As requested by Sapience, here is a summary of changes covering the Captain class, intended to help ease the transition from the old system to the new, and to highlight what was removed, merged, added, and changed.
Note: Any of the highlighted information may be subject to change.
[This is a work in progress. Based on Build 5.1, updated 06/11/13. All ratings are based on a level 91 character, unless otherwise noted.]
A Brief Introduction
The class changes and new trait trees are a significant update to LOTRO's class system, and many will be understandably nervous about the transition. While these changes are huge, the core gameplay remains the same, and the fundamentals of the class are still in place. Captain remains a flexible heavy armour class that can DPS, heal or tank (and can do each of these significantly better in the respective trees), all the while providing a slew of buffs to the Captain, and to the Fellowship at large.
The first thing to note is that while some skills have been removed, their functionality has been merged into other skills. Additionally, some skills that might initially appear like they have been removed are found either directly locked behind a class specialisation (Valiant Strike, Shadow's Lament, and Threatening Shout) or are located in the trait trees. Skill cooldowns are decreased almost across the board.
Perhaps the most notable omissions are the Tactics skills, which are now active combat buffs that proc when Sure Strike is used followed a Battle-readied event (i.e. Battle-shout). These buffs last for 30s and there is a legacy available that can boost thus up by a further 15s, for a total duration of 45s. The specific buffs are tied behind each specialisation, but they all provide a slew of boosts, so at least some of these will benefit any class.
Focus (Hands of Healing)
-5% Attack Duration
+5% Incoming Healing
+2% Tactical Mitigation
Bonus: +1% morale heal every 5s for 10s
Relentless Attack (Lead the Charge)
+1030 Critical Rating
+3676 Physical Mastery Rating
+3676 Tactical Mastery Rating
+5% Outgoing Healing
On Guard (Leader of Men)
+1299 Parry Rating
-10% Power Cost
- The Mark skills can now be found in tier 2 of each of the trait lines. Generally speaking a player will pick just one of them, but hybrid builds may have two or all three.
- Noble Mark applies a DoT (314 Light Damage every 3s at level 91) to a mob and heals the Captain for 1% of his/her morale every time the Captain (and only the Captain) strikes the mob.
- Telling Mark and Revealing Mark's stats remain unchanged.
- The cooldowns for all Marks have been removed.
Motivating Speech and In Defence of Middle-earth (IDOME) have been merged into a single toggle skill, Improved Motivating Speech, which stays on. The legacy boost of +5% morale has been incorporated into the base skill, which now provides +10% morale. The IDOME portion of the buff now provides +1 stat per level up to 85, then +3 stats per level from 85-95, for a total of +115 to each stat at level 95.
Brother Skills have seen some big changes. They are now tied by line, but the buffs they provide are more appealing across the board.
Song-brother (Hands of Healing)
+516 Critical Defence
+204 Physical Mastery
+340 Tactical Mastery
Blade-brother (Lead the Charge)
+516 Critical Defence
+340 Physical Mastery
+204 Tactical Mastery
Shield-brother (Leader of Men)
+860 Critical Defence
+204 Physical Mastery
+204 Tactical Mastery
Inspire restores power and morale (in varying amounts), regardless of which Brother skill is used.
Defensive Strike has been removed, but a set bonus for Leader of Men provides the armour buff from this to Sure Strike, along with a boost to Parry.
Sure Strike has a cooldown of 3s, down from 6s. It also now triggers the Tactics buffs when used in a Battle-readied state.
Escape from Darkness is our only in-combat rez skill for all builds, but it upgrades to a newly revamped Cry of Vengeance in the Hands of Healing line, which allows for a specific person to be targeted for a rez, while also bringing up another person within a short radius. Either variant of the rez has a 5 min cooldown as standard. The upgrade applies the same buff to nearby Fellowship members that it did previously. We still have our out-of-combat rez Inspiriting Call.
Rallying Cry and Routing Cry can now be used without a Defeat Event, but they are stronger with one. The power heal for the former or stun for the latter (when appropriately traited) only apply with a Defeat Event. Both have a 15s cooldown, down from 45s.
