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The Hunters' Guide

Updated Sat, Sep 11, 2010 by Darkgolem

For an updated, complete guide to the Hunter, check out our Hunter Class Guide Overview and its associated pages.

Introduction to LotRO's Versatile Hunter:


The hunter is arguably one of the most iconic archetypes in the fantasy genre, the details change as needed, but the image of the hunter is universal.  In Middle Earth, there is a distinction between the Ranger and the Hunter.  The Rangers were secretive groups of the Dunedain.  They had keen senses and the ability to understand the language of the animals.  While they were hunters, hunters were not always Rangers.  In LotRO, there is no more versatile character to play, they are skilled with many forms of combat, both ranged and melee, they manipulate the natural energies to resist poison and they use their keen senses to travel faster and more efficiently than any one else.  If they could lay claim to one form of expertise, it would be with the bow.  Hunters are deadly with their bows.  Able to let loose a flurry of arrows against their foes, they make excellent "artillery support"  and crowd control.

Now, I've been known to throw the dice every once in a while, and I've played a few MMOs in my time and my favorite experiences in each game has been playing the ranger/ hunter class (so forgive my obvious bias towards them).  During LotRO's alpha and beta tests, I've spent the most time playing the hunter, and I absolutely love the versatility, the tactics and the flexibility of the hunter.  


Creating Your Hunter:

LotRO's Hunter Whomping a Bear When you first start to create your hunter, the very first choice you have to make is your race.  Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits can all be Hunters, this is one of the few classes that don't have any racial restrictions.  In order to, balance the styles and choices, and to insure a varied play style, each race has different bonuses and plusses.  The main stat for the hunter is agility.  This is the stat that determines the amount of damage you do with your ranged weapons.  The elf has the highest agility, however, they are much weaker when it comes to morale.  This really makes it hard for the min/ maxers.  There's no "best" race for the hunter, however, if you know how you play, then there can be a race that best reflects your personal style.  If you mainly want to be ranged support, and DPS, then the elf is a good choice.  However, if you like getting into the thick of battle and placing your sword into the neck of an Uruk-Hai, then you might want to consider a human or a hobbit.  During this process of creation, there is nothing else you really need to do.  Once you pick the race and class, the rest of the process is customizing how your new hunter looks.



Each race has different starting attributes according to which class they take.  A human hunter will have slightly different attributes than a human lore-master.  So, to quantify the attributes, here's the list by race:

Racial Attributes of the Hunter Class:



Dwarf Elf Hobbit Man
Morale 149 89 150 105
Power 152 152 152 152
Agility 6 29 14 14
Fate 3 3 11 26
Might 23 8 1 23
Vitality 20 10 25 10
Will 14 14 14 6
Critical Hit % 1.4% 2.9 2.1 2.1
Fire Resistance 5.1 3.7 5.7 3.7
Common Resistance 4.8 3.0 2.4 3.8
Shadow Resistance 5.1 3.7 6.7 3.7
Fear Resistance 2.2 2.2 3.2 1.7
Wound Resistance 2.5 1.9 2.7 1.9
Disease Resistance 2.0 2.5 2.2 1.5
Poison Resistance 2.0 2.3 2.2 1.5
Block N/A N/A N/A N/A
Evade 1.1 2.2 1.5 1.5
Parry 2.3 2.3 1.6 2.5
Ranged Effectiveness 28 28 28 28
Melee Effectiveness 28 27 27 28

Again, there's no "best"  race for the hunter.  If you know how you like to play and you know what you like playing, each race will provide different and unique play styles based upon these stats.

Getting the Sharp End to the Right Place - Combat Skills:

Looking at the wrong end of the bowThe hunter excels at ranged combat, with an arsenal of maneuvers with their bow, they give their targets pain from a distance.  However, there are times when mere bow-work wont finish off the beast from afar.  This is where the hunter draws their melee weapons and gets her hands dirty.  

