The Hunter 101 guide is a quick, helpful introduction to the class for novice players.
This guide, Hunter 102, is designed to help players learn the ins and outs of the Hunter class as they progress from around level 20 to level 40. Hopefully, the fundamentals covered here will benefit Hunters at every level.
Please provide feedback and corrections in order to make this resource as accurate and helpful as possible. Thanks in advance!
As a Hunter, you are not designed to be a strong melee combatant. When multiple enemies get up close, you tend to fall quickly. You are designed to kill enemies one at a time, at range, before they can get to you.
To accomplish this, you have three primary tactics:
- Keep enemies at a distance
- Deal damage quickly
- Divide and conquer
1. Look around the area. Be aware of enemy positions and movement patterns.
2. Target an enemy and move within range. When possible, move to just within 40m from the target -- the point when your ranged attack skills become available.
3. Use your Focus skill to attain maximum Focus (nine points)
4. Use your Set Trap skill. Set the trap in front of you if you don't want the enemy to reach melee range with you, or set the trap behind you if you want to engage in melee, but have the option of moving back and catching the enemy in your trap.
There are three things you want to accomplish before your target gets within melee range:
- Slow your target
- Apply bleed damage
- Use high-damage skills
Do these in whatever order allows you to get the most attacks in before the enemy gets within melee range (or gets caught in the trap you set).
If you are in Strength stance, consider using one of these sequences:
A. Quick Shot > Penetrating Shot > Barbed Arrow > Penetrating Shot > Swift Bow > Penetrating Shot
B. Swift Bow > Penetrating Shot > Quick Shot > Penetrating Shot > Barbed Arrow > Penetrating Shot
If you are in Precision stance, consider using one of the following sequences:
A. Barbed Arrow > Penetrating Shot > Swift Bow > Penetrating Shot > Quick Shot > Penetrating Shot
B. Swift Bow > Penetrating Shot > Barbed Arrow > Penetrating Shot > Quick Shot > Penetrating Shot
When a target is caught in your trap, stop attacking it. (To prevent your auto-attacks from breaking the trap, face 180 degrees away from the target, or click on the ground so that you no longer have the target selected.) Move away from the target and begin a new attack sequence similar to your opening sequence.
Your induction-based skills are easily set back or interrupted by enemies in melee combat, especially when you face multiple enemies. Thus, in melee you will primarily rely on induction-less attacks that cost focus, and on melee skills.
- Use Swift Stroke as early as you can, to help you Parry more attacks. Use Swift Stroke again periodically to keep the Parry bonus active.
- Use Quick Shot frequently. With its short induction time, you usually suffer minimal setbacks if you face only one or two enemies. Not only do your bow skills deal more damage than your melee ones (even at melee range), Quick Shot generates Focus points to power your Penetrating Shots.
- Try to use Barbed Arrow on an enemy you face in melee. The bleed effect will continue to damage the enemy while you attack with other skills. When the bleed effect is about to expire, use Scourging Blow on that enemy.
- Use Penetrating Shot in between other attacks. When you run out of Focus points, use Blindside to gain 3 Focus points, enabling another Penetrating Shot.
- When facing an enemy that has special attacks with inductions, you might want to hold Blindside in reserve and use it to interrupt the enemy's induction. A circle of swirling colors on the ground at the enemy's feet indicates that the enemy is about to use a skill with an induction, and can be interrupted. (As of October 2012, you can use Blindside while moving, which will help when you need to run up to an enemy before interrupting its induction.)
- Use Agile Rejoinder whenever it becomes available (after a successful Parry). As of October 2012, Agile Rejoinder now always gives you a small heal-over-time (HoT) that can help you survive a fight. (Later, when you get Legendary Items, you'll have the option to boost the amount of healing Agile Rejoinder provides.)
- Use Low Cut to slow enemies by 50% and escape to a distance that will give you enough time to use Swift Bow or another induction-based attack.
Fighting Multiple Enemies
Some enemies are so close together that you can't engage one without aggro'ing the other(s) as well. Use these techniques to engage the enemies one at a time.
Two melee enemies: Lay a trap. Target and attack the enemy farther from you. Let the nearer enemy run into your trap. Finish off the first enemy and then move to max range from the trapped enemy before you attack it.
One melee and one ranged enemy: Lay a trap. Target and attack the ranged enemy. Let the melee enemy run into your trap. Finish off the ranged enemy and then move to max range from the trapped enemy before you attack it.
Two ranged enemies: Move close to the enemies (without drawing aggro) and lay a trap. Move to max range and target the enemy farther from you. Move away and let both enemies follow you until the nearer one is caught in your trap. Move out of range of the trapped enemy and kill the one that continues to follow you.
Three or more enemies: Use double- or triple-traps (bought in the Auction House or crafted yourself) to trap 2 or 3 melee enemies at a time. If those traps are unavailable, kill each enemy in melee range as quickly as you can. When you run out of Focus points, use Intent Concentration to gain more Focus to power your Penetrating Shots. Use Low Cut to slow melee enemies and then run to gain enough distance to use Swift Bow or other induction-based shots.
Note: At higher levels (40+), you'll have access to more skills for dividing a group of foes so that you can fight them individually. Those skills include Bard's Arrow, Rain of Thorns, and Distracting Shot.
Each of the Hunter's three stances -- Strength, Precision, and Endurance -- is useful in certain circumstances.
