By Kyle Horner
This guide is for new players in The Lord of the Rings Online™ who are interested in the Lore-master class. Below, we’ll focus on the first ten levels, debuffs and some basics of hotbar management. Before continuing, we suggest reading our brief guide Eight Essential MMO Terms if you haven't already.
What is a Lore-master?
In the world of LOTRO, Lore-masters are known as masters of "Crowd Control" (CC) and animal companions, powerful allies they command in combat. The Lore-master is considered an advanced class and because of this its play-style is more involved than some other classes. Largely, Lore-masters don't specialize in delivering heavy damage or wearing heavy armor.
Debuff, Debuff, Debuff!
A core tenant of being a Lore-master is throwing around debuff skills. Practically every single Lore-master skill has a debuff element tied to it that slows, stuns, or in some way reduces a foe’s ability.
Here are a few examples:
Maintaining an ongoing series of debuff skills is the key to success with a Lore-master, second only to learning which order they should be used. But, for these early levels, just get used to the idea of constantly pressing your 1 through 0 keys to maintain those debuffs!
A Lore-master's pet is just as important as proper use of their debuff skills. Until level 14 Lore-masters only have access to their raven pet. At higher levels, Lore-masters unlock additional pets that possess their own unique set of capabilities and skills.
You don't need to worry about directing your raven with commands yet, although you should feel free to tinker with the Lore-master's pet commands if you'd like to become familiar with them earlier rather than later.
Tip! Feel free to practicing flanking, becase some Lore-master skills involve flanking the enemy. This essentially means getting a mob positioned between your attacks and your pet. Think of it like making a "Mob Sandwich" if you like!
At low-level your Raven isn't meant to hold onto the enemies' threat, and thus serves best with Sign of the Wild: Rage active to increase damage output. Just be sure you don't let an enemy strike your raven too much or you'll soon be without your flapping companion.
Because the Lore-master has a deep reliance on the way skills interact with one another, your skill order is going to be incredibly important. A solid early skill order is Test of Will >> Burning Embers >> Staff-strike.
The skill Inner Flame is handy in a pinch; specifically, when you're low on health and need your pet to finish off your foe. This is when having Sign of the Wild: Rage active becomes incredibly useful – because while you're channeling that groovy healing mojo your raven can peck and flap your way to victory!
There's some room for preference when it comes to Lore-master hotbar arrangement, but generally speaking I'd recommend keeping your non-combat-essential skills on the second hotbar above the primary that's attached to the 1 through 0 keys.
The reason I make that suggestion is simple: you don't regularly need to summon your pet or cast Sign of the Wild: Rage – or even use Inner Flame to heal yourself and your pet. Meanwhile, having a couple healing draughts on your "-" and "=" keys can really come in handy when you're in the middle of a tussle and finding Morale or Power lower than you'd like.
It's all about prioritizing – keep your most-activated skills on those first seven or eight keys, right where your fingers can get at them.
That's all for Lore-master 101, but don't fret: we'll have more guides on the pet-summoning, debuff tossing class in the future!