Helm’s Deep – Class Changes


A big thanks to Draculetta for writing up this post!

Trait Trees are coming to LOTRO. What is a trait tree you might be asking yourself?

These will allow you to customize your class in a whole new way. They look to be similar to the Legendary Item and War Steed system, but will allow a much deeper customization for your character, and the way you play your class.

Starting at level 6, Trait Trees offer a selection of powerful Specializations (Specs) that enhance your character.

Not much is known about them as of this time, but Turbine has given us a page to tease us.

Let’s break down the classes…

NOTE: I play a Hunter for main and have also play an Lore-Master as my “main” alt.


Inspired by Bilbo Baggins and his famous adventures with Thorin and Company to the Lonely Mountain, the Burglar uses stealth and confusion to weaken their opponents.

The class has three paths depending on how you like to play the class: The Quiet Knife, The Mischief-Maker and The Gambler.

I think the highlight from what we know would be “”All In” gives The Gambler a potent buff to both defense and offence. If the Burglar doesn’t defeat an enemy before the effect expires, he Busts, suffering an equal debuff for the length of the original buff.”


Inspired by Eärnur, the last King of Gondor, the Captain is able to lead the charge with elements of tank, healer, or damage dealer.

The three paths you can take are Leader of Men, Hands Of Healing and Lead The Charge.

The highlight here would be “Auras provide increased damage and armor penetration to your fellows. “Blade-brother’s Call” briefly strengthens your Blade-brother bond: with successful attacks by one, the other receives a Physical Mastery buff.”


Inspired by Gimli son of Glóin, whose skill at arms was matched only by the bow-skill of Legolas, the Champion specializes in melee damage-dealing but can also lend a hand in the defense.

The three paths you can take are The Berserker, Deadly Storm, Martial Champion.

The highlight skill I feel is The “Unbreakable” buff gives a Martial Champion Morale and Physical Mastery each time they’re hit or damaged. At max buff stacks, the Champion may lash out for severe Area-of-Effect damage.


Inspired by Samwise Gamgee, a Hobbit whose loyalty to Frodo Baggins knew no bounds, the Guardian embodies an iconic defensive style but can sacrifice durability for harrowing damage.

Your choices here are The Keen Blade, Fighter Of Shadow and Defender Of The Free.

Skill Highlight: “Overwhelm” stuns and interrupts on a critical hit, but also gains increased damage for every bleed it removes from an enemy.


Inspired by Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood, a mighty hunter and companion of Aragorn, the Hunter is the master of ranged damage with additional skills in crowd control and support.

Your three paths here are Bowmaster, The Trapper Of Foes and Huntsman.

Skill Highlight The induction skill “Upshot” consumes all Focus to deal massive damage from afar, with damaged boosted by each Focus pip consumed.

Also I’m interested to see how well the new “Barrage” works. As it deals moderate damage even while on the move. Consuming three Focus pips, it can deal a steady stream of shots that each deal greater damage, but also cost more power.


Inspired by Elrond Halfelven, Elf-lord and Master of Rivendell, the Lore-master can specialize in crowd control, healing and support, or damage dealing.

Your three skills path are The Master Of Natures Fury, The Keeper Of Animals and The Ancient Master

Skill Highlight Lightning Storm calls down lighting to damage several foes at once, consuming any Burning Embers for substantial bonus damage.



Inspired by Lúthien Tinúviel, whose Elven voice beguiled friend and foe alike, the Minstrel strums songs that can support, heal, or damage.

The three paths here are The Watcher Of Resolve, The Protector Of Song and The Warrior Skald.

Skill Highlight “Legend of Helm Hammerhand” applies a Morale bubble to all nearby allies. If the bubble is broken, no bonus is given, but if the bubble expires without breaking it grants a small fellowship heal.



Inspired by Master Elf-smith Celebrimbor, whose skill with runes of power was unparalleled, the Rune-keeper wields powerful lost language to blaze a path of destruction or restore their allies’ strength.

Your three paths here are Solitary Thunder, Cleansing Flame and Benediction Of Peace

Skill highlight ”Epic Conclusion” can be cast on the move, and unleashes a bolt of lightning that consumes battle attunement to deal even greater damage.



Inspired by the Marchwarden of Lothlórien, Haldir, and his brothers Rúmil and Orophin, the Warden wields their iconic spear and shield to defend or deal damage.

Your three paths to take are Recklessness, Determination and Assailment.

The skill highlight “No Respite for the Wicked” causes Offensive Strike line Gambits to apply an Incoming Healing Debuff to enemies.

From all we know about this system, this will drastically change the way we play LOTRO and our class.

I would say this is the biggest change to LOTRO thus far. Turbine is releasing the new class developer dairies for each class, so we are learning more about the new system and how it will affect our play. Can’t wait to see the new system in action, when Helm’s Deep Launches Nov 18th.

What do you think about the changes?

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  1. Well looks good so far, lets see how this all plays out…

    Looking forward to being able to have some really weird new builds out there!

    Variety being the spice of life!

  2. I had to skip over RK ;), but everything else looks cool! I”m excited about this.

  3. Zarghak /

    Coooool, it looks more and more like World Of Warcraft……. LOTRO lose all its differences and originalities :-(((

  4. Palimir /

    Anything that makes the game better will be great.
    Considering WoW as the most played mmo ever, it’s not so bad to get close to it.

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