Who is My Middle-earth Main Anyway?

The eternal question… at least for me.

I tend to make alts.  Lots of alts.  Or at least a lot more alts than I probably should.

And as soon as I figure out which of these alts is really my main character and declare it thus, I almost immediately stop playing that character.

I think, for example, that the character I last declared my main in WoW is a dwarf priest who currently sits at level 40 or so and has remained unplayed for ages.

And so I sit in Middle-earth, in Lord of the Rings Online, deciding between two characters.  They are both level 33, the seeming level cap for me in LOTRO.  I believe I have now have no fewer than six characters on three servers hovering at or close to that level.

Up to that level it has been easy to work on two characters, to alternate, and still progress.  But it is starting to reach the point where I am not going to be able to gain a level in a reasonable play session.  I should really pick one character with whom to move forward if I want to achieve my goal of getting to Moria.

So a choice must be made.

On the one hand, there is Terentia, my warden.

Terentia in Estildin

The warden, along with the rune-keeper, is one of the classes introduced with the Mines of Moria expansion.  Masters of the spear, javelin, and shield, they have the unique gambit system where they can build up to a variety of special attacks by using their basic attacks in a certain order.

As a class I have found the warden to be fun to play since it skilled in both tanking and DPS and includes some decent self-healing abilities.  And while I do have some trouble remembering all of the gambits (anybody know of a nice, one-page cheat sheet for those), the range of abilities really gives the class a lot of depth.  Add in some special warden travel skills, the ability to “muster” to key locations throughout the game and it is hard to say no.

But then there is Silinus, my hunter.

Silinus in West Bree

While the warden represents something new and different, the hunter is classic ranged (and melee) DPS.

The hunter isn’t a tank and can get out of his depth pretty fast if he spends too much time in melee range.  And since LOTRO hunters do not get pets, unlike their WoW brethren, the bad guys are usually moving right at you once you start shooting.

But played correctly and equipped with a good bow, not many mobs live long enough to get within melee range.  The hunter has the whole “reach out an touch someone” thing going on.

Add in the range of traps, the “where is that damn mob I need” tracking abilities, and its own set of travel skills (often to the same locations as the warden class), and again you have a interesting class to play with a lot going for it.

Of course, deciding between them is not so simple.  As I mentioned in another post, the two have a symbiotic crafting arrangement.  Terentia is the explorer who can make armor for both of them as well as harvest metal ore and wood, while Silinus is the armsman who can harvest metal ore, but needs somebody to harvest and process wood for him.  In turn, he can make wooden and metal weapons.  Spears, javelins, and bows are on that list and good for the two classes.  Together they can meet all of their basic weapon and armor needs.  But if one gets left behind, the other suffers.

So I think I’ll put this whole quandary out for others to opine upon.

What do you think I should do?

9 thoughts on “Who is My Middle-earth Main Anyway?

  1. Blue Kae

    I have a hunter at 65 and among my many alts is a warden in the low 20’s. Both classes are excellent, so you really can’t make a wrong choice.

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  2. Rindan

    The burgzerg website has a printable warden gambit cheat sheet. Its mainly a site for virtures & deeds.

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  3. Dickie

    Id say the Warden. Its far more balanced for solo play and is pretty useful later on as well. I love my hunter main, but im getting to points where I am very bored with him and his attack rotation.

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  4. Yeebo

    You will definitely be more of a special snowflake if you level the Warden first. From your crafting set up it also sounds like you need your warden to be at or above the level of your hunter, while the opposite is not true.

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  5. HarbingerZero

    You’ve hit upon a lovely debate. When I’m in Middle Earth, its usually with my brother – and we play as a Warden/Hunter duo. I play the Hunter and love it but my brother swears by the Warden.

    So, long story short, I’m gonna say – the Hunter.

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  6. Melmoth

    “anybody know of a nice, one-page cheat sheet for those”

    http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/lotro/ is what I use.

    Can’t help you on the decision though as I haven’t played a Hunter. The Warden is my solo class of choice, with a Captain being my group character. I’ve professed my love for the Warden numerous times on the blog, it’s a great class to play and gives one a fantastic sense of being a hero who is able to take on any challenge but you do need to be able to remember those gambits, which is a nice challenge from the standard keyboard faceroll in and of itself.

    Both classes are eminently soloable, so it might be worth considering the group role: whether you’d prefer to tank or DPS should you unexpectedly get into groups at later levels.

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  7. Scott

    Depends what your short- and long-term plans are. As everyone else has mentioned, the Warden is incredible for survivability (and FUN) while solo. But the pure DPS of the Hunter — plus having far more swift-travel Guide skills — is also great solo *and* in groups.

    If, however, your friends did travel to Middle Earth with you, and you have regular grouping opportunities then the Warden becomes a matter of player skill. I see a LOT of Wardens in Eriador. Fewer in Moria, and fewer still in Mirkwood. I also see a LOT of Wardens played by people who solo’d their way up and never had truly learn and memorize the gambits and know which ones would be of most use for tanking vs. just killing and self-healing while solo, while the good Wardens are few and far between but they get a pretty good server-wide reputation for being good. It’s labeled as an Advanced Class for a reason, so include that in your criteria for choosing one.

    Wait, aren’t you the Altaholic Poster Boy? … :)

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  8. Anne Lessing

    Truth be told, I didn’t know there was a LOTRO before I read this. But now I really want to play it. :)

    However, based on what I read here, I vote Warden. She sounds really well-balanced, and would definitely be my first choice if I (hopefully when I) ever sign up. The spear-javalin-shield combo sounds like it’ll get you far.

    And she has a snazzy outfit. :D

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