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May 20 2009

Lotro Champion Inter-Class Balance

Published by at 12:19 pm under book 8,champion,lotro

Champions are a DPS class. They do top tier single target damage and are far and away the best AoE damage class in the game. Power use is not generally a concern. Heavy armor allows them to survive damage that would destroy other dps classes and gives them the ability to instantly convert from DPS to tank for even more survivability. These advantages are balanced out by removing all avoidance abilities while in DPS mode.

The post Moria world leaves us with two issues. First, the reduction in overall B/P/E has greatly reduced the penalizing effect of removing the Champions avoidance. This leads to an imbalance between DPS output and survivability especially in group encounters. If average Fellowship healing can keep a DPS mode Champion alive while the Champion is tanking an entire group encounter the purpose of the tank classes is jeopardized.

To correct this issue we have chosen to add a penalty to incoming healing to Fervour, as that specifically penalizes the behavior that is upsetting class balance. It has minimal impact on solo or small group Champions but does restrict the ability of Champion’s in Fervour from tanking multiple mobs. Bracing Attack and the Man skill Strength of Morale have been modified to ignore the penalty. Dire Need never took the penalty because it isn’t technically a heal. Potions and foods are just too numerous to modify in the same way but it is easy enough to avoid the penalty to potion use and food isn’t a major source of healing.

Heavy AoE environments are a concern. It is not the intent of this change to force Champions out of Fervour entirely, even in these situations. It does introduce some tough choices and teamwork challenges which are both good things from our viewpoint though maybe not from yours. This is something we will be watching to make sure the challenges introduced by this change are not insurmountable.

The second issue for Champions is the legendary skill Controlled Burn. In essence, this skill allows the Champion to negate the class’s inherent disadvantages for a short period of time resulting in a character with maximum damage output and near maximum survivability. It was blatantly overpowered but with some restrictions that were supposed to balance its use. Over time, as Champions learned to take full advantage of the skill and the style of content being created tended towards more long continuous fights, the need to address the issues presented by the skill grew until we reached the present requirement to take some action to rein in the skill’s power.

We tried several different versions of Controlled Burn but we came to the conclusion that reducing the effectiveness of Controlled Burn left us with a skill that just wasn’t all that Legendary. We finally came back to one of our original ideas of making it a duration buff. This directly addresses our concern with the skill, while retaining the skill’s full power though in smaller doses. We added a few frills to address some issues that a shorter duration raised. And so we have the version that will be on Bullroarer.

Controlled Burn
Duration- 2:30 min
ICPR= Same as Fervour
Damage bonus = 15% (retains fervor legacy bonuses)
Fervour Pips- 1/5 sec
Additional Effects: Applies Ardent Flurry and Glorious Exchange effects on activation.
Removed- 20% morale restriction. In combat only restriction.

Controlled Fury Trait
Extends Controlled Burn duration +1min to 3:30 min
Additional Effect: also adds Red Haze effect on activation of Controlled Burn.

We know these changes are not going to make you happy. We believe they are necessary to retain inter-class balance. I know it is against Internet tradition but please try and keep the hyperbole down in your responses. It doesn’t help your case and in extreme cases can actually hurt whatever point you were trying to make.


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