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Isengard Class Changes: Lore-masters

July 11, 2011

If you have been following the posts made by developers on the forums and in their my.LOTRO blogs, then you know that class changes are going to rock in Isengard. I thought I would put up a series of posts on each of the classes and keep them updated as new information comes in. Also, if I have an opinion, I will post that as well.

This overview will cover Lore-masters. The resident developer in charge of Lore-masters is Raskolnikov. I will try to both write what has changed and what it is currently, in case you are wanting to roll a Lore-master alt in the near future and want to know what will happen in Isengard.

NOTE: These are only proposed! Things may change in Beta testing.

Current skill modifications

This is the section that describes how skills we currently have will be changed.

  • Warding Knowledge
    New: 1 skill, affects all genus via Ancient Master 4-set bonus
    Old: 3 skills, each affecting one genus, with an addition of one genus to each at the 4-set bonus
    Opinion: This simplification of the class has been a big gripe at times on the forums, but I think it will be good. I don’t use them enough to remember which one to put down quickly, so the consolidation will improve usage I think.
    A little more clarification of the skill was provided in the Dev Diary:

    Level Name Normally
    4-set bonus in
    Ancient Master adds
    26 Warding Lore Dead
    38 Improved Warding Lore
    (replaces Warding Lore)
    Same as above plus
    Creatures of Nature
    Same as above plus
    40 Advanced Warding Lore
    (replaces Improved
    Warding Lore)
    Same as above plus
    Same as above plus
    Ancient Evil
  • Leechcraft, Tend the Sick, and Ancient Knowledge of Cures
    • New
      • Combined into new skill Knowledge of Cures, removes 3 disease and 3 wound effects (single target), can be used in combat.
      • Has an increase to power cost and cooldown is 10 seconds untraited, and there will be no resistance buffs. There is a short induction.
      • Use of the trait Proof Against All Ills makes this skill AoE.
      • 3-set bonus on Keeper of Animals trait line will reduce cooldown to 5 seconds.
      • Level 62 skill upgrade Improved Knowledge of Cures will remove induction.
    • Old
      • Leechcraft and Tend the Sick cured 3 wounds and 3 diseases, respectively (single target). Each had a low power cost, no cooldown, and a short induction.
      • Both skills granted a resistance boost for 1 minute, with a legacy to extend the time.
      • Leechcraft could not be used in combat without the trait Proof Against All Ills, which also made both skills AoE.
      • The trait Healer removed the induction.
      • Level 62 skill upgrade changed Leechcraft into Ancient Knowledge of Cures, which removed 3 diseases and wounds, applied the resistance buffs, and functioned the same way as Leechcraft with regards to combat, traits and legacies.
    • 1st Opinion (pre-dev diary): This is potentially one of the biggest nerfs in all of the updates I have seen. Almost everyone that has seen it has hated it. A cooldown on the ONLY class that can remove diseases and wounds consistently will be horrible for the instances that put 4+ diseases on you at a time. I realize the resistances are being removed because of the stat changes, but the cooldown is just unacceptable. It is just very unnecessary. I would trade all the buffs to get this unnerfed.
    • 2nd Opinion (post-dev diary, much thought, and a calming period of time to reflect on my temper): This will simply make Lore-masters that are skilled more desirable, as well as forcing people to use their pots. After all, are Lore-masters really here just to feed you power and take the 10 second power sapping disease off of you at the same time? We have things we need to do to help the battle too, like DPS, debuffs, spot-healing, etc! I’m fully behind this change now.
  • Sign of Battle: Wizardry and Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire
    • New
      • Combined into one skill nearly identical to Wizard’s Fire. The “Flanked!” effect will not be resisted, though the DoT component can.
      • The level 54 skill upgrade will remove the cooldown.
      • The trait Improved Sign of Battle now adds +25% to damage.
    • Old
      • SoB: Wizardry and SoB: Wizard’s Fire are light and fire based DoTs, respectively.
    • Opinion: The consolidation is good for the no resist on flanks, but it does remove our light-based DoT, and the Lore-master is all about knowing what weakness a creature has and exploiting it. I am a big fan of switching damage types to maximize damage, even to the point where I carry 3 bows on my hunter with Ancient Dwarf, Westernesse, and Beleriand damage types. I also carry oils of a short duration and oil wash to change on a per-mob basis. This consolidation obviously will annoy people like me.
  • Back from the Brink
    New: Range is 25 meters, no consumable required, and no debuff is applied
    Old: Range is 5 meters, requires and consumes 1 Shire Sweet-leaf pipeweed, and a debuff of -70% outgoing damage for 1 minute. Not to mention, this skill brings them back with 5% health and no power.
    Opinion: FINALLY!!! This is a horrible skill the way it is currently, and this is a much-needed change. I have literally rezzed 1 time, because everyone would rather be rezzed by any other class. I wonder what I am going to do with the 6 stacks of pipeweed in my vault (which I wouldn’t have used if the game had lasted 10 years…)
  • Blinding Flash
    New: No longer restricted by genus
    Old: Cannot be used on Dead and Creatures of Nature
    Opinion: This is a homogenization of the classes, as the Burglar is getting the same thing done with Riddle. Now we can mez everything. This makes Bane Flare kinda useless, though, as that will still be restricted to Dead, as far as we know.
  • Wisdom of the Council
    New: Cooldown is 5 minutes
    Old: Cooldown is 10 minutes.
    Opinion: This is a fine improvement, but it will make Lore-masters even more annoying to fight in the Moors, as the man-heal-equivalent heal will be available every encounter essentially.
  • Ancient Wisdom
    New: Made a passive trait, will need to be repurchased at trainer.
    Old: Skill that applied a 30 minute buff of +60 Will at level 65,or +80 with the trait Power and Wisdom.
    Opinion: The Dev Diary does not mention this, but the first of Rask’s responses on the forums said that it will grant +1 Will per level, max +75. If that didn’t change, but just got left out of the Dev Diary, it is actually a subtle nerf for those that trait Power and Wisdom, because at level 75, it will still be lower than the traited version now.
  • Call to the Valar
    New: Cooldown is 5 minutes with increased power cost
    Old: Cooldown is 10 minutes