Use Stance:Strength when you:
- need a way to slow enemies (Quick Shot slows target by 40%)
- want to deal maximum damage
Use Stance:Precision when you:
- are attacking a higher-level target (and thus need to mitigate the higher miss chance)
- want to generate Focus points
Use Stance:Endurance when you:
- are grouped and need to shed aggro (Quick Shot lowers your threat)
- are low on power or in a lengthy fight
Last edited by Issachar44; Oct 15 2012 at 10:01 AM.
While leveling from 20-40, quest reward gear is sufficient for you. Crafted gear is usually a bit better, if you can make it or buy it. In any case, make sure you swap out older gear for higher-level gear that you acquire.
When you have more than one item of comparable level, equip the one with stats that are most beneficial to Hunters. Roughly, prioritize stats as follows:
Even more so than with other gear, it's important to keep your ranged weapon up to date with your level. Your main combat strategy is to kill enemies fast, at range. To do that, you should use the best weapon you can find.
Bow or Crossbow? A bow increases the chance that your auto-attacks will critically hit, while a crossbow reduces the chance that your auto-attacks will be blocked. The value of these two benefits is so comparable (and small) that it shouldn't sway you. Use whatever kind of ranged weapon you like the look of best.
Damage type? In general, Beleriand and Westernesse damage types are the most useful damage types that come inherent in weapons, followed by Ancient Dwarf. But ANY special damage type is preferable to Common damage, so if you have two roughly comparable bows and one of them uses a special damage type, that might be the deciding factor in which one to use. (But remember that even if your bow deals Common damage, you can change that by applying fire oil or light oil.)
Which weapon type? As with the "bow or crossbow" question, it's widely agreed that you should use whatever weapon you like the look of. The differences between weapon types are so small that it's really a matter of preference.
If you don't care about appearance and want to choose the "best" weapon, consider the following:
- Racial damage bonus: If you have a racial trait slotted that gives a damage bonus to one weapon type, use that type of weapon IF you have one that is up to date with your level.
- Weapon type bonuses: Each weapon type has a (very) small chance to apply a bonus on each hit. Spears, for example, sometimes wound a target and deal damage over time. As a Hunter, you might get excited about the prospect of increased damage. But damage over time can also help break a target out of your traps (or a control effect applied by someone else in your fellowship), so there's a potential down side. Other choices include longswords (+chance to hit), daggers (+chance for a critical hit), axes (chance to reduce target's armour), clubs (chance to slow target's attacks), and hammers (chance to stun the target). Maces aren't recommended, as their benefit isn't as useful (chance to slow the target).
Dual wielding: Hunters can equip and wield two one-handed melee weapons, and they should. Your second (off-hand) weapon provides additional stat bonuses and extra damage. (All your melee skills except Blindside include both a main hand and offhand attack.) If you have a melee weapon that deals a special damage type -- Beleriand, Westernesse, or Ancient Dwarf -- it's best to put that in your main hand, since your main-hand weapon is responsible for a greater proportion of your melee damage.
Hunters can wear up to Medium armour, and always should -- there's no good reason to wear Light armour. In 2011, the difference in effectiveness between Medium and Heavy armour was increased, leaving Medium armour wearers a bit more vulnerable than they were before. (This is one reason it makes sense to slot Virtues that provide an armour bonus.)
As with other gear, while levelling from 20-40, keep your armour pieces up to date with your level and you'll be fine. Crafted armour tends to be superior to quest reward armour, so make it or buy it if you need an edge.
Although there are a few armour sets available before level 40 (especially in Evendim), it's generally not worth the trouble to acquire them unless you particularly like the look of a matched set for cosmetic reasons.
In your Class Slot, you can equip Books/Tomes of the Whisper-draw or the Wind-rider. These are crafted by Scholars and usually available in the Auction House. The Whisper-draw book reduces the threat your attacks generate, and so is only situationally useful: when you play in a fellowship and you frequently steal aggro from the tank, you might consider equipping a Whisper-draw book. The Wind-rider book provides a benefit in both solo and fellowship play, and so is usually the better investment.
For jewelry slots and your pocket item slot, choose items that increase your highest-priority stats.
When you reach level 20 and can use fire oil, buy some Simple Fire-oil from a Hunter or Warden trainer. Do the same with Simple Light-oil when you reach level 30. The Simple versions of these oils only last 5 minutes, but it's worth experimenting with them.
Fire-oil is useful when you fight beasts, trolls, and creatures of nature (such as animated trees and bog-lurkers).
Light-oil is useful when you fight goblins, orcs, trolls, and spiders.
BOTH oils are useful when you fight foes that are resistant to Common damage. If your bow deals Common damage, then changing the damage type to either fire or light (by applying an oil) will bypass that enemy's resistance.
NPC Vendors do not sell these items, so you'll either need to buy them from the Auction House or craft them yourself.
I recommend using Breach-finder bow chants, which improve the damage of all your hits. Next to that, I suggest Foe-finder bow chants, which reduce the chance a target will Evade your attack, and then Shield-bane bow chants, which reduce the Block chance (and seem to be the least useful, since all enemies can evade attacks, but not all can block them).
Only available by crafting them or buying from the Auction House. A Focus potion is a boon in long fights when you're spending Focus faster than you can rebuild it. It's like having a second, smaller, Intent Concentration skill on a separate cooldown.
NPC Vendors don't sell traps -- you must make them yourself or buy them from the Auction House.
