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  1. #1

    Class revamps: A proactive response

    This thread is a response to the impending class revamps mentioned in the Jan. 31 Producer’s Letter and again mentioned in the Feb.21 LOTRO Developer Twitter Chat. PKCrichton started a thread the day of the Producer’s letter where some folks discussed whether or not we, the lore-master community, should be worried about how it could affect the class that we play and love. Whether you are worried or not, there is potential here for a very significant change to the class. I therefore believe it best to err on the side of caution and make ourselves heard while we can still have influence.

    First, though, it is important to note that we do not know exactly what the developer’s intend to do with the lore-master class specifically. A history professor I once had would often say, “Where we know so little, we can speculate so much”. It is certainly true in this case. I could literally count on two hands the few, general sentences the developers have offered to us so far, and in no way can that communicate anything specific about plans involving nine distinct classes. Thus we are left to fill in the blanks with our imagination. I don’t have to tell you how foolish that can be. The developers, after all, are the ones who created this class five years ago and have evolved it over the years since. As Nyrion succinctly pointed out:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyrion View Post
    Far as I'm concerned, the Devs have always done good by the LM, and as such I'm not too worried about what they will do with it.

    That is a very valid and reasonable position. However, there is one particular sentence from the Developer Twitter Chat that, though still quite vague, gives me reason to worry. This is a response to question twenty-three by Jared Pruett, the developer who seems to be in charge of the class revamps:

    Quote Originally Posted by sapience View Post
    q23 mrwarg - can you give us any more information on the major class revamps taking place later in the year? #lotro
    a23 jared – our goal is to reduce the hybrid-homogenized nature of our classes while bringing definition and excitement to the primary role of each line. #lotro
    Again, this is only one sentence summarizing a massive, months-long project to revamp nine separate classes. However, since we do not have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions, all sorts of questions and worries come to mind. Does reducing hybrid-homogenization mean lessening how effectively a lore-master can heal? But a lot of soloing and 3-man instance techniques depend on those heals! Does bringing more definition to a lore-master’s role mean focusing the class more strictly on CC? But few groups even care about CC! Does it mean the lore-master will have its dps reduced? But sometimes traiting dps is the only way a group will take a LM! Speculation after speculation followed by concern after concern.

    Combine that with the Producer’s Letter, where Kate Paiz wrote:

    We’ll be pruning out skills that just feel disappointing in play and increasing the potency of others. The end result will be fewer skills, but a more profound impact on moment-to-moment play. How you choose to specialize your class will make a real difference!
    and things have the potential to get very worrisome. Who knows exactly what that means, but, in my mind, it leaves open the possibility that classes may get more streamlined. It’s not a bad goal necessarily—there are certainly some positive adjustments that can be made—but the fear is how far that streamlining will go as Goatgullad alluded to in his response. The joy of this class is in its complexity. A threat to that complexity, however small, is cause for concern. Like others have said and I second, every single skill and trait we currently have can be useful given the right situation. Why should any of them need to be pruned?

    Again, as I wrote above, this may be all for naught. There are some very good reasons to trust that the class is in good hands. However, in the absence of certainty, I believe it best to be proactive. john_anthony had this to say in the thread referenced above:

    Quote Originally Posted by john_anthony View Post
    this is a hugely worrying issue.

    i think the best thing we can do to head it off is to speak loudly and repeatedly (forum threads, dev chats, setting down markers on Palantir and Bullroarer, for those who are on those test servers) about not wanting the LM class dumbed down...

    I heartily agree.

    My intention for this thread, then, is to show exactly what makes the lore-master such a joy to play and create a resource for the developers while they re-examine the class. Hopefully, by showing them which elements endear the class to us, we can ensure those elements are preserved.

    I will use three approaches. First, I will give a brief, I hope, testimonial about why I choose to play this class and this game. Second, I will provide links to forum threads and blog posts from around the internet that show why other people find the class so enjoyable. The third is by encouraging you to contribute. This is a class played by thousands and thousands of people. I’m sure everyone gets their own unique joys from the class, but there are similar things that we all enjoy. Make yourself heard!
    Last edited by kriskrosed; Feb 22 2013 at 10:37 PM.
    85 LM Berewen, 85 Burg Balculus, 85 Guard Benferth

  2. #2
    Testimonial (Not that brief, apologies)

    I first began playing LOTRO in May 2007. I joined the Vilya server because it was recommended and chose a burglar as my first class because, of course, it’s Lord of the Rings. My character’s name was Balculus. A funny name, I know, but it came from a combination of two books I had sitting on my shelf at the time: The Ballplayers Encyclopedia (about baseball) and Calculus (a college textbook; as you can imagine, the subject was calculus). Baseball and math were two of my favorite things back then so Ball + culus became Balculus. Simple.

