Troll Session Play
|Creep Topics: Classes, Traits, Skills, Stats, Titles, Races, Ranks, Raiding, Troll Sessions|
|Freep Topics: Stats, Titles, Ranks, Raiding, Quests, Armour Sets, Ranger Sessions|
- 1 Overview
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Starting a Troll Session
- 4 Rampage Information
- 5 Troll Attacks
- 6 Your worst Enemies
- 7 Practice Playing a Troll: How to
- 8 Trolls and Raids
- 9 Advanced Tips and Tricks
- 9.1 Follow me for a ninja!
- 9.2 Captain-General (CG) Tricks
- 9.3 Tirith Rhaw tricks (TR)
- 9.4 Lugazag tricks
- 9.5 Tol Ascarnen tricks (TA)
- 9.6 Bridge Fighting
Freep Players in the Ettenmoors can play as a Session Play Ranger ; similarly Monsters can play a Session Play Troll . The Trolls and Rangers are available for one hour, upon an expenditure of Ettenmoors reward items based upon your side of play as follows:
- Creeps pay 500 Commendations to play a Troll for 1 hour.
The quantity of player controlled Trolls and Rangers varies depending on the number of keeps and outposts held by the opposing site. Currently, there is a maximum of three session play characters.
- Note: The second Troll or Ranger is often referred to as the "Lugazag" (or "Lugz") Troll or Ranger, respectively. This is because of the quest text to get the second Troll or Ranger session started and has nothing to do with who holds Lugazag. Simply put, which ever side holds none of the 5 keeps and not more than one of the Outposts (regardless of which ones they may be), the second quest giver will appear and allow a player to bring forth that second creature type. So a side holding only the River Outpost will have access to 2 of their sides special session creatures to play.
Each session lasts for 1 hour but can be aborted early -- either by logging out of the game or using the option to log out of the session.
When you complete a session, you need to talk with the quest giver to "finish" the session off -- it is considered a quest that must be finished and, upon completion, it will prevent you from playing another session for 11 hours from that character. If you do not speak with the quest giver at the end of your session, you will not have completed the quest so it will prevent you from another session until you do finish it -- either by abandoning the session or by completing it via speaking with the original quest giver. In either case, you will not be able to play another session for 11 hours FROM the completion/abandonment of the quest that began the session. (as in you played a troll yesterday and another is needed today. You go to get a troll and find you did not speak with the quest giver so you "finish" the quest and your 11 hour block begins from THAT time versus when you actually ended the last session you played).
- Note: It is possible to play a session, switch to another character and play a session from THAT character... Repeat with as many characters as you have but this has been viewed as an exploit at times and can cause a player problems.
It is considered impolite, and a reportable offense that can lead to your account being suspended, if one begins a session and does not take the creature to the field to fight -- as in beginning a troll session, run the troll to a corner of the zone and park it there to prevent it being used to help the creep side from fighting back. This type of "tactic" has led to extended suspensions of some players accounts and it is recommended that players who see such behavior report it so appropriate measures may be taken to prevent such behavior.
- Note: As of Update 18, ranger and troll sessions have not yet been scaled to level 115 but remain at lv100, making them slightly ineffective.
Troll session play is begun by speaking with one of the 2 quest givers in Gramsfoot.
Taskmaster Sharkúlob is only in Gramsfoot if the freeps hold at least 3 keeps. If they hold at least 3 keeps, this troll taskmaster will provide access to a troll session via the quest Slaughter the Free People.
Each of the 2 trolls has a slightly different appearance to them but both have exactly the same stats and attacks.
|Always Available Troll|| Second Troll |
(available when holding 2 or less keeps)
click to view larger images
click to view larger images
Starting a Troll Session
As stated above, there are 2 different quest givers for troll sessions and these are quests with start and finish to them so if you don't visit the quest giver after the session is over, the next time you try and play a troll, you will have the incomplete quest to turn in which will then start the 11 hour "retry" timer -- as in you will not be able to play the session at that time.
If both troll sessions are available, you can play 1 then play the other session. You can also switch between monster play characters to play a session on a different character.
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Rampage is the most crucial tool for trolls to use. You begin with no rampage and gain rampage by defeating creatures and players in the Ettenmoors. The rampage meter appears above your attack status indicator/button as 12 skulls.
You gain no rampage from defeating creatures that you do NOT hit first. This means, to build rampage, you must initiate the fight against an NPC, monster or freep pet. Freeps themselves are treated differently as to gaining rampage.
Depending on the creature type that you defeat, you will gain rampage points as follows:
When in-combat, you will not lose rampage. When out of combat, you will lose 1 rampage every 5 seconds until it is all gone. Rampage is used for some of your more devastating attacks as a troll and each attack costs 1 rampage, 2 rampage on up to 1 rampage every 5 seconds for all the rampage you have.
Some moves use rampage while others do not. All your attacks (except auto-attack) cost power and a powerless troll is fairly accurately considered a weak opponent.
