LOTRO: Your Guide to Playing Sauron's Minion - The War Leader

Posted Wed, May 06, 2009 by Dalmarus

*Insert Chariots of Fire theme*

It's no secret that I love spell-slinging classes as much (if not more) as anyone. Even so, there are times when nothing satisfies a bloodthirsty craving like getting right up in the face of your enemy and splitting it with a sword or bashing it in with a shield. Behold the Lord of the Rings PvMP battlefield commander, the Uruk War Leader. Designed to drive your fellow Creeps on to greatness, the War Leader juggles filling multiple roles. It may sound confusing, but that's exactly what makes the War Leader so much fun.

Holy Bajeezus, I'm Not A Wuss

Surprise, surprise. Unlike every other monster class I've done the guides for, the War Leader begins his career with some solid stats right off the bat. Good hit points, great armor, and the ability to heal yourself (and others) combine to make you a force of nature best paid attention to... at least for the PvE content.

By starting out with such a solid base, there are a number of ways you can go about filling out your character's passive attributes. For the War Leader, I went in a direction different to that of every character to come before him. Rather than getting all four available choices up to rank one, I gathered my Destiny Points up and spent them in one category twice. Let me tell you what order I went in, and then I'll explain why I did it that way. I upgraded my passive abilities in the following order: Power, Power again, Resistance, Armor, Damage. From there, pick whatever order you feel most comfortable with.

For a class that's built for both dealing and absorbing damage, why would I choose to double up on power, especially when for the same amount of Destiny Points, I could have gotten the first rank in all three of the other choices? Because a number of your abilities don't have a set power cost associated with them. They have a beginning power cost, but also have an upkeep cost associated with them. What this means is that while you're out there spending power points on Intimidating Shout and Cleave while wailing away on your target, Aura of Command is continuing to drain your reserves. The last thing you want to do in any battle (no matter class you're playing) is run out of power.

Enough with the PvE Already

Like it or not, you need to suck it up and get cracking on that PvE content to build your skills if you want to have a snow ball's chance in hell of surviving a PvP battle. Fortunately, I do have some good news. The War Leader does better in PvP than the other classes I've tested so far. While others become supreme instruments of destruction later on, the War Leader doesn't have to wait as long to avoid being squashed like an insignificant insect. You still need to do all the PvE content you can stomach, but it's not as bad as it seems.

LotRO's new class comes late to the party, but it is certainly an interesting choice.
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