There are three kinds of food:
- Cooked food helps you regenerate Morale and Power, and usually cures an effect like wounds, poison, disease, or fear.
- Fortifying food provides increased resistance to tactical damage and to a specific effect (wound, poison, disease, or fear).
- Trail food provides a bonus to one or more of your main stats (Might, Agility, Vitality, Will, and Fate).
You can have one of each kind of food active at the same time. Before you begin a difficult fight, use your food to improve your survival chances.
In general, the food you obtain as quest rewards is sufficient while you level from 20-40. If your Hunter has the Cook profession, you can keep yourself well-stocked with food and use it more regularly.
Last edited by Issachar44; Jul 11 2012 at 12:00 PM.
As you progress from level 20-40, work on your class deeds. Class deeds are advanced by using your skills on enemies no more than 8 levels below you. Use the Deed tracker to view your progress.
Finishing a class deed makes a trait available. The Hunter has three "trait lines" (sets of traits), each of which supports a particular style of play.
The Bowmaster (red line)
- Play style: survive by killing enemies before they get close
- Emphasizes induction-based skills and critical hits
- Great for DPS role in groups, but needs tank to hold aggro
- Shorter, riskier fights in solo play
The Huntsman (blue line)
- Play style: continue fighting when enemies enter melee range
- Enables faster attacks to avoid setbacks and interruptions
- Produces extra Focus points to power induction-less skills
- Can perform DPS and off-tank roles in groups
The Trapper of Foes (yellow line)
- Play style: make it hard for enemies to approach
- Makes traps more powerful and usable more frequently
- Can perform support role in groups with debuffs and crowd control
- Longer, less risky fights in solo play
Try to make at least a little progress on all your class deeds in each play session. If a class deed requires you to use a skill you don't use often, try to get in the habit of using the skill periodically until the deed is complete.
You get additional bonuses when you slot two or more traits from a single trait line. While leveling from 20-40, you'll spend most of your time with 3 or 4 class trait slots, enough to begin experimenting with the advantages of various combinations.
Here are some combinations you might want to try:
- All-out ranged damage (Bowmaster x4): Barbed Fury, Swift and True, Fast Draw, True Shot
- Focus shot specialist a (Huntsman x4): Strong Draw, Deadly Precision, Arrow Storm, Deep Concentration
- Focus shot specialist b (Bowmaster x2, Huntsman x2): Hail of Arrows, True Shot, Strong Draw, Deadly Precision
- Controller (Trapper of Foes x4): Sturdy Traps, Combat Traps, Heightened Senses, Barbed Hindrance
- Melee fighter (Huntsman x2, Trapper of Foes x2): Rapid Recovery, Swift Recovery, Combat Traps, Spring-Loaded Traps
Which virtues are best for Hunters? Rather than answering that question directly, I'll provide some guiding thoughts.
Virtues make a minor contribution to your build. There's not a large gulf between the effectiveness of a Hunter with "optimized" virtues and one with "sub-optimal" virtues. On the other hand, virtues help enough that it's worth your time to at least keep your highest-ranked virtues slotted.
I advocate focusing more on defensive virtues than offensive ones. This strategy helps compensate for the design of the class: strong offense, weak defense. I prioritize virtue bonuses as follows:
In general, prioritize the racial traits that give you:
- An emergency survival skill
- A damage bonus to a certain weapon type
- A stat bonus that offsets your race's weak/penalized stat
Traits that improve your defenses and those provide a small bonus to your fellowship are also worthwhile.
Avoid racial traits that provide a travel skill, since you'll get Hunter skills that do the same thing. Traits that give you another attack skill are rarely useful. The Elf and Hobbit stealth skills might be situationally useful, but on-level enemies are likely to detect you unless you have items that increase your stealth level.
Last edited by Issachar44; Jul 09 2012 at 10:26 PM.
Especially good if the Hunter is your main character and you have lower level alts. Your Explorer will be able to gather resources needed by all your crafting toons. Even if the Hunter is not your main, Explorer includes the Tailor profession, which will enable you to craft your own armour.
Includes the Scholar profession, which has many goodies for Hunters: you'll be able to make your own fire/light oils, bow chants, focus potions, books/tomes, and various healing pots. Hunters also gain a fast travel skill to Rivendell, making it convenient to reach the Scholar guild. However, Scholar advancement is slow and grind-y. And as a Historian, you need an alt or a friend who can supply metal for your Weaponsmith profession, if you want to craft your own traps and weapons.
As a Forester, you'll be able to harvest and process wood, and as a Woodworker you'll be able to turn that wood into bows, clubs, hammers and spears. If you have an alt (or friend) who is a Tailor, you can provide the processed hides needed to craft armour for your Hunter.
You have seven jewelry slots to fill, and with this vocation you'll be able to craft all your own jewelry. The Hunter's skill Bright Campfire allows you to create some of your Cook recipes out in the wild, but you'll need a Farmer to provide the ingredients to be cooked.
What about the other three vocations?
You can grow and cook all your own food -- some of it in the wild, with Bright Campfire -- which is very useful. You'll need a Forester alt (or friend) to process hides for you to make into armour.
You'll be able to craft your own traps and melee weapons, but you'll need a Forester alt (or friend) to provide wood for your Woodworker if you also want to craft your own bows.