Trait line changes

The Ancient Master

  • Secret of Tar
    New: Reduces induction of Sticky Tar by -1.0 seconds. Reduces cooldown of Sticky Tar from 1 minute 30 seconds to 1 minute. Bonus to Sticky Gourd is moved to Tactically Adept in the Master of Nature’s Fury line.
    Old: Reduces induction of Sticky Tar by -0.5 seconds and Sticky Gourd by -.25 seconds.
    Opinion: The bonus to Sticky Gourd really does belong more in the DPS line, so this change is good. It also raises usefulness of a very important skill, which I need to remember to use more often.
  • Combined: Fast Loader and Explosive Force
    These Blinding Flash-related traits have been combined.
    Opinion: This is great, as a better Blinding Flash = a better Lore-master. I always have the Fast Loader trait slotted, so this is great for me!
  • New Trait: The Study of Frost-lore
    Increases debuff from Frost-lore from -20% tactical damage to -25% tactical damage. Also adds +50% induction time to the mob.
    Opinion: When this skill was added to our collection of Fire-lore and Wind-lore (melee and ranged damage debuffs, respectively), it was lacking this trait, so this is a needed addition.

Overall thoughts on The Ancient Master changes: All of these solidify our debuffing and CC skills, helping our main role. Also, the number of tactical-based bosses make the Frost-lore trait very desirable.

The Keeper of Animals

  • 4-set bonus addition: Inner Flame cooldown
    -60 seconds Inner Flame cooldown in addition to the current 4-set bonus.
    Opinion: This, considering the new trait for Inner Flame, will improve our small-fellowship healing role. I would have liked it if it had been -120 seconds so the cooldown would be 1 minute instead of 2 minutes, but hey, anything helps.
  • 3-set bonus addition: Knowledge of Cures cooldown
    Reduces cooldown on Knowledge of Cures to 5 seconds.
    Opinion: This was based on forum feedback (more like forum cries in anguish). I think it should be reduced all the way or moved to the 2-set bonus. I’d rather it be reduced all of the way.
  • Combined: The Wild and Ward and Master of Beasts
    • New
      • Allows Sign of the Wild: Rage and Sign of the Wild: Protection to be cast on the pet at the same time.
      • Adds +5% damage to SotW: Rage and an additional -5% damage mitigation (so -10% total with trait, -15% with trait and trait line 4-set bonus) to SotW: Protection.
      • Adds +120 seconds duration to the Signs, as well as reducing the power cost by 10%.
      • The Signs will also cure effects on the pet.
    • Old
      • The Wild and the Ward gives a buff to frost and flame mitigation to the pet and allows both Sign of the Wild: Rage and Sign of the Wild: Protection to be placed on the pet at the same time.
      • Master of Beasts gives -10% power cost, +120 seconds duration of Signs, and Signs cure debuff effects.
    • Opinion: The consolidation is great, and the resistance loss is not really a big deal. The fact is, the stat changes eliminate the individual resistances.
  • Combined: Beast-lore and Hardy Companion
    Essentially, it is Beast-lore with the addition of +1 to the level of the pet.
    Opinion: If traiting for pets, these were both required, and this frees up a slot for us.
  • New Trait: Improved Inner Flame
    Inner Flame now heals all fellowship members in a certain radius (not known yet). If slotted, Inner Flame no longer transfers threat.
    Opinion: This is awesome, especially combined with the 4-set bonus above. Making healing 3-mans easier.
  • New Trait: Improved Flanking
    When the Lore-master heals themselves with Sign of Battle: Wizard’s Fire in response to a Flanked! event, they will also heal the target of Air-lore.
    Opinion: As a player that really enjoys the Captain, I definitely see the striking resemblance to Shield-brother. This will be really cool.

