LOTRO Raid Guide - Rangers

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Wiploc
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LOTRO Raid Guide - Rangers

Post by Wiploc » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:30 pm

LOTRO Raid Guide, the basics
1. What is raiding

2. Preparations

2.1. Gear – how well-geared should I be?
2.2. Traits
2.3. Trait-line
2.4. Pots, hope, scrolls
2.5. Repairs
2.6. Preparations off the keyboard
2.6.1 Reading up
2.6.2 Mindset

2.7. Raid Assistance Target (RAT)
2.8. Technical issues
2.8.1. Team Speak
2.8.2. Buffbars (optional)
2.8.3. Suicide List
2.8.4. Positioning of skills

2.8.5. Options setup
2.8.5.1. Show vitals of selection's target
2.8.5.2. Skill target forwarding
2.8.5.3. Combat state break notices
2.8.5.4. Show dispellable effects only

3. Characters and roles

4. The raid
4.1. Initiation
4.2. How to go about things

5. The Checklist


1. WHAT IS RAIDING?
Raiding is basically an upgraded and longer version of the “regular” 3- or 6-man instances. This means that the trash is trickier and the bosses hit harder – and they usually hold more elaborate tactics divided into several phases. If success is to be obtained, it is crucial that the players know what they are doing – that they do what they are supposed to when they are in fact supposed to do it. Very important is also the fact that raids consist of either 12 or 24 people – adding to the challenge in terms of coordination.

Raiding can in other words be described as the greater test of the players’ ability to work together and make full use of their character’s skill-set – while acting in accordance with the raid-leaders directions. A good raid instance, in my opinion, is one that will continue to challenge players even though they have progressed in level. Barad Guldur (lvl 65) is a fine example, where any group will wipe over and over again if not following tactics – regardless of running lvl 75 characters. Pure DPS will of course make up for a lot – but in the end you still need to follow tactics.

Overall, raiding is teamwork at its best – and this guide is meant to shed some light on what to pay attention to when preparing to and being part of a raid. This includes the general expectations from the raid leader that players are met with (to be fair, most of the content can be applied to any given fellowship instance. The necessity in raids just stands out more clearly).


2. PREPARATIONS
2.1. Gear – how well-geared should I be?
Discussions on gear will probably never end. Depending on the raid leader you will be met with quite different views on the matter. When running Barad Guldur as a lvl 65 it is indeed important to hold good gear. With Update 5 we have had Tower of Orthanc come in tier I and II versions – where the quality of gearing in Tier I without a doubt is less of an issue as compared to TII.

In my opinion, gear is not necessarily the main thing to be worried about. Instead, the focus should be on player skills, focus and ability to follow directions. This will build the basis for following tactics which is really the essence of succeeding. But that is just me – be prepared to face a no-go from the leader if deemed too poorly equipped in a given raid composition (I think most will agree that a guard with “no” morale should not be paired up with a mini with “no” out-going healing). An important thing to remember, though, is the fact that it is all the little things that add up to good stats and mitigation (just to say that collectively your equipment does matter – just not enough to make it into a heated debate).

After RoI and Update 5 it could be said that gaining the Galtrev raid gear (barter) is indeed something to go for. Get those four pieces and perhaps one from Draigoch. They will get you a long way. Top it off with some of the skirmish armour and jewellery - as these items can really boost your stats. Remember to get acquainted with the Ox-Clan armoue in order to find out how soon - if not straight away - you should be hunting for it.
As a rule of thumb (debatable ofc ;)), see if you can’t get to 1200+ on your main stat (Hunter – agility, Champ – Might etc.) before venturing into Tier I raiding and gusting 1500 before Tier II. Furthermore, you shouldn’t forget to get that second and third stat notched up as well (yes, the last two - 4/5 - are of less importance). In the end though, it all depends on what your main role is – and how the stats should actually be balanced. Meaning, a Champ will naturally be going for might as primary but there is no harm done in lowering that main stat 100-300 points if a vitality boost is needed for tanking. If in doubt, ask.
The raid lead will not be able to see your actual stat-count – but the armour pieces and the jewellery will give you away most of the time.