    The first thirtyish levels were tough, but, once I started grouping in Garth Agarwen, I fell in love with the class. There were so many things it could do! Dps, CC, FMs (nee CJs), debuffs, off-tanking, and on and on. Someone I grouped with once called it a strat class, and it seemed a perfect label. It was a class you had to think about. A lot. I spent hours doing so. I would read tooltips over and over, calculate how cooldowns might fit together, and ferret through the forums looking for nuggets of information. Even when I wasn’t playing the game, I would strategize when I had down time. How would I tackle an elite master that couldn’t be mezzed? How effectively could I influence threat management in a group? Every skill seemed to have a secondary effect; how would they fit together? The class had been designed so deeply, there seemed an endless combination of strategies to try.

    The joy came in applying all of that research and practice in group play. A minstrel and I (back when minstrels were the only healers) would pug quite a bit for things like Carn Dum and Uru. Time and again, the research and practice I’d done allowed me to save the group’s collective asses. Things like emergency FMs, getting aggro off the mini, helping out that bonehead who kept targeting the wrong mob, and taking pressure off the tank and mini. CC had to be done properly or someone in the pug would inevitably break the mez. These were the things I had spent time honing my skill at. As a burglar, I could adapt to almost any situation, but it took thought, research, practice, and timely execution. When it all came together, it was the ultimate joy I found in the game. The developers had created a class with so many complex tools that mastering their use felt like a real, honest to goodness accomplishment.

    After almost two years, well into the Moria release, I started a thread called Burglar Strategies. It was the first thread I ever started. I wasn’t sure how folks would respond, but the class still felt so complex that I felt there was more to learn. To my shock, it got a great response. Turns out others had the same passion for the class that I did. Even more shocking, I learned a lot. I was by no means an expert, but, after two years of steady play, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on the class. Turns out there were still techniques I had never considered. After two years! That was how deep the class had been designed. It was a delight and kept me playing and thinking about how these new techniques could be applied.

    Unfortunately, a few months afterward, time commitments forced me to stop subscribing. I missed the game, but it was for the best. The game never quite left me however. During slow moments, I would find myself reminiscing about particular experiences. Finally, about nine months ago, I had the opportunity to come back.

    I immediately returned to Balculus. Burglaring had been a lot of fun after all, and that fun had brought me back. The game had changed a bit though. Aggro ranges had become ridiculously small which marginalized sneaking. Avoidance and mitigation mechanics had changed so much that I felt a lot squishier than before. Weapon speed had disappeared which removed the endless dagger/mace debate. I actually missed that. The biggest disappointment, however, was how much more the class seemed to have come to depend on dps. I had spent a lot of time fighting to justify to myself that the class was more than just a single-target dps class. It still wasn’t completely, but I didn’t feel like fighting against the current anymore. I wanted to be able to focus more on support like I had fought to do before. So, begrudgingly, I turned to the lore-master.

    I say begrudgingly because, when it came to lore-masters, I’d always had a chip on my shoulder. I guess I’d always seen them as competition. They still come up today, but I remember a lot of threads back then asking the question: ‘Lore-master or Burg’? It was like a constant battle about which was the better strat class. Both were and still are excellent classes of course—they just go about things different ways. However, I’d fallen in with the crowd on the burg forum who felt underappreciated and slowly resigned myself to the belief that, given the choice, a group would take a lore-master before me. It wasn’t true of course, but I guess there are just times where we get a little crazy.

    On the positive side though, I knew exactly where to go to find that support niche again. I remembered starting a few classes on other servers and found I had created a lore-master named Berewen on Firefoot. She was level 28 which was good since I never really cared for leveling and wanted to do it as little as possible. So I logged her in and gave the lore-master thing a try.

    I immediately fell in love again. Everything I had missed about the game came rushing back. There was so much to do! Debuffs, CC, healing, aggro management, everything I had worked so hard to learn on Balculus was right there again. Even better, the adaptability I had grown to love as a burglar was there in the lore-master as well. I won’t go into detail since you all know what a lore-master is capable of, but let me opine once again about how the lore-master can do just about anything given enough time to prepare.

