Apologies in advance if this has been asked before. I tried looking through the stickied threads but quickly lost interest after the links I wanted were broken and the general information a bit outdated.
My captain is now lvl 48. I played the first 25 levels or so months ago (leveled my warden, burg, cappy and RK pretty much all at the same time from Ered Luin, through the Shire, and into Bree). Then I stopped playing since technically my focus had been on a different class (LM, if I remember correctly). I gained another half-dozen levels from festivals and crafting. Then about 2-3 weeks ago I started playing my captain again (started at level 32). A member of my kinship was approaching Moria for the very first time and I love taking people through that place. I've got an excellent sense of direction and that region is just so great that I hate to see anyone having troubles navigating.
So anyway, in the last 2-3 weeks I blasted through Evendim, Forochel and Eregion and as of 2:30 AM this morning I was with my kinmates in the Walls of Moria. But in those 2-3 weeks I feel I have learned a lot about the captain class, and yet I also feel like I'm just missing so much. I know we are the jack-of-all-trades class, and I try to keep my skills organized in a logical manner (though I still forget to use some of them, especially Marks and the Shield-Brother skills). I'm working on knowing my skills better, but right now what I'm really look for is advice on the class itself. I've already got a number of classes to level-cap (guardian, minstrel, hunter, RK, LM and almost my champion). I've got a low-level burglar and warden as well. Because of how many classes I've played and the fact that I love my tactical/healing classes the most, I really want to go for Hands of Healing with my captain. I don't enjoy my guardian very much and my warden will be a tank as well, and then I have both melee DPS (champ) and ranged DPS (hunter). The captain has so many unique skills for buffing, healing and debuffing, that I really want to steer away from a tanking or DPS captain.
That said, I've been using a 2-handed weapon (either a great axe/sword or a halberd) since I first started playing. But even with my heavy armor, I feel very squishy. And since I'm not aiming for DPS, I was seriously wondering if I should look into using a shield instead. I already got a 2-hander for my Volume II Book I epic, but that is easily replaceable if I decide to go with a 1-hander and a shield. I still have only limited healing abilities. My questing partners are a guardian (been to Moria before) and a champion (the first-timer). With three heavy classes and me being the only class with the heals, I really want to be the support of the trio. Tank? Check. DPS? Check. Support/heals? Hm... We managed to complete Leader of the Foul Woods slightly under-leveled (and it only took a few wipes xD) but it was that instance that really made me start wondering whether I should get a shield and a 1-hander. Any thoughts?