Sunday, 31 May 2009


Responding to my earlier post about Nornúan, the great turtle of the Waterworks, "Anonymous" commented that his kinship had worked out a tactic which involved using a Lore-master's bear to tank the turtle: "A burg can provoke the turtle so it doesn't switch targets so no one gets an acid dot. The healer just keeps the bear up. Dead simple." I was intrigued enough to suggest the tactic to my own kin a couple of days later, only to discover to my astonishment that it was regarded as an exploit. Though I have not been able to find anything to that effect on the official English Codemasters forums, a kinsman tracked down and translated a Danish language post in which the tactic was condemned in no uncertain terms by a GM:

[18:22] +Forgildan: Hello Traxie, I am Game Master Forgildan. You have exploited the turtle raid. Therefore you will now receive a warning. Please do not exploit again in the future.
[18:22] +Forgildan: Next time we catch you doing this, a 7 day suspension will be the outcome.

[18:25] +Forgildan: I just checked your forums. It seems that this announcement has not yet been made on the english forums. As this is the case, I will drop the official warnings, so your accounts have not been marked as exploiters
[18:26] +Forgildan: But please do not attempt bear-tanking again. If we catch you again, they will be marked as such.

So there you have it: bear-tanking is an exploit. My first reaction was to be seriously annoyed; how could bear-tanking possibly be considered an exploit, other than because it happened to run contrary to the way the designers thought this battle should be fought? Coming on top of the forthcoming nerf of the Burglar's Enrage trick, the implication is that there can only be one way to complete an instance, graven in stone as Holy Writ - anything else is heresy. For me, and for many other players, the whole point of a difficult instance is that can be fun to work out different ways of completing it, some sneakier than others. A designer policy of turning all LOTRO instances into cookie-cutter exercises does not bode well.

In fact, it turns out that there is a reason of sorts for the pet-tanking ban, which is that in the Nornúan fight, a pet does not trigger the "snapping" attack and hence does not get landed with the acid DOT (damage over time) debuff. Using this tactic, Nornúan was actually duoed by a LM and Minstrel on the Snowborn server earlier this month (the debate on the link goes far beyond this issue, by the way). So on balance, I think one has to accept that bear-tanking the Turtle does rather make a mockery of the whole concept of raiding. At the same time, it would be nice if these things could be tidied up prior to general release.


Jaxom92 said...

Okay, that's why it's an exploit. Not the pet tanking itself, but the fact that pet tanking doesn't trigger the desired responses. However, the onus is on Turbine to fix it so that the pet DOES trigger the response. The raid should be closed until they can.

Sounds like you'd need a full raid after the fix, which should be a give, but the pet is just another viable (not necessarily easy) way to complete the content.

The GM in the case didn't give enough information.

chadmango said...

It seems this lair boss was put together rather quickly to fill the '12-man raid sized gap', people have been waiting for. As a result it seems the developers have been on the back foot so to speak with trying to cover over all the cracks. Removing the 'bear-as-tank' trick is long overdue, as it is clearly an exploit, but I'm confused by the decision to remove the ability to enrage the Turtle. I always thought the basic principle of the fight was to bounce aggro around so that the wound didn't escalate, but clearly the principle is to bounce the aggro between two tanks, and not allow for any other tactic. This is a real shame, as one thing I always enjoyed in the high level instances, both 6-man and upwards, was finding out how different groups dealt with the same situation... now it seems Turbine want to remove initiative and imagination.