    Best of all, Berewen seemed even more complex and took just as much practice as Balculus had. I moved fast as a burglar, but I’d never had to use the keybound quickslots beyond 1-6. I soon found though, that to do everything I wanted to do I not only had to use 1-6, I had to use all of their shift, ctrl, and alt counterparts as well. This took time and practice to master. Further, the very nature of the debuffs meant I had to learn more about how monsters applied their damage. Is a mob melee? Ranged? Are their major hits tactical? Dividing the debuffs added complexity, the very thing I was looking for. Then there were the types of CC. Burgs only had one mez when I first played (they have two others plus a root now), and it only affected humanoid and dragon type enemies. As a lore-master, I had more options. Will a root take a mob out of a fight or does it have a ranged attack and require a mez? Better do my homework to find out. Again, layers of complexity. Then there there were the different abilities of pets, the endless combinations of traits, and the varied damage types skills did. On and on, more and more to think about it, and it was great fun. I found myself researching, strategizing and practicing again and had a blast.

    The most beautiful thing is it fit so perfectly with what a lore-master actually is. Don’t we learn about the game just like the Wizards, those the class is based on, did about Middle Earth? The melee/ranged/tactical separation of debuffs nudges us toward acquiring a better understanding of the enemies we encounter in the game, do they not? The types of crowd control do the same. Our role—to watch, assist, and manipulate fights to our advantage—requires us to develop a good understanding of said fights. Knowing which pet to summon requires a good understanding of fights as well, as does knowing the capabilities of classes in your group. The wide range of damage types our skills do nudges us to learn a particular enemy’s weaknesses. In summary, the very mechanics of the class urge us to develop a wide knowledge of the game so that we can know which small changes will have the largest impact, just as the Wizards would develop their knowledge of Middle Earth to learn the impact of their own actions. It is a beautiful synergy that both lends complexity to the class and adds a sense of role-playing to the game.

    Sadly, there came a point when I had to leave LOTRO again. When Rohan came out, my computer couldn’t handle it. I was still running Windows XP 32-bit with only 2 GB of ram; not nearly enough. I still wanted to play an online game however, so, after researching a few, I chose to try Star Wars: The Old Republic. Let me tell you, that is a beautiful, beautiful game. The graphics are great. The story is very well done with lots of production value. Plus, it’s set in the Star Wars universe. Who wouldn’t find it neat to plunk themselves down in a galaxy far, far away? I played the game for a couple of months and tried three characters: the Vanguard (tank), the Jedi Sage (CC/healer), and the Gunslinger (dps).

    In all honesty, there were a lot of things I liked more about that game than LOTRO. Like I mentioned, the graphics were better. The story was better (Rohan excluded, excellent job there devs). The instance system seemed a bit more streamlined as did the flow of the quests. The companion system was refreshing and very convenient although I do like having more control of our pets like we do here. Still, for all these things, I got bored after a couple of months.

    I got bored because the classes didn’t have nearly the depth that they do here. Everything was so straightforward. As a Vanguard, all I had to do was stand there, get pounded, and do as much damage as I could. If a mob broke free, throw out a taunt, then go back to spamming damage buttons. As a Sage, it was hit my one mez button, keep an eye on health meters and then, again, back to spamming damage buttons. No thought required. Once the novelty of the game wore off, all that was left to do was start grinding for levels and gear. Not fun and not something I am going to pay monthly for.

    Eventually, I was forced to upgrade my computer. I chose to spend a little more to buy one capable of running LOTRO and installed the game the day after the computer arrived. My first time logging back in, it felt like coming home. I had missed playing a lore-master that much. Finally I could get back to exploring the intricacies of a deep, interesting class and finding joy in applying my knowledge and skill in time critical situations.

    So please, please understand what you have here devs. All MMOs have some form of grinding. They have to in order to keep customers paying, I understand that. But please understand the type of grinding you have that separates your game from others. It’s not mindless deeding, questing, or gearing. All of those are simply checking boxes and can be done in many other places. The grinding that separates your game from the others is the grinding required to gain actual skill. You have created in your game a few complex, advanced classes that require patience, research, and practice to master. That’s the grinding that makes this game interesting and fun. That’s the grinding that this class revamp has me nervous will get lost.