As a troll, you will need to manage your rampage and learn how and where to use it for best effect, against the freep peoples forces.
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The attack hotkey bar comes pre-populated with the attacks in the order shown. Here is a breakdown of the attacks and what they do:
|Icon||Attack Name||Attack Type||"Special" Effects|
|Smash||3 Target, 5m radius, Melee attack|| Can apply Major Dislocation 1 minute debuff |
+20% attack duration
-22% block chance.
|Crush||3 Target, 5m radius, Melee attack|| can apply Major Injury 3 minute debuff |
Decreases might by 225.
can stun targets for 3 seconds.
Each of these two effects are "checked" independently.
|Thud||6 Target, 6m radius, Melee attack|| can do massive damage (2-4 times the base damage). |
this skill does not seem to be effected by the Roar skill listed below but will "burn" that buff if it is going when you use this attack.
|Rock||6 Target, 6m radius, 40m Ranged attack|| can apply 271 common damage bleed effect, every 2 seconds for 30 seconds.|
this is potentially the most damaging attack that a troll player can hit an enemy with -- potentially doing up to 4,065 morale damage to a target over 30 seconds, PLUS initial damage, on up to 6 targets with this single attack.
|All these moves cost various amounts of Rampage to use.|
|Swat|| 6 Target, 5m radius, Melee attack
(costs 1 rampage)
| can apply Major Sprain 1 minute debuff|
-40% run speed
-15% Evade chance
this is potentially the second most damaging attack that a troll player can hit an enemy with -- it does around 1,000 damage, applies a knockback effect and can slow the targets movement by 40% for 1 minute.
|Stomp|| 6 Target, 5m radius, Melee attack
(costs 2 rampage)
| can apply Susceptibility to Wounds 1 minute debuff |
-10% Wound Resistance
Knocks out your opponents for 8 seconds.
this is a good "starter" move to follow up with another move -- NOT Swat, unless you don't want them to be knocked back. They are "knocked down" for 8 seconds so cannot block, parry nor evade for 8 seconds -AND- the wound effect means your other attacks "specials" have a higher chance to land when it lands on a target -- all specials are wound resistance checks.
|Roar|| 10s self Buff that will apply the next attacks' "special" effect to the target
(costs 2 rampage)
|It will attempt to apply the "special" effect, listed in this column above, to the next attack of whatever type you chose (except Thud).|
|Rampage|| Self buff that costs 1 rampage, every 5 seconds, while active.
You must have at least 1 rampage to activate this skill (and using it with 1 rampage isn't very bright).
| This SLOWS THE TROLLS MOVEMENT BY 50% but increases the attack speed by 50% -AND- doubles the damage you do to a target (+200%) while it is active. |
every 5 seconds, it will cost 1 rampage to use but it is a "toggle" that can be turned off though the cooldown to use it again is 2 minutes.
NOTE: The cooldown timer for this skill starts when the toggle ends/is toggled-off.
As a troll, your attacks are all Area-of-Effect (AOE) attacks so using them does not automatically turn on your auto-attack. This must be done manually and is an important consideration if you run out of power as a troll session player.
Your melee auto-attack is a 3 target AOE attack so is handy for "in between" special move attacks to keep hitting your opponents. It is "forward arc only" so will only hit up to 3 targets in front of you.
Your ranged auto-attack is the only single-target attack that a troll has. It tosses a single rock at a single creature. ALL other attacks are Area of Effect and can hit multiple targets -- a VERY important consideration in some situations (such as pulling a Captain-General out of a pack of NPC's -- if you use the "rock" attack, it can hit up to 6 of the NPC's versus the range auto-attack).
- NOTE: To use your ranged attacks, your target must be beyond 6m and less than the maximum range of 40m (yes, a troll can hit as far away as any hunter, ranger or Lore-master -- using power drain). This means that there is a "cannot hit it" range between 3m and 6m where you cannot hit the target with ranged nor melee attacks.
You can visually see if you are in auto-attack mode, or not, by looking at the attack indicator on your toolbar.
Your worst Enemies
Lore-masters with power drain!!! NOT!!!!!
Due to the stacking of Trick: Dust in the Eyes (DITE or DITES), 5 burglars can slaughter a troll without taking virtually any damage at all. Every troll attack can miss so, due to burgs spamming dust while fighting that troll, they can make it so the troll cannot hit them at all while they kill it. Even with just 2 DITE on a troll, you'll be lucky to land a 6 target attack on 2 of the 6 and that is from empirical -- hands-on testing (30% "may" land. Other results such as evade, block or parry will negate the rest).
As such, you regenerate power in combat faster than Power Drain comes up so you will get powered attacks even after being fully power drained but for 30 seconds -- DITE can totally shut a troll down and it can be refreshed indefinitely so no; Lore-masters are not the #1 threat to a trolls ability to fight. They come in a close second behind burglars.