Time of Need (now with a 2 min cooldown, down from 5 mins) no longer costs morale, instead costing a small amount of power (85 power at level 85). In addition to it giving the Captain a Defeat Event, it provides the following 20s buff for just the Captain:
-20% Attack Duration
+20% Melee Damage
+20% Tactical Damage
+20% Melee Skills Critical Multiplier
Withdrawal and Fighting Withdrawal no longer reduce the Captain's threat (due to the threat revamp) or his/her damage output. Instead, both remove Dazes, Stuns and Knockdown effects from the Captain, while the latter also boosts Parry by 30% for 30s. 2 min cooldown.
Strength of Will has largely been replaced by the various Call skills (see New Skills).
Battle-shout has a 20s cooldown. Range increased from 20m to 40m (to help with ranged pulls, since Threatening Shout and Noble Mark are gated by the Leader of Men line).
Kick has a cooldown of 20s (down from 1 min).
Muster Courage has a cooldown of 20s (down from 30s). It now removes one Fear/Wound/Disease/Poison instead of 3 Fears.
Grave Wound has a cooldown of 20s (down from 30s). It always applies its bleed and no longer increases threat (due to the threat revamp).
Valiant Strike has a cooldown of 30s (down from 1 min 30s).
Shadow's Lament has a cooldown of 20s (down from 45s).
Make Haste has a cooldown of 3 mins (down from 5 mins).
Last Stand has a cooldown of 5 mins (down from 15 mins). It has a duration of 7s as standard (17s with legacy). It applies a ~866-1238 morale heal.
In Harm's Way has a cooldown of 3 mins (down from 5 mins). Traiting for it can reduce incoming damage by 20% while active.
Shield of the Dúnedain has a cooldown of 2 mins (down from 5 mins). It's duration is now 10s, down from 15s (but can be increased to 20s with a legacy). It can now be cast on self (making it a powerful tanking tool).
Oathbreaker's Shame has a cooldown of 3 mins (down from 5 mins).
Battle-readied states (Battle-shout, Time of Need, Shadow's Lament, Valiant Strike) provide the following buff to the Captain:
+5% Melee Damage
+5% Tactical Damage
Battle-hardened states (Pressing Attack, Devastating Blow) provide the following buff to the Captain:
+5% Outgoing Healing
-5% Incoming Melee Damage
-5% Incoming Ranged Damage
-5% Incoming Tactical Damage
Cleanse Corruption (Base Skill): A new melee attack that deals damage and removes 1 Corruption. 15s cooldown.
Gallant Display (Hands of Healing): A melee skill that heals the Fellowship. The more often it is used, the more it heals and damages, but the more it costs (in morale and power) too. 5s cooldown.
Reform the Lines! (Hands of Healing): Costs substantial morale (~3,500 at 85), but heals the Fellowship by 10% of their morale initially, plus 4% every 2s for 10s. 2 min cooldown.
Standard of Honour (Hands of Healing): Must be targeted at a mob. Drops a banner, deals direct Light damage, and then heals nearby Fellowship members by a small amount every 1s for 30s. 1 min cooldown.
Song-brother's Call (Hands of Healing): While active, if the Captain or Song-brother crits, the other will receive a Tactical Mastery Rating buff. 1 min 30s cooldown.
Standard of War (Lead the Charge): Must be targeted at a mob. Drops a banner, deals direct Light damage, and boosts damage of nearby Fellowship members by 15% (when fully traited) for 30s. 1 min cooldown.
Blade-brother's Call (Lead the Charge): While active, if the Captain or Blade-brother hits, the other will receive a damage buff. 1 min 30s cooldown.
Strength in Numbers (Leader of Men): Grants a small Heal over Time (per 1s over 5s) to the Captain, based on the number of nearby Fellowship members (up to 5). 1 min 30s cooldown.
Standard of Valour (Leader of Men): Must be targeted at a mob. Drops a banner, deals direct Light damage, and boosts Incoming Healing of nearby Fellowship members by 15% (when fully traited) for 30s. 1 min cooldown.
