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LOTRO's Minstrel Is Its Most Interesting Class For All The Lore Reasons - MMORPG.com

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 3,129

imageLOTRO's Minstrel Is Its Most Interesting Class For All The Lore Reasons - MMORPG.com

One of the key balances the developers at Standing Stone Games (SSG) have to deal with is creating a fun and engaging game while also adapting arguably the most fully realized and beloved fictional universe in literature. As a result, adapting The Lord of the Rings to an MMO is obviously going to come with concessions.

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  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 5,560
    Nice, detailed article.
    Scotc0796Agent_Joseph

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Member UncommonPosts: 443
    Turbine created the game and the minstrel class. SSG is just the entity that was created when Turbine was bought because the game did not make enough money.

    The concept of a health bar VS a morale bar is irrelevant. Health is morale, morale is health. It functions the exact same way in every other game ever created. You can buff your morale, you can buff your health. Enemies can debuff your health, and debuff your morale. You die in a game with health bars, you are defeated in LOTRO with it's morale bar. You respawn at your bind area just like every other game.

    During the development of the game Turbine (not SSG) had some strict limitations on what they could do. The had the rights to the books, not the movies and if you know anything about the Tolkien estate you know that they are very careful as to how their IP is handled. So you got things like morale bars, and no wizard classes and things like that. They had to stay true to the books.

    Over time the restrictions faded. They added Beornings, Rune Keepers in 2012, you fight a Dragon (even though there are none left) You can even fight another Balrog.

    Right now, if you want to, you can run around wearing a wrapped Christmas box as a chest piece weilding a giant flower into battle while a flying a kite and having a cosmetic pet sheep follow you around. And when you defeat the bad guy, you can do the /golf emotes.

    So, yea....not exactly the same game as it was in 2007.
    KyleranJavisoReverielleWraith0SamhaelValdheim
  • UtinniUtinni Member RarePosts: 922
    Beorning is fun at least!
    Agent_Joseph
  • AbimorAbimor Member UncommonPosts: 484
    the mini has evolved over time. When the game first launched it was hard to do anything by yourself my wife really struggled  when I was not on.  We did have a great time as a champ mini duo. They are in a much better place now then ever before i enjoy the class. Oh and Beorning is a ton of fun.  
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,685
    edited July 30
    Morale and defeat instead of HP and death ain't just semantics, @kobold.
    Using the power of song for a class was a very Tolkien-esque solution, and lots of lore addicts loved it.
    Balrog and dragon (even if only a dead one) was much earlier, Rift and Helegrod.

    Agree on the second part, wrapped box costume, the giant flower, etc. really are stupid. I don't like kites either, personally.
    However, beating mobs with frying pans and rolling pins as a group of hobbits can be a nice roleplay fun...


    The article's "While the Minstrel has had a bumpy road, going from uber powerful healer to being tweaked so it’s soloable" made me puzzled. Of course I'm biased, I lamented quite a few times on this forum too about the changes Orion has made, and how I loved the original minstrel more.

    Minstrel never was an uber powerful healer, it was just a decent one in MMO terms, it did the job well enough, but nothing more. And on the flipside it had all the usual MMO healer "features" like very slow and tedious leveling, heavy group dependency (even in medium armour and traited for warspeech its survival chances were below average), but it didn't matter much. The very concept of healing through music, and the need for them in groups made minstrels a rewarding and fun class to play.

    The "über" part arrived later, and for many healers Orion killed the soul of the class. With the warden-lite mechanic of ballads, then the powerhouse killing machine aspect changed it for the worse. It may fit better for the recent "everyone is dps" trend in MMOs... I still loved the traditional healer with a lot of support choices at hand.
    TorvalReverielleperrin82breygonValdheim
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 11,631
    Nearly all the classes are very solid in lore, but like every MMORPG you get MMO drift, which is like TV channel drift but for MMO's. That's why you can walk around in an Xmas box, we used to question the Santa's outfits now you can wear a box. But that's MMO drift for you and in this area it has not effected LotRO that much relative to other MMOs. MMO drift really got a grip of the cash shop though, I think it is now as bad as the rest of them.
    KyleranTorvalReverielleAgent_Joseph

