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”.