Over some time I've noticed folks displaying an interest in the Player vs Monster Play (PvMP, or PvP [Player vs Player] for short) in the Ettenmoors (Moors) and the newly established PvMP area in Osgiliath (access is from the Moors). Several folks in the kin have had extensive experience there, some have been there on and off, others a passing glance but have registered a curiosity in that arena. And now we have Lea's post in the forums which is great.
For the Newbs
What is the Moors? It is an area where players can play against other real live players. It is suited to players who have reached maximum level, level 105 as of this post, as the Orcs, Wargs, and Spiders (and Trolls under certain circumstances), commonly called Creeps, are all automatically at maximum level. Elves, Dwarves, Men and Hobbits are commonly called Freeps - a shortened version of Free Peoples.
The Ettenmoors is situated north of the Trollshaws on the west of the upper Northern Misty Mountains, and south of Angmar. In LOTRO, the Moors is a contested area and the battle continually swings back and forth. It is definitely not a place for those who are faint-hearted or of a delicate disposition. Battles can be short and sweet (for the victors) or bitter and bleeding for the defeated.
But it is also a pretty rough place where folks can be somewhat abrasive. It is almost as bad as WorldChat. But one "saving grace", good or bad, is that neither side can communicate with the other side at all. This means if you log in as a Creep, you will never be able to chat using LOTRO ingame services such as tells etc with the Freeps. And vice versa. Of course, if you use an external communication source such as Mumble or Ventrilo then it is possible, but only with others on the same communications server.
Or if you have more than one account and have logged into the game, one on the Creep side, and one on the Freep side, then you will get to see both ingame comms.
Anyways, that's a little digression. Back to the Kinship and Moors raids and runs. It appears to me there are a few who may be significantly more experienced than I to lead a run in the Moors. I have led a raid there a few times. I find it extremely stressful and we won some battles, lost others. There are better leaders than I but I do have some tips that I will share shortly.
What's it Like?
I'll describe this as best I can from a Freep perspective (but it will be the same from the Creep perspective, too) Fighting Creeps is a blast! It is great fun! In small groups fighting equivalent small groups, larger groups and small raids, and full blown 24 person raids, and even multiple raids...when the action hits it is amazing! Having competent raid leaders is essential for victory and/or for keeping the status-quo during long engagements. It is during these times that one earns tremendous Renown (Infamy for Creeps) and Commendation points that enables you to barter and/or purchase Moors oriented gear. This will assist in you being more able to last longer when being targeted by the enemy.
So for new players in the Moors, pay close attention to the raid leader's instructions, do what he or she asks or states, and even if the group is wiped, there will still be the satisfaction that you will have taken many Creeps with you.
But if you don't pay attention, or wonder a little way off from the group, you may suffer constant defeats and become very despondent with the Moors and not go back there again. You'll think, "Sheesh, what's so great about this place? I always get chewed up by Wargs. The Creeps are so OP (over powered)..." etc etc.
But, the opposite is true as well. Winning engagements is a great thrill and you start wanting more and more of the Moors - it is extremely exciting! And that is why you see some of us (or many of us, as the case may be) talking about the Moors and wanting to get a kin group in there.
So, what's next?
Stepping into the Moors for the First Time
If we do get a group going it will be essential that the following is adhered to (and I'm not kidding; this is essential!):
1 - Enable game chat / Listen to Raid Leader
You have to be able to listen to the Raid leader. It is not essential that you can chat back, but you must be able to listen to what he or she says. Playing in the Moors without the means to hear (headphones, or primary PC speakers - doesn't matter which - as long as you can hear) means that you will most likely not follow explicit instructions, you will likely get left behind, and the result will almost always be the same. You will be defeated and have to retreat. You will become despondent. We'll call this the DRD (Dread) result - Defeated - Retreat - Despondent. Then you won't want to play in the Moors anymore. Bad for us, sad for you. Also, it is likely the group will wipe, too. When we wipe in the normal course of battle, that's fine. But wiping because folks are off doing their own thing - not fine. Listen. Survive. Even bad raid leaders will have greater chances for success if all listen to his or her instructions. So get the ingame chat feature turned on.
2 - Concentrated DPS / Target Forwarding
One of the finest raid leaders that I've been with is a player called Mattheos. When things go well and folks listen to him, his favourite expression is, "Now we're cookin' with oil!"
He always emphasized concentrated DPS. And one of the tools for this is Target Forwarding. It is a setting in the Combat Options. The idea being you burn down the mobs or Creeps as fast as possible and then move onto the next target. To help with this, and it is almost an essential thing for ranged players especially hunters (and the same for ranged Tactical players such as DPS minis and RKs), is that if you target the main Target Assist person, then when he switches to another target, if you are already in an induction, your induction continues without being broken and simply switches to the target of the Target assist, thus maximizing the DPS time.