By far the least optimal choice, as almost nothing a Metalsmith can make is useful to Hunters, and you're dependent on a Forester for hides to turn into armour. BUT -- if you have a stable of alts and the other vocations are already well covered, adding an Armourer might be worth considering. You'll be able to make high-quality crafting tools for all your alts, as well as armour for the heavy-armour-wearing classes.
Last edited by Issachar44; Jul 09 2012 at 05:11 PM.
Hunters make fellowships reach their destination faster. But there's a caveat. If the Hunter is played well, the destination is usually success. If the Hunter is played poorly, the destination is usually defeat. Either way, the Hunter made the trip go faster.
The two real-world virtues every Hunter player needs to practice are awareness and restraint.
Hunters need to be aware of:
- the tank's ability to establish threat and hold aggro
- which enemies have been rooted, feared, or otherwise crowd-controlled
- which target the group is focusing on
- whether the healer has drawn aggro and needs to be defended
Hunters need to use this information to practice restraint by:
- Not attacking until the tank has started establishing threat, and then building up damage output gradually
- Not shooting a target that is being crowd-controlled
- Not using Rain of Arrows if the area of effect includes crowd-controlled targets
- Focusing on the target that the group is trying to kill right now
Hunters are tempted to stay well back from the action in a fight. But most of the time, the best place for the Hunter to stand is just a bit behind and to one side of the tank. Reasons:
- Tanks have skills that reduce or leech threat from allies within 10m.
- If you steal aggro, the tank won't have to move far to reach the enemy who is now attacking you.
When grouped, don't just attack any target that strikes your fancy. Be sure you're helping your fellowship kill the right enemy at the right time. Some groups appoint one person to be the "main assist" -- the person whose job is to target the enemy your group needs to kill right now.
Use the "skill target forwarding" option to make sure you are attacking the same target as the main assist in your group.
Open the Options window in the game and click the Combat Options tab on the right side. Select the option labeled "Enable Skill Target Forwarding".
Now, instead of targeting an enemy directly, click the main assist as your target. Your attack skills will target whichever enemy the main assist currently has targeted. Basically, by targeting the main assist, you allow that player to pick your target for you.
Note: When using skill target forwarding, it can be difficult to tell whether the enemy you want to attack is in range, because the out-of-range indicator on your skill icons is based on the distance of the ally you have selected as your target. Additionally, if a Fellowship Maneuver begins while you have an ally selected as your target, you will have to click the assist button (looks like a bullseye target) in order to contribute to the Maneuver.
If there is no main assist in your fellowship (or even if there is), always listen to the group leader, who may direct you to attack a particular target.
Put your crowd control skills to good use. Set a trap at a short distance beside or behind the tank, providing the option to pull an enemy into it if the need arises. If a monster of the "beast" type is attacking the healer, use Cry of the Predator to move it away.
After a difficult battle that leaves your fellowship heavily drained, set a Bright Campfire to increase the rate at which they recover Morale and Power. If you are in a location where multiple fights will occur in waves, set a campfire before the fighting begins.
When fighting enemies that use poison, use Purge Poison on your fellowship members as time permits.
Be prepared to provide "taxi service" to your group, since members of your fellowship are given the option to follow you when you use one of your "Guide to..." travel skills. When your group is about to disband, offer to drop off your fellows at one of your available destinations.
When enemies suddenly seem to freeze and a wheel with four colored symbols appears on your screen, you're participating in a Fellowship Maneuver (also known as a Conjunction). Each member of your fellowship can choose one colored symbol to contribute to the maneuver, and different combinations produce different effects.
For in-depth information on what different combinations do, see the LOTRO Lorebook or the wiki.
In general, the four colors contribute these benefits:
- Red: deal immediate damage to the enemy
- Yellow: deal damage over time to the enemy
- Blue: restore Power to the fellowship
- Green: restore Morale to the fellowship
When a Fellowship Maneuver starts, you only have a few seconds to decide which color to click. If the leader of your fellowship asks you to contribute a particular color, click that color. Otherwise, click the color that will most benefit your group.
It's common for small pick-up groups to simply all click the same color, which is fine. Talk to your fellows between fights if you want to experiment with different colors. Agree on who will go first and who will finish the sequence.
As a Hunter, you can sometimes initiate a Fellowship Maneuver by placing a tripwire trap before combat begins and then pulling a signature or higher level enemy into the trap.
Skirmishes are a good way to practice grouping skills outside of a fellowship. Try a Defender or Herbalist role for your skrimish soldier. Let the soldier draw aggro, and then focus on pulling off and killing one enemy at a time.
Use offensive skirmishes like Trouble in Tuckborough to learn the system and practice your skills. Offensive skirmishes allow you to move ahead at your own pace and take a breather between every two or three fights. When you feel comfortable, move into defensive skirmishes like Siege of Gondamon, where you have less control over the pace of battle and have to practice conserving resources such as Power and skill cooldowns.
Last edited by Issachar44; Jul 09 2012 at 11:07 PM.
Whether you're a keyboard user or a "clicker", organizing your quickslot bars will benefit you.
Place your most commonly used skills -- typically your bow attack skills -- on the bottom bar, where they'll be bound to the number keys on your keyboard.
Group other quick slots by function, such as: melee skills, crowd control skills, tracking skills, and emergency skills.
Tip: If your quickslot bars are filling up, consider removing consumables (morale/power pots, food, hope tokens, oils, traps, etc.) from your quickslots. Instead, place them in your highest-numbered bag, and leave that bag open on the side of the screen. (Why use the highest-numbered bag specifically? To avoid clutter from items you pick up: those are placed by default in your LOWEST-numbered bag with available slots.)
