User:Magill/Projects-Update 08-ROR-War-steed

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This page is a collection of notes/comments extracted from a variety of reviews/sources (Dev Diaries) as Turbine prepares for the release of RoR.

War-steeds described

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’s modeled after horses like the Friesian, Andalusian or Lusitano, breeds commonly used in war).

An interesting question.

(Keep in mind that what follows is a very abreviated and generalized description of a very complex topic. But it is intended to give a flavor of what we are experiencing with our mounts for combat.)

A War-steed is NOT intended for city travel. It is NOT a quarter-horse or Tennessee Walking Horse. War-steeds are BIG horses. Draft Horses, if you will.

In America, we rarely see horses that large... with two notable exceptions that I know of -- the Budwiser Clydesdales you see on TV and in parades all the time, and the Percherons and Belgians that are (or were) at Walt Disney World in Florida (and maybe at 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 the Kentucky Derby.) Or the Tennessee Walking Horse at about 1000 pounds.

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

As you may know, a horse's height is measured to the base of the back of its neck. The Tennessee Walking Horses, 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!

Just imagine trying to ride one of the Budweiser Clydesdales at full gallop down any street!

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.

As for narrow bridges, it's no different than with a quarter-horse... the problem with the bridges is usually you have to TURN to get on them, and the speed issue makes you turn wide and continue off the edge into the water.... been there done that. :) 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.


RoR Promo material

  • 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.
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online™: Riders of Rohan™, 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.

War-steed Types

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.

  • The Courser
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.
  • The Rouncey
This is a moderately armoured Medium steed providing balance and stability without sacrificing or favouring survivability or maneuverability. Riders of the Rouncey are usually more focused on close combat, blending greater offense over defense and support tactics more evenly than its lighter and heavier brethren.
  • The Destrier
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.

Traits Trees and Specialization

  • Red Dawn
Focused on skills that deliver large amounts of direct damage.
  • Rohirrim
Defensive skills designed for sustaining considerable damage.
  • Riddermark
A blend of support, utility, and some damage skills.

While a War-steed's trait points can be evenly spread across the three branches, many of the most potent skills come from investing in one or two disciplines. You can decide to enhance the strengths of your mount, such as specializing in Rohirrim on a Heavy mount. Conversely, you can mitigate a steed's weaknesses—investing into the Rohirrim tree on a Light War-steed.

In addition, trait tree configurations can be saved and swapped at a later time. Swap between different Trait Configurations when you choose a new War-steed type, or encounter a new situation.

Cosmetic Options

The War-steed features an extensive visual customization through seven cosmetic equipment slots: Head, Body, Legs, Tail, Hide, Saddle, and Gear. A few cosmetic styles included for launch are Bone, Leather, Elven, and Chainmail. You can also swap a War-steed's coat, allowing total control of your mount's appearance.

LORE: The Mearas

Pages in updating progress....

The Mearas from which one assumes our War-steeds are descended, are quite reminiscent of the world famous, snow-white, Lipizzaner Stallions. The Lipizzaner is considered to be the ancestor of the Andalusian and other similar breeds. We know them from the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

  • The Descendant
    Harkening back to time when the horse was a symbol of grace and majesty.

In the old north of Middle-earth lived a proud race of wild horses, long-lived, wise and fleet of foot. The legends of Men said that their ancestors had been brought from the West by Béma, their name for the Vala Oromë.

A name used in Middle-earth for the Vala known to the Elves as Oromë or Araw, the Huntsman of the Valar. In ancient days, he was the Vala who came most often to Middle-earth to hunt the monsters of Melkor, and legend said that he brought with him certain fabulous creatures. At the close of the Third Age, Men still believed that certain animals were descended from stock brought to Middle-earth by Béma, most notably the extraordinary horses known as the mearas, and the huge Kine of Araw that wandered the plains of Rhûn.

Béma was the name used by the Northmen for Oromë. As the great huntsman and horseman of the Valar, he and his steed Nahar were known to the horse-loving people of Rohan, who claimed that their great horses, the Mearas, had ancestors brought out of the West by Béma himself


Felaróf was described as being as intelligent as any human, could understand the speech of men.

