Archive | July, 2010

Pets – The Bear

21 Jul

The second Pet Lore-master’s can command is the Bear.

The Bear can be summoned as early as level 14. It is a sturdier pet than the Raven but it has different purposes.

The Bear

The bear can be used to tank for you, but it won’t tank forever, since it does not do enough damage or aggro to be a constant threat. Like the raven, our furry friend brings a few different skills to the lore-master’s arsenal, and all of them fit the lore-master’s debuffing and crow-controlling role. The bear also attacks slower than the raven, meaning that he will flank less.

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

Roaring Challenge: This skill enables the bear to call to himself any target near him. It works as a forced challenge, meaning that no matter the enemy’s threat against you or your friends, the enemy will forcefully turn to the bear for 10 seconds. After those 10 seconds are over, the enemy will go back to its previous target.

TIP: Be careful when using this skill in a group. You don’t want the designated tank (Guardian, Warden or Champion usually) to run around because the bear stole the boss’s aggro. You can, however, use this skill if a new enemy is on the field and it’s attacking some of your squishier friends, like your healer.

TIP: If you are alone, the bear can take one enemy of you. Since it has a 20m range, the mob will have to go all the way to the bear and back while you attack him from range or mezz him from afar with Blinding Flash.

TIP: When you get a few more hard-hitting (and induction heavy) skills, you can use the bear’s forced taunt to get some breathing room to launch those attacks.

Shatter Arms: This skill will damage the bear’s target and will put a debuff on it. Whenever the Bear shatter’s arms, that foe will receive 10% extra damage from melee and ranged sources. While the lore-master only has one melee skill (Staff-strike) and its auto-attack, if you are grouped with other non-tactical classes, like Champions and Hunters they will appreciate the extra damage.

TIP: Although the Lore-master is a tactical class, some tests have shown that a big part of their damage can come from melee (Staff-strike and auto-attack). If you are comfortable in being up close with your enemy and leaving the relative safety of your ranged attacks, that is something to consider. We will talk a bit more on this subject later on, so look forward for some future tips.

TIP: Since this debuff is more aimed when you are group, you can warn your fellows if you use this skill. That way they can use their more damaging attacks and get a little extra damage in a fight.

Bear Hug: This damaging skill will also stun the bear’s target for 3 seconds. While stunned, the enemy cannot attack or avoid your own attacks, but they can miss or be resisted. I will talk about the differences between mezzes (or dazes) and stuns on a future post, since there seems to be a few misconceptions about this two mechanics.

TIP: You can use this stun the same way you use raring challenge. In a group you can use it more safely, even on the main tank’s target (if he is not immune and most bosses are) or to give your healer’s a few seconds of breathing room. Solo you can use it when you want to cast a bigger attack and your enemy’s attacks are slowing your induction.

Bears and Food:

Bears have a special item you can buy or trade that is specially made for them. Those items are a type of bear food called Honey and Oats. There are various types of this food, from the most basic that you can buy from the lore-master class trainer to more advanced types which you can buy or trade from other players that have the cook profession. Honey and Oats also has various level ranges, so as you and your bear level up you can access better types of food.

Honey and Oats from the LM trainer

Honey and Oats will increase your bears perceived threat, meaning they will look more threatening to enemies, thus tanking better for you. They will also received various bonuses to damage mitigation, meaning that they will take less damage from enemy attacks, requiring less heals.

The bear is also a useful pet. It flanks less than the raven but it also does more damage. It’s more sturdy and will hold it’s own with a few heals here and there. When solo you can use it more as an off-tank than as your tank. If you are up against more than 2 enemies, you can mezz/daze one target and send the bear to attack and distract another target while you take care of your own. The bear will survive until you can take care of it’s target. All the bears skills are also useful in a group. Specially Shatter Arms since it will raise your fellowships damage output. Save Roaring Challenge and Bear Hug as emergency skills to save your healer or another group member from unexpected company.


Level 14

9 Jul

Level 14 is a very special level for young Lore-masters. Not only will you be able to summon another pet companion, but you will receive one of those skills that will make you think and be strategic.

Friend of Bears: Your second pet will be a sturdy bear pet. It’s a classic tank pet, with low damage output but very sturdy. But our furry friend can have other uses. I won’t get into much details on the Bear right now. Expect a specific Bear article can be found by clicking here.

