Transfer is done!

3 Apr

Hello, is there anyone still out there?

I transfered my Lore-Master to the Crickhollow server and i fell in love with the class again.

Unfortunately, most post I’ve done in the past are somewhat innacurate, due to the various revamps of the class. Specially skills by level and some traits.

If i continue the blog, expect a shift in its nature, since history has proven that things change too fast in this game and class.

I will try to focus on the actual Lore-Master class, on current strenghts and weaknesses on level cap play.

If you are still there, thanks for sticking around! 🙂

Small Protest against Turbine

2 Aug

As you’ve noticed, my blog hasn’t been updated at all this last few months.

Since F2P launched in September last year me and a few set of friends moved to the Crickhollow Server for a fresh start. I didn’t create a Lore-Master there in hopes that the server transfers would open somewhere in the future.

Almost one year as passed and Turbine still holds an embargo on Crickhollow server transfers so my Lore-Master is stuck somehow on the Brandywine server.

I’m hoping that Crickhollow server transfers open up somehow before Rise of Isengard release, but until then i cannot update a blog on a class i have rarely played on the last few months.

My apologies to everyone.

Lore-Master updates for Isengard

9 Jun

Hello everyone, there are some Lore-Master news on the horizon. Raskolnikov (trough the other Lotro developer, Orion) has given us a sneak peak at his Lore-Master proposals for levels 66-75 trough the Isengard expansion. You can check out his official blog entry over here.

Heres the breakdown of the proposal and my thoughts on them:

Skill Consolidation

Warding Knowledge is collapsed into 1 skill and it now affects all Genus via the Ancient Master 4-set bonus.

A good change, since it condenses 3 skills into just one. Still trying to understand how this will affect the skill when you are not 4 deep into Ancient Master.

Tend the Sick and Leechcraft are collapsed into a new skill Knolwedge of Cures
Knowledge of Cures removes 3 disease and 3 wound effects, can be used in combat. Cooldown is 10 seconds and it will have an increase to the power cost. It will not provide a buff to Resistances.
Level 62 upgrade will remove the induction and the trait Proof Against Ills makes the skill and AoE skill.

This one is a little bit tricky. Condensation is good (again, our quickslots are already overfilled, so any screen real estated freed is a good thing). Being able to cure wounds in combat, without a trait is also a strong point. Since the first inception of the Leechcraft skill that Lore-master’s only way to remove wounds in combat was trough the Proof Against All Ills trait. The removal of the resistance buff is bit of a letdown, even if resistances don’t work so well as pure mitigation, is never good to see a skill be less effective, even if it is something thats not that strong. The part that worries me is the 10 second cooldown on the skill. There are some deadly wound and diseases in this game (raiding specially) that give huge debuffs or damage every few seconds. Don’t get me wrong, the removing of the induction makes us cure faster, but there’s nothing worst than having a fellow die on us with a skill on cooldown. I think i would rather keep the cooldown and induction as it is.

Sign of Battle: Wizardry and Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire are combined into 1 skill that is nearly identical to Wizard’s Fire. The skill cannot be resisted, although the DoT component’s individual ticks can be. § This is so reacting to ‘Flanked!’ cannot be resisted. The level 54 upgrade removes the cooldown. The trait Improved Sign of Battle now provides +25% damage to the skill.

Overall, this is a good change. 90% of the time i would use Wizardry would be when i got a flank heal resisted with Wizard’s fire. Not being resisted anymore makes it a little more redundant. I would only use Wizardry as an offensive skill in enemies immune or highly resistent to Fire Damage. This also raises the question about our level 54 skill if Wizard’s Fire is getting moved to the early levels.

Usability Changes

Back from the Brink has its range increased from 5 meters to 25 meters.

A good change, but it still leaves us with the worst revive skill of the whole game. Still not usable in-combat, has a big induction, needs a consumable item, leaves a 1-minute long debuff on the revived ally. At least it has some range now.

