Banjo-Njub, reporting for duty

December 18, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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Wotcha everyone,

I suppose one thing that I really didn’t think about when anticipating Siege of Mirkwood is how best to set up my traits.

Being a slacker, I just assumed I’d set up my traits for maximum damage potential, as I’d be levelling up through 5 level’s worth of questing.  After that I’d change to a healing trait setup for lots of instancing and assorted group usefulness.

Of course, Turbine decided to laugh at my slacking, and threw Skirmishes into the mix.  A dps setup is fine for a minstrel that just wants to solo skirmishes, but I like grouping up for them, and that means needing some healing traits.  I’ve tried healing with a dps setup, and it’s not fun.

Besides, if I’m in a group and chucking out damage rather than healing, that means the Hunter has to heal.  And seeing as my damage is a lot less than a Hunter’s, I’m doing the group a disservice.  See?  I know my meta-gaming.

In a surprising yet welcome development, Skirmishes have been found to be a challenge, rather than a place for me to go for free xp and goodies.  Partly it’s because Lucky, my expendable minion, has been fantastically expendable due to having to level him up.  Now he’s bigger and better, and sometimes even manages to survive a fight (despite my best attempts), but the fact remains that Skirmishes are not the pushover they might have been.

This means that when in a group, healing is needed.  And that means that I’m currently running with a mish-mash of traits, in an attempt to out-think the system, and allow me to solo quest, group heal, and everything in between.  I’m also partaking in some much-needed house-keeping.

For once, it’s not clearing bags and making the vault look all tidy, but making sense of all those unexplored avenues that have appeared as a result of the expansion.

That means new skills, new equipment, new traits and remembering all those skills that got used for a short time, and then forgotten under the weight of Big Heal, Big Damage, Best Buff skills.  Yes, those standards that I use to the exclusion of all others, because they’re generally best for general situations.

One of the great things about MMOs is that they’re so situational.  I may have forgotten that I have more than seven skills, but the game (and most importantly the developers) haven’t.

The upshot is that I’m levelling whilst playing catch-up on all those “Use Shouty Shout of Quite Useful Group Buff” skills, and it’s somewhat of a re-education in how to play a Minstrel.  I’m a big man (that would be all the pies I eat), and I’m not too big to admit I could have been playing a lot more effectively (but in about three pies’ time I will be too big, and probably have to be winched out of bed or something).

Of course, this raises a question, of which I might not like the answer; How am I going to use all of these “forgotten” skills?

I suppose the answer is; “Learn to play, Banjo-Njub”.  It’s an opportunity to get up off my laurels and put some practice in.  And of course now is the perfect opportunity, as there’s a whole new situation, what with a new zone, a new skirmish system, and then new instances and a new raid.

So, I suppose the plan is to stop slacking at the back.  Re-organise my quick-slots (again) and redress my traits, so that I can get the most bang for my buck.  At the same time, it’s beholden to me to sort out my equipment, and maybe even get some of this new-fangled radiance gear.

All of this means that I’ve a new purpose to my Lord of the Rings Online, rather than just going through the motions of levelling, instancing, raiding (in that order).

New purposes are always welcome.



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