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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.

Conclusion

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!

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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.

18-LotRD_tb

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).

18-LotRD

18-BaneFlare_tb

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.

18-BaneFlare

Level 16

6 Aug

Before we start with level 16, Lore-master’s will be able to do their first class-quest at level 15. It’s not a simple quest. Requires some thinking and some use of lore-master only abilities. I just started a Lore-master on the Landroval server (The name is Galaenath) with the sole purpose of doing the level 15 and level 30 class quests, so look forward to a dedicated post about them soon.  If you find me, say hi! 🙂

Back to our schedule. Level 16 Lore-master receive two of their class defining abilities: Tend the Sick and Power of Knowledge.

Tend the Sick: This skill is both very similar to Leechcraft, with a minor twist. It enables you to cure your selected target from disease’s. Unlike Leechcraft though, it is possible to cure diseases in-combat. It will remove any 3 diseases from your target, up to 5 levels above your own. It will also add a substantial amount of disease resist rating for 1 minute, so you or your target will be less likely to be affected by diseases for the duration of that effect.

TIP: The trait Proof Against All Ill’s also affects Tend the Sick the same way it affects Leechcraft. It will make it a fellowship wide disease removal.

Tend the Sick at level 20

Power of Knowledge: This skill will enable the Lore-master to steal power from the enemies, replenishing the LM’s own power bar. This skill is a channelled skill, meaning that you have to stay sill while using it. It lasts 16s, so that’s 16s standing still without being able to use any of your own skills. You can interrupt the stealing channel anytime you want by moving, but that will cancel the channel and will put the skill on cooldown.

TIP: You can use your pet to distract or “tank” for you while you steal power.

TIP: Avoid using this skill if you are being attacked. It will “knock back” your induction bar and the channel won’t last as long. Immobilize your enemy first.

TIP: You can take adavantage of the Cracked Earth’s root effect to suck the power of a melee foe, since he can’t move.

Power of Knowledge 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.

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.


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.

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.

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