How to be a Monster- Days 1 and 2

February 6, 2012

Monster Play, New Player Advice

Welcome to How to be a Monster, this was inspired by the vast majority of LotRO players not taking advantage of a huge part of the game…monster play.  I understand, you tried it already, died several times and vowed never to come back again.  Maybe you went so far as to make the dreaded pinky promise.  Well the goal of this article is to show you both the good and the bad of monster play and hopefully help you mark or even fill in the pits that most players fall into.  I will be doing this by telling you the good and bad experience that I have day by day and a recommendation on how to avoid the “pit” that I, and many others, sometimes will fall into.

The first thing you have to do on your path to becoming a monster is to leave the Free People’s behind and be prepared to fight for the enemy…I mean our great ruler Sauron.

While some might find it easy to just pick up and leave your character on the Freep (Free People’s) side; I decided to try to corrupt my champion instead.  I just can’t leave my champion behind even if that means destroying everything I worked so hard to do.  I decided to use my sword to find the nearest orc.  After looking around for hours my sword finally turned blue and I told the orc to take me to his highest in command so I could become a monster.

See it is blue!

After several hours of waiting in Saruman’s tower, I decided that I could not do that to my champion even though that would give me an element of surprise against the Freeps.  I decided to leave the tower immediately and find how to become a monster.  It turns out that you don’t have to leave your characters behind at all; you just have to hit the huge “Monster Play” button.

Where are the magazines?

While I do recommend that you first try a creep class as close to your main as possible, I found that I do not like the reaver at all, even though my main is a champion.  At around eight dollars a pop, if you’re not a subscriber, finding the right class can be expensive.  If you find that you do not like your experience in monster play, I recommend trying a new class to see if that fixes the problem.  Just because you like a class on Freep side does not mean that it will be your class in monster play.  I think this is because your Freep side is usually not in a group as much as Creep characters.

Day 1- A Very Deep Pit

I don't think Turbine even made a bottom.

The learning curve for monster play makes a very deep pit.  Not only is it a new class, but also a new type of LotRO.  While some would argue that there are still quests that give you XP, (called infamy in monster play) it is still a huge pit to get out of.  Hopefully, like in the picture above, I can bring you to a ledge and all you have to do is strafe left.

I decided to leave my reaver for good and bought a defiler (whom I named Andang (on Imladris)) out of the store; this is where day one starts.  Let me first say that day one was my worst PVP experience ever, out of any game.  I just kept dying as my defiler no matter how hard I tried to stay alive.  While joining a group made this a little better I still did not know what was going on.  If you feel like this in monster play, just know that it is normal at first.  I recommend asking someone that is of the same class to help you around and do fun, easy quests with you.  However on the first day, that sadly did not happen for me.  I was almost ready to quit but I decided I would give it one more day.  This easily could have been the best decision in my monster career.

Day 2- Coming Out of the Pit

On day 2, I decided that I would get in a raid to help defend Tol Ascarnen (TA) from the Freeps.  TA is the main base in monster play and is essential in order to have an upper hand in the Ettenmoors.  I was in a 23-man raid and all was going well until I got kicked out of the group.  Later I found out that it was because I did not turn on the ability to listen to voice chat.  The leader kicked me from the group because I could not hear his orders.  If you are going to be in a raid in LotRO you have to turn on this feature to stay in the group (under options/audio/voice and select voice enabled).

I did not know at the time however what was going on, but another person whom got kicked joined up with me.  While I do not plan to do name dropping on this article, Dulzak deserves some credit.  He sat down with me and taught me how to play monster play.  We did some hobbit killing quests together with some other new players in Hoarhallow (HH).  HH is a hobbit village much like the shire but on a much smaller scale.  We then proceeded to join up with a warg pack and kill some Freeps.  While the wargs were all in stealth me and Dulzak acted as bate.  We even started jumping up and down to be more enticing to a Freep group (and because the raid leader told us to).  After around ten Freep kills we decided to go and quest some more and then called it a night.  After turning in some quests, I did it; I achieved rank one status on my defiler in just two days and was out of the pit.  After having someone come down into the pit and bring me out I now understood monster play and was ecstatic for the next day.  Hope this helps you out of your pit and into your monster’s career.

