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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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Traits – Levels 1-10

21 Apr

Its time to talk traits. Traits will enhance you your Lore-Master and some might be game changing. This is Lotro’s way to differentiate players of the same class and different playstyles. They can go so deep as to change the whole classes role. Later we will talk about trait lines, but for starters we’ll talk about the four traits you can start earning in the first 10 levels.

This is what Turbine has to say about traits:

As you progress through the game, you will earn Traits. Traits are gained by completing Deeds, by completing quests and (occasionally) simply by leveling. Each Trait falls into one of four categories: Virtue, Class, Racial and Legendary.

You can only have a few Traits active at a time. As your level increases, you gain more slots for Traits, so you can have more active Traits. To activate a Trait, see a Bard in any major city.

We will only talk specifically about Class Traits and Legendary traits later on.

As soon as you leave the intro instance, you can start to learn traits by using your specific class skills. When you use that specific class skill “x” times, you will earn a class Trait. It’s then your choice to slot it or not, enhancing or changing a specific skill. Class Trait slots are limited in total and in level (your first class trait slot will open at level 15). But for knowledge on class traits in general you should visit the lorebook or some other generic Lotro resource, like Lotro-Wiki.

Traits you can learn from at the start, right after you leave the intro instance:

Light of Hope: This is a great little trait. If you are healing (or soloing) it will practically half the morale cost of your Beacon of Hope skill, as well as lowering its cooldown to 20s and taking one whole second from its induction, making it take only half a second to cast. Use Beacon of Hope 600 times.

Master of Beasts: Increases the duration of the Sign of the Wild skills (Protection and Rage) and lessens the power cost of those same skills. It will also remove negative effects from your pet, like Disease, Poison, Fear or Wound. It’s one of the weakest traits in this trait line and should only be used as a filler. Sign of the Wild skills already have a long duration and low power cost, so increasing the duration a little but and marginal decrease in power cost are a bit redundant. The negative effect removal is also not very useful (you can probably remove half of those with your own skills). Use Sign of the Wild: Protection 500 times.

Master of the Staff : This is one of those super-traits. I still slot it most of the times, even when I am on a debuffing role or healer role, if there’s a slot to spare. First it will raise your morale by 5%, at higher levels this increase alone is pretty noticeable. It will change your Staff Strike skill to the Improved Staff Strike one and what an improvement it is. First it will deal extra damage on a flanked enemy, but also consuming the flanked event so you cannot heal and deal extra damage on the same flanked mob. It will also stun the mob if it crits. To help with that, the critical change is increase by flat 20% (bringing it over the melee cap, if you ever reach it).Damage is increase by 25% on normal hits and It will deal 50% more damage on critical hits and devastating critical hits. Its pretty awesome if you like to melee with your Lore-Master (I know I do). Use Staff Strike 600 times.

Power and Wisdom: This trait will buff your Power of Knowledge skill (the one you use to draw power from your enemies). It will decrease its cooldown, increasing the length of the channel effect (so you will spend a little more time drawing power from your enemy) and double the power yield from the skill. With this trait on, my Power of Knowledge skill usually fills about 75-80% of my power bar. So if you are grouping, specially at end-game its one those traits that will help you keeping your power and your fellowships power up. Draw power from your enemies 250 times.

As you progress through the game, you will earn Traits. Traits are gained by completing Deeds, by completing quests and (occasionally) simply by leveling. Each Trait falls into one of four categories: Virtue, Class, Racial and Legendary.

You can only have a few Traits active at a time. As your level increases, you gain more slots for Traits, so you can have more active Traits. To activate a Trait, see a Bard in any major city.

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