Archive | June, 2010

Level 8

30 Jun

Level 8 adds again 2 more skills to the young Lore-master’s arsenal.

Beacon of Hope: This skill enables you to transfer some amount of morale from yourself to an ally or pet. It can be someone inside or outside your fellowship or even a NPC (non-player character). This skill will cost you a small amount of morale and will give your targetted ally a big chunk of morale. You cannot target yourself with this skill.

TIP: Although Lore-master’s are not main healers like Minstrels and Rune-Keepers, Beacon of Hope is a nice emergency heal. If you see your group’s tank falling low on morale, heal it. Sometimes minstrel’s are so focused on healing everyone else that they forget themselves. If you see your minstrel low on morale, don’t be afraid to use this skill on him/her.

Beacon of Hope Tooltip at Level 65

Gust of Wind: This will be your second Nature’s  Fury skills. This group of skills will be your main damage dealers but beware: Besides costing you power they will also cost a small amount of morale to cast. Gust of Wind is a long range skill (40m) that will deal a area-of-effect damage (AoE), up to 6 enemies that are close to your target. It will also add to your target and enemies affected by the skill a debuff, adding 7% miss chance to all their attacks.

TIP: Gust of Wind will not be your highest damaging skill, but since it’s AoE be careful when casting it. If there are un-attacked enemies close by that are damaged by GoW, they will turn to you.

TIP: In group play, cast Gust of Wind after your tank has some aggro on mobs. Besides the damage, the miss chance will help a with healing, because your tank will be hit less often. Don’t cast it too soon, because you don’t want to draw unwanted attention.

Gust of Wind at level 65

Note: This post was rewritten due to the changes to the Lore-master in the Volume 3, Book 2 changes. They will come into effect on the 8th of September 2010.

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Level 6

29 Jun

At level 6, Lore-masters gain their first stun skill, called Test of Will. The other skill young LM’s will learn is Sign of the Wild: Protection, which will enable you to protect your own pet.

Sign of the Wild: Protection: This will act as one of the two available buffs that the Lore-master can apply to its companion. Protection will decrease the amount of damage taken by your pet by a small amount (5 %) and increase its chance of parrying incoming attacks. Very simple, but useful if you are sending your pet to off-tank an enemy while you are attacking something else.

Sign of the Wild: Protection

Test of Will: This damaging skill will stun your oponent for 5 seconds. During those 5 seconds the stunned enemy will be unable to move, attack yourself or defend himself. This skill also has a very high critical magnitude, this means that its damage is normal but you can see very high numbers when it lands a critical or devastating critical attack.

TIP: The skill also has a large induction. Avoid to launch this skill if you are being attack, since it will be setback or interrupted. Use it at the start of a multiple enemy pull or use it on an enemy that your pet is attacking.

TIP: You can also use this has an escape skill. If you are getting more than what you bargained, launch this skill on a tough enemy and give yourself some space.

TIP: Like most damaging skills, it will cost a little amount of morale to cast along with power. Be careful not to use this skill if you are low on morale.

Test of Will at Level 65

Note: This post was rewritten due to the changes to the Lore-master in the Volume 3, Book 2 changes. They will come into effect on the 8th of September 2010.

Pets – The Raven

23 Jun

Let’s talk about the young Lore-master’s first pet: The Raven.

Lore-master’s can summon the Raven when they reach level 4. Now that we’ve discussed what every pet has in common, let’s get into a bit more detail on the Raven.

The Raven

The Raven at the early levels may seem somewhat underwhelming. Its damage is low, has a small morale pool and only one skill and one aura buff. But don’t be discouraged by it. It’s a wonderful companion and, well-played, can help the Lore-master immensely.

Let’s take a look at the raven’s active skills:

Benediction of the Raven: When you first get the Raven this will be your only skill. When activated, the raven will cast a debuff on your enemy that will make him weaker against fire damage. In rating terms, it will roughly be equal to 10% extra damage from fire attacks. You can place this skill in auto-attack mode (by right clicking it) and the raven will use it every time its available. Since this debuff is placed on the mob, every member of your fellowship that has a fire damage attack will benefit from this weakness as well, such as Rune-keepers or Hunters using fire-oils.

