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Know Your Enemy: Understanding Mob Strength

Know Your Enemy: Understanding Mob Strength

"Mob" is a time-honored MMO term for the game-generated enemies we battle such as evil peoples, monsters and wild beasts. As with most MMOs, LOTRO tells us a lot about the strength and type of a mob before we even start to fight.

The Basics

The Hierarchy of Peril from the Mobs of LOTRO article on lotro.com is an excellent resource to answer that critical question: how hard will it be to win this fight? This is sometimes called "con" information, dating back to the Everquest "consider" command, /con.

LOTRO gives you information about a mob in three places:
  1. Floating name, shown above the mob. The color of the name indicates the mob's level relative to your own.
  2. Tooltip, shown when your cursor is positioned over the mob. In addition to the mob's relative level, the tooltip shows its difficulty and family. Family (Beast, Orc-kind, Unseen, etc.) can be crucial since some class skills are ineffective on certain mob families.
  3. Target vitals, shown when you target the mob. This is even more detailed information about the mob, showing both con and actual level, and current morale and power. The color of the morale bar communicates something too: orange means the mob is aggressive and will attack, either immediately or after threatening. A yellow morale bar means the mob is non-aggressive: it won't fight you unless you attack it first.

Weaknesses by Mob Family

Another dimension to mob strength is mob family; mobs within a certain family tend to have similar weaknesses. This can be seen most easily when inspecting a mob using the Knowledge of the Lore-master skill. As you've probably guessed this is a Lore-master class skill, although other high-level players can use a Wildlife of Middle-earth tome from Caras Galadhon to do the same.

The Deadly Bile-spewer shown in this example is a member of the family "The Dead". It has good mitigation against Common damage, but only poor mitigation against Westernesse damage, and fair mitigation against Fire, Ancient Dwarf and Beleriand. This means attacks using a Westernesse weapon will be the most damaging, but Fire, Ancient Dwarf and Beleriand are all better choices than Common damage. A few players carry a full range of damage type weapons, but most settle for one or two non-Common damage types that work across a range of mob types.

For casting classes the damage type is fixed for a particular skill: Fire, Light, Lightning or Frost. (Only monster players, aka "creeps", have skills that do shadow damage.) For Hunters and Wardens, the damage type of their ranged skills usually matches that of their bow or javelin, however by applying Fire Oil or Light Oil they can temporarily change the damage type of their ranged skills.

If you wish to carry only one weapon, Beleriand is a good choice for a general-purpose damage type.

Beleriand
  • Best against Half-orcs, Spiders and Insects, and Ancient Evil.
  • Somewhat effective against orcs, goblins, wood trolls.
Westernesse
  • Best against The Dead, Unseen
  • Somewhat effective against gaunt-men, Angmarim (Men)
Fire
  • Best against Creatures of Nature, Troll-kind, and certain Beasts: kergrim, snowbeasts, slugs and wolves
Light
  • Best against goblins, Troll-kind, Unseen, pale-folk (Men)
Ancient Dwarf
  • Best against Dragon-kind, cave-claws

Related Articles

Mobs of LOTRO (lotro.com)