You can read the full article on LOTRO Reporter, with the Minstrel column posting each Tuesday.
When it comes to choosing a race for a minstrel you have all the choices among the 4 races in Middle-Earth. There are some advatanges in choosing certain ones however. When it comes to choosing a Hobbit the following are decided advantages:
- Hobbit Courage – A passive skill given at creation which increases your Fear Resist rating (1%)
- Hobbit-silence – A traited ability that will give your Minstrel an extra ‘possum skill’ I.E. the ability to break threat for a period of 30 seconds with a 1hr cool down. Attainable after level 35.
For a Dwarf seeking to learn the arts of the Minstrel:
For the Elves:
- Friend of Man – A trait that decreases the Fading of the Firstborn, giving the character an overall +12 to Fate. Also Attainable at level 13.
- Suffer no Illness – A passive skill given at creation which gives you improved resistance to disease and poison. I personally find this helpful, not sure if it’s really an advantage or not.
Race of Man has a few things going for it:
- Easily Inspired – Passive skill from character creation. Basically, it makes healing skills more effective when cast on your character.
- Man of the Fourth Age – A trait that gets rid of the Diminishing of Mankind and gives an overall +12 to Will. Attainable after level 13.
- Strength of Morale – A traited ability that gives you a self-heal granting roughly 3000 morale per use with a 1hr cool down.
So what do those traits really mean? Well, as a minstrel, you really really really only need to make sure you have enough in one particular field. Fate. It’s a biggie. But if you need to fill in with an alternative, you want to go Fate, Will, Vitality. In that order. Let’s explain them a little better as a refresher.
Fate is a must. End of story. It increases your In-combat power regeneration and in-combat morale regeneration. Which obviously means that your health and ‘magic’ recover more quickly while you are in-combat. The next thing it does is a little tricky to explain. It increases the chance and degree of critically affecting during a tactical skill. All of your healing skills and damaging ballads are considered tactical skills, this is clearly why fate is so important to any and all Minstrels. The correlation according to Lotro-wiki is 1 point of fate translates to 2 points of Tactical critical effect chance rating.
Will is much simpler, and a logical choice for a Minstrel’s second statistic to build into. It increases your maximum power and the regeneration of power outside of combat. Will also affects your Fear resist. Fear effect is one of those things that frustrates the heck out of a Minstrel, or at least, it frustrates me when it happens. I just spent an hour trying to find out what exactly fear does as a ‘condition’ when applied to a player. I haven’t found anything that truly explains the mechanic of it, so here’s what I’ve observed. All of your tactical skills are barred from use and all you can do is poke things with your weapon of choice. Pretty annoying! The Fear resist rating when it comes to being will based translates to your value in Will multiplied by 2.
Vitality is kind of a gimme. I think a lot of classes need this particular statistic, or at least I do when I’m playing them (lol). Vitality increases your maximum morale, your out of combat regeneration of morale and resistances to certain effects (wound, poision, disease and shadow). It also reduces damage done to through fire, frost and shadow. It breaks down to 1 point in vitality yields 3 points to your maximum morale and 2 points to your wound, disease and poison resist. Which I think most players would find helpful, afterall who doesn’t need more health?
After being armed with the following information I rolled a new Minstrel to start up this column. Her name is Rubybarb, because I’m not very clever and I already had a ‘Rubywing’ on Brandywine. I’ve rolled a Hobbit and an Elf before so Race of Man just made sense after doing some extensive research. Above you’ll see her in Archet, waving my first pixeled hello!