LOTRO Legendarium: Ranking the new class/race combos by excitement factor

    
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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.

So just for kicks today, I’m going to take the nine new combos and rank them in order of how exciting they are. Perhaps your list will be completely different (which is why the comments section exists), but here is my lineup.

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?

Stout-Axe Warden

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.

Hobbit Champion

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.

Elf Burglar

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!

Dwarf Captain

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.

Stout-Axe Captain

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.

Human Rune-keeper

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.

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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