LOTRO: class changes – first impressions

So I successfully patched the latest Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Helm’s Deep. I haven’t as yet bought it since my main character is only level 73 and just about to step into the fields of Rohan for last year’s expansion. This new expansion affects all players of the game though as the big class revamp has arrived and changed up how classes are played and customised.

Big decision or just click any old one..?

Big decision or just click any old one..?

The revamped class trait trees for champion have more obviously grouped abilities and class traits into tanking (blue), single-target-damage (red) and area-damage (yellow) class specialisms. I actually played my champ to date as a mostly ‘red’ plus bit of ‘yellow’ character – he was designed to burn down single targets with some area-damage bonuses to make solo easier. But that was based on my earlier times spent doing lower level dungeons with a guild. Since I’ve been playing generally solo more recently the yellow line seemed the best to follow.

After choosing a spec I could see the trees for point allocation, pretty standard stuff for an MMORPG.

Not in any way optimal or well researched...

Not in any way optimal or well researched…

Since I didn’t want to spend all session on an optimal spec I chose traits that would either unlock key abilities I wanted OR ones that sounded suitable for my desire to “kill lots of things at once as fast as possible”.

Ability gaps...

Ability gaps…

The effect of the class changes is most noticeable in my ability bars (bottom of the screenshot above). There are quite a number of gaps in my bars now since all classes have had their abilities reduced or segregated in the colour-coded trait trees. For example I’ve lost the Dire Need self-heal as that’s now a ‘blue’ ability for tanking champions.

I only quested for a short while after sorting his talents and legendary items (all of which had been reset). The class still feels familiar to play, although it definitely seems like I have fewer damage abilities to play with now. Legendary items in some cases have had their effectiveness reduced as the legacies, or skill specific bonuses that each item randomly gains as you level it, may relate to skills your chosen class spec no longer uses. The mace I was using had several legacies tied to skills missing from his bars.

ScreenShot01161

Points for the trees are earned by completing class deeds, similar to the old system before the revamp. That has me slightly confused as I have several deeds I would have thought I should have completed already – such as the one pictured above. One of the three abilities, Second Wind, I have used in almost every fight ever since I received it at level sixteen yet the counter says I’ve only used it a paltry twenty times!

I’ve not had time to look at my other characters yet, I’d rather focus LOTRO sessions on leveling on into Rohan. So far the changes to champion don’t seem too onerous to take on board.

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