TIP: This skill does not draw aggro, much like the skill Sign of Power: Command, but your pet will immediately attack the enemy after launching the attack. If you only want the raven to place the debuff, just press the pet follow command immediately after using this skill.

Distraction: The raven acquires this skill when the Lore-master reaches level 10 (and the raven is level 8). When this skill is activated, the Raven will fly around the selected enemy in circles, creating a distraction. The affected enemy will have its ranged attacks reduced in half and will add a 10% miss chance to its attacks. In practical terms, this will make the affected foe stop his ranged attacks and come into melee. Since ranged enemies will do less damage in melee, it’s a good thing and don’t be afraid to use it. While using this skill, the raven will also apply a light damage over time. This skill also uses up 1 power every second from the Raven, so your little friend won’t be able to keep distraction forever on an enemy.

TIP: This skill can also be put on auto-fire mode, but i don’t recommend it. Since the raven won’t do any attacks while doing distraction and you will not receive any flank events (we will get on that later).

Evasion: When the Lore-master reaches level 16 (and raven level 14) your feathery friend receives its last skill. Evasion is a defensive skill that enables the Raven to avoid most of the attacks done against him. It also adds a bit of armour rating plus what roughly equals to 20% extra shadow defense.

TIP: You can use this skill to keep one enemy busy if fighting more than one mob, instead of saving it for an emergency. Your little pet won’t sustain much damage for the 15s the skill lasts and it will give you time to finish any extra enemies.

The raven also has 2 passive skills:

Shield of the Raven’s Wing: This passive buff work’s as an aura around the Raven. It affects all your allies and gives a substantial shadow damage defenseOn level it’s usually around 10%.

TIP: This protection is specially useful on dungeon bosses, that do shadow damage. On open world enemies, the dead and unseen are known to do shadow damage.

Dizzy: Raven’s have a hidden skill that Lore-master’s cannot control. The dizzy skill is automatically placed on a foe when the Raven achieves a critical hit. When the dizzy effect is on the enemy, it applies a 15% miss chance on that enemy.

So, that’s the raven for you. As you must have noticed, the raven has no direct attack skills. All of the raven’s skills are support skills and will come in handy to the young and experienced Lore-master’s alike. Its fast attack speed is an advantage and it makes the raven the most reliable flanker (we’ll get more on that later) from all the non-legendary pets. Its low armour is compensated by its natural avoidance and its own Evasion skill. On the low side, it is a low DPS pet, so don’t expect big yellow numbers coming out of this little friend and it has a low morale pool.

If any seasoned Lore-master would like to comment, please do. It’s always welcome to learn new strategies and young Lore-master’s can grow with your experience.

Pets

22 Jun

Pets (or companions) are one of the many things that set the Lore-master class apart from all other classes in LOTRO. They are special characters that the Lore-master can call to his aid. All pets are creatures of nature, whether they are birds, cats or more weird things, they always respect the Lore-master’s command.

All pets have common skills and modes, so let’s discuss that before we get into specific companions.

You will notice two things when you summon your pet for the first time:

One thing will be pet portrait, with its name, morale and power bar. You can use this portrait to select your pet with your mouse (you can also press the F1 key two times to select your pet). If you select the pet’s portrait with your right mouse button you will have the option to rename your new companion.

Raven's Portrait

The second thing will be your pet’s skill bar. This skill bar has 7 common controls:

Full pet bar. The last 3 skills are Raven specific.

Full pet bar. The last 3 skills are Raven specific.

Three controls for your pet’s movements.

Attack: You send in your pet to attack your selected target.

Follow: Your pet interrupts its current action and starts following you.

Stay: Your pet stays in its current position. If in Aggressive mode, it will attack any enemy that enters its line of sight, useful to guard a location.

Four controls for your pets actions and decisions (stances), when in battle. The first three modes are mutually exclusive, which means that your pet can only be Aggressive, Passive or on Guard. The special assist stance can be used along with any stance.

Aggressive: Your pet will attack any enemy within its line of sight.

Passive: Your pet will only attack when ordered, using the Attack skill described above.

Guard: The pet will only enter combat if attacked or if the Lore-master itself is attacked.

Assist: The pet will attack what the Lore-master attacks. This special mode can be activated manually or be turned automatically if you select it with a right mouse button click.

