Game-wise, a Skirmish Soldier is an NPC which can normally be summoned inside Skirmishes and will help you and your group during the skirmish. It should not be viewed as a Lore-master or Captain "pet", as a player has very little control over what the Soldier does. If a soldier falls in battle, they can be re-summoned once their owner is out of combat.
- Skirmishes become available once your character reaches level 20.
Soldiers can be customized in various ways. They can have so-called Soldier Traits slotted, which give them (or their owners) various bonuses. Slotting the traits works basically the same way as slotting a player character trait. You need a specific NPC to do it (Skirmish Captain in this case), you pay silver to slot traits and that's all. You can also re-trait your soldier as often as you wish. There are several types of traits a Soldier can have slotted:
- Attribute - these traits determine a Soldier's Role (more on that below), as well as your soldier's race, gender and appearance.
- There are 5 slots available: New slots unlock once you reach levels 25, 33, 43, 53
- Only the first slot is meaningful, it determines your Soldier's Role. The remaining 4 slots are cosmetic only.
- Skill - these traits will teach your Soldier to use specific skills during a Skirmish
- There are 4 slots available: New slots unlock once you reach levels 31, 45, 61
- Training - these traits will give your soldier passive bonuses
- There are 4 slots available: New slots unlock once you reach levels 27, 43, 63
- Personal - these traits will give the Soldier's owner passive bonuses, but only during a skirmish
- There are 3 slots available: New slots unlock once you reach levels 49, 65
Skirmish Trait Ranks
Most of the traits (basically all of them except cosmetic traits) can be increased from rank 1 (equivalent to a player of level 19) up to rank 45 (equivalent to a player of level 100); there are another 5 levels (for a total of 50) although those extra 5 levels don't have any player level listed. These traits can be levelled up by purchasing higher ranks of a trait in exchange for marks received from skirmishes, by speaking with a Skirmish Trainer.
- If you're doing skirmishes with a high level character, keep in mind that it'll be harder until you can level up your soldier to be at same level as you, so lowering the skirmish difficulty will help to survive in the beginning.
- On the opposite, if you're able to level your soldier higher than you, you can maybe try to increase the skirmish difficulty and get more marks!
- Note that different levels of soldier traits must be purchased sequentially. For example, you cannot buy Rank 10 Taunting Strike unless you've already purchased Rank 9 Taunting Strike.
- Skirmish soldier ranks are gated (max level) at 7 for a non-Moria account.
- For accounts with the Moria upgrade, the skirmish rank is gated (max level) at 15.
- For accounts with the Mirkwood upgrade, the skirmish rank is gated (max level) at 25.
- In addition to purchasing the various expansions, or VIP status, these levels can be increased with the purchase of Skirmish Trait upgrades in the LOTRO Store: See LOTRO Store Skirmish_Trait
Players earn Skirmish Marks from completing skirmishes which allows them to upgrade the equipment, level, spells, or class of their skirmish soldier. For example, a rank 1 “Archer” soldier is level 19. If a player spends skirmish points to upgrade their soldier’s Archer class to rank 2, the soldier will now be level 24.
One of the more important trait a Soldier can slot is their Role. It is found in the "Attribute" trait type. A Role will determine the inherent bonuses a Soldier has (for example a Warrior Role will give armour penetration bonus, while an Archer Role will give ranged critical rating bonus). A Role will also limit the Training traits and Skills a Soldier can slot. While most Training traits are general (can be slotted by all roles), there are some exceptions. On the other hand all Skill traits have a Role requirement ("You must have the following trait slotted: Role: XXX"). Below you will find a general overview of the Roles available:
|Tank||DPS: Melee||DPS: AoE||DPS: Ranged||Crowd control||Debuffer||Healer||Buffer|
A ranged DPS archetype, it will focus on single target ranged damage. An Archer wears medium armour, wields a bow and does high ranged damage. The Role comes with a ranged critical rating bonus. Read more about the Archer Role. You can also check the traits available for an Archer - Archer Traits.
A buffer archetype, it will focus on buffing its allies, it can also do some off-healing. A Bannerguard wears heavy armour, wields a banner and does medium melee damage. The Role comes with an armour aura bonus. Read more about the Bannerguard Role. You can also check the traits available for a Bannerguard - Bannerguard Traits.
A healer archetype, it will focus on healing its allies. A Herbalist wears light armour and does no damage. The Role comes with a healing bonus and a healing aura. Read more about the Herbalist Role. You can also check the traits available for a Herbalist - Herbalist Traits.
A tank archetype, it will focus on building threat on the enemies. A Protector wears heavy armour and shield, will do low melee damage. The Role comes with an armour and threat generation bonus. Read more about the Protector Role. You can also check the traits available for a Protector - Protector Traits.
A DPS / debuffer archetype, it will focus on doing tactical damage and debuffing. A Sage wears light armour and does high tactical damage. The Role comes with a resistance penetration bonus. Read more about the Sage Role. You can also check the traits available for a Sage - Sage Traits.
A melee DPS archetype, it will focus on melee AoE DPS. A Warrior wears medium armour, wields two weapons and does high melee damage. The Role comes with an armour penetration bonus. Read more about the Warrior Role. You can also check the traits available for a Warrior - Warrior Traits.