The breakdown on threat is as follows:
- 1 -- Burglar (DITE)
- 2 -- Lore-master (Power Drain)
- 3 -- Hunter (Bards Arrow fear)
- 4 -- Minstrel (Fear)
In numbers, burgs are the #1 threat to all creeps including trolls. The burglar class is unstoppable by creeps in applying the dust. Literally you CANNOT stop burgs from getting in range to spam dust a few times and land it. I have yet to see a single burg killed "inbound" attacking a full raid of creeps... They will get in there and get out cleanly without much (if any) real risk of being defeated. I've only seen burgs defeated AFTER successfully applying dust and well out of the area they've applied it.
- "Some day" (we pray) the developers "may" make this class a bit less powerful in Monster Play but, until then, focus fire on them from a raid and you "might" get the star huggers to avoid trying it.
Right behind burgs are Lore-masters but an out of power troll is still a powerful opponent. Your auto-attack, melee style, hits in the 150-300+ range and can crit for almost 700 damage against up to 3 targets. Your auto-attack, ranged, is at 40 meters distance and can crit in the 300 range on a single target. A single lore-master CANNOT power drain a troll from full, if that troll has them targeted and hits them with ranged fire with a drain going on. 2 Lore-masters, standing near each other, can find it very difficult to power drain a troll from full *IF* that troll uses the Rock skill -- which costs NO rampage to use. 3+ -- say bye bye to your power. You're now down to being a tough auto-attacker for at least 4 seconds -- in 4 seconds, you'll regenerate enough power for at least 1 powered attack. It takes a bit longer for more powerful attacks but 4 seconds can get you 1 powered attack going.
The distant 3rd class is Hunters with Minstrels only slightly further behind them. A hunter can use Bards Arrow on a troll and a feared troll cannot attack until hit by something. A smart raid of freeps can chain fear a troll and pretty much ignore that beasty until they are done with an entire raid of creeps.
That is your threat chain. Not much can be done by anyone about the Burglars so you're primary tool in fighting back is against Lore-masters. You can use your options on a troll to enable skill-target forwarding and have a creep pre-target a LM for you. This can help a lot in "run up and toss rocks" as you approach a raid of freeps. Some will stand and take it; many won't. Just start tossing the rocks as soon as you are at max range from the freeps.
Practice Playing a Troll: How to
- This information has been mostly made invalid now. Turbine took the Roheryn Server off-line until after the Mines of Moria expansion ships and has stated that they will not be keeping Roheryn on-line all the time any more. While the server *is* up and running, you may practice on it but that will only be during testing of new expansions and patches.
My best advice on practicing is to go to the Roheryn server (preview/test server).
You can make a creep there, use a special "Quest" NPC (named Orion in Gramsfoot) to get to rank 11, along with the DP from it. Then go practice playing a troll against NPC's and the like (few freeps every show up on Roheryn). Go out and practice the various skills you have in a "worry free" environment against creatures and NPC's around the zone (flip hot spots, attack a keep, Clear EC including An, hit Isendeep area to take on the drakes, hit Old Goldhead (Goldie, the bear near TR), hit Goloval (the eagle near Isendeep), etc... You can easily take out any of the 'little bosses' as a troll *IF* you learn how to do it. So practice with how your skills work and what your limits are. LEARN how to handle batches of NPC's and figure out the moves you have available to you that can send them flying, knock them down, etc...
Just remember -- taking out Goldie or Goloval or An... How many creeps does it take to do that and how many freeps? Yeah you did it but LOOK at your morale when the fight ended. You are tough but you aren't THAT tough now are you? Not if 3 freeps or creeps could do the same thing and end with MORE morale and power than you have at the end of those fights...
Trolls and Raids
Trolls are the single most feared creature in the Ettenmoors. A well played Troll can literally make impossible fights more than possible - they can make them seem easy at times. Troll Sessions are usually started to assist with retaking keeps. In such situations a troll is a powerful ally to a raid but learning how to work with a raid group can be tricky.
Keep in mind your limits but remember 1 thing: The freeps get NOTHING from defeating you. No coin, no renown, no DP -- nada. You are just the biggest target there so if you are defeated -- it is MEANINGLESS if you can get back to the combat zone quickly. (such as TR or Lugz defenses -- the rally point is close enough).
- As a troll you are not privy to the internal communications of a raid so you need information given to you on the status of a raid. (falling back, too many NPC's on them, freeps flanked the raid, etc...)
- When fighting NPC's: CLEAR them first -- THEN move up. The freeps can wait but losing those healers to NPC aggro won't do ANYONE any good -- you nor the creeps who will die without healing support.
- Keep focus on clearing NPC's more than freeps. You help when the healers are in trouble but leave the freeps to the creeps while your Troll focuses on clearing out the NPC's -- this is your strongest ability as a troll: Get rid of the NPC's so the creep force can get out of combat to regen morale and use out-of-combat only skills (like banners, stealthing up, resurrecting fallen allies, etc...)
This subject area is very complex and quite situational. There are times you need to focus on freeps more than NPC's and times when you'll need to drop back a little to help the raid out with NPC's and the like. This is part of the flow of battles and it takes practice to learn how to play a troll well.