Felaróf was a wild foal when he was captured by Eorl the Young's father Léod, a tamer of horses. Despite no one being able to tame it, Léod attempted to mount it, but was killed when the stallion threw him.

Eorl vowed to avenge his father, but did not slay it, naming it Felaróf and commanding the horse to serve him. Eorl rode him without bit or bridle. They took part in the battle of the Field of Celebrant.


Shadwofax was Gandalf's horse. He was Chief of the Mearas.

They were descended from Felaróf, who was tamed by the first King of Rohan, Eorl. Ever since, they have been the mounts of the King and Princes of Rohan alone. During the War of the Ring, however, Gandalf the Grey tamed Shadowfax, lord of the Mearas at the end of the Third Age.

Shadowfax is a mighty horse of Rohan, the chief of the Mearas, tamed by Gandalf and reluctantly granted as a gift to him (after Gandalf had borrowed him for some time) by King Théoden of the Rohirrim. No Man could tame Shadowfax. He would not tolerate a bridle or saddle, and only carried Gandalf by choice. The great horse also bore a hobbit, Pippin, as well as the dwarf Gimli for a short time during the War of the Ring.

Like the other Mearas, Shadowfax was a grey/silver stallion, and could understand the speech of Men. He was also seemingly fearless, and could run faster than any other horse in Middle-Earth. In an unpublished epilogue and letters Tolkien stated that Shadowfax passed Valinor over the sea with Gandalf, but in The Lord of the Rings itself this is only hinted at by mention of Gandalf standing near a "great grey horse" on the quay just before departing.

Shadowfax is not white. He is, in fact, a silvery-grey that shines like silver in the sunlight and renders him virtually invisible in the shadows of the night.


Snowmane, foal of Lightfoot, was the mount of King Théoden, on which he rode into the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He was certainly weaker than Shadowfax, who was claimed by Gandalf; however, since his master was the King of Rohan he was most likely one of the Mearas himself.

Snowmane accompanied Théoden to the Battle of the Hornburg, and was ridden on the final charge out of the fortress. At the battle of the Pelennor, however, Snowmane was pierced by a black dart, causing him to fall and crush Théoden beneath him. He was buried with honour on the field of battle; his grave, known as Snowmane's Howe, bore the inscription:

Faithful servant yet master's bane
Lightfoot's foal, swift Snowmane.
-- The Return of the King: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields," p. 120



  • This skill is granted when you use the Skill: Favour of the Mearas.
  • It is listed on your "Skills" panel, on the "Active" tab, in the "War-steed Skills" folder.




Group Skills


Completed Group Manoeuveres


Mearas session play Stats

Session play horse

Morale 31,374
Power 2,154
Armour 2,025


Block N/A
Parry 900
Evade N/a


Physical 2,025
Tactical 2,025

Critical Hit Avoidance

Melee 0
Ranged 0
Tactical 0

Player (Mounted) Stance names

  • Red Dawn - Agressive - all out DPS
  • Riddermark - Utility & Control
  • Rohirrim - Defensive - Healing, Survivability

Situational awareness -- very fast, easy to move from one level band (mob level) to another.

Devs still trying to figure out the best way to give players situational awareness in the field (especially in regard to where their fellowship is) and have made the combat less arcadey and more strategic.

Descriptive phrase -- ? elder game ?

Warbands described

  • Roving bands of elites
  • New ?MOB only? types
  • Archer
  • Shaman
  • Jouster

Single targets are common in Rohan, but of greater concern are roving warbands. Warbands are packs of wargs or orcs that require a full group to take down. Unlike most mobs in the game, they go all over the map, which means you may find one when you least expect it.