You can drag the skills from the pet bar onto your own skill bar. That way, not only can you can use the pet commands as your own skills, but you can also use keyboard shortcuts for them, specially for the attack and follow commands so you can quickly control your pet in and out of battle.

You can integrate your pet's skills on your own skillbar.

In a group setting it’s recommended that your pet to be on passive mode. That way your pet will not attack unwanted mobs into the group. It takes a bit more of micromanaging, but its safe. But I recommend playing with all modes. If you are alone it can be specially useful to activate the guard or assist mode, but watch out for ranged enemies as they can back up, your pet will follow and can pick a few more foes than you can burn.

The next 3 icons will be pet specific. In the next post we will discuss the ravens skills into more detail.

Update: Added information about pet levels.

All pets have a character level 2 ranks below the Lore-master. So, when you are level 20, your pet will be level 18. Lore-masters should keep this in mind when fighting Orange (3 levels above) or higher enemies, since your pet will have a hard time launching attacks on such high levels enemies. There are exceptions though: Legendary pets like the Eagle or the Bog are only one level below the Lore-master. Also the trait Hardy Bear will increase the Bear one level.

Also, when the Lore-master reaches a new level, you’ll need to dismiss and recall your pet, for it to level up as well (thanks to Ketani for reminding me). To dismiss your pet, just right click on your pet’s portrait and select “dismiss”.

If any expert Lore-master would like to share his/her tips, they will be most welcome.

Level 4

22 Jun

Level 3 adds no new skills, so lets jump to level 4.

You will receive your very first healing skill called Inner Flame. You will also receive your first pet buffing skills, Sign of the Wild: Rage.

Inner Flame: This skill enables you to both heal yourself and your pet. It is a heal over time, meaning that the morale restored comes over time instead of one big chunk. It is also channeled,  meaning that you cannot move or attack. As with other channeled skills (Power of Knowledge, for example) any damage done to you will shorten the channel duration, and that means less healing.

TIP: This is not an emergency heal. The heal is small and since its channeled you will be stuck in place while doing it. If you see yourself with low morale, crowd control your attacker (or attackers) before using this skill.

TIP: While damage done to you will shorten the channel’s duration, damage done to your pet won’t affect this skill. If your pet has the enemy’s attention and you need to heal yourself or your pet, it is a good time to use it.

Inner Flame in a level 20 LM

Sign of the Wild: Rage: This Sign of the Wild skill will increase your pet’s attack speed and it’s perceived threat. It’s a simple buff, but not useless. The faster attack speed means that your pet will attack more, increasing it’s DPS (Damage per Second). The perceived threat increase also means that an enemy is more likely to focus its attention on your pet that yourself, although it’s not by much, so don’t expect your pet to be your personal meat shield from here on. Since your pet will attack faster, it also means that you will have more chances to flank.

TIP: On later stages, when you are able to use flank mechanics, the faster attack speed will mean that you have a bigger chance to produce a flank event.

TIP: You can only have one Sign of the Wild effect at a time for the time being. Later on you can gain a trait that will enable you to use both at the same time.

22% perceived threat comes from a legendary legacy

Sign of the Wild: Rage

The actual perceived threat buff from SoW: Rage is 10%. The screenshot value is from a Legacy increase.

Note: This post was rewritten due to the changes to the Lore-master in the Volume 3, Book 2 changes. They will come into effect on the 8th of September 2010.

Level 2

21 Jun

Leveling comes by fast in the first 10 levels so i’ll try and update the skills a young Lore-master gains in his first few levels. At level 2 Lore-masters get:

Raven-lore: Your very first companion! The raven is a very agile and low damage pet. It does not have a lot of hit-points (or morale points in LOTRO terms) but it has an arsenal of useful skills. You can check the more in-depth article on the raven by clicking here.

Raven Summoning Skill

Sign of Power: Wizardry: This skill seems a bit disappointing, but appearances can deceive young Lore-master! Specifically, it’s a low damaging attack that with a small DoT (damage over time component) and it can be cast while moving (no induction). But the main strength of this skill is not the damage it does, but the ability it has to heal you if your selected enemy is flanked. You should notice a big bump in survivability from now on. Every time you ear that «chime», remember to use this skill for a small but noticeable heal.