The skills the hunter has can be organized into three categories;
Combat:
- Ranged
- Melee
Combat Multiplier:
- Buffs
- Crowd Control
Non-Combat
- Heightened Senses




The Hunter's Combat Skills:

Ranged Combat Skills   

Description/ Strategy

Level

Recovery

Time

Focus

(+/-)

quick shot
Quick Shot
The basic shot, it releases one arrow very quickly, then refreshes quickly.  It's best used when the other specials are recovering.  While it doesn't do a lot of damage, it causes more damage than the auto-shot, and it adds to the hunter's overall focus.
1
0
+1
barbed arrow
Barbed Arrow
A fairly low damage shot, it sticks a bleed on the target and has the potential to slow the enemy for a short while.  You'll notice the bleed/ slow icon on the enemy's health bar.  Watch this one and reapply when the bleed goes away.
1
1
+1
 
Swift Bow
The hunter's most powerful basic shot.  This attack releases two arrows in rapid succession for significant damage.  While it takes a bit longer to recover, this is by far, the most common attack the hunter has in her arsenal.
2 Attacks:
Ranged Weapon +8 damage

2
10
+2
 
Penetrating Shot
This shot goes through the enemy's armor ignoring 10% mitigation and finds the "sweet spot" to inflict high damage on the target.  Out in the wild, I usually fire in succession: barbed arrow > swift bow > penetrating shot.  By then, the target's stepped in your trap, and you're ready to unleash another swift bow attack on them.  I almost feel sorry for them.
Ranged Weapon +10 damage
10
3
-3
 
Rain of Arrows
The rain of arrows looks just like a literal rain of arrows.  One of my favorite attacks, it has a dramatic animation that unleashes a high damage attack on up to 5 enemies in a 10 meter radius.  As with most AoE attacks, use this attack carefully to avoid unwanted aggro.  Costing 4 focus and recovering slowly, make sure you use this strategically and not as a default attack.
Ranged Weapon +9
20
8
-4
 
Merciful Shot
Merciful shot is one of the best ranged attacks.  When the enemy is below 50% health, this ranged attack causes a massive blow to the enemy.  A fairly expensive focus cost forces you to use this skill sparingly, however, when used, it's incredibly powerful.
Ranged Weapon +33 damage
30
60
-5
Heart-seeker Taking great care and practiced aim, you prepare a shot to strike at your targets most vital weak spot. This shot will not miss, nor can your target parry, block, or evade it.
Ranged Weapon +106 damage
50 5m N/A
Melee Combat Skills Description/ Strategy Level Recovery Time Focus (+/-)
swift stroke
Swift Stroke
This is a quick melee attack, not very powerful, but it recovers quickly and can provide some necessary damage between other ranged or melee attacks. 1 4 N/A

Scourging Blow
Scourging  blow is a relatively powerful melee attack.  If the enemy is bleeding from a barbed arrow, it causes more damage, but it stops the bleeding.  The good thing, is that you can re-apply the bleed and hit them again.
Main Hand Weapon +1
4 5 N/A

Blindside
Blindside has one of the coolest melee animations.  It's the old "one-two".  The hunter punches the enemy in the face, then rapidly hits them with a bow attack.  Does damage twice and can be very effective to disrupt an enemy's attack.  
2 Attacks: 80% of Main Hand Weapon +1 damage
60% of Ranged Weapon +1 damage
8 10 N/A

Low Cut
This melee attack kneecaps two enemies in front of you, effectively slowing their movement.  It doesn't do a lot of damage, but it's an effective strategy for a mobile hunter.
Main Hand Weapon +1
Slows Movement speed by 50%
16 0 N/A

Agile Rejoinder
This melee attack is normally grayed out, however, once your hunter parries an attack, it lights up for a short period of time.  Once this happens, you'll be able to exploit that opening for a very powerful melee attack.  
Main Hand Weapon +3
24 5 N/A



The Hunter's Combat Multiplier Skills:

The combat multiplier is any skill that enhances the ability of the hunter without actually causing direct damage to the enemy.  These can be combat buffs for herself or for her group, they can be de-buffs for enemies or they can be skills that enhance a natural attribute of the hunter or of the group.  