Shield-brother's Call (Leader of Men): While active, if the Captain or Blade-brother gets hit, the other will receive a morale boost. 1 min 30s cooldown.
Heralds, Archers and Standards
One thing Captains may notice immediately is that they can no longer plant a Standard to receive the banner buffs. Instead we must summon our neglected Heralds to provide these buffs. Before you panic, most of the reasons why Standards were vastly superior have been addressed, resulting in Heralds being far more viable than before. Note that the same applies to Archers.
1. Heralds and Standards are no longer mutually exclusive. You can slot your Standard and still summon a Herald, thus benefiting from the boost to your character's stats and having a pet out simultaneously.
2. Heralds can now be summoned in combat. This addresses the problem of them dying in a battle and the Captain and Fellowship losing the applicable buffs.
3. Heralds can now be summoned much more quickly. The summoning induction has been reduced from 3s to 1s, making it far easier to get the Herald back into battle.
4. Herald survivability and damage has been significantly increased, making them far more useful. I used to have a Herald called Useless, but he now deserves a name change.
5. Pet AI has improved. If you haven't used your Herald in a while, you might not be aware of improvements to the AI and the Rally! icon added with Rise of Isengard, which allows you to summon the Herald to wherever you are standing. This addresses problems where pets get stuck or cannot reach your location (if you jump down a cliff, for example), or end up going the long way around, aggroing while they go.
The buffs the Heralds give have also been changed:
Banner of War: +2% Melee, Ranged and Tactical Damage
Banner of Victory: -10% Power Cost
Banner of Honour: +3% Physical Mitigation and Tactical Mitigation
Note: Number in (brackets) is the number of ranks of that trait available.
Hands of Healing
- Grants Skill Valiant Strike
- On every Captain healing skill, 10% chance to heal +315.6 - 450.8 Morale (at level 85)
- Sure Strike procs Focus when used in a Battle-readied state
- Tier 1 (5 Ranks): Readied Strike (Valiant Strike grants a Battle-readied state)
- Tier 2 (10 Ranks): Uplift (Critical Heals increase the Captain's Critical Hit chance by 1% for 10s. Can stack 3 times)
- Tier 3 (15 Ranks): Elendil's Favour (Blade of Elendil will boost the healing of the next Valiant Strike by 20%)
- Tier 4 (20 Ranks): Tactition's Prowess (+50% Critical Heal Magnitude)
- Tier 5 (25 Ranks): Song-brother's Call (Grants Skill Song-Brother's Call)
- Tier 6 (30 Ranks): Blessing of the Song (Captain gains the full benefits of the Song-brother skills and buffs)
- Tier 7 (35 Ranks): Inspiriting Presence (Critical Heals with Inspire or Valiant Strike guarantee a crit for the Song-brother's next Tactical skill. Inspire's healing increases based on the tier of Gallant Display)
- (2) Reversal (Increased Melee Damage on Critical Events [+3-6%])
- (3) Skilled Hands (Extra Tactical Damage and Outgoing Healing [+1-3%])
- (5) Bolstered Resolve (Extra Outgoing Healing with Shield [+1-5%])
- (3) Blood of Númenor (Extra Morale and Power for revived targets [+25-50%], with final rank turning Escape from Darkness into Cry of Vengeance)
- (1) Revealing Mark (Grants Skill Revealing Mark)
- (4) Dignified Spectalce (Increased Melee and Tactical Damage and Outgoing Healing [+1-4%])
- (5) Lifting Words (Increased Words of Courage Healing [+3-15%])
- (1) Gallant Display (Grants Skill Gallant Display)
- (3) Rousing Cry (Rallying Cry with Defeat Event boosts Fellowship damage [+1-5%] for 1 min)
- (5) Astute Hands (Increased Tactical Critical Chance [+1-5%])
- (3) Relentless Optimism (Increased AOE healing [+5-15%])
- (1) Honourable Blow (Valiant Strike gives a 7s duration Incoming Healing buff [+4%] when used on target with Revealing Mark [Requires Revealing Mark Trait])
- (5) Standard of Honour (Grants Skill Standard of Honour. Ranks increase Standard damage [+4-20%] and Healing over Time [+5%-25%])
- (1) Courageous Convocation (Muster Courage heals Captain)
- (3) Fellowship of the Song (Percentage of Shield-brother buffs apply to entire Fellowship [+20-60%])
- (5) Rallying Roar (Adds power heal to Rallying Cry. Ranks increase morale heal [+2-10%])
- (1) Reform the Lines! (Grants Skill Reform the Lines!)
