A kinnie asked for advice on whether or not to start a lore-master today. He has been raiding on his main for years and was looking for a raiding alt. Here is a slightly altered version of what I told him. Use it to your advantage if you consider rolling one.
How is the lore-master to level? Does it take a long time solo?
This first question was right away the hardest for me to answer, as I leveled mine in Shadows of Angmar, when it was one of the slowest classes to level. Much has changed since then, as we now have a viable DPS trait line. Don't expect the lore-master to be the fastest class ever to level, but it should now be fairly quick. You are also very survivable once you know how to use your tricks. If you want to know more about leveling a lore-master, the official forums are a good place to start. There are always some threads on this topic.
Are most skills induction based?Yes.<
Yes, blowing things up is what lore-masters do best, that is, if they are traited in the red line. Most of our skills deal fire damage, and some of them have utterly cool animations. Think of Ents go to War and Lightning Storm.
Strong points: Lore-masters traited down the Master of Nature's Fury ("red") line, have amazing AoE burst DPS. This is great for soloing, burning everything left and right. It's also great for raid skirmishes, certain instances and such. Sustained AoE damage is also pretty good.
Downside: Sustained lore-master single-target DPS is crap, even with reds traited. Arguably, even captains can deal more damage. Also note that traiting DPS will to a certain extent gimp your support and crowd-control skills.
In any serious raid, you will be playing as a support class (most times traited in the Ancient Master line) with limited DPS.
Are there good "oh shit"-skills?
Lore-masters have one reasonably big self heal with a five minute cooldown, but that's about it. We are squishy and are expected to plan ahead for what we do, using dazes, roots or slowing and kiting. A lore-master is a master with these tools, and if you use them correctly, there is little you cannot solo.
What do you like the most about the lore-master?
- You need to use your brains. For some classes, it's fine to pretty much stick to one way of traiting and repeat the same thing you're good at all the time. Not so with the lore-master. In my opinion, each (group) situation requires different traits and pets. You'll be changing these around depending on what dangers you're facing and what classes you play with. Pro-tip 1: if you're lazy and just want to repeat the same trick over and over, this is not the class for you.
- It's a multitasking support class. Lore-masters are pretty much indispensible for any hard raid. They are the multitaskers in the group: debuffing, healing, leeching/sharing power, managing crowd-control, removing corruptions, providing stun immunity, curing wounds/diseases, bossing their pets around... and this all at the same time. This will be chaotic from time to time and you really have to be on your toes, but this is what makes the class fun for me, even after many years. Being support does have to suit you, though. Pro-tip 2: if you just want to blow things up, stick to soloing and the Ettenmoors.
- Crowd-control. Lore-masters arguably have the best crowd-control of all classes - my eyes sparkle when asked to daze something, or even better, daze two things! I once made a list of crowd-control sorted by class and published it on the Lotro-wiki. The constant reoccurring of the LM class should speak for itself: stun (6 skills, 1 pet skill), daze (2 skills), root (2 skills), slow (2 skills) and fear (1 pet skill). The current main raid the Tower of Orthanc demands a lot of crowd-control. Pro-tip 3: if you strongly dislike crowd-control, avoid the Tower of Orthanc.
Overall, the lore-master is a lovely versatile class that won't easily bore you. I do think you have to have certain characteristics, though, in order to be able to like it.
Already playing a lore-master?Let me know what you like about it most! Also, feel free to comment if you believe I have been incorrect anywhere. Finally, I made a compilation of lore-master animations, including the ones above (yes, I admit it, I couldn't stop taking fun lore-master screenshots, they just look so cool!). Are you able to you recognize all the animations depicted in this article?
Note: the pictures above will be counted as 1-4, counting from top to bottom. Below will continue with 5