It takes a lot for me to rave wildly about a class in any game! I don’t easily get excited about anything, but the reasons why are complicated. As many will be aware I love my LOTRO characters, most of them at least. But I usually love them for who they are not necessarily how they fight. However, the LOTRO Beorning Class is a totally different thing! And so, for a completely different style of blog post from FJ, I’m going to have a rave-fest about the skin-changers. I’ll go over why I love this class so much and, therefore, why you should unlock and play Beornings. Let’s go!
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Other LOTRO Classes do offer something unique in combat. Warden has its gambit system. Rune-keeper is a pure “Mage” class without the need for melée weapons. And anyone who has followed me for any length of time will know I really enjoy playing Guardian.
However, Beorning is totally unique:@rebelrealcanon on Twitter ended up playing LOTRO because she saw that I was playing as a shape-shifter. My wee daughter is most captivated by my monitor if I’m playing as a bear. “Bear” is one of her nick-names, which probably helps!
For a fairly simple class there are a few details that are just perfect.
- Fur Colour: your human-form hair colour becomes your bear-form fur colour. I love this! I mourn the fact that I can’t make hair/fur colour pure white, but a very light-blonde is achievable.
- Tattoos: Whichever tattoo your character has on their face, is reflected in your bear-form appearance too!
- Combat Sounds: thinking of the grunts and cries that your character makes during combat. For Beornings, for both female and males, in human-form the grunts are definitely rough and growly! Growly isn’t an English word, but who cares?
Introduced in the events of The Hobbit, Beorn gives respite to the Dwarves despite his people’s general dislike of them. Later, it is Grimbeorn who leads them, it being presumed that Beorn died before the War of the Ring. Here’s Grimbeorn in the Misty Mountains where you catch up with him for a class quest:
So where LOTRO Beornings are concerned, it makes sense that (at least in Red Line, I don’t play the other Trait Trees) your damage is much greater in Bear-Form than Human-Form. So not only is Beorning a fun class to play, it is rooted in a people group devised by Tolkien.
Playing the LOTRO Beorning Class is not complicated! My main character on Crickhollow is my self-styled “grumpy bear” Lothver, who is currently Level 72. He is not much more complicated than my L59 Beorning on Evernight.
I have a small number of human-form melée skills (I’m a two-handed axe and occasionally two-handed club Beorning player). And, aside from some Beorning class traits, I only have to use a small number of skills in bear-form too.
As I suffer from Fibromyalgia hand pain, this makes Beorning perfect for days when my hands really hurt. On top of that, I don’t have to relearn or readjust my rotations every few levels. It’s just perfect.
class changes overhaul in LOTRO. From a lore perspective, medium armour makes more sense. Beornings live mostly in the wild and, although it’s possible Beornings didn’t hunt beasts for food, Tolkien Gateway notes they cleared out Wargs where possible. So, making clothes from enemies seems to make sense to me.
Might Gearing Now Easier for Beornings
Beornings were always meant to be a solid soloable class, where you’re a good all-rounder. You wouldn’t be a specialist at any role. But heavy armour just makes you more sturdy and durable. It fits my risk-aversion method of playing. Admittedly going heavy armour just made the lives of devs at LOTRO easier, but that’s a good thing! Medium Might-Based armour was patchy at best, even in crafting. Other heavy-armour classes (e.g. Captain, Champion, Guardian) were already Might-based classes. So it makes sense, from a gameplay perspective, to give Beornings Heavy Armour too.
The Beorning Class is a Heavy Armour Healer
And one of my guild-mate’s wish to have a heavy-armour healer was granted! If you’re a Beorning healer, you benefit from being more durable while healing.
Your trait-tree along with how you spend your trait points, will determine how many and how strong your healing skills are. However as a Beorning, you can heal yourself, others in your group and those in those super-frustrating escort quests.
Hearten is a heal-over-time skill to help counteract those damage-over-time bleeds and poisons. Beornings have a powerful Cleanse ability too. Unlike other classes’ skills that remove one effect, Cleans removes up to three without having to spend extra trait points.
This adds to to the durability of the Beorning Class. In those tough solo instances, or Epic Skirmishes where an NPC doesn’t heal, or you have a damage/tank Soldier, you can plug that gap!
Yes a good thing! Beornings are wild man and women. They live and thrive in the outdoors, even if (like Beorn) they have a home. Because of this, how a Beorning looks will be unlikely to look flashy or elegant. Although they can wear heavy-armour equipment I can’t think of a lore-appropriate reason to see a Beorning in plate armour! For that reason making outfits for Beornings is challenging, but an enjoyable exercise.
Here’s just a few outfits I’ve made for my Beornings:
While all the racial traits in LOTRO are clearly thought-through and appropriate, I love the variety in the Beorning Class. Although there are nine traits to choose from, these are my top ones:
Feral Presence grants a Fate boost to you and your Fellowship. So this helps things like in-combat morale regeneration and critical magnitude. But you do not have to be in a Fellowship to use it!
I feel this fits the living-in-wild aspect of the Beornings. No shiny swords thank you very much!
Bracing Roar grants a sudden single hit health boost. It has a 30 minute cooldown for obvious reasons, but your foes should fear your roar – and the survivability of Beorn’s line.Beorn’s Honey-Cakes are short-lived foods that help you in combat. As with Dale-Men’s Cram, they scale with your level. But more importantly, you can make honey-cakes! They’re not bound either, so you can give some of these delicacies to your friends.
If you have not already unlocked Beorning for your account, you can find them by:
- Load the LOTRO Store in-game.
- Navigate to Account
- Select Content
- Click Classes & Races
You will then see these two options available:
- Beorning Class Only: 1000 LOTRO Points
- Beorning Class + 1 Character Slot: 1250 LOTRO Points
These are occasionally, though rarely, on sale. Keep your eye on the LOTRO Beacon.
TL;DR No Reason not to Play the LOTRO Beorning Class
Although the Beorning Class needs unlocking via the LOTRO Store, it is well worth it in my opinion. It is set apart from the other classes in its uniqueness with separate skills in human- and bear-form. You can have so much head-canon fun surprising the Enemy mid-combat, with strong leaders of the foes taken down by a rampaging bear.