    I hope you know that. You probably do seeing as you were the ones that made the game in the first place. But if you don’t or if you've forgotten, please follow the links below and see that I am not alone.

    You have something precious here, devs. Please, treat it with care.

    Christopher Charlton aka Berewen of Firefoot
    Last edited by kriskrosed; Feb 22 2013 at 10:48 PM.
    85 LM Berewen, 85 Burg Balculus, 85 Guard Benferth

  3. #3
    Threads and Blogs (This will be refined over the next few days. I've just spent too much time on this thread already today. If any of you have links as well, please post them and I will put them here.)

    Why do you play the Lore-master. The mother of them all. Honestly, you probably wouldn't have to look any further than this thread.

    Carolas' response in Loremaster - a very squishy class...

    Gwinren's response in New LM questions

    anteku and Gaur-waith's responses in LM over Burg. I had to throw one in . Note, however, there are also arguments praising the burglar class for its complexity.

    Struggling LM - wondering if I'm doing wrong? The key in this thread is the massive variety of solutions presented for the same problem. The beauty is they are all correct.

    How would you remodel the LM? A very pertinent thread in this discussion. Notice that half the responders said very they would do very little and the other half mostly focused on one or two aspects. Only the OP seemed to lobby for a complete overhaul.

    Thinking of rolling LM, could use some advice from the experienced LMs out there

    Should I play a Lore Master?

    Blog posts

    Lore-mastery: Why Play a Lore-master?
    Last edited by kriskrosed; Feb 22 2013 at 11:06 PM.
    85 LM Berewen, 85 Burg Balculus, 85 Guard Benferth

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kriskrosed View Post
    Again, this is only one sentence summarizing a massive, months-long project to revamp nine separate classes. However, since we do not have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions, all sorts of questions and worries come to mind. Does reducing hybrid-homogenization mean lessening how effectively a lore-master can heal? But a lot of soloing and 3-man instance techniques depend on those heals! Does bringing more definition to a lore-master’s role mean focusing the class more strictly on CC? But few groups even care about CC! Does it mean the lore-master will have its dps reduced? But sometimes traiting dps is the only way a group will take a LM! Speculation after speculation followed by concern after concern.
    Based on that quote, and other things said in the dev answers (although the entire tree bit does leave me wondering), I think what they're attempting to address is a fundamental problem with the blue line. (Well, not just the blue line, but a fundamental problem that shows up in our blue line.)

    Let's assume that healing is a major focus of the blue line.

    Now let's compare that with the yellow and the red lines.

    For the yellow line and debuffing, the capstone is the big thing. A bunch of very effective debuffs go from 50% uptime to 100% up time. It's huge. If you're debuffing and you're serious about debuffing, you want five yellow and the capstone. You can still get more effective debuffs by grabbing a couple yellow traits, but going five in yellow is a large jump in effectiveness, especially compared with just grabbing two yellow traits.

    For the red line and DPSing, taking two red traits, say Master of the Staff and Flame of Anor (if I wanted to boost damage, that's where I'd start), will give you - let's say 15% more damage. Go five, grab the capstone, expect your damage to double. And expect your AoE damage to more than double. Again, grabbing two red's not bad, but going five red is a large jump in effectiveness.

    For the blue line and healing, taking two blue traits, let's say Improved Flanking and Healer, gives you most of what you can get for improving LM healing. There's also Improved Inner Flame, but the cooldown on that's kind of long, and it prevents you from doing anything else for a nice long chunk of time. There's Light of Hope, but Water Lore's the main heal these days, so while it's nice, it's not a large jump. But basically, you can probably get most of what you want out of LM healing by grabbing two, maybe three blue traits. Going five blue doesn't really help you all that much.

    What does this mean? It means, a popular thing to do is going to be - pick red or yellow, depending on if you want DPS or debuffing, and then grab two blue traits so you've improved your heals. You're a hybrid, because you've gotten most of the LM healing that you can get, while you're homogenized because, why not take those two traits? They boost LM healing nicely, but there's not much point to taking more than that.

    Hopefully, what they want to prevent is a two trait dip into a given trait line making you just or almost as effective in a major aspect of that trait line, as you would be if you took five traits and the capstone in that trait line.

    Mind you, the bit about trees in the bonus questions does worry me a bit, if they're thinking about introducing trait trees. I'm not particularly fond of them.

