LotRO's Rise of Isengard: The Road to Level 75, Days 4 & 5

Updated Wed, Oct 05, 2011 by gunky

LotRO's Rise of Isengard: The Road to Level 75, Days 4 & 5

The Road to Level 75

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

There have been a few server-side changes made to the Lord of the Rings Online since its latest expansion, Rise of Isengard, went live last Monday. On Day 1, my Road to Level 75 was paved with riches - backpacks and corpses and random treasure chests spawned in mad abundance around the landscape, and despite the heavy first-day traffic I ended up making somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 gold without really trying. Apparently, the treasure spawns were a bit too abundant, and were turned off by the second day.

After meeting with frustration in Day 2 of my Road to Level 75, I made a decision to try to earn some levels through skirmishes. On paper, this seemed like a dandy idea, but in practical terms, it turned out to be not so great. My soldier had fallen behind and the skirmishes were slow and painful, and didn't reward very much experience for all the work. I stopped doing that after 2 skirmishes and decided to change my gameplan a bit. I'll go back to skirmishes when I hit 75 and fast XP gain is not a priority.

Tweaking the Build

My new attack plan involved tweaks to my build and a weapon upgrade. I swapped out Determination and Fidelity in favor of Zeal and Wisdom - this bumped up my base Morale and Power and added some extra defense. I also swapped out the class trait Barbed Fury for Critical Eye - slightly less damage from Barbed Arrow in exchange for a much higher Critical Rating, which improves DPS overall.

I also swapped out my aging Second Age crossbow for a higher-level Third Age bow:

LotRO Rise of Isengard - Legendary Items - 2nd age versus 3rd age

I was loathe to do this. That crossbow has been my weapon of choice for a long time, and I prefer it over my First Age crossbow, which isn't finished:

LotRO Rise of Isengard - Legendary Items - 1st age crossbow

At first, I wasn't sure that this would count as an "upgrade," despite the +20 DPS of the Third Age bow. The new bow has poor, low-tier legacies, and all my good relics are slotted in the Second and First Age items, so I only had some mediocre Tier 4 and 5 relics to put in the new one. But when I tested it out on some yellow mobs, it showed its worth. I'm a Hunter, after all, and cannot argue against bigger numbers.

Still, it broke my heart when I had to decon my Second Age crossbow. Kruklak Akashuga-ob (Black Speech for "Crossbow of the Halflings") was an epic killing machine, having spilled the blood of thousands of enemies. Its name was surely whispered among the orcs of Mirkwood in hushed, frightened tones, and among the Draig-luth of Enedwaith and the twisted denizens of Ost Dunhoth. Its retirement from service was the end of an era, and I personally felt that it should have had a lot more ceremony.

Here's an item on my wishlist - when we deconstruct a maxed-out Legendary Item and can pick one of the legacies as a scroll, give us the option to turn it into a housing trophy. Some of these weapons have a great history - Kruklak Akashuga-ob has been used to destroy epic villains (the Lieutenant of Barad Guldur, the Mistress of Pestilence, the Watcher in the Water, Gortheron and all his Gaunt-lord minions - just to name a few), and it would be great to be able to mount such an historic weapon over your mantle rather than simply recycle it.

Anyway, when I hit 75, I already have my new weapon picked out:

LotRO Rise of Isengard - Legendary Items - lvl 75 3rd age crossbow

This one is a crossbow, which I prefer to bows for a variety of reasons, and it has the starting legacies I want. It's a good platform to build on, and I may get one lucky reforge and end up with 4 major legacies. Time will tell. I may end up hanging on to my Second Age spear for a while though:

LotRO Rise of Isengard - Legendary Items - lvl 65 2nd age spear

Having 5 Major legacies and 2 Minors makes this bad boy worth keeping around. The DPS is lower, but melee DPS is not a Hunter's strong suit anyway, and I've never even spent points on increasing it. It's the Hunter's equivalent of a class item, and the fact that it does any damage at all is a bonus. If anything, I may end up getting some scrolls of empowerment to buff up some of the low-tier legacies.

Once I was more or less satisfied with the tweaks and upgrades, I headed back to Gravenwood and tackled the instance that had me stymied the day before.

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