The official site describes War-steeds as follows:
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.
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.
- Barrel Kick: Your steed leaps into the air, kicking out with its hind legs. The force of this attack has a chance to knock down all affected targets.
- Rear Back: In an act of aggression, your steed rears back onto its hind legs, breaking free of its bonds and placing fear into the hearts of all those around it.
Light Steed Train SkillsEdit
- Feign Injury: You fake an injury just long enough to divert the enemy's attention elsewhere.
Medium Steed Train SkillsEdit
- Intimidate: You let forth a mighty scream that frightens your enemy, forcing them to turn and flee from battle for a short time. Combine this with the Trait Deadly Pursuit to apply bleed damage when attacking from behind