I’d originally intended to take more of a ‘blow-by-blow’ approach to LOTRO blogging during my process of exploration and learning game mechanics. Now, I find myself with a level 28 Hunter and a blog archive absent of detail since the days when she wasn’t accruing equipment damage (i.e. the single digit range). Whoops. Update time!
I really enjoy the Hunter class, as evidenced by the fact that she’s now 10 levels beyond my next-highest level character. It’s very viable to play solo, including signature mobs and multiple-mob pulls, although since I lingered a bit too long in Bree-land I’ve not been challenging myself with much that’s significantly above my own level range. I’m currently questing in the mid-Lone-lands area (around Nain Enidh) with a few diversions into the North Downs for a change of scenery. The only thing that proved to be beyond my solo abilities a couple of levels back was attempting to complete the quest ” The Goblin-leader” in Minas Eriol. I got him down to 22 morale before dying.. and aggravatingly enough, probably the only reason I didn’t succeed was that when I’d died to a careless pull just before, I’d forgotten to re-activate my Strength stance upon reviving and was missing the damage buff. Boo. I was frustrated enough that I didn’t go back, although I could probably complete the quest without a problem now since I see that the quest mob is a level 25 Signature.
I’ve been working on two things in terms of skills, primarily: more intelligent use of skills while attempting to complete some class deeds. I’m still more comfortable with keeping enemies at range – now, before you laugh and say that of course that’s true, I’m playing a ranged class – I do also appreciate that LOTRO hunters have a diversity of melee skills. My most recent other ranged character is my hunter in WoW, where attempting to melee anything will get you laughed right out of a group, and that’s reinforced by the noticeable lack of melee skills. (Wing clip-raptor strike, what?) With that background, I find that when I let mobs get close enough for melee attacks on my hunter in LOTRO I feel foolish, as if I’ve just proved myself to be the Worst Hunter Ever. Combine that with wanting to increment the Swift Stroke class deed, and.. well.
Ranged pulls feel smooth and efficient to me. Set a trap, generate some quick Focus, and pull. I’ve been experimenting with priority order after that point. Penetrating Shot is a tempting opener with that nice full Focus bar. I often choose to open with a non-instant shot, though, since I don’t want to waste time waiting on induction while the mob is already running up to hit me in the face. Barbed Arrow is nice for that – I can take the time for the brief induction and apply a DOT at the same time, then follow it up with Penetrating Shot and maybe a Quick Shot to slow run speed (when I’m in Strength stance, ie. most of the time – solo play doesn’t leave me with Focus issues so there’s little drawback, although I haven’t compared it much with Precision). The double-hit of Swift Bow is nice, but I’m still undecided whether it’s a more useful long-induction opener – note to self, look up the actual damage done. (Hooray, theorycrafting!) I -might- even admit to using Rain of Arrows occasionally on single-mob pulls (when Penetrating Shot is on CD).. partly because it’s an extra instant when I have a full Focus bar, and partly because I like the animation.
Well, that’s all for now. I hope to reach level 30 this weekend so I can try out the Skirmish system!
Oh, and I never did work up the nerve to find a Great Barrows group while I was in Bree-land. Perhaps I’ll try it out on the beta realm where I can be an anonymous chicken instead.