Communcating with the Raid
Communications are a HUGE factor in the successful use of a Troll in fights. The first suggestion is to avoid using the /OOC channel to communicate. "Spies" are not just rumors nor myths in Monster Play. They aren't the most common thing in the game but they do exist and do provide information of value to freeps so the use of the OOC channel should be kept to a minimum.
It is usually best to contact a raid PRIOR to beginning a session. Let the raid know that you are going to begin the session and get the name of someone who can provide you the information you'll need while you play the troll. The Raid Leader is NOT the best person to communicate with a Troll.
A raid leader is someone who is fighting the enemy just like all raid members PLUS other things they must do:
- They get busy moving groups around so WL's can resurrect fallen allies mid-fight
- Arrange for various combat tactics
- Mark key targets (Minstrels, etc..) with raid symbols
- Setup raid assist targets
- Open/Reopen the raid
- Invite/invite back individuals to the raid
- Keep in contact with other raids and groups to synchronize activities
- "Tell hell" from various folks requesting information; if there are openings, where the raid is moving to, "can you move me to my buddies group" and the like.
- etc.. etc... etc...
They tend to be rather busy individuals and adding 1 more burden - keeping communications open with a troll - to their list of tasks, can cause failures in keeping a troll up to date on the raids movements (drop back to ... move up to ... next target is ... etc...)
- Anyone in the raid can easily pass on the raid leaders instructions to a Troll so get the name of a char who will communicate with you and have them send you a tell when you begin your session. That person then simply relays the Raid Leaders instructions to the troll on what the raid will be done.
Here is an example on how easy this is to arrange:
- "I'm going to get a troll. Who can keep the troll up to date on what's happening with the raid via tells -- NOT the raid leader?"
- "I just need someone to let me know when the raid moves around or when attacks are setup. Raid leader gets busy with other stuff but one of you can pass the info onto me so I don't end up running around while the raid is falling back."
- <Random_Raid_Member_01> "I'll see that you get the info..."
- If noboday replies -- You've managed to earn 5k DP, above and beyond what you need for char advancement, to begin the Troll session so you should know someone in the raid that you can ask to keep you up on the info as the raid progresses. A direct tell will often yield better results than the "someone?" -- which often translates to "someone ELSE" in the minds of most players...
Once you have your contact, roll up a troll and have them send you a tell (or you send your contact a tell). You can use /OOC to let folks know that you are now on your troll by any means you choose (such as /ooc "Boo!" or /ooc "ROAR!" or /ooc "so I heared we needed a troll... Where to?" or what have you. The fact that a 12' tall troll just joined the fight will not be a surprise to anyone for very long, so using OOC to let folks know you're on the way won't hurt anything.
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Working WITH a raid
You are playing the single most powerful creature in the Ettenmoors. Great! Don't let it go to your head. Trolls are portrayed as "thick skulled idiots" and most trolls play this way. Don't be one of them. Yes you have well over 30k morale. Yes you can stomp on batches of freeps. No, you can't single handedly take out even 1 well played GROUP of freeps so remember your limits and work with the raid to accomplish the goals.
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A Troll's Goals
What are the goals a troll should focus on?
Well you do have a deeds log. IGNORE IT!
Your task is easily explained as "make winning possible for the creeps" -- NOT do for them; simply make it possible for them to fight back and win.
Your goals should be simple and you should keep them in mind as you play the session. Just remember these are "general" rules and the flow of a battle will determine the tactics of a given situation more than anything else. (I can list exceptions to each and every "general" rule that I've faced playing trolls but I also have well over 60 sessions worth of "live" troll play behind me and these guidelines are for most every session you'll play...)
- Help the CREEPS kill freeps -- don't do it for them unless forced to do so.
- Yes you have a deed to land finishing blows on 20 freeps. No -- this should not be a goal you ever want to obtain. Let the creeps kill the freeps. You just make this possible more than you killing them. (as in running freeps -- you stun them, up come all the creeps with the freeps at half health... keep going and let the creeps finish them off...)
- One of my most frustrating recent troll sessions I played had me power drained for almost an entire session yet I still killed 16 freeps across the session. The power drain hurt was a major annoyance -- a troll without power is seen as 'weak' yet it was my getting 16 finishing blows that annoyed me. Why? It showed that the creeps weren't keeping up with me because they should have gotten those blows -- not my troll.
- Help take the keeps back or defend them.
- Again, this is making it possible for the creeps -- NOT doing it alone and NOT forgetting that you have a bunch of creeps there that can't take the damage you can, so stay close to the raid and don't go charging ahead into rooms filled with NPC's and/or freeps. Unless you are "pulling" the room back around a corner or what not -- charging ahead is not a good idea.
- Clear as you go when entering a keep.
