Update 6- What happened to your monster?

March 12, 2012

General, Monster Play, Opinions

Alright fellow monsters a new update is upon us.  Update 6 is bringing a ton of new features today and after playing on the test server I have come to a few opinions.  Update six marks one of the biggest focuses on PVP in a long time.  It has class changes, new traits, new passive skill types and a new currency system.  Now let’s dive into my impressions from the test server for Update 6.

While loot boxes were not an update six update they have been released recently to monster play and let me say they are awesome.  The loot boxes give the player new appearances that are way cooler than anything the player could have previously looked like.  The developers have outdone themselves with these new appearances and I really have not found a bad looking one, or even one that is worse than the appearances that were available to the player before now.

The skill “March!” which allows you to run faster now is a near instant buff much like how getting on your mount on Freep side is nearly instantaneous.  I am glad that Creeps finally get this out of combat buff so that they can move around the world quicker.  Also players will not have to calculate if it would actually be beneficial to take the time to use this skill and can instead just use it.  I really enjoyed this change as it is the only speed boost for a defiler.

There is a new passive skill coming with this update called Audacity.  This skill literally will change PvP in LotRO forever.  It increases your survivability to an extreme.  I could almost solo TA (the biggest base in PvP) as a defiler.  I can’t imagine how this will decrease the effectiveness of the already underpowered non-player enemies.  I think that this is a problem that needs to be looked at.  Against players this skill makes the fight take much longer.  While this is good news for healers as it allows them to not need to heal as much as players are taking less damage, I think it is really not a good skill.  It only extends the fight and does not actually affect the outcome too much.

While it will be nice for low level players to get a nice early boost in stats, it is not good for group play.  While solo combat might have gone too fast and would warrant this skill, I think it destroys the group gameplay.  It makes it to where both groups have more time to repel the enemy and also allows healers to be more effective as the damage they have to heal through is lessened.  It can already be hard to kill other players when the groups are balanced and so this new skill makes it nearly impossible to get a kill in a balanced fight.  This is a real problem as it will lower the infamy income of both sides and make the grind to high ranks longer and more mundane.  Also this skill only goes to Rank 7 and so after rank 7 the difference between the other Ranks is lessened because this skill is so powerful.

If you haven’t noticed I really don’t like this new skill as it makes grouping much harder, longer and only means that the player will get less infamy in the long run.  While it is great for new players coming in as getting the initial audacity skill is a huge change, it is really not helping and maybe even hurting the higher level players that already have a big grind as it is.

Also with Update 6 wargs and weavers get updated.  Turbine did a great job making these classes stronger so that they don’t die as much.  I liked playing these classes more and they feel stronger and that is always nice.  Usually wargs and weavers are quick to die because of their current role in groups.  I am glad that they made these changes and I can’t wait to see what they do to PvP in the future as they seem to have a new focus on the PvP part of LotRO.

Now on to the biggest change to PvP in Update 6…Commendations.  Commendations are replacing Destiny Points in PvP.  The prices for every purchasable item seem to be about the same but instead of costing DP it now costs Commendations.  This gives PvP its own currency so that players don’t have to think about where they will spend them.  While a lot of players will not like the fact that they can’t earn Destiny Points for perks in PvP it could prove to be a good decision.  While I personally don’t like not being able to buy perks so easily it is a forgivable change.

If I was to choose one thing I don’t like about this update I would say that it is the Commendations cap.  The cap is set at 10,000 Commendations.  I would be fine with this cap if there were enough things to buy Commendations with but just like before the update there are not.  Earlier with DP we could at least spend our extra currency on Perks but now we are really out of things to spend our currency on.  While Turbine said that this cap was made in order to prevent players from having a large horde of points I think they missed the real problem.

The real problem was that players did not have enough to spend their currency on and so this lead to players getting a large amount of currency.  Putting a cap will not get players to spend their large horde because they don’t have anything to spend it on.  Instead it leads to a lot of Commendations earned to be immediately destroyed because players will be at the currency cap.  They also took away our ability to spend this currency on Perks.  This means that players will be wasting a ton of Commendations until Turbine gives us more things to buy in the Ettenmoors.

