Winning Race & Class Combos
The standard advice - "play what you like to look at" - applies to LOTRO as much as any other MMO. However, there are some small racial differences to consider in making your character match your playstyle.
Racial Emergency Skills
- Men get Strength of Morale, which restores about 3000 morale. It's hard to go wrong with a big heal in an emergency.
- Dwarves get Endurance of Stone, which gives 75% mitigation to common, shadow and fire damage for 10 seconds. You won't always face these damage types, but it's still a strong skill.
- Hobbits get Hobbit-silence, a 30 second feign death. This can be handy for wipe recovery if your class can rezz, and enables some cool tactics for pulling and other chores.
- Elves get Eldar's Grace, which gives 75% parry and 5% partial parry for 10 seconds. For this to work, the damage you are taking must be frontal melee, but effective in that circumstance.
Racial CharacteristicsEach race has inherent strengths and weaknesses from the moment of character creation. Most racial characteristics are small bonuses or penalties to stats that don't make much difference in the end. However, three are worth mentioning here:
- Easily Inspired gives Men an additional 5% to incoming heal rating. This can be huge for classes that get a lot of heals, such as guardians and wardens, or to classes with incoming heal penalties, like champion.
- Sturdiness gives Dwarves an additional 1% to Common Damage mitigation (along with fixed values of Vitality and Might). Good if you like to be in the thick of things.
- Hobbit-courage and Resist Corruption give Hobbits an additional 1% to Fear Resistance and Shadow Mitigation respectively. This can be helpful in end-game content where fear effects and shadow damage are more common.
Racial PortsEvery race can earn a racial port by completing a level 35 racial deed. Men return to Bree, dwarves to Thorin's Gate and hobbits to Michel Delving. The racial port for elves take them to Rivendell - a boon as much of the later game content connects to Rivendell. Also handy for scholars, as the Scholar Guild is in Rivendell.
Other Racial Traits
Beyond emergency skills and racial ports, other racial traits can add new abilities, fixed stat modifiers or percentage based bonuses. Here are some of the more interesting ones:
- Men get Balance of Man, which adds 1% to your character's evade, parry and block.
- Dwaves get Shield Brawler, which adds 2% to your character's block. Great for shield wearers.
- Both Hobbits (Hobbit-stealth) and Elves (Sylvan Shadows) get a racial stealth on a 30 minute cooldown.
- All races get a 2% damage bonus to some melee weapon type, but only Elves get a 2% bonus to bow damage.
Some combos to consider
Your skill as a player has a far greater impact on how well your character does than the race/class combo you picked back at level one, and you'll see every race/class combo at the endgame. Some combos are more popular, however, for the slight advantage certain racial traits and skills lend to a specific class.
Man Champion Easily Inspired (+5% to Incoming Heal Rating) helps offset the incoming heal penalty champions get in Fervour, the most popular stance. Strength of Morale (man heal) is a solid emergency skill.
Dwarf Champion Sturdiness (Vitality, Might, 1% Common Mitigation) improves toughness a little and Endurance of Stone (75% mitigation to common, shadow and fire) is a good emergency skill, especially in PvMP.
Dwarf Guardian Shield Brawler (2% block) was made for tanking. Sturdiness and Endurance of Stone support the tank role well. And don't forget Baruk Khazad! - most taunts are cries.
Man Guardian Easily Inspired, Balance of Man (1% evade, parry and block) and Strength of Morale all support the tank role well.
Elf Hunter Legolas is not the only reason you see so many elven hunters. As a DPS class, the +2% bow damage elves get makes them 2% better. That matters to some folks and not others. Hunter is one class where the Eldar's Grace emergency skill (75% parry for 10 seconds) makes sense. Hunters have superior ranged mitigation, so the real threat to them are foes who get up in their faces.
Man Warden Warden is a class that soloes very well, and for soloing any race is fine. But if you want to play your warden as a tank, consider the race of man. Easily Inspired, Balance of Man (1% evade, parry and block) and Strength of Morale all support the tank role well.