War-steed

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Special Note: Player crafted Legendary Bridles are made by Tailors.

The first thing you are likely to ask on encountering the Riders of Rohan expansion is:

"How do I get my War-steed and participate in Mounted Combat?"

Executive Summary: Anytime after level 72, visit Dala in Langhold, Rohan. Accept the quest "The Wold" It begins the questline that culminates in Quest:Devastation in the North. For other options, read on because there are multiple paths to the Warsteed.

Such a seemingly simple question however, requires a complex answer. There are many layers of information and understanding necessary. Mounted Combat itself is an a very "deep" issue. Like an onion, there are many layer of understanding possible.

  • The information below applies to all players, including F2P.
  • While the quests necessary to obtain your War-steed are available to everyone, first understand -- Rohan is a level 75+ area. All creatures you will encounter, hostile or otherwise, are level 75 or above. Additionally, to get to Rohan, you must pass through Moria, Lothlórien, and The Great River -- areas where creatures are Level 50+, 60+ and 70+ respectively!
  • Free players, however, do not have access to all of the War-steeds abilities (two of the three trait trees are locked) but will be able to purchase access and unlock these through the LOTRO store.
  • Players who have purchased the Expansion will have all aspects of mounted combat unlocked immediately.

Then next is another question: "How do I get to Rohan?"

This question has a simple answer, but that answer has two options, each with its own implications.

  • There are two approaches to Rohan, presenting two different quest arcs:
Rope entrance into Caras Galadhon
  1. Players receive a mail message from Galadriel: "A need in Rohan."
    Those who then accept Volume III, Book 7 from Galadriel will start their exploration of Rohan in The East Wall at The Argonath. Note that this quest line actually begins in Lothlórien, and a conveniently "hanging rope" exists just to the left of the Gates to Caras Galadhon which will allow anyone into the city who has not yet completed the Quest:The Paths of Caras Galadhon.
    Following the Epic story line, you will come across some familiar sights from the books, especially The Argonath and Amon Hen at Parth Galen. Quests include interesting "Session Play" as Frodo, Sam and Boromir, ultimately heading to Langhold in the North Wold. You can complete additional "landscape" quests available at several quest hubs in The East Wall, or skip them until later, simply completing those of the Epic line at this time. However, these quests will advance your character roughly one and one-half levels.
  2. Players also receive a mail message from "G." -- " To the Aid of Rohan" (part of the Eastemnet quest pack and Rohan expansion purchase).
    Those who accept that quest will travel south from Stangard and cross the bridge from Parth Celebrant in The Great River into the North Wold of Rohan just north of Langhold. (Note that the Bridge to Rohan is to the west of the ancient Gondorian keep, Ost Celebrant [30.3S, 56.0W]. The very visible bridge leads into the Keep and a host of undead.)
Both of these Quest Arcs cross at Langhold, where one begins the Langhold Quest arc, culminating in Harwick where one obtains one's War-steed.

All 12 quests in this arc must be completed before one can move on to the Harwick Training Grounds (Harwick Stables) and obtain one's War-steed.

The Maximum Level of the War-Steed is 50 and you will have 77 trait points to expend.

What's it like to ride a War-steed?

From the Q&A... Riders of Rohan Pre-order FAQ

5. Can I fight from my existing in-game horse?
No, you will get a new steed, called a War-steed specifically built for combat. It’s larger than the current in-game mounts and better able to handle the demands of combat.

It can be hard to maneuver War-steeds in towns, so you may want to switch to your regular horse for that. It is possible to ride a War-steed in town with practice.

Not only are the War-steeds heavier than our regular riding mounts, they are physically bigger.

As for narrow bridges, the problem with the bridges is usually you have to turn to get on them, and the speed issue can make you turn wide and continue off the edge into the water. But as soon as you slow down to make that turn to cross the bridge, or if you have a straight approach to the bridge, crossing it is no problem.

So, to answer the question, "What's it like to ride a War-steed" in LOTRO, it's much more realistic than riding the normal travel mounts you have collected. There are advantages to this realism, and there are disadvantages.

