Shaman vs Rune-keeper

I’ve been playing a Shaman in Warhammer Online during beta on a regular basis and find the mechanic they use to encourage both healing and damage dealing to be entertaining. How it works is that basically the more damage you do, the more effective your healing spells become and the more you heal your friends, the more powerful your attack skills become. Therefore, the system encourages you to play the balance of damage and healing. No longer are the healers getting yelled at for attacking. It’s all part of the design and I find it quite fun.

Now along comes the Rune-keeper in Lord of the Rings Online. This is one of the new classes coming out with the Mines of Moria expansion. The thing that caught my eye here is a system called Attunement. The Rune-keeper is also a healer/damage dealing hybrid like the Shaman, but in this case Turbine has appeared to flip the design over. The more damage you do, the better you get at doing damage. The more healing you do, the better you get at healing. It seems to actually discourage you from filling both roles. Instead, I guess you must pick one role or the other before you start the fight. I can’t tell at this point if one will be more fun than the other but I plan to create a Rune-keeper when the expansion launches to test the class. My gut tells me the Shaman will be more fun, but I could be wrong.

– Ethic

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I’m more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

13 thoughts on “Shaman vs Rune-keeper”

  1. If that’s how the Rune Keeper works, I could see some issues with PUGs, where the Rune Keepers will argue they can’t heal since it weakens their dps. Odd mechanic for sure, especially compared to the Shaman.

  2. It may not be as much of a PUG issue, or an issue at all really. Every class in LOTRO has hybrid aspects, some more than others, and every class has a Panic Button ability. Minstrels themselves are very rarely necessary when captains and lore-masters are available. I’ve often been the only one in the group with my lore-master’s single heal ability, which has a 20 second refresh.

    The rune-keeper offers a little strategy, I suppose, with its attunement. The more attuned to dps you become the more damage you’re dealing but in a tight spot it will take even longer to re-attune towards healing so *good* players may have to stay ahead of the game and be proactive rather than the usual reactive behavior.

    I just wish 99% of the “spells” in LOTRO weren’t of the progress bar casting time variety.

  3. Well, like any class, their true strengths shine in huge groups and raids. I wouldn’t be in a rush to hit the Rift in LotRO with a Lore Master on healing.

    But as for class comparisons, it’s hard to say.

    On one hand, as a Shaman I found myself stuck casting healing spells I simply did not need in order to boost up attack spells I DID need. And honestly that became cumbersome and annoying. It forces you to mix things up, but I don’t know if that’s inherently more fun.

    On the other hand, it’s not like I’ve gotten far enough into the Shaman class to really know how it’ll play out over the rest of the game. That and I’ve not played as the Rune-keeper either.

    At the end of the day I guess it doesn’t really matter. You can’t be in both games at once lol.

  4. “On one hand, as a Shaman I found myself stuck casting healing spells I simply did not need in order to boost up attack spells I DID need.”

    The Shaman’s mechanic (Waaagh) is a bit overrated when people describe it. Waaagh is more of a cool effect rather than a pivotal gameplay mechanic. Never once have I said, “oh, I need to nuke so I can heal better” on my Shaman. Why? Well, mostly because Waaagh only lasts for ONE spell. Lets pretend I cast 5 damage spells, which builds up my Mork (healing) Waaagh to 5 (the highest). The second I cast a healing spell, that Waaagh goes down to 0. Same if you build up Gork (damage) Waaagh.

    So you can figure it out by common sense that if someone needs a heal, it’s not efficient to build up 5 Mork so you can heal that person, you should heal them right then and there when they need it, whether you have 0 Mork or 5 Mork.

    In essence, I don’t think Waaagh determines how a shaman should cast, I think what it does is offer a bonus boost every now and then. I don’t think you should go out of your way to build up Mork/Gork.

  5. You don’t go out of your way (ie, let someone die), but working Mork/Gork effectively is the difference between a decent shaman and a great one. Planning 2-3 spells ahead is key.

    That is also true for other classes as well. While you can get by somewhat ignoring the mechanics, once you learn the most efficient methods, you notice a huge boost in performance. Happened to me yesterday with my Ironbreaker, and the change was drastic.

  6. “Therefore, the system encourages you to play the balance of damage and healing. No longer are the healers getting yelled at for attacking.”

    I would not go that far. Apparently Mythic has succeeded in making 4 of the 6 healers fun (Zealots and Runepriests are too much like other games for my taste) but that does not stop people from complaining about not getting heals, in fact I think they are complaining even more now.

    I’ve seen people post (including someone from CoW) on the warhammeralliance forums that Warpriests and Disciples should not melee but use the 2 abilities they have to convert AP to healing and just stand back and heal. I mean I think I’ve seen more complaining about healers already in the beta than I see in live games.

    yeah all I know is everyone who complains about heals doesn’t get any (at least not from me :) ), resulting in a rather hilarious self-fulfilling prophecy that the complainers never really catch on to.

  7. yunk wrote: “Warpriests and Disciples should not melee but use the 2 abilities they have to convert AP to healing and just stand back and heal.”

    That is exactly what I always did during big battles and found it very effective for healing. Didn’t realize I was the rare WP.

  8. I did it a few times, but it’s not nearly as effective if you mix in meleeing. the channeled heal is so much better than the others at t1 and t2.

    Plus I would just drain my points if all I did was heal, even with the ap->healing points conversion it wouldn’t last.

    the mechanics just don’t support healbotting on either of those.

  9. I meant “not as effective as if you mix in melee”. As in I could heal more and longer if I also made sure to keep up the attack

  10. Were those italics there in the original post? Brian Green would be proud. I went the other direction: I don’t italicize anything except books.

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