Captain Class Changes Developer Diary


The next class Dev Diary for Helm’s Deep has been released, this time for the Captain.

Hello all! RockX here, and it’s time to talk Captain. Captain was definitely challenging, as I needed to keep in mind all four roles the Captain fills. As such, the main goal was to allow each of the three specializations to fully function in its chosen role while allowing the Captain to buff their allies appropriately. In addition, I wanted to make buffing offer more active and engaging gameplay, rewarding the Captain for using buffs at opportune moments.
Hands of Healing Captains are capable of both healing others and dealing damage at the same time, at the cost of having weaker abilities to heal themselves. Lead the Charge Captains deal heavy burst damage, with the ability to grant multiple Critical Hits in rapid succession. Leader of Men Captains can fully function as tanks, taking less damage while dealing higher damage by using a two-handed weapon. Heralds and Archers have also seen some love, with increased potency. Players will also notice some changes to the Battle-ready and Battle-hardened states, which offer stat bonuses to encourage weaving additional skills in between each step of the chain.


I definitely agree that the Captain was going to be very tough to fit into these class revamps. They have a constant ‘fourth’ role across the class no matter how they build, and keeping that aspect while encouraging specialisation wasn’t going to be easy.

A major change from how things are now is that Hands of Healing is going to be almost entirely focused on healing others, not yourself. This would indicate that it will no longer be the optimal build for survivability, but still great for main-healing and off-healing in groups.

Leader of Men Captains will still be focused on tanking, but appears to have received the self-healing abilities currently found in HoH. We can hope that yellow Captains will be even better at tanking with Helm’s Deep, as reportedly they seem to struggle with aggro as things currently stand.

Lead the Charge is also unchanged in its primary role, that of DPS. Burst damage is emphasised, but with the use of DOTs keeping up a constant damage stream. I certainly hope this line gets a lot of love, as trying to do damage on a Captain is quite frankly tortuous, as many could tell you. This should make soloing as one much more enjoyable too.

The buffing system will be kept as a core part of the Captain, but will have emphasis on different areas depending on which tree you build towards. The other areas will remain, but be weaker comparatively.

For me personally though, the best piece of news is that Heralds and Archers are being buffed. As a pet class lover, this is sorely needed, considering Captain pets are in an even worse state than LM ones(and that’s saying something). They are almost entirely eclipsed by banners, so the news that they will be made more viable is most exciting.

So, what are your thoughts on the proposed Captain changes? As always, let us know in the comments below!


  1. The lack of taunts and aggro skills makes it difficult for a captain to keep aggro. When you tank, you’re traited yellow, so basically you have only threatening shout and noble mark for aggro. Shadow’s lament ups threat as well, but you need to trait DPS to unlock it (AFAIK). To be more viable tanks, I’d like to see threat generation added to some skills to make it a bit easier.

  2. Something I found interesting is that they mentioned two-handed weapons more than once, but never said anything about shields. Even in the description about the tanking line they made it a point to call out two-handed weapons…but the word “shield” was noticeably absent. It may not mean anything, but … they wouldn’t get rid of the captain’s ability to use shields, would they? Sheesh, even mini’s can use shields! 🙂

  3. Ethelros /

    That’s a good point. I don’t actually know of any Captains who run with a shield(that’s not really proof that they don’t of course). They did remove the Champion’s shields remember, so I wouldn’t completely rule out that possibility.

  4. Flosiin /

    I run with a shield when doing really hard mobs and sometimes in the moors. Currently if we trait down the yellow line, we can block with two handed weapons.
    The heal the mention costs extra morale, we can’t have a self heal? Heal ourselves to death? 🙁
    It’ll be a challenge to get use to this but looking forward to it.

  5. We are going to have so much to talk about on LOTRO Players News!

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