Tuesday, March 2, 2010

LOTRO Cooking: Your Timesink Or Your Life

LOTRO has a new patch out, and with it came a minor revamp of cooked foods. Previously, food had two purposes - it was something that you ate to fill up your HP immediately, but also something that gave a more long-lasting in-combat regeneration benefit. The good news with the patch is that the out of combat regen lasts longer. This means that you're not going to have to sit watching your health regenerate because you still have a regen buff that you don't want to waste by eating more before the old food expires. The bad news is that these two goals are now set in opposition to each other.

Now you have a "choice" in the type of food you eat. Do you want 50% more out of combat regeneration, decreasing the time it takes to recover your health after combat (generally spent doing nothing but watching the screen, unless you're in a very crowded area where you might be attacked)? Or do you want to double the amount of IN-COMBAT regeneration from your food? The latter stat can literally save your life in a tough situation. The former merely reduces your downtime.

Making trade-offs to improve your effectiveness in game is a reasonable place to put a gameplay choice. Previously, the choice was between health regen, power regen, or a combination of the two. This was an interesting choice, because tanks might just want health, non-tanks in a group setting might just need power, and soloers might want a mix of both.

Having a choice between "die because you didn't have enough in-combat regen" and "spend more time waiting for out of combat regen ticks" is not a strategically interesting choice - in the long run, the amount of time you will lose if you die because of incorrect food selection outweighs the increased regen, so the only reasonable choice is to spend more of your gaming time sitting and watching the screen while you wait for the slower out of combat recovery. More time non-interactively watching the screen is the very last thing that LOTRO needs.


  1. I would call the food types "dungeon food" and "world food".

    There is not much out there that can kill me easily, so I would always eat the out of combat food.

    This said, is this a good or a bad way to differentiate food?

    (BTW, your assumption is a bit off, if I die, the chance that this food, that food or no food would have changed that is not always given. In fact it would not have mattered most of the time, given my LOTRO experiences.)

    I am not sure how to answer this, but this is an example how I would play: out of combat regen food. If I see a group that I deem dangerous, I will eat some incombat regen food before.

  2. I very rarely have to deal with out of combat downtime in this game, so for me the choice will always be the in-combat food type.

  3. The only food I will ever use is in combat power regen, and even there only in really tough instances. The other options aren't nearly compelling enough to bother lugging around a stack.

    My downtime in between combats is pretty close to zero without any food. I also can't imagine that slightly better in combat health regen is going to determine whether I live or die in most situations. On the rare occasions I do get killed, it's not likely to be a near thing . . .

  4. @Long and Yeebo: If you get in a fight that lasts for two minutes, the kind of situation where you are most likely to need consumable help, the in-combat health regen buff adds up to as much health as an athelas potion. (Advantage: you can't forget to use it or go to use it too late, disadvantage: you can't uneat the food if the fight goes well and you didn't need the buff.) Maybe my view is skewed by running skirmishes (tier 1, not the fancy tough ones) on my Champion, but there are definitely Lieutenant pulls that go badly where I need cooldowns plus consumables to survive (and end the encounter very low on morale to boot).

  5. Personally, I Think of them as Skirmish food (out of combat regen) and Dungeon Food (in combat regen).

    Mainly because in skirmishes what slows me up is the regen betwen combats, and in dungeons I like to be less of a burden on the healers.


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