Waiting on hobbits to finish baking thier pies, then we steal them while in stealth.

Next time I will go in depth on how to have fun in a raid and what do do when you reach rank one by learning from Day 3 and 4.  For now though I recommend checking out some of Merric’s posts from early last year on monster play.  These are great if you are undecided on your class, don’t understand abbreviations, or you just want the Ettenmoors map explained to you.

, , , , , , ,
Avatar of Andang

About Andang

A lifelong Tolkien fan, Andang loves just about anything related to Tolkien. Andang is also a lifelong hardcore gamer with a huge love for any genre of game, as long as it is good. Andang currently writes for A Casual Stroll to Mordor and Middle-Earth Network's Gaming Team. He is also a co-host on Random Fandom, a weekly news podcast here on Middle-Earth Network. You can also find Andang on his YouTube channel and his Facebook page and if all that is not enough he has a twitter as well.

View all posts by Andang

58 Responses to “How to be a Monster- Days 1 and 2”

  1. Palladius Says:

    Awesome post, will keep up to date on it, as I’ve wanted to get back into PvMP on the Creep side.

    Reply

  2. Steveo Says:

    I started creepside once it opened up to non-VIPs. I’m playing on Elendilmir as a R5 Reaver (my main character was a Champion as well) and enjoy it.
    There’s a kin on creepside that runs a website with good info, I’m not in any kin but grouping is fairly casual.
    http://www.theblackappendage.com/
    They also have a public teamspeak server that makes things much easier and more fun.

    I’d never play freepside in pvp. It seems like easy mode even compared to at-level PVE content.

    Reply

  3. Dirhallith Says:

    Excellent post, with just the right notes of humour, too :D

    “While I do recommend that you first try a creep class as close to your main as possible, I found that I do not like the reaver at all, even though my main is a champion. At around eight dollars a pop, if you’re not a subscriber, finding the right class can be expensive. If you find that you do not like your experience in monster play, I recommend trying a new class to see if that fixes the problem. Just because you like a class on Freep side does not mean that it will be your class in monster play. I think this is because your Freep side is usually not in a group as much as Creep characters.”

    ^^^ And that right there has to be the best advice anyone can give about monster play. My warg is my main creep, personally, but I actually can’t stand playing a burglar on freepside.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Dirhallith- I think a lot of people don’t continue playing PvMP because they just don’t like the class they chose. That is why I made sure that this statement got into the first issue. If more people would try new classes there would be a lot more monsters in the Moors.

      Reply

      • Dirhallith Says:

        I totally agree. I’m still surprised the number of people I talk to that say they’ve tried MP, but didn’t like it and I later find out they tried one class and simply didn’t enjoy *that* class.

        But a lot of it also seems to be how squishy new creeps really are, and how limited their skill-set is (if you don’t purchase skills via the store) until rank 4+, at least.

        Reply

        • Avatar of Andang
          Andang Says:

          I agree, most people who don’t like Creep side never make it to a decent level. If they rank up high enough eventually it becomes a balanced game. They just have to stick with it and eventually find that it is a lot of fun.

          Reply

  4. Brian Says:

    “Welcome to How to be a Monster, this was inspired by the vast majority of LotRO players not taking advantage of a huge part of the game…monster play.”

    I wouldn’t consider one single zone a “huge part of the game”

    Some people are just not into pvp at all and a pvp zone where one side can buy skills from the store isn’t something I would even bother trying (again)

    “Later I found out that it was because I did not turn on the ability to listen to voice chat.”

    *Face palm*

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Brian- I would argue that it is a huge part of the game because of the amount of time monster play takes that it is just as big if not bigger then the main game. I can get through the solo content of LotRO within a few weeks but monster play takes much longer to get to the cap rank. I do appriciate your opinion and will take it into consideration in future articles. Also you would be surprised the amount of people that don’t turn on voice chat in raids. That is why I included it because literally multiple times a day I have to IM people about how to turn on voice listen. It did happen to me and I have since become much more knowledgeable in the last 2 months about monster play but yes a Face palm is warrented.