Legendary Items. After RoI and the changes to the LI system, it has become much easier to make up a good combination according to what you need. Look at the legacies at hand, look at what you need to optimize your role and then go for that. This can include several weapons as well as several belts/runes/songbooks etc.
Example: A Champ could easily go for a 2H DPS + Dual Wield setup in weaponry (DW would be preferable for tanking) and then hold a DPS rune + a tanking rune. Anyway, no need to start out going for everything. Focua on the class' main role -> DPS + DPS. But later...

2.2. Traits
Much the same as gear really. You can get a long way by being solid in performance – but there is no doubt that having a correct set of class traits slotted will show the raid leader that you know what you are doing. This goes for the virtues as well. Get the right ones as high as possible, preferably maxed out of course. There really are some good stat- and mitigation bonuses to be collected. As said, it is all the little things. After RoI and Update 5, it seems that mitigations are indeed the ones to be looking for - combined with a few aimed at morale.

To put it bluntly, looking at a player holding no gear and a confused, low leveled set of traits will indeed “tell” the raid-leader that the player (you) haven’t really prepared yourself and may subsequently lead to a “no” – but hopefully also a fruitful talk about how to suit up!
If in doubt of your current build then ask the questions (or google ofc).

2.3. Traitline
Always remember to find out which role you are intended to have. Will you be running a healing or tanking captain? Champion; Area of Effect or Single target DPS; or main (strong off-) tank? Healing Runekeeper or DPS? Cc Loremaster or DPS? Etc. etc. –
The point is to visit the Bard and trait in accordance with your role.

2.4. Pots, hope, scrolls, food
Bring it all! Not debatable really. Make sure you have:

- Hope tokens (can be bought at the auction house) – bring 5+ (Brilliant or higher no matter the instance – preferably Dunlending versions of course).
- Scrolls of Dunlending Battle and Warden lore – bring 5+ (can be bought at the Auction House).
- Draughts (Wound, Disease, Poison, Fear) – bring 20+ of each (Can be bought from off a NPC healer provisioner).
- Whichever food that enhances your class – e.g. vitality food for tanks, agility food for hunters etc. Also bring some regeneration food such as Waybread (helps you with morale and power. Can be bought in the auction house). You might as well bring 30+ of these. Consider bringing Resistance food.

2.5. Repairs
Before heading into the instance, make sure you have repaired your gear. Everybody forgets it from time to time – remembering will just limit the times you have to go and repair during the raid (taking up time of the entire raid).

2.6. Preparations off the keyboard
2.6.1 Reading up
If you haven’t been in the instance before then find a guide and go through it. No need to memorize everything by heart – but just to get a taste of trash and bosses.

2.6.2 Mindset
This is a raid you are preparing for. There will be 12 man or more on the chat. Stay focused as you alone can cause a wipe if missing out on stuff. Accept the fact that you shall not spam the raid leader with ideas, suggestions, thoughts, feelings, brainwaves – unless he/she asks for it. Usually there is no time and it will only add to confusion. One thing you must do, though, is to ask questions if in doubt of tactics and such.
Furthermore, if you sign up for a raid make sure you turn up. If unable to participate then give notice in advance to the raid-leader. No-shows will be dropped a spot on the suicide list. Lastly, make sure to get online in accordance with signups. Being late will mean that another takes your place – and you will be dropped one spot one suicide list.

And by the way – There must be room for jokes. Just keep it at a balanced level :)

2.7. Raid Assistance Target (RAT)
Most people run a RAT in the 3-mans and the 6-mans – so you probably already have it set. If not, it is a matter of setting it in the options panel. The RAT on-screen box will make you able to pick up the RATs target at all times.
Burning down different targets at the same time is not a preferred way to go about it as each mob alive is a living chance of pulling extra corruptions, DPS etc. So use the RAT and bring them down one by one.

If you at any point are appointed to be the RAT, then you need to keep focus on any required sequence of killing – as that may very well be a factor in surviving. If in doubt ask – always better to ask than causing an unnecessary wipe. Also, call out the next target. It is good to set the mind for what is coming next. It also gives room for correcting any misunderstandings in terms of the kill-sequence.

