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#13849046 Sep 01, 2018 at 12:35 PM
153 Posts

Epic Battles (also known as Big Battles) were designed to emulate large-scale battles with hundreds of enemies on screen. This was the devs’ idea of bringing battles like the sieges of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith to the game.

Some view Epic Battles as improved skirmishes, because they feature waves of enemies attacking certain targets. The player’s goal is preventing the destruction of these targets by setting up barricades, using catapults, laying traps, giving orders to soldiers and fighting the attackers.

Players can also repair objects and heal NPCs by right-clicking them and using the interface designed for this purpose, or by simply using your character’s healing skills. For instance, you can significantly speed up the building of a catapult by using your healing skills on it. You can repair objects by healing them, etc.

Epic Battles support multiple group sizes, with duo, 3-man and 6-man being the most common options. There are battles in Rohan (Helm’s Deep expansion) and Gondor (free), 8 in total.

Unfortunately, Epic Battles are poorly scaled, which means, even though everyone in the battle is scaled to L100, lower level players that lack important skills and class mechanics will be at a significant disadvantage. At lower levels, we usually just run the battles for fun and don’t care if something goes horribly wrong.

Flow of the Battle

Epic Battles consist of a main quest that is active throughout the entire run and several side-quests that pop up after a certain amount of time. Side-quests require one or more players to complete, while the rest of the group defends the main location.

We do not want to have more than one side-quest active at a time, so it is often important to control the flow of the battle. You can slow down the battle by cutting the ropes and knocking down the ladders by which the enemy scales the walls, thus allowing time for people to complete the side-quest before the next one comes up.

Most battles have what is known as phases. You move from one section of the map to the next and do your duty there. When you move phases the entire group moves together. Each phase tends to have 1 or 2 side-quests popping up.

Rewards and Promotions

When you complete a quest, the system takes into account how many of the quest’s objectives you achieved successfully, or if the quest was timed, how fast you completed it, and it awards a medal based on these factors. These medals can be bronze, silver, gold, platinum.

When you complete a quest for the first time, you get 1 to 4 promotion points, depending on the colour of the medal you got. When you get bronze, that gives you 1 point. When you complete the same quest next time and you get platinum, it gives you the remaining 3 points.

Promotion points are spent on 3 trait trees: engineer, officer, vanguard. These trees go up to Rank 6, with each rank unlocking new abilities for you to use in the battles. For instance, you need a certain rank in engineering to be able to upgrade barricades.

The engineer tree improves your ability to interact with barricades, catapults and to place traps. This is probably the most useful tree. The officer tree allows you to give longer-lasting buffs to soldiers, which you can do by right-clicking their commander and using his buttons. Note: if you are a low rank officer and you know there is a high rank officer in the group, do not use the commander, you’ll just waste the buffs and put them on cooldown. Finally, the vanguard tree is really only useful in certain situations. It allows you to do things like instantly take away 1/3 of a boss mob’s morale or to make him receive 50% more incoming damage for a period of time.

Epic Battles reward you with jewellery scaled to your level and bound to your character as well as some amount of Stars of Merit, which is a currency useful at L100, when you get your first permanent legendary items. It can also give you 1st age and 2nd age symbols that are used for legendary item crafting. A 1st age symbol goes for 120-150g in AH at present.

How to spend your promotion points

Put all your points in engineer or officer, but never both. Your goal is to unlock higher ranks as soon as possible, which depend on how many points you have spent in your tree. I recommend the engineer for beginners as it is the most useful tree. You can do without officer and vanguard, but engineer is often required for success.

Read the traits and prioritize bear traps, tripwires and everything that speeds up building and shortens cooldown.

Bear traps inflict damage over time. They scale with tactical mastery, therefore the bear traps of tactical classes are more powerful than those of physical classes. Tripwires knock down enemies and keep them on the ground depending on the trap’s strength.

Engineering allows you to dismantle/place/build/upgrade/repair barricades, ballistas, catapults, and enemy traps. Officer allows you to give 4 buffs to soldiers: heal, damage, defence, speed. They are often used together, the higher your rank in officer, the longer they last.

