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.

Skills/Classes
General

  • 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”.

Lore-master

  • 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.

Cooking

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

Jeweller

  • 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.
    Prospector.

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. 🙂

Free To Play – Skill Level Changes Chart

2 Sep

Hello everyone. As you know the new LOTRO patch will launch on September 10th (or 8th if you are in the headstart). This new patch will bring some changes to the levels which skills are acquired. This changes go all the way up to level 30. I will change the Blog in the next days to represent this changes. I’ve also compiled a small chart with the skills that will change in levels:

F2P Skill Level Chart

There are some very welcome changes. Specially the Sign of Power: Wizardry and Raven-lore change, so now young lore-masters can start flanking at level 2! That will bring some much-needed survivability at the early levels. Some group skills moved to higher levels and damaging and healing skills moved down to lower levels.

Good news.

Level Skill Group Old Level
1 Burning Embers Fury of Nature 1
1 Staff-Strike Melee Skills 1
1 Sign of Power: Command Signs of Ancient Magics 1
2 Raven-Lore Friend of the Animals 4
2 Sign of Battle: Wizardry Signs of Ancient Magics 14
4 Inner Flame Healing and Motivation 16
4 Sign of the Wild: Rage Signs of Ancient Magics 8
6 Test of Will Lost Knowledge 26
6 Sign of the Wild: Protection Signs of Ancient Magics 6
8 Gust of Wind Fury of Nature 12
8 Beacon of Hope Healing and Motivation 4
10 Leechcraft Cures of the House of Healing 10
10 Blinding Flash Lost Knowledge 10
12 Fire-Lore Lore of the Second Age 2
12 Wind-Lore Lore of the Second Age 8
14 Friend of Bears Friend of the Animals 14
14 Cracked Earth Fury of Nature 22
16 Tend the Sick Cures of the House of Healing 16
16 Power of Knowledge Lost Knowledge 6
18 Light of the Rising Dawn Fury of Nature 18
18 Bane Flare Lost Knowledge 18
20 Knowldge of the Lore-Master Lore of the Second Age 20
20 Wisdom of the Council Lost Knowledge 20
22 Share the Power Lost Knowledge 24
24 Sign of Power: Righteousness Signs of Ancient Magics 28
26 Warding Knowledge: Dead Lost Knowledge 28
28 Ancient Wisdom Lost Knowledge 30
30 Lynx-Speech Friend of the Animals 30

Back from Holidays

29 Aug

Hello everyone! Staffstrike is back from some much needed holidays. As you know, September 10th (or 8th if you are a current or former subscriber) is marked by the Volume 3, Book 2 launch along with the move to Free to Play. With this launch some of the early lore-master skills have been shuffled and some changes will be made.

Expect those changes to be reflected on the blog soon. 🙂

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.

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