2.8. “Technical issues”
2.8.1. TeamSpeak
One truth. When raiding with the Rangers you must have this piece of software installed and ready to go before the raid starts. And you might as well set it up ASAP anyway, since we often use it in 3- and 6-mans. That way it will be ready if you get called upon on a short notice.
See this page on the forums:

http://www.rangersoferiador.com/teamspeak/

It holds all details needed for you to get online and able to listen in – and talking if you want to. The reason for using TS is simple. It is superior to the in-game voice chat in terms of quality and possibilities. So get that one :)
Ask the questions if something is amiss.

2.8.2. Buffbars (optional)
On the internet you can pick up different add-ons to assist you when fighting. These are of course applicable in any given situation and not just for raiding. See this link for an overview:

http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/cat29.html

I will point towards the Palantir and the buffbars as a good place to start out. Your choice. Have a general look too – lots of skins if you want to shake up looks (or what about combat analysis?) :)

2.8.3. Suicide List
This is the Rangers tool of preference. It is a system used to ensure that good quality loot is divided in a fair way and not being luck based (rolling the dice).

See the actual list on this link:

http://suicidekings.org/suicidekings.html#list-384

See this one for insights on the system itself:

http://www.rangersoferiador.com/forum/v ... it=suicide

Ask a kinnie if something needs enlightening.

2.8.4. Positioning of skills
A minor one really, but with this I am thinking the way you position the skills on the shortcuts. If you haven’t already done it, it may be an idea to separate AoE skills from Single Target skills – as well as having a very good feel of the bleed skills. Quite a few fights include heavy discipline in terms of not AoE’ing stunned mobs nearby as well as not putting a Damage over Time (DOT) on a particular mob (hence a no-bleed fight). This is all class dependent as well as an individual choice of course.

2.8.5. Options setup
This is just to point out those options, primarily in the Combat UI, that can benefit you and the group.

2.8.5.1. Show vitals of selection's target
A small feature that will tell you who is currently holding the aggro of the mob. This is actually an excellent feature, as you will know if and when the tank loses aggro and then can act accordingly.

2.8.5.2. Skill target forwarding
This is quite an excellent skill for support classes which goes well hand in hand with "Vitals of selection's target". Basically, this skill allows you to attack a mob while having targeted the fellow you are assisting - or assisting a fellow while having targeted the mob.
A good example would be the minstrels tasks when healing and buffing. This can be done without ever taking your eyes off the tank if needed. In other words - the mini can keep heals on the tank while repeatably throwing offensive skills at the target in order to unlock the buffing skills. This works the other way as well, which makes this skill particularly useful. The other example would be a hunter punching in heavy DPS on a mob while having poison removal at hand if the tank is likely to get that debuff. The hunter will not have to switch targets at any point but can simply spam the skill when needed (In this case you will have to have "Show vitals of selection's target" up and running as well. Otherwise you will not know for sure if it is the tank you are helping).

2.8.5.3. Combat state break notices
Simply tells you who (and subsequently what) breaks any stuns/mezzes. Yes, it will put a finger on the guilty party - but always remember that figuring out the details is what optimizes the raids abilities. All good experience originates from mistakes (even though it sometines stings to be the one responsible ;) ).

2.8.5.4. Show dispellable effects only
When running instances there are loads of buffing going on. This leads to a large amount of effects being shown under each character. In a raid with 12 or 24 characters this just turns into ridiculousness - so do yourself a favour and turn this little thing on. That way most of the graphics go away and leaves only those nasties that can be potted. Some of which really do need to be removed - hence making an improved overview is very nice.

3. CHARACTERS AND MAIN ROLES

3.1. Champions
Role: AoE DPS. Off-tanking. Interrupts.

If you are not running RAT, then always have an eye on your mini (or RK). You will be held responsible for protecting the squishies. This means using challenge to pull them off and then keep them busy with pure DPS until the tank can get them back.

Note to self: Do not AoE when stunned mobs are nearby ;)

Note to others (squishies): If facing aggro then call out for the champ to come and pull it off.

