I’ve never been a big fan of elves in any universe, and it all goes back to Tolkien elves. After all, basically every modern fantasy story can trace its roots, directly or indirectly, back to Tolkien, especially anything to do with elves, which, prior to Tolkien, were depicted mostly as small, mischievous pixies rather than tall, beautiful (arrogant, know-it-all), and graceful humanoids with pointed ears. To be perfectly honest, though, I’ve always been a little torn about Tolkien elves. On the one hand, they have a cool culture, and Tolkien went to all the trouble of writing a whole history book and an entire language for them. On the other hand, mostly what we see of them in the Lord of the Rings is them saying “Oh, the greatest threat Middle-Earth has ever known is returning? Yeah we’ve known about that for ages. Well, we’re packing up our army of immortal supersoldiers and sailing west, see ya.” And let’s be honest, cramming a weird dwarf-elf love triangle into the Hobbit movies where it didn’t belong didn’t improve my love for elves either.
All that to say, of the multitude of characters I’ve made in Lord of the Rings Online, not many of them have been elves. I made Areluin (the Sindarin Elvish words for “royal” and “blue” run together) a while back because I needed another character for crafting, and I made him and elf because I hadn’t done the elf starting zone in a long time. I didn’t think I would ever end up playing him, but somehow I ended up doing a little questing with him one night when I was bored, and quickly fell in love with the class.
The Rune-Keeper is a really interesting, fairly unique class. They have an attunement bar that moves toward either DPS or Healing as you use spells of each type that increases the potency of those types of skills. I’m not sure why I haven’t played the rune-keeper sooner, since it’s practically nothing but HoTs and DoTs, and that’s been my favorite class archetype over the last few years. It just feels so “right.” I’m super squishy, with not much health, but I feel like I have a lot of power and survivability because I can DoT my target up and then hit a button to switch to healing, put a bunch of HoTs on myself and finish with a bubble that resets my attunement, then go back to damage before my DoTs expire. That requires constantly thinking a few steps ahead–you have to estimate when you’ll need to switch to self-healing, especially since some of my attunement resets and switchers have long cooldowns–but that makes it all the more interesting for me. I’d be lying if I said I died less than on my Beorning or Captain, but I don’t feel nearly as helpless as, say, my lore master. I’d love to try the healing game, but low-level dungeon runs are hard to come by in LotRO these days. Maybe I’ll ask around some time to see if any guilds do lowbie/alt dungeons on a regular basis. (Let me know if you know of any guilds on Gladden that do this!)
I feel a little bad starting yet another character on LotRO. This is the game where my altaholic tendencies were born, so I’ve done the Lone-Lands so many times that I could navigate it in my sleep, and the beauty of Lake Evendim now looks more like a painfully slow swim to the island of Tyl Ruinen (I just heard the zone referred to as “Everswim” in world chat). Also, as much as I’m loving the rune-keeper, I said basically the same things about the beorning just last Febuary. Will this character suffer the same burnout? Only time will tell, but it would be nice to get at least one of them into Moria. I’ve paid for several expansions that I’ve yet to see, and I’d like to remedy that situation.