Book 11: Month of the Lore-master

Overview:Month of the Lore-master!

The Lore-master is one of the more complex classes in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ (LOTRO), and Book 11 was the Lore-master’s turn for an update. After examining the strengths and weaknesses of this class, we tasked ourselves with delivering more versatility and a greater potential for DPS over the lifetime of the character, while making up for some of the perceived shortcomings of current low-level crowd control abilities.

In essence, our goals were to make the Lore-master’s group role more apparent and more obvious at an earlier level range, and to give Lore-masters more ways to use their utility role to be effective against a wider array of creatures.

Challenge Discussions:

The general idea behind these changes was to serve the needs of our current players and achieve our goals without removing the already established flavor of the class. There seemed to be a great consternation on the part of some Lore-masters, who believed that some of their limitations, rather than their abilities, were what defined their class. However, we had faith that these issues could be overcome without diminishing the flavor of the Lore-master.

Targeting the early levels of the Lore-master was a priority since the class’ weaknesses against certain types of creatures were exposed earlier than we wanted. Fully stripping out those weaknesses seemed the simplest solution. However, with the recently expanded content in the first twenty levels of the game (primarily in the Great Barrows) it became clear that in order to play the role of crowd control Lore-masters had to have a few tricks against the Dead in their repertoire. That need quickly began to form the core of the skills we wanted to create.

Our next realization was that the new skills should have a bit of a learning curve to it, since the skills would serve Lore-masters well on their first big Fellowship instance. In this case we wanted it to be a daze, since it would educate Lore-masters to the perils (and sometimes the frustration) of breaking crowd control early; however, that seemed to be a bit harsh as a teaching tool and would probably end up being counter-productive. In contrast, the stun effect doesn’t break on damage, so it would be an ideal choice, but again it wouldn’t teach players about breaking a daze. That means the skills had to fit within the guidelines of being both a daze and a mez. We think Lore-masters will like what came out of this process, as we ended up doing a bit of both.

The Easy Part

Everyone likes DPS, and everyone loves staring at an enemy and incinerating them with their Lore-master-vision. It’s kind of what Keth does every time we talk about giving the Lore-master the ability to tap into more of the magic of Middle-earth.

(Keth screams in the background, "THERE IS NO MAGIC IN MIDDLE-EARTH! THERE’S ONLY WILL, ART, AND LORE!")

The Lore-master is a class that understands subtlety, and it’s one of the few groups of mortals that have even an inkling of the power of magic (Keth - "NO MAGIC!") in Middle-earth. This means that with enough will, a Lore-master can bring that power to bear on the enemies of the Free Peoples. However, this use of will is not without a cost -- it is dangerous to tinker with the forces of Middle–earth, so adding more DPS to the class in the form of bigger skills would come at a cost of morale. The Lore-master is a master of lore and friend to good animals, but a Lore-master is certainly no Wizard.

That being said, we wanted to sprinkle a bit more of that flavor into any new abilities; we really were happy with most of a Lore-master’s ability to deal damage, so it wasn’t going to be the primary way we increased a Lore-master’s DPS options. That leads us into…


From the beginning, we wanted to give Lore-masters another pet. We needed it to be able to fulfill the role of adding DPS at the cost of being a bit frailer than the other pets. This led to an interesting problem for us. We wanted a Lore-master to have a pet that would grant the capacity to gain some burst DPS, while not duplicating the flanking and tank roles already covered by the Raven and the Bear. Thus we chose the stealthy Lynx as the pet who would deliver some burst DPS to a Lore-master when required.

Looking Closer

Crowd Control

Many classes in LOTRO have some minor crowd-control ability. However, only a Lore-master has a veritable treasure trove (in its breadth and depth of options at its fingertips.

The Month of the Lore-master enhances a Lore-master’s ability to control the crowd of creatures of Middle-earth.

  • New Skill: Bane-Flare – This new daze skill gives a Lore-master close-range, multi-target support versus the Dead in Middle-earth.
  • New Skill: Storm-Lore – This skill enables a Lore-master to deal damage to its foes, while hitting them with a close-range Stun in the skill’s Area of Effect.


Lore-masters have unparalleled control over the timing and flow of combat. With some of their new skills they gain further ability to maintain this control, while helping their group to deal more damage. These skills are generally useful, but they also serve to bolster the Lore-master against creatures unaffected by some of their more traditional abilities

  • New Skill: Warding Knowledge: Dead
    • This skill enables a Lore-master to cause the Dead to be more susceptible to Tactical Critical while in the skill’s area of effect. It will also raise the creature’s chance to miss.
  • New Skill: Warding Knowledge: Creatures of Nature
    • This skill enables a Lore-master to cause Creatures of Nature to be more susceptible to Tactical Critical while in the skill’s area of effect. It will also raise the creature’s chance to miss.
  • New Skill: Warding Knowledge: Drakes
    • This skill enables you to cause Drakes to be more susceptible to Tactical Critical while in the skill’s area of effect. It will also raise the creature’s chance to miss.
  • New Skill: Ancient Craft
    • A Lore-master has the ability to de-buff heavily-armored creatures, reducing its armor values in the skill’s area of effect.
  • New Skill: Sticky Tar
    • When a Lore-master places sticky tar on the ground it will slow its opponents and make them more vulnerable to fire damage.
  • New Skill: Air-Lore
    • This Buff, when placed on someone else, will cause a small amount of damage reflection to those who strike someone under the Lore-master’s protection.

Direct Damage

When its ire is raised, a Lore-master can call upon the very world of Middle-earth to bolster the martial strength of his Fellowship. Tapping into such energies is difficult at best, however, costing the Lore-master valuable morale. The most powerful Lore-masters are a terrible sight to behold.

  • New Skill: Storm-Lore
    • This skill enables a Lore-master to deal damage to its foes, while hitting them with a close-ranged Stun in the skill’s area of effect.
  • New Skill: Lightning Storm
    • A Lore-master, through a mixture of guile and its own will, causes nature itself to revolt against the servants of the Eye. This skill requires that Ancient Craft be applied to the creature first.


Lore-masters’ pets have always been a topic in the debate on which is the most effective companion. Although this debate is largely based on play style and player-type, we wanted to give the Lore-master even more options and added: The Deadly Lynx!

Animal Friends

General Changes

Knowledge of the Lore-master

Lore-masters are the knowledge-keepers in Middle-earth; they have an uncanny ability to use their knowledge to exploit the weakness of a servant of the enemy. This ability enables a Lore-master to use its knowledge to examine certain creatures in the game and determine which abilities they’ll be most vulnerable to. This includes:


Tricks of the Light

The Minstrel’s role as a powerful force for enhancing morale in Fellowships is clear, but the Lore-master also dabbles in this arena. The Lore-master, in the Book 11 update, will be able to bring the defeated back from the edge with his “Back from the Brink” skill and a few material components - though when a person is restored using this ability, they’ll be in a weakened state.


In Conclusion

During the Month of the Lore-master, the class gains more flexibility to deal with situations with which it may have had trouble before, as well as a few more crowd control tricks to round out its skill set. In the end, the Lore-master will be the unparalleled master of crowd control.

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