Mounted Combat User Interface

  • Control-M to access - three main screens -- Stats/Appearance/Traits

War-Steed Stats

  • "Aaron began with a quick description of the stats: “First is endurance, which is your mount’s health. If you lose all that, you become dismounted. Keep in mind your character can also still take damage while mounted, and will fall in battle even if your mount retains health. Next, we have power, which lets you use mounted skills. Most mounted skills also cost stamina usage as well, so again… the player matters as much as the mount itself. Then we have armor, which helps mitigate damage. Two very important stats are turn-rate and acceleration, as maintaining speed is very important and being able to turn is the key to control. The faster you go, the harder it is to turn.”" (ZAM)

Basic Stats

  • Mount Endurance
  • Mount Power
  • Mount Armour
  • Mount Strength
  • Mount Agility
  • Legendary Item * " “The bridle will have stats,; it helps improve your mount’s abilities and gives bonuses to your class abilities while mounted. And the effects will be customized to your play style while mounted.” The bridle itself will be another reward from the epic quest line. " (ZAM)

Mount Movement

  • Turn Rate
  • Acceleration

Mount Defence

  • Evasion

Mount Offence

  • Fury Bonus Rating

War Steed Appearance

  • "Many of the pieces are parts of larger sets, such as bone set or light elven armor set. Aaron noted that so far the most popular sets are those that look most realistic. “We have six slots and the horse’s hide or coat color, which is not yet implemented.” Most of the pieces will be earned by playing through Rohan content, or through reputations with the various factions in the expansion." (ZAM)
  • Hide
  • Head
  • Body
  • Legs
  • Tail
  • Saddle
  • Gear

War Steed Traits

  • "Warsteeds also earn experience, the same as the player. As the horses level they will unlock ability points that will increase proficiency on the third UI screen: ability trees. While a player will only have one Warsteed, the steed can be customized by putting points in the trees for light, medium, and heavy combat steeds. One primary consideration is the accumulation of fury: as your steed goes faster, attacks and healing gain a multiplier and are considerably more powerful. This means that a light steed able to turn and accelerate quickly will gain fury more easily than a heavy steed." (ZAM)

  • Traits can apparently be grouped in "Configurations", apparently 8 of them.
  • "Capstone" skill and "Primary" skills will apparently be Class related
  • Light Mount - DPS oriented - high rate of Parry, but the rider more easily dismounted - Light steed prioritizes speed
  • Medium Mount
  • Heavy Mount - trades DPS for survivability
  • Combat disciplines

You will be able able to toggle between the three when not in combat.

  • Red Dawn - Aggressive - all out DPS
  • Riddermark - Utility & Battlefield Control
  • Rohirrim - Defensive - Healing, Survivability

War Steed Speed (movement rate)

Each click of W key increments speed (4 to gallop)

  • Stop
  • Walk
  • Trot
  • Cantor
  • Gallop
  • Apparent macro (gambit): Spur On (10 sec toggle), followed by 1 or 2 attacks -- mount will automatically pursue your target and trigger those attacks when in range.
  • Attacks are done by rider, not mount. Apparently tactics from Session Play are not "standard tactics."
  • town of Snowbourn (in the south-eastern area of Rohan) to be the new player hub of the expansion.

description of trait lines

First off, there's five general stat areas you can sink points into. Agility, Strength, Power, Endurance, and Armor. Each takes five points to max out.

Then there's three different kinds of steed you can swap on the fly - Light, Medium, and Heavy. Light emphasizes speed, Heavy armor, and Medium is more of a balance.

Within each grade of horse, there's three trait lines: red (DPS), green (endurance and healing), and yellow (mobility).

The more points you sink into each line, the more traits you open up. Invest enough points and you can open up additional skills and stances. Note, though, that these skills are different depending on weight. Heavies get Ride for Ruin and Instigate in their red lines, while Mediums get Deadly Pursuit and Arise.

Further, you have different stances that align with each of these lines. Red Dawn for DPS, Rohirrim for endurance, and Riddermark for mobility. Certain traits in the line will only be active while in that stance. If you have, say, a Champ with the Heavy's 'Shields Will Be Splintered', then your attacks will apply a bleed.

And on top of all that, there's LI bridles for the mounts! You can kit them out to maximize the mount's stats, or specialize in particular trait lines. There's relics just for the bridles that improve mount stats, and even guild-crafted relics.

Stances: (In all 3 trees) 1. Red Dawn- heavy DPS 2. Riddermark-Distraction/ NPC control (as a burglar, I know that this line's use seems to be..more class specific) 3. Rohirrim-More supportish Bubbles. some evade....