- PULL the NPC's back a bit and clear as you go. This means take out all the NPC's as you go -- not just a few of them and leave the rest to the raid -- if the raid could handle it without you, you shouldn't have rolled a Troll so help kill *ALL* the NPC's until that portion of the keep is fully cleared. Pull them to the last room you cleared and drop them (where possible -- Captain General (CG) rooms are a different story. Use the corners to pull the NPC's around them and kill the NPC's with the freeps NOT in Line of sight. This will prevent "power drains", "focused fire" and the like from gutting your ability to fight and costing you down time (or run-back time from a rally point).
NPC and Freep aggro to the raid
Make sure the raid knows that they should bring the NPC's to you and help you take them down. You get no Rampage' if they "tap" the NPC's first. On bosses, this is meaningless to you because they are a goal of the fight and there is rarely much to do after the bosses are dropped -- they are long fights so you want rampage to start them but you really won't need much once you take them down so let the raid tap them first.
If freeps and NPC's are at the feet of a troll, they can and will be hit by your AoE's and that can help the raid people to clear aggro. Freeps do NOT like being drug under a troll and even a batch of burgs will try and run for it if the troll is stomping around on top of a half-dead creep.
The raid should NOT try and "run away" from where the troll is fighting, instead they should run to the Troll. Especially healer types who get aggro. You can peel a batch of NPC's off a healer better than any other option they may have so make sure they know this.
WIth respect to tapped NPC's, make sure that the raid knows YOU need Rampage and that NPC's are your easiest source of rampage (LM and Captain pets are the best source but scarce and hard to get first hit on... you gain 3 rampage per pet killed -- the same as you get from dropping an elite through CG or freep but the NPC's are far more plentiful and easier to get first hit on). If necessary -- use the /ooc channel and tell the raid "If I didn't tap it and it isn't a boss -- it's yours to kill because I am NOT here to kill NPC's for you when that's how I get Rampage to take bosses and freeps out. AVOID hitting them until AFTER I tap them..."
Yes -- the raid can and should help drop the NPC's you hit. Why? It frees you up faster to move ahead WITH Rampage and it clears any NPC aggro from them so they can get out of combat more quickly.
Sometimes they need a reminder of this.
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Killing the Freeps/NPC's
Your task is NOT to build up a high finishing blow count. Your task is to make possible the creeps getting a high body count against the freeps. Remember this and remember that you need rampage as you fight.
Make sure they know this. This is one use of the /ooc Channel to get them up on the info. /ooc "If you get NPC aggro, run to me -- NOT away from me. I can pull them off you with AoE damage but I can't do that if you're running away from where I am..."
Even a band of burgs has issues trying to kill a creep with a troll stomping on top of them. 1 good stun shot and burgs go *squish* pretty fast especially with a group of creeps standing there too. I've seen 4 burgs going after a Defiler who ran under my troll where they broke and ran due to a nice AoE hit for over 1k per burg... Defiler got out with under 500 morale left because the "star huggers" didn't want to risk a second such hit on them...
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Ok, so you're dead. The freeps or NPC's were too much for you to handle. Gee -- a shocker that a troll can be killed eh?
Well... A Defiler can prop you back up *IF* they are out of combat for a moment. CHECK FIRST BEFORE RELEASING! -- If a Defiler can get you back up, that can save a run back. If one can't -- get an answer fast and get moving. A run back can be as short as from the TR rally point to TR or as long as from Gramsfoot to Lumbercamp. You should always check if a defiler can resurrect you before releasing (though a short run-back is often far better than a resurrect -- why? You come back full versus half power/morale.)
If you are running back to a fight: Know where the "hostile" creatures are at on your path and see about getting some rampage up as you run back! This doesn't mean "take a rampage break from the fight". Such a move can be handy at times but if the freeps are slaughtering the creeps you'll need to back you up as you fight, stopping on the way back to the battle "to get rampage" may not be the best idea. Gramsfoot is a LONG haul for you and for creeps if you are hitting a place like TR and that's the nearest rally point.
With that out of the way; even 1 rampage can make a HUGE difference to your opening attacks and it's possible to gut the slug pits next to Lugazag for a full rampage bar, that "trickle down" to around 2 rampage by the time you get to Lugz' front door. THis means you have at least 1 rampage based attack available when you get back to the fight. From the TR rally spot, you have batches of bears that can get you to the front door of that keep with a decent amount of rampage still on you. At Grimwood, you have the black wolves you can hit. At TA, you have Norbog's you can hit. At isendeep you have the guards at the entrances, the diggers inside and the drakes (which aren't the best source because they take too long), etc...
Rampage lets you use your specials and the most powerful one of them is Roar + Rock attack. Up to 6 targets can be hit for around 4,500 morale bleed effect over 30 seconds and this attack combo lets you hit at the same max range as a hunter can shoot a bow... 40' range so you can use it while still at max range from the freeps.
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Advanced Tips and Tricks
Ok -- so you read this page all the way. You know how a troll should be played in live combat or you've spent some time practicing as a troll and are looking for tips and tricks on how to play one better.
Follow me for a ninja!
