Rise of Isengard – Learning How to Play a Minstrel All Over Again
Hello! This post is about the Rise of Isengard expansion and how it changes Minstrels. There are a LOT of changes coming to the game in terms of stats/ratings and general gameplay, and while I will touch on them briefly, this post is mainly about the revamp to the Minstrel class. There will be a lot of screenshots and a lot of complicated explanation. Moreover, I’m not an objective observer, so you’ll notice my obvious bias coming into play in some cases. Please forgive me and feel free to skip over my personal opinions, or argue about why I am wrong wrong wrong.
I’m posting this because I want to help the Minstrel community learn about the changes to our class. I’ve tried my best to cover everything, but I’m sure I missed something. Please comment to fill in any blanks I forgot or if I made a mistake somewhere! I’d like this to be an evolving resource.
Also, please note that everything here is subject to change. This is still a beta build I’m talking about on Bullroarer and our lovely developer may decide to change something based on feedback and bug reports before launch.
This will be broken up into parts for easier reading, although everything is obviously interconnected and I will refer back and forth.
III. Healing Mechanics
IV. DPS Mechanics
Enjoy the read! (There is no tl;dr version of this post, sorry!)
The Rise of Isengard expansion reminds me a bit of the Mines of Moria expansion in that we have so many new traits that it may take people awhile to get used to them and learn what they do. We still have the familiar traitlines, though. However, there is now a distinct difference between our two “healing” traitlines that makes us more specialized depending on how we trait.
-The Watcher of Resolve
The Watcher of Resolve line has become the undisputed preferred line of the pure healer. The traits in this line are all great for a healing Minstrel that doesn’t want to do much besides pure healing. Traiting 7-WoR will no longer be unheard of, I think, because the traits are just that good.
Let’s take a look at them!
It used to be that this trait was my savior when healing and trying to maintain my power. Instead of giving -10% Healing Power Costs, it now gives +10% Chance to Score Critical Heals and +1% Healing Bonus From All Ballad Buffs (see Healing Mechanics for a more detailed explanation of what that +1% means). Frankly, I miss the old –power cost trait because even with our new power return on Coda under the effects of Anthem of Composure, healing at level 75 is VERY power intensive. However, an extra 10% chance to crit heal is very nice. If you have a regular crit chance of 1 in 10 heals, then this trait will raise it to 2 in 10 heals, on average.
The second part of the trait helps your baseline outgoing healing. Every time you use a ballad, the ballad buffs you a certain amount of outgoing healing. With this trait in, each ballad you put up will give you an extra 1% outgoing healing, so that with all of your ballads up you’ll have an extra 3% outgoing healing. So while I will miss the power savings, this is still a nice trait.
This trait used to modify our songs, decreasing the cooldown on them by 20%. I really like the old version of this trait because it affected Lay/Lyric of the Hammerhand, Song of Soothing, Song of the Dead, Fellowship’s Heart, Song of Vigour, and Song of Balance. However, Song of the Hammerhand is now a completely different skill, Song of Vigour and Song of Balance are gone for good, and the cooldown on Fellowship’s Heart has been drastically reduced. I will really miss being able to get Song of Soothing down to 25 seconds from 30 and Song of the Dead down to 18 seconds (with the legacy). Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
Now this trait adds +25% healing to critical heals. Paring this trait with Life-singer makes it pretty powerful in terms of healing more. I believe that if a Minstrel can get a nice high crit chance that they’ll be able to really increase their healing output.
This is one of the few traits that hasn’t changed. This is still a great trait for healing, reducing our inductions by -10%. It is a must-trait for any main-healing Minstrel.
This trait, too, remains the same as it always has been. I like this trait and will use it whenever I have the space to slot it, especially if I am in a group without any other people who could potentially rez in-combat.