As we trek through the dog days of summer, the most exciting thing on the horizon for Lord of the Rings Online has to be September’s new class/race combos. While these have yet to go into testing, it’s not going to stop any anticipation and daydreaming. I know a lot of friends and kinship mates who are deep in planning what new characters they will roll next month.
Least exciting: Dwarf Warden
Please note that I’m not making any judgment calls on the quality of classes in this list. I deeply respect Wardens, especially players who are talented enough to pull off all of those crazy combos. But in terms of excitement factor, I can’t see this combo being a big draw.
The Warden class has struggled to find a wide audience since its debut back during the Moria expansion — and pairing them with Dwarves isn’t going to solve that conundrum. It’s simply a very niche class that appeals to very specific gamers, and chances are if someone wanted to play a Warden, they’d be doing so already. Plus, a spear-using Dwarf simply doesn’t seem right, does it?
Pretty much everything I just said about the Dwarf Warden applies here, although I’m going to give the newer race a slight edge due to improved visuals, animations, and some nice racials.
I honestly thought that Hobbits already HAD Champions, for some reason. Clearly, it’s not a class that I roll a lot. But in any case, I am sure there’s a space for hyper halflings whirling dual swords about in a frenzy. It’s a popular class and gives Hobbits another (off)tank, but it’s also a vanilla pick.
I’ve heard from more than a few players that there is some cognitive dissonance with the idea of Elf Burglars. I suppose Elves are supposed to be above trickery and backstabbing? Perhaps, but consider that the race already had a stealth option — and that the Elves of The Hobbit weren’t exactly paragons of decorum and maturity. In any case, the Burglar class is so deeply under-represented at the moment, and combining them with one of the game’s more popular races is a good idea.
High Elf Burglar
But you might as well roll a High Elf Burglar instead of an Elf Burglar, in my opinion. And since everyone got this race for free a little while back, you have no excuse not to do so!
The Captain is, hands-down, one of my favorite MMORPG classes ever. It’s an astoundingly good hybrid design that allows for the class to be a Swiss army knife of ability. And while I can’t get behind the thought of a Dwarf with a spear, a Dwarf leading a herald into battle while shouting furiously at the enemy occupies a perfect place in my mind. I’m glad Cappies are getting another option — and that it’s no longer confined to a single class as it was just a year or so ago.
But really, if you’re going to roll a Dwarf Captain, go Stout-Axe. If nothing else, you get a much better tutorial and look even more fabulous in your adventures. Honestly, I’m kind of tempted.
You know, the more I sit with the idea of a Human Rune-keeper, the more I think it’s a pretty corking idea. Sure, Humans are kind of vanilla and have almost every other class at their disposal, but it will still be a nice shot in the arm to Rune-keepers. Not everyone wants to play a Dwarf or Elf, and this opens up the field for those kooky rock-slingers to look just like us.
Most exciting: Hobbit Lore-master
I’m sure that if I made a list ranking the most controversial class/race combos, this one would come out on top as well. But you know what? I don’t care. I’m totally pumped to finally see Hobbits pick up a bit of nature lore and adventure with their own pet companion. Hobbits have never had pets or anything approaching a magic class in this game, and I am really excited to see it — and experience it myself. I predict that we’ll see more Hobbit LMs than any other new class/race combo come next month.