• The Mounted Captain

    ...is pretty much untouchable. This may be one of the major reasons mounted combat is so boring for me but with the right build a mounted captain is an unstoppable force of shouty goodness.

    Annecdote:
    Yesterday at level 83 I rode east out of Snowbourn hunting a couple level 85 warbands. The first I reached was a full-fellowship warband, but I had already soloed them earlier so I kept going. When I reached the second, I found it led by a 700k morale level 86 archnemesis and he had a few elites with him as bodyguards. My quest log said this was a raid-level warband. Nice, time for a challenge!

    (Note: for some bigger warbands, the boss had a shield you can't penetrate until you kill the minions. Not a big deal, just means you can't ninja the boss and bail.)

    So I started my usual approach - circle-kiting and shouting. After a few moments I realized there were twice the adds as I expected. Oh! That's the fellowship warband. Must have drug them here, derp! Oh well. I dropped to AOE mode and started whittling them down, concentrating on ranged attackers first. Once they were out of the game I was pretty much untouchable.

    Soon the fellow-leader was dead and the archnemesis was at about 50% health. A few other people joined in at that point, including Tarabren who was sadly too underleveled to get a reward (sorry, Herald). I kept agro though and still never had to blow my self heal. A few minutes later, Archie Nem was dead and all I got was a stupid banner. :/

    Captains are just this solid on horseback. It's ridiculous. This is how you do it.

    The first rule of Mounted Captaining is to realize you're not a melee class.

    The second rule of Mounted Captaining is to realize YOU'RE NOT A MELEE CLASS!

    Captains start with four attack skills. Two are at melee. Two are at range, and the ranged ones do 2x to 3x your melee damage. At 40m or so. Quick note: most enemies either hit really weak, or only have melee attacks. There is NO REASON to try and engage in melee constantly. Sure hit as you pass if they get to close but don't just make melee passes. That's the only way war-band bosses are going to get you.

    Third rule, captains right light horses and have two disciplines. I have never used the Rohirrim discipline yet. The other two are just way better when leveling.

    Cry Wrath is your nuke on a 16s cooldown. At level 75 with a level 1 steed, it would crit for 8k damage if I had fury built up. It also applies a Dot in Red Dawn stance. That's solid against bosses, but if you're in Riddermark it becomes a 5-target AOE with a 40m radius. Yes, that means it hits up to 5 enemies that are within a hunter's bowshot of each other. I will ride through enemy camps, agro them all, then circle/nuke them with this before going into the camp for the clickies. It is insanely useful.

    Cry Havoc is your utility attack. It has a base 10s cooldown and on a crit (which you're a captain and you should have a lot of) restores ~200 morale and power to both you and your horse in Red Dawn, 250 or so in Riddermark.

    Rally the Riders is a melee shout but worth mentioning because it's basically rallying cry without the defeat response requirement. It only effects mounts though, but that's all that's needed in warband combat. We all know how good Rallying Cry is so that's all that needs to be said here.

    The Light steed is the steed of choice for both healing and DPS IMO. Here's the path I chose to unlock my abilities:

    First off, I've seen a lot of people recommend upping agility and yellow traits first to help with maneuverability. I think this is a bad idea. There's plenty of space, and you really don't care if you accidentally agro additional mobs. You're far better served leveling traits that are actually useful for combat first, then working on maneuverability to that end I suggest:

    * Leveling strait up the middle of the Blue line until you get Quckness, and maxing it. This knocks 6s off the cooldown of your ranged Cries, and Rally the Riders. This means that your big nuke is now a 10s cooldown instead of 16. It means your utility attack is a 4s cooldown instead of 10. This is an insane boost to DPS. Getting here granted you some mitigations and in/out healing through other virtues, which is a nice bonus but not the reason you're here. After this, time to change over and...

    * Level strait up the middle of the Red line until you get Wrath. This adds 25% crit chance to Cry Havoc, Cry Wrath, and Rally the Riders (crit heals!).

    * Fill in red traits by finishing off Forceful Blows (for 1200 more crit rating) and grabbing 3 in Combat Advantage (1500 physical mastery which you care nothing about and 2100 tactical mastery!).

    Currently this combination nets me a 23.5k Tactical Mastery with ~45% crit chance if I'm in Red Dawn. That crit chance means not only am I doing more damage, I'm constantly healing with Cry Havoc just as a bonus.

    At this point you can start branching out to pick up whatever you want. My next move was to get 2 ranks in Bonds of Power and pick up Invigorate in the blue tree to help with power consumption (though nowadays my power doesn't even move... crits restoring power is nice). You could also pick up the morale heal in the blue line if you want it as an emergency button. Eventually I did go into yellow for maneuverability and I did see the difference in how the mount handled but I definitely wouldn't have done that as my first advances.