3.2. Guardian
Role: Tanking.

Note to self: If you lose aggro to a lesser mob just let it go. It is most likely to a hunter and is just as likely the target of the RAT – so it will be burned down quick. If it is the primary target then it is a different matter of course.

Note to others: Everybody must absorb the fact that a guard is unable to perform if aggro is being stolen away. The guard needs to get good blocks in to fully release the aggro-building skills – which will only happen if he/she has aggro. So especially ranged DPS should be careful not to strike too soon at approaching mobs as it can scatter those mobs and make a decent pickup difficult.

3.3. Burglars
Role: Crowd Control. Corruption removal. Conjunctions. DPS/tricks.

Note to others: Do not break our stuns!

3.4. Captains
Role: Buff tool. Oathbrakers. Healing of a sort. Fear removal. In-fight rezzing.
Just a note; when buffing Guards then ask if they have Master of Littany (legendary) slotted – if so you should throw the crit buff and not parry (impacts the amount of threat generation through Littany of Defiance).

Note to self: Only apply an in-fight Rez if asked to be the raid-leader. Help out if squishies need assistance.

Note to others: If in dire need, the Cappy can punch in “In harms way/Last stand” to act as life saver – gives a bit of a breather in order to (as an example): Let the mini to pop “Triumphant Spirit” and “Fellowships Heart” followed by the Guards’ Challenge of Darkness. That should get you all running again!

3.5. Minstrels
Role: Healing and buffing. A bit of Crowd Control when called for.

Note to self: Threat minimizing skills and items are there for a reason. Use them in order to keep the mobs away. Call out for help if needed. Only use in-combat rez if asked to by the raid-leader. Oh, and more than anybody – do remember to bring lots and lots of power pots :)

Note to others: In case you are in doubt, the mini will not heal very much if getting interrupted by mobs – so help them (looking at the tanking and off-tanking community)!

3.6. Runekeepers
Role: Figure out in advance if the main idea is to heal or inflict damage – and trait accordingly. Corruption removal.
Skills such as “Do not fall to fire” is also very useful to have at hand for saves.

Note to self: Observe and adjust if your DPS starts to pull mobs. Throttle down accordingly. The RK in-combat rez is an individual thing. It is a preset skill that can be used for one fight only (then CD). In other words, when the fight stops the skill is "wasted" if not used. But depending on the fight characteristic, hence the length, complexity, possibility for one shots etc. it may be the way to go.

Note to others: RKs focus mainly on proactive healing – meaning they have to "guess" who will be taking the most damage (tank hopefully) and then punch in the skills before the target is actually being hit. This means that pulling mobs off the main tank can spell trouble. Another thing to note in all this is that we all go about things differently and RK healing is one of several areas where you should get a good feel for the players approach. Is it an aggresive healer throwing heals to most in the group most of the time - or is it a powerminded RK who prefers to wait a bit before throwing in the saves (apart from the tank who will be bombarded constantly). This is all about getting to know eachother and is crucial in the optization process.

3.7. Hunters
Role: DPS. Poison removal. Corruption removal. Some degree of Crowd Control can come in handy – but usually not worth traiting for. Let the Burglars and Loremasters worry about that and then throw in the traps when it makes sense.

Note to self: Be careful not to pull the mobs. This is especially possible if going burst early in the fight - Burn Hot or so. Instead, start the fight easy-going. Perhaps even autoattacks only. In case you do pull some, dump the aggro and throttle down.

Note to others (tanks): Hunters need a bit of time to build up focus – and it can be interrupted; so when tanking, make sure you do not do so right next to the hunter. Drag them a bit away to give the hunter some leeway (while trusting the hunter not to start any insane DPS until you got a good hold).

3.8. Loremasters
Role: Crowd controlling (CC). Corruption removal. Power distribution. Healing of a sort.

Note to self: Remember to use the anti-stun on the tank if up against troll boss or such. Be aware of any environment not suited for pets.

Note to others: Do not break our stuns! Ask politely for power if you are not a healer or tank.

