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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! 🙂


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!

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.

Early Patch-Notes are Up!

26 Oct

So, earlier this afternoon, Turbine showed us the November patch notes. I must remember everyone that these are still temporary and may change before the November release.

The notes are located in the lotro forums, so click here to read them.

There will also be a Developer Diary in the coming weeks explaining the Lore-master changes.

In the meanwhile, I’ll just paste the Lore-master related notes:

Lore-master & Minstrel Fellowship Manoeuvre changes
Lore-masters and Minstrels will now use the tactical versions of the “Ent’s Strength” and “Spider’s Guile” fellowship skills instead of the melee versions, just like Rune-keepers. This means that any time a Fellowship Manoeuvre is triggered, Minstrels and Lore-masters will no longer need to be in melee range to contribute.


  • Lore-masters and Captains now have a new skill on their Companion’s skill bar immediately to the left of their active skills. This new skill, “Return to Master” for Lore-master and “Rally” for Captain, will summon an existing companion to the character’s location. It is not useable in combat and has a 5 second cooldown.
  • Player Pets and Soldiers now get the benefit from the following
    • Hunter skill “Find the Path”.
    • Minstrel Tales.
    • Rune-keeper “Rune of Restoration.”
    • Captain’s Banners
    • Lore-master’s Raven’s “Shield of the Raven’s Wing” and the Eagle’s “Nobility”.


  • The trait “Dúnedain-learning” now shows specific numbers for what it modifies.
  • Trait tooltips have been cleaned up to reveal Stats and improve readability.
  • The Trait “Knowledge of the Past” now affects all skills (it was previously not affecting “Staff-strike”, “Warding Knowledge”, and a few other skills).
  • Lore-masters have a new skill available at level 30: “Staff Sweep.”
  • Lore-masters have a new skill available at level 40: “Frost-lore.”
  • The trait “Hardy Bear” has been converted to “Hardy Companion.”
  • The Improved Warding Lore skills have been modified to affect “Drakes & Ancient Evil”, “Creatures of Nature & Beasts”, and “Dead, Men, & Orc-kind”.
  • “Sign of Power: Vigilance” is now a self-anchored Area of Effect skill.
  • “Blinding Flash” will now interrupt inductions even if the monster is immune to Daze effects.
  • The Nature-friend Legendary Trait will now grant the Lore-master a new skill, “Combat Summoning”, in addition to “Friend of Nature.” This new skill will allow the Lore-master to summon any animal companion during combat for the next 10 seconds.
  • The damage over time portion of “Burning Embers” will now stack from multiple Lore-masters.
  • The Lore-master’s raven will now apply the Flanked effect to target when the Raven is low level.
  • Fire-lore can now be used on all monster types; including the Dead.
  • “Call to the Valar” now resets the cooldown for “Dispel Corruption” and provides a 10s immunity to induction setbacks caused by damage.
  • The sound FX for Flanking effects is now controlled by the Combat Sound volume
  • The visual indicator that signals when a pet has flanked its target will now only be shown to the Lore-master whose pet successfully flanked their target.
  • “ Inner Flame” has been upgraded as follows:
    • It will heal much more than previously.
    • The Lore-master will not be interrupted while channeling the skill.
    • The Lore-master’s pet will take a small portion of the Lore-master’s threat for each pulse of healing.
    • All other aspects of the skill are the same.
  • The following frost damage Legendary Item Titles are now useable by Lore-masters.
    • Cold-heart
    • Frost-reaver
    • Ice-fist
  • “Knowledge of the Lore-master” has been changed in a couple of ways.
    • It now places a minor 60 second debuff to resistances on the target.
    • The skill cannot be used in combat and requires you to face the target.
    • The skill cannot be resisted.
  • The Legacies which reduce an enemy’s resistance have been re-organized to affect skills more intuitively:
    • Target Resistance (Damaging Skills): This now affects ALL Tactical skills which deal damage:
      • Burning Embers
      • Sign of Battle: Wizardry
      • Test of Wills
      • Gust of Wind
      • Cracked Earth
      • Light of the Rising Dawn
      • Storm-lore
      • Lightning-storm
      • Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire
      • Sticky Gourd.
    • Target Resistance (Fire Skills): This now affects ALL Tactical skill which deal Fire damage:
      • Burning Embers
      • Cracked Earth
      • Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire
      • Sticky Gourd.
    • Target Resistance (Debuffing Skills): This now affects ALL skills which debuff the enemy:
      • Sign of Power: Command
      • Blinding Flash
      • Fire-lore
      • Wind-lore
      • Power of Knowledge
      • Bane Flare
      • Herb-lore
      • Frost-lore
      • Ancient Craft
      • Dispel Corruption.


  • New pet food recipes are now available from Novice/Expert Cook vendors, as well as Lore-master trainers.


  • All existing Lore-master amulet recipes have been converted to produce new skill-granting Lore-master talismans. Brand new multi-output Lore-master talisman recipes can now be found in treasure.

User Interface

  • “Show Dispellable Effects Only” and “Show effects cast by me” options in the Social Options Panel are no longer mutually exclusive.
  • The Lore-master Pet Quickslot bar is now correctly hidden when mounted.

Still digesting some changes. When Bullroarer (test client) is up, i’ll have some deeper comments on the update.