Total Ranks: 51
Lead the Charge
- Grants Skill Shadow's Lament
- Critical hits buff the damage of your next attack
- Sure Strike procs Relentless Attack when used in a Battle-readied state
- Tier 1 (5 Ranks): Readied Blade (Shadow's Lament grants a Battle-readied state)
- Tier 2 (10 Ranks): Cutting Edge (Adds +30% Critical Damage Multiplier for 7s to Cutting Attack)
- Tier 3 (15 Ranks): Elendil's Favour (Blade of Elendil will boost the damage of the next Shadow's Lament by 20%)
- Tier 4 (20 Ranks): Lacerate (If Cutting Attack is present on a mob, then using Grave Wound will spread the DoT to nearby foes. Additionally, +25% Bleed Damage)
- Tier 5 (25 Ranks): Blade-brother's Call (Grants Skill Blade-Brother's Call)
- Tier 6 (30 Ranks): Blessing of the Blade (Captain gains the full benefits of the Blade-brother skills and buffs)
- Tier 7 (35 Ranks): Master of War (Critical Hits with Inspire or Shadow's Lament guarantee crits for the next melee or ranged skill used by the Captain or Blade-brother. Banner of War provides a stacking Critical Rating buff to nearby Fellowship members whenever they use a skill)
- (3) React to Battle (Increased Damage of Devastating Blow, Pressing Attack, Light of Elendil and Routing Cry[+3-10%]. Rank 3 +5% Crit chance for these skills)
- (3) Deafening Shouts (Increased Light Skill Damage [+2-6%])
- (3) Martial Prowess (Increased Melee Damage [+1-3%])
- (5) Make Them Bleed (Increased Bleed Damage [+4-20%])
- (3) Hardened Heart (Increased Melee Critical Damage [+10-30%])
- (1) Telling Mark (Grants Skill Telling Mark)
- (3) Penetrating Cry (Routing Cry with Defeat Event boosts Fellowship Attack Speed [+5-15%] for 1 min)
- (3) Arterial Strikes (Increased Melee Critical Chance [+1-3%])
- (1) Time of Need (Grants Skill Time of Need)
- (1) Advantageous Attack (Shadow's Lament does additional Light Damage on foes with Telling Mark [Requires Telling Mark Trait])
- (5) Grievous Wounds (Increased Grave Wound Damage [+2-10%]. Final rank adds -50% Incoming Healing debuff on enemy for 5s)
- (4) Restraint (Reduced melee skill power cost [-4-12%])
- (2) Heightened Allies (Heralds and Arches do additional damage [+20-40%])
- (3) Impactful Blows (Increased 2-hander damage [+2-6%])
- (5) Standard of War (Grants Skill Standard of War. Ranks increase Standard damage [+4-20%] and damage buff [+2-10%])
- (3) Fellowship of the Blade (Percentage of Shield-brother buffs apply to entire Fellowship [+20-60%])
- (2) Vital Stroke (Increased critical damage magnitude for Grave Wound [+25-50%]. Final ranks reduces cooldown by 5s)
- (1) Oathbreaker's Shame (Grants Skill Oathbreaker's Shame)
Total Ranks: 51
Leader of Men
- Grants Skill Threatening Shout
- Partial Blocks, Parries and Evades grant a Defeat Event
- Sure Strike procs On Guard when used in a Battle-readied state
