Adding more to a class which already has so much versatility and depth hasn't been easy. The challenge has been to enhance a very solid base in ways that will be fun and interesting, while not shifting or bloating its capabilities beyond where they ought to be.
Ultimately, we decided to add a little something to everything. That means new skills and items that enhance or play on the Burglar's established class abilities. Most of the new skills will be awarded in levels 40-50, but a few will go out earlier in a Burglar's lifetime. The end result: A mix of fun skills and items that the shrewd Burglar can apply in the right situations to good (and sometimes humorous) effect.
So without further ado, here's the skinny on what's new for the sneakiest class in Middle-earth.
On top of a healthy dusting across the class, we wanted to do something that had the potential to significantly shake up a Burglar's game play. So, in a sense, this month does go to 11... as in 11 new skills. With new skills granted as low as level 20 and with many filling out the top 10 levels, the Burglar gets new stealth skills, Fellowship Maneouver response skills, a positional damage buff, shared stealth, and a new mode of play called "Mischief" which emphasizes the Burglar's Tricks and crowd control... just to name a few.
"Instead of Sneaking, you set your mind straightway to Mischief. While active, your Tricks and Twists cost less power to use and the recovery timer of Riddle is reduced. This skill can only be activated out of combat and cannot be used while sneaking."
Mischief is a new toggle skill that opens up a new playstyle for the Burglar: one that enhances the Burglar's Tricks, Trick Removal, and Crowd Control abilities while trading off the ability to Sneak. Starting at level 20, you can choose to switch into Mischief mode between fights giving you:
It's a choice that the player can make from encounter to encounter, depending on the situation. And, of course, players who don't want to use it don't have to and will still have new shiny things to play with.
"Mischief must be active to use this skill. Sometimes, you even surprise yourself. Usable on an enemy with an active Trick on them, it does one of four different things from healing yourself to harming your target. This removes the Trick."
This applies one of our random effects, each themed like a different Fellowship Skill. You might drop damage or a DOT on your foe, or you might recover Power or Morale for yourself. No matter what the outcome, the result is in your favor.
"Mischief must be active to use this skill. You confound nearby foes which slightly slows their attacks and will daze them if not cured before it expires. This will not work on Beasts, Insects, or Creatures of Nature."
Confound is an odd duck of a skill, but, as Burglars know, quirky skills are what the Burglar is all about. This skill puts an effect on up to 2 targets which acts like a delayed Daze. More CC for tight spots or tricky pulls, only available while in Mischief mode.
"You and one other fellowship member can enter stealth together. You must remain within 5 meters of one another or both of you will be revealed."
Just what it sounds like, you can take a friend into stealth. You move slower and must remain close, but a clever Burglar will find some great ways to use this.
"Your next damage-dealing attack skill will deal increased damage if it strikes your target from behind. Only useable while in Stealth. Using this skill will not break Stealth."
A high-end skill which you can use on its own or in combination with Aim for focused burst of damage. The skill has a hefty recovery timer, but when everything comes up, the outcome is hefty, too.
"Whose fault is it if the mightiest of heroes can't take a joke? This skill is only usable while in stealth."
A skill in the vein of the Champion's "Boast" and the Minstrel's "Irresistible Melody." Be careful, though, sometimes a joke can backfire!
"You make a quick attack to all foes around you and then prepare yourself to retaliate to attacks made against you in melee. Half of the attacks made against you in melee will also damage your attacker. This skill shares its recovery timer with Touch and Go."
This skill is a more offense-focused version of Touch and Go. It starts with a 360-degree AOE attack and gives you partial damage reflection for 30 seconds. It shines when you're facing a number of targets and you 'd rather win than run.
"With a moment to prepare, you make a carefully aimed strike at your target, causing damage over time. When made at the back of your target, the damage over time is increased significantly."
Tricky to pull off solo, but with the number of stuns and dazes in the Burglar's arsenal he has a couple of ways to get behind a target to pull off a melee induction and drop a hefty DOT on the target.
"After your fellowship performs a successful Fellowship Maneouver, you can use this skill to reset the recovery timer of your Aim skill, Location is Everything, and all the skills in your Critical Response chain."
The first of a pair of Fellowship Maneouver Response Skills. When your fellowship pulls off a successful FM, the skill is enabled and you can use it to reset a few skills for a burst of damage.
"After your fellowship performs a successful Fellowship Maneouver, you can use this skill to reset the recovery timer of Touch and Go and Knives Out."
Similar to Seize Initiative, this skill resets the recovery timer on two of the Burglar's signature panic buttons.
"At camps scattered across the world, you can call on your contacts to find a Pedlar to whom you and others may sell items in your possession."
Pockets full of loot you want to sell? Fellowship members in the same boat? Get your Hunter to bring you back to her campsite bind point (or just run to any campsite yourself) and then use this skill. A vendor is summoned that everyone can use to sell to and lighten your load.
Long requested, and now it's yours for the questing. Have you been waiting to wield a big stick like your friends with other classes? Now, you, too, can join "the club"... just talk to your local Burglar trainer to get started!
The Burglar is the king of the Fellowship Maneouver. If the response skills above didn't convince you, here's more support for the role. The signals come in four flavors, one for each kind of Fellowship Skill. Equip it in your ranged slot and it gives you a passive bonus to that kind of skill. On top of that, you can activate the item every 15 minutes to extend that buff to your entire Fellowship.
Look for the first tier of these items on your trainer along with the recipes for crafting higher quality signals.
Beyond the new skills and item changes I already mentioned, there are a couple of other things you might like to know about:
Also, another new feature is being added which anyone can use, but should be of special interest to the Burglar as expert of the Fellowship Skill: the Targeted Fellowship Skill system.
This system helps the leader of a fellowship communicate which fellowship skills he wants everyone to perform. You select a fellowship maneouver you have performed that is in your journal and your fellows see a preview of what colors must be played in what order. When the opportunity for a fellowship maneouver comes up, above the space for contributions you will see a reminder of what the Target Fellowship Skills are.
All the work is still up to you and your fellowship-we're not going to do the maneouver for you! You have to decide who will play what skill in what order. You still have to pull it off. What it does do is help communicate and remind everyone in the fellowship what you should be shooting for. It's another tool for you to use to its utmost.
The Burglar is a hard class to shop for, being so highly capable and versatile with high survivability. As you can see from the skills and items above nearly every facet of the Burglar has been touched on in Book 12. The Burglar has always been a thinking person's class, where the right tool at the right time can make a huge difference-solo or in a group. The Month of the Burglar adds even more to that bag of tricks and gives you more ways to be a first-class Burglar.