Updated Mon, Oct 01, 2012 by gunky
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3|
|Getting Started | Training Instance|
Mounted combat is the centerpiece in the Lord of the Rings Online's newest expansion, Riders of Rohan. It is a complex, game-altering mechanic that changes how endgame players experience Middle Earth in the same way Legendary Items changed the game in Mines of Moria. In fact, the comparison to the LI system is a fairly accurate analogy - your war-steed is essentially a Legendary Item that you ride, and which replaces your tired old droopy-backed nag with something much tougher, more nuanced and fully customizable.
Like the LI system, the mounted combat system is tied to the epic books. Additionally, it is part of the Rohan quest pack, meaning players can get a war-steed whether they are doing the epic books or following the Rohan storyline. We'll be discussing the non-epic method of earning a war-steed here.
To get started, cross over from the southern Great River area into the Wold, and find the small Rohirrim settlement of Langhold. Do all the quests in this town - start with the guards, then the Thane and his wife Cillian in the mead-hall. You will be sent to the swamps and the watchtowers to fight brigands and Easterlings, whereupon you will discover a sinister plot against the people of Langhold. Complete the finale instance and head to the Harwick stables to the south. This is where you receive your war-steed.
The skill appears on the same tab as your other mounts, and you can mount and dismount it in the same manner. Shift + M opens up the mount panel:
At this stage, the only thing you can really do with it is look at the stats and change the appearance. You may have one point to spend on traits, but that's not likely going to make much of a difference yet.
The war-steed's stats are pretty much just a stripped-down version of character stats. They have a handful of physical stats - Agility affects the mount's speed and maneuverability, Endurance affects the mount's morale. It has a morale pool that is significantly higher than a standard or premium mount's morale (it starts with around 2,500 morale, which is around 10 times the amount of a standard mount). They also have a Power pool and an Armour rating, which standard mounts do not.
Check the Appearance tab - there is a nice big dressing room in the middle, options on the left and outfit slots on the right. Players will start with 2 outfit slots by default, with an additional 5 slots unlockable through the store. The war-steed has 8 cosmetic slots, arranged around the top and bottom of the dressing room: bridle, blanket, saddle and tail on the top row; hide, feet, gear and ___ on the bottom row. Owning any of the class mounts or certain premium store-exclusive mounts will add options on the left - so you can mix the gear element of the Steed of the Hunter, for example, with the bridle, blankets, saddle and leggings of the Steed of Night for a unique custom look. Other cosmetics can be earned through questing or purchased from the LotRO Store, and you can put together some pretty weird combinations.
Additionally, all of these cosmetic elements are dyeable. If you've always thought your class steed would look better in red, you can buy the dye pack from the LotRO Store. The dyes are sold in four-packs, so if you want red you also gotta take a couple shades of brown with it. The hide and tail have their own specific dyes with more natural colors, also available in the store in convenient 4-packs.
Once you're done checking out the stats and tweaking the look, grab the quest from the guard by the stable gate for mounted combat training.