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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

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 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 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.

Level 1

21 Jun

My goal with this blog will be to get in deep with the Lore-master’s skillset. I’ll go into detail on every skill that the Lore-master has at its disposal. I will start from the bottom. And here’s the Lore-master’s Level 1 skills:

Staff-Strike: The Skill that lends its name to this blog. Throughout the game this will be your only melee (weapon-based, face-to-face combat) skill. At this level it’s just what it is: you whack your foes with your staff. We will come back to this skill at level 15 when you can acquire the trait for Improved Staff-Strike.

Sign of Power: Command: This is your first Sign of Power skill. It’s a simple skill with some powerful uses. This skill will decrease the speed at which your enemy attacks you (+20% attack duration).  This will make the enemy with this sign do, effectively, 20% less damage on you or, in other words, your enemy’s damage will be cut in one fifth. It will also reduce the chances of your enemy parrying an attack. Since this skill has a very short cooldown and a somewhat long duration, it can be kept on a few enemies on the battlefield at the same time. This skill has another advantage: You can use it before you start the fight since this skill will not enable combat.

Burning Embers: This will probably be every Lore-masters bread and butter skill. It’s a medium-damage, single-target fire attack. It has a small-induction, so it cannot be used on the run. But it has two very attractive secondary effects: First, it will slow your enemy down by 30%. This will enable you to outrun your foe and gain some distance to fire more attacks without being damaged or interrupted; Secondly it has a Damage over Time component that will keep hurting (burning) your enemy for a while after the first attack. You can always refresh the burn (Damage over time or DOT) by throwing another burning ember on your foe.

In-Game Tooltips from the actual skills:

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