The buffs are a part of the innate connection the hunter has with their natural environment and with their expertise with their weapon of choice.   One type of these buffs are the hunters' stances.  They have the ability to toggle a skill according to the combat situation.  

Stance - Strength
Stance - Precision
Stance - Endurance



Strength: Increases your damage and threat, great when solo, but in a group, it places a big target on your head because not only do you do more damage to the enemy, your threat level is increased.  Both of these factors in combination essentially make you an attractive target for the enemy.  This stance is gained at level 4 and is very useful when soloing content.  When in a group and you have this stance toggled, make sure you have one of your fellowship mates pull the aggro off of you when you invariably attract some unwelcome attention.

Precision:  This stance increases your accuracy as well as the chance your Quick Shot skill will land a critical hit on the target.  One of the best stances for grouping, it has the sometimes unintentional effect of scoring so many critical hits, the target may just decide that you're a threat and proceed to focus on you
.
Endurance:  Probably the best stance for grouping, this stance reduces the power cost associated with your specials and reduces the threat level that you present.  If your fellowship has a guardian and a champion, the types that can handle a toe to toe battle with some of the bigger enemies, you can stay in the back row and rain pointy death from afar.


Combat Multipliers

Description

Level

Stance
of
Strength
You take a stance which increases the damage of your shots, while increasing the power cost and draws the enemies attention to youtrself. While in Strength stance, Quickshot will slow your enemies movements.
Increased Ranged skill damage by 10%
Increased power cost for bow skills by 15%
Increased threat generation by 15%
4
Set Trap
Your survival skills allows you to lay traps for enemies which can hold them in place. The trap remains for 60s after being set and can easily be interupted. 6
Focus
Before Combat, you may rapidly increase your focus.Focus is required to use some combat bow skills and is lost if you move.
Adds Focus point every 0.3s
10

Cry of the Predator
The years of studying animal behavior finally pay off, when you're staring down the fanged mouth of a predator, you can release your feral nature to cause them to flee in fear.  This only works with beasts.
Fears for up to 10s
12

Passage of Nature
This skill allows you to track animals.  When used, there will be a selection of available animals to choose from and once selected, a red arrow will point you in the direction of the beast. 12
 

Find the Path
This skill will increase the fellowship run speed by 15%.  You can also use it on yourself, but when you are attacked or you attack an enemy, the buff instantly turns off.  
+15% out of combat run speed.
14

Purge Poison
This will allow you to negate the effects of poison on yourself or an ally.  Very useful when facing the poisoned fangs of spiders or the poison arrows of the enemy.
Removes up to 3 poison effects with a maximum strength of 7 from the target.
+12.8% Posion Resist
16
Stance: Precision You take a stance that decreases the possibility that an enemy will avoid your shots. While in Precision, your Quickshot has an increased chance to score a crit.
Lowers your targets chance to block or evade your ranged attacks by 5%
Reduces the chance your shots will miss.
18
Intent Conentration
In a desperate time, you can instantly reach full focus.
Adds 9 to Focus
20
 

Desperate Flight
When you or your fellowship have nearly been defeated, this skill will teleport you and the fellowship to a nearby rally point.  While it requires travel rations, the cost of a consumable is preferable to a TPK (total party kill).
20
Guide to
Michel Delving
This will teleport you and your fellowship to Michel Delving in the Shire. This skill is easily interupted and requires Travel Rations. 22

Bright Campfire
Building a campfire allows you and your fellowship to have a short break, where your morale and power will regenerate quickly.  Chefs can also use this fire to make some food for the journey. 22

Passage of Foes
You can finally tell the difference between a warg and a goblin, or even a brigand.  You know how to track humanoids. 22

Guide to Thorin's Hall
This will teleport you and your fellowship to Thorin's Hall. This skill is easily interupted and requires Travel Rations. 24