Some random advice

People will always tell you what to do and what not to do. In the thick of battle, this often comes in the form of short instructions that feel like commands. Don’t get offended, because there is no time for pleasantries. It’s best to listen.

The reward system is somewhat idiotic. The first thing you should do is go on your Epic Battles panel (shift B or via the menu), switch through the tabs and find the medal icons with small chest and arrow icons in between them. They are set to chests by default, but you should set them to arrows. This means it will not give you bronze and silver rewards (aka yellow/quest-grade items), but transfer the points you earn and wait with the reward until you’ve accummulated enough points for a platinum. In simple terms, it just means you will get rewards less often, but you will always get purple and teal rewards.

Everything you build will be a target. Be prepared to protect it. If it gets destroyed, it hurts the main quest.

When an unfamiliar side-quest comes up, never ignore it. Your best course of action is to observe what others are doing. If they are all flocking to it, you do the same. Worst case scenario is you get told to bugger off, but it’s still better than not coming to a boss and instantly getting flamed by the entire group.

Each Epic Battle has something unique about it in terms of how it’s done. Even though you’ve read this guide and you are now familiar with the basics, mastery only comes through practice.
#14198682 Aug 25, 2019 at 01:31 AM
153 Posts
Some further advice:

1. On the Epic Battles Promotions tab, there are 2 promotion tree preset slots. You can use one for an Engineer build and the other for an Officer build. You can freely switch between them in Epic Battles when not in combat.

2. If you have enough rank in Officer, the first thing you should do is always set commanders to 2-handed stance regardless of BB. If you see banners near the commanders, the enemy may try to tear them down, so you should set target priority to sappers.

3. If you go Engineer and your dps is not that great, consider investing in tripwire strength/length that knocks enemies down and keeps them down for some seconds, while you can kill them. If you are a tactical class (mini/rk/lm) and you have a lot of tactical mastery, you may find that your bear traps instantly kill the mobs stepping on them.

How to Build Rank:

Promotion points are important to build rank in the engineer and officer trees. You get them by achieving good medals in quests. But you start out with no rank, so what are the easiest BBs to start with?

I recommend doing all the duos in this order: Pelargir, Defence of Minas Tirith, Helm's Dike, Hammer of the Underworld. Repeat these until you have platinum on all side quests.

After this, you should do the Defence of Minas Tirith 3-man and Pelargir 6-man.

Then, you can start with Helm's Deep BBs in the order in which they unlock.

Tip: Get a high-rank somebody to help you with the duos, it will really sky-rocket your progress.
#14198945 Aug 25, 2019 at 01:14 PM · Edited 3 months ago
153 Posts
Even more advice xD

What is it that really matters in BBs? Level? Rank? Knowing the run?

Level determines how much damage you can do. A L20 or even a L70 is at a serious disadvantage when it comes to doing those timed bosses, because they can't do enough damage due to poor scaling.

Rank is still more important than level, tho. If you can set commanders and arrange barricades, you are very useful to the group. I would say an R5 L20 beats an R0 L100.

Knowing the run is kinda the least important thing. If you can observe what others are doing and you go help them, it's a good start. They may tell you off but then you can go help someone else. :)
#14199934 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:01 AM
153 Posts
How to spend your points in Engineer

Load Contribution 5 (15 points spent)
Build Contribution 5 (30 points spent)

At this point, you want to decide if you want to go for bear traps (damage over time) or tripwire (knockdown). Tactical classes with high tactical mastery can have very strong bear traps that insta-kill enemies. However, at lower levels, you're not gonna have very high tactical mastery. I would pass on bear traps for now.

Disable/Dismantle 5 (60 points spent) - You are Rank 3!
Trap Triggercount 5 (90 points spent) - You are Rank 4!
Tripwire Trap Duration 3 (108 points spent) - You are Rank 5!

At this point, you can do almost everything in BBs. You are good to use traps, barricades and catapults. Achievable just by doing the 4 easiest duo BBs in the game.