There's a trick where you can follow a sprinting warg up to the top floor of keeps without having to clear the downstairs of these places. Well, a warg stinks at this versus a Troll. If you're acting as point for a small team of creeps, you can run them upstairs like this and hop out a back window or hole in the wall; leaving the ninja team in the room without having to clear the downstairs. You can also stop and let them get in position (such as they clear a ledge of the single NPC there -- while you take the damage from the NPC's, then you hop down...) This leaves a small team, capable of taking the keep without you, up stairs so they "ninja" the keep while you move on to help with another location's fight. (no reason you should HAVE to battle at every fight -- let them do the work while you move on to help elsewhere).
Alternatively, you can use the warg sprint trick to get YOU up stairs with a small team. This gets a troll and a small team into position without having to clear anything downstairs. Each keep has an area that can be relatively safely stopped at without having to fight tons of NPC's.
- These locations and how to pull this off will be covered under each keep's location document when I get around to writing those up... Unless someone else wants to help flesh out this type of info -- *hint, hint*
Any freeps riding up to see if the keep is OK will see the front of the keep and downstairs guards all there and "some" won't bother to check the upstairs. for hostiles.
Captain-General (CG) Tricks
Go into the fight with some rampage. Do not use the Rampage skill and see that the NPC's on the ledges are LEFT ALONE!!! Those are your in-combat rampage generators.
Troll Tanking the CG
The first thing you should always do is make sure the raid knows you are going to start the fight and... Make sure EVERYONE knows they are NOT to leave the CG room until the fight is over! Your best bet is to let them know and let 1 of the raid start the fight with the CG. The medal he drops is worthless to you but holds value to those in the raid that need DP. Simply let your contact tell the Raid Leader that you are ready and that someone should pull the CG when the raid is ready.
Do NOT use the rampage skill -- avoid it. Use your Stomp Skill that costs 2 rampage. You cannot "stun" a CG. You CAN knock one down for 8 seconds at a shot -- for 2 rampage. With a full rampage bar (12 rampage), you can buy yourself six 8 second "no damage being taken" breaks in the fight for 48 full seconds of no damage while fighting a CG. That is worth a hell of a lot more than 1 min of non-rampage attacks and while knocked down that CG is "defenseless" -- this means for 8 seconds everyone is doing more damage to it -- not just you hitting 2x as hard by using the Rampage Skill.
- An alternative use is to use Roar + Stomp at the start of the fight. This is handy if you have a few wargs at the CG fight. The "sometimes" bonus effect of Stomp is a 1 minute duration, -10% Wound Resistance debuff on the CG which makes landing their bleed effect much easier.
Keep notice of your power bar. Try and see if you can keep it from emptying out all the way but don't worry about it too much. As the fight progress and you run low on rampage, step near a notch in the wall, with one of the NPC's in it, and use a powered attack to hit them AND the CG. Aggro the NPC and step back next to the wall near the hole to that ledge -- breaking line of sight so the archer will step out of the hole to fight you. Do NOT ever step onto the ledge with the NPC! The last thing you want is the CG to "toss you out a window" and they'll do this sometimes which will reset the CG, meaning you get to start over from scratch -- without the rampage you already spent in the fight.
Troll NOT taking the CG
The troll does NOT need to fight the Captain-General! A troll at the entrance to a keep can keep freeps from even thinking about riding up to the CG room -- 1 good hit from a troll can, and usually will, take one or more freeps off their mounts making them much easier for team guarding the entrace to take the freeps out. Once the path upstairs is clear, the troll can sit downstairs to help guard the entrance while the creep raid takes the upper floor. No. The Troll does NOT need to "be the tank" for a raid all the time. Why do they have Warleaders there?!?!? Let them do the tanking sometimes if your having problems at the entrance. You, as a troll, can scare off more attempts to reenter a keep than 2 full groups of creeps could ever hope to keep back -- just simply being there at the end of an entrance hall and many freeps will stop and go "you first!" to their nearest freep friend trying to get in too...
Tirith Rhaw tricks (TR)
A few tricks specific to taking the TR keep.
TR Rampage trick
Most experienced trolls realize that you can kill the bears near TR to get rampage up. Great!
While getting your rampage up from these bears; don't get your last point by killing the closest bear to the keep. HIT that bear and drag it with you. This will keep you in combat and you can drag that bear all the way to the door of the keep -- losing NO rampage getting there (you're in combat and rampage doesn't fade while in combat). Once at the door, drop the bear and plow in. Just drag it to the keep with you to keep your rampage from fading.
TR First Marshal (FM)
Pull the First Marshals to the outside room. Get one near an open spot in the FAR wall, opposite the CG's room. "swat" it out the window. It will "bug out" outside the keep and reset after a bit. Even soloing, you can kill 1 FM easily but 2 can be much more difficult to impossible for you to take alone. After the first one is dead, THEN go after the second marshal.
A few tricks specific to taking Lugazag. This keep, being the closest to Gramsfoot, makes it a not too bad location to be defeated at for a run-back to the battle so you can worry less about staying standing than many other locations.