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  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Member RarePosts: 2,943
    I loved playing as a Minstrel. I found it complex snd rewarding.
    TorvalAgent_Joseph

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • WarlyxWarlyx Member RarePosts: 2,867

    Utinni said:

    Beorning is fun at least!



    how so? i played it a little and despise the gameplay , being a bear is cool but , healing bear was meh , tanking was "ok" , but dps was badly , and not fun
  • UtinniUtinni Member RarePosts: 922

    Warlyx said:



    Utinni said:


    Beorning is fun at least!






    how so? i played it a little and despise the gameplay , being a bear is cool but , healing bear was meh , tanking was "ok" , but dps was badly , and not fun



    Healing bear was probably the strongest, but I didn't play LOTRO to be a meta-gamer. I thought the DPS spec was really fun because you had to shift back and forth between human/bear form and keep bleeds up, with your crit scaling with higher rage in bear etc.
    c0796
  • HarikenHariken Member RarePosts: 2,324
    The most fun healing class i ever played.
  • MargraveMargrave Member RarePosts: 1,163
    I loved my minstrel when I was still playing. Such a great class!
  • OG_ZorvanOG_Zorvan Member EpicPosts: 1,830
    If you think the Lore Master fits Tolkien's world, your opinion on Tolkien's world is null and void.


    MMORPG.COM took away my swinging cheerleader butt .gif.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,685
    edited July 31
    LM (at least at the start) was fitting the world really well, all seven original classes did. LM was a crowd control class, dealt with the mobs through his knowledge on the world, with his animal companions and the help of nature.
    They weren't the "one-man group" of today, that's the byproduct of the trends in MMOs general, about CC is now irrelevant and dps is everything, for all classes.
    At the start, leveling an LM solo was almost as tedious as with minstrels, you had to plan ahead the whole fight, what to slow, what to stun, what should your pet do, etc.

    As the mighty champ posted 10 years ago, mocking minis, LMs and RKs:
    "2. Loremasters are afraid of almost everything. Seriously.
    All of their skills are based around this. They mez and root to keep the scary things away. If that fails, they debuff it, so it seems a little less scary to them.
    And they have pets to help keep things away from them, and to have someone to cuddle with in case they have a bad dream or something."
    :smiley:
    perrin82mmolou
  • JeroKaneJeroKane Member RarePosts: 6,233
    edited July 31


    SNIP...



    I agree with some things, but you are off the mark with a lot you say.

    First, SSG was created as WB decided couple years ago that Turbine should focus on mobile game development and a lot of devs got laid off. They also wanted to close down LOTRO and DDO. So the former devs formed SSG and strike a deal with WB to take over LOTRO and DDO, since WB was no longer interested in keeping those games running.

    While true that Turbine at that time only had the IP to the LOTRO books and not The Hobbit (they still don´t). It was not a deal with Tolkien estate, but Middle Earth Enterprises, that has the entertainment rights like for the movies.

    Turbine had complete freedom to do whatever they wanted to do (since they were not under pressure by Tolkien Estate at all or there wouldn't have been any games or movies) and the first iteration of the game was completely open world game and was called Middle Earth Online, but they got cold feet, when they saw how popular the movies were (as they released in the same time period as when the game was in development) and scrapped the game and started over to bank on the success of the movies and create LOTRO Online instead to stay more true to the storyline of the books, sell it that way just to bank on the success of the movies. That caused quite the uproar in the Middle Earth Online community who were completely taken aback and dismayed by that decision at that time!

    Fighting a Dragon was right there with the Retail release, as the very first RAID was a Dragon and the Balrog fight was there with release of the first expansion Mines of Moria.
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 11,631
    Don't forget anyone can learn to play an instrument that players in your vicinity can hear. That's what MMORPG's used to aim for, being a world you can play in. Today like the rest of gaming they just aim to be "fun".

