The Martial Champion ROI updates (Solo attempt Video)
I thought I’d do a little post and video about my thoughts on the Martial Champion in Isengard, based on my experiences on the Bullroarer BETA server. For starters let me say, the class is in great shape, it has never been cooler to be a Champion!
I should state to begin, that I am an EU player, and as such was not able to copy over my live characters, however, thanks to the eyes and guard tavern and its goodies bundles and auto-levelling, I was able to investigate the level cap thoroughly. I went through a few variations, and found a few bugs which I duly submitted, so I wasn’t just messing about! I did try out both the Fervour and Ardour stances as well, and yes, they are both great. Fervour feels pretty much the same as it always has, with some really nice additions and tweaks to inject a little variety in a Champ rotation. In addition Ardour… well for a start it now has a reason to exist, so that is something. In fairness, I didn’t play with it enough to make a detailed judgement, but it now clearly has a very specific and useful role, especially in landscape questing/skirmishing, though I can also see it being a cool alternative for different play styles in raids and FS content, though I still think for it to be truly utilised, LOTRO is going to need some kind of dual-specing system so we can switch out of combat without a bard, because AOE is rarely much use in a raid boss fight, and the retraiting hassle may just not be worth it.
However, what really blew me away was Glory and the Martial Champion traitline, in a very big way, and quite unexpectedly.
I had auto levelled my Dwarf Champ to 75 and geared him out in the level 75 Ettenmoors armour, and grabbed a few decent jewelry items (a mix of current teal drops and level 75 Ettens). I then created a level 65 second age rune, with tanking legacies and maxed those, I had been lucky enough to find a level 75 third age legendary weapon which I also turned into a decent weapon mainly by looking for sudden defence duration, critical magnitude, wild attack, and brutal strikes and maxing those, and the level 75 Ettens off hander to go with it. I then slotted these with some standard tier 7 relics (mellee offence/morale setting, vitality and crit gems, and Parry and ICMR runes, with crafted melee offence relics. I then traited down the martial champion line, with stalwart blade from the deadly storm set throw in for the extra fervour pips, and set off for Nan Curunir, and Orthanc. When I got there, and legged it past the two doors trolls (one of which one shotted me first time for a rare 8K), I made a bee line for the smaller trolls that patrol the interior paths. These guys are level 75 Elites with about 75-6K morale, and were hitting me (as you will see) for a good few hundred, interspersed with 5-700 and the occasional 1000+. In Fervour, though your DPS is demonic, and you can tear a good chunk off them, they soon pummel you into dust… and that is as it should be. However, though I could feel the dps was much lower in Glory, I felt incredibly durable, confident even, that I could last it out for a good duration. So, I Popped hope, some scrolls, food, and set at the Troll. My rotation wasn’t up to much, I had guessed I’d have to keep hedge up for my armour buff, sudden defence for its bubble when I could, bracing attack as often as able, and wild attack to fervour build, and (with a new trait) reduce the cool down of sudden defence, popping adamant/invincible to cover weak spots. I started on this rough idea as a basis, and chucked in a brutal strikes for some dps as and when I could. Imagine my surprise when he kicked my ass with only 9k of his health left. This was definitely doable, and more to the point there would be no need for messing about with kiting and bleeds, which I hate!
I bought off my dread, set everything going again and had a good read of my tool tips an traits whilst parked up in a ‘quiet corner’. I formulated a rough plan, to be fair, still playing by the seat of my pants a little, though I took note now that Heroics, it would seem, finally lives up to its name as a skill… wowza. Dire need, especially combined with its new trait, and the second wind skill, is now also usable much more frequently! So I had a second attempt, and lo and behold with a bit more concentration, I kicked his butt!
I was so pleased myself it was quite sad (and proud of Durzi too)! But I thought to myself, hang on; you are in level 75 top grade PVMP gear, with some great level 75 PVMP jewelry, 75 PVMP off hander, level 12 traits, high finesse rating… of course you did great, but you won’t get near that gear on the live server, and probably never be able to achieve that unless you start raiding a lot more again for some awesome gear. That bugged me.