  5. #5
    I'm glad you brought up the snippet hinting at trait trees because that was precisely one of my concerns (it is the last question, BQ10, found here). One of the beauties of the current trait system is its flexibility. I can slot any combination of red, yellow, or blue that I wish and very specifically adapt to whatever the situation calls for. Trait trees force one to pigeon-hole their build by making higher traits dependent on lower traits. Granted the capstone traits do force some specific traiting, but a lore-master can still be very effective, sometimes more effective, without them. Trait trees ensure that virtually every trait depends on another.

    SWTOR used the trait tree mechanic and it really took away from a character's flexibility. That is completely at odds with one of the aspects of the lore-master that I cherish so much.

    I hope you're right that the goal will simply be to rehash the blue line. That's exactly the problem here though. We don't know if that's what they intend and trait trees may just as likely be what they have in mind. Hence the need to speak up now.

    Also--and I realize this is a very fine line to walk--my intent for this thread was not so much to start a discussion on which specific changes are needed. It was more a petition to, no matter the changes made, maintain the complexity and depth of the class. However, I do acknowledge that discussing intent, or philosophy if you prefer, is near impossible to do without referencing specific examples. Obviously, I used a few myself. However, I urge you not to focus on the specific examples I used but more on the overall theme.
    Last edited by kriskrosed; Feb 22 2013 at 11:04 PM.
    85 LM Berewen, 85 Burg Balculus, 85 Guard Benferth

  6. #6
    I love my Loremaster, Its a hard job, but its fun. I do agree that the Loremaster needs to stay complex, but I wanted mind a few quality of life improvements, for example fellowship-wide stun immunity, or an In-Combat rezz.

    We fill many shoes, like the Captain, but unlike the captain we usually fill all of them at the same time and there are more to start with. Its a very tactical class. We have to sit back and survey the situation and interact with our groups when needed. Debuff that boss, give power and stun immunity, Emergency heal etc.

    While all of this is a fun time, I do think that the blue line needs a lot of work. Right now its split between two things: Pets and Healing. Like its been said you go far with 2 traits and the jump to 5 isn't much. Right now pet DPS is a joke and our healing abilities are somewhat limited. I find a couple of ways to fix this, either A. Make the majority of our DPS whilst traited blue come from our pets while still healing others a little at the same time. Or B. Make the blue line almost completely heal based, especially the capstone.

    I like being able to have variety when choosing which color traits I am throwing in. However I like each set of traits be streamlined and not a hybrid by themselves.
    Bretela LVL 100 Warden Gwaithol LVL 100 Hunter Brilliance LVL 86+ LM
    Mac User, Raider

  7. #7
    "q23 mrwarg - can you give us any more information on the major class revamps taking place later in the year? #lotro
    a23 jared – our goal is to reduce the hybrid-homogenized nature of our classes while bringing definition and excitement to the primary role of each line. #lotro"

    I don't think we need to worry so much about this sentence.
    primary role of each line - doesn't necessarily mean primary role of each class, I'd rather guess it means: primasily role of each TRAIT line. So specialization has a higher impact. For example: Going red will weaken your debuffs and healing more than now... just speculating.

  8. #8
    This, my friend, is an excellent thread, one which I hope receives the proper attention it deserves. Coming to a similar conclusion to yours, after reading the LM forums for years, the general consensus of the community for the class is "we're in a great place, but the only thing we want is pet scaling and maybe a more reliable low-level heal." We seriously do not need any of our skills eliminated. Quite frankly, the idea of having significantly fewer skills is a huge turn off for me. I love being able to justify every single skill I have (well, except air-lore) and having a 12x3 block of class skills at the bottom of my screen is NOT overwhelming or confusing. Quite frankly, it's exciting and fun.