Blinding Flash is no longer restricted by Genus.

A little background on this change and my stand on it: The Burglar class received a similar sneak peak to their daze skill, Riddle. Riddle was unusable on non-sentient creatures like beasts and creatures of nature. Recently, on an blog update for Isengard, one of the proposals was to remove the genus restriction, so Burglars would be able to Riddle Beasts and creatures of Nature, like trees (huorns), which makes no sense at all.

I’m against this change. I would prefer to leave some kind of specialization on the class skills, burglars and Lore-Masters are already pretty similar in role (Debuffs, Crowd-Control) and to muddle the waters even more is, in my humble opinion, counter-productive.

Ancient Wisdom is now a permanent toggle (without an upkeep cost.)

A small change. Nothing to serious since the buff already lasts a considerable amount of time. It would be interesting to see another skill that could rival Ancient Wisdom (maybe a Fate buff?) so that there is a choice involved.

Post 66 skills

Improved Sign of Power: Command – Becomes an AoE which can affect multiple targets.

This one is a good upgrade. Altough SoP: Command has a quick cast and cooldown, sometimes is annoying to be selecting multible enemies and applying it.

Improved Staff-sweep – For each target hit, the Lore-master receives a stacking buff increasing critical hit chance of their next Fire skill by 33%. Upon scoring a crit strike with a Fire skill, the buffs are removed.

This upgrade can be huge, almost borderline overpowered. I can only imagine hitting 3 enemies in the same sweep, stacking 99% crit change and then launch Ents go to War or Improved Sticky Gourd for a guaranteed AoE nuclear strike.

Friend to Aurochs – Summons an Aurochs as a pet.

Will hold judgment until i can see more about this pet.I think it’s lore-appropriate, but the size of the beasts might make them undeseriable in grouping or raiding scenarios (unless you can cosmetically use one of those baby Aurochs). Also waiting to see on its role.

I was hoping for a pet that could augment when we are on Crowd-Control/Raiding  duty where you want to keep your pet at bay. Maybe a pet that does minimal or no damage at all, but can provide buffs to the Lore-Master and the rest of the group.

Improved Sign of the Wild: Rage – Now also provides 10% Damage bonus,

Pet damage is somewhat minimal, 10% increase will still be low…

Improved Burning Embers – The DoT portion of the skill can now stack multiple times.

This is a good change. And can increase Lore-Master’s DPS immensely if the legacy that increases Burning-Embers damage over time duration up to 35 seconds.


Some solid upgrades, but I’m a bit worried by the 10s cooldown on Knowledge of Cures and the generalization of the Daze mechanics across classes. Was expecting a bit more “hoomph” but so far all changes are solid, ecpet for the Improved SoW: Rage which seems very weak to me.

A special note to the lotro developers: thanks for keeping us updated and including the playerbase on your decision process. Communication is key and you guys are excelling at it!

Traits – Levels 1-10

21 Apr

Its time to talk traits. Traits will enhance you your Lore-Master and some might be game changing. This is Lotro’s way to differentiate players of the same class and different playstyles. They can go so deep as to change the whole classes role. Later we will talk about trait lines, but for starters we’ll talk about the four traits you can start earning in the first 10 levels.

This is what Turbine has to say about traits:

As you progress through the game, you will earn Traits. Traits are gained by completing Deeds, by completing quests and (occasionally) simply by leveling. Each Trait falls into one of four categories: Virtue, Class, Racial and Legendary.

You can only have a few Traits active at a time. As your level increases, you gain more slots for Traits, so you can have more active Traits. To activate a Trait, see a Bard in any major city.

We will only talk specifically about Class Traits and Legendary traits later on.

As soon as you leave the intro instance, you can start to learn traits by using your specific class skills. When you use that specific class skill “x” times, you will earn a class Trait. It’s then your choice to slot it or not, enhancing or changing a specific skill. Class Trait slots are limited in total and in level (your first class trait slot will open at level 15). But for knowledge on class traits in general you should visit the lorebook or some other generic Lotro resource, like Lotro-Wiki.