Lugz Rampage trick
There is a slug pit North-East of Luguzag. Go there and kill slugs until your rampage bar is full. Again, like with TR, the last slug should be the one closest to Lugz. Drag it along as far as you can towards Lugz. This is how you can get back to the keep with some rampage on you. Get that bar to full before heading up that way or it's pretty much a wasted trip. Those slug pits are quite a ways off from the keep itself.
Lugz First Marshal (FM)
Again with tossing a marshal out a window. Pull them to the room just outside the CG room and swat one out the window.
Tol Ascarnen tricks (TA)
This is the single toughest keep to take out in all of the Ettenmoors and I'll outline a few tricks on how this can be dealt with. Due to the unique layout of TA versus Lugz or TR, there are several factors you need to look at with respect to how you approach attacking or defending this keep.
How you fight here depends a lot on if you have either of the 2 "main keeps" in the 'moors: Lugazag or Tirith Rhaw. Both are close enough that you can get back to a battle at the keep fairly quickly. If you hold neither of them -- you have a mess on your hands and you had best be cautious about your getting killed. Gramsfoot is a LONG run off from TA.
TA Rampage Tricks
There are Neekerbreekers in batches around the keep. These are an excellent source of rampage. You also have the Elf Camp EC and wolf packs across the South Bridge to the keep (SB, STAB, etc..).
Pre-building rampage is fairly easy to get and you can be close to full rampage entering the keep by using the Neekerbreekers before joining combat. As with the other rampage suggestions -- drag one with you when you head for the combat area to keep your rampage from fading.
TA Horn Blower tricks
If you come in from either the east or west side of the keep, you can avoid the horn blower with a bit of caution on how you enter the keep. If you come in from the main southern entrance, you can "hug" either of the corners, prior to the area where the horn blower stands, and clear along that side to the stairs.
The only problem with this is you have a raid of creeps with you and 9 times out of 10 SOMEONE is going to get too close to the horn blower and you end up with a batch of NPC's on you so don't count on a large force "avoiding" the horn blower.
Your best bet for this is to clear up a side, pull the stairs down to you and clear them. THEN aggro (on purpose) the horn blower and kill his buddies before going up the stairs.
TA Approach Recommendation
Most raids go up the stairs and turn to the left (west stairs up) to that nice clear area. Neat idea -- not the best path to use all the time. Yes it's a wide open area free of NPC's with a nice view down the stairs but the area outside the CG room is well enclosed so certain other tricks are a bit more difficult to pull off from here.
If you go up the right (east) stairs instead, you can clear the small batch of NPC's on the smaller platform then go up and clear the 3 just outside of the CG room on that side. This leaves an area with open walls for fighting the First Marshalls so you can "toss" one off the wall with ease, which will cause that FM to "bug out" and eventually reset while you kill 1 of them.
TA First Marshal (FM) tricks
You will get 2 of them per pull. If you followed the approach recommendation, you can toss 1 off the edge of the keep and only deal with them 1 at a time. This is handy if you need a lot of creeps to stop freeps from getting into the area so only have a handful to actually fight the CG with.
If you chose the more traditional west stair approach; you can still deal with them fairly well. There is a spot near the next platform down (easy pull range) where you can see about "tossing one out a window" to force a reset there.
TA - Tanking the Captain-General (CG)
As with other CG fights, it is best to have someone else pull the CG for you and then you deal with him. Make sure the raid lets you get plenty of aggro building time before they join in. Try and start the fight with as full a Rampage counter as you can plus try to keep your power bar as high as possible through the fight. Again -- use the NPC's in the notches to get additional rampage up while fighting.
If freeps are in the keep trying to help, keep the fight against the wall next to the entrance that they are trying to use. This will keep you out of line-of-sight from their Lore-masters who can pretty well neutralize you with power drains. They have to step into the room and stand there (under fire from your creep raid) to try and power drain you with this approach.
Also, try and keep the fight away from the wall where the entrances to the room are at. Keep it near a corner near the openings behind where the CG stands. This may sound a bit off "someone might get knocked out a window!" but if you're by the door, the freeps can shoot through the doorways at your healers and that can seriously mess up a raids day. Fighting from a corner just up from the entrance means the freeps MUST step into the room to pot-shot your raid team vs from safety at the doorway.
TA - NOT Tanking the Captain-General (CG)
As with other such information here -- you have WL's and they can tank the CG with fair ease. If you don't enter the CG room for that final fight, you can stand outside and help stop the freeps. A troll is a scary thing to freeps and they'll tend to hesitate before facing you. You can begin such fighting at the first set of stairs up to the CG room to block them off. If they push you back, fall back to your safe/cleared side. Make sure the raid knows they are getting in and head for the CG room.
