LOTRO: Warning — unBEARable puns ahead!

The abrupt decision to quit World of Warcraft entirely caused a rare mid-month reshuffling of gaming priorities. Without WoW Classic in my schedule, I had a little bit of extra time and attention to divert elsewhere. And since I was having a great time in LOTRO since easing back in, why not here?

I’ve been plugging away at Elderslade with mild levels of enthusiasm (I hear War of Three Peaks is better, so I’ll persist), but the thought of an alt seemed appealing for more than injecting something new to do. I’m increasing my coverage of LOTRO in Massively OP, and I wanted to get a three-for-one project going by trying out the Treebeard progression server, the new difficulty levels, and a class I’ve never played and covered before.

In the latter’s case, it was a decision to go with the Beorning. As of July 2021, the Beorning is the newest class, having been added to the game in November 2014. It’ll lose this distinction later this year when the Brawler debuts, however.

And since 2014, I really haven’t ever wanted to play one. I usually love the idea of shapeshifting classes, but my initial impression of the Beorning was “ugly bear butt” and “nothing but melee.” Just some axe swings, shift, some bear swipes, and that was what I thought it was.

Boy, I could not have been more wrong. Since creating my bear, she’s opened my eyes up to a really exciting and flexible class that’s been a blast to play. There’s so much survival, self-sufficiency, and other utility options that I was overlooking previously. I didn’t realize how much of a hybrid class this was.

By far, my favorite skill is being able to activate SUPER BEAR SPEED out of combat, effectively turning myself into a mount — but a more flexible mount who can actually swim.

So I’ve been trucking her through her paces in the Shire, racking up levels and virtues despite being saddled with the 60% XP debuff and a Deadly difficulty level. Found a nice kinship on that server, too, so there’s always a conversation happening when I log in.

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