Fellowship Maneuvers

I mentioned fellowship maneuvers yesterday. Do you know what these things are? They’re pretty sweet, one of the neatest reasons to team in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™.

At random against elite foes or when a Burglar starts one, everyone on your team can pick one of four colors, which stand for damage, healing, damage-over-time, and mana recovery. This is a nice bonus, lowering the boom on them or picking you back up. But scroll down the page to combinations. Some combinations of colors give bigger bonuses, mostly poker hands of flushes, straights, and full houses. If you can get people to do the right colors in the right order, the fight is pretty much over right then.

And that’s the hard part: getting people to do the right colors in the right order. Even getting people to stick to a flush other than “go red!” seems to be very hard.

: Zubon

7 thoughts on “Fellowship Maneuvers”

  1. The problem I noticed with the maneuvers system while I was still playing was that it wasn’t just “Click the right color in the right order”. You also have to add “… forming the right sequence at the right time”, and that’s a bit too much.

    90% of maneuvers (or some other godwaful amount like that) are all straight color flushes, not because people can’t tell green from red, but simply because it’s the only one that dispenses with the need to achieve a particular sequence in the time alloted. Doesn’t matter if one guy goes before another (doesn’t break the final pattern) and the wrong color can’t be chosen, so there you go.

    It’s not just asking people to pick the right color. We’re asking them to perform a decision in a short window of time, while at the same time taking temporal and ordinal cues from the other players in the group. It *does* matter if Joe clicks before Billy if they’re supposed to choose different colors and the final pattern is not fault-tolerant.

    I’ve always thought the system would have been much easier (and still retain the same granularity of optional desired results) if instead of four colors creating patterns which in turn generate a result, you’d simply have more colors available, skip the patterns, and just generate a result. No need to mess with pattern order, wait on other players’ input or memorize patterns; just more colors and straight flush them all to generate the result. Much simpler I think.

  2. You probably know this already but if you do all red then blue at the end its does an AOE on ALL the enemies in the vicinity of the same damage ti would have done to just one of them. AND it summons a ghost to help apply dread to their faces. Anyways I’m glad you mentioned that cuz most people think Lotro is Wow 1.5 and this is a case where the combat diverges in a interesting way. Good point Julian also.

  3. I’m a big fan of RRRRR*, for the reasons cited. That is, everyone but the Minstrel goes red, then the Minstrel goes last, deciding if the team needs heals, mana, or just more damage. I put the Minstrel last because they can hit green from back there, and everyone except Loremasters can hit red (either melee or Hunters get ranged red). If not everyone hits it in time, you still get a small stack of reds, and it is hard to mess up “just hit red” for most. That is what they want to do anyway.

    The order/color thing has been approached by assigning everyone a number and color. Getting all six people in time is still hard, but at least you get your 3+ straight.

  4. you can assign a button to cancel your contribution and re-do it (at the end of the current “hand”), or even jump to do it but the button is faster. once you get good at that it’s fun to rescue a failed hand and create a good sequence. Doing that once in awhile I can make straits appear which are probbly the coolest ones. But usually you get full houses since even coordinating over vent is hard. Though really as long as the first 3 hit the right button you’re doing pretty well.

  5. This reminds me of FF11’s combo system. I only played for about 5 months after release, but I remember not being impressed with US players’ ability to pull it off. On the other hand, japanese players had that stuff down, and as a result you’d level much faster with japanese groups.

    At the time I was wondering if it was due to japanese players having played the game much longer, or if US players simply couldn’t be bothered. What’s the deal these days with FFXI? Are the US players in that game now fully proficient in the combo system? Whatever happened in that game with combos is probably a good indication of what will happen in LOTRO.

  6. Straights are not that hard if color/order are preassigned, and intelligently so – e.g. give people who won’t typically be in melee range (mintrels/lore-masters) blue/green, which they can do from 20m away; have the first 2-3 folks be people with fast weapons/slow inductions, or just quicker reflexes, because you want ensure at least a successful 3-straight to get something.

    We do this over voice, people picking/suggesting color/order for each person, and then we finalize it in the chat window – “1R cull, 2G glen, 3Y lind, 4B mara, 5R ang, 6G anda” or somesuch. Then each person knows exactly what color they’re going to hit, and when. A 5-6s conjunction opportunity leaves plenty of time to reliably pull off a 6-straight. (I hate the guardian FM opener, though.)

    Being explicit about the order like this also allows you to skip someone, if they’re busy training an undead warrior over to the open window in Ost Elendil or somesuch and aren’t around to contribute to an FM – when the target redirect button comes up ,they can call out “skip me, 3Y!” and then the people in the 4-6 positions know not to wait for it, but bump up their contributions by one in both color and order.

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