Advantages
  • The most obvious advantage is that the player can use combat skills while mounted. These new combat skills are ONLY usable when mounted on a war-steed in Rohan, but are very potent nonetheless.
  • War-steeds travel significantly faster than a normal travel mount. Most normal reputation mounts travel 62% faster than running on foot. Purchased mounts and some deed-specific mounts travel 68% faster than running on foot. War-steeds, at maximum speed, travel 158% faster than running on foot, more than double the speed of a normal travel mount.
  • War-steeds are more durable than a normal travel mount. A player can run through a reasonably-dangerous group of mobs and be fairly certain that he/she will not be dismounted. In addition, players can heal themselves and their mounts when they sustain any damage (as long as they are in Rohan).
Disadvantages
  • The larger war-steed is heavier than the normal travel mount. As such, the turn-radius of a war-steed is significantly wider than of a normal travel mount. Players accustomed to turning on a dime with their travel mounts will need to adjust to the relatively slow response time of a war-steed. As the war-steed gains levels, various traits can be modified to reduce the turn-radius, but even the tightest turn-radius on a war-steed will be significantly larger than the hairpin turns that our normal travel mounts are capable of. Slowing down before turning also reduces the turn-radius, but not to 0.
  • In addition to the wider turn-radius, war-steeds require a short period of time to accelerate to maximum speed. Normal travel mounts only have one speed: Go. The player presses the "go" button, and the mount moves forward at one speed. War-steeds do not behave like this. Instead, the "go" button on a war-steed causes a sliding scale to move forward from 0 to a maximum of 16. This number represents the speed of the horse in meters-per-second (mps). Rather than constantly holding the "go" button as on a normal mount, the player only needs to hold the "go" button long enough to throttle the speed up to the maximum. The war-steed will slowly accelerate to maximum speed. As the war-steed gains levels, various traits can be modified to increase the acceleration rate.
  • In the same way as when accelerating, war-steeds also need time to slow down. The player slows the steed to a stop by holding the "reverse" movement key until the speedometer reads 0. For a fast stop, use the Quick Stop war-steed skill (all Fury is lost by using this skill.)
Options
  • There is a useful setting in the Combat Options panel to automatically slow the steed down if not actively moving it forward (i.e. by holding down left and right mouse buttons). Players can also double tap the "reverse" movement key to immediately stop the war-steed (after a somewhat comical "Whoa, Nelly" animation).
  • You can change the maximum speed of the horse by using the Walk Mode, which is keymapped on the Options panel. The war-steed has four modes that cycle through each time you hit your Walk Mode key: Walk (about half-maximum), Trot (about two-thirds of maximum), Canter (about three-fourth maximum), and Gallop (maximum speed.)

War-steeds described

  • The common name for War-steeds in the real world is Charger. A medieval breed, now extinct, Chargers were akin to the larger breeds of today. It is modeled after horses like the Friesian, Andalusian or Lusitano, breeds commonly used in war in Europe.
In America, we rarely see horses that large... with two notable exceptions -- the Budweiser Clydesdales you see on TV in Super Bowel Ads and in parades, and the Percherons and Belgians that are at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Those horses weigh in at over 2000 pounds each, compared to the Quarter Horse at 1200 pounds, (The Quarter Horse is typified by those you see at rodeos or Western riding events) or the Tennessee Walking Horse at about 1000 pounds.
A horse's height is measured to the base of the back of its neck. The Quarter Horse, or Tennessee Walking Horse, which many consider to be average size horses, stand between 15 and 16 hands, or 60 to 64 inches (roughly 5 feet tall), and usually weigh around 1,000 pounds. A Draft Horse, by comparison stand around 17 to 18 hands, or 68 to 72 inches (roughly 6 feet), and usually weigh over 2,000 pounds. And remember, in both cases the measurement is to the Horses BACK. It's head is roughly another 2 feet above that!
The animal often called a Mustang or American Indian horse is the horse most often associated with "Westerns" -- cowboys and Indians. This horse is around 13 and 15 hands tall, and typically weighs less than 1000 pounds. In general, it is descended from horses brought to this continent by the Spanish Conquistadors.
  • In Lotro, the War-steed is your personal combat mount. It gains experience, levels up, and can be equipped with a Legendary Bridle—bringing the Legendary Item equip total to three during mounted combat. The War-steed can be trained and specialized in a variety of ways; earning specific trait points will allow you to improve their attributes, acquire new skills, and improve your own mounted combat skills.
  • Unlike standard travel mounts, War-steeds hail from a long lineage of majestic, highly intelligent, and kingly creatures known as the Mearas. They are faster, stronger, and thoroughly trained for battle.

Light? Medium? or Heavy?

There are three types of War-steeds, and while the mounts themselves are not specific to individual classes, their characteristics will allow you to mix and match with your class abilities and your play style.

