Help the Hobbit; Mischief-Maker

January 22, 2013


isengard_class_gear_burglar2I’ve always enjoyed the Burglar class.  It’s a great class that plays differently than a lot of the others in the game due to its ability to play as a de-buffing class, a DPS class and as crowd control.   Granted, the viability of the class has waxed and waned over the years due to game mechanic changes, but it’s still a lot of fun.  So where does this leave the modern day Burglar when it comes to the Mischief line?  Eleen wrote us in asking just this question.

This Week’s Topic

Last October Gabo wrote a great guide on the Mischief-Maker line for those who might want to try out the line.  And while Eleen found that information very helpful she was looking for a bit more insight from the LOTRO community.  So she asked us to pose Burglars the following questions specifically centered around grouping and raiding:

  • How do you kick off in a raid? (skills, placement, etc.)
  • What role do you usually have in the raid?  (Supporting the tank, supporting the fellowship, etc.)
  • What do you find about Mischief-Maker that helps the group out the most
  • What are the best virtues to trait for raiding and fellowships?
  • Do you think that Mischief is still as weak as Gabo’s guide seems to indicate?

Some of these answers are going to be opinion-based, but Eleen is looking for just that; your opinion. So Burglar’s let loose and help her out!

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Avatar of Merric

About Merric

Co-founder of CSTM and an avid LOTRO fan.

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12 Responses to “Help the Hobbit; Mischief-Maker”

  1. Avatar of Vræden
    Vræden Says:

    I don’t know enough about burgs to comment about traits and skills, but as far as virtues go, for all classes, the stat virtues have diminished in importance now that the stat caps are gone. I would rank up virtues that have to do with resistance and mitigations before a class’s primay stat now.


  2. DK Says:

    I haven’t played as a Burglar as of yet but I intend to, so I am eager to hear opinions as well.


  3. Avatar of Pinkfae
    Pinkfae Says:

    The second ‘toon that I created and that is not deleted is a burglar. She’s sitting at level 68 right now and I play her for fun. I recently asked for advice on how to play from a kin-mate of mine. He asked I was running in, to which I replied, burglars have stances?

    Yeah, I’m not a good person to ask for advice on playing a burglar!


  4. Greyfell of Crickholllow Says:

    The strength of mischief is crowd control which has been severely restricted by recent changes in the mechanics of cc, which is why most burgs don’t trait mischief but will use the stance if they need to chain mez, the only advantage the stance has.

    Gamblers are FAR better debuffers since with enough traits in the blue line they get a debuffing gamble chance on Clever Retort, which is usable out of Mischief if you trait it (a blue line trait). Mischief can use the Clever Retort but without the debuff chance. Get a Clever Retort debuffing gamble, pop it up to full strength with a Gambler’s Strike, use Subtle Stab which has a chance to debuff all resistances for 15 seconds when a Gamble is present and your Fellowship can do massive damage for a short time.

    Another problem with mischief is it completely removes your potentially most powerful attack, the Surprise Strike from stealth with Location is Everything. You can get close with a Feint and Surprise Strike, but QK line is going to out-dps you there by huge numbers.

    In light of all this most Burgs find mischief underwhelming with their only strength being in a game mechanic that was massively nerfed and now rarely used.


  5. Avatar of Chris Moran
    Chris Moran Says:

    Admittedly, I’m no expert on anything really. I don’t min-max, I barely understand the best arrangements of virtues and skill and all that. I have a set of actions that works quite well for various melee. I use mischief as my primary stance. If I’m 1-on-1, and feeling like I need the upper hand, I like to reveal weakness, improved riddle, quickly counter defense, then hope to get the chain from burglar’s advantage for a bunch of quick cycles of DPS. If I feel I need a little omph and the timers are good, a clever retort makes things exciting. Rinse repeat with some basic attack moves thrown in to chance crits and envoke the burg adv. happening again, if it’s not already happening (usually it’s always active).
    There may VERY WELL be better way to play the burglar, but I’ve been playing Torbrand since release mostly the same way (though thankful for a lot of the changes like mezzing most anything that’s not immune) and I’m not clever enough to redevelop THIS guy into another play style yet. :)


  6. Avatar of Melitot
    Melitot Says:

    I think most burgs would agree that the MM (and Gambler) line is underwhelming compared to Quite Knife (QK). Unless you need to chain-mez there’s nothing that MM brings to the party over the other stances plus your DPS contribution is considerably less.

    However whichever stance you run in a group your role is almost always the same:

    1. Helping the group by debuffing the mobs (either the boss to help the tank, or the main target, depending on the situation) and CC (Riddle obviously, startling twist, gambler mez, etc).

    2. Conjunctions, e.g. start fight with all yellow, all blue half-way through to help the group with power, etc.

    3. Additional DPS when all debuffs are up (particularly in QK burgs have very-high burst damage).

    Not really sure about virtues off the top-of-my-head since it’s been so long since I’ve run MM.


  7. Merowin Says:

    Burglars are single-target dps, and the traitline you choose will not significantly change the role you play in a fellowship. You will dps, you will debuff, and you will crowd control. Don’t view dps as a secondary role for a mischief-maker, or crowd control as a secondary role for quiet knife.

    My main advice to a mischief-maker burglar would therefore be: don’t forget you’re still dps.

    My main advice to any burglar would be: learn to use all your debuffs and crowd control simultaneous with dpsing. One should not be at the expense of the other.

    A quiet knife traited burglar does have a higher damage potential than a mischief-maker traited burglar, especially if you consider the Unseen armour set from the Ettenmoors, but most casual players will not want to grind out the 30,000 commendation required for that armour set, which makes the difference between the traitlines smaller.

    The recent increase of Addle’s cooldown to 10s also reduced the dps of quiet knife traited burglars slightly, since they are no longer able to addle both Surprise Strike and Flashing Blades. A mischief-maker burglar only uses Flashing Blades and is therefore not affected.

    As a burglar your damage depends strongly on how optimized your skill rotation is. That’s a problem if you want to compare the damage of a quiet knife burglar with that of a mischief-maker. You usually end up comparing a fully optimized quiet knife burglar with a pretty suboptimal mischief-maker and end up concluding that the damage difference is bigger than it actually is. I am traited mischief-maker, but I tried retraiting quiet knife and found no damage increase. That’s because I was comparing a fully optimized mischief-maker burglar with a suboptimal quiet knife burglar. Same problem.

    My advice to a casual player would be to look at your skill rotation rather than your traitline. That’s where the biggest dps increase is to be found. Learn how normal, fast and immediate skills work.

    I am playing a mischief-maker traited burglar. I like the versatility. I like having no cooldown on my tricks, a 40s riddle with a stun, a 3-target stun in Dust in the Eyes and Startling Twist, group poison removal, traited Disable, Counter Defense and Reveal Weakness, an extra 3% damage from Quite a Snag, the ability to prevent enemies from using ranged attacks with Enrage, and with the new Hytbold armour a 2-target riddle and 500 ICPR in mischief stance, the ability to re-enter mischief stance in combat, and on top of that really good single-target dps, although not as good as a quiet knife traited burglar.

    Most of this can be had on a quiet knife burglar too, but not everything at the same time.

    I am not playing a mischief maker traited burglar because I from careful analysis deducted that this would be the most efficient. I play mischief-maker because I like the play style, and since I’m not going to grind out the Ettenmoors set, I find the dps decrease acceptable.



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