Overall thoughts on the Keeper of Animals changes: All of these changes are great for our off-healing role, which will be important in Isengard as I imagine it, if Lore-masters want to go through in a duo.

Master of Nature’s Fury

  • Tactically Adept
    New: -50% to induction to Sticky Gourd
    Old: -3% power cost to tactical skills
    Opinion: I have not even bothered to try to level this trait up, because I was never, ever going to use it. Now I will, because Sticky Gourd is a very important skill in this line, especially if you trait the capstone, which makes it a powerful AoE.
  • Knowledge of the Past
    New: All skills have 20% chance to restore some power, and all tactical skills have -3% power cost.
    Old: All skills have 20% chance to restore some power
    Note: This is where they moved the -3% power cost from Tactically Adept
    Opinion: I do really love the Knowledge of the Past/Tactically Adept change. These were two relatively underpowered traits, and now they are worth it, because the bang for the trait is great. This will definitely be used by Lore-masters in raiding.
  • Improved Sign of Battle
    New: Sign of Battle will do +25% more damage.
    Old: Sign of Battle will do +15% more damage.
    Opinion: What’s not to love?
  • Improved Storm-lore
    New: Increases lightning skills’ damage.
    Old: Increased only Storm-lore’s damage.
    Opinion: Great change, as Storm-lore has a 2 minute cooldown, which makes this trait underpowered in the current form.

Overall thoughts on Master of Nature’s Fury changes: I think this is mostly just a few tweaks here and there. Our DPS line is in a good place, not over-powered, but still very potent if traited and used correctly. This was mostly just keeping up with the changes to the skills.

Post-66 Skills

  • Level 66: Improved Sign of Power: Command
    Changes current skill into an AoE skill (affects up to 5 targets)
    Opinion: This is an ok change, but kind of anti-climactic. After all, we can already debuff multiple mobs in a group easily, because this skill only has a 1.8 second cooldown, and there is a legacy that can increase the time it is on the mob to 1 minute.
  • Level 68: Improved Staff-sweep
    New: Same as old, but each target hit adds a stacking buff to the Lore-master of +33% critical chance on the next fire skill. This buff remains until a fire skill crits.
    Old: A 3-target, frontal AoE melee attack that restores power over time on an enemy with the Flanked! effect.
    Opinion: WOW! This is by far the thing I am most excited about for the Lore-master changes. This is going to be so awesome in the Moors, I might actually have to try PvMP on my Lore-master. On the other hand, my warg is toast…literally…
  • Level 70: Commune with Nature (New Pet)
    A new pet that focuses on complementing the Lore-master’s healing capabilities. Comments from people attending Gamescon indicated that the new pet is a Limrafn.
    This has actually been highly contested on the forums, as the big bull-like auroch that was originally proposed does not seem to fit in very well with our current pet entourage. Raskolnikov said that he was thinking about putting a poll up to have the players decide which pet they would like to have. There is already a thread here with people discussing the options. Dog, owl, and limrafn (the Dead mist things in Evendim) are top contenders for aurochs-alternates, but there are many still in favor of the auroch. I think dog and auroch are the most lore-correct, but I am most in favor of the dog, as it is the Norse and Old English favorite pet, and we are heading towards Rohan, where Tolkien infused the culture with Norse and Old English influences.
  • Level 72: Improved Sign of the Wild: Rage
    Adds +10% damage bonus to Sign of the Wild: Rage, for a total of +15% if traited.
    Opinion: This is great, makes our pet DPS worth thinking about.
  • Level 74: Improved Burning Embers
    The DoT component of Burning Embers will now stack multiple times.
    Opinion: It should have already been doing this. Very anti-climactic for our last skill of the current end-game. Kind of reminds me of when our current last skill, Continual Air-lore, was such a disappointment at level 64.

This is all that I know about Lore-masters in Isengard right now, but I will update as I get more information. There are many Lore-masters enraged about the changes to our cures (I was one of them), and there are many that are too excited about the Staff-sweep and pet changes to care. Still, good changes overall, we’ll see how they play in the Beta and what changes are made to them before launch.

Last Updated: August 25th, 2011


Lore-master Dev Diary


Follow-up post by Raskolnikov 1

Follow-up post by Raskolnikov 2

Pet Request thread


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  1. August 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm
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