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,685
    edited July 31
    JeroKane said:
    [...] and the first iteration of the game was completely open world game and was called Middle Earth Online, but they got cold feet, when they saw how popular the movies were (as they released in the same time period as when the game was in development) and scrapped the game and started over to bank on the success of the movies and create LOTRO Online instead to stay more true to the storyline of the books, sell it that way just to bank on the success of the movies.
    I too only partially agreed with kobold (hence my corrections above), but I believe you slip a bit as well at that point...
    The switch had not much to do with the movies, since Turbine started to work on the game after the movies, more precisely after the first two and a few months before the third movie premiered in December.
    So, they were fully aware of the success and reception of the movies at the time of the initial designing phase.

    I believe the switch from MEO to LotRO, after 1.5 years of work, was fuelled more by two things:
    - Vivendi's financial issues at that time (they've sold almost everything, that's how Turbine could acquire the rights from Vivendi and publish the game later themselves)
    - a response to the year of 2004 in the genre. Namely EQ II and WoW.


    Scot said:
    Don't forget anyone can learn to play an instrument that players in your vicinity can hear. That's what MMORPG's used to aim for, being a world you can play in. Today like the rest of gaming they just aim to be "fun".
    Quite the opposite, at least in rest of the games... in a thread about music earlier I brought it up as the example of how the recent games kill off "fun" in the sake of grind or monetization.

    LotRO's music is for only the fun. Anyone can play, any time, and its sole purpose is the fun (and roleplay).
    You can't have that in any other games... the rest of the music systems (there are quite a few in other games) are usually tied more into the gameplay, you need the gear, sometimes you need musical skills to grind up for access of other instruments, sometimes you need to farm items for sheets to be able to play your music, etc.
    There is always some additional systems or mechanics involved, quite often (Nexon) with links to the cash shop.

    LotRO's music is "just there", for everyone. No strings attached - besides lute/harp/fiddle strings of course :smiley:
    Scot
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,150
    Nice article but starts off with a big mistake - LotRO is NOT A HOLY TRINITY GAME!

    It does indeed have tank, healer and dps, but it also has support classes which is why it is not a trinity game. A trinity game only has 3 roles, lotro has 4 (or six is you want to separate support into buffer, debuffer and cc roles).
  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,077
    Well done indeed. Loved they way you linked the passages from the books to this.

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,537
    Po_gg said:
    LM (at least at the start) was fitting the world really well, all seven original classes did. LM was a crowd control class, dealt with the mobs through his knowledge on the world, with his animal companions and the help of nature.
    They weren't the "one-man group" of today, that's the byproduct of the trends in MMOs general, about CC is now irrelevant and dps is everything, for all classes.
    At the start, leveling an LM solo was almost as tedious as with minstrels, you had to plan ahead the whole fight, what to slow, what to stun, what should your pet do, etc.

    As the mighty champ posted 10 years ago, mocking minis, LMs and RKs:
    "2. Loremasters are afraid of almost everything. Seriously.
    All of their skills are based around this. They mez and root to keep the scary things away. If that fails, they debuff it, so it seems a little less scary to them.
    And they have pets to help keep things away from them, and to have someone to cuddle with in case they have a bad dream or something."
    :smiley:
    I totally disagree about the LM. It was the master solo class. Before Guards and warspeech Minstrels could solo stuff, LMs were doing it in spades. Their level 45 class quest was farming Elite Spiders in the Trollshaws. Elite spiders in the Trollshaws had constant roots and dots. Nothing spelt death back then like stun/root + dots.

    Before CC got nerfed to oblivion LMs could solo Elite Masters in Shadows and Moria. Do you remember the LM in Moria who solo'd Giant Wing in Helegrod? It was freaking amazing. They could also solo the Moors quite handily along with Burgs.

    And at that time pets were total rubbish in the long haul. There was no battle summon or rez. Once the 3 pet skill cooldowns had fired they were just essentially useless. It was CC that made it all possible.

    My original LM didn't even see defeat until about lvl 38 - 40 because I took on too many Orcs at once and they stacked bleeds on me that I couldn't shrug off. I had handled the CC poorly too. I miss that LM. They're power is a shadow of what it was, but they're still formidable if played well.
    kitaradlahnmirPo_gg
    take back the hobby: https://www.reddit.com/r/patientgamers/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly
    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

  • lahnmirlahnmir Member EpicPosts: 2,759
    Torval said:
    Po_gg said:
    LM (at least at the start) was fitting the world really well, all seven original classes did. LM was a crowd control class, dealt with the mobs through his knowledge on the world, with his animal companions and the help of nature.
    They weren't the "one-man group" of today, that's the byproduct of the trends in MMOs general, about CC is now irrelevant and dps is everything, for all classes.
    At the start, leveling an LM solo was almost as tedious as with minstrels, you had to plan ahead the whole fight, what to slow, what to stun, what should your pet do, etc.

