What is a Champion?
Champions wear medium (and later, heavy) armour and fight their enemies by swinging their two melee weapons, using their built-in Dual Wielding skill and a plethora of fun attack skills.
Fervour and Damage Management
Fervour is the mechanism that allows a Champion to use their special brand of offensive skills in LOTRO. There are essentially two types of Fervour skills: types that add to your Fervour meter and types of skills that subtract from it. For example, Wild Attack is an early skill you can use to build up your Fervour meter while Savage Strikes is an early attack skill that actually costs Fervour points.
Getting it to work goes like this:
Remember that not every Champion skill costs the same amount of Fervour, making it important to read skill descriptions. These can be found by pressing "K" on the keyboard and holding your mouse pointer over each skill for its description text.
Of course, there are other ways to generate Fervour in combat – such as with the toggle skill named, fittingly enough, Fervour.
As you can see by the Fervour description text, the actual Fervour skill will help generate those all-important Fervour points in combat by adding one point every 5 seconds in combat. This effect lasts as long as you keep Fervour active – it's a toggle skill, and not a one-off ability – but a Champion using Fervour also loses the ability to Evade, Parry or Block incoming attacks and takes a -30% hit to incoming healing from other classes.
Fervour is great for solo play but a Champion that joins a fellowship may find the Ardour toggle skill a better option. With Ardour a Champion still gains boosted power and Fervour generation but at a lower rate, while also benefitting from a boost to all Critical Defense ratings. This makes Ardour a slightly more defensive stance, which some Champions may find useful when playing in a fellowship that doesn't have a primary defensive class like the Guardian or Warden.
Area of Effect
Area of Effects (AoEs) are those high-damage attack skills Champions specialize in. The concept revolves around the idea that when a Champion swings their weapons around, they damage everything in their path – but it really depends on the skill you're using.
The key to playing a Champion is to know your AoE skills. While playing, pay attention and learn which skills hit a single target, which skills hit in a circular area and which skills strike mobs within a half-circle arc in front of your character – just like the above images.
A great place to start learning about different Champion AoEs (and skills) is by reading the skill descriptions. This can be done by holding your cursor over any skill within your Skill Panel or on your hot bar.
One last quick-tip! For Champions, the easiest way to arrange skills on the hotbar is by Fervour generation – we recommend a low-to-high arrangement. Your two main Fervour-building skills are Wild Attack and Swift Strike, so put those on the first two numbered keys. Other skills that cost Fervour, like Savage Strikes and Blade-storm, are better placed on the 4 through 0 keys as you learn them from Skill Trainers throughout LOTRO.
That's all for our Champion 101 guide, but expect to see more LOTRO guides in the coming weeks as we continue releasing more New Player content!