Another problem I have is that there are still quests in the Moors that do not give you infamy.  With the cap on Commendations this makes these quests even more useless.  I hope that Turbine realizes soon that there are quests that the players are not doing because of this reason and that they fix it.

As you can see I am not the happiest camper about the changes to PvP in Update 6 but I am glad that we are at least given attention.  Many of these complaints could be fixed easily if Turbine continues to focus on PvP in the future.  Also I am glad that they are planning to have seasons that could justify the cap on Commendations yet I still don’t see it yet.

NOTE- Also keep in mind that these impressions were made off of the test server and may not be exactly the same on the live servers.  While usually what you get on the test server is what you get, this might not be the case for Update 6.

I hope you enjoyed my impressions and I look forward to seeing you next week for “How to be a Monster”.

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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.

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10 Responses to “Update 6- What happened to your monster?”

  1. Ayalinda Says:

    Am I mistaken or am I right in thinking commendations are now used to buy the consumables which previously cost delving stones? If so surely this is a large commendation sink, meaning “Putting a cap will not get players to spend their large horde because they don’t have anything to spend it on” is untrue. I don’t play on the test servers so I may be mistaken.


    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Ayalinda- That is true and so they have given us more things to spend stuff but players who already bought a good portion of the delving stuff are left with nothing to buy and they have a very low cap on commendations. I now have to run back just to try to buy something so that my points don’t go wasted and at higher ranks most players don’t have much to spend on this.


  2. Simon Says:

    I love the timing of this post :)


  3. Damsadan Says:

    I’m in agreement with Andang here because of the unsatisfactory changes. Not all of them were though. I’m glad the gave us some attention as opposed to before where we were negelcted. one thing that bothered me was that if you are already rank 7 I think because of that effort you should get the audacity that comes with rank 7. my rank 6 warg was changed and I was led to believe we would get te changes automatically but instead we will have spend 2000 commendations on rank 1 skill. so while we’re got all these changes we will be left to PvE because the frees have no commendations and want to build them up. for the next month we will overpowered while we fight the lone freep. I am glad they didn’t get rid of destiny points but once they are gone they are gone. overall I am somewhat satisfied with the creep update.


    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      @ Damsadan- there are still several ways to get DP just so you know. Also I think if everyone got Audacity automatically then they would not notice the changes as much and would become even more overpowered.


  4. Gothnon Says:

    1. Content update is non-existent. That’s what pvmp needs the most.
    2. Mechanics- great changes, but at this rate I just don’t see how PvMP is ever going to be enjoyable when it takes this long to make some classes viable while other classes are flat out OP…and still are.
    3. Audacity- great idea, good to see it happen-i agree it may need tweaking, but the concept is good.
    4. Commendations- another good idea, but horrible values and implementation- 7500 to buy a freep main wpn, but 7500 to buy a creep skin?!? What planet does that make sense? Why is the cap so low? I have multiply alts, and when I play I want to PLAY not ‘play’ accountant to ensure I get the rewards i earn from play and not get robbed if I go over my limit.
    5. No conversion- I posted this issue on the forums and a reply I got said, essentially, well it’s not like they are wiping your character, just your savings you put in the bank…why? Is that how pve works when a new raid comes out- they zero out your savings? No, you keep what you earned, but it’s going to be worth less because the new stuff will be more expensive and is best obtained by doing the NEW CONTENT, thus we return to issue #1 that we have no new content to go with our new reward, therefore our savings are wiped clean(or made unuseable) and then we are told to keep doing what we had done to earn those savings to get the new stuff….


    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      Gothnon- I agree with all your comments and I hope Turbine gives players more places to play against other players.


      • Shutz Says:

        Overall pretty poor implementation. lotro needs much more dynamic interaction at end game in order to be competitive with whats out there. A few strategic wide open pvp worlds for endgame that we could port in to would solve a lot, and create some kind of chemistry and strategic sense. 1 map? really? D minus.



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