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Lord of the Rings Online: A Look at the Champion

MMORPG.com Lord of the Rings Online Correspondent Pamela Blalock takes a look at the Champion class in Turbine's Middle-Earth based game.

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Dual wielding, shields, heavy armor and area of effect damage are some of the fancy attributes of the champion in Lord of the Rings Online. The combination of good DPS abilities and tough armor make the champion a great berserker class. LotRO is full of that amazing Tolkien lore which creates a wonderful MMO environment, but the game wouldn’t be the success it is without strong basics of gameplay. One of those basics is the quality of the classes in which the players are allowed to choose. The champion is a good example of a solidly built class in a well-written MMO world.

In LotRO there are nine classes: burglar, captain, champion, guardian, hunter, lore-master, minstrel, runekeeper, and warden. Men, Dwarfs and Elves can be champions, but Hobbits cannot. At multiple different levels each class can take specific class quests and receive class specific items and abilities. These quests begin at level 15 and continue through your journeys in Middle-Earth.

Champions are no exception and at level 15 they are sent on quite a journey. First, you must visit Oggur, the class trainer, who is located in the jail interior found in south Bree. When you e looking at the Bree map, the jail is basically the last building you can enter on the west side of the road that leads to Chetwood South. By 15 you’ve probably visited Oggur a few times. Oggur offers the quest called A Blade of Renown. The first objective of this quest is to meet with Ultan Foebane. Ultan is a dwarf standing stoutly in a cart at the Bree/Combe gate on the east side of Bree.

Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot

Ultan will give you a letter detailing the vile people he wants you to hunt and kill to prove your worth as a champion. The letter describes the foes, their situations and where you might find them. All of these enemies are found in Bree-land and they are all level 15 elites. Unlike some of the other class quests at this level, A Blade of Renown can be done while in a Fellowship. All the mobs are found in the world and there is no instancing required.

Going down the list, Zhurpukh of the Deeps, a goblin, is the first to kill. Zhurpukh runs north and south along the eastern edge of the Midgewater Marshes. He doesn’t pass beyond the waterfall, but he is literally running through the marshes. You can get to his location by running through the marshes and killing everything on the way. Most of the mobs in the marshes are 10s and 11s and are easily disposed of, especially in a fellowship. You could take the road that leads southeast out of Bree and cut sharply north off the path and into the marshes right before you end up in Lone-lands, but you would travel through Chetwood South on this route. Either way, there are other goblins and creatures around where the elite runs, so it good to clear a few of those mobs out before attacking Zhurpukh.

Secondly, there’s Fair Sherman, a half-orc. His location is a little trickier than Zhurpukh. There’s a road that leads south out of Bree toward Andrath that dead ends in ruins surrounded with brigands. If you’re running along the road you need to get on the grass to the left of the path when you see the ruins. The ground gently becomes a ridge on this side and you can avoid a lot the brigands by running along where the ridge meets level ground. You’ll see a wall of the ruins that is actually connected to this ridge and a small tower built into the wall. This tower is only a few feet from where the ridge and ruin wall connect. Fair Sherman is located in this tower and you can access him by stepping onto the edge of the tower from the ridge on which you’ve been running. You don’t even have to enter the camp to fight and kill Fair Sherman.

Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot

Finally, you must find Morley the Fierce, a man. He is hanging out with a bunch of wild animals in the Old Greenway Fort. This fort is located south of the Northern Bree-Fields. The fields, as the name suggests, are north of Bree. They are found by running north on the path right outside of Bree on the town’s west side. Eventually your map will have a crest with the name Northern Bree-Fields on it. Right before your character is over the name on the map you l be able to see a group of ruins to east of the path. Morley is in there, but there are also a lot of boars or bears among the ruins. Usually you can find Morley in the southeast corner of the ruins along one of the walls. Again it advisable to kill the mobs before getting to Morley. You can usually take him on without any adds if you e cleared the creatures out beforehand.

With three evil beings slain, you’ve now completed your first champion class quest! It’s time to return to Ultan and reap your rewards. There are three rewards that are, of course, very epic. You will receive three Athelas Essences which are healing potions that restore 220-240 morale. You will receive a one-handed weapon called the Champion’s Axe. This axe has 18-34 common damage at 8.8 DPS with a speed of 2.4. The axe comes with a +5 to Might and Vitality and, as with all axes, there’s a small chance at lowering a target’s armor. The last reward is a class trait which you can equip at a bard. This trait is called Vicious Strikes and it will give your champion +240 strike skills critical rating making abilities in the strike line a great chance to crit.

There are a lot of MMOs trying to get your subscription fee every month. The only way you’ll know which one is right for you is by trying them and giving them an honest chance. Some gamers are put off by LotRO enveloping lore, but there are great mechanics, too. Of course, the intellectual property is probably paramount to most players. Seeing characters you’ve read about come to live in a virtual world is actually pretty exciting. Still, LotRO also offers soundly built classes mixed with the normal grinding and creative questing experience.

Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot

Pamela Blalock / I write about MMOs at [link=www.examiner.com/mmo-in-national/pamela-blalock] Examiner.com[/link]. games, writing, cats equals happiness.

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