Bear summoning Skill

Cracked Earth: Another damaging Nature’s Fury skill (meaning that will cost you morale along with power) with a twist. It’s ranged damage tactical skill, with an area of effect radius. Besides doing damage, this skill will also put a debuff timer on the affected enemies. After that timer is down, the affected enemies will be rooted in place for 30 seconds. Its a very important skill that some veteran lore-master’s forget when we talk about crowd control.

TIP: The timer is usually 10 seconds after you cast this attack. After those 10 seconds, all affected enemies that didnt resist de debuff will be stuck in place, unable to move. With 3 yellow line traits the timer is reduced to 5 seconds.

TIP: Remember that although rooted enemies are unable to move, they are still awake. So ranged enemies will continue to attack you if you are in range of their ranged attacks.

TIP: The rooted state can be broken with damage. Every attack has a 25% change to break the rooted state, so be careful using area of effect skills (like Gust of Wind or Cracked Earth again, for example) on a group of rooted mobs.

TIP: On multiple enemy encounters you can start the attack with cracked earth. Run (or kite) a little bit while you wait for the root to kick in, then pull one or two at a time.

TIP: The rooted effect can be reapplied, but it requires timing. The reapplication is different from the Blinding Flash method, since the rooted effect does not stack or refresh. You can recast Cracked Earth when the enemies you want to root (and are already rooted) have 9 seconds or less remaining on the rooted effect. It’s all about timing. If the 10 seconds debuff wear off while the enemies are still rooted, they will not be rooted again. Its preferable to give a few seconds even if it means that they will move for 1 or 2 seconds before the root reapplies again.

TIP: Boss type enemies are usually immune to roots.

Cracked Earth ingame Tooltip

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 12

8 Jul

Level 12 gives the lore-master its 2 class defining Debuffs. Fire-lore will reduce a group of enemies melee damage and Wind-lore will reduce a group of foes ranged damage.

Fire-lore: This is a non-damaging skill (a debuff) that affects up to 3 enemies in front of the lore-master. This short range skill reduces the affected enemies melee damage by 30% (close combat damage, it does not affect archers and similar ranged foes). This is the Lore-masters first Are of Effect (AoE) skill since it affects up to 3 enemies in an area in front of the Lore-master. Its a very simple but underrated skill: because 30% less damage can be equal wearing heavy armour. This is specially important, because the Lore-master can be a very squishy class early on. This skill enables combat.

Fire-Lore In-Game Tooltip

Wind-lore: The sister skill to Fire-lore. This debuff will cut your attackers ranged damage in half. This is also a Area of Effect skill, meaning that it will affect up to 3 enemies within a small area of the affected foe. It’s a very good skill to use against those pesky archer’s. In group play, use it when you see archer’s attacking your group, making your healer’s job much easier. This skill will also slow the selected enemies attacks by 10% (ranged, melee or tactical) meaning they will use less attacks per round.

TIP: Some archers will simply stop attacking from range and will follow you to melee. If you can cast Burning ember‘s on them and then Wind-lore they will just be following you around, as long as you stay out of their melee distance.

TIP: This skill has a very high power cost so use it wisely.

Windlore Tooltip

Next: The Bear!

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 10

6 Jul

Congratulations on reaching level 10! Lore-masters get again 2 new skills:

Blinding Flash: If the Lore-master could be described in one skill, Blinding Flash would be it. This skill will stop an enemy in its tracks, putting it to sleep for 30 seconds. This skill will daze or mezz a oponent for the duration of the effect as long as it does not suffer any kind of damage. The skill has a 15 second cooldown, meaning that you can refresh the daze on the enemy and keep him dazed for as long as you like. Creatures of nature (like trees and roots) and the Dead are immune to this effect. As of the recent November update, Blinding Flash will also

TIP: If you are in a group and the leader asks you to Mezz something, then the leader is asking you to use blinding flash on an enemy to put it to sleep. Can also mean dazed. Mezzing would be the act of using Blinding Flash on an enemy.

TIP: With precise timing and some luck you can keep 2 enemies mezzed with blinding flash.

TIP: If you are having troubles with groups of 3 enemies, you can start your fight mezzing one enemy, then sending your pet in to distract the second enemy while you attack the 3rd enemy. You can always refresh the effects of the mezz and leave the sleeping enemy to the end.

TIP: Because the mezz will break on any attack, your pet will halt all attacks on an enemy if you use Blinding Flash on it. Pet’s will have this behavior on every type of crowd control that breaks on damage, even if they are used by other members of your fellowship. This includes mezzes, roots or fears.

