Nerf the Runekeeper

Nobody likes to be nerfed.  That’s a given.  Part of the joy in playing these games is watching your character get stronger and stronger.  You kill bigger and bigger things until you’re able to solo the gods themselves.  But when the nerf-bat hits you, you can’t solo the gods anymore, and you get the opposite of the joy you felt at leveling up.

But sometimes, nerfing is a good thing.  In Lotro, I’m playing this Runekeeper.  This chick heals great, deals the best damage in the game, can restore her own mana, and has a number of stunning abilities as well.  I find this character to be so strong that I’m actually looking forward to the nerf.  It’s silly for both hunter DPS and minstrel healing to be secondary to the same class.

The big question I keep wondering is, “Which will they nerf?”  The healing or the DPS?

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Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband. Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

11 thoughts on “Nerf the Runekeeper”

  1. I’d just like to see the RK’s mana consumption increased. Our 3man regulars are Warden, Rune-keeper and Lore-Master. It’s been fun and I wouldn’t say overpowered, but then it’s not a PvP game anyway, so balance versus mobs is more about the group as a whole.

    Unless one class becomes insanely popular for groups to the detriment of others (really not happening from what I see, people still strongly bias Minstrels for healing and heavy armour classes for tanking). Oh certainly I’m sure Minstrels enjoyed even more popularity prior to the expansion, but still they’re by and far the most requested class I’ve seen on LFF. I wouldn’t be asking for a nerf for them either mind you.

  2. The Turbine dev, Zombie Columbus, apparently commented during the recent Bullroarer test event that the RK would be getting a slight nerf in Book 8. I’d imagine that will include DPS, but not sure about healing.

    We should see the patch notes fairly soon.

  3. Out of curiosity, what level is your RK? I think the trade-off to the damage and healing (that can’t be done at the same time, mind you) is that you can be one-shotted by higher-level mobs because your morale is so incredibly low. Sure the RK can do 4000+ crits, but only once, because that draws threat from everything in combat, and you’re soon dead before you can get another spell off. The RK is just a typical glass cannon, and imho, I don’t think it needs to be nerfed at all.

  4. It has been my experience at higher levels that RK is a very good single target healer, but has trouble keeping up with a party in tough instances. I really don’t think anyone sane would take a RK over a Minst as the main healer in a PuG. Of course it’s entirely possible that you kick way more ass than any other RK I’ve grouped with :P

    As far as DPS, I think that RKs may well be out damaging Hunters these days. However, I think it’s mainly because Hunters (and Champions for that matter) got nerfed so hard, while casters got left alone. I pulled a 52 Loremaster off of the shelf for a kinship party last night, it had been a few mnonths since I used him for anything but crafting. I was absolutely astounded at the damage he was doing (as were my kinmates). And the Loremaster is not really considered a DPS class. Presumably a Runekeeper or damage traited Minstrel can truly been melt faces these days.

  5. Suzina, level range you’re referring to? In the early levels, everyone is vastly overpowered these days. In the mid-levels, you can see the difference between a Minstrel’s burst heals and a RK’s HoTs.

  6. Turbine made a big mistake with the Moria expansion when they made physical DPS scale faster from 50-60 than it did from 1-50. Physical DPS from 50-60 nearly doubled, say +90%, while tactical DPS scaled only about +20%. This led to a very obvious imbalance, but since the majority of classes relied on physical DPS, only a few players were complaining and everyone else was thrilled at their new uberness. Then Turbine compounded their mistake in the Book 7 update by reducing physical DPS quite a bit, while reducing mob morale and resistances at the same time. This put some classes like RK on top and pissed off all the physical DPS classes, especially Hunters and Champions.

    I’ve been wondering since the expansion why Turbine felt it was necessary to deviate from their original rate of DPS scaling. II know balance is an ongoing issues, but their approach seems to be making larger changes than they should, and this is especially apparent on the PvMP side of things.

    I just hope that they’ve learned from this first expansion to be cautious about what they give players. We’re very happy to get buffs and extremely unhappy to get nerfs. There will be lots of complaining, even if a nerf is for the good of the game.

