New Bear on the Block (We’ve Hit an all Time Low for Cheesy Titles)

This was first published on Nov. 8th, 2014.

The Beorning is an amazing class. I’m going to stop right there and let you soak that in. Before I started my Beorning, I looked at some of the forums to see what the beta players had been saying. I was curious as to what the overall mood would be before its launch. All I can say is, don’t make that mistake. After reading a few threads, I got the impression that the Beorning was a half-baked bear creature who could hardly do anything and would be forced to wander around Middle Earth naked. Needless to say, this was not true.

It’s true, we only have a 51 point build right now, and we don’t have all the armors just yet, but the devs are throwing capstone ideas at each other and making tin suits as you read this. This may seem like a bad thing, but it’s actually not. This means that all of us non-beta players (those of us who don’t have the courage to pray that our characters won’t twist in half or anything…) get to provide feedback. Everyone gets to help out. In a way, we are helping the devs make this class, which is a very cool idea.

Anyways, enough of my jabbering, let’s talk about how it plays. Now the Beorning is a really nice class. Its primary role is DPS, but its secondary role is tank. If you spec it right, you can turn it into a class that does healing/crowd control. In its man form, the Beorning builds up wrath. Each of its attacks gives you a set amount of wrath. This wrath can be spent on heals, or you can turn into a bear and spend your wrath on the bears combat skills. The bear has the more damaging skills, and if you specced yellow line, it has access to heals, knockdowns, and debuffs. There is a smooth rhythm of building and spending wrath that makes this class very engaging.

The blue line, “The Hide”, is a tank build. This build will turn you into a walking wall of fur, claws, and teeth. This line increases your armor and morale. Which makes sense, it is a tank line after all. It gives you the ability to redirect, reflect, and mitigate damage. It transfers threat, again this is typical of a tank class along with all of the damage absorbing mentioned earlier, but it also debuffs. Since the Beorning is primarily a DPS class, you can still pump out a fair amount of damage. The capstone reduces the amount of damage that you take by 60% for a good 10 seconds! Not only that, but every time you are hit during that time, 1% of your maximum morale is restored. It’s a humble heal, but it adds up. In bear form, you spend 3 wrath points per second. The last set bonus reduces this cost to 1 wrath point per second. More tanking for you. This is a very fun line to spec and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, but if DPS is more your thing, look no further than the red line.

To summarize the blue line:
– Tank build
– Increases armor and morale
– Gives ability to reflect, redirect, and mitigate damage
– Can redirect threat
– Debuffs enemy
– Stay in bear form longer
– Still do a lot of damage

The red line, “The Claw”, is aptly named. It turns you into a whirling dervish of teeth and claws. There is no question as to how formidable a red line Beorning is. The red line focuses on increasing your critical chance, critical damage, and damage. It seems humble, but just by choosing this line you will do 30% more damage in bear form. With this line you’ll be able to swat people aside and watch them go flying through the air. It’s hilarious how quickly you can melt them down. The capstone reduces the wrath cost of all skills by 5 points, and any skills that give you wrath, give an extra 5 points for 15 seconds. That means more time in bear form, and more of those powerful attacks that just do so much damage. The last set bonus gives you a 3% critical chance for every 20 wrath points you have. DPS is what the Beorning truly excels at, and once you level your Beorning up to creep level, you’ll be able to send them running. Now I have a mental image of a giant bear chasing a warg through the moors.

To summarize the red line :
– Most damage ever!!! (specifically, more damage in bear form)
– More critical chance
– More critical damage
– More damage

The yellow line, “The Roar”, creates a gentler bear. This bear loves to help others. This line focuses on healing, increasing healing modifiers, and buffing. It is the minstrel of bears everywhere, but it creates a unique kind of healer. Most of your skills cost wrath, which means that to do all of these things, the Beorning needs to wade into combat, build up wrath, and spend that wrath on healing (as opposed to spending it by wasting enemies). Compare that to the minstrel, who stands awkwardly outside combat and hopes that no one notices him while he plays a lute at people.

The yellow line Beorning must balance two things very carefully. The Mark of Beorn, and the Mark of Grimbeorn. The Mark of Grimbeorn can be placed on allies and yourself. Think carefully before you slap this on someone, because you can only put it on one person at a time. A 5 second cooldown makes changing targets on the fly a bit tricky. It interacts with other skills to help/buff either you or the target.

To summarize the Mark of Grimbeorn:
– On ally, negates 25% redirected dmg from Sacrifice
– Hearten heals for more
– Hearten refunds Wrath cost
– Cleanse’s cooldown is reduced by 15s
– Raging Blow gives bearer of mark a 15% dmg buff
– 20% chance to restore 5% of max morale of bearer upon using a healing skill

As you can see, the Mark of Grimbeorn is a very useful skill. The Mark of Beorn is something that you place on enemies. It doesn’t do as much, but the fear affect is pretty neat. Of course, things can get very chaotic that way. (see the former post dedicated to playing nicely with the less awesome heroes over here if the idea of making a horde of enemies run around randomly doesn’t make you cringe in horror) As a yellow line, you are definitely focusing on healing and buffing, but the Mark of Beorn should be used.

To summarize the Mark of Beorn:
– Grisly Cry becomes an Area Effect Fear around target
– Doubles debuff of Piercing Roar
– Vicious Claws lowers hit chance
– 20% dmg to targets around target of Bee Swarm

To summarize the yellow line:
– Focus on healing
– Focus on buffing self or others
– Has access to some debuffs and some crowd control
– Can still do a fair amount of damage
– has access to the Mark of Beorn
– has access to the Mark of Grimbeorn

This was a really ambitious project (the last time we got new classes was 6 years ago!), and there will always be lots of problems in this game concerning classes. The devs have to make sure that everything is Middle Earth Worthy, and fend off players who insist it isn’t. They did an amazing job with the Beorning, and I am blown away. I never expected anything like this. Just give the class a try if you have the tp to spare. If I had to summarize the Beorning in one sentence I would say this. “The Beorning is like a paladin/druid combo, but it’s more awesome.” You’ve got the shapeshifting (not to mention the ability to unleash killer bees), and you’ve got the ability to wade into combat while buffing and healing. After playing the Beorning for a while, I can honestly say that I love this class. Possibly more than I love the Lore-Master or the Hunter. Try it out, see for yourself. It’s pretty fun. Don’t read the forums whining about the gear. The devs will give us gear. Do you honestly think that the devs won’t give the Beornings adequate gear? What we should be worrying about gear wise is where it all goes when we turn into giant bears and go wreck stuff.

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