As allways, you can also follow my posts at the lotroreporter network.

More news on the LM update

21 Oct

Yesterday the Executive Producer for LOTRO, Kate “Nereid” Paiz addressed the players with an open letter. From that letter there are some news for us Lore-masters. The next update, that will bring the mentioned Lore-Master changes, is slated for a November launch! You can read the full letter here.

Also, the developer who’s in charge of the Lore-Master revision, Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang, has hinted a few more on the changes to the class. So, besides the changes i mentioned in my earlier post, it is suggested that the trait “Hardy Bear” could be changed to “Hardy Pet”, although that’s not confirmed there is a strong hint leading to that conclusion in the forums (check the bold letters).

Also, in the recent Warcry Dev Chat, Rask said:

Question: The class revamp month’s will we see buff’s to each class or nerf’s? for example currently I find my Minstrel lacking compared to the rune-keepers ability to keep the group healed for less power usage.
Raskolnikov Mostly buffs! I can’t speak to specific changes for the Minstrel (as we haven’t gotten to that class yet). But having made a lot of changes to the Lore-master, I can say that 90% of those changes have been buffs. Our goal is to polish each class, and nearly all of the time when we polish it’s by buffing a class (because nerfing stinks, even though it is sometimes necessary).

So, 90% are buffs… that leaves 10% for nerfs? This is what Rask answered:

We’re not nerfing Lore-masters because of Cold-bear.
We’re not nerfing “Master of the Staff”.
We’re not nerfing “Sword and Staff”.

The only reason I’m not saying “We didn’t nerf anything,” is because I’m sure some people will perceive something as a nerf. “I can’t believe you nerfed ‘Knowledge of the Lore-master’ so that it can’t be used in combat anymore!”

That’s that mean the the Knowledge of the Lore-master skill will be made out of combat only? Or was that just an example? Let’s hope it’s the later, since i use that skill a lot when doing new dungeons.

Also, and maybe more important, there was a hint to new skills in an earlier Sapience post. Ever since the recent “skill upgrades” that came with levels 62 and 64 (which most Lore-masters found to be, at the very least, uninteresting), the forumites took that sentence with a grain of salt. Biggest concern was that the new Summoning Appearance Skills would be the new skills hinted and, as such, would not bring anything new to the Lore-master combat arsenal. This is what Rask had to say:

The “new skills” are not just the pet appearance skills.
Also, if you’re looking for more clues about what will be in the Dev Diary, just read through the “Tell the Community Team – Lore-master Feedback” thread. That’s where we got most of our ideas.

The “Tell the Community Team – Lore-master Feedback” thread is here, if you are interested. There are some good ideas there, so I’m hopeful.

As always, I’ll try to keep you posted if any more news come up.

One more thing. Yesterday i forgot to mention, but you can also follow the Staff-Strike’s posts at the Lotro Reporter site.

Lore-Master changes on the way and some blog news.

19 Oct

Hello everyone.

Recently i was blessed with the gift of fatherhood, with two gorgeous baby girls. That’s the biggest reason for the slowdown on blog posts. And it has been worth every second. 🙂

Altough my posting time has been lowered, i still try to be on top of Lore-master (and Lotro) related news.

Yesterday, there was a very interesting post at the oficial LOTRO forums, by Sapience, when someone asked about the next patch contents:

Funny you should ask! There are a lot of great changes coming for the LM in the next update. Graalx2 and I were just discussing the dev diary this morning in fact. You’re going to have to wait a little bit to read it, but we both think LM’s are going to be really happy with the changes (and new skills!).

So now you know two things due in the next patch. Vault updates (you should see the Developer Diary for that on Thursday) and Lore-master changes (Dev Diary probably a couple weeks from now). I’ll even throw you a bone and let you know Rune-keepers will get some attention this update as well.

So, seems like the Lore-master is next in line after the last patch updates to the Hunter and Captain classes. There where already a few tidbits of information flowing out from the devs. This is what’s already planned:

– The diferent Lore-master pet appearances will be changed to a skill. So no more using necklaces for that appearance you love so much.

– Blinding Flash will have an interrupt component to the skill. So even if a creature is immune to mezzing (Bosses, for example) they can still be interrupted. But there is a catch: The regular Blinding Flash immunities will apply, meaning that the Dead and Creatures of Nature will still be immune to the interrupt.

– New pet food. I was digging around the Lorebook and found these little items: Cut of Lean Meat, Handful of Hearty Seeds and Bowl of Fresh Water. I would guess that they will work just like the Honey and Oats work on the Bear pet.

Let’s wait on the Dev Diary in a couple of weeks.

Blog updated with F2P skill changes

6 Sep

Hello all!

The blog was updated with the changes incoming with 8th of September patch. Some comments will be out of place, since they will refer to skills that are now acquired at different levels.

Some skills that where acquired at higher levels are now updated as well. You can check Test of Will and Cracked Earth now, just follow the links.

Another interesting change with the next patch, its the change in levels when you get Sign of Power: Wizardry and the Raven. Since they now come at level 2, you can start flanking at that level. That will increase young lore-master’s survivability alot in the early levels.

Hope you find the changes useful. Since most posts where changed, same things might be wrong (although i double checked!) so if you see something wrong, please comment.

If you are new to the blog and to the lore-master class, welcome. 🙂

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