      Reply

  5. Damsadan Says:

    I found this article very helpful even for my 2 years in Monster Play. It describes what most servers lack a sort of mentor, thanks to Dulzak.c Andang didn’t have to learn the way most new people to the moors, die and retry with the somewhat poetic speeches like in Windfola’s OOC channel. In my opinion the first 5 ranks are the hardest not only to learn the raid properly but also how to use your skills. Also Andang keep up the defiler while it may not be fun and soloing is tough you can with certain traits be a infamous dps defiler haha. I have tried all the classes and although my main is a warden I fell in in an out of love with the stalker and the defiler but my calling turned out to be the Blackarrow. Anyways great intro for people new to pvp.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Damsadan- I am glad that you found my article helpful and we hopefully will increase PvMP awareness enough for Turbine to listen. I am almost R6 and I agree that monster play is getting easier with each new rank. Also I love the Defiler because they can heal really well and still do some good damage. The Blackarrows are cool as they do so much damage but their health goes away really quickly.

      Reply

      • Pounceclaw Says:

        Um, have you SEEN how fast wargs and spiders drop? There’s a reason wargs and weavers have the panic buttons they use.

        Reply

        • Avatar of Andang
          Andang Says:

          @ Pounceclaw- Yes I have played them and realize how easily they can drop but that is why wargs can stealth and spiders have soldiers. If you close in on a BA he is dead unless he knows what he is doing…but sometimes even that is not enough.

          Reply

  6. Clarysta Sunshine Says:

    I love your emphasis on staying persistent! Having that attitude is what makes players successful creepside. Grit your teeth and bear it and in a few days you’ll be R5, where you’ll start to see an improvement, I promise.

    “TA is the main base in monster play and is essential in order to have an upper hand in the Ettenmoors.”

    Etten strategy can be a bit more complex than that. One mistake newer creeps make is to think that the point of pvp is to own the keeps. The point of pvp is to fight freeps.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Clarysta Sunshine- Yeah I am currently almost R6 (this article took place about a month and a half ago) and getting the heal and power over time passive skills at R5 really changes the game and makes things much more even (but that is a later article). Also I realize that TA is not the goal of monster play but the point I was making is that it is the best place to defend yourself from Freeps. I am planing to do an Etten stratagy guide once I finish up the How to be a Monster series because I love stratagy games and leading raids.

      Reply

      • Pounceclaw Says:

        TA best place to defend yourself from freeps? Have you ever been part of a last stand in the Lugz or TR flag rooms? That’s a blast.

        Reply

        • Avatar of Andang
          Andang Says:

          Yes I have and they are good as well but I love defending TA becasue you can flank the Freeps from many directions and beat them easily. And yes, It is always a blast to kill Freeps in flag rooms.

          Reply

  7. Aarow Says:

    Another good thing to do is to come out to the moors with some of your kinship friends. It’s a whole new – and hard – game at first, but with luck, practice, and rank, Monster Play can be tons of fun, especially if you are playing with friends.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      I agree completely. The only problem is that only 2 or 3 people in my 500+ member kin play monster play. I also agree that the people you play with can just make it fun. I have been in situations where we are getting owned by the Freeps yet I am still having a blast because of the people I play with (having a mic helps too).

      Reply

      • Pounceclaw Says:

        I was lucky, I jumped ship when Creepside became available, I had to deal with a lot of crap from the “old timers”. I was able to win my way in and now run with a great group of people.

        Reply

        • Avatar of Andang
          Andang Says:

          @ Pounceclaw- That is awesome that you were lucky and are with a great group of people. This week I started a Tribe with a lot of great people that I am now close friends with.

          Reply

  8. vr00mfondel Says:

    If someone has only one freep main when they try out monster play, i’d actually recommend them choosing a MP class as far away from their freep as they can.

    The first time I tried Monster Play, I created a BA, but since my main, and only, freep was a Hunter, it was all just “the same thing”. Not until I got around to rolling a Reaver did i become interested, I have no (high-level) champ, so it was perfect for me. I finally got to play a melee-dps @ max-level

    Reply

  9. melponeme_k Says:

    They kicked you without ever informing you that they wanted you to turn on voice chat?

    Then they wonder why no one wants to work on monster play?