Beneath Notice
Not a particularly useful skill when soloing, but in a group, this will reduce your threat level by 60%.  You'll be able to land multiple hits on enemies with them barely noticing where its coming from. 26
Return to Camp You can bind yourself at one of the many camp sites across the world and then use this skill to teleport your fellowship to it. This skill is easily interupted and requires travel Rations. 26
Stance: Endurance
You take a stance that decreases the power cost and reduces the chance that the enemies attention will turn towards you. While in Endurance stance, your Quickshot does not draw as much attention as it normally does. 28

Passage of Shadows
Dark and evil forces are no longer able to hide from your acute senses.  You can track fell creatures, undead and shadowy minions. 32

Guide to Bree
This will teleport you and your fellowship to Bree. This skill is easily interupted and requires Travel Rations. 32
Needful Haste You can sacrifice some of your Focus to make ranged attacks at a faster rate.
-0.3 Barbed Arrow induction time.
-0.3 Swift Bow induction time.
-25% Attack Duration
34

Guide to Esteldin
This will teleport you and your fellowship to Esteldin. This skill is easily interupted and requires Travel Rations. 34
Set Snare
Your wilderness knowledge allows you to set a snare for your enemies that will slow their movements and cause them damage over time. The trap remans for 60 seconds after being placed.This skill is easily interupted. 36
Beneath Notice
Your survival skills allow you to appear less threatening to enemies over a time.
-60% Perceived Threat
38

Camouflage
As long as you stay still, this will allow you to blend into your surroundings, making it difficult for enemies to detect you.  
+1 Stealth Level
40
Strength of Earth You find strength in the land; devoting all your attention you can recover power swiftly in the midst of conflict. this skill is easily interrupted.
Restores 3 power over 1 second.
42

Guide to Rivendell
This will teleport you and your fellowship to Rivendell. This skill is easily interupted and requires Travel Rations. 46

 

 


The Hunter's Passive Skills and Certifications:

The hunter's passive skills include weapon and armor certifications, modifications to their weapons, the use of more sophisticated traps and other skills that dont fall into a combat category.  They're always on and they reflect the general knowledge the hunter's gained as she progresses through the levels of training.  With every other level, the hunter trainer will have certain active and passive skills available to train.  

Skill Description Level
Light Armour Allows use of light armor 1
Improved Range Adds 15 meters to base range attack 1
Bows Allows use of bows 1
Daggers Allows use of daggers 1
One Handed Axe Allows use of a one handed axe 1
One Handed Swords Allows use of a one handed sword 1
Clarinet  Allows use of a clarinet 5
Lute Allows use of a lute 5
Evade - Rank 1 Evade +2% 7
Ranged Critical - Rank 1 Ranged Critical Hit +2% 9
Ranged Evade - Rank 1 Ranged Evade +8% 9
Medium Armour Allows use of medium armour 10
Parry - Rank 1 Parry +2% 11
Accuracy - Rank 1 medium amount 13
Ranged Evade - Rank 2 Ranged Evade +4% 13
Duel Wielding Allows the wielding of a second weapon in the off hand. 15
Hand Wrought Traps Allows use of Hand Wrought Traps 15
Hand Wrought Traps Allows use of crafted traps 15
One Handed Clubs Allows use of one handed clubs 15
One Handed Hammers Allows use of one handed hammers 15
One Handed Maces Allows use of one handed maced 15
Evade - Rank 2 Evade +1% 15
Ranged Evade - Rank 3 Ranged Evade +2% 17
Parry - Rank 2 Parry +1% 19
Use of Fire Allows use of fire oil on arrows 20
Spear Allows use of a spear 20
Accuracy - Rank 2 Medium Bonus 21
Ranged Evade - Rank 4 Ranged Evade +1% 21
Ranged Critical - Rank 2 Ranged Critical Hit +2% 23
Bow Chants Allows the Hunter to employ ancient chants to empower their bow to different ends. 25
Accuracy - Rank 3 Medium Bonus 25
Parry - Rank 3 Parry +1% 27
Evade - Rank 3 Evade +1% 29
Use of Light Allows the use of light oil to arrows 30
Crossbows Allows use of crossbows 30
Accuracy - Rank 4 Small Bonus 31
Ranged Critical - Rank 3 Ranged Critical Hit +2% 33
Tracking Guide Allows the Hunter to share the location of his tracked target with his fellowship. Only effective with Non-player characters. 35
Parry - Rank 4 Parry +1% 37
Critical - Rank 4 Critical Hit +1% 39
Evade - Rank 4 Evade +1% 41