    Combat is simple -- if you're fighting one target or a boss or just need to kill it quickly, go in Red Dawn for the crit bonus. If there's a mob of creatures, use Riddermark. Stay at full speed, just circle them at a wide distance. Your attacks have a 40m range do you're fine - this is one of the big reasons you don't need yellow traits early at all. Use Havoc and Wrath as soon as they're off cooldown. If your AOE Wrath picks up additional enemies, shrug and enjoy the bonus XP. Repeat until mobs are dead.

    Will I have to change my tactics when we start reaching group mounted combat? I dunno. I've soloed the raid warband like this so I doubt it, but if things get difficult I'll start playing around. Until then though I don't see a reason to change up mounts. The light horse is a glass cannon, but we have so many self heals that it becomes some pretty resilient glass.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Mounted Captain started by Dankelzahn View original post
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. Dankelzahn's Avatar
      Dankelzahn -
      Update. Just soloed Bugud down to about 50% again, and Adarann joined me. Asked him to try out something... he set himself to /follow me, and kept shooting the boss while I shouted. I led us wide enough to stay out of melee, and he got all my heals and power restores. So if you're in a fellow with a captain, this tactics seems excellent for sharing buffs and restorations.
    1. MisterTea's Avatar
      MisterTea -
      That is just ridiculous. I can't wait to try it. Sounds as though mounted captains are Yell on Wheels... er, hooves, rather.

      I can't help but think that they will toughen warband mobs with either some sort of immunities (earplugs in this case), or more versatile offensive capabilities.
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dankelzahn View Post
      (sorry, Herald)
      ZING!

      Seriously though, I hope you post about this in the official forums, because it's obviously broken. I mean you are a stud at optimizing but the game is broken if you so the most challenging content that you should be able to do alone- alone and without any challenge, that can't possibly be WAI.

      I'm not sayin Nerf Captains but NERF CAPTAINS NAO!!!! Turbine really let you down, you have no idea if you like mounted combat or not because you've yet to experience it, because Turbine did your skills or the monster skills or something wrong.
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      Quote Originally Posted by MisterTea View Post
      Yell on Wheels... er, hooves, rather.
      3-day ban.
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      TRIPLE POST SO INTENSE

      so I took it to the official forums. sorry if it comes across to anyone like I'm trying to pee on the parade, it's just that I'm hearing the game is straight up BROKEN to the point that there is no fun to be had for someone who is good at their class (aside from fleeting lulz) and would like to contribute in any way possible towards fixing the game to give a chance at making it fun for y'all.

      http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...76#post6484176
    1. Dankelzahn's Avatar
      Dankelzahn -
      MD didn't mention this, but we were at a mutual friend's house last night for gaming, and I was showing off Rohan and mounted combat to one of the really huge Tolkien buffs that was there. We were joking about how I fight be yelling, so I circled up a few fields worth of mobs and just circle-shouted until they were dead to joke about it. The fellowship warband appeared so I did the same thing.

      It's hard to describe the look of disgust that was on MD's face.

      Half of me does, like MD, say "LULZ!" to myself while I'm riding around not caring about things. But it's just... I dunno, silly? I mean if I want a truely hard hard game I'll either launch Dark Souls or boot up my old NES. But I don't want to play My Little Pony either.

      It's really cool to be able to have no giveacraps, but it's just not rewarding.
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      I'm all in favor of faceroll-able content, I loves me some grey-area questing and underlevel dungeons from time to time, just to be a unstoppable homicidal tourist. But I appreciate it as having the option to go out of my way to do that once in a while, that's not the actual GAME.

      For you as best as I can tell the game has just completely been pulled out from under you by shoddy design, that's what bums me.
    1. Urf's Avatar
      Urf -
      Maybe during testing they didn't have anyone who really knew how to play a captain and thus overpowered them figuring that was the norm.

      At a guess they'll do more balancing before too long.

      So here's a question:

      Can a fellowship have some mounted and some not?
      If so do the mounted buffs work on non-mounted fellowhip members?
      Do non-mounted buffs work on mounted fellowship members?
    1. Dankelzahn's Avatar
      Dankelzahn -
      I can't speak to other classes, but if you have a 30-minute captain buff on you its effects are suppressed when you mount a war-steed.

      Posts in the Captain forum imply that the captain's strength was known then. I don't think this one's catching Turbine off-guard.
    1. Urf's Avatar
      Urf -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dankelzahn View Post
      Posts in the Captain forum imply that the captain's strength was known then. I don't think this one's catching Turbine off-guard.
      Interesting. Is it known if the other classes are as powerful...is everyone on a mount OP? Or just the captains?
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      I'm still only going off of buzz, but the buzz is that everyone is a badass, but Captains seem to be the only ones with the combination of redonkulous aoe dps and redonkulous regen combined.