    As the mighty champ posted 10 years ago, mocking minis, LMs and RKs:
    "2. Loremasters are afraid of almost everything. Seriously.
    All of their skills are based around this. They mez and root to keep the scary things away. If that fails, they debuff it, so it seems a little less scary to them.
    And they have pets to help keep things away from them, and to have someone to cuddle with in case they have a bad dream or something."
    :smiley:
    I totally disagree about the LM. It was the master solo class. Before Guards and warspeech Minstrels could solo stuff, LMs were doing it in spades. Their level 45 class quest was farming Elite Spiders in the Trollshaws. Elite spiders in the Trollshaws had constant roots and dots. Nothing spelt death back then like stun/root + dots.

    Before CC got nerfed to oblivion LMs could solo Elite Masters in Shadows and Moria. Do you remember the LM in Moria who solo'd Giant Wing in Helegrod? It was freaking amazing. They could also solo the Moors quite handily along with Burgs.

    And at that time pets were total rubbish in the long haul. There was no battle summon or rez. Once the 3 pet skill cooldowns had fired they were just essentially useless. It was CC that made it all possible.

    My original LM didn't even see defeat until about lvl 38 - 40 because I took on too many Orcs at once and they stacked bleeds on me that I couldn't shrug off. I had handled the CC poorly too. I miss that LM. They're power is a shadow of what it was, but they're still formidable if played well.
    Agree. My original LM was a god when played right, could juggle 3 elites if I had to, solo. It took some serious skill but players that knew how to handle an LM properly were very powerful. To this day that OG LM is my favourite class ever, real skill with real payoff. LM now is a parody of that.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    TorvalPo_gg
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,685
    edited July 31
    lahnmir said:
    Torval said:
    I totally disagree about the LM. It was the master solo class.
    ...
    They're power is a shadow of what it was, but they're still formidable if played well.
    Agree. My original LM was a god when played right
    I agree both of you, and probably the issue was my wording. I only said it was tedious... and that you really had to plan the fights. Plus I was talking about leveling, not how powerful the LMs were at the endgame, in good hands.

    True, you could completely switch off 2 mobs for good, while slow or root a third one - as you both said "if played well" / "when played right".
    It took a lot of effort during fights, and before that also a lot of time to learn the ropes and master the class.
    Could be pretty unforgiving with errors, when missing a cooldown or when an accidental stun/mez break happened (pets...) and your life got much more difficult right away.

    A good LM was a godsend to any fellowship, they could make a run much smoother (a feat shared with captains) while by purely the damage or heal numbers, aka. the parser and combat logs they contributed less.
    Their CC (and the support in the captain's case) was in a lot of times a key deciding element.
    Torvallahnmir
  • skeaserskeaser Member UncommonPosts: 3,949
    Why does everyone act like Beornings are lore breaking? http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Beornings
  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,119
    edited August 1
    skeaser said:
    Why does everyone act like Beornings are lore breaking? http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Beornings
    They aren't but most people only know the movies and think there's only one Beorning.
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,685
    edited August 1
    skeaser said:
    Why does everyone act like Beornings are lore breaking? http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Beornings
    It was discussed from every aspect at launch, so just a short version:
    The actual descendants of Beorn (the skin-changers, not to confuse with Beornings in general what the linked wiki covers) were still a few at the time of the Fellowship, and they were definitely not roaming all around Middle-earth, beating up mobs and drinking in inns etc.
    They were fighting at home, guarding the area.

    ed: same discussion on high elves last year...
    ScotOG_Zorvan
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member EpicPosts: 2,759
    I also have a High Elf Runekeeper riding a goat on the Laurelin server. Bring it haters!

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    ScotOG_ZorvanTorval
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...
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