  7. I have to agree with the other commenters; the RK is a glass cannon. Yes, as a max level RK I can heal very well or I can nuke very well. The problem is that I cannot do both, and that’s a fine limiting factor on the class. Further limiting the class is the lack of hit points and armor. In order to do those 4k crits, an RK has to specialize armor and weaponry to focus on crit multipliers, which tends to preclude vitality and bonus to morale.

    As to the cost of spells, the costs are also pretty good, but msot RKs are smart enough to Trait into power regen and further spec their gear for in-combat power gen (further limiting the other stats on our gear).

    As to our heals, we’re great at single target…sorta. If your tank takes a beating fast, you can’t save his butt until 30 sec or so into the combat. The mini can save the tank right away.

    I duo with a minstrel most of the time. I’m great at spot heals, she’s great at keeping a party alive. I’m great at nukes, but can’t take hits. It all works out.

  8. Is RK a glass cannon? Yes, in that it has light armor but high dps. In a normal group however, you know the hunter isn’t going to be tanking at any point. Sure, he might pull agro away for a few seconds accidentally, but that’s not his role, so no group cares if he wears medium armor or light.

    If the runekeeper was just a dps class, then there would really be no problem with it being the best. Then you could say that hunters have a couple trap related skills and some port abilities to make up for the lack of DPS. But runekeeper is more than the best DPS. They have a number of stuns to use, most of their dps skills have no inductions, they can restore their own mana once in a while, and so far the class traits I’ve unlocked have been great.

    But then, I’m coming at this after having played my loremaster. Loremaster is the other glass class. DPS is sufficient, healing is lack luster, and crowd control is great. It’s a good mix and a good balance for a light-armor class.

    My loremaster doesn’t get to be the best DPS or healing because she trades those things out in exchange for the best crowd control and mana-management. What exactly do hunters get the best of now?

    I should say at this point, my RK is only in her 20’s, but I’ve grouped with my share of 60’s in Moria. I think the dev-diary on Runekeepers puts it best when it says that “caution was required” with the balancing of this class. (excerpt below)

    3. Address the desire for a “glass-cannon” class

    Many MMO’s have a class with high offensive power, but lacking in defence; a “glass-cannon.” LOTRO did not ship with such a class; the Hunter wore medium armour and neither the Lore-master nor the Minstrel were offensive powerhouses.

    With all that, we are left with a class capable of acting as both a primary damage-dealer and a primary healer. This is a very strong combination of class roles, so caution was required. It’s very easy to make such a class too powerful; quick and easy access to high-end heals and damage skills is very potent. On the other hand, overly segregating the two roles can become frustrating. If changing between them required a trip back to town for a full trait respec and gear change, why even make it a single class? The solution we came up with is the Attunement system.

  9. I would have agreed with you before I reached the mid-40’s with my RuneKeeper. In the early levels, the RuneKeeper is godly. It doesn’t matter if you are a glass cannon when you can keep a heal totem and Prelude on you to replenish hitpionts.

    up to around level 40 I was able to solo even level elites to +1 elites, I could do reds a couple of oranges or a couple of blues with no problems at all. Enough to where my friends where in disblief. I could not however deal with four or more mobs even if they were green to cyan. They just did more damage to me than my healing could compensate for.

    When I reached level 40ish it changed a bit. I could still solo an elite, but gone were the days of being able to stand toe to toe with it. For instance the turtles out in Angmar, those I could still solo, but it took me around 10 minutes of kiting and avoiding adds to do it. Doing it in a dungeon or anywhere that is not open and add free is now out of the question. Signatures are getting that way as well now and reds are tougher.

    The damage aspect as i’ve described above however is still great and I’ve no complaints over it at all, it is very powerful when spec’d with Solitary Thunder.

    Healing however is a different story. Being “the best” at that died out much quicker than damage has and I would have to say you are completely wrong in thinking that your runekeeper can come close to matching what a minstrel does. Why is that?