    The only things that I hope they do are:
    - Do something (anything!) about air-lore
    - give the pets more respectable DPS when traited
    - scale the power return on the trait "Knowledge of the Past"
    - Put smokey BBQ rub inside the sticky gourd so we can enjoy our aurochsen after we're done with them (changing the red capstone to "Improved Spicy Gourd")

    Ok, the last one was a joke (sort of...) but everything else above was extremely serious.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Goatgullad View Post
    - Do something (anything!) about air-lore
    If you trait 4 into the blue line, Air Lore applies 100%, Negating 31 Damage and reflecting 21 damage (For me at 85)
    Bretela LVL 100 Warden Gwaithol LVL 100 Hunter Brilliance LVL 86+ LM
    Mac User, Raider

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Vulcan583 View Post
    If you trait 4 into the blue line, Air Lore applies 100%, Negating 31 Damage and reflecting 21 damage (For me at 85)
    Of that I am well aware (I soloed from level 58 to 65+ using tons of blue traits and the bog guardian and had a blast doing it). Sadly though, this is the same value that we've had since we got the skill at 44 (well, it becomes a toggle at 64, but that doesn't change anything else). When even trash and landscape mobs are hitting for a few hundred a pop, it really doesn't do that much, and for an end-leveler, the hidden bonus on the Hytbold Animal Friend set is better than the trait for flank heals. But yes, traiting 4 deep blue does improve the skill 100 times over. Sadly, 100x almost nothing is still almost nothing.
    Last edited by Goatgullad; Feb 23 2013 at 03:33 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Vulcan583 View Post
    If you trait 4 into the blue line, Air Lore applies 100%, Negating 31 Damage and reflecting 21 damage (For me at 85)
    Woo Hooo . Sorry. This does however highlight one of the two things I hope they work on in the pass. We have a few skills that are effectively useless. For an extreme example, if Bugud is more than happy to one-shot me if he catches me, and I have more than 10k morale, the numbers offered by Air lore make it not worth spending the power on.

    For the most part however, we have many great skills, and a bunch that are useful, if situational. I really don't care if something on my toolbars only gets used occasionally, as long as there are times when I really need to use it. You could put power draining/sharing, stun immunity and curing into that category.

    I agree with the posters above on what I see as the other thing that needs fixing --- the blue line. It was brought up in the recent thread about pets. Essentially the whole line is a mess because it has to cover both pets and healing, and doesn't do either very well. As mentioned in that thread, they do need to have a serious look at pets as well.

    What I hope is not going to happen? Simply as others have said; anything that reduces the complexity of the class. So far the skill changes have streamlined things without changing the way the class plays, hopefully this pass does the same.

    By the way, Not sure whether I should be glowing at having one of my posts used in the thread, or humiliated that I did not realise it was me until I had clicked through and started reading (teach me to use a random screen name different from account/characters I guess).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Tatharil View Post
    I don't think we need to worry so much about this sentence.
    primary role of each line - doesn't necessarily mean primary role of each class, I'd rather guess it means: primasily role of each TRAIT line. So specialization has a higher impact. For example: Going red will weaken your debuffs and healing more than now... just speculating.
    Hmm.. Worrying would be understandable then, wouldn't it? Because if all that changes is that for the same amount of damage you'll get less of everything else then it's nothing but a nerf. If it means I get the double amount of damage for half of my debufss and my healing that would be fair enough. But think about it: Double the LM-damage? Uhm, how the hell is a tank supposed to keep up his thread.

    I actually hear beyond the lines the word big-time-nerf. Everytime they talk about so-called "class revamps" with "specialization"...

    Because think: Where could an LM be improved as much as to take away something else wouldn't feel like a nerf? Only pets may come to mind there.

    But what I can imagine is that things like debuffs change their effects depending on the trait-line you're going with. If you choose damage then all those debuffs will go for +incoming damage on the mobs. If you choose pet-line your debuffs will become buffs for the group... But what to do with healing? If you choose damage then what? And if you choose debuffs then what? It's gonna stay healing won't it? Maybe it might be improved to group-healing when in blue... That's the way it might go without pissing off players...
    Last edited by GithlithMonaghan; Feb 26 2013 at 08:23 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I also agree that LMs are in a good place. The class is really fun to play. I would not simplify the class in a dramatic way. We were advertised as an "advanced" class and that is part of the appeal.

    Some pruning of skills is understandable (e.g. the collapsing of the three warding circles into one), particularly if we consider raising the level cap: there needs to be room for future skills.

    I was thinking carefully about what I would like and not like pruned.

