Report of the Pinestaff Skirmish Marathon

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Pinestaff vs the Drake

Good day fellow adventurers. Yesterday I picked up my staff to undertake the challenge of running as many skirmishes as possible in six hours. I ran this series on Pinestaff, my Lore-master on Windfola.

There are currently a total of 19 skirmishes available in the game. I predicted that I would get through 15 of them; I actually completed 13. The first 11 were selected at random while the last two were selected by the live viewers.

The first challenge was a technical issue at Twitch which closed the site down the night before the marathon. If those issues had lasted any longer, I would not have been able to broadcast. As it was, start up took a little longer than usual and I was ready to start less than a minute before the scheduled start time. That was cutting it close.

Naturally, there were also a few challenges on my end. First off, it had been a while since I ran my high-level lore-master. Therefore, I was unfamiliar with my setup. In addition, I was still shaky with one of the key high-level lore-master skills (Water-lore). Third, I didn’t have time to perform some much-needed inventory management. Finally, I later learned that I for some reason never bothered to get the Hytbold set on this character (I do have two thanes on Windfola, so I should have been able to do it without too much trouble).

Nevertheless, I entered the fray with my protector and we completed our mission to save Middle-earth.

 

The Skirmishes

Protectors of Thangúlhad

The random number generator proved its evil nature by selecting Thangúlhad as my first skirmish. While this is traditionally a favorite skirmish, it does not work well with a protector due to his tendency to run outside while I am firing the ballistae.

This run featured the warg encounter. This is the toughest encounter to complete during solo runs and I decided that things were too chaotic for me to even attempt it. What I didn’t notice is that a second encounter was triggered at the same time and that I was so busy talking that I missed the announcement (I did see the announcement when I reviewed the video, so it wasn’t a game issue).

Alas, I was defeated once during the run mainly due to my not knowing how to use Water Lore.

Thievery and Mischief

The second skirmish was the most straightforward skirmish in the list: Thievery and Mischief. This should be easier than Thangúlhad, right? Not quite. Once again, my failure to remember Water Lore sent me into retreat.At least I was starting to learn my various skills were on the bar, which is probably why my play improved for the rest of the skirmishes in the series. The good news is that I did manage to complete both encounters.

After being defeated twice in two skirmishes, I decided to visit the trainer and complete my soldier’s training. My traits were reasonable for my level but I decided to bring all my traits up to max.

Breaching the Necromancer’s Gate

After the side trip to Bree, we returned to Mirkwood to break into Dol Guldur. As I was finally getting the hang of my character, I managed to get through the this skirmish unscathed. I did skip one of the encounters, though, in an effort to save some time.

Strike against Dannenglor

Dannenglor was the first skirmish of the day where I managed to get full marks: no defeats and completed both encounters. I suspect that if I had triggered Ruingalad as an encounter, things may have gone differently. Nevertheless, I was finally warmed up and moving.

Rescue at Nûrz Ghâshu

Taken by some madness, I then ventured into the Rift. While running the encounters, I talk about how the worm encounter is easy while the drake encounter is tough. I then barely survive the worm encounter and breeze through the drake encounter (with a little help from the LM drake protection circle). Fortunately, I do survive the entire skirmish with a clean run.

The Icy Crevasse

Nothing can put a chill into a warmed-up skirmisher than the biting winds of Forochel. It would be too much to expect a clean run in Icy.

I ran both encounters here, which in this run included the drake. This drake in Icy proved to be much tougher than the one in Rescue. The challenge with that encounter is that if you are defeated, you now have no way to bypass it unless you have some means of stealth. Yes, technically my lore-master does have Sylvan Shadows, but I suspect trying to sneak by a drake in Forochel at a -3 to stealth level would have been futile (and suicidal unless I had combat summoning available on my soldier). Fortunately, I did defeat the drake on the second attempt.

For the boss fight, I got tangled up in my timing a bit when it was time to face both bosses at the same time. Sigh. At least the second attempt went better and I still received 100 marks when taking the final control point.

The good news is that I had no more defeats after this skirmish.

Defence of the Prancing Pony

This was a nice rest after Icy Crevasse. Perhaps a little chilly but not as bad as the bone-biting chill of Forochel. This was a clean run with no Torch Bearers reaching the Pony. Best of all, the boss dropped a Star-lit Crystal.

