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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!


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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