I rolled an elven warden, Aelondwe, and leveled him to 10 tonight. This isn’t my first warden: There was a failed experiment with a hobbit who never made it out of Archet. The gambit system was interesting but looked too mechanically alien compared to the other classes. I feared that one could not master the warden without complete devotion and religious zealotry–the kind EMACS requires.
This time around, the mechanics don’t seem as disruptive. Gambits feel more intuitive; they allow for flexibility that I don’t associate with meat shields like guardians. My attempt at a dwarf guardian was almost as big a failure as the hobbit warden: It took too long to kill things! Wardens don’t seem to have that problem. They also feel more forgiving than champions at lower levels by having a ranged attack for pulling and self-healing for the aftermath of an overly-ambitious impulse. I’m still worried about memorizing all those gambits since I plan to give at least equal time to the latest reroll of my elven runekeeper, Banhorn, but I think I’ve conquered my carcerariphobia–for now.
It’s probably no coincidence that I’m settling down with the two Moria classes. In the early levels at least, they feel more flexible, inventive, fun to play than the original LOTRO classes. Both classes appear to be a good compromise between versatility for grouping and solo viability; I’d like to fellowship more but not become stranded on a leveling plateau if I can’t find groups. In fact, I joined a runekeeper in Limael’s Vinyard tonight. The runekeeper wasn’t particularly aggressive about healing or DPS, but we meshed well enough that Aelondwe brazenly waded into the midst of the goblins. The classes complemented each other, and I wouldn’t mind a regular pairing with a runekeeper. It’s ironic that Aelondwe and Banhorn would make a great duo.
Some of the web chatter about wardens that got me curious …