If you have even more points:

Tripwire Trap Duration 5 (135 points spent) - You are Rank 6 (max)!

The next level is fairly useless. You can go back and get some points in bear trap damage or repair contribution or even crank contribution. Up to you.

Bear Trap/Repair/Crank 5 (180 points spent)

After this, some very good stuff, for high-end players.

Place Trap Cooldown 5 (untold amounts of points spent)
Trap Potency 5 (even more points spent)
#14199937 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:11 AM · Edited 3 months ago
153 Posts
How to spend your points in Officer

Heal Order Cooldown 5 (15 spent) - This is very useful.
Haste Order Potency 5 (30 spent)
Haste Order Cooldown 5 (45 spent)
Heal Order Potency 5 (75 spent) - You are Rank 3!

At this point, you can set 2-handed stance and target priority to sappers! This is really all you need as an Officer.

Vanguard Banner 5 (120 spent) - You are Rank 6! Your orders are extra powerful.

Armor Order CD 5 (165 spent)
Damage Order CD 5 (over 200 points spent)
Armor Order Potency 5 (even more points spent)
Damage Order Potency 5 (305 points spent)
#14199941 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:23 AM
153 Posts
Epic Battle Unlock Order:

You can't just do any Epic Battle as a beginner. You have to unlock them in a specific order.

Helm's Deep (requires Helm's Deep expansion):

1. Helm's Dike Duo
2. Deeping Wall Duo
3. Deeping Coomb
4. Glittering Caves
5. The Hornburg

Note: You need Helm's Dike Duo before you can do the 6-man version, but you don't need Helm's Dike 6-man for Deeping Wall.

Pelargir (free):

Iirc, there is no unlock here.

Minas Tirith (free):

1. Defence of Minas Tirith
2. Hammer of the Underworld

Note: Defence definitely needs to be done before Hammer, but I don't know if you have to do the duo first or you can start with the 3-man. I also don't know if Hammer duo is required for Hammer 6-man.
#14199952 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:55 AM
153 Posts
Basic Pelargir Duo Guide:

Pelargir has 3 stages.

Phase 1. You protect the Winch from getting destroyed while a worker is raising the gate to let Aragorn's forces in. One person on each side to kill the attackers before they reach the Winch. Traps are very useful. Setting soldiers to 2-hander is very useful.

Phase 2. You make your way down the stairs to a lower area. Set the commander here to 2-hander. There are 4 barricades all in the wrong places. Dismantle them and build them something like the picture below so that the enemy needs to go through them all before they reach the supplies and the citizens behind us.

Don't forget to upgrade the barricades with spikes like in the picture.

There will be 2 quests in this phase.

Quest 1 Option 1: Parade of Thieves - Corsairs are trying to get away with stolen treasure. They are coming out of a nearby building in waves. Your job is to kill them before they get away.

Quest 1 Option 2: Back to the Wall - In the other direction, some citizens got trapped and corsairs are trying to kill them. They also come out of a nearby building and heading for the citizens.

You only get one of these quests, randomly chosen. These quests are best done by placing traps (bear or tripwire) in front of the gate of the building they come out of. While this quest is on-going the other player can slow the battle to prevent the 2nd quest from triggering by cutting the ropes the corsairs use to climb the walls, but this is not that important in duo.

Quest 2 Option 1: Half-troll - comes to you, just kill him fast.
Quest 2 Option 2: Sorcerer - same.

When done, quickly climb the rope that leads to a bridge above and build the ballista there. Building it may or may not count towards the main quest, but it's best to be on the safe side.

Don't forget that in Phase 2 the enemies never stop coming. While 1 player is doing the side quest(s) the other must stop the enemy from getting through the barricades.

Phase 3: When these quests are done, Elrond's sons will show up and open a gate for us to move on to the last area. Set the soldiers you meet to 2-handed. Kill some mobs in the way, then proceed to build both catapults. Fire these catapults on the approaching waves so that fewer enemies can get up. Do this until you get the final quest, which is random again.

Quest Option 1: Archer boss - just kill fast
Quest Option 2: Minstrel boss - same.

