The Basics: Attunement
The Rune-keeper is able to use healing skills and damage-dealing skills. Before explaining the specific skills, I'll explain the system that makes a Rune-keeper tick: Attunement.
Try thinking of the Attunement system's inner-workings as though it were a car, which moves in two general directions: forwards and backwards. Like a car, Attunement moves in two general directions.
Let's extend this metaphor so that moving backward is like casting a series of damaging skills, and moving forward is like casting several healing skills. Just like applying gas to speed up in a car, casting damage-dealing skills builds up backwards momentum, but also makes it more difficult to begin moving in the opposite direction – or, in this metaphor, towards healing.
Casting a Rune-keeper's damaging skills increases your damage Attunement, which also opens up skills with high damage potential. However, this also blocks a Rune-keeper from their healing skills, and vice-versa for damage skills, if you start throwing around healing skills.
This isn't a permanent choice, however, as Attunement will always gradually revert to Neutral whenever a Rune-keeper refrains from casting either healing or damage skills.
The Early Levels
For the first twenty levels or so, newbie Rune-keepers should be learning the ins and outs of how their class functions. Examine a new skill upon learning it, which is done easily via the pop-up tip occurred by hovering your mouse cursor over a skill icon. You can also open your skill window by pressing "K" on your keyboard.
Once you know how a skill works, the next step is experimenting with it in combat. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and get a little messy. The key to success with any new class is knowing how your skills do – and don't – work!
Rune of Restoration is every Rune-keeper's best buddy! Try to use this skill before every fight, because you'll only be setting yourself up for success. The healing stone stays true to its name and heals nearby allies, but it can also be used as a handy decoy.
In solo play, often times mobs see the stone as a threat, and will ignore you in order to destroy it. This can be very useful for those times when you accidentally pull an extra mob into your fight!
Beginner Rune-keeper Tips
• Learn what skills strike in an "Area of Effect" (AoE) and which do not. AoE skills always break any stuns put on mobs.
• When you begin to join fellowships with other players, remember to always ask what role the group would like you to play: Damage-dealer or Healer? It's important to know before the battles begin!
• Always reorganize your hot bar skills! Everyone figures out a different system that works for them, but the important thing is to find a method that makes sense to you. I tend to prioritize the 1-5 keys for my most-used skills.
That's it for the Rune-keeper 101 Guide, but be on the lookout for future guides for all things LOTRO!