There is a Lt that Never Goes Out…

…Well, until he does. Repeatedly.

To set the scene, the Lieutenant of Barad Guldur is the current final boss in LotRO. He rides a fell beast, and he’s /actually/ a Nazgul. Yes, we get to fight a Nazgul in Book 1, but not to actually kill one until the end of the Mirkwood content. It’s an unforgiving fight and we’ve been plugging away at Barad Guldur for at least 6 months – months that seem to have dragged for me.

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the design in Barad Guldur, though I’ve enjoyed all of LotRO’s previous raids (The Rift is awesome and you get to kill a Balrog, Helegrod has a massive undead dragon as a boss and is the only 24-man content in the game, Dar Narbugud has some interesting boss fights, through a multi-boss adventure). Barad Guldur has 3 boss fights. You can do all of them in normal or challenge mode. But that means instead of 6 bosses, you have 3 bosses that you fight twice in the course of conquering all the content in all possible ways. To me, that made it feel like it dragged on a lot longer.

We’ve also had a rotating raid group which doesn’t help with getting content down fast, but has been more sociable, for sure. So while I’m sure the length of time we’ve been bashing away at the content has suffered because of this – it’s just a fact of life for our kin and has only really impacted me because we don’t have many Capts so even when I want a night off, I tend to sign up to make sure the numbers are reached.

The start of Barad Guldur is awesome, a gauntlet you have to complete within a timeframe (it resets completely after 45m) where you rush up flights of stairs and get waves of Uruks, goblins and wargs. As chaotic fights go it’s awesome, and just the kind of content I like. But, after that, the instance falls a bit flat for me. The fights continue to be interesting, the first few times anyway, but they’re slow and repetitive. And, of course, because of radiance, you can’t just plough through bosses 1 and 2 on normal mode just to get to the Lieutenant fight.. no, it makes more sense to gear up the raid as much as possible with both normal and challenge mode armour drops. That definitely helped our survivability.

Anyway, back to the Lieutenant. The fight takes place at the top of the tower (and yes, if you wipe you have a stupidly long run up a zillion flights of stairs to go back to the fight). In the first phase, the group attacks the fell beast with the Lieutenant mounted upon it, and when it gets down to 150k health, the Lieutenant will dismount and the next phase begins. DPS is king in the first stage (without going into dull tactics), there’s a huge benefit to getting to the transition as quickly as possible. The second phase, involves tanking the Lieutenant and killing the beast and then the raid can concentrate on the final boss in phase 3. That makes it all sound so simple. It’s a very unforgiving fight and not much fun for melee, generally. There’s 10% power regen only throughout the fight. If anyone dies while the Lieutenant is dismounted, we’ve had almost certain wipes (though, I believe it’s not a certainty and there are tactics to deal with that, but not ones we’ve mastered).

So it’s taken us a while, and has felt like the longest slog in my raiding career. And yet last week we did it on second attempt, and this week we did it first time. It’s a relief sure. A pain that I’m top of the loot list and don’t especially want the armour drop (radiance is being got rid of next update and it’s not a great stats set for Capts), but I still think people should thank me for not being selfish and taking it anyway, cos I’m a total brat :-). But looting aside, it’s a definite relief and one that couldn’t have come soon enough. Not sure WHY we suddenly made this progress. We barely got the numbers to raid from the start of December till last week, to the stage the raid group almost fell apart. Without going too much into kin politics though, we really thought our chances were all over, until someone from outside the group suggested we might not go again – and suddenly sign-ups were up, we recruited another couple of possibles and last week managed to get locks for just the Lieutenant from the other raiding group in the kin (because not enough of us could make our initial raiding night when we’d traditionally do bosses 1 and 2).

Four-week break and not having to go on Friday seemed to do the business, though. But then this week we repeated the triumph after having cleared the first two bosses on Friday and then killed the Lieutenant first time. Obviously sometimes a break and a bit of a push is needed. Yes, we tweaked our tactics a bit, but not so much that I think any of us thought we’d have such a massive push of progress (previously we’ve killed the beast only 4-5 times, I think and then wiped within 30s). But, it’s all good and whatever it takes. Our kin is very good at killing the final baddie just before new content emerges, and we’ve done it again. Hurrah!

BUT.

TURBINE SUCKS.

Because there are no bodies to take screenshots of, they disappear immediately. And that SUCKS.

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8 thoughts on “There is a Lt that Never Goes Out…

  1. Congrats, all of you, that was a REALLY long slog.

    I did think it was a horrid fight for melee on my burglar. This is because in phase 1 the boss is always moving so you have to run around the whole time to keep up with it, and then quickly run out of range every time it stops and turns around.

    The LOTRO team also do seem to like these endurance fights where the boss has so much health that you’re going to have to keep on at it for the best part of 15 mins.

  2. Congrats! :)
    (I guess this fight reinforced spinks doubts about melee dps even more, poor girl!)

    I will structure this a little…

    1.) Morskor, the Fellbeast, is a favorite for DPS parses among Champions. The poor beast is debuffed like crazy and the Champs buffed to the max, it is quite interesting to read the max damage hits on Morskor some people put in their resume. :)

    2.) The next raid, Ost Dunhoth in Southern Enedwaith, is apparently inside a fortress rather than a tower. I do not like the look and feel of the tower design in skirmishes and the BG raid and hope it gets better and hope the future Isengard raid will be different.

    3.) I find the hard mode design of LOTRO and actually WoW as well lacking in general. Doing something in a semi-retarded way to make it more difficult does not have much appeal for me. I guess the “light the brazier for the challenge mode” thing of the Sword-halls is quite a good idea. But that’s probably the only thing I like about the farmhall of Dol Guldur.

    4.) Gear stats and set bonuses don’t get better, but worse. Especially when Radiance is gone, the Helegrod set might be even more superior to the BG set for Captains. For Champions the BG set only makes sense with the 5 set part bonus, otherwise it’s not good. The upcoming raid set is a downgrade (if stats don’t change) for many classes, interestingly many Champions still favor the ages old Moria Set with 2 parts Mirkwood Set for stats.
    I personally use Helegrod + 1 crafted armor part for my Champion and just wonder about that.

    5.) Given that we are almost downgrading ourselves through new raid gear I can only point towards GW to show a system that works without item/gear progression but with customization for the situation.

    6.) Rather a few more dungeons or a new kind of endgame content than one raid like BG. Really. You did not mention kin drama, but I am sure there was. Add the huge time investment and all that, I wonder how long it takes developers to realize that this style of endgame content is not for everyone. It also would not help to make the fights easier, quite the contrary, I think it would devalue the “long slog” while not being much more interesting for people who are at their heart no raiders and just in for the loot.

    7.) I totally agree, bodies must stay visible for the victory screenshot.

    8.) 8 is the maximum number of targets a Champion can attack with shingshing.

  3. This reminds me a bit of my old guild in WoW and Karazhan. We were breezing through the bosses up until we hit teh 2nd gear check boss, the big arcane sentinel guy I can never remember the name for. It wasn’t quite 6 months but week after week it was a wipe-fest. Until one week we’d gone through our first raid night really quickly and had time left so we thought “what the hell, let’s try it” even though we were expecting to go down again. We killed the bugger on the first pass, everyone was super happy and it opened up the rest of the raid to us from that point on. Although the inevitable “who moved?” on Shade of Aran went on for a while too. I still love going through the place even now due to the fun memories of the place.

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