One of the best things about LOTRO, in my opinion, is just how different the classes feel from each other — and, in many cases, how different they feel from contemporary classes in other titles. I’ve spent a good deal of time with four of the nine classes, and while some of them shared types of skills and abilities, they had their own style and unique twist.
The Captain, as Spinks once said, is one of the truest hybrid classes you’ll ever come across in any MMORPG. They can do a lot adequately, or with a lot of work, a couple things very well. The Lore-master is a bizarre mix of crowd control, DOTs, pet handling and debuffing, which really throws people off when they figure a LM is the typical mage class cannon as seen in other games. The Minstrel, on the other hand, uses song to heal and hurt, but can shift between offense and defense based on the situation.
This brings me to the fourth class I’ve marinated in, the Burglar. I think a lot of folks would take one glance at this guy, see the stealth and dual-daggers/weapons, and think “Oh, it’s a rogue.” Except, it’s not. I mean, sure, it certainly shares common traits of rogue-like classes — double weapons, sort of squishy, burst damage, attack from stealth. But Turbine did a great job in giving the Burglar far more depth and utility than that.
What I love about my Burg is that she stacks the odds in her favor for every fight with a huge bag of tricks that goes beyond just stealth-and-stab. Sometimes it’s more prudent to get a huge opening crit by hiding in the shadows, using distraction to get the mob to turn around, trigger my auto-crit skill, and then attacking with my heaviest damage attack followed by the special attacks that unlock from a crit. It’s a terrific opener, to be sure.
But other times, I’m either not willing to spend the time to prep a stealth attack, or I’m dealing with multiple mobs, in which case the Burg’s other talents come into play. I have very good crowd control in several different flavors, from quick stuns to long dazes to a hard 6-second lockdown. Two mobs, no problem; three, and it’s a bit of a dance, but I usually can come out just fine.
Then there’s a lot of other little goodies that come with the package, such as being able to temporarily bump my evasion rating through the roof if I find myself in a hard spot, being able to heal myself on a fairly regular basis, and — of course — start up Fellowship Maneuvers whenever I want when I’m in a group.
I’m prepping my Burglar to be a Gambler at higher levels, which really looks like an interesting way to play the class, where you put your faith in the RNG to generate better-than-expected results for various moves. Anything to keep the class fresh, unpredictable and interesting, I’m there.