This guide is intended for those new to the Lore-master class, or those considering creating a Lore-master.
A gentle introduction to the Lore-master class
So you want to be a He… er… Lore-master? The Lore-master class is a complex blend of crowd control, debuffs, damage and healing. Even though you can stand strong on your own, your role in groups is primarily one of support. If you are looking for a thinking person’s class, this one is for you.
If you are looking for a damage-dealer class, consider a Hunter or Champion. Though the Lore-master can deal a fair amount of damage, it is not a nuke class and cannot in any way approach the sustained damage capabilities of a Hunter or Champion.
If you are looking for a simple class to play, consider something else, anything else. In order to play the class effectively, you will need to utilize each skill and know when and how to use it. Each fight with the Lore-master can be unique as you have multiple ways of approach the same situation. If you do not want to think, this is not your class.
There is an immense difference between a good Lore-master and a great Lore-master. Although equipment does play a role, a bigger role is played by the effective use of each and every skill available. Knowledge is power.
The Lore-master wears light armor and has little in the way of self-heals while starting out. The best approach not to die is to prevent damage from being done in the first place. This prevention comes in the form of crowd control (daze, root, stun) and debuffs. Learn to use these effectively in order to keep yourself alive.
At lower levels you may have problems staying alive. My advice is to make sure you are using combat control and debuffs the best you can. Make use of flanked heals at level 14 and later (read the later section on this). Use your pet to take down a single mob quickly.
Although it is the “pet class” of the game, your pet is not meant to stand on his own. Your pet is meant primarily to enhance your damage output and possibly supplement your debuff skills. Keeping your pet alive will add to your own survivability, especially since you can heal your pet with Beacon of Hope, but not yourself.
A walkthrough of your skills, level by level
At level 1, you can gain access to the Staff-strike, Sign of Power: Command and Burning Embers. These will all be crucial in leveling up. The melee attack Staff-strike is the foundation of your melee damage and, because of its cheap power cost and zero morale cost, should generally be used whenever its cooldown is expired. The debuff Sign of Power: Command does not draw agro, so it should be used before fights begin. The ranged attack Burning Embers applies a slow and a damage over time effect on the enemy, and can be used on melee mobs to deal a good amount of damage before they can even reach you.
At level 2, you get Fire-lore. This wreaks havoc on the melee damage of enemies and can be applied to several at once. Having this and Sign of Power: Command applied to a target will reduce its damage by about 50%!
At level 4, you get Beacon of Hope. This can be used to heal your pet or allies but cannot be used to heal yourself. This will be the primary way to keep your pet alive.
At level 4, you get access to your first pet, the Raven. This little guy is awesome. Keep him alive with Beacon of Hope and use him to increase your damage on enemies. And although The Raven is an entertaining poem, please be creative and resist the urge to name him Nevermore.
At level 8, you get Wind-lore. This is the companion skill to Fire-lore, since this one very effectively deals with ranged attackers by applying a -50% ranged damage debuff. If you are unable to mez all ranged targets use this to reduce their damage until you can deal with them.
At level 10, you get your staple combat control spell Blinding Flash. When attacking multiple targets, use this skill to neutralize one mob while killing off his friends. If the initial Blinding Flash expires, apply it again. You will use this skill a lot. Remember, the key to your survival is preventing damage. Unfortunately, Undead and Creatures of Nature are immune to this skill.
At level 12, you get Gust of Wind, which is a decent area of effect ranged attack spell which applies a debuff with a 2 minute duration.
At level 14, you get access to the Bear. Try him out and see if you like him. Eventually, he gains a forced taunt ability and a stun ability, which you can use to keep agro off of you. He is also more durable than the Raven.
At level 14, you also get access to Sign of Power: Wizardry. This can be used when your pet flanks an enemy to give yourself a moderate heal. This is so important and makes such a difference in survivability that I’ve added a section down below about it.
At level 18, you get Light of the Rising Dawn. This has a relatively short induction, a 30 second cooldown and applies a 3 second stun to the target as well as a significant amount of damage. Use it all the time!
At level 18, you also get Bane Flare. This is an area of effect 15 second mez on undead targets, which are immune to Blinding Flash. During the first 5 seconds, damage will not break the mez, so it is like a 5 second stun with an optional 10 second mez.
At level 20, you get the Wisdom of the Council self-heal. This is a massive self-heal for very little power on a 10 minute cooldown. If you didn’t get the Undying title, you will probably wish this skill was available sooner. Use it as an emergency heal or to take down hard mobs.
At level 22, you get the ranged attack Cracked Earth which applies a delayed root. This can be very useful against groups of mobs. Be aware that when a mob your pet is attacking becomes rooted, your pet will stop attacking it until you issue the attack command again.
At level 24, you will get Share the Power which perhaps should have been named Become an Extension of Other Players’ Power Bars. In some groups, you will be expected to give other people power. Although you have many other abilities, in the eyes of other players, your role will often be thought of as only having this skill. Use it wisely. It is often best to keep Minstrels from going powerless, while other classes are much lower priorities. Don’t give power to Champions. Tell them I said you weren’t allowed.
