Lotro: Early Beorning musings

lotro opinion

Article may contain spoilers for players who have yet to purchase a teddy.

After 16 hours of /played time on my newly created Beorning, Bearmark, I think the class has a lot of potential. I’ve been using the red trait line for DPS, and it’s decent and even possibly overpowered if used well. I even managed to spend an hour in PvMP with the Beorning at level 20, which was fun (I made 2 ranks!). I haven’t tried out the blue or yellow lines, but from reading and listening to others in and out of game, the overall feeling people are getting from the new class and its three trait lines is that the Beornings are the new breed of hybrid Captains, or what the Captain class should have been, prior to Helms Deep. I don’t have an opinion on that for now. I’m Captain biased and no bear should be compared to my fellow leaders of men. Yet.

Beorning cosmetics are nice on the eye

Beorning cosmetics are nice on the eye

The first fifteen minutes or so after character creation introduced me to the new starter zone of the Beorning, the Vales of Anduin. It’s pretty refreshing and in my opinion, not a rehash of other existing zones. You can even catch a glimpse of the Carrock halfway through the introduction quests. Speaking of which, by the third quest, I was already getting a taste of the Beorning in combat. The bears, as many of you know, doesn’t use power to execute attacks, instead spending its pool of Wrath to unleash damaging skills, heals and other gambits. Players build up wrath by executing ‘builder’ skills, much like how the Champion builds up fervor pips. The catch is, the bulk of your wrath will be spent in Bear-form, to use powerful finishers.

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The DPS red line is aptly named “The Claw”

Skills at early levels are as expected, adequate and okay, but at level 20 and above they do become more potent, after I invested some class trait points deeper in the red tree line to increase crit, bleed damage and unlock more attacks. Despite cheesy bear animations, bear-form skills that consumes wrath like the tiered Thrash can dish out a lot of damage, but a downside I encountered is my own over-reliance of using that one particular skill. This happens because Thrash scales in damage up to three times, and the third strike completely mauls mobs – peons and landscape bosses alike.

ScreenShot01397

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The Beorning racial traits are interesting and most are decent, but the one that caught me off guard was the trait that grants you the skill to bake honey cakes. Yes, you read right: Beornings get a skill to bake honey cakes. With a short cooldown for making free consumable health and power regeneration food on the go, I think it’s a good and interesting addition to the game. If it is confirmed that these Beorning-baked honey cakes scales with level, then I will be amazed – and very thankful. Away with farming and cooking!

Gear-wise, Beornings wear Medium Armor but aren’t as squishy as the Hunter or Burglar, and are more in-line with the toughness of the Warden. From questing throughout Bree land, old quest reward armor suffices, and the new addition of giving me the choice to pick any piece of medium armor (from helm to feet) from a chest is a nice touch. Might is the main stat for Beornings, and these quest reward armor chests offers medium armor with might and vitality variants. This is mostly due to the lack of might on crafted and guild crafted armor, which is somewhat disappointing. I’m an OCD crafter and have a tendency to gear my toons using the best possible crafted gear, such as teals and purples that requires rare shards and guild reputation. Sadly as mentioned above, most of these crafted armor doesn’t have might on it. I guess landscape rewards will have to do for the time being.

Bearmark foraging the Midgewater Marshes for honey

Bearmark foraging the Midgewater Marshes for honey

Weapon choices are also interesting. During the infancy levels, I wielded a a two-handed axe to devastating effect. Among others, Beornings can also pick between spears and clubs, with the latter granting a damage bonus (or to hit bonus, can’t recall) from a racial trait. I like racial bonuses, but I hate clubs, period. They just look awful, and there’s nothing menacing about wielding a Legendary Club of the CaveBearMan. You’ll find me using spears, which really is no better without a shield for company.

First world Beorning problems

First world Beorning problems

My final thoughts on the bear: For a thousand Turbine Points, it definitely has great potential and the early levels were good fun as I dabbled with skill rotations and gear. The early DPS red line is as you would expect: hard hitting, crit heavy and oozing bleeds, which made levelling fast and efficient. Bear-form can be improved, with animations somewhat lacking while the mechanics of bear-from skills are basic. At a glance the class offers the classic trinity of tanking, DPS and healing right from the get-go with its trait trees, but will need to be fully tested in future to learn if they are excellent at fulfilling all three roles. I will be taking a harder and more critical look at these aspects of the Beorning, especially the higher level skills and the other two trait trees after level 50 in Moria when things start picking up for most classes. Overall I am interested enough to continue levelling my Beorning as I’m genuinely eager to see how it performs in PvMP and instances at end game. Oh, and to quell the talk of Beornings replacing Captains.

More to come on the Beorning. Till the next post, thanks for reading and have a great week to all!

18 responses to “Lotro: Early Beorning musings

  1. Great Bear post… I have been slightly negative with regards to the bear but may be convinced one day to spend the 1000TP on my own pet bear… am at the moment playing a new cappy on Withy and having great fun…

    • Cheers Tsu =)

      Playing a Cappy anytime, anywhere is always great fun!