    Personally, I would NOT

    1. Merge debuffs (e.g. Sign of Power: Debuff everything)
    2. Merge the two melee skills (staff strike, staff-sweep)

    I would consider merging

    1. Water Lore and Inner Flame (specifically, eliminate Inner Flame and replace it with a lesser Water Lore at low levels, keeping the level 77+ version intact as an improved version).
    2. The two Sign of the Wild skills
    3. Warding Knowledge and Sticky Tar

    To be clear, I actually like the way the skills work and if I had my way, I'd leave them alone and spend resources on improving the blue trait-line and pets. But, given that this thread is a proactive response to possible skill pruning, those would be the types of things I'd be willing to give up.
    Last edited by anteku; Feb 26 2013 at 05:16 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by anteku View Post
    I would consider merging

    2. The two Sign of the Wild skills
    IF pets are improved damage-wise - there might be times when you don`t really want increased threat, but would still like increased survivability.
    Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    no offense friend, you mean well, but for the sake of an unofficial record if you will, in how many -other- MMOs have you played a casting pet class, for how long, and in what type of game-style? If one excludes the 75% of your multiple posts as they are nothing but candy, one admits, and i will say it again, i honestly mean no offense, that a lot is left wanting;

    As with many things in Lotro, which keep it from being a game unmatched, because it could be unmatched, it has the potential still, so and here..but i will not generalise any further. Rather than focusing then on what is lovely in LRMs (which is probably why so few play them isn't it..) perhaps we should focus on the things that are rather off, if not entirely wrong?

    1) This game has problems deciding what constitutes a support class. And assuming it ever does, what persentage of it must be heal-oriented, and what buff-debuff oriented. Assuming it ever gets there, it needs to look at -other- titles and see what support CAN mean after how many by now? 13? years of mmo evolution. Where are our situationally triggered group boostings for speed, mobility? Where are our making opening moves that assist our team in DPSing, mitigating or avoiding entirely LRM-specific scripted boss mechanics? Is there any room for support to need to be mobile itself, a moving entity within the group rather than stationary and spamming, half the time our eyes locked on the UI?

    2) This game needs to decide what, whether and how constitutes the pet line. It has yet to. Have a look at the changes (or lack of) made in this dpt to get a picture, yes, in retrospect..see if it gives you a clearer picture; though granted, at times this entails a reading between the lines;

    3) This game needs to decide whether and if it needs to consider Power, casting, and mechanics related to the combination of these two as a whole for all or as separate entities, one per class (minnies, us, RKs). Should it ever become bold enough in deciding (they say they have you will tell me, but look at the actual functioning and tell me this again), they need to start implementing it, and fast. A ton of things LRM that are either redundant, or downright unnecessary.

    The above, if broken down, could bring a ton of things on the table..some have been asked, discussed or acknowledged already, some are being worked on. Soon (TM). I would wish the conversation focused on such elements than elements of joy, wonder and ultimate greatness in all things LRM, all rights intended. If you find this a touch too..exaggerating? offensive?..i will ask you again, what, for how long, and to what a depth have you played elsewhere so you can compare and as such have an informed opinion. Since we are at it, have you considered what type of an impression you give to any a blue name reading this when you state that after 2 years of playing you -started-, -started- learning? Seriously..

    If it is something you want enough to post in a forum, make the effort..effort does not entail length of posts; but that is just me, i can foresee in advance the replies incoming..it's alright
    It could have been, could be still, an amazing class. It falls short due to a lack of overall, overarching philosophy. What little they used to have set in stone, has changed time and time again. All i see is patching and tentative approaches as if they are aware of the vastness of it and simply hesitate to really, deeply, address it. Would i have had this type (and expressed it such) of an opinion if Lotro had been my only game? No, obviously not. But they advertise themselves as an MMO, i find me entitled the comparison.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GithlithMonaghan View Post
    I actually hear beyond the lines the word big-time-nerf. Everytime they talk about so-called "class revamps" with "specialization"...
    It doesn't have to be a nerf. Maybe they increase damage and decrease support while MoNF-traited.

    Maybe they are making the yellow line useful beside the strong capstone. The capstone is everything in the yellow line. Traitlinebonuses ... does anyone really notice them? The difference between 4 yellow and 5 yellow is HUGE, the difference between 2 yellow and 4 yellow is too small- unnoticable.

    Blue line... don't want to repeat things, which have been said 0939842364332times ^^

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    I forgot to mention that I enjoyed reading your post. It was well-composed and coherent. I agree with the spirit from which it came, and with your overall premise that the LM class is fun and in (mostly) good shape.

    For the most part, I've enjoyed reading the LM forums because of the healthy exchange of ideas in this and similar threads, and the minimal ad hominem attacks, although those are inevitable in a public setting.



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