At level 26, you get Test of Will which is a 5 second stun with a long induction and moderate damage. Consider using this as an opener to get in a few hits before the mob even has a chance to hit you.
At level 28, you get Sign of Power: Righteousness. This skill cures and prevents stuns, and also cures silence. Use it wisely.
At level 30, you get your third pet, the Lynx. He is primarily for damage dealing, and doesn’t really shine until he is able to use all three of his attacks. You may or may not wish to ditch the raven or bear for him.
At level 32, you can resurrect fallen allies with Back from the Brink. You will need the component Sweet Shire-leaf and be out of combat to do this, but it has no cooldown. Keep a stack of Sweet Shire-leaf on your person at all times.
At level 34, you get Call to the Valar. This oft-overlooked skill resets a bunch of your cooldowns, but not Wisdom of the Council. It can come in handy for raids and tough battles, but you probably won’t be using it a lot while leveling.
At level 36, you get Herb-lore. This is used to root multiple targets at once. Since it has no induction and a quick animation, it can be useful to separate melee mobs away from the group.
At level 42, you get Ancient Craft. This is a pre-requisite of the level 50 spell Lightning Storm, but it is also very powerful by itself. It reduces the mitigation of all damage types by a significant amount. The effect of which causes your enemies to take about 10-15% more damage from all attacks while this is active.
At level 46, you get Sticky Tar. Less useful in groups, this can be used very effectively while soloing a single tough mob. After you cast it, run to one side and cast ranged attacks and wait for the mob to reach you. When it does reach you, run to the other side and repeat.
At level 48, you get Storm-lore, an area of effect fast cast stun with no induction. Surely you can see how useful this is.
At level 50, you get Lightning Storm. To cast this, you must first cast Ancient Craft on the mob. Only then will you be able to cast the spell and reign electric death upon your enemies.
Healing yourself with flanked heals
Your pet has the ability to apply the Flanked effect on an enemy. Your pet will do this randomly and automatically. The position of your pet in relation to the mob has no effect on this. When this happens, you have 7 seconds to use Sign of Power: Wizardry to apply a moderate self heal. The Raven and the Eagle flank much more than the other pets. If you have combat indicators turned on, you will see 2 pink arrows across the mob when your pet applies this effect. You will also hear a sound which I can only describe as a low pitched “bwahhhh.” If you don’t know what to look for, have your Raven attack a mob by himself and watch for this effect to occur. It should happen fairly quickly with this pet.
While leveling up, damage output should be your biggest equipment concern. Find yourself the highest dps staff you can, even at the expense of a few morale or fate points. The difference between a 13 dps weapon and a 12 dps weapon is about 8%. That extra 30 morale on the 12 dps weapon will never be able to make up for the hit in damage output.
Secondarily, increase your morale as best you can. You will be primarily fighting many short fights lasting a minute or less, so in-combat morale regeneration is secondary to max morale. You shouldn’t have problems with using up all of your power on smaller fights.
Finally, increase fate when you can. This will increase both your tactical critical hit chance and your morale and power regeneration in combat.
As a final note, don’t spend too much time trying to optimize your equipment (unless you enjoy it, of course). You will be leveling pretty quickly so your equipment will be upgraded on a fairly consistent basis. There’s really no need to visit the auction house for equipment. The quest rewards are often the best choices at lower levels. The one exception to this would be for a good staff. I would definitely suggest looking at the auction house for a staff with the highest dps. Sometimes they are very cheap, and they can make a huge difference.
The important traits
While leveling up, you will probably want to acquire specific traits which increase your damage as soon as you can.
Master of the Staff (level 1)
Use Staff-strike to acquire this.
This changes Staff-strike into Improved Staff Strike, which does more damage for the same amount of power and has the same cooldown. It also has a chance to stun enemies. Since Staff-strike is at the core of your damage output, this is probably your most important trait.
Light of Hope (level 1)
Use Beacon of Hope to acquire this.
This reduces the cooldown on Beacon of Hope from 30 seconds to 20 seconds. It also makes the induction almost nothing and cuts down on the morale cost. I like it because it allows me to heal my pet or other party member more often.
Beast-lore (level 10)
Use Sign of the Wild: Rage to acquire this.
I liked this skill and always used it when leveling up, some others do not. It increases the effectiveness of your pets. Give it a shot.
Flame of Anor (level 30)
Complete your level 30 class quest for this.
This increases the damage on your fire skills (Burning Embers and Cracked Earth) by 10%. I think it’s worth using.
Sword and Staff (level 39)
Complete the legendary book Lore of the Blade to acquire this.
At level 41, you get your first legendary trait slot. As soon as you get this skill, it should go in that slot never ever leave. Ever!
Eagle-friend (level 45)
Complete both of your level 45 class quests to acquire this.
The eagle has about the same flank rate as the raven. It also has a +1 ICPR buff that is applied to your party, a fear attack, and can resurrect the Lore-master if he dies and the Eagle is still alive (though this is tricky).
The other traits are really up to you.
These are very unlikely to play any significant role in your character unless you actively do specific ones while leveling up. The virtues Valour and Justice are generally the most equipped. Use your judgment for the others.