If you are not doing a great job with the catapults, a lot of enemies can get up to the battlement and overwhelm you and the soldiers. It helps to execute the heal order on the commander from time to time to ensure no soldier dies. Objects getting destroyed, soldiers dying, they all hurt the main quest.
#14199953 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:56 AM
153 Posts
Reserved for Helm's Dike guide.
#14199954 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:56 AM
153 Posts
Reserved for Defence of MT guide.
#14199955 Aug 27, 2019 at 01:57 AM · Edited 1 month ago
153 Posts
Hammer of the Underworld tips:

This is not a full-blown guide yet, as that will require multiple screenshots. For now, it's just the basics.

1. You have to set all commanders to 2-handed weapon and sappers. You do this whenever you have time before and between quests. When commanders are set to 2-handed, you do not have to fight any enemies on the wall, the soldiers will take care of it. You can concentrate on the 3 quests, siege towers, and enemy catapults.

2. Siege towers come right after each quest, one tower after the 1st and 2nd quests on the side of the quest and 2 towers after the 3rd quest. Kill the 3 grapnels first, then climb onto the tower and light the 3 barrels of gunpowder. Leave quickly before it blows up.

3. Enemy catapults destroy everything on your wall, if not taken care of. There are two. The first one comes right after we switch sides and it comes to the side we are moving to. The first thing you do is destroy it with our catapult. The second enemy cata comes after we killed the second siege tower after the second quest, exactly when they announce Grond. This comes to a random side. Both our catapults need to be aimed correctly for us to be in time. First you move right above the main gate to see which side the enemy cata is coming to, then you run destroy it.

4. Quests: there are 3 quests.

The 1st one comes like 5m after Gandalf is activated. Do not activate Gandalf in the beginning, start setting soldiers. He will automatically start after like 5m. This gives you 10m for preparations before the first quest comes.

The 2nd quest comes 5m after we switched sides.

The 3rd quest is downstairs, you run to it as soon as Grond was announced and you destroyed the second enemy cata.

Specifics about the quests to be added later.
#14200128 Aug 27, 2019 at 11:14 AM
23 Posts
Awesome guide, hats off to the time and committment you must have invested in it. Im slowly digesting it and really looking forward to our next run...suddenly epic battles no longer strike terror and confusion into my heart .
#14200162 Aug 27, 2019 at 12:18 PM
153 Posts
#14200128 Fideliss wrote:

Awesome guide, hats off to the time and committment you must have invested in it. Im slowly digesting it and really looking forward to our next run...suddenly epic battles no longer strike terror and confusion into my heart .

Glad you find it useful. Don't worry, I don't expect you to suddenly know and remember everything just becouse you read this. True mastery will only come with practice. :)
#14248250 Nov 14, 2019 at 06:44 PM
31 Posts
Excellent guide! And particularly useful when paired with your Epic Battle Training program. I can only appreciate the amount of time and effort that you put into this, and I hope that eventually you will get the chance to continue and expand it.
#14248330 Nov 14, 2019 at 10:02 PM
153 Posts
Thanks, Alec. I'm glad you find it useful despite my very limited teaching skill.
#14248949 Nov 15, 2019 at 11:48 PM
20 Posts
Narv, you do yourself a great dis-service.

I have found your teaching on group content very useful indeed since joining this kin.

I would like to echo the thanks and admiration of Fid and Alec - your hard work and commitment are much appreciated.
#14248958 Nov 16, 2019 at 12:15 AM
153 Posts
#14248949 Jaella wrote:

Narv, you do yourself a great dis-service.

I have found your teaching on group content very useful indeed since joining this kin.

I would like to echo the thanks and admiration of Fid and Alec - your hard work and commitment are much appreciated.

Thanks for the kind words, Jaella. I'm not as soft-spoken as Bid and not as proficient as Ant, but I want to contribute to our kin as best I can. I will be a rare sight in the coming weeks, due to other things I'm involved in, but I remain very committed to our BB runs every Thursday and Saturday.
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