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Dev Journals: Burglar Advancement Beyond Level 50

By Guest Writer on October 08, 2008

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INTRODUCTION

Who are you, dear reader, picking up these words and examining them after I’ve written them? Are you a First-class Burglar, eager to learn of the next stage of your chosen class’s advancement? Are you new to the Burglar, or maybe even new to The Lord of the Rings Online? Maybe you’re some internet archaeologist looking through an ancient archive of internet data?

If it’s the latter, then I hope your ancestors bought the Lifetime Subscription because that’s probably turned out to be a really good investment. In any case, you might want to switch your archival browsing to our forums where you can probably find out what everyone thought of the Burglar’s 50-60 advancement options.

If, on the other hand, you’re an old-hand at the Burglar, or thinking of picking it up, and don’t have the aid of time-travel, read on for the scoop on the next 10 levels of one of LOTRO’s most advanced and rewarding classes!

TRAIT SETS

One of the most exciting new additions to all classes with the Mines of Moria is the addition of Trait Sets. Trait Sets group each class’s Class Traits into three loosely related sets of eight traits and give additional bonuses for using multiple Traits in a set. For the Burglar, this gave me the opportunity to add new class traits to fill out the sets.

Many of the traits and sets are inspired from player requests and ideas. Two of the sets emphasize existing strengths of the Burglar; improved damage for one and stronger Tricks/Crowd Control for the other. The third is something quite new, carrying on the traditions of quirky gameplay that have long been a hallmark of the Burglar class.

THE QUIET KNIFE

The Quiet Knife Trait Set bonuses focus on improving positional damage and critical hit chances. In Moria, we’ve introduced a new kind of critical hit, called a Devastating Critical, which is rarer but even more damaging than a normal critical. The Burglar’s 4-set bonus builds on Devastating Criticals by enabling a self-buff on the Burglar following Devastating Critical Hits that increases subsequent critical damage.

The new skill for this set is called Feint Attack, and it follows Double-edged Strike as another critical-response chain end skill. Without the legendary trait for the set it allows you to use the stealth version of Surprise Strike without entering stealth. When upgraded with the legendary trait, all stealth opener skills become available and the recovery time is reduced significantly.

The knife is quiet, certainly. Most of the noise comes from whatever fell thing winds up on the business end of it.

THE MISCHIEF-MAKER

We introduced Mischief in the Month of the Burglar as an alternative gameplay style to stealth, emphasizing the Burglar’s Trick debuffs and crowd control. With Moria, Mischief-lovers can further specialize in their chosen path. Familiar traits like Trickster and Appraising Eye are in the set. One of the new traits, Confound the Fools, does for Confound what Perplexing Riddle does for Riddle, adding a stun in front of the daze.

The Mischief-Maker set bonuses lower Trick resistance and increase durations. A 4-set bonus gives the burglar a significant reduction in the recovery time of Trick Removal skills when they land a Devastating Critical.

The set’s new skill is called A Small Snag. Like Feint Attack, it comes at the end of the critical response chain, but this skill applies a short root to the target and debuffs their defenses. When upgraded with the set’s Legendary Trait, the skill becomes Quite a Snag, with a longer root, shorter recovery time, and bigger debuff.

THE GAMBLER

The Burglar knows when to daze them, when to stun them, when to walk away, and when to HiPS. The Gambler Trait Set is a new twist on the gameplay of the Burglar, embracing chance to improve all of his strengths when luck is on his side.

Gambles are effects applied to enemies which come in three flavors: improving damage, crowd control, or debuffs. They each have their effect while on the target and have an additional effect when they expire (like a stun or damage over time). When a Gamble is applied it rolls on a kind of loot table with respectable results guaranteed but with a chance for “rare” or “incomparable” effects with greater impact.

The Gambler set uses existing traits from various walks of Burglar life, Swift and Subtle and Leaf-walker, combined with new traits like Honed Wit, which allows you to use Clever Retort outside of Mischief.

Progressive set bonuses enable a different Trick Removal skill to apply Gambles along with other benefits. The 4-set bonus applies a buff to the Burglar when they land a Devastating Critical which improves the chance to apply Gambles.

In keeping with other Trait Sets, the associated skill is a critical response skill which is guaranteed to apply a Damaging Gamble on the target. When Lucky Strike is upgraded to Gambler’s Strike, it can be used to bump up in rarity an existing Gamble on the target and thus in magnitude. Its recovery time is also reduced and, like Lucky Strike, the legendary skill will still apply a Damaging Gamble if none is present on the target.

IMPROVED SKILLS

On top of the three new skills linked to the Trait Sets, the Burglar sees two popular mainstays of his skill set receive upgrades. The first upgrade you get will be to Startling Twist, adding the ability to remove Corruptions from monsters. If you haven’t heard already, Corruptions are a new kind of buff that monsters in Moria give to themselves and their allies, sometimes adding stacking bonuses.

The second improved skill is one that needs no introduction: Hide in Plain Sight. The improved version adds a special movement speed buff which allows you to move at your normal out-of-stealth speed and allows you to ignore slows. You can pop HiPS and hightail it out of there even faster, or loop around for a surprise attack.

CLASS ITEMS

The most significant change to the Burglar’s class items is the transformation of their Burglar’s Tools into Legendary Items. Moving from the ranged equipment slot to the new class item slot, the Burglar can improve these items over time with many ways to enhance Burglar abilities. In addition, we’ve added new tiers of the Burglar’s crafted Caltrops, Stun Dust, and Marbles to use against the higher-level threats in Moria.

STOP, DAGGER-TIME

Another area where we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from Burglar players is around daggers. It seems like a love-hate thing. Players want to love them—and some do love them—but others love the big splash of slower weapons. With the release of Mines of Moria™, we have added new Passive Skills which improve the Burglar’s base damage, critical damage, and even the devastating critical damage when wielding daggers. What’s more, you don’t have to wait until you reach Moria to gain this valuable new training.

CONCLUSION

So, there you have it. The Burglar, Moria-style. Three new Trait Sets, each with a 4-set bonus giving you a different buff when you land a critical hit, and each tied to a new critical response chain skill. An improved, legendary class item with loads of bonuses to hunt for. New passive skills that make Burglars master of the dagger.

It’s a joy to come back to the Burglar both to polish and add new twists to this distinctive class. A lot of folks helped make these changes possible—including feedback from the Burglar community. A special thanks goes out to Zombie Columbus and Annuvin who chipped in a number of ideas and time.

If you think you’ve heard it all, just wait till you unlock the mines and see all that waits for you. Delve deep!

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