SoP: Wizardry at level 65

Note: This post was rewritten due to the changes to the Lore-master in the Volume 3, Book 2 changes. They will come into effect on the 8th of September 2010.

Level 1

21 Jun

My goal with this blog will be to get in deep with the Lore-master’s skillset. I’ll go into detail on every skill that the Lore-master has at its disposal. I will start from the bottom. And here’s the Lore-master’s Level 1 skills:

Staff-Strike: The Skill that lends its name to this blog. Throughout the game this will be your only melee (weapon-based, face-to-face combat) skill. At this level it’s just what it is: you whack your foes with your staff. We will come back to this skill at level 15 when you can acquire the trait for Improved Staff-Strike.

Sign of Power: Command: This is your first Sign of Power skill. It’s a simple skill with some powerful uses. This skill will decrease the speed at which your enemy attacks you (+20% attack duration).  This will make the enemy with this sign do, effectively, 20% less damage on you or, in other words, your enemy’s damage will be cut in one fifth. It will also reduce the chances of your enemy parrying an attack. Since this skill has a very short cooldown and a somewhat long duration, it can be kept on a few enemies on the battlefield at the same time. This skill has another advantage: You can use it before you start the fight since this skill will not enable combat.

Burning Embers: This will probably be every Lore-masters bread and butter skill. It’s a medium-damage, single-target fire attack. It has a small-induction, so it cannot be used on the run. But it has two very attractive secondary effects: First, it will slow your enemy down by 30%. This will enable you to outrun your foe and gain some distance to fire more attacks without being damaged or interrupted; Secondly it has a Damage over Time component that will keep hurting (burning) your enemy for a while after the first attack. You can always refresh the burn (Damage over time or DOT) by throwing another burning ember on your foe.

In-Game Tooltips from the actual skills:

Lore-master Intro

21 Jun

What is a Lore-master? Lets start with a few basics.

Lore-masters come in Human or Elf variety. There is not much difference in races except for a few traits. For those racial traits i would advise you to check the excellent racial trait guide at the MMOrsel.

Lore-masters are one of the Hybrid classes of LOTRO. That means that its not one of the holy trinity of classes: Main Healer, Main Tank, Main Damage Dealer (DPS).

The Lore-master can do a bit of healing and a bit of damage. But it’s main focus is a completely different business:

Crowd Control – The Lore-master specializes in controlling the field of battle. If can immobilize a foe or a group of foes for varying lengths of time, but if well timed and played you can immobilized quite a few foes for unlimited amounts of time.

Debuffing – Lore-master excels in decreasing the damage that foes inflict on you or your fellowship, along with skills that increase the damage that you (or your friends) can inflict on your enemies.

Power Healing – Although not the same kind as morale healing, Lore-master’s can continuously share his own power with fellowship members, making it the main power healer in LOTRO.

Pet Class – Lore-master’s are the main pet class in LOTRO, although not the only class with pets, in the lore-master’s journey his pets play a major role on the rising lore-master. But unlike other games don’t expect your pet to always take your damage for you or do damage instead of you. They are your companions and more of a buff than your main strength or weakness. Don’t rely on them completely but don’t discard them either since they can save your day when things get hairy.

First Flank

21 Jun

Hello dear LOTRO players. My name is Ricardo (Ric or Ricky for short) and i’m an European LOTRO player lost in the Turbine servers.

Just so we’re clear. English is not my first language and this is my first blog. Can this be a recipe for disaster? Let’s hope not. 🙂

Anyway, my main drive to start this blog is mainly due to the lack of Lore-master resources out there, outside the LOTRO forums and specially for newly created lore-masters.

I’ll try and have a main weekly feature, revolving around a detailed lore-master skill or trait, because if you are starting LOTRO, the Lore-Master is not what it seems. Its a very complex class that may or not play well with others. So I’ll try and keep detailed explanations on Lore-Master’s skills, its secondary effects and its effects on other classes you might have on your fellowship.

I will also add a few screenshots from in-game skills. Please keep in mind that these skill screenshots are from a level cap Lore-Master so damage, power costs and some skill info will be different from your own Lore-master skills.

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