LOTRO Legendarium: Six reasons why LOTRO’s Beorning is amazing

    
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When Update 33 arrives later this month, Lord of the Rings Online players will have access to a slew of classes and races that were previously locked behind a paywall. One of these is the Beorning, a unique role that was first introduced into the game in 2014 as LOTRO’s 10th playable class.

And it’s a class you definitely should play at least once, at least on a trial basis. I shied away from the Beornings for many years for a few reasons (mainly filed under “I don’t want to stare at a bear butt for 140 levels”) before giving it an honest try and loving what I found. So here are six reasons that I found why the Beorning is amazing — and why you should play it.

It’s perfect for the wild at heart

As the only option that’s the combination of a class and a race, the Beorning lays claim to a unique flavor right from the very start. It’s a perfect choice for players who like the feel and flavor of a more “wild” character that didn’t grow up in and around civilization.

Rather, the Beorning has one foot in nature and one in culture at all times. This is enforced by the tutorial, the tattoo options, and even the punk-ish hairstyles. Whether you’re in animal form or swinging an axe, the Beorning never stops feeling like the rage of the wilderness personified.

It’s the only shapeshifter in the game

In so many ways, the Beorning is a perfect pick if you want to feel special and different than the rest of LOTRO’s class roster. This is most notable in the fact that Beornings can shapeshift (or skinchange) between Man and Bear. Transforming mid-battle makes fights feel more exciting and involving, especially since different skills are available for each form.

And it should be noted that your character’s hair and tattoo will affect the look of your bear form!

It’s a powerful healer

Again and again, you’ll hear people calling for Beornings to come heal dungeons. While you may not think of bears as being natural medics, the class’ yellow line is surprisingly powerful, effective, and highly desirable in groups. In fact, it’s SO good that few groups want a tanky or damage dealy bear along.

It’s got great survivability

Yet as a hybrid class, the Beorning is equipped with abilities and skills to make it as tough as it looks. The class can don heavy armor (for starters) and has access to self-heals, purges, and other survival skills. It’s remarkably hard to die as a Beorning once you get a handle on the class, and that’s a really satisfying feeling.

It’s a mount

One of my absolute, hands-down favorite features of the Beorning was the level 15 skill Wanderlust. When you activate this (which you can leave on), it’ll give you a 62% run boost in bear form as long as you’re not in combat.

Basically, you’re your own mount that’s able to activate mount speed instantly without any induction time. The drawback — that you get slowed if a mob aggros you — can be annoying if you’re trying to zip by, but I think it’s an acceptable cost for being a bear bus.

It never stops being fun mauling enemies or spitting bees

Beornings aren’t long-range damage dealers; this class is all about getting up into the faces of enemies and doing gobs of damage. And boy can they do this, especially to groups of bad guys once certain skills and talents are accessed. Relentless maul is so much fun to activate, as it fires out this channeled damage stream to everyone in a cone in front of you.

And who doesn’t like a bear that can spit bees (somehow) at enemies — and have those bees annoy and damage other mobs around them?

I’d love to hear our resident Beornings sound off! What do you love about this class and why do you recommend it to friends?

Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an adventure (horrid things, those) through the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, well, legendary online world of Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, send it to him at justin@massivelyop.com.
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