The nine classes of Lord of the Rings: Online
The Lord of the Rings: Online currently has nine classes that can be played. They can be basically devided in the catagories DPS, Tanking, Healing and Crowd Control. All classes have a primary role and a secondary role. For some of the classes the secondary role is not always extremely clear until either explained, or when the class is played.
The DPS classes in Lord of the Rings: Online are the Hunter, the Champion and the Rune-keeper.
The hunter is a DPS class that focusses on single target DPS. It's job is to burn down a mob with a lot of firepower using it's bow skills. These skills can do an enormous amount of damage and generally lead to the target lying dead at the hunters feet before it can get a hit in. If this is not the case, the hunter has a few melee skills in which a mob can be finished off.
The enormous single target DPS can get a hunter in trouble when playing in a group. When in a group, the mobs faced usually have a much larger health pool so the above doesn't apply there. In groupplay the hunter has to be careful to not do spike damage (a lot of damage in a real short time). Instead, the hunter should turn to sustained DPS (doing damage over a larger period of time). This means that the hunter uses quite some power. Luckily, the hunter can change stances and in group play it is preferred to use endurance stance. It does less damage, but also saves power and draws a lot less attention while using bow skills.
Although a hunters job is to do damage, the secondary job of a hunter is to remove poison from the fellowship members. Hunters have a skill that can do that easily. It means the hunter has to pay attention to it's fellowship members when they get infected with poison. Another job is to keep an eye out for archer-mobs as they usually target the healer first. If the tank is already swarmed with mobs, the hunter can take on an archer to keep the healer from dying. The third thing a hunter can do is keep an eye on the surroundings. The hunter stands a bit back from the main fight and can warn when patrols are about to join the fight. This keeps nasty surprises from happening.
The champion is the DPS class that is best at doing Area of Effect (AoE) damage. The champion stands with the tank at the forefront of the battle and deals damage there. It is the job of chapion to deal as much damage as possible to a many mobs as possible without taking aggro of the tank. If this does happen, the champion can use a certain skill to transfer some of that aggro back to the tank.
As a champion is also able to grab aggro fast and transfer it back to the tank, the champion can also grab aggro on mobs running towards the healer. It's the champions second job to grab this aggro from the healer and add it to the tanks aggro. It can also happen that the tanl can't handle those extra mobs, in which case it is the champion's job to off tank these mobs. This in turn does put an extra strain on the healer.
The rune-keeper is a light armoured DPS dealer. The rune-keeper can deal enourmous amount of damage on a singe target but also on a group of mobs. This means that in solo play the mobs will be dead before you realise it. If a rune-keeper attracks to much attention from a group, the rune-keeper might not survive the encounter.
Rune-keepers can do damage in different types; fire and frost to name two. This comes in handy when a target is susceptable to a certain damage type. The rune-keeper is also able to change mid-fight from damage to healing. It might come in handy when the main healer cannot keep up or the main healer dies during the battle. The rune-keeper can the take over for the main healer and resurect the fallen after the fight.
Lord of the Rings: Online has two tanking classes; the Guardian and the Warden. Both are tanks, but tank in a different way. The guardian relies on his heavy armour to withstand heavy blows, the Warden has a great deal of block, parry and evade to minimize incoming damage.
The original tank of the game. The guardian wears heavy armour to minimize incoming damage from the mobs s/he faces. The guardian stands between the mobs and the rest of the fellowship. By means of doing damage, taunts and other aggrovating skills, he keeps the attention to him/herself. As the tank is taking the beating and thus gets a lot of damage to deal with, the guardian relies on the healer to keep him/her alive. Whenever a mob runs from the guardian, s/he'll do everything to get that mob back.
As a guardian's primary role is tanking, it can happen that there are two guardian's in one group. One of them can then take on the role of damage dealer. Guardian's have a stance called overpower. This allows them to deal damage, at the expense of dropping their shield. This stance is usually combined with wielding a big two-handed weapon for extra damage.