- Tier 1 (5 Ranks): Two-handed Prowess (Can block with a 2-hander. Additionally, +25% Max Morale)
- Tier 2 (10 Ranks): Last Stand (Grants Skill Last Stand)
- Tier 3 (15 Ranks): Elendil's Boon (Blade of Elendil will reduce the damage of the next incoming hit by 20%)
- Tier 4 (20 Ranks): Defensive Strike (Adds an armour buff to Sure Strike. Additionally, +5% Parry)
- Tier 5 (25 Ranks): Shield-brother's Call (Grants Skill Shield-Brother's Call)
- Tier 6 (30 Ranks): Blessing of the Shield (Captain gains the full benefits of the Shield-brother skills and buffs)
- Tier 7 (35 Ranks): Exemplar (When the Captain or Shield-brother are hit, both have a chance to be healed. Critical Hits against the Captain or Shield-brother reduce the active cooldown of Strength in Numbers by 1s and Shield of the Dúnedain by 2s)
- (5) Situation Awareness (33% Chance to apply a 10s Evade buff [+1-5%] to Devastating Blow, Pressing Attack, Light of Elendil, and Routing Cry)
- (4) Steeled Resolve (Increased morale [+1-4%])
- (5) Call Them Out (Increased Bleed Damage [+2-10%])
- (1) Strong Voice (Threatening Shout affects 6 targets in a short radius)
- (1) Noble Mark (Grants Skill Noble Mark)
- (3) Terrifying Below (Routing Cry stuns enemies when used with a Defeat Event. Ranks increase duration of stun [+1-3s])
- (5) Shrug Blows Aside (Increased Critical Defence [+1-5%])
- (3) In Harm's Way (Grants Skill In Harm's Way. Additional ranks decrease incoming damage while skill is active [-10-20%])
- (1) Demand Attendion (Grave Wound becomes a force taunt)
- (5) Turning Point (Increased Incoming Healing with a Defeat Event [+1-5%])
- (5) Absorb Momentum (Increased Block with a 2-hander [+1-5%])
- (5) Standard of Valour (Grants Skill Standard of Valour. Ranks increase Standard damage [+4-20%] and Incoming Healing buff [+2-10%])
- (1) Strength in Numbers (Grants Skill Strength in Numbers)
- (3) Fellowship of the Shield (Percentage of Shield-brother buffs apply to entire Fellowship [+20-60%])
- (3) Stand Tall (Being hit reduces the active cooldown of Last Stand [-1-3s])
- (1) Shield of the Dúnedain (Grants Skill Shield of the Dúnedain)
Total Ranks: 51
Legendary Item Legacy Changes
With so many changes to skills and traits, roughly half of Captain legacies have been altered. These should automatically change to their new variants, so no one will be stuck with obsolete legacies.
The major thing to note is that all cooldown legacies have been replaced. The reduction in cooldown has been applied to the base skill, so we haven't lost out on this. It has simply become standard. For example, Kick was previously on a 1 min cooldown, and the legacy used to reduce this by 30s. Now the skill is on a 30s cooldown by default for all Captains.
Key: Old Legacy -> New Legacy.
