Levin, Burglar

May 23, 2009

1. What first attracted you to your class?
My first MMORPG class was a Rogue in WoW, and while I loved the stealthy, trickstery aspect of the gameplay, I didn’t appreciate that my group role essentially boiled down to repeatedly hitting things. And of course, while DPS classes are essential, they also tend to be heavily populated. The Burglar seemed to be similar to a Rogue, except with more group utility at the expense of DPS, which sounded ideal. Additionally, I tend to be attracted to the less popular classes, and pre-launch forum polls indicated that the Burglar would indeed be one of those.

2. What is it like to solo with your class?
Lots of fun! I don’t use stealth much nowadays, but it’s a really fun and useful tool for getting to places that other classes would have trouble with. Also, Burglars have a variety of emergency skills to keep themselves alive when the going gets tough, and therefore we probably die less often than any other classes. One problem is that our DPS is pretty average unless we can take advantage of the positional damage bonus we get when attacking from behind. We do have stealth openers and stuns to take advantage of this, but more often than not we must do without.

3. What does your class offer to a group or raid?
The Burglar’s primary role is debuffing. We have a range of rapid-use debuffs called ‘tricks’, which can be applied on a one-per-mob basis, and also a general toggle debuff to increase the whole group’s damage on a single mob. We are also the most reliable class for starting Fellowship Manoeuvres, which are a great way to get a little extra healing, power or damage in crucial situations. Our secondary roles are crowd control, in the form of stuns and mezzes, and DPS, as a group situation allows us to take full advantage of our positional damage bonus.

4. What is the single best thing about playing your class?
We have a trick called Enrage, which causes a mob to ignore its hate list and attack players at random. When we upgrade it with the Blind Fury trait, it has the additional effect of disabling most range attacks and therefore forcing the mob into melee range. It is a truly unique MMORPG ability, as far as I know, with many useful applications. Also, it’s fun to play the puppet master!

5. What is the single worst thing about playing your class?
Our development since launch has been very poor. If you combine all of our new skills from Month of the Burglar and the Moria expansion, there are only a couple that add any real value. If you took those poor skills away, the majority of Burglar players would not notice much of a difference. It’s as if the developers felt obliged to give us something, but were terrified of the effect anything too powerful would have in PvMP, where the Burglar’s high survivability makes it a difficult class to balance.

6. If you had to start over, would you be tempted to pick a different class?
It would be a tough decision. The other support classes, the Lore-master and the Captain, would be very tempting. They have a more varied, and arguably more useful group role, which would be a big draw. Also, I have doubts about whether Turbine will ever be able to get the Burglar back on track. Ultimately though, the Burglar is still my perfect class on paper, and I don’t think it would take much to get it back to that position in reality.


Idris/Arbitrary – If you can put up with their abject misery (very Bilbo, really!), they’re a really interesting class which can help turn a fight away from disaster with conjunctions and crowd control. Don’t let them too near treasure chests though!

Torvik – Levin is the group leader though he might deny it. Not particularly stealthy because let’s face it why would you want to use stealth in group situations? Great at starting conjunctions and a conjunction on demand is nothing to be sniffed at. Levin thinks their debuffs need work and I would tend to agree though the devs need to be careful about stepping on lore-master turf. Honestly a unique class but lacking a little in the area they could probably shine in.

Elak – Not a lot of them around, but they fill a very essential part in any fellowship and their tricks can usually turn the outcome of any battle.

Milinia – Very interesting class with conjunctions on demand, great debuffs and crowd control and even though it has a lot of overlaps with the LM, they work very well together in a fellowship. The burglar could use some work in the debuffing department but after seeing Levin pull aggro on the turtle a couple of times I think they’re ok DPS wise, even if it’s traited for. ;P [nb: the turtle is LotRO’s most recent ‘raid’]



  1. I always get the feeling that it wasn’t clear exactly what lore-master or burglar turf really was. And in the end, lore-masters won out in the debuff/utility stakes.

    I wish burglars had though because they were actually a more interesting class.

  2. LMs were always arguably better defensive debuffers, though that position is now indisputable. Burglars were the offensive debuffers, though improvements to Captains and LMs have eroded that position somewhat. The Book 8 Burglar update looks like it will restore us to our rightful position. Hurrah!

    The overlap between LMs and Burglars is intentional, just like all class redundancy in LotRO, as it makes grouping requirements more flexible. At launch LMs were clearly the better CC class, but after Book 8 the Burglar will have a couple of key advantages in that area, such as a 40s mezz and longer single-target stuns.

    However, despite the overlap, there is still plenty of daylight between Burglars and LMs, and as Milinia mentions, there will always be plenty of room in a fellowship for both.

  3. […] the meantime, it’s my turn to talk about my LotRO class, the venerable Burglar, over at Nerf the Cat, and you owe it to yourself to check it […]

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