(There are interface plug-ins you can download that do the job even better, but if you don't want to mess with those, an open bag works well enough.)
Last edited by Issachar44; Jul 09 2012 at 10:39 PM.
Rather than duplicating the information available in the Lorebook and the wiki, this section provides notes and tips on skill use.
Quick Shot (level 1)
The short induction time makes this a viable skill to use in melee, when you can often sneak it in between enemy hits and thus avoid induction setback.
If you are in Strength stance, use Quick Shot as your first or second attack on an enemy with melee attacks. This slows the target and gives you more time to hit it before it gets within melee range.
If you're in a fellowship and you accidentally draw aggro from a dangerous and healthy enemy, quickly switch to Endurance stance and fire Quick Shots at the enemy attacking you until its attention returns to the tank.
Swift Stroke (level 1)
Use this skill early in a melee fight. It increases your Parry rating for 10 seconds, which helps you avoid getting hit.
Blindside (level 1)
When you run out of Focus points, use Blindside on an enemy within melee range to gain 3 Focus points immediately.
Pay attention to enemies with induction-based skills. A swirling circular pattern appears on the ground at the enemy's feet. You can use Blindside to interrupt the skill during its induction. (As of October 2012, you can use this skill while moving, which helps when the enemy you want to interrupt is not in melee range, and you need to run up to the enemy first.)
Penetrating Shot (level 2)
Use this shot in between induction-based attacks. As a "fast" skill, it takes effect even if the animation of the previous skill has not yet completed.
Barbed Arrow (level 4)
Use this attack early in a fight to get the most benefit out of its ongoing bleed damage. Learn to recognize the skill's icon on your target's status bar at a glance, so you can tell when it's about to run out. At that point, hit the target with a Scourging Blow, or another Barbed Arrow to reapply a new bleed.
Be aware that the damage-over-time effect can break an enemy out of your trap. One way to mitigate this is to place a trap behind you and allow the enemy to enter melee, waiting until the bleed ends (or you end it with a Scourging Blow) before stepping back and drawing the enemy into your trap.
The 10% slow effect of Barbed Arrow is of little use, but at level 30 you can begin working on the Barbed Hindrance trait, which increases the slow effect to 40% and makes it a good replacement for Quick Shot in Strength stance.
Scourging Blow (level 4)
Use this attack on an enemy you have hit with Barbed Arrow. Ideally, allow the bleed effect from Barbed Arrow to continue damaging the enemy for about 8 seconds before you end it with Scourging Blow.
Stance: Strength (level 6)
You should always have a stance active; there's no advantage to fighting without a stance. (Being defeated and visiting a Bard to configure your traits cancels active skills like stances. Remember to reapply stances afterward.)
Use Strength stance when you need to use Quick Shot to slow enemies, and when you want to deal damage faster.
However, if you find your shots are missing often (especially against higher-level targets), the extra damage from Strength stance might be offset by the number of missed shots, and switching to Precision stance might be the better choice.
Set Trap (level 6)
Set a trap any time you face multiple enemies or a single powerful enemy.
When you're in an area with wandering/patrolling enemies, set a trap beside you so that if a wandering enemy joins the fight, you can pull it into the trap.
Enemy bosses are often immune to traps (and other "control" effects). If the boss fight includes other enemies, avoid pulling the boss into your trap; instead draw an enemy into it who can be affected by the trap.
Remember that you can place multiple traps at the same time by using a crafted trap in addition to your Set Trap skill.
Focus (level 8)
Use this to fill your Focus meter before every non-trivial fight. You can end the three-second "channel" duration early by moving or by clicking the Focus skill icon a second time.
Swift Bow (level 10)
Use this attack before an enemy gets within melee range. It's easy for enemies to hit you during the skill's long-ish induction time, setting back the induction and delaying the skill. Never use Swift Bow when you're being attacked by 3 or more enemies. If you do hit Swift Bow accidentally, move a little bit or click the skill icon again to stop your attack.
When possible, use Swift Bow immediately after a Penetrating Shot, to restore 2 of the Focus points that Penetrating Shot consumed.
Cry of the Predator (level 12)
When you're attacked by multiple enemies and at least one of them is a "beast", use Cry of the Predator to remove the beast from the fight for a few seconds, reducing the number of enemies attacking you. (The skill is single-target, not area-of-effect, so you must target the beast before using the cry.) Don't keep attacking the beast after it begins to run away -- instead, switch to target one of the enemies still attacking you.
Passage of Nature (level 12)
This skill can be useful when a quest requires you to kill a number of animal-type enemies such as wargs, aurochs, or bog-lurkers, or when you're grinding slayer deeds or gathering hides. If you've cleared an area and are having trouble locating new targets, use Passage of Nature to track them.
Find the Path (level 14)
When you enter the game, use the Focus skill, then apply a stance, and then use Find the Path. When your active skills are canceled (by being defeated or by reconfiguring your traits), remember to reapply Find the Path afterward.
Low Cut (level 16)
Your first area-of-effect skill. Use it when multiple enemies are in your face and you need to put some distance between them and you. They'll move at half speed for 10 seconds, giving you time to gain distance and use one or two induction-based ranged attacks.
