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