      If you don’t mind, can you elaborate a little on your gripes toward the Beorning? I haven’t read many balanced to negative opinions on it, so would be interesting to hear yours =)

      • Having not played beorning yet (I dont have 1000TP for a start…) I have only expressed slightly negative opinions to what I have seen and that is mainly due to the bear animations (basically having to stare at a waddling bears arse!)

        But I am open to change, and if it helps LOTRO I will be really happy.I just hope that it is fully rounded[sic] and adds to the gameplay 🙂

        I also have concerns at the moment with regards to LOTRO as a whole and its development by TURBINE and WB… I think LOTRO could be so much better than it is… without any new additions… so much needs fixing (LI’s, group, RAIDS, PvP, Housing, Music…) Special mention to skill trees which in my opinion are a good idea but too inflexible…not enough branches…and some branches should be shared by different lines…

        I love this game, it saddens me to see it slightly neglected…and that at the moment is putting me off playing much…(oh and RW not giving me enough time :()

      • Thanks sharing your thoughts Tsu. I completely understand and share your concerns for the points you brought up in regard to the direction LOTRO and WB are heading with the game.

        More than most, a small server like the Riddermark has been hit severely by some of these changes and lack of focus towards the areas that our community relied on. These are, as you’ve mentioned, PvMP and Raiding. We’re bleeding players badly.

        Personally, even I lose interest in Lotro from time to time because I don’t want to be bottlenecked into doing Big Battles over and over, and grinding for reputation, which is the current end-game. It’s just rubbish. I have so many issues with these and I’ll probably save my thoughts for another blog post, doom and gloom be damned.

        The new class is both a distraction and a silver lining. True, Turbine should be focusing on fixing up areas of the game that needs more attention, before releasing new additions.

        But for myself, deep down I’ve somewhat lost hope that Turbine will ever go back and work on areas of the game that was fun for me. That is one of the reasons why I spent my money on the Beorning. Its refreshing, and temporarily keeps me in game its something new to do for the time being.

        Anyway! I think if you were holding off on the bear, you should wait and get it on sale. =)

      • Good point about the sale…
        I have not really noticed a big decline in numbers on Withy as yet but as not playing as much (and as socially) so that would maybe pass me by… will be asking Kin leader about it this weekend.

  2. I tried the Beorning during Beta. I liked it a lot. My only concern was that the wrath burns really quick and I was only able to use 1 or 2 attacks before I resumed human form. I was wondering if you noticed this during regular gameplay? I don’t want to waste 1000tp if this is the case?

    • Hi Brian, yes – I’ve noticed this during the early levels of regular gameplay, but it gets much better starting from level 11 and upwards. Here are a couple of things I did to get the most of Wrath and the bear-form.

      At level 11 you’ll get the Biting Edge AOE skill, which I used as my opener in fights. That adds the highest amount of wrath for a skill to the wrath pool at the early levels with 15 wrath. Biting Edge (15 wrath), followed by Slam (10 wrath) and finally Slash (5 wrath). This rotation should provide you with enough Wrath to switch to bear-form and execute at least 4-5 Thrash skills.

      Another way I prolonged bear-form is by pulling more than one mob in populated mob areas , say 2-3. This combined with the rotation above worked for me. At the end of the day, I feel that part of the Beornings require some resource management and planning ahead of fights to gauge if you need to be in bear-form for a longer period, and then using the quickest rotations to build up wrath . =)

      If you still have reservations, hold on to the TP for now, and check out some of the Beorning playthrough videos on Youtube to see how others are fairing with this.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers

      • Thanks, it kind of gives me some interest to try it. I’ll check out the videos. I want to try this being a fan of LoTR mythology.

  3. I’m only just starting on a Beorning (Level 9) and am tempted to spend the 5k points to jump him to level 50… but so far what i’d love to see is to be able to customise the bear look more. Let me be a polar bear, or change my coat pattern or bear face… (more than just the paint/tattoo).

    Also, disappointed I cant be a bear just for fun out of combat. 😦

    • I completely agree! Part of me still wished Turbine had stuck with the decision to start the Beornings at level 50. But alas, the allure of players spending 5k TP for that boost has swayed their hearts.

      Customisation is an area of the Beorning that Turbine should really allow us players to have fun with on the Beorning. Yes, the changing of the coat pattern and face is a great idea. Maybe they’ll patch it in during a future update. I hope later on we’ll get a consumable skills, or a totem or something that we can equip which allows us to switch to bear-form out of combat. Much like how Captains can equip standards and herald pets and summon them at will, we should be able to summon our inner bears as well.

    • I noticed that the hair color of your bear is tied to your human hair color. So try talking to a barber and swapping it out! It won’t be a true Polar bear as we can’t do anything with the face…
      Also I don’t know how the white translates, but I do know that my black bear is because I chose black hair. I saw another beorning with a more reddish bear to match their hair.

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