When retreating from slowed enemies, DON'T run backwards. Turn and run forward or sideways so you'll be moving at your full speed.
Purge Poison (level 16)
This removes up to 3 poison effects, and can be used in quick succession to cure multiple allies. If you absolutely have to use the skill on yourself mid-fight, click the ground first to deselect the enemy you currently have targeted.
Stance: Precision (level 18)
Use this stance when your shots seem to miss more often than they should. It reduces your miss chance and increases the chance that your Quick Shot will score a critical hit. It also gives you a Focus point every 5 seconds, which helps make up for the Focus you lose while moving.
Intent Concentration (level 20)
When you're out of Focus points and the fight is going to continue awhile longer, use Intent Concentration to instantly refill your Focus bar. This is particularly helpful when new enemies join the fight unexpectedly.
Rain of Arrows (level 20)
Your second area-of-effect skill, and one of the most dangerous -- to you! Learn when to use Rain of Arrows, and use it sparingly. Use it when:
- You are swarmed by weak creatures such as crebain or crawlers, or enemies well below your level.
- You are on an escort quest, the NPC draws aggro from multiple enemies, and you need to pull some of them off the NPC.
- The tank in your fellowship has things well in hand, and you can afford to deal damage to all the enemies around the tank without pulling aggro.
Do NOT use Rain of Arrows:
- As your opening shot against a group of non-trivial foes.
- Before the tank in your fellowship has generated enough threat to hold enemy aggro.
Desperate Flight (level 20)
When you get this skill, go to a Provisioner NPC and buy Travelling Rations. Buy lots of them (50 or so), because shortly after Desperate Flight, you'll be getting several other travel skills that also consume Traveling Rations.
Don't wait until absolutely the last moment to use this skill, or you could be defeated anyway. If you are taking damage over time, the ongoing damage can still kill you after you escape from the battle. Use Desperate Flight when the situation is hopeless and you cannot escape by running, but you still have a slim buffer of Morale remaining before you die.
Don't use Desperate Flight when you are in a fellowship, especially in an instance. If your fellowship is able to finish the fight, a healer might be able to raise you. One possible exception is if you are the last fellowship member standing and you are unable to finish the fight yourself. In that case, using Desperate Flight to rejoin your fellows at the start of the instance can save you repair costs and dread from defeat.
Bright Campfire (level 22)
Set a campfire in a location where you'll be fighting multiple battles with short breaks in between. A defensive skirmish like Stand at Amon Sul is a good example, where waves of enemies will attack the same area and you need quick out-of-combat Morale and Power regeneration.
You can also set a campfire for your fellowship after a tough battle that leaves everyone low on resources, to help get them on their feet faster.
If your Hunter or a fellowship member has the Cook profession, the Cook can use your campfire to prepare Trail food recipes.
As of October 2012, Bright Campfire provides a +5 stealth detection bonus. This is likely to mostly affect the PvMP (player vs monster player) game, but there are also landscape areas with a high density of stealthed mobs. If you need to catch a breather and don't want to be surprised, your campfire can help.
Passage of Foes (level 22)
As with Passage of Nature, use this when a quest or slayer deed requires you to kill lots of a certain type of enemy. If you've cleared an area and are having trouble finding new targets, use this skill to track them down.
This skill is also very useful when you are looking for a specific named enemy.
Agile Rejoinder (level 24)
The earliest self-heal you get, this skill is one reason why it's important to use Swift Stroke early in a fight to increase your Parry rating. When you parry an attack, Agile Rejoinder becomes available. Use it within a couple of seconds, or it will be unavailable again until the next time you parry an attack. When you use Agile Rejoinder, you receive a small heal-over-time (HoT) effect. (The amount of healing can be increased later, when you get Legendary Items.)
Split Shot (level 26)
Use this in a fellowship to hit the enemies surrounding your tank (after the tank has generated plenty of threat and is holding aggro). You can also use it in escort quests to pull multiple enemies off an NPC.
Stance: Endurance (level 28)
When you are in a fellowship and you accidentally draw aggro from an enemy the tank was holding, switch to Endurance stance and use Quick Shots on the enemy who is now attacking you. Your threat against that enemy will be reduced with each Quick Shot until the enemy's attention returns to the tank. And you'll gain a 5% parry bonus, which can help you avoid being hit while you work on lowering your threat.
While grouped, you can also begin a fight in Endurance stance, conserving power and generating less threat until the tank is firmly holding aggro. Then you can switch to Strength or Precision stance to continue the fight.
Merciful Shot (level 30)
Use this when you need to finish off a target ASAP, such as when you have multiple enemies hitting you and one of them is below 50% Morale.
Passage of Shadow (level 32)
Mostly useful when you're looking for specific named enemies of these types: the dead, the unseen, and ancient evil.
Needful Haste (level 34)
This skill can be helpful when you're being attacked by 2 enemies simultaneously. The slightly reduced induction time for Barbed Arrow and Swift Bow will help those skills complete their inductions without as many setbacks from enemy hits.
However, Needful Haste really shines when you have the trait Resolute Aim, which prevents setbacks on all your inductions while Needful Haste is active.
Set Snare (level 36)
Many boss enemies are immune to being held by traps. For those fights, you can use Set Snare to apply damage-over-time to the target. If the target can be slowed, Set Snare will also slow it by 30%.
