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Technical

Voice communication is often a key to success in raids. It allows leaders to explain the tactics easily and call out for unexpected stuff during the fight. However, lotro’s in game voice chat has somewhat poor sound quality and it offers limited options for adjusting volume levels etc.  This is why most raid groups use an external voice communication program.  Teamspeak and Ventrillo are the two most commonly used programs which are advisable to be installed. Of course if you’re always grouping with the same people, just the program you use is enough. Note that you don’t necessarily need to be able to talk in voice chat, but you do need to be able to listen and react to leader’s instructions. That’s often vital for success.

Game options have some settings that are disabled by default but are useful for raiding:
A) Show vitals of selection's target - Shows whoever your target is targeting. Handy to see who people are attacking and who the mob has aggro on.
B) Skill target forwarding - Allows your skills to be applied to your targets target. For example if healer has the tank targeted and he uses a damaging skill, it will damage the tank’s target.
C) Combat state break notices - Tells in the chat who is breaking CC.
D) Show dispellable effects only - Only shows removable debuffs under character vitals in your fellowship mini panel. Helps to clean up your screen and spot dangerous effect that can be countered. All effects are still shown if you target a person.
E) Show only effects cast by you - If you have option D enabled, this also shows effects applied by you. Might be handy to see when your hots or buffs expire.
F) Show assist window - Shows the rat and his target on the screen.
G) Directional selection indicator. Shows to which direction your target is.

Plug-ins allow some customization of the game interface. Most of them are just for cosmetic or similar changes, but there are few that actually can make a difference for raiding. Let’s take a quick look at those.

Buffbars is a dual purpose, highly customizable plug-in that makes to easier to react to different harmful effects in raids.

Firstly it offers a freely positionable small quick slot bar for your potions. This bar only pops up when you have a disease/fear/wound/poison on you or your morale /power drops low and shows you the corresponding potion that you can then click for quick use. This feature makes it less likely for you to miss harmful potable effects and allows you to remove them easily. Some raids have effects that can cause a wipe if you fail to remove them quickly, which is why buffbars turns out to be great help.

In addition buffbars shows of freely filterable list of active effects (buffs or debuffs on you). This helps you to recognize when you’re standing in a puddle for example or when you have some other harmful effect like an eye debuff. It also helps you to see what buffs you have on you and when they expire so you know to take full advantage of them.

Palantir makes your morale and power visible in transparent circle around your character. This can help you to notice when you drop low on morale and maybe give you some time to save yourself. It also offers the same function as buffbars to quickly use your wound/poison/fear/diseases pots.

Raid assistant is a simple to tool to track rolls and loot and might prove to be helpful for raid leaders especially.

Combat analysis tracks your combat log and makes comprehensive statistics of incoming and outgoing damage and healing. This can help to improve your performance or figure out why are you dying. Or it can just be used to boost your ego with records of big numbers ;)