By Kyle Horner
This guide is for brand new players in The Lord of the Rings Online™ who are interested in playing the Captain class. Inside Captain 101 is information that covers the first ten levels, tips for combat, specific skills for Captains and basics about hotbar management.
Before continuing, we suggest reading our brief guide Eight Essential MMO Terms if you haven't already.
What is a Captain?
Captains have two core elements: they wield powerful support skills that can turn the tide of a battle, and they summon computer-controlled companions to fight by their side.
Beyond these two elements, Captains are also known for being incredibly versatile and capable of supporting every member of a LOTRO fellowship. Captains can make a good group of players great and a great group of players amazing.
Know Your Buffs
Taken from our Eight Essential MMO Terms, a buff is:
• Buff – A temporary boost to a character, usually improving health or another core statistic that improves weapon or skill attack damage. Kind of like drinking a highly caffeinated beverage, only without the drawbacks!
If you're visiting the Captain Trainer every even level (2, 4, 6 etc), by level ten, your Captain should know three buff skills. These particular skills can only be used after defeating an enemy in combat (or when certain skills like Battle-shout and Pressing Attack are used) and they are:
Part of mastering a Captain involves knowing when to use buffs. Low on Morale? Use Rallying Cry. Plus if you're in a Fellowship, it also restores the Morale of surrounding allies!
Get To Know Your Herald
At level 10, Captains can learn Call to Arms: Herald of War. This ability summons a single companion and is crucial to a healthy solo career.
The Herald's passive ability (called Banner of War) gives your Captain and anyone in your fellowship a bonus to Might and Agility. And just what does that mean?
Might and Agility are two of the five main attributes every character in LOTRO possesses. For this explanation, however, let's focus on Might and Agility:
• Might -- Increases your ability to block incoming attacks with a shield, parry incoming attacks, or cause greater damage with a weapon. Might also reduces incoming common damage
• Agility -- Increases your ability to evade and parry incoming attacks, adds to the intensity of your ranged damage, and increases your chance to critically hit a foe with common damage (ranged or melee). Agility also improves your general chance to hit a foe.
In short, the Herald of War skill generally causes you (and your allies) to hit harder and more often!
Let's cover some basic hotbar organization for Captains. Here's how I've got my Captain setup:
Notice the icons with C+1, A+1 and S+1 floating above the primary bottom hotbar in the above image. These letters correspond to the Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys found on PC keyboards.
It's important to utilize hotbar space in LOTRO; being organized will help to keep your wits about you during hectic combat. This is especially important when reaching higher levels where hotbars can become filled with all kinds of useful things. Before you know it – usually around level 30 and above – your hotbars will be filled with a wide variety of skills and items.
Along the primary hotbar keys (1-0 keys) you'll see I've set Battle-shout for my opening skill with Devastating Blow and Pressing Attack set to follow up. But feel free to experiment with what you prefer, as nobody usually plays exactly like everyone else.
That's all for Captain 101, but be on the lookout for more New Player Guides down the road!