Beneath Notice (level 38)
Instead of reducing your actual threat level, this skill makes enemies act as though your threat level were lower for 10 seconds, after which they once again perceive your "real" threat level and will become interested in you again. During those 10 seconds, switch to Endurance stance and fire Quick Shot repeatedly to lower your real threat level, so that when Beneath Notice expires, you will hopefully have shed enemy aggro.
Camouflage (level 40)
Use this to infiltrate an area with patrolling enemies. Follow an enemy until it turns around and heads toward you, then move to the side, out of its path, and use Camouflage. Often, the enemy will walk past you and you can continue into the area you're infiltrating.
It's also a good idea to use this skill when the phone rings, your children need attention, or something else interrupts your play time unexpectedly.
Hunter's Art (level 40)
A skill better suited for use in fellowships than while soloing. When grouped, use Hunter's Art to make your current stance do even more of what it already does, for 20 seconds. Strength stance will deal more damage, Precision stance will have a better chance to hit, and Endurance stance will conserve even more power. As of October 2012, this skill is no longer an attack, and it costs only one Focus point, making it much easier to use as part of pre-combat preparations before you engage your target.
Last edited by Issachar44; Oct 15 2012 at 10:15 AM.
This one's personal, because Dirk Hawthorn is the reason my Hunter failed to achieve the Undying title.
This quest is very challenging for an on-level Hunter. Dirk Hawthorn is surrounded by brigands, some of them stationary and others patrolling. The brigands also respawn quickly after being killed.
Before you engage, eat food that increases your Morale and Power regen rates -- you'll be involved in several fights in rapid succession, with little rest in between.
Observe the patrol paths of Dirk and the other bandits. Start picking off the stationary bandits at the perimeter. These are often in melee-ranged or melee-melee pairs -- use appropriate tactics. In between fights, look all around to ensure no patrolling bandits are approaching from behind.
When you've cleared an area, lay a trap and wait for Dirk and the two bandits who accompany him to move away from all the others. This takes patience. Your trap might expire and need to be reset, and you might need to continue clearing the area as bandits respawn.
When Dirk and his two guards are isolated, use Strength stance and Quick Shot one of Dirk's allies to slow him. Either Dirk or the other bandit will run into your trap and be held. Finish off the first bandit and concentrate on the enemy who is now in your face.
If it was Dirk who got caught in your trap, move away and use Quick Shot again to slow him, then finish him off with normal tactics.
Sever the White Hand (level 25, Lone-lands)
This quest seems designed specifically to kill Hunters. Your quarry is the half-orc Hontimurz and his 4 guards. They're located in an enclosed space that denies you the chance to begin the fight at maximum range.
Before the fight, use food and any other consumables you have to boost your Morale and Agility. Use Fire-oil if you have it. Get into Precision stance in order to generate Focus points slowly throughout the fight. Move to the wall farthest from Hontimurz and set a trap.
(Note: If you also have a crafted trap -- especially a double- or triple-trap, this fight goes from very hard to very easy, and much of the following advice won't be necessary.)
You want to focus on taking out Hontimurz's guards as quickly as possible, saving Hontimurz himself for last. The guards are much weaker, and by eliminating them quickly you minimize the amount of time that multiple enemies are hitting you and preventing you from using your induction-based attacks.
Target the guard farthest from your trap and open with Swift Bow, followed by Rain of Arrows and then Penetrating Shot. By now, one enemy will be caught in your trap and the others will all be in your face. Use Swift Stroke to increase your chance to Parry their attacks, then use Low Cut to damage and slow a couple of them.
By now, hopefully your first target is dead -- if not, finish him off with Scourging Blow or Agile Rejoinder if he's close to death, or Penetrating Shot if he isn't. Quickly consume a Morale potion and a Power potion. If you also have a Focus potion, use it as well.
Target another guard and use Swift Stroke to reapply your Parry buff, then Penetrating Shot, then Low Cut, then Blindside to gain 3 Focus points, then Penetrating Shot again. If necessary, finish him off with Scourging Blow.
Hopefully you're down to Hontimurz and two guards now. Continue focusing on the guards. Use Low Cut and Agile Rejoinder whenever they are available. Use Penetrating Shot whenever you build up 3 Focus points, but as soon as the trapped enemy breaks free, start using Rain of Arrows instead of Penetrating Shot.
When you're down to two targets, use Low Cut and flee out of the room, being careful not to get too close to other half-orcs in the area. (Do not run to the other side of the room; new guards may spawn by the time the fight is over!) When you've gained some distance, turn around and use Swift Bow, then whatever is required to finish off the last guard.
Since you're only facing Hontimurz now, you should be able to use induction attacks like Quick Shot and Barbed Arrow without having the inductions get set back too much by his attacks. Hit him with Penetrating Shot as often as you can, and reapply your Parry buff using Swift Stroke.
Last edited by Issachar44; Jul 09 2012 at 10:43 PM.
- Use Agile Rejoinder whenever it becomes available (after a successful Parry).
In my opinion,against one enemy,it's better to use a Quickshot for focus generation.IIRC AR dmg is medium,so while your QS can be interrupted(difficult imho since it's too quick)it's better to do that so you can fire a PS.I think,in melee combat,ranged attacks are the way to go.Swift Stroke and Blindside at 2+ enemies,Low Cut at 3+ or when you are facing an Elite so you can kite.I only used AR for a brief time for the legacy heal and Scourging Blow for the removal of induction at Barbed Arrow;these happen in higher levels though.
