The Mighty Duo
We are currently cleaning up the Gathburz quests, and heading into the Mirkwood three mans; the Warg pens, dungeons of Dol Guldur, and sword halls. We have been a little delayed in a post about this as we have been pretty busy in Real life, and have been tinkering with refining our characters jewelry and armour. However, we also thought we’d write a little post on some of the things we have found and enjoyed about this specific duo, which has a lot of real strengths.
Firstly to point out the obvious, with our two classes we can add any other class to this set up because both our Champion and Rune-keeper can play two roles very effectively, and to no real detriment. Emma’s Champion can do excellent DPS, or be a very effective glory tank, and my Rune-keeper can with a quick re-trait be a healer, or do fantastic DPS, so any other class that comes along we can adapt to very easily, but it has to be said a captain, hunter, or a minstrel would be favourite choices to really complement this duo!
In addition because we can both really crank out serious DPS we have found blitzing through trash both whilst levelling and in small fellowship content very easy. A lot of time I place a healing sigil down, and a prelude to hope on each of us, and with just this we can get us through some huge loads of adds, with liberal use of Ganins ‘sound the attack’ stun skill as much as possible; interspersed with my short stun from shocking touch, AOE stun from vivid imagery, and liberal use of the frost de-buffs we have found we can pull multiples of 6-10 average mobs before I need to start healing in earnest.
It has been a very interesting experience taking these guys as a duo from the start to cap. From my point of view as someone who has played champ as a main for 2.5 years, seeing it from another side has been intriguing, both in terms of learning how I can play a champ better to help a healer, and also from my previous experience applying that to how best to heal a champion. In the early to mid 30’s we struggled a lot as a duo, especially in skirmishes. Duo skirmishes can be hard, but realistically we should have been fine, but we died quite a bit. With hind sight, I think this was part of the learning curve. Emma as a Guardian previously spent a lot of time getting used to the AOE tanking and the champ philosophy… not that it’s a complex one: If something is killing you fast, kill it faster. However, Guardians tend to hunker down and get their buff skills up, whereas on a Champ it’s usually best to pop your Horn stun and wind the DPS up some more, the faster one dies the less damage you take. There was also the ‘stance dance’ to deal with, when she should be in Glory, Ardour (Never I hear you cry!), Fervour, and finally when we finished our level 45 class quest; when to pop Controlled Burn stance.
I also struggled a little with the transition from healing to DPS, choosing my moment carefully, picking when to use threat down skills, learning the most power/DPS efficient rotations. There are occasions where it is best for Emma to Glory tank and me to DPS, and others where she may as well go into Fevour and go nuts and DPS and I should just heal. The only way we now know when and how to do this, is because of the numerous wipes, defeats, near misses and of course successes over the last 65 levels.
We have always made and worn critted crafted gear as we leveled, and this has made us pretty tough, yet only from level 50+ have we started to really feel as if we were beginning to understand our class and that made us tougher still. The duoing of the whole of goblin town was a real experience for us, and was a real stepping stone in helping us to start to understand how we worked together, as a duo. The trolls down in Thundergrot were a classic example of this, we could DPS one or perhaps two together, but occasionally as we saw a third or fourth add come in, it would be time for me to switch. At the same time, Emma became far more conscious of her stances, knowing when I could suck up a little more and heal her harder whilst she switched to fervour, and when to use some of her defensive buffs and Glory and Controlled Burn stances.
We have also been trying a lot of the small fellowship content as a duo. We have posted previously on the school and the library and we intend to try it again at level cap some time after this Tuesday when us Europeans finally get the Free-to-play update. So far we have not tried the Mirkwood or Lothlorien three mans as a duo, as they may be a little beyond us yet. However, we did a have a real challenge with the ‘Starlight and Shadows’ quest which we managed to two-man after an initial wipe on the two bosses, however, it wasn’t easy! I’m not sure what the mechanic in there is but the last bit was hard as hell. The adds were fine, Ganin ‘sching-schinged’ them to death and I healed, then came the two bosses Gulben around 17 and Twilight around 40K, naturally we took out the 17k one first, but I could not lose aggro of the 40K add the whole time, or indeed when we killed Gulben, and I had to just spam heal myself with mending verse and kite as best as possible, while Emma nuked them one at a time. After the ‘add’ stage, Emma’s champ possibly got a couple of mending verses and a prelude to hope for most the fight. I’m not sure what you are supposed to do here, (I couldn’t see any online guides after a few google searches) but healing it was pretty tricky!
I have to say its been fantastic playing these two and I’d recommend them as a duo to any pair of players starting out, a good fun alternative to the ‘tank and heals’ set up. It perhaps would come with a ‘advanced’ warning, as though the individual classes are not overtly complex, to play them well together as to duo some of the tougher content takes some skill, and especially good judgement and timing. So thank you to Emma for putting up with me over months of playing these guys. Seriously; with her playing ‘my class’ I have no idea how that woman did not come up a throttle me on some occasions with my constant “why don’t you try using this skill” ‘advice’.I look forward to exploring more of Enedwaith, Mirkwood, and the future lands to come, and I’ll also be interested to try out the new writ based Rune keeper skills. With our duo set up, me adding more DPS and de-buffs whilst healing, and also more heals whilst DPS’ing will add some extra diversity and choices to our playstyles, who knows what else we may be able to try!
On some final fun notes, we also had a lot of fun messing around with the Mirkwood tower climber deed- Master Ascender! The latter involved getting up to the second of two towers in Ost Galadh, the first one you ascend for part of the Epic book, but the second has a hidden path and some sneaky ledge creeping and jumping. It passed 10 minutes, and we both probably felt a bigger sense of achievement after that than when we have done some of the game content. More hidden puzzles like this please Turbine!
We also decided we quite fancied getting the Ales Association Goat, so we started working on our Reputation with them, out of ‘Guard uniform (as you can see left) as I suspect Izbaruk, Haki and the rest of the guard would be unimpressed by our actions. Ganin and Azaghar are two younger and rougher dwarves so we justified a little ‘un-guard’ like behaviour in those two, though we have tried to mostly do the Bree town beer run daily as its more fun than running round slapping other dwarves.
We enjoyed having a look in the Ale Hall. Seriously, we need some of the stuff in there to be Ale Association housing items- how about 6 of the big barrels as a large wall item, or even a yard one? The same also goes for the tables, chairs, lights and other items, they would be great.