I set off to look at the vendors, skirmish camps, and quest gear, to see what it held. I was pleasantly surprised, the Isengard gear from a variety of sources looks nice. Even using quest items, and skirmish barter gear, it will be easy to surpass the Moria and BG sets which we have had for so long, and decent teal crafted gear and above, is better than the OD T2 stuff by a good way. Finesse, also seems to be spread around quite evenly, so all in all I thought it was achievable, so I aimed to put it to the test.
I used Emma’s account, and her level 75 dwarf, to do this, the rune, weapon, traits were roughly the same as before, and you can see them on the video below, though I could only get a level 75 third age two handed weapon. This time however I handicapped myself in a few ways. Ideally I would have scoured the auction for sensible and obtainable gear, or even levelled up organically, and acquired what I could, but to be frank there is no way I had the time. However, by looking at crafted recipes, and skirmish gear and quest rewards, I got a good handle on what I thought was easily achievable for a fairly casually levelled Champ at 75, with regard to amounts of stats. I decided to use a selection of gear to reflect what I thought was this sensible level of stats and armour, before the min maxing of end game starts. Firstly I left all my traits at 10. For jewellery, I used two easily obtainable skirmish barter earrings, a mix of Moria/Mirkwood jewelry, with the exception of one PVMP ring for its finesse rating(this I was using to represent some decent level 75 crafted jewelry or drop). For armour I wore the BG set, with the level 75 PVMP helm, and pendvig clog.
You can see all these itemized in the video (this one is in HD so you can pause and read the tool tips, but sorry I squashed the screen ratio during compressions, yes… I’m a noob).
However, here are some basic core stats for reference:
- Morale 7875
- Power 1961
- Armour 4893
- Finesse 1390
- Might 798 (I think I ate 46+ might food but can’t be 100%)
- Agility 427
- Vitality 569
- Fate 110
- Will 115
I had just short of 11K melee offence too, from might and bonuses. I think this is more than achievable, indeed, with the exception of the finesse and might, this is quite attainable on the current live servers, so I am happy that I handicapped myself enough with this, that I will, in fact, be above this level when I actually get to try this out on Eldar.
So I mapped back to Isengard, ran past my Troll gate guard mates, and went hunting. Once again, I used food, hope, and scrolls (all current Tier 6 ones) I didn’t want to record straight away, as I wanted to make sure I could do it first, so I didn’t look to daft posting a video of me dying. I decided on a few trial runs. The first time through, I got my butt kicked with only 10K to go… that, I thought, was just you being sloppy. So I bought off my dread, got the hope, scrolls, food going again, and tried once more. I kicked his stony butt this time, so I traipsed down stairs for some coffee, and decided to go for a live take. You can see the results for yourself below. Rather sadly, with 14-5K to go, Emma logged in her account downstairs amidst a bout of post checking and task handing in, so it cuts a bit short. But as you can from the vieo, I had whittled 50K off with no real drama, and by that stage it is a fairly ‘rinse and repeat’ rotation, which is fairly sustainable probably quite comfortably beyond even this level with practice.
Unfortunately I am pretty busy at the moment, and had hoped to wrap this experiment up in a night (the practice, the video, the editing, writing this post) and it is pretty late now, so I don’t know If I will get another chance to record, edit, and upload another one. If I do I shall add a new post and link this to it, but for now I hope it gives you champs, potential champs, and interested folks something to look forward to and think about. As you may have noticed, this is by no means and in depth scientific test, but though I have been mor erigorous in my testing in the past, I find it saps the fun out of the gaming for me, and I’m sure some talented folks will have some better numbers, calculations, and rotations up, better than I could ever do pretty soon anyway. I dread to think what Athelious will do when he is fully kitted on live servers! Instead I hope that this serves as a bit of a taster, an opinion based test, for the purpose of fun. I hope you enjoy it.
P.S Don’t forget, its still BETA, still subject to change and all that jazz.