Now.. The light and Heavy trait TREES. are the ones you're really interested in. Costs are not in yet. It's a piecemealed unlock for tree separately if you didn't buy the expansion.

Free Medium:

Non free:

"light"- A fast and agile light war-steed the courser's greater speed allows them to build fury at a quicker pace allowing the execution of more devestating fury fueled attacks. Great speed comes at the cost of endurance and armor.

Some Learned options:Has a feign injury, -minus threat, power restore, mount heal, group buff, and some other options as skills you can get as you trait

Heavy: This heavy war-steed Protects more than it speeds. the destrier's greater armor allows them to take moor damage and their enhanced power allows extensive use of special mount abilities. In trade, a s lower speed makes for slower fury generation and less overall mobility

Some Learned options: +Threat over time. +armor toggle, , + regen toggle (capstone includes boosts to regen as part of any skill use), group buff (armor,-power cost,+ block) , Trample-Knockback attack.

First you choose your mount type. Light, medium or heavy. Light is the fast and heavy hitting type. Heavy is slow and sturdy. Medium is what it is.

Each of these have their own three sub trees. Red, blue and yellow. Red has traits that increase damage output in different ways, such as increased offence, crit rating, skill range. Blue has traits to increase toughness; mitigations, morale, regens, etc. Yellow has traits to increase maneuverability; speed, acceleration, turning, etc. Some traits also grant you new skills. For example, the yellow trait line for light steeds have a skill that forces the target to ride alongside you. Each of the sub-trees have at least one skill.

You start at the top of the tree you want and unlock new traits as you distribute points.

Other than that, there are also the five generic traits with 5 levels for every mount type. These increase agility, strength, endurance, power and armour.

Re-specing is pretty simple, you just press that refund points button, pay some silver, pick your mount type and distribute points again. There are also multiple slots you can save different specs in.


  • Similar to hunter/RK
  • mount builds during combat.
  • Light, high-speed horses build Fury faster than the slower Heavy horses.
"Fury is really a way for us to express that speed is good, that moving in combat is good," Aaron explained. "As you build up Fury, it adds a passive bonus to your damage and your healing, and you can also cash it off for really big attacks." (TTH)

Hunter / War steed skills - Mounted only

Apparently all related to particular traits slotted to enable various skills.

Mounted Combat Mechanics

  • "you can unhorse (or unwarg, as the case may be) the enemy and then either run it down on horseback or fight it in the traditional way." (TTH)
  • "You knock a goblin off his warg, he might just jump up on your horse and start stabbing you in the neck." (TTH)
  • "A mounted Hunter plays like a Mongolian horse archer, speeding past his target at a short range and firing off quick shots to weaken it before charging in to finish it off with trampling hooves and thrusting spear or sword." (TTH)
  • "Champion character played a little differently, more like heavy cavalry with lots of melee attacks and relying more heavily on the charge." (TTH)
  • Auto Questing: "As you approach a warband, you’ll automatically be granted the quest to defeat it. With these new challenges that require more people to defeat, Turbine is also introducing another new mechanic: Open Tapping." (GF)
  • Open Tapping: "will allow you to get credit for a mob that you jump in and help kill, even if someone else has already tapped it. " (GF)
  • Remote Looting: "loot from mobs you kill while on your War Steed will be placed into a pop-up window on your UI, and you can loot it at your leisure." (GF)
  • "Mechanically, mounted combat is actually quite easy to pick up. You target an enemy mob, click the skill you want to use, and then charge toward the target. As soon as you get in range, the skill fires off. If you’re quick, you can sometimes get a second attack off in a single pass. If you’re out of range when your auto-attack comes up, your character will whip out a bow and take a shot at the target. Turbine plans to implement tutorials to help players learn the mounted combat systems, and that’s good, because over half the quests in the Riders of Rohan expansion are mounted quests." (GF)
  • "As you might expect, the Medium steed offers a balance between speed and survivability. The Light steed prioritizes speed, and the Heavy steed offers greater stamina. Speed plays an important role in LotRO’s mounted combat. Speed builds rage, which translates into a passive bonus to damage and healing. That means the Light steed has the highest damage potential, while the Heavy steed will have the most health." (GF)