A medium armoured tank. The warden doesn't and will not rely on armour to withstand blows. Instead, the warden tanks by using the avoidance they have. The warden's block, parry and evade can be maxed to and above the hard cap (all above that goes into partial), so attacks are avoided and don't do much damage or any damage at all. This does not always hold and therefore the warden has selfheals. These selfheals usually transfer health from the mobs the warden faces onto the warden itself. These are two-fold then; damageing your mobs while healing yourself. Most of these heals work on multiple targets.
A warden doesn't do much damage, but it's more then a guardian (with the exception of a guardian in overpower). However, traited in the spearline, a warden can pack quite a punch. The damage a warden does is mostly over time as they have three almost guarenteed bleed DoT's (Damage over Time). A wardens secondary role is therefore damage dealing.
There are two healing classes in the game; the Minstrel and the Rune-keeper. The minstrel is the original healer in this game. The rune-keeper was added with Mines of Moria.
The minstrel heals by playing tunes that lift your morale to keep on fighting. To do this, the minstrel has an array of ballads available to lift it or to prevent it from dropping to fast. The first ones are more visible as they add morale instantly and sometimes in large amounts, the second is less visible as it is a buff. The buff is just shown by displaying a small icon underneath the health and power bars. Minstrels focus on one target mostly, but also have a few skills to heal an entire fellowship. After a fight, the minstrel can resurect the fallen, as well as removing dread from those that retreated from battle after defeat and re-entered it.
Although minstrels are often viewed as main healing class, they can also pack quite a punch when in DPS mode. When a minstrel enters War-Speech, some skills come available that deal a great amount of damage. These skills are on rather a long cooldown making the minstrel more a spike damage dealer then a sustained damage dealer. As minstrels wear light armour (mostly), taking on more then two mobs usually means certain death.
The rune-keeper can not only spec for DPS dealing, but also for healing. Most of the rune-keepers healing is not direct like the minstrel's healing, but more over time. The rune-keeper can drop a sigil that heals an entire fellowship and can cast heals that heal a target over time.
As being said, a rune-keeper can change roles mid-battle. When DPS is needed and/or when a minstrel is present, the rune-keeper can start out as healer and switch when more DPS is needed. With the amount of damage a rune-keeper can deal, mobs will be dead soon.
(More info required on the rune-keeper)
Crowd Control classes
Lord of the Rings: Online has two crowd control classes; the Loremaster and the Burglar. Loremasters are a pet class and are masters of debuffing and trapping. Burglars are the class that sneaks around dealing damage from stealth, stunning and starting fellowship maneuvers.
The loremaster is a pet class. It means they fight with a pet at their side. They have a number of pets at their disposal to use. The situation determines what pet is best in what situation. Does a loremaster use a tanking pet or one that does AoE damage? It's up to the loremaster to decide by taking the situation and the personal playstyle into account.
Loremasters are also the masters of debuffing and trapping. They can make mobs hit half as hard, stunn them so they don't move, slow them so more time is gained. All this can come in handy when facing multiple mobs or mobs with a lot of health. Loremasters can also draw power from a mob to add it to their own power. Then they can share some of that power with their pet or their fellowshipmembers.
Loremasters can also remove wounds from their fellowship members or give them some health. A secondary job is there for the loremaster, the off healing, but it's not always needed or called upon.
Burglars are the players that sneak around to either avoid a fight or to surprise the opponent. They can debuff a mob from stealth and also stun a mob from it. It gives the burglar the upperhand in a fight from the start of a fight; the first damage done is always by the burglar.
In groups burglars can pack quite a punch, but like the minstrel it's mostly by doing spike damage. A burglar can do sustained damage better then a minstrel, but not hold this for long. In groups the burglar has the ability to start fellowship maneuvers at will. This can come in handy when a group is low on health or does not do enough damage.
(More information required on the burglar)
As one can see, there is one class left out;
The captain can not really be placed in one of the four main groups. The captain does not have great DPS in either single or multiple target, they are also not really a crowd control class, tanking is also not really their cup of tea and although they can heal, it's not speciality of them like it is for the minstrel or rune-keeper. The captain does buff their allies however, has a herald following or a banner they can plant but are really a Jack of all trades, master of none. A captain basically helps out in a fight wherever possible and keeps the buffs on their fellowshipmembers up and running.
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