The Hunter's Traits and Class Quests:

Lotro's hunter against a clear blue skyThe Hunter is initiated by several level based quests.  And the hunter's traits also come by using the skills themselves.  As you explore middle earth and defeat more enemies, you'll find that you'll unlock certain traits just by being a hunter.  


The Hunter's Quests

Level 15 Quest: The Hunter's Path

Once you've trained level 15 from your hunter trainer, you'll notice that they'll have a quest available for you.  This is a simple quest.  Simply go to Adso's camp west of Bree and speak to Gytha Lainey.  She'll tell you to kill a named elite wolf in the Old Forest named Yellowfang.  When you accept, you'll be taken to an instance in the Olf Forest.   There will be several wolves there, none of them too difficult.  To beat this quest, track Yellowfang, fight your way there, and kill Yellowfang.  It's a good idea, since this old wolf is an elite beast, to bring a few lesser potions of athelas, just in case.  Once you defeat Yellowfang, talk to Gytha Lainey and she'll reward you with some silver, a Leather Helmet (Armor: 23/ +4 Agility/ +4 Will), 3 lesser Celebrant Salves and the trait Fast Draw.  
Level 30 Quest: A Hunter's Charge

The Hobbitses in the shire need your help.  It seems that they're tasty snacks for Wargs.  Gytha Lainey wants your help to stop the Wargs.  She'll take you to an instance where you'll have to talk to 4 of the Hobbits, there, you'll have to stop 5 Wargs.  You'll have 2 Prowling Wargs, 2 Roaming Wargs and an elite Warg named Laugzok.  The best way to do this is to kill Laugzok first and then mop up the remaining Wargs.  For your effort, you'll receive some Greater Celbrant Salves, the Trait Enduring Precision and your choice from either a very nice Bow or Cross-Bow.

Level 45 Quest: Articles of Discovery & Implements of the Hunter
This is a multi-level class quest.  Once you reach level 45, you'll get the quest from the hunter trainer called "The Swiftest Arrow is Learning".  Where you'll go back to where you started and talk to Fenton Marshley in the Hunters' Lodge near Archet.  He'll tell you to get a bunch of stuff:
  • Zorrgolug's Matted Hide
  • Brimstone tinged Torkrip helmets x 5
Take them back to Fenton, then he'll tell you to go get:
  • Glossy cave claw skins x 10
  • Corroded Neeker breeker horns x 15
Take these back to Fenton and then he'll tell you to go get:
  • Rune of Winged Dominance from Mormoz
  • The Insignia of Battle from Sorkrank or Burzfil (Named Uruk-Hai)
Take these back to Fenton and you'll get a new quest: "Implements of the Hunt" where Fenton will tell you to go get:
  • Driftclaw's razor sharp claw (From Driftclaw)
  • Corrroded iron crown staves
Take these back to Fenton and he'll tell you to go get:
  • Clouded worm eyes x 20
  • Venomous dread turtle beaks x 5
  • Putrid fingernails x 5
Take these back to Fenton and he'll tell you to go get:
  • Medallion of Passage from Urro
  • Putrid slime of Helchgam
Take these back to Fenton and he'll give you your final quest: "A Lesson From Legolas".
  • Talk to Legolas in Rivendell and he'll reward you with the trait "Bow of the Righteous"
That's it.  You're done with the Hunter's quests.

