Home > Lord of the Rings Online > LotRO: The Path of the Hunter [Introduction]

LotRO: The Path of the Hunter [Introduction]

“The Hunter is the class of choice for players who enjoy striking a target at range. Clever by nature, the Hunter is known to lure his targets into traps to hinder them, giving him time to use his bow to deadly effect. A Hunter’s knowledge of nature also provides skills that help him and his fellows survive in the wild. A Hunter’s combat style depends on the ability to injure a foe while staying out of harm’s way"

 image Class Overview

spunlightThe Hunter’s strengths consist primarily around single target nuking, ranged damage, with "support" melee abilities intended for finishing off weakened mobs or crippling their movement to gain ranged distance (or until the tank takes the mob back on him/her).

A hunter is equipped with a few useful Crowd Control abilities (Snares, Roots, Fears) which may turn an impossible fight into an easy walk in the park or to turn the tide when things start looking dire.  Communication is recommended when you’re engaging in Crowd Control abilities to avoid friends breaking the CC.

Another area a hunter excels at is movement.  Equipped with a +15% fellowship-wide  speed buff as well as several guidance abilities covering nearly all areas of middle earth, which allow the hunter and nearby fellowship members to travel to a destination of the hunter’s choice.

Finally, the hunter is occasionally chosen as a ranged off-tank.  This is viable because of high evade (due to stacking of agility) as well as Strength Stance (Increased threat and damage, at the cost of power).

The shortcomings of the hunter class revolve around poor damage when the opponent is in melee range (especially when they’re whacking you continuously at a fast rate).  It may very well make any ability which requires induction (cast time – including quickshot) impossible to fire.  This makes off-tanking of melee mobs a very tough, if not impossible, job for a hunter.  Hunters are considered power-whores.  Simply put, they can eat through their power pool in a matter of seconds.  My record would be at levels 40 to 45, being able to burn my full power pull all the way to null in 5 seconds flat.  A simple power burn opener whacked all my power away.

Regardless of race, hunters can’t quite take punishment.  Medium gear makes us a tad more resilient than light armored classes, but it does not change the fact we’re not real tanks.

Thankfully, all the above shortcomings can be avoided.  Keeping your distance and watching your threat on mobs avoids drawing attention, using Endurance Stance generally makes it quite hard to draw aggro from a tank, unless you’re the first to pull or the tank themselves are wickedly bad at playing their class.  Do note that power burn rotations means asking for trouble when you’re in a fellowship.  (I’ll cover this and other opening rotations as well as follow through abilities in another post).  Power whoring can be very easily avoided by, once again going into endurance stance (lower power cost), and going for some will and fate on your gear over pure agility.  Because nuking for 5 seconds then dropping dead for 2 minutes isn’t ideal compared to dealing solid damage for 2 mins and have plenty more power to spare.

Having gone over the class, it’s up to you to decide whether this class fits you or not.  My guess is it does, seeing you read through all that already.  And there’s plenty more to come – so keep on reading!

meleegoblin

Starting your Hunter [Beginner]

What follows in this post is aimed towards beginners to the LotRO hunter class.  If you already have started a hunter or have it max leveled skipping here won’t hurt.  Although skimming through it won’t hurt either, just in case =]

Races

Which race you pick turns out to be of fairly trivial importance at higher levels of play.  If you want a detailed explanation of what each race gives as stats check out the following table.  Colored in green are stats which are important and the particular race receives a boost in, colored in red are important stats which that particular race seems to miss.

Starting Race Stats

Elf Man Hobbit Dwarf
Morale (Health) 89 105 150 149
Power 152 128 152 152
Might 8 23 1 23
Vitality 10 10 25 20
Agility 29 14 14 6
Will 14 6 14 14
Fate 3 26 11 3

I personally recommend an Elf.  Mainly due to the +2% bow damage racial they get, as well as highest agility race, which means at early levels mobs will drop like flies.  You’re weaker than any other race, and suffer from a lack of fate.  This is only noticeable until around level 30.  At level 40, your gear will simply make up for anything you’re missing, provided you pick the right pieces.

To conclude, the race you start with will impact how you look, and how the start goes.  It has no other change beyond that except for the racial traits, which are not really game breaking or of vital importance.

Hunter Abilities

Abilities of a hunter can be categorized in the following sections:

  1. 18px-Rain_of_Arrows-iconRanged Damage.
  2. 18px-Swift_Stroke-icon Melee Damage.
  3. 18px-Set_Snare-icon Crowd Control.
  4. 18px-Bright_Campfire-icon Utility [Stances/Paths/Guides/Tracking/Campfire]

It’s important to discover all 4 of these categories when playing a hunter since failing to use one of them when the need arises means you fall victim to one of the hunter’s weaknesses.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, Crowd Control makes up for our frail ability to take damage, as well as being mediocre or next to useless when we’re stuck in melee combat.  If you forget to utilize crowd control, fights take longer, and you may very well risk dying.  Managing your Guidance Abilities and Movement Speed Modifiers correctly you can speed up your leveling experience considerably.

Conclusion

At the heart of this post, I wanted to give readers a good outer look at the hunter class.  This is the first in a series of posts regarding the hunter class in LotRO (Thus called, The Path of the Hunter).  Next up we’ll be looking at setting up the game and interface to help us get a solid approach to playing in LotRO.  This applies to all classes, not just the hunter, so feel free to check it out if you play any other class!

Finally I’d like to thank Darkaran [EN-RP Laurelin Europe] for helping me out with most pictures you’ll encounter in this series.

Follow to the next part:  LotRO: The Path of the Hunter [Getting Ready to Play]

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  1. June 3, 2011 at 5:46 am

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