Battle of the Way of Smiths

Naturally, I drew the Sadauk encounter during this run. He is an elite troll that is positioned right near where the boss enters. He is the second toughest skirmish encounter and he cannot be reasonably avoided. Fortunately, the Lore-master is well suited for this encounter,as his main weapons are momentum (which can be broken with dazes and stuns) and disease. Therefore, I was able to complete the encounter with a major problem.

The Ford of Bruinen

The challenge in this run came with the final battle, where my protector contrived to keep the troll as far from the horse waves as possible. This meant that I began to wonder if I would ever get rid of the shield protecting that troll. Fortunately, I eventually maneuvered the troll into the water and completed the skirmish.

Battle of the Twenty-first Hall

I completed this skirmish with full marks. despite that, I am only treating this as half a clean run because a couple sappers did get through to the barricades (even though the barricades survived the blast).

Battle of the Deep-way

For this run, one of the encounters was in the southern passage. unfortunately, this was after the second assault from that direction, so I had no opportunity to head that way and grad the encounter mob. I could have done this after the skirmish was over but I would still not have counted that as a clean run.

Attack at Dawn

When starting this skirmish, we were entering the final hour of the series. Rather than continuing random selection, I decided to leave it up to the viewers in the chat room. One viewerwanted to see how to get through the Attack at Dawn boss fight on a lore-master, so this became the penultimate skirmish in the series.

For this run, I decided to take both side control points before entering the courtyard where you face the boulder rainstorm. This can be risky if you are looking for a clean run, as two encounters depend on a counterattack that you can only face if you don’t take one of the side flags. Fortunately, I was lucky with my encounter mix and managed to complete both.

For the boss fight, a liberal use to stuns, dazes, and Water Lore pulled me through the boss fight without nay goblins escaping.

Storm on Methedras

We finished the series with the most recent skirmish added to the game: Storm on Methedras. Despite the best efforts of my protector, we managed to survive the entire run cleanly. Now, why didn’t I use that anti-drake circle during the boss fight?

 

Summary

The final statistics for the series follows.

Total skirmishes: 13

Total Defeats: 4 (Protectors of Thangulhad, Thievery and Mischief, Icy Crevasse drake encounter, Icy Crevasse boss fight).

Clean runs (both encounters and no defeats): 7.5

Marks: 3033

Medallions: 137

Bounties: 36 regular and 14 veteran

Relics: 20

Heritage runes: 2

Start-lit Crystals: 1

Loot Boxes: 1 (Contents: a key, an earring suitable for a warden, and five slayer deed boosts)

 

Lessons Learned

The greatest lesson learned was about Water Lore. I never played my Lore-master enough after getting that skill to learn how to use it properly. I certainly knew by the end of the series.

The next most important lesson was to place my bog guardian’s skills on auto so that my tendency to forget them would not be a major hindrance.

When I review the local video after the session, I see that some parts are choppy compared to those I get in Fraps (it’s possible that the quality would be better if I only did a local copy, which will be the matter of another test).

I also need to set up my sounds better. For example, the chat log notifications need to either be deactivated or redirected to my headphones so that they would not be recorded.Finally, it is important to visit your character ahead of time to empty bags and check that all items are up to date. That was a little more difficult this time since I didn’t know which class I would be playing until late the previous night. As a result, I was running into inventory issues throughout the run.

What’s Up Next?

This was the first major event on the PineleafNeedles Twitch channel. The next major event is the premier of The Wolf of Skyrim (obviously not a Lotro event) next Saturday at 10 AM Server Time. The next skirmish event will be on July 4 (yes, that’s a Thursday) at 10:00 AM Server Time, where I will take my Arkenstone warden through all 19 skirmishes (why Arkenstone? Because that’s where I can use the marks).

Until next time, may your shield protect you and your spear never break

Pineleaf Needles

4 comments

  1. Andang /

    This was a great event Pineleaf and I am looking forward to the next one.

  2. I enjoyed watching this event and I look forward to the next skirmish on Arkenstone.

    Have fun

  3. Lilikate Buggins. /

    And the most wonderful thing is: I can watch it all again on Pineleafs twitch channel! Yay Pineleaf I wonder how the other pets would work in skirmishes too? Do you think the Bog lurker is the best pet? (btw I know nothing about the LM apart from how to roll one, summoning a raven and throwing a bit of fire)

  4. Well done, Pineleaf. Best of luck on your next event!

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