Traits you can learn from at the start, right after you leave the intro instance:

Light of Hope: This is a great little trait. If you are healing (or soloing) it will practically half the morale cost of your Beacon of Hope skill, as well as lowering its cooldown to 20s and taking one whole second from its induction, making it take only half a second to cast. Use Beacon of Hope 600 times.

Master of Beasts: Increases the duration of the Sign of the Wild skills (Protection and Rage) and lessens the power cost of those same skills. It will also remove negative effects from your pet, like Disease, Poison, Fear or Wound. It’s one of the weakest traits in this trait line and should only be used as a filler. Sign of the Wild skills already have a long duration and low power cost, so increasing the duration a little but and marginal decrease in power cost are a bit redundant. The negative effect removal is also not very useful (you can probably remove half of those with your own skills). Use Sign of the Wild: Protection 500 times.

Master of the Staff : This is one of those super-traits. I still slot it most of the times, even when I am on a debuffing role or healer role, if there’s a slot to spare. First it will raise your morale by 5%, at higher levels this increase alone is pretty noticeable. It will change your Staff Strike skill to the Improved Staff Strike one and what an improvement it is. First it will deal extra damage on a flanked enemy, but also consuming the flanked event so you cannot heal and deal extra damage on the same flanked mob. It will also stun the mob if it crits. To help with that, the critical change is increase by flat 20% (bringing it over the melee cap, if you ever reach it).Damage is increase by 25% on normal hits and It will deal 50% more damage on critical hits and devastating critical hits. Its pretty awesome if you like to melee with your Lore-Master (I know I do). Use Staff Strike 600 times.

Power and Wisdom: This trait will buff your Power of Knowledge skill (the one you use to draw power from your enemies). It will decrease its cooldown, increasing the length of the channel effect (so you will spend a little more time drawing power from your enemy) and double the power yield from the skill. With this trait on, my Power of Knowledge skill usually fills about 75-80% of my power bar. So if you are grouping, specially at end-game its one those traits that will help you keeping your power and your fellowships power up. Draw power from your enemies 250 times.

As you progress through the game, you will earn Traits. Traits are gained by completing Deeds, by completing quests and (occasionally) simply by leveling. Each Trait falls into one of four categories: Virtue, Class, Racial and Legendary.

You can only have a few Traits active at a time. As your level increases, you gain more slots for Traits, so you can have more active Traits. To activate a Trait, see a Bard in any major city.

Back again!

6 Apr

Hello everyone,

I’m sorry about the unannouced hiatus, but real life will do that to you. No one told me that being a parent of twins would consume so much of your free time! 🙂

Anyway, expect a Level 20 post sometime soon (later today probably). I’ve also gone back and edited the Flanked post with the November update changes.

I’m also leveling a Lore-Master in the new Crickhollow, so if you ever see a Lore-Master name Razorstyx, please /wave.

Cya soon!

Level 20

4 Feb

Congratulations on making it to level 20. Hope you have enjoyed your journey here. At level 20 things will start to get easier. Lore-masters will be able to use one of their own emergency skills, called Wisdom of the Council, which you should use if you are ever in a tight spot. You will also be able to use a skill which enables the lore-master to “scan” an enemy before engaging battle with it and debuff it a little, called Knowledge of the Lore-Master. At level 20 you will also be able to equip special books that will reduce the power cost’s of a certain group of skills. From the types of books available, I recommend going with the Books of Nature since the “Lore” type skills, like Fire-Lore and specially Wind-Lore have an expensive power cost compared to the other groups of skills, like Signs of Wild and Signs of Battle. Every 10 levels, up to level 40 you will be able to upgrade to the next tier of books available, so if you are a Scholar or know one, look them up. If not there is also the trade channels and the auction house.

