This was first published on Aug. 23rd, 2014
Would you like to know the first thing I said when I played Lord of the Rings Online for the first time? I said, “I really hope they have a Beorning class, because that would be awesome.” At the time, I was slightly disappointed to see that there was no bear shapeshifter waiting for me, but I rolled a Loremaster and was happy with that. Then their announcement came out. The announcement that their new class would be the Beorning. Ever since then, I have been waiting breathlessly for my new class.
At first, Turbine was going to start the Beorning at level 50. I was pretty happy with this decision. I’ve played a lot of low level characters on Lotro and I really don’t like the Lone Lands. It’s fun the first time through, but after I’ve run through that desert twice I get sick of yellow. At first I was very, very sad when they announced that they weren’t going to do this after all because they were having trouble figuring out how to introduce a lvl 50 Beorning into the storyline properly. I’m not sure why this bothered them so much, but evidently Turbine takes its lore very, very seriously. I guess that that’s good for the game as a whole because it just makes things that much more amazing, but it’s sad that this very desirable quality has robbed me of a lvl 50 character. Ah well… At least we’ll get some neat class quests.
As for that whole argument on the forums about how Beornings are technically a race and not a class… All I can say is,”Calm down people!” Having the Beornings as a race would make it overpowered. Incredibly overpowered. Everyone would be playing Beornings so they could turn into bears and go maul people. They could make the Beornings shapeshifting ability a passive racial skill, but that would be ridiculous. All of the other races have passive skills that don’t have a huge affect on gameplay. They can be used to fine tune your character, but at lvl 87 your elven hunter won’t really need that +15 agility! It’s nice at the lower lvls, but higher up, it becomes obsolete. I suppose that they could lock shapeshifting behind a trait, but that would be disappointing. You’re telling me that I have to bite people 900 times before my Beorning can turn into a bear? Do you really want that? Yes, having the Beornings as a race is more accurate lore wise, I’m not going to argue that. Having Beornings as a race in the books makes sense. It can be done without them being overpowered and looking kind of weird. But Lotro is not a book, it’s a video game. Having Beornings as a race in a video game makes no sense. We would get an overpowered race. For a video game, it makes much more sense to have the Beornings as a class. Besides, Turbine isn’t throwing lore out of the window, Beornings are a class that only the race of man can play. Although I do admit, it would be fun to play a Hobbit Beorning. 😀 I think that after working so very hard on Lotro, and after making everything incredibly accurate, and giving us the opportunity to explore Middle Earth the only way we’re ever going to be able to, we can calm down about this.