    That is rich and this form of PVP will continue to languish. Your article convinces me to stay far away from monster play. And I used to PVP a lot in WAR.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      Please don’t stay away from PvMP because it is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it as you will see in latter articles. Also the reason they kicked me without informing was because they had people with voice already enabled to come and join the near full raid and they wanted experienced players.

      Reply

      • melponeme_k Says:

        Again, they are using the same experienced people over and over again rather than creating a welcoming atmosphere for new players. This in a game mechanic that desperately needs new players.

        Again, this is information that doesn’t encourage me to join in on monster play.

        Reply

  10. Arquenniel Says:

    You inspired me to play my monster spider again. :)

    *starts weaving a monster web to catch a hobbit* but very slowly…

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Arquenniel- Awesome; I am hoping to inspire many others like you in the coming weeks and months. Also note that weaving the web slowly does increase the fun when capturing hobbits (make sure you get their pies).

      Reply

  11. Owen Says:

    Good try, but tbh your article doesn’t really help the people it’s meant to help: beginners at monster play. The first few paragraphs turn out to be the way NOT to start?? I’m only vaguely interested in doing monster play as I’m still having fun with the regular game. But a tutorial should assume the reader has no knowledge at all of the subject. Where’s the huge monster play button you talk about? What’s a reaver? I’m guessing a creep is a monster and a freep is a human? Not trying to be overly critical – it’s a nicely laid out article and love the overall look and effort!

    Reply

    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      We have some of these basic guides on the site already.
      http://www.casualstrolltomordor.com/category/guides/monster-play-guides/

      We’ve had a few try to write about Monster Play but they typically end up quitting because monster players are a bit more passionate than others and very very critical of the authors.

      I suggest that perhaps you step back and form your feedback in the way of helpful criticism instead of more accusing of him of not understanding a tutorial or CSTM could lose this one as well.

      And I’m not speaking to just Owen here. That goes for anyone wanting Monster Play posts here. We keep getting asked for it but they always end up stopping.

      Reply

      • Avatar of Andang
        Andang Says:

        @ Goldenstar- Thank you for your just cause in my defence and I hope that people do listen to this comment yet I still want people to be involved in discussion but it needs to be a much nicer one. You can critisize without being agressive and can appose without showing anger.

        Reply

        • Owen Says:

          I’m sorry if my comments were interpreted as aggressive or angry. That was certainly not my intention. Not sure what Goldenstar means by stepping back and forming helpful critcism and “accusing”.
          If you make the choice to post a How-To article, expect positive and negative posts. I stand by my statements but I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything. Pointing out, in a polite manner, what I see as flaws IS helpful criticism.

          Reply

          • Avatar of Andang
            Andang Says:

            I think that me and Goldenstar took the “good try” statement and read it as “accusing” and every question you brought up had already been addressed in previous PvMP articles found in links at the bottom of the page.
            All I am saying is we have already had the articles you are looking for and I am just continuing where others left off (in my own way).

    • Thurinphir Says:

      the huge monster button is on the right side of the ‘Choose a character to play’ screen. Freeps are Free Peoples (free peoples, free peeps, freeps) and I assume creeps is just to rhyme

      a reaver is the only free to play class, the description is similar to a champion’s, but the no-cooldown skill they have has a terrible sound

      I would advise creating all classes of creeps while you’re VIP, not only will you get to ‘test’ them, you will also get the trait slots (not sure if it was intended, but my new defiler has to pay to unlock them)

      Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      That is why I refered the readers to other articles by Merric whom had already answered every question you adressed in this comment. Also I hope that someday you try PvMP as it is a nice breath of fresh air from the main game.

      Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Owen- Also note that next week will be more game feature specific and less broad.

      Reply

  12. Andrei C. Says:

    Had the same experience the first day. Didn’t quite understood anything that was going on around me, so I decided to let the monster button out of my sight. After this article I think to go back and take things slower, to learn everything at it’s rightfull time.

    Reply

  13. Ethelros Says:

    Just in case people are not aware, Orion has posted a short summary of Warg changes for U6.

    Here it is: http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?443930-On-Wargs-in-Update-6

    On the subject of PvMP, I used to play fairly frequently back in 11. Eventually though I just got bored and stopped going to the Moors. I might come back to try out these new changes though.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Ethelros- Those changes sound really good for wargs and so I thank you for sharing them. Hopefully we will see changes like this for all the classes.