Knowledge of the Lore-Master: This is a lore-master only skill that enables you to scan an enemy type creature and study its weaknesses along with some other useful info like type of creature or if they are immune to stuns, roots and fellowship maneuvers. It is unlikely that you will use this skill on every enemy you face, but it is interesting to use once in a while to study a specific type of creature or to scan a particularly tough elite or boss mob. This skill has 2 versions. If you use it out of combat, you will debuff the resistances of the scanned mob and after that it will show you the detailed info screen about that particular enemy. In combat it will only show you the screen but it will not debuff the selected enemy.


Wisdom of the Council: This skill will somewhat change your perception about the Lore-Master’s squishiness. It’s a major self-heal with some minor (but sometimes lifesaving) buffs. Wisdom of the Council is an immediate skill, so it will cancel any skill animation or induction you might be doing, for an emergency heal. The heal will amount to around 50%-80% of your current max morale. The heal has a couple of buffs that will linger in the lore-master for a whole minute after the heal is cast. First, it will reflect a small amount of damage for every attack made on you. It also has a small chance (5%) to completely negate any damage made to you, as long as it is common, Fire or Shadow damage. Every attack made to you also has a larger chance to stun the attacker (25% chance).

TIP: There aren’t many tips on how to use an emergency skill. Use it when you need it. If you see yourself going down on morale , use it. You can also use it as a preemptive measure on a specific tough fight or boss in which you know a big attack is coming and your morale is low. The cooldown is kinda short for this kind of heal (10 minutes) so don’t be greedy saving for later. Use it when you need it.


Wisdom of the Council (Level 24)


Ask Staff Strike: My Toolbar Layout

14 Jan

Some of you have asked me what my Toolbar Layout looks like. Well, frankly, it’s a mess! I started my Lore-Master way back on Shadows of Angmar (right before Book 13 I think) and the class has “suffered” from many revisions since then. Also, I change some skill locations depending on what I’m doing (Solo, Group or PvMP play), so some skills may change to a more comfortable position.

Anyway, here’s the latest screenshot of my toolbar:


It was changed recently to accommodate for the new skills, Frost-Lore and Staff-Sweep. There is not a lot of logic here. Some skills where place as I earned them, and some skills were moved as I was using them more or less, accordingly.

I also use the two side buttons from my mouse (I use a Razer Deathadder) for some quick skills. Those also change a lot. In group play I try and have the Share the Power skill as close as I can. In PvMP it’s the Sign of Power: Righteousness and Solo it’s usually Sign of Power: Command or Sign of Battle Wizard’s Fire.

Also, in all of my toons, I have a habit of using the “zero” key for my emergency skills. For the Lore-Master it’s the Wisdom of the Council skill.

Some skills never trade places because I have a bad case of muscle memory, so even though some skills placement may not make much sense (Blinding Flash on “4” or Leechcraft on “Ctrl+6”) I’ve gotten used to them being there and when I try to change them they don’t feel “right”.

As for pets, i’ve dragged the special pet attacks to my toolbar, so i can use them if i need to. I also dragged the Attack and Follow command, so i can send my pet in and out of combat quickly.

So I’m sorry if I don’t have many great tips for your keyboard layout. My suggestions are to just use what’s confortable to you and place some of the more important skills in places where you won’t forget them and have quick access to.

If you have any questions about the Lore-Master or LOTRO in general, don’t be shy and contact me. I will do my best to answer with tips and opinions. All my contacts are in the Contacts link.

Level 18

13 Jan

Hello again!

After this long hiatus, I thought it would be better (also after watching the poll votes, thank you for voting) if I would pick up where I left off. I will continue with skills until level 20 and probably then I will start on traits and trait-lines.

So, here we are at level 18. We have one important skill (believe me, you will use it often) and a situational skill, but important nonetheless.