Also,could you elaborate more on how blue line allows us to off tank?Sure,you have more mobility with it and maybe could keep an enemy busy by slowing him and kiting.That could work at earlier levels,but still,in a bossfight you would need to much attention of the healer.
Other than that,it's a very good guide +rep
Last edited by Shadeslayer_withywindle; Jul 10 2012 at 07:14 AM.
my first question when i saw this was: "what? another hunter guide?" as the hunter forum is full of those as well as two sticky thread one of which has links to some of those guides
second question was "who is writing this? what's his experience? why is he writing it?" which is unanswered and in my opinion should be explaind in the first post
i don't know how many people out there needed those info, the majority of the game population is 75, many lower levels are alts, and this guide covers a limited part of a hunter's life, only up to lvl 40
anyway i decided to spend some minutes reading it and it seems well written, so good job, no need to make it sticky but post a link to this in hunter resources sticky thread so it can be accessed easily even when it will go down
to the author: there's an important error about purge poison, it doesn't remove all poisons, only 3 effects (as the tooltip says) so if the target u want to clear has 4 or more use it twice (can click it again while first one's animation is being played to queue it); also mind that traiting four yellow trait will change it to a group wide skill with a 15 seconds cooldown, which might cause problems in some situations, generally it's better to be able to do spot poison clearing but have it always avaible; note that this skill has a quite long animation and requires to stand still to use it; also mind that even blindside need u to stand still, so if u're running to an enemy to interrupt him u need to stop pushing moving button BEFORE clicking blindside (also wait a little moment, the system could fail to immediately register your changed state) or u will see the usual warning "this skill cannot be used while moving" and u will likely be out of time to use it again, it's something that requires some training to be done effectively
Another thing about grouping: be sure to go in options (ui or combat don't rem which one) and select "show assist window" this will add a window to your screen, the group/raid leader can add people there by making them "raid assist" and you can see both them and the target they are attacking; in a good group/raid generally u will have the tank as first entry on this window (the healers can select him easier and see well how's their health bar) and the second entry will be the main assist who is the person u have to follow in killing stuff, u can select him and use skill forwarding or select his target, just be sure to check u keep hitting the right one as a good assist will likely change target or do a quick check on different ones in order to find the best to kill
Interesting read. I have to say I've been running something basically similar to this a good while and raid-geared 5-year olds (i e founders etc) tell me off for not going all out DPS, asking why I make mitigations/hp first priority. That is in armor, LIs, virtues. Not sure who to listen to, but I guess it's better to please the crowd that hand out invites at end game.
Fair questions Cilladh. I'll answer them here, and maybe link to this post from the intro post to avoid making it too lengthy.
Why another Hunter guide?
Many of the Hunter guides and advice threads I've read either simply repeat the info in the Lorebook & wiki (such as the description of each skill and trait) or delve into heavy number-crunching and theorycrafting. I wanted there to be a resource for novice players that:
- Avoids heavy use of jargon and abbreviations
- Explains not only what a skill does, but when to use it
- Offers basic optimization advice
There was a recent thread asking if any guide existed for mid-level Hunters. I would've liked such a resource while my Hunter was in the middle levels, too. And since LOTRO seems to have had a recent population spike following its availability on Steam, I thought we might have a fair number of new Hunter players who might find it useful.
Who am I?
I'm a casual player who started when LOTRO went Free to Play. I play slooooowly. My Hunter is still only level 66 after nearly two years. (Family life + playing alts + breaks from questing during festivals = slow leveling.)
I'm obviously not qualified to write about end-game play. Nor raiding, which I haven't tried, nor advanced gear optimization. I've left all of those things out of this guide.
Some might argue, justifiably, that I don't have sufficient experience to write a Hunter guide at all. That's okay by me. I don't really want this to be a one-person effort. I wanted to provide a decent starting point, and gather community feedback to improve and expand on it.
Thanks for the comments made so far, everyone -- I'll be incorporating them into the guide.
I started too not long after lotro went f2p and it's more than a year i've been playing my hunter (main char and the one i learned this game with), only the last 3-4 months spent at lvl 75, taking it slowly makes u enjoy more aspects of this game and allows u to learn the class u are playing more in depth :-)
Thank you for this thread! It is exactly the info that I wanted and needed.
This is the first MMO of this type that I've played (previously just A Tale in the Desert, and EVE), and the more high-level Hunter guides I've found tend to assume that the 'new' Hunter has already played a similar game, is familiar with playing in fellowships, and just needs a few pointers to set them on the right track.
I've been stumbling about a bit and you've made clear some of the things that have been puzzling me most.
i really appreciated reading this, well thought out and explained. i will be using some of this to help me be a better hunter, and im lvl 50. no one has bothered to explain things to me, but rather expects me to know certain things, especially about grouping. so thank u for this guide. very helpful!
Interesting read. I have to say I've been running something basically similar to this a good while and raid-geared 5-year olds (i e founders etc) tell me off for not going all out DPS, asking why I make mitigations/hp first priority. That is in armor, LIs, virtues. Not sure who to listen to, but I guess it's better to please the crowd that hand out invites at end game.
Now I've been testing all out DPS and it is very, very nice. I'd say about 10 x the fun.
Best tip of them all and no others needed is very simple:
Stack as much agility you can, and hit every mob before your tank in the group has his threat skills up.
Only when you do this every time, every pull, will you be a complete hunter - and of course - don´t forget to rooooooot !!