The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

December 17, 2010

LotRO: New Main, the Warden

Filed under: LOTRO — Cranky Sysadmin @ 11:54 am

As a change of pace, I decided to start leveling a tank character in LotRO. I picked the warden, mostly because the gambit system looked interesting. My poor hobbit minstrel now sits mostly abandoned in Endwaith while I level my new favorite, Ghah the Hobbit Warden o’death.

The warden class is based on the gambit system of combat. You get three basic attacks called builders. Each takes around a second to perform. Depending on how you order the builders, you can execute a gambit. The “gambit button” will reflect the current gambits available to you and you just click it (or hotkey it) to execute. For instance, if you perform quick thrust and then shield bash, “The Boot” gambit becomes active. The Boot is an interrupt and it does ok damage in the lower levels. The warden forums have links to various lists of gambits and how effective they are.

In order to fight effectively, you need to plan what gambits you need in advance. Many of the gambits cause “over time” effects. This means you need to decide if you need healing, threat or damage early on and build a gambit to provide for you.

Is it hard? For me, it is harder to manage, but the rewards for learning the system are great. I read a lot of “Solo kill” this and that on the forums. I always thought my dexterity (lack thereof) would get in the way of great feats. It really doesn’t. It’s all planning. In a typical fight, I use about 4 or 5 different gambits. I watch my buffs (with BuffBars) and the mob’s debuffs and refresh what needs to be refreshed. In a fight against elites, where power might be a concern, I mostly just auto attack and refresh heals and morale drains when needed. It’s slow, but I can solo a lot of full fellowship content without much trouble.

Being a warden has changed the way I play a lot. If I come across an elite, I’ll almost always try to take it down. I give all fellowship quests a go. While questing, I try to take yellow or orange quests. If the quest is blue, I won’t usually even bother unless the reward is great. On my minstrel (which is also good for solo survivability), I wouldn’t even attempt a lot of harder content solo.

The only “tanking” I’ve done is in solo skirmishes, where I try to keep the attention of mobs while my archer pet hammers away. I really need to go tank some actual instances though. I’m sure I’ll get the chance since tanks are in short supply on our server.

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