      I would expect Minstrels to wind up in a similar situation to captains, due to skills and abilities, but have no idea how mounted combat affects them. Also, apparently Minstrels in general have experienced an indirect "nerf" at the new cap due to monsters' tactical resists outscaling us. Which is fine cuz we're virtually unstoppable (on foot) at 75.
    1. Blitz's Avatar
      Blitz -
      Burglars are not OP mounted. All things being equal my burglar can handle more mobs dismounted than mounted. I gather from limited forum browsing I'm not the only burglar that feels this way. But I only have 3 levels to 85 then I get to play with my OP cappy.
    1. Parsnipy's Avatar
      Parsnipy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blitz View Post
      Burglars are not OP mounted. All things being equal my burglar can handle more mobs dismounted than mounted. I gather from limited forum browsing I'm not the only burglar that feels this way. But I only have 3 levels to 85 then I get to play with my OP cappy.
      Booglars always seem to get homered in any update. I still don't understand why. To the dev's credit, they do usually get us fixed but waaaaaaay after everyone else is fixed. Is it still the least played class?
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parsnipy View Post
      Booglars always seem to get homered in any update. I still don't understand why. To the dev's credit, they do usually get us fixed but waaaaaaay after everyone else is fixed. Is it still the least played class?
      Hard to get an accurate survey, for obvious reasons.
    1. Bryandt's Avatar
      Bryandt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moondog View Post
      I'm still only going off of buzz, but the buzz is that everyone is a badass, but Captains seem to be the only ones with the combination of redonkulous aoe dps and redonkulous regen combined.

      I would expect Minstrels to wind up in a similar situation to captains, due to skills and abilities, but have no idea how mounted combat affects them. Also, apparently Minstrels in general have experienced an indirect "nerf" at the new cap due to monsters' tactical resists outscaling us. Which is fine cuz we're virtually unstoppable (on foot) at 75.
      We're virtually unstoppable in mounted combat as well. This is due in large part to being able to heal yourself and your mount on the run, even if you start out in the Red Dawn (DPS) stance. Switch to Rohirim stance, throw up a heal or two, switch back to red dawn and keep ganking.
    1. Blitz's Avatar
      Blitz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parsnipy View Post
      Booglars always seem to get homered in any update. I still don't understand why. To the dev's credit, they do usually get us fixed but waaaaaaay after everyone else is fixed. Is it still the least played class?
      Like MD says it would be hard to judge how many people play burglars. I would say I don't see many when questing but that could be because they are all stealthed. I don't know about it being the least played class but I would imagine it is in the lower half, right along captains and wardens and LMs which is funny cause those might be my 4 favorite classes
    1. Urf's Avatar
      Urf -
      Ok, so we get two, alternate trait trees for our war-steeds. I made one of them pretty much how Ala suggested. (I kept the other for speed/agility because it's just fun.) And he's right. Wow. I can solo those RoR outdoor encounters even if they're higher level than me and even if I pull in a ton of adds.

      Most of the time, however, solo isn't necessary since 1 or 2 or three other people will show up and join in the attack.

      Most of the adds die after two shouts...sometimes three.*

      I'm starting to think that orcs in the Eastmet need to be given endangered species protection!

      Also, I've noticed that every day I have the full amount of bullitin board turn ins. Usually more than my max allows.

      I'm really not a hard core player...just casual...but I've got 2 levels so far in the Wold and doing a couple of quests in Clive.

      * Ask yourselves this: How bad does your breath have to be to kill an orc by shouting at him?
    1. Moondog's Avatar
      Moondog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blitz View Post
      Like MD says it would be hard to judge how many people play burglars. I would say I don't see many when questing but that could be because they are all stealthed. I don't know about it being the least played class but I would imagine it is in the lower half, right along captains and wardens and LMs which is funny cause those might be my 4 favorite classes
      I was joking (burglars are STEALTHY! HAH!). Turb knows alllllllllllll the metrics ever.
    1. Rorgg's Avatar
      Rorgg -
      The stats I saw bandied about in glff a couple weeks ago that looked reasonably believeable were a count of level 75s, and had the premium classes lowest (Wardens least, RKs next up), but Burgs right above them.

      Maybe too many others share by Burglar-weakness. I am just NOT strong with the Burg, entirely my own inability.
    1. Dankelzahn's Avatar
      Dankelzahn -
      My war steed is nearing the level cap, and as can be expected the mounted captain's performance has only improved. I've netted the capstone of all three lines, which lets me toggle more frequently for their bonuses as needed. In addition I've maxed the Class Skill Dismount legacy on my bridle. As a result any time I crit with my shouts (even the AOE one...) I have about a ~5-10% chance of dismounting the target.

      I've been dealing with Bugud (the raid warband) daily since I reached 85. He has never remained mounted while I've killed his henchmen. He's dismounted incidentally with no attention given to him on my part. Every time. And his weak little thrown attack doesn't even come close to out-damaging my incidental self-heals.

      Frankly, this is pretty silly. How long until we fight a Mumakil?
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