TIP: Remember not to use Blinding Flash on an enemy that was recently attack by Burning Embers. Because the embers have a Damage over time component (DoT), it will break the mezzed state whenever the DoT ticks.

TIP: When in a group, specially at low levels, don’t be discouraged if a fellow member attacks something that you put to sleep. They probably don’t know what a mezz is or are using Area of Effect attacks. Avoid mezzing enemies that are close to your tank. Your preferred mezzing targets will be ranged enemies that will most likely be attacking your group healer.

In-game skill-shot.

Leechcraft: Another trademark Lore-master skill. This skill will remove 3 wounds from your selected target and will increase your targets resistance to wounds for a short time. This skill is not usable in combat.

TIP: In a group it can be confusing seeing all those icons bellow your friends portrait. It is recomened to enable “Dispellable effects” only so you can quickly see if any of your fellows is suffering from a wound. To do this, you should go to your game options and in the Social Options look for “Show Dispellable Effect Only”. This will hide from your friends portraits any buffs and will show only things you or your friends can remove.

TIP: Wounds can have a variety of effects, from damage over time to disarm. It will be important to keep a keen eye on your fellowships debuffs because you will be asked to remove wounds from your allies as fast as you can. Wounds will show on your friends portraits as an icon with a red thick border.

TIP: This skill can be traited to remove wounds in combat and from everyone on your fellowship at the same time. We will talk about traits soon.

Mechanics – Flank

2 Jul

Now that you have your own pet, you will sometimes ear a “chime” sound when you are attacking an enemy. That chime will probably be accompanied by a couple of pink arrows on your pet’s target. When that happens, your pet has flanked an enemy and opens up two special maneuvers for the Lore-master.

Now, the documentation on Turbine’s part on the flank mechanic is not the best, so I hope you find this guide useful. For a young Lore-master you can expect to ear and see flank signs as soon as you get your first pet, the raven.

Tooltip of the Flanked state

When an oponent is flanked,  the Lore-master has 3 options to take advantage of that state:

– Use Improved Staff Strike, it will do double the damage. Improved Staff Strike is a traited version of your normal Staff Strike skill and we will talk about it on later posts.

Use Sign of Battle: Wizardry (or Wizard’s Fire for more advance Lore-masters), and heal yourself for a small amount. The heal usually amounts to a morale-pot on-level. This heal can crit and restore up to two times its normal morale heal.

Use Staff Sweep: As of the November 2010 update, Lore-Masters can also use the new skill Staff Sweep on a flanked oponent to receive a considerable power over time buff.

Flanked target - icon on the right

The flanked effect lasts 7 seconds. The advantages are also exclusive. You can either do a double staff strike or go for a heal. After one of them is used, the flanked state is dispersed.

Now, the flanked state is not a skill you can use. It’s something that has a chance of happening within your pets own attacks. So the faster a pet attacks the more chances you have of opening flanked states. For this I recommend the use of Sign of the Wild: Rage on your pet if you are going for increased flanked chances, since it speeds up your pet’s attacks.

As for pets, some flank more often than others. This is a list (of my experience) on which pets flank the most:

  • Bog-Lurker: This legendary pet can flank a lot. It can flank a few attacks in a row and sometimes both my skills that take advantage of the flanked state can be on cooldown. It is, however, a bit unreliable. It can flank 4 times in one fight and none in the next encounter.
  • Eagle: From my own experience, the eagle is the most reliable flanker. It usually flanks once every 15 to 20 seconds, making it a very safe pet if you want attack a powerful enemy, since it can give you reliable heals on a constant basis.
  • Raven: From all the normal, non-legendary pets, the Raven is the one that flanks the most. Just be sure to deactivate auto-firing distraction since it won’t attack while distracting a foe.
  • Lynx and Sabre-tooth: From my own experience these two cats have the same flank chance. Not very often but often enough if you want to have a DPS pet with some flanking chance.
  • Bear: This furry friend does not flank very often. From my experience it is the lowest flanking pet, but as with all other pets, your mileage may vary.

Pink arrows on a flanked enemy.

One last thing. To see see the “Pink Arrows” on a flanked enemy you should enable the “Particle Effects” option (Menu-> Options-> Combat Options) to see this effect. For a more detailed explanation on the flanked mechanic you can check the Lorebook page.

Updated: Edited to reflect the November Lore-Master update. Changes were made to which level the LM acquires certain skills along with a new flanked mechanic, with staff-sweep.

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