The Hunter's Traits

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Trait Requirement Description
Barbed Fury Barbed Arrow x 750 Ranged Offence Dmg +2% / DOT +5 seconds
Rapid Recovery Swift Stroke x 500 Melee Recovery Time -1.2 seconds/ Critical Hit +1%
Swift and True Swift Bow x 1000 Ranged Offense +2%/ Damage +8%
Deadly Precision Critical Bow Hit x 500 Focus +1 on Crit/ Barbed Arrow Induction -0.1 seconds/ Swift Bow Induction -0.1 seconds
Graceful Draw Bow Hits x 6000 Power Cost Reduced/ In combat power regen +0.3%
Sturdy Traps Use Traps x 350 Traps are more effective/ Critical Chance +1%
Strong Draw Penetrating Shot x 600 Focus cost for Penetrating shot -1/ In combat power regen +0.3%
True Shot Penetrating Shot x 1000 Ranged Offense +2%/ Target Mitigation -8%
Heightened Senses Tracking x 500 Tracking Effectiveness Increased/ Critical Hit +1%
Fast Draw Quest Barbed Arrow Induction -0.1 seconds/ Swift Bow Induction -0.2 seconds
Deep Concentration Intent Concentration x 150 Intent Concentration restores power/ In combat power regen +0.3% per second
Hail of Arrows Rain of Arrows x 500 Ranged Offense Damage +2%/ Ranged Critical +25%/ Critical Hit Damage Multiplier +25%
Arrow Storm Rain of Arrows x 600 Focus Cost for Rain of Arrows -1/ In combat power regen +0.3%
Enduring Precision Quest Focus +1 per 5 seconds in stance/ Barbed Arrow Induction -0.1 seconds/ Swift Bow Induction -0.1 seconds
Swift Recovery Needful Haste x 125 Needful Haste and Intent Concentration recovery -60 seconds/ Barbed Arrow Induction -0.1 seconds/ Swift Bow Induction -0.1 seconds
Stealthy Shot Beneath Notice x 150 Beneath Notice Effectiveness Increased/ Ranged Critical +1%

Legendary Traits

 

Legendary Traits are started with books for every class that drop randomly throughout level 39+ areas. You'll need to speak to the hero for your class, in this case Legolas in Rivendell. After this you'll begin "farming" pages in the locations listed, good luck. Be sure to check the Auction House and watch the trade channel, sometimes you can find a good deal.

 

The Way of the Hunter -

Press Onwards: When the need is high, you can move on with little rest, restoring all Power and Morale in only a few seconds. (Heals 3000 points of morale and power - 10 minutes cooldown - cannot be used in combat.

Pages
Location
1, 3, 4, 8
Hillmen in Donnvail, Angmar
17, 20, 21, 28
Orcs in East Angmar near Ongbishuk

 

A Shot in the Dark -

Bard's Arrow- You fire with the skill of Bard himself driving evil enemies into fear.

Pages
Location
5, 10, 14, 16
Wights in Trollshalls
19, 22, 23, 25
Gabizalan Dwarves in Misty Mountains

 

Furthest Charge -

Rain of Thorns: You rain 5 thorn arrows down upon your enemies, allowing you to pin multiple targets.

Pages
Location
7, 9, 10, 14
These pages randomly drop from level 39+ Humanoid mobs,known drops from Hillmen, Donnvail, Angmar
17, 18, 21, 24

 

Thanks to Fizen for use of his research.


Conclusion:

I hope you enjoyed the description of the skills and the tactics of the Hunter in Lord of the Rings Online.  It's truly my favorite class to play.  I believe that it provides the flexibility, the versatility and the fun of being in the thick of action, and a valuable support player in a fellowship.  If you've noticed anything that I've missed, or needs clarification, don't hesitate to post.  Thanks again to my Kinship, The Marauders of Minhiriath, Methost and the many others on the official forms for helping collect a lot of this information.  

-AgonThalia






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