- If the raid is fighting the CG up near the window side of the room (as it's recommended a troll tank), you can hug the wall near the doorways and keep the freeps busy dealing with you while the creep raid deals with the freeps. A troll near a door way will get power drained but you can stand in that doorway, out of power, and simply use auto-attack to keep "the fear of the troll in them". This is usually enough to keep MANY freeps from trying to "slip past you" to get at the creep raid, killing the CG.
- You can go back upstairs to your "safe side" -- without going into the CG room -- while THEY go to the side with the NPC's at it. Then you go charging back down the stairs and up behind their raid once they are at the CG doorway trying to mess with the raid taking the CG down. Yes you'll pull the 3 "nasty" NPC's aggro but who tends to stand at the back of a freep raid? The *squishy* ones (and the star huggers) so you can probably slap around a few freeps enough to cause their raid to stutter and perhaps get their healers to break and run for it -- leaving the "combatant" freeps trying to break the raids efforts, without any healer support. Then just run back towards the stairs and jump off the edge with the NPC's trying to get to you.
- You can also simply join in on killing the CG after the freeps break past the stairs. Just go up and help drop him as fast as possible but, because you are late to the fight, you won't get the aggro from the tank at the battle so you can help bash a bit but, when some freeps try to break in, you are 100% free to step over and help stomp on them -- staying *IN* the CG room of course(and most freeps won't believe that a troll is *NOT* tanking that CG so you'll be the "kill it!" target, for many, vs the "real" tank...)
The bridges at TA are unique in the Ettenmoors and tactics for fighting on these bridges are different than most other locations.
When you begin a fight with freeps here, one of your most powerful attacks is your Swat skill. This sends up to 6 freeps flying through the air backwards and when you add in bridge "falling" damage, the additional height adds a little more time onto that "cannot evade, block nor parry" bone-cracker effect. It only costs 1 Rampage point to use Swat and it refreshes virtually instantly so you can swat and swat and swat and ... really annoy the hell out of the freep raid as they go flying in all directions as you plow through them.
When fighting here, it can be advantageous to recommend to the raid that SOME creeps get under the bridge -- wargs are best at this and can be flat out lethal to freep that are suffering from "broken legs". That falling damage effect is the one time that a warg can solo a burglar. They CANNOT evade your attacks while under the effects of "falling damage" so all your attacks will land without that "evade" message being seen AND they aren't going ANYWHERE at high speed. The only ones that are just as tough after a fall are Champions in Fervour stance -- they can't block, evade nor parry so all they lose is a bit of movement speed. ALL others are seriously disadvantaged with this effect on them.
Building Rampage can often depend on if you are attacking or defending and which bridge you are fighting at -- West Bridge or South Bridge -- and even if upon which side of the bridge you are coming in from.
South TA Bridge (SB/STAB)
This is the most common location for battles to take place in the moors. "EC/SB" area is where small fights occur when the creeps hold TA, which tends to be quite often on most servers.
There are Neekerbreekers just east of the bridge that can be hit to build rampage, then follow the hill up and around to come in from "the back side" of the bridge heading towards TA. Coming in this route, with Rampage going, can have the Troll arrive at the BACK of the freep raid which means they can "swat" freeps towards TA and some will end up in the river for "those who wait" to pick them off.
You can also hit the neekerbreekers and come across the moat to the keep area and come in from that side. In this situation, you most definately want to drag a norbog with you to keep you in combat. This path, comming FROM TA towards EC acoss the bridge, is a lot further to travel and you'll want to stay in combat as long as possible to keep from losing your Rampage points.
EC/STAB Shuffle breaking
If the freeps are bouncing back and forth between EC and STAB (South TA Bridge), a slick trick is to come in from the BACK of EC and clear out all the NPC's while the freeps are at the bridge. You'll build up a lot of rampage from them and when you've cleared out most of EC (leave An, if he's up, and the 2 NPC's near him. Clear the rest of the camp from the Lumbercamp side), you can call it to the raid and they can "push" the freeps into a fully rampaged Troll where they expected to have some "breathing room" via NPC support. This is an ugly surprise for them and the reaction tends to have them scatter across the area -- easy pickings for a raid of creeps.
West TA Bridge (WB)
If you are defending, you can pick on the neekerbreekers on the TA side of the moat then drag one towards the TA side of the bridge. You can alternatively build rampage then drag one from across the water, up that ramp and into the Orc Camp (OC)/Lugazag side of the bridge, coming in from BEHIND the freep attackers (who probably have Lugz to be attacking from that side). Again, use Swat as your main attack tool. If you ever want to see a most interesting way to break a power drain -- swat a LM and watch them "fly off", which instantly breaks that drain's effect. (I had 3 try this once and sent all 3 flying with 1 swat -- NOTHING feels better than watching 3 LM's, who figure they nailed your power, going flying through the air into a creep raid that "had Lore-master stew" for lunch)...
If you are attacking TA across this bridge, then you have the NPC's on it to help you get your rampage up. If they aren't there, you can swing down to the neekerbreekers by the TA Hotspot and build rampage from them. Then drag one back with you to keep in combat so you don't lose the rampage.