    Here’s a good example, you just stepped into the Great Barrows with your 48ish level group and you went into the crypt area that still has orange con elites. you get jumped by 4 of them and your guardian just got dropped a third to half his life in the first oppening alpha strike (oh, and stunned…my guardian loves the fact that he can’t do jack about stuns and disarms once he blows his TTT..but that’s a different story).

    So, you are zero attunement..and it’s time for you to save his butt..what do you do? You cast prelude to hop which doesn’t dent his bar, spend a couple seconds casting your totem and spam mending verse every second and a half for meager amounts of healing. Then you have writ of health open up, so you spend a second to cast it for meager amounts of healing. Now you have 4 sources of meager amounts of healing going on!! yay! If only the mobs that spike damaged your tank would oblige and do meager amounts of damage as well, you’d be on top of the world.

    As it is, you’re yealling “Quaff your potion! quaff!!!” If you can just get a couple more points of attunement, you can use your 10 second 40% damage shield on him to buy some time for your meager healings to keep stacking up and get him back up to par. Someone is BOUND to kill one of the attacks soon, at least that’s what you are betting on.

    Oh and of course at 6 points of attunement you’ve got that lovey 800+hp heal on a 3 second cooldown you can cast. Yes..the one with the 4.5 second induction cast time.

    With this cast time, your big heal is basically unusable if you are trying to keep a tank that is being focused on alive. You simply can not use this spell if you are the *cough* main healer.

    So there is nothing in the heal side that needs nerfing at all and the fact that you can’t use but two spells out of the entire series when damage attuned makes that part ok.

    There are only two parts that I can agree to that you could get away with a nerf. The first are the pre 40 levels, there is no exaggeration here when I say it’s godly and it’s what the OP is basing all their conjecture on. pre-40 I can outdamage and outheal anyone in the game bar none, it’s just that potent. The lack of induction on the damage, the constant hp regen from Prelude, just makes me a very powerful tank-mage.

    If people can’t stand someone to shine that brightly for 40 levels then by all means throw a coat of mud on there and be done with it. It’s nice, but nothing game breaking and it will be just as nice and non-game breaking if it’s nerfed. No biggie.

    Mana efficiency is the second area where there may be some room for modification. But this is more the fault of the stacking mana reduction you can get from traits + legendaries + inherent abilities. In 49 levels to date, I’ve used a power potion exactly 3 times. Other than that, my spell power regen has probably been used about 20 times. (I still don’t have the trait for it yet..gotta start working on using it more).

    With all the power cost reduction (18% from two legendaries plus another 20% or more from traits) and the initial cost being reasonable to begin with..this class is very mana efficient no matter what it is doing, damage or heal. I like this aspect of the class and hope it doesn’t change, but if it does, again..I don’t know that I can reasonably object.

    So to conclude, yes there are some things that can be modified in the class however I feel you are completely off base in your objections based off your first 20 levels. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that you are as powerful as you say you are in these levels. However, please be aware that you do not stay that way. The “Glass” part of your cannon will become very evident when you are rolling along one day in Angmar and get jumped by three cyan colored mobs and are dead before you can you kill one of them, all because you weren’t able to get all your healing going and act pre-emptively.

    Across the board nerfs that does not take into account effectiveness in every level range will yield an overly nerfed and broken class that will then have to be buffed, which will then have to be nerfed, yada yada yada.

    Change only what needs to be changed, and only do that if it’s game breaking.

    My two coppers anyway.

    If you want something that needs to be seriously addressed, how about fixing the freaking horses so you don’t have to dismount to talk to npc’s or zone. Horrible coding and very atmosphere killing there. I better stop before I get bitter again :)


  10. yeah, I think the runekeeper will be fine despite whatever nerfs they have in store.

    I’m more excited about the various other fixes they promise. I would love to see a resolution to all the ???? over mobs heads that prevent the game from being played correctly. nothing like standing toe to toe with a slamander on a flat beach in the Evendim and the little guy is confused as to what i’m trying to do to him from 1 foot away.

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