3 - Mobility/Situational Awareness
Always be ready to move when the Raid Leader says move out. Often it will be preceded by a Mount Up command. Often the Raid Leader with have a marker above his or her head thus making it a lot easier to see the leader. Don't go trolling off away from the main group - you will be puppy-warg fodder for sure. I have even seen seriously well-accomplished solo wargs that jump right into the middle of a fully fledged raid and take a chomp out of someone's rump. If the warg doesn't defeat the player there and then, it will come back a few moments later to finish the job. Doesn't mean they are OP, they've worked hard to be able to do what they do and credit to them for their success. I mention this to emphasize the importance of staying close together because if we are alert we can minimise the impact of such brazen attacks or even totally avoiding it altogether.
And so it does mean one must be alert and aware of one's surroundings. When the group moves you move. Keep a sharp lookout for creeps. And just because you see a creep, don't go off on your own after it (sometimes a few might follow you thus adding to one's bravado - it is, after all, a very exciting thing to do) as sometimes it could be a trap and a whole horde of creeps come pounding on you. That has a two-fold negative result: you get trounced, and the main group is depleted and lessened by your absence as they continue on the path the leader has designated. Then there's the further delay as you try and get back to the main group depending on where the current/nearest rez circle is.
Of course, chasing after that lone creep (or small group of creeps) can work out. But don't let that fool you as doing this can come back and bite you on the bum. Which brings us to the next point...
4 - Zerging
The term zerg comes from Starcraft (a Blizzard strategy game). One of the races in that game are called the Zergs. They are a race that spawns creatures really fast and they overrun their enemy by sheer force of numbers. And hence the term: oh no, we've just been zerged!
And thus it has crept over to other games and LOTRO is no exception. To zerg someone typically means to have a whole raid pounce on a solo player (or very small number of players) freep or creep. The forums and the game chat are full of "it is a dishonourable thing to do" and all sorts of nasty commentary, valid or invalid - doesn't matter which. The fact that such is possible by any player should they choose to do it (or not do it) is immaterial. Zerging happens. If you don't want to be zerged, stay with the main group. Mind you, it is a phrase that can also apply to a group when it wipes. I have been in a 24 person raid and multiple enemy raids have totally destroyed us - we were zerged! 😋 (oh, and I have been in the other side at times, too - great fun!)
However, don't be afraid to zerg small groups or solo enemy targets. Every enemy defeated earns you commendations and Renown/Infamy as the case may be. One day that solo player will be up in rank (in the case of Creeps) and will soon want to exact revenge by zerging his/her enemies in turn. A vicious cycle, no mistake.
One exception: sometimes it can be obvious that there may be some players, both freeps and creeps, that are at some obtuse area playing around, doing solo battles etc. It is frowned upon if you decide to jump in on the action to claim some of the renown/infamy. Don't be surprised if you get inundated with tells/worldchat commentary or the like abusing you for your actions. You are quite within your right to do what you did - the Moors is a an open place and free for all by its very nature - but sometimes there can be some sort of weird code of honour that some might expect one to follow by. Your call.
5 - Questing
When on raids, you may have picked up some quests and want to hand them in, or want to reforge or some other normal PvE (Player vs Environment) activity. Don't do it. Follow the Raid Leader's commands and if he or she says move out, then move out and follow the raid. Too bad that you needed a reforge - that can just wait till the raiding event has completed. Or your bags are full - that can wait to be offloaded when the raiding event has completed. Or that you needed to get that quest or hand that quest in - follow the raid leader.
If the Raid Leader says ok, time for everyone to take 5, or a bio, or to do some other "business as usual'' activities, then fine go for it. Otherwise you may find yourself once again on your lonesome unable to meet up with the main group, missing out on certain key events such as the taking of Outposts or strongholds, defeating a significant boss etc. Although unlikely with Kinship events, if you were in a PuG (pick up group) you might even find yourself being booted from the raid.
Speaking of Pugs, also don't be surprised that for no apparent reason you get booted - I remember once being in a small group and I was significantly winning a lot of the loot rolls for sought after items. For no reason stated I was simply booted. Read between the lines. 😕
So, as you can see from this brief description of the Moors, there is a lot to be aware of, and there is a lot more that can be said on the subject. No doubt others will hopefully add their opinions and expertise to this thread.
- Get your ingame voice sorted
- Follow the Raid Leader's commands
- Use Target Forwarding if applicable
- Be mobile and alert - stay with the group
- Focus on the raid and attend to trivial things later
And don't be too disappointed if you wipe - it is part of the process! But following the above basics should result in a satisfying Moors experience! And then you, too, may become bitten and smitten with the Moors bug! 😎