Wednesday, January 25, 2012

War in the North - General Help and Cheats/Exploits

Lord of the Rings: War in the North - General Help and Cheats/Exploits
This is one of our series of posts on Lord of the Rings: War in the North Walkthroughs and Cheats (exploits) for the Single Player campaign. For the index of all our posts, click here.

This post goes through some general tips, tricks, cheats, and exploits in the game.

Saves and Autosaves
The game saves automatically for you, but only at fixed points or events.
  • In the game world, you generally see these save points as glowing mists where you must gather your party before continuing. It also typically saves before a boss fight.
  • Some game areas have a ground light. These are town portals and merchant-less stores. As you approach some of these, your game saves. Others do not save your game, but you can use them to return to a town like Bree and save there.
  • Save game events include exiting the Blacksmith repair menu, exiting a Shop menu, and advancing a quest by interacting with someone about the quest (e.g., when you receive a quest from Otto Aster in Bree).
  • Restoring a Previous Save:
    • You can find the "War in the North" folder save game folder on your hard drive (e.g., under c:\Users\ <user name> \AppData\Local") and manually make a copy of the file there, which is timestamped with date and time.
    • Each time the game saves, the file is renamed with the new time and date. Multiple .sav files can go in that folder, including the ones you backed up before, as long as they all have different but valid file names.
    • To restore a previous save, delete the current save game and replace it with a backup that you made. In the game, Exit the menu all the way out to the black screen where it says "Click Here to Start". This will cause the game to re-read savegame data. If you do not do this, it may not properly reload the game or report that the savegame is corrupt.
    Grinding for Money, Experience, and Levelling
    Because of how autosaving works, sometimes you can redo levels partially or wholly AND save your progress. For example, after you leave the Battlements in Fornost, you start in the Outer Wards. There is a Town Portal, then the level begins. There are three save points in the level: At the log gate, just before the ballista, and just before the pit with the troll. At each save point, the game records which containers you opened and which monsters you killed.
    What you can do is clear everything to the log gate, but don't go past the gate (which triggers a save of the map state). Instead, return to Bree and save there (e.g., by talking to the Blacksmith and entering the repair menu; when you exit, you should notice the game saving). When you return to Fornost, you are back at the Town Portal and it will be as if you hadn't done anything yet.
    If you do go past the gate and trigger a save, you can still walk back to the Town Portal, save in Bree and come back. The monsters are still gone, but any containers not yet opened before the savegame at the log gate will be restored and can be looted again. Same with any herbs on the ground and the ranger cache that Eradan can find.
    Because you can repeatedly grind in this way for loot and experience, you can safely not worry about either as you go through the Single Player campaign.
    • Note that in some places, you cannot do this. At the courtyard where you free the giant eagle (i.e., the map right before the Battlements area), when you walk close enough to the Town Portal the game will autosave. Therefore you cannot re-loot the chests in this area since the game will save the map state before you can enter the portal.
    After you first arrive at Sarn Ford, you can return to Fornost at various entry points and redo the levels with approximately the same number of containers to loot, all the secret locations restored, and a reduced number of monsters. No bosses. You can do any part of Fornost any number of times in this way.

    You can also more quickly grind for levels with the Challenge Maps and exit them anytime things get too hot.

    Character Swapping
    Whenever you can save the game, you can re-enter it with a different character. This allows you to swap in Andriel to collect herbs, for example. But you need to have another save game point for anything you do to be recorded (e.g., herbs you picked). Typically this means you need to have access to a Town Portal.
    • For the Single Player campaign, the Inner Wards of Fornost has a secret for Eradan which requires that you first find the secret for Andriel, save the map state at a Town Portal, then come back with Eradan. Go to the room that Andriel uncovered to find a Ranger cache.
    Items, Item Sets, and Treasure
    • To preserve your weapon against wear, unequip it before breaking open crates. You will always have a dagger, which inflicts damage equal to Strength x 3.
    • A stat bonus on a weapon is active whether you are actively using the item or not. For example, a Bow with a Strength bonus gives that bonus while equipped, even if you are presently using a sword.
    • Every merchant has a set of gear that doesn't always appear at once, but if you reload the store (i.e., reload the game, or reload the map by going back to town then coming back for example) enough times you'll see all the items. They all have some set items, so you can keep reloading to see what shows up and buy what you want. Alliance is the fastest set to get six pieces, which you can do by the first Town Portal in the Barrow-Downs.
    • Set bonuses are cumulative. For example, 2 pieces of the Alliance set gives +3 Strength, and 4 pieces gives an additional +8 Strength, for a total of +11 Strength at 4-6 pieces.
    • Elf Stone stat bonuses usually cap at +5. Instead of using them to improve damage (by +15), use them to raise stats you don't want to concentrate on (like Dexterity and Will for a melee warrior) so that you can equip better items without spending too many points on those stats. Try to save a multi-slot jewelry piece for two Elf Stones that give multiple stat bonuses.
    • Before buying jewelry, check the stat requirements. Many later game stores sell jewelry with the same or comparable stats, but at a higher Will requirement.
    • Retreating / Repositioning: You cannot really control your party, but you can sort-of call them to your position and in that way reposition your party to a more tactically advantageous position: Use "Z" to put your allies on defend. Typically a status message will say "X is Defending". If they can disengage, they will do so and run to your position.
    • Heavy attacks are slow and have a long cooldown period during which you are vulnerable, but you can abort the cooldown and go straight into a Critical Strike if your attack made the target eligible to receive such a strike. If you are in range of a valid Critical Strike target, just right click and they should immediately rush in for the strike.
    • Critical Strike and any use of a power also causes your character to ignore any hit reactions during that time, including those from large creatures such as trolls (they normally knock you down). You can therefore Critical Strike a troll at the same time it pounds on you, and not be knocked down.
    • Dodging works in town as well, and helps you to get past your companions, who can take several seconds to budge if you simply walk into them hoping they 'll get out of your way of, say, a doorway.

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