Friday, 19 February 2010

RUNNING THE GAUNTLET

Siege of Mirkwood has been out for some time now, but with the exception of a few hardcore raiding kinships in Europe and the States, the culminating 12-man Barad Guldur raid that came with it has yet to be cracked by most kins - or even seriously dented. Hard numbers are of course always impossible to come by, but I haven't just plucked this suggestion out of thin air. It's based on a number of facts: on first-hand knowledge about the how things stand with various kins on my server, on the frequency (or paucity) of mentions on GLFF, on the almost complete absence of extensive debate about the tactics of taking down anything but the first boss on any of the forums, on the fact that except for the odd member of the aforementioned handful of hardcore kins, you almost never catch sight of +30 armour, and of course on input from quite a large cross-section of active and competent players.

Of course, Barad Guldur is a tough and unforgiving raid, and that's pretty much as it should be. Nor is radiance that much of a problem these days; if you really want to raid, you can get +120 radiance from the three +15 and three +25 armour items, all of them available in exchange for medallions. All six items cost 120 Mirkwood medallions in total, which can be assembled in about a week or less - not too massive a grind. No, the main problem with BG appears to be the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet (as it's come to be known) is a running fight with Uruks, wargs and goblins all the way up the stairway which leads from the entrance of the tower to the room of Dûrchest, the first boss. It's a tricky fight, because adds are constantly arriving as you leapfrog your way up from one landing to another, and if you take too long, you get swamped by reinforcements. Personally, I think it's a brilliant test of raiders' ability to think on their feet, and I'm all for it, except that it's in the wrong place. In other words, it's a long fight, as hard to master as any boss fight and tougher than most - and it's still only a prequel.

Worse, much worse, is the fact that the whole thing resets entirely within a very short space of time; in fact, if you wipe on Dûrchest, you just about have enough time for one more attempt before it resets. This last bit is frankly idiotic; the fact that to take another crack at what is still only the first boss you have to run the Gauntlet again, no matter how good you've become at it, is a huge morale stripper. In fact, it may well be the main reason why, unless changes are made, Barad Guldur could end up being the most under-exploited raid since Helegrod. I don't think the Gauntlet should be removed, and I wouldn't want to see it go - though if asked in the planning stages, I would have suggested it be placed at the end rather than the beginning of the raid. But there's a simple, obvious solution which would be extremely easy to implement: treat the Gauntlet as another boss fight, and give it a lock: once you've run it successfully, that's the last you see of it till the next general reset. Here's hoping...

2 comments:

wicked said...

I agree with you.

We've tried the raid a couple of times but whenever we tried Durchest in HM and wipe 2 times we call it quits...

Its just too much of a drag to redo the gauntlet again just to try the first boss.

Westnovote said...

For the record, the Gauntlet is generally considered a huge hit in my kin. It's easily the best trash fight in the game and for many is a welcome relief from the rather tedious trash pulls in Dar Narbugud.

Now it may well be that we enjoy the Gauntlet so much as we've pretty much got is sorted now. We still wipe on it, but usually only the first time, when people haven't really started concentrating.

I also don't really agree with you about placement. AFAIK all of the multi-boss raids in LOTRO give you initial boss fights which are much harder than later ones. Even the trash is harder when you first enter than half way through. It's designed to give that instant hit of action.
Granted, we're talking about a trash fight as opposed to a boss fight, but it's the same mechanic.

I think that if the Gauntlet was later in the raid that people would have more issues with beating it and even more with having to do it again after a wipe.