      Reply

  14. Belarieth Says:

    Finding this tremendously helpful-our kin just got a sister tribe started, and I confess I was not enjoying my first forays into PvMP, though running with my kinnies has been fun.

    I’ll have to give it another go, I think. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Belarieth- I am glad to have inspired you and I hope that you stay with monster play. It is my favorite part of the game now that I have a good tribe and understand the game pretty well.

      Reply

  15. Felost Says:

    Monster play looks fun but I highly dislike having a Reaver perhaps maybe I can TP Farm to get the Monster Class that is more suitable for me is the problem

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Felost- I highly recommend doing this as it competely changed my outlook on monster play and it has become my favorite part of LotRO. I honestly never thought I would be here writing to you as a CSTM author and certainly not for monster play. This all changed after Day 9 happend and I got inspired to write articles on CSTM. This all started with my decision to change classes in monster play.

      Reply

  16. Andy Says:

    I think it would help promote monster play rather well if turbine did a “free” weekend where f2p players could chose any monster class for that weekend. It would save the players a lot of TP’s from finding out that the premium class that caught their eye wasn’t the one for them.

    Would be a good gesture from turbine even if it wouldn’t be making them as much revenue from people buying classes similar to their freeps and then hating them to the point of regretting the purchase. An informed purchase is better than a no sale or unhappy buyer and while there is overlap there are enough differences that classes like hunter and BA or champ and reaver can feel awkward or strange to play.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Andy- This would be a great idea for new players of monster play and would likely also increase the profits Turbine would make as it would inspire people to buy a new class. I think this is a win-win scenario and I hope that it happens (as like the free weekly store code or something).

      Reply

  17. mmicnova Says:

    this is for andang:

    first of all, great article.
    there’s nothing quite like coming home from work on a monday to find that lotro servers are down for who knows how long. and so i decided to spend my time researching about lotro at least, if i can’t play it.
    i knew the article was posted on cstm but i was having some doubts about reading it.
    just like a lot of other people, my first experience with playing a monster goes back to my vip days. i started a warg and entered the game, and after that i had no idea what to do. there were a couple of guys on the chat that were talking about some things i had never heard of before, being new to the moors. after walking around for 30 mins i decided that this was not for me.

    and that was the last time i ever entered monster play. well yesterday after i read the article and the comments i realised that everyone feels like that at first.

    i have to say, monster play does sound like fun if done with a group of people. and it is possible i will give it another try when the pve content gets tedious, or just when i feel like a change of pace. the problem is, i’m not vip anymore so i really hope that playing a reaver is at least kind of fun, since i don’t see myself spending my TP on other monster classes just to try them out.

    anyway, i’m looking forward to reading more on this subject, and it would be helpful to maybe have some thoughts on pros and cons of each class – for the people like me who don’t want to buy them all just to try them out.

    cheers from the freep side (for now)!

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ mmicnova- Some people love the reaver and that is all they play. The fact is that classes just come down to opinions and are different with everyone (for Freeps and Creeps). You may find that you love the reaver; just make sure you get someone to help you through the game.

      Reply

  18. Pjotr Says:

    Andang, thanks for writing this series of articles. :) Keep up the good work!

    I actually do not like PvP very much (I also mostly paly cooperative board games instead of confrontational ones), but from time to time, I send my stalker out hunting.

    I never play him solo, only when some of my friends are also in the Ettenmoors. We group and have a lot of fun in voice chat. Sometimes, we even start a raid. So far, over time, my little warg has attained rank 3. It my not be much, but for my limited playtime (and interest) in the Moors, I am quite happy about it.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      I agree that PvMP is a lot more fun with friends and I hope that you keep leveling up. The higher level you are the more balanced you get in regards to fighting the Freeps.

      Reply

  19. Dagrahk Says:

    Does any of you know if you can fully play monster play as f2p-er?

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Looking Back At A Year With CSTM | Casual Stroll to Mordor - January 30, 2013

    [...] motivated by M-EN members and all the people who hung out in the Moors, I decided I would try to send in an article.  With my first article I tried to make it as funny as possible to have a chance of getting on the [...]

Leave a Reply