I do appreciate all of the discussion, advice, and personal experiences shared the other day when I asked for feedback on making a decision between LOTRO alts: a Burglar, a Lore-master, and a Minstrel. It seems as though Minis have a lot of word-of-mouth going for them, but the LM vote was strong too.
So what I did was to log onto both of these characters, one for the last time, and make a judgment call after giving them another test drive. And in the end it wasn’t a hard decision at all: I’m going to stick with my newish Lore-master.
There’s a lot to appreciate about the Minstrel for sure, but I absolutely love having pets and was rediscovering my joy of the LM class. It feels like a big “do-over” from my old character of Sype. This time around I am going to approach the class differently, try a different skill rotation, and build the class better. All of this plus some really groovy outfits has made me content with my decision.
Syp the Lore-master already feels very different from Sype. For one thing, she’s rocking with the bear, a pet that I previously ignored and dismissed almost immediately. Upon doing some research and figuring out which pet best suits my playstyle, the bear became a very viable option. Its damage is a lot more respectable than I previously thought, it does an awesome 10% incoming damage debuff to mobs, it can occasionally stun mobs, and it has a wonderfully useful 10-second snap taunt that can take a mob off of me for a while. I’m seriously considering sticking with this pet as my primary companion, which will also free up a legendary slot from the eagle/bog-lurker. It even has the bonus of not flapping around on my screen, which is one of the most distracting parts of using birds.
I used the TP I’ve been earning from deed completions to buy the little tundra cub skin for the bear, which I’ve named Nipbud. So now he’s not that gargantuan either. Fear the wrath of his cuteness!
This time around on the LM, I’m abandoning the blue line (which was Sype’s forte) and going with the tried-and-true DPS-in-your-face red line. I’ve already accumulated a few class traits to pump up my fire DPS and reduce induction times, meaning that I’m tossing out the pain harder and faster than usual. I’m also weaving in a lot more stuns and CC into my skill rotation. It’s fun to start with a stun, DPS for a while, then have the bear snap-taunt and kill the mob without it ever doing a single point of damage to me. Each fight uses a slightly different rotation (and multi-mob fights even more so), so it’s not like I’m doing the same thing all of the time.
Finally, I’m building a much more solid LM from the ground up with virtues. I’m focusing on morale and physical mitigation with some will thrown in at the end, and already I feel more.. “beefy” than usual. I figure squishy classes need all of the health buffers they can get.
So now I’ve finally pushed past the first five zones that I’ve been doing over and over with all of these alts and am making headway into Evendim. This is a new experience for me, as I’ve never gotten to level a character through the zone since its massive revamp. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, however, and will appreciate the push from level 30 to 40. Three of the five virtue deeds I need in that zone are tied to questing alone, which is perfect.
Apart from the choice of class, it’s refreshing to go back to Eriador and do all of this old-fashion questing. I try not to think “There are still four expansions to go,” but to just enjoy the journey. And fry a lot of faces while doing it.