- To Arms Duration (Unaltered)
- Kick Cooldown -> Melee Skills Critical Multiplier (9 Ranks, +1-15%)
- Telling Mark Damage (Unaltered)
- Devastating Blow Critical Rating -> Devastating Blow and Pressing Attack Critical Rating (9 Ranks, +752-816 at level 85 [First Age])
- Pressing Attack Critical Rating -> Oathbreaker's Shame duration (9 Ranks, +1-10s)
- Melee Skill Power Cost (Unaltered)
- Pressing Attack Max Targets (Unaltered)
- Morale from Motivating Speech -> Captain Area-effect Healing (9 Ranks, +1-15%)
- Cry Power Cost (Unaltered)
- Tactics: On Guard Parry Rating -> Tactics Duration (+15s)
- Tactics: Relentless Attack Critical Rating -> Inspire Damage (9 Ranks, +3-25%)
- Routing Cry Damage (Unaltered)
- Blade of Elendil Damage (Unaltered)
- Cutting Attack Bleed Damage -> Bleed Damage (9 Ranks, +4-40%)
- Defensive Strike Armour Buff (Unaltered)
- Make Haste Duration (Unaltered)
- Battle States and Defeat Response Duration (Unaltered)
- Tactics: Focus ICPR -> Healing Critical Magnitude (9 Ranks, +15%)
- Rallying Cry Healing (Unaltered)
- Rallying Cry Cooldown -> Sure Strike Damage (9 Ranks, +25%)
- Valiant Strike Morale Return (Unaltered)
- Strength of Will Effects -> Noble Mark Damage (9 Ranks +7-50%)
- Vocal Skills Healing (Unaltered)
- Melee SKills Healing (Unaltered)
- Words of Courage Power and Morale Cost (Unaltered)
- Words of Courage Pulses (Unaltered)
- Time of Need Cooldown -> Last Stand Duration (9 Ranks, +1-10s)
- Escape from Darkness Cooldown -> Bleed Pulses (9 Ranks, +1-9 pulses)
- Muster Courage Cooldown -> Devastating Blow and Pressing Attack Damage (9 Ranks, +3-25%)
- Time of Need Morale Cost -> Time of Need Buff Duration (9 Ranks, +1-10s)
- Grave Wound Cooldown -> Light Skill Damage (9 Ranks, +3-25%)
- Shield of the Dúnedain Cooldown -> Shield of the Dúnedain Duration (9 Ranks, +1-10s)
- Shadow's Lament Cooldown -> Shadow's Lament Damage (9 Ranks, +1-15%)
Q: What counts as Light Damage Skills?
A: Battle-shout, Routing Cry, Standard of [War, Valour, Honour], Shadow's Lament, and Noble Mark. Additionally, the buff that periodically procs from Light of Elendil.
Q: Why was War-cry removed?
A: The skill was removed, but the functionality remains, albeit separated by line. In Hands of Healing, Rallying Cry provides the +5% Damage buff that Improved War-cry previously applied. In Lead the Charge, Routing Cry provides the +15% Attack Speed buff that War-cry previously applied. In Leader of Men, Routing Cry simply provides a stun.
Q: Why was the Now For Wrath trait removed?
A: The power restore added to Rallying Cry is now part of the Rallying Roar trait, found in tier 6 of Hands of Healing. The power heal only applies when Rallying Cry is used with a Defeat Event.
Q: Why would the tanking Captain provide tanking buffs to others or the healing Captain provide healing buffs to others?
A: To understand this, it is important to note that the buffs also apply to the Captain. The tier six passive set bonus of each line gives the Captain the full benefits of the Brother skills. Thus the tanking Captain will receive the tanking buffs he/she is giving others and the healing Captain will receive the healing buffs he/she is giving others. Likewise for the dps Captain in Lead the Charge. Most of the buffs provide some use to all classes.
Q: With the threat changes, what's happening with Halberd passives?
A: Halberds now have +2% Auto-attack Critical Hit Chance.
Q: How do I tank with so few threat skills?
A: Threat is being revamped. It is becoming a more passive element of gameplay, with tank builds naturally gaining more threat. The Leader of Men Captain should expect to produce +300% threat from each damaging skill. Forced taunts will utilise a threat catch-up system to push the tank beyond the person with the highest threat. For more on threat changes, see: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...g-Threat-in-HD
Q: With Rallying Cry and Routing Cry usable in a weaker form without a Defeat Event, how will I know when their more powerful forms with a Defeat Event trigger?
A: The skills flash when a Defeat Event is available. Additionally, a new contextual toolbar will open, displaying these two skills. You can either click on the skills on this bar, or just use it as a visual cue and press your normal hotkeys for the skills. The contextual toolbar can be moved.
Q: Do Tactics buffs and Motivating Speech apply only to our current Fellowship?
A: Yes, these only work inside a Fellowship. Tactics apply within a radius of 80m. The Motivating Speech aura applies within a radius of 20m, and this cannot be increased due to technical limitations.