A fast and agile Light mount, a Courser's greater speed allows them to build Fury at a quicker pace, allowing the execution of more devastating Fury-fueled attacks. Great speed comes at the cost, however, as their Endurance and Armour is reduced.
This is a moderately armoured Medium steed providing balance and stability without sacrificing or favouring survivability or manoeuvrability. Riders of the Rouncey are usually more focused on close combat, blending greater offence over defence and support tactics more evenly than its lighter and heavier brethren.
This Heavy mount protects more than it speeds. The Destrier's greater armour allows them to take more damage and their enhanced Power allows extensive use of special mount charges and abilities. In trade, a slower speed makes for slower Fury generation and less overall mobility.
Light War-steed-icon.png
 War-steed: Light
  • Induction: 3s
  • The Courser is a lightly armoured War-steed. Fast and agile, The Courser provides the greatest speed and maneuverability on the battlefield, trading Endurance and Armour to retain their nimbleness.
  • 5.5 mps base Max Speed
    +450 non-Combat War-steed Power Regen
    +240 in-Combat War-steed Power Regen
    +450 non-Combat War-steed Endurance Regen
    +12 War-steed Acceleration Rate
    +100 War-steed Armour
  • Toggle Skill
Medium War-steed-icon.png
 War-steed: Medium
  • Induction: 3s
  • The Rouncey is a moderately armoured War-steed. The Rouncey provides balance and stability without sacrificing or favouring survivability or maneuverability.
  • 5 mps base Max Speed
    +420 non-Combat War-steed Power Regen
    +225 in-Combat War-steed Power Regen
    +480 non-Combat War-steed Endurance Regen
    +10 War-steed Acceleration Rate
    +130 War-steed Armour
  • Toggle Skill
Heavy War-steed-icon.png
 War-steed: Heavy
  • Induction: 3s
  • The Destrier is a heavily armoured War-steed. Stalwart and imposing, The Destrier is bred for battle. The least agile and slowest of the war-steeds trades speed and maneuverability.
  • 4.5 mps base Max Speed
    +390 non-Combat War-steed Power Regen
    +210 in-Combat War-steed Power Regen
    +510 non-Combat War-steed Endurance Regen
    +8 War-steed Acceleration Rate
    +160 War-steed Armour
  • Toggle Skill

Your first horse looks like it defaults to the The Rouncey.

To change the type of horse, at any time, you must use the Refund Points button (on the Mounted Combat panel, Traits tab) to recover all the points you have spent on traits. On the horse type selection panel, click Enter under the type of horse you want to ride, allocate the available points between your traits, and press Apply. If you are mounted, you will be dismounted, and the available mount skill will change to the new type.

War-steed Appearance

Barding is Armour for Horses.

In Lotro, distinctive Barding is available for your War-steed to allow you to customize its appearance.
Note however, that none of these items change any War-steed Stat. War-steed Stats are only modified by points applied to War-steed Traits and Legendary Bridles.

See: War-steed Appearance for more details.

War-steed Advancement

As you complete quests and turn in tasks, you War-steed gains experience. As it "levels-up" you gain points which can be applied to "Traits" which define your War-steed's capabilities.

See: War-steed Traits for more details.

The Legendary Bridle

At the completion of the War-steed tutorial quest: The Tourney Field: Mounted Combat Tutorial one of your rewards will be the choice of a Legendary Item for your mount:

Light Bridle of the Third Age
Medium Bridle of the Third Age
Heavy Bridle of the Third Age
  • Bridles come in three different "styles" -- Light, Medium, and Heavy.
This terminology does not apply to the kind of mount which can equip the Bridle in question, but rather to the "overall" classification of the Legendary Legacies which it provides. Legendary Legacies on the Bridle may apply to a specific mount type or generally to all.
For example, a "Light" Bridle will typically have one general Legacy and three Legacies specific to Light War-steeds. This means that if you are riding a Medium or Heavy War-steed, only the one General Legacy will apply to your War-steed. The remaining three "Light" Legacies, will not apply.
Your choice of quest reward is dependent upon which type of War-steed you intend to ride. A medium War-steed is the default. (Depending upon your account type or Options purchased from the LOTRO Store, you may have access to either or both of the other types.) Therefore it is recommend that you start your Legendary Bridle levelling with the Medium.
  • Note: Just as with other Legacies, until it is slotted, a Legendary Bridle can be bought, sold, traded, shared with alts. However, once slated, it can only be removed from slating by "Deconstructing" it.
  • Like any Legendary Item, a Legendary Bridle must first be identified by a Forge-master, and then "slotted" in your Legendary Item panel!
  • Note: You MUST have an open slot in your Legendary Items panel BEFORE you can equip a Bridle on your War-steed.
After Identification, the Legendary Bridle can be "equipped" on your War-steed in the Mounted Combat UI (Shift-M) Stats page. Like your character's personal Legendary Items, this can be accomplished by dragging it to the "horse's head" at the bottom centre of that screen, or by simply double clicking on it either in your pack or in the Legendary Item UI. Like other "equipped" Legendary Items, when "equipped," it disappears from your pack, but remains visible in the Legendary Item panel.
You can have multiple bridles "slotted" in your LI Panel and switch between "equipped" ones, just as with personal Legendary Items.
  • Each type of bridle can have common legacies that apply to all types of War-steed, and legacies that apply to the corresponding type of War-steed. For instance, a Heavy Bridle of the Third Age can have a Rider Block Chance (Heavy Steed) legacy.

