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Lord of the Rings Online: Monster play overview E-mail
Wednesday, 04 April 2007
The Turbine website offers an insight to the LOTRO PvP system known as Monster Play:

"LOTRO offers a unique form of player vs. player combat known as monster play. Players are transported to the Ettenmoors, a consensual PvMP (Player vs. Monster Player) region about the size of the Shire. Here, the Free Peoples and the forces of Angmar are in constant active conflict, and players can choose to join the fight as either their normal Free Peoples character, or as one of the servants of the Enemy!"


Playing as a Monster

To access monster play, you must begin your journey as a regular Free Peoples player. Once you've attained level 10, travel to one of the monster play portals. To reach one such portal, travel to Bree and locate Beggar's Alley on the western side of town. In this unsavory neighborhood, you'll find a "Fell Scrying Pool." Use this pool to choose to play the part of an Orc-reaver, Spider-weaver, Uruk-blackarrow, Uruk-warleader, or Warg-stalker (all of which start as level 50 monsters). You can also resume life as one of your previously created monster characters here.

Monster Play Overview - Warg Stalker

 

There are additional Fell Scrying Pools located in East Bree, Michel Delving, and Thorin's Gate.

Playing for the Free Peoples

If you wish to take the side of the Free Peoples, your player character must first attain level 40. Once you are at least level 40, visit one of the stable-masters that can take you to the Ettenmoors. One such route can be found at Elrond's stables in the western section of Rivendell, just west of the Trainer area. Speak to stable-master Remros about the Ettenmoors, and he'll send you on your way.

Exploring the Ettenmoors

You'll arrive in the Ettenmoors at your starting base (Glân Vraig for the Free Peoples; Gramsfoot for monster players). This area is safe from attack, but once you venture outside your starting base, all bets are off! You'll find several types of NPCs - quest starters, provisioners, and skill trainers (Bards for the Free Peoples, and Corruptors for monster players) - within this starting base.

 

Monster Play Overview - Taskmaster

(click on image for larger version) 

There's plenty to do in the Ettenmoors, and your actions will often earn you Destiny Points and Infamy or Renown (see below). Take on solo quests or head out with a group of friends, looking for (and finding!) trouble. Besides the smaller-scale battles you'll find yourself fighting in while exploring the Ettenmoors, you can also engage in pitched battles for the control of various points of conflict within the Ettenmoors. A dynamic mapnote displays a flag - red for monster players and blue for Free Peoples - at these locations to show which faction currently controls them. Fearsome enemies or allies may await you within contested strongholds (depending on which side currently holds them), and you would be well advised to attack one of these locations only with a large force - but be on your guard! PvMP players might be defending their location, or attacking yours while you're gone!

Monster Play Advancement

As if ravaging hobbit villages as an Orc and sending their furry little feet fleeing in terror weren't reward enough, there are other incentives for participating in monster play. In this section, we'll talk about the basic aspects of advancement. We've defined the core components below, and you can read more about them in our monster play Developer Diaries.

Monster Play Overview - Character Journal
 

Destiny Points. Only monster characters can directly earn Destiny Points in the Ettenmoors, but both your monster character and your Free Peoples characters will share and benefit from this point pool. Destiny Points can be used to purchase new skills, improvements to armour, extra damage, and so forth for your monster character. In addition, Free Peoples characters can spend them on Perks. Destiny Points appear on the main character page of your Character Journal for both monster characters and Free Peoples characters. Additionally, you will see a handy UI window appear after level 10 showing you how many Destiny Points you currently have, and a button allowing you to buy Perks wherever and whenever you like (with your player character).

Rank. Rank is a reflection of your standing and service to the Free Peoples as a normal character, and the favour earned in service to Angmar's army as a monster character. Each type of character, monster or Free Peoples, can earn up to 15 of the available ranks.

Renown & Infamy. Renown (for Free Peoples characters) and Infamy (for monsters) are similar to experience. Each time you defeat an enemy, whether solo, in a fellowship or in a raid, you earn an amount of Renown or Infamy largely based on the rating of the defeated foe. Earned Renown and Infamy are never lost, and continue to drive you closer to ever higher Ranks. Current Renown and Infamy appear on The War page of your Character Journal.

Rating. Rating is a fluctuating number that rises and falls based on your victories and defeats in player vs. monster player combat (PvMP). The amount of rating points earned or lost depends on your rating and the rating of your opponent or opponents. A higher rating grants bonus Renown/Infamy from PvMP victories.

Prestige. Prestige is a visual representation of your PvMP rating. Prestige appears as a collection of stars surrounding your player portrait.

Perks. Perks are short-term buffs which benefit your normal player characters, and can be used to boost your strength, increase your speed, and even give you more experience points. Perks are purchased with Destiny Points earned through monster play. Perks may be purchased via the window in your UI after level 10.

We hope this overview has whetted your appetite for a taste of LOTRO's monster play, and provided the information you need to join the fight. Happy hunting!

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