I figured out exactly how violent spell pushback is in LOTRO when you're being attacked by two mobs, I was dead.

There is a possibility that Rune-keeper is simply the wrong alt class for me - though many Champions pick that class as an alt (perhaps because the two are just about the most different that you can get), I've never been a fan of cripplingly brutal spell pushback. That said, the slope of the learning curve in this particular case seemed unreasonably steep. Maybe the point was to deliberately make the first levels easy on newbies learning the UI and then pound the fear of death defeat into players.

I hope that's it, because I want to play some sort of LOTRO alt, and I'm not that excited about any of the other options.


Spinks said...

I found the runekeeper quite fragile as a solo class at lower levels, but it does get much better once you have the hang of it. I'd stick with it if you like the class, there is a rough patch fairly early on.

Thallian said...

Thought of playing a minnie? They get medium armor and better emergency abilities in my opinion, though less dps. Their moves make pretty music if you play with a harp or low notes with my theorbo too.. ;)

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

I've noticed the Champion/RK thing. My theory is that it's kind of two sides of the same coin. The Champion is nice for learning because you have good damage and good defense with heavy armor. But, it can be a bit disappointing in the high end when your role becomes more limited. AoE, the Champion specialty, is only really useful in a few places (and in some hard modes, absolutely forbidden). Champion damage keeps getting restricted with every major patch, it seems, but the tactical classes are still going strong. Perhaps it's a "grass is greener" issue.

I originally hated the RK. I found it really fragile, as you point out. Pushback is a real pain if you have more than one enemy on you, definitely. But, I found that I really enjoyed the RK more as part of a duo. Get yourself a tank and you'll shine: you can DPS to make things go quick (expect the tank to whine that you pull aggro all the time), but can switch to healing to tackle some of the harder stuff. My GF's Warden and my RK just duoed a full group quest the other day, even.

Anyway, maybe see if you can find someone to group with. I found that to be a more fun setup in general, not just for the RK. :)