Settings, Gems and Relics

  • Like your character's personal Legendary Items, the Legendary Bridle can be Levelled independently of your Mount.
  • The Legendary Bridle can have its characteristics enhanced by the application of certain "Mount Unique" Settings, Gems and Relics.
  • Any normal Heritage rune can be applied.
  • Like a normal Legendary Item, the Bridle needs to be reforged every 10 levels.
  • A Legendary Bridle can be deconstructed to yield relics, shards, fragments and scrolls.

You can view these "Mount Unique" Settings, Gems and Relics, while visiting a Relic-master and examining the "Melding" tab. They are also found in Warband "Spoils boxes", and obtained as quest rewards.

Basic Mounted (level 75) -- Creating each of these requires three Tier 4 Relics and 192 shards.

Unique Mounted (Level 75) -- Creating each of these requires three specific Tier 8 Relics and xxx shards.


Note: The Legendary bridle is one of two ways in which the various stats on your War-steed are amplified. (pending points on Mount Traits is the other. Simply levelling the War-steed does not modify the War-steed's "stats."

Controls

Note that the terms "Mounted Stances" and "Mounted Disciplines" refer to the same things.

War-steed Vitals

War-steed Vitals Display

When you mount your War-steed, A new display shows the viatals for your War-steed.
Like other User Interface (UI) items, the War-steed Vitals can be moved using ctl-\

Green: Endurance
Blue: Power
Yellow: Speed
Red: Fury
  • Right-clicking on the portrait allows you to change the name of your mount. This can also be done in the Mounted Combat UI.
  • Clicking on the portrait will bring up the Mounted Combat UI -- also accessed by typing Shift-M.
  • The Yellow Speed bar fills in the bar below the Power bar as you accelerate your War-Steed.
  • Speed is also shown in meters per second under the portrait. As your steed accelerates to maximum, it will generate Fury and the Red Fury bar will overlay the yellow.
  • The Red Fury bar overlays the Speed bar and shows the ebb and flow of your Fury bonus. This ebb and flow can be modified by various Traits and Legendary Bridle legacies.
  • Fury will never exceed your Speed.


Movement and Speed control

You can control the movement and speed of your War-steed in several different ways, just as you control normal character movement.

  • WASD - keys on the keyboard
  • W + mouse
  • The arrow keys.

When first learning to ride, this is a common comment:

I took my War-steed into town to actually practice polite riding skills. It is difficult!
It would be convenient if there was a "low" gear that we riders could drop into, like a canter or fast walk at a consistent speed.
This would add to the ambiance of travelling in a group, and make it easier to pass through towns.

This is easy enough to do.

There are four speeds when riding: Walk, Trot, Canter and Gallop. Each speed is visible in the Mount Display panel -- the yellow bar, and the actual number beneath the horses portrait. (Note that the number associated with each speed is different for each War-steed type - Light, Medium, and Heavy, with the Light War-steed moving faster at each speed type than the other two.

You simply "tap" (instead of press and hold) your forward movement key (default="W") and you can easily move at all four constant speeds: Walk, Trot, Canter, Gallop.

You just need to have the option turned off, which is off by default: Options/Combat Options window: - at the bottom: Mounted Combat: War-steed Auto-slowdown.

You can also "lock out" higher speeds using the Insert key. (The key bound to "Walk Mode" in your Options/Key-Mapping window.) Pressing "Insert" will display the message: "Your war-steed will only Walk" in the Chat window. Your movement rate will then be limited to 5.8 meters per second on a Medium War-steed, 6.0 on a Light, and 5.5 on a Heavy.

Even at a canter, it is pretty easy to wander through a town and turn, although a trot is probably the easiest in older towns with more narrow ways as it is closest to the "run" speed of a "conventional" mount.