When I run into a new 6 man sometimes none of the people with me have been there before. How do you normally go about learning the instance?
We have struggled with this and have had to fall back sometimes on what the Google machine provides. I would like to be more self sufficient – plus when Turbine changes things and the strategies are not updated – I need to get better at analyzing what is going on.
Do you have suggestions? About as far as we get is changing tactics by me switching from my Captain to Guard (interrupts) or Mini for more healing output – and it usually works out worse – lol!
A methodical approach is obviously called for but I am not sure how to start.
Excellent Question! Here we go…
Ask Questions First, Shoot Later.
As tempting as it may be to simply charge straight into something, the first thing you should really do is take a look around and look for a few key things:
- Buffs/Auras- Check all enemies for Buffs on their bars. Figure out what each buff does by reading it carefully. Is it an aura effect (buffs nearby enemies, or comes from a nearby enemy, or debuffs you if close) if it’s an aura, that’s going to be a hint that you want to keep the source of the aura away from the others or, to take the enemy that produces the aura buff out early.
- Clickable Items- Are there any clickable items around or near the enemies? If so, theorize what they might do or be for, sometimes clicking something can make things better or worse.
- Layout/Features of the Space- When preparing to fight it’s good to consider what’s in the area around you. Are there areas that look dangerous? (if so, avoid them) Are there any areas that look like they could trigger an effect on the enemy? (if so, try to get the enemy there). Consider also if anything in the room can break LoS (line of sight). Breaking Line of Sight gives you a way to force a ranged mob into melee combat, it also can help if you need or elect to kite.
Checking the 3 above things will help you get a better idea what to expect when you know nothing.
Now that you’ve formed a basic plan of attack.. it’s time to try it out and see what happens. It’s important to note that you’re likely going to fail because of things you could not possibly observe without first engaging the target.
Look for the following in-combat cues to help better your understanding of what’s happening:
- Inductions- When a monster has a red or green glowing circle appear at their feet, it means they are performing an “induction”. Inductions are time-delayed skills which can be interrupted by skills including, but not limited to: Clobber, Addle, Blinding Flash, and Kick.
- Monsters Talking in Say- Very often during combat you’ll notice your enemies talking in “say”. Sometimes what they’re saying is meaningless and just for effect. But more often than that they’re giving you as to what skill they are about to use. Once you notice an enemy has said something, it is wise to watch them closely and see if they do anything special.
- Combat Logging- Combat logging is something that is easy to use and once you’ve had some experience reading your combat log you can use it to help identify what went wrong. Everyone by now, should be aware of the “Combat” tab on your chat box. Perhaps you’ve even been explorative enough to realize that it shows you all of your incoming and outgoing damage and healing numbers, attack by attack. The “combat” tab only hold a certain amount of lines of the information.. However, if you right click the tab and go to “Chat Logging> Start logging” your game client will start a file that will log your entire combat until you tell it to stop by following the same steps you did to start it. The default route for combat, and other chat-based logs is your “The Lord of the Ring Online” folder within your “My documents” folder. Combat log deciphering can take time but is very useful, I’m not going to go into great detail here on how to read it… perhaps in the future.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Die, Die Again…
So, it might take you a few tries, but as long as you can learn something new every time, you’ll get it eventually and to be completely honest, it’s far more interesting and much more rewarding to figure out strategies on your own. There is a time and place to look up and use strategies, and that time and place is, in honesty, for each person to decide for themselves. I hope this very basic bit of instruction on how to figure out a basic strategy is of some help. I may consider doing a more advanced breakdown of this in the future if the demand for it is there.
This article is part of the “ Ask Elborigorn” series, where I encourage CSTM readers to send questions to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . I will then answer the question either with an entire article or as part of a multi-question weekly article.