Hey to all my fellow hunters out there in LOTRO! Sapience recently released information that he has the majority of developer diaries in hand and that he is currently editing them for posting on the forums. I figured since we would soon find out about the changes to be made to the Hunter class, I would use this last chance to put forth some ideas for the revision of the Path of the Trappers traitline for your consideration. While this will have no effect on the decision of Kelsan or whoever is currently working on the Hunter class, I feel that it is an exercise in community building and debate. Some of these ideas have been mentioned by previous authors, but I am unsure as to who they are. If you have anything else to contribute please do so!

First, what is the point of the Path of the Trappers traitline?
1. Crowd Control
2. Increase in capabilities of utility skills
3. Surviving difficult situations

Second, what kind of CCs fit with the lore behind the class?
1. Traps
2. Slows
3. Fears
4. Some stuns

My thoughts are that the Trapper traitline describes a Hunter that hides in the forest, unseen by beasts, orc-kind, or shadows. Thus, Camouflage is a necessary ingredient for the improvement of the class. It would be nice for the traitline to include bonuses for attacking out of Camouflage such as 15% chance for a devastating critical. Something to that nature. Movement when in Camouflage would be nice, balanced so that it is only at about 50 or 40% running normal speed. When not moving, Camouflage's stealth level would increase. Another trait/skill could be firing an infuriating arrow into the opponent. This gives a 15-25% chance for the foe to become distracted/infuriated from the pain, allowing the Hunter a limited time to slip back into hiding.

I would love to see the Trapper traitline boost the capabilities of Camouflage. This may be too much to wish for however. The main point of this traitline is CC. In this aspect, there needs to be someway for the Trapper traited Hunter to have a significant role as CC/DPS in 3/6/12-man/BB (Big Battles) situations. This could include making traps more viable. I know that they have already talked about traps becoming skills (or at least I believe they have) so this would be helpful. I would like to see that some of the traps bring debuffs when facing off against a raid boss. I know that rooting them is not viable, but these bosses are subject to surprise as well. One such debuff could be -10% damage or accuracy. Little things such as this are very helpful. Of course this would be difficult in-combat, so this would require the Hunter to skillfully and stealthily plant these traps. Yes, it would mean that the raid has to wait for the Hunter to complete his work, but this would alleviate some of the suffering that they may have to experience without their trusty guide and trapper to assist them!

Fears and slows are also a part of the lore behind the Hunter. As of now however, Fears do not work on bosses and break upon damage. I envision that use of Bard's Arrow and Cry of the Predator would cause great fear for all enemies and would cause their finesse to drop for a short time. The concept is worth a try I believe. Currently the only slows that the Hunter have are Low Cut and Barbed Arrow (not counting Strength Stance Quick Shot). I am unsure how to make this work, but perhaps a trap or another ranged skill where the Hunter uses his great ability to shoot an arrow into the knee of his enemy (Yes, a Skyrim reference). This would affect movement speed, as well as the enemies ability to attack for a short duration.

Finally, the major issue here is that the Hunter is a DPS class. In order for the CC aspect to have more prevalence, this would require the Hunter to forgo having the strongest DPS. What if however, they become astonishingly good at DOT? According to in-game text on the skills (or my understanding, correct me if I am wrong), DOT wrought before an enemy is feared/trapped has a lower chance of breaking the CC. If Trapper traitline had a trait that lowered this even more and increased the DOT, maybe in tiers, then the Trapper traitline could still do some significant damage.

Well, that is all I have. I apologize to Burglars and Loremasters if this intrudes upon their territory. My goal is for the revival of the Path of the Trapper traitline and its viability in solo and end-game content. If these ideas are fanciful or in your opinion overpower the Hunter, please inform me!

I want to hear what you have to say!