“Why Syp,” you’d say. “That’s not only laughable, but completely rhetorical as well!”
“Who said anything about rhetorical?” I’d answer, pressing the secret button that exists only on this blog.
You’d choose the raven, right? I mean, even if this was the world’s deadliest raven, trained to be an eyeball-seeking missile of doom, it doesn’t really stand much of a chance against a meaty 170-pound person who has come to dominate the food chain over birds for a very good reason. Birds are not scary.
On the other hand, nobody questions the deadly intent of a bear, especially if you’ve slathered yourself with salmon perfume that morning. Despite what pop culture media would have you believe, bears do not exist to provide our young with comfort, to soften our laundry, to eat honey from cute little jars and to put out forest fires. Instead, they are there to take your head off with one meaty swing of its paw and then laugh with their friends about how you peed your pants six seconds prior to that event.
So explain to me why LOTRO’s bear is physically weaker than the raven? As a Lore-master feeling out the abilities of his pets, this is something I don’t get. Even if you try to make the case that we’re somehow damaging an opponent’s “morale” instead of his or her physical well-being whenever you attack, I don’t think that a bird attack holds quite the demoralizing effect as a bulky bear getting all up in your business.
Really, a Lore-master’s bear should be the apex of the pet chain instead of the second, mostly disposable pet you get at level 15. They do serve a purpose, mind you — properly traited and given honey ‘n oats to eat, bears can grab some decent aggro and help keep mobs (especially adds) off your butt so that you can lay down the beats.
But I see very few LMs using bears, even before level 30 (when you get your burst-DPS lynx pet). The raven offers better attacks and debuffs, the lynx has better DPS, and the eagle rocks everything. So the poor, poor bear is left in the cold.
My friends, this should not be. Bears should make enemies quake in fear, they should one-shot bad guys from time to time, and you should be able to mount one and ride it. Because if you could summon a bear and order it about, why would you ride a horse from that point on?
Who will stand up for the bears?