3.9. Wardens
Role: Tanking. Off-tanking. Corruption removal.

Note to others: Wardens can build a very high amount of threat. It just takes a bit – meaning; if you (hunter/champ/Runekeeper) steal aggro from the tank, you must prepare to off-tank for a bit.

N.B.
Have a look at this post as well. It adds a twist to this guide and holds more elaborate details on the classes.


4. THE RAID
4.1. Initiation
When entering the instance, double-check that you have:
- RAT window working
- Buffbars up and running (if interested)
- Pots and draughts at hand (on shortcuts)

Remember to consume food to boost your stats and regeneration.

4.1. How to go about things
Listen! – and as said; do not constantly spam the leader with ideas. Do so when time permits or you are sure that a reminder of some skills is useful.

RAT
FOLLOW RAT. Nothing else to say about that really.

Conjunctions
Get them and get them right! When a raid leader calls the conjunction (e.g. Pure of Heart) then stick to a preset sequence (meaning every character has a certain color to punch in). There is no excuse for not getting the extra benefit that conjunctions really are (burglars – always call an upcoming conjunction. It will get people ready for getting it right).

Corruptions
Just to point out that this is indeed a killer. Corruptions get you dead. Everybody should be focused on managing those correctly. Some bosses are of course worse than others and calls for different approaches. Can either be a matter of not removing, removing in a particular or just getting rid of them ASAP.
Main removers are Loremasters, Wardens, Burglars, Hunters, Runekeepers (3 corruptions at once with a few variations). Those skills hold a cooldown though (Wardens being the exception), so a preset corruption removal sequence may be necessary depending on the situation. Stick to it in order to be able to remove as many as possible; meaning that two removers should not be removing at the same time. This is of course the responsibility of the leader.

Hope and scrolls
Will be popped when needed on the call of the leader. Either way he/she does it, you will be pointed out eventually (so remember to bring the items).

Speed and removals
Speed is not necessarily of the essence. A general mistake is to be too focused on the DPS routine and therefore missing out on a lot of the other things going on. This could be corruptions on the target or for example fears, diseases, wounds and poisons that need to be potted. Pay attention to the bigger picture and accept the fact that a quick burn down is not necessarily a winning tactic.
When that is said, everybody misses out on some of this for obvious reasons. Quite a few characters need to do more than just punching a quick sequence in. For that very reason, the leader will most likely be “hanging back” a bit in order to keep an eye on those things – so that he/she can call what and who need removal. The leader can also appoint certain raiders to be spotters. The cappy is always a good choice as the class’ DPS is not…overwhelming. This makes the class available for these alternative but very important tasks. Anyway, you can help by staying on your toes and trying to be on the lookout (without compromising your main job). I would like to point towards the Palantir as a good tool for this one (see bullet 2.8.2. Buffbars).

DPS
Beware of overdoing it. Especially hunters, runekeepers and champs have a real chance of picking targets off the tank. Try not to. You are indeed squishier (yes, goes for the champ as well). You will add to the challenge of the healer for no reason. You may cause a wipe.
It is a balance of course and aggro will change hands from time to time and sometimes it is indeed needed – just be aware of when to and when not to and throttle down if needed.


5. THE CHECKLIST
Before you travel, ask yourself the following questions.

Have I remembered to bring:
- Pots (Power, morale)?
- Draughts (Wound, Poison, Disease, Fear)? – with appropriate strength according to instance and level.
- Food (regen, stat, resistance)?

Have I remembered to:
- Spend all legacy points on my Legendaries?
- Repair my gear?
- Slot the proper trait line?
- Check up on my virtues – and whether they are in accordance with the instance (e.g. physical or tactical mitigation)
- Switch to jewellery that will sort my stats according to the role I hold?

- Start Teamspeak?
- Remembered to switch on my game mood? A.k.a. focus blended nicely with good humor and patience!

As a final comment, I will point to the fact that good raiding comes from “training” and knowing the instances. No matter how well you have the basics down, it all comes down to knowing which fight characteristics comes next (I hold the "wrong kind" of exp on this one – so trust me). In other words; find the time and join up :)
"Certainty of death, small chance of success... What are we waiting for?"

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