Alt Wars: The Minimalist Strikes Back

The observant reader may notice that my character roster is down to three from six. It wasn’t repetition or resource management that burned me out, it was the classes. Keeping track of skills, keyboard layouts, and general capabilities isn’t going to work while my gameplay is limited by my day job and other things.  We’re back to the 2+1 model: Tinker and Historian plus one wildcard vocation.

Banhorn: Rune keeper / Tinker

Aeluinros: Minstrel / Historian

Eohan: Lore master / Explorer

Tinker and Historian cover each other perfectly; they supply both worthwhile equipment for all classes and valuable goods for the auction house–Eru knows how much silver I’ve wasted on dyes there! Eohan will round things out, probably as an explorer. Let’s see if that plan lasts a week!

So far the minstrel has been an extremely positive experience. Reports of it being a bad class to solo don’t match my experience, but that might be old news from web pages written before tweaks in the last few updates. The down side of an active player base documenting the game is the updating lag when Turbine changes the game. Old web pages in search results don’t help, but now Google provides filters for how old a page is; make sure you click on Show options and check it out.

But now back to bards minstrels. The ballads stack up nicely; they damage blue mobs enough that a quick Herald’s Strike dispatches them on contact. We even held our own against a mob of mobs in Limael’s Vinyard after my lore master companion’s raven decided to fetch every goblin in the valley! I was sure we were dead, but careful morale management combined with lore master mezzing and my Cry of the Valar saved the day.

However, this is the first class where I’m using celebrant potions. I’ve logged more time on rune keepers and lore masters and never ran into power management issues with these spell caster classes. Champions were a problem when chaining lots of single mobs under constant flurry, but that’s nothing compared to the power I blow through with ballads and cries.  As long as I keep my eye on both green and blue, the minstrel’s turing out to be a top-notch solo class–at least at 14 so far.

To deal with some of the class/context switching problems, I’m going to run Ael through the rest of Ered Luin and perhaps up to level 20 before switching to Eohan. It’s a new class to me, I’m enjoying it, and I really want to get a feel for it. Then I’ll run Eohan up to the same level before rebooting Banhorn (again). That should get me to December 1st before having to choose my main and experience the new and improved Lone Lands.  (crossing all appropriate appendages)

I didn’t post last week because I’ve been working on a separate gaming blog which is now available as The blog isn’t LOTRO-specific; expect posts about other MMOs like Star Trek Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic as well as computer games and good old-fashioned paper-and-pencil RPGs. Volume will be low for now since my two other blogs about home and work still require attention. I’m also on Twitter as @camenecium which will tend to be a little more active throughout the week.

I’ve been struggling with the value of as a blogging platform with its old version of WordPress MU and the restrictions on features and layout. That said, the LOTRO-specific features are great, as is the tie-in with the forums and the LOTRO community. For now, anything I post on will cross-post into the LOTRO category on; I think the value of new people seeing posts here makes it worth originating content on Other well-known blogger/podcasters like LOTRO Reporter and Casual Stroll to Mordor don’t have to troll for attention like I do!  By the way, they’re great: Check them out!

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