Light of the Rising Dawn: This skill’s tooltip is pretty much straight forward. It does mid-high damage (light based) and it will stun the selected enemy for 3 seconds. It is, however, on a short cooldown, 30 seconds, and it will, probably, be one of your most damaging skills for a few levels. Use it often, but beware that since this a Nature’s Fury skill it will also cost you morale along with power.

TIP: This is something I must talk about in a few posts, but after a stun, all enemies (and friends also) receive an automatic 10-second stun immunity buff. So don’t use this skill if you think you (or someone else in your fellowship) will need to use a stun or a fellowship maneuver in the next seconds. This is specially important if you are teaming with a burglar, since they cannot use their fellowship maneuver skills on stun-immune enemies.

TIP: The stun state, along with the daze state (of Blinding Flash and Bane Flare), will overwrite a rooted state (such as the one give by the Cracked Earth delayed root). So if you use it against an enemy that is rooted, after the stun that same enemy will not be rooted anymore.

TIP: With 3 red traits, you can lower the cooldown on this skill by 15 seconds.

TIP: You can also use this skill to interrupt an enemy’s induction. So if you see that glowing orange or green circle below an enemy, you can hit this skill and interrupt his special attack or self-heal. This is specially useful on enemies that are immune to Blinding Flash (Dead, Creatures of Nature).



Bane Flare: This skill will  stun and then mezz (daze) up to 3 Dead creatures, in a 10m radius of yourself. This means that it won’t be used against your selected enemy, because it is centered on yourself. This also means that you can use this skill without selecting any enemy, even out of combat (it makes a great firework effect :).  All kidding aside, this skill was made to counteract some of the Blinding Flash’s faults. And since you probably are or should almost be at the Barrow Down’s zone, the Dead will be nothing personal nemesis for the young Lore-Masters. Also, this skill only affect’s the Dead.

This is a 2-part skill, since it will stun first for 5-seconds and after the stun wears off, it will daze for 10 seconds more. What this means is that for the first 5 seconds, any damage made to the affected Dead will not break the Bane Flare effect, because it’s a stun. But after those 5 seconds, any damage made to it will wake up the damaged enemy from his dazed state.

TIP: You cannot use this skill the same way you use Blinding Flash. Mainly because the cooldown is bigger than the dazed effect. Although it will daze up to three Dead, you cannot re-apply it before the effect wears off.

TIP: I’ve already stated this, but I will repeat it. This is a self-centered skill, meaning that it won’t affect the enemy you are selecting, but instead it will be launched above you, and daze up to 3 dead that are within 10m of you. So if the enemy you are selecting is more than 10m away from you, you will have to move closer to him if you want him dazed.

TIP: If you slot at least 2 traits in the yellow line, you can increase the number of Dead affected by skill by two, bringing the number of enemies affected by this skill to 5.


What comes next?

20 Dec

Maybe you didn’t notice, but i haven’t posted much or anything at all lately. Honestly, my two baby girls are taking most of my time (Blog time, gaming time, etc). But my leave is almost over, so i’ll be back to work soon. Since i have a long comute back home, i’ll have some spare blog time on the train and will probably pick up where i left of.

But i could use your help. I haven’t received comments lately and I’ve sincerely thought about shutting the place down. I guess it’s up to you. If i still have anyone out there that finds this blog interesting or useful, i’ll keep running it. I love the Lore-master class and i have great pleasure on passing my experience to others.

So I’ve created a poll so you can choose or guide me into what you think StaffStrike should be heading next. If the blog has run its course, it was a very rewarding first blogging experience.

Please vote and merry Christmas in your part of the world.

Lore-Master Changes Developer Diary

28 Oct

Hello Lore-Masters,

Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang just released his latest Developer Diary about the upcoming Lore-master changes. Read all about the reasoning on the new skills, trait changes and consumables.

You can read it all here.

I’ll be commenting on the changes throughout the next few weeks, before the patch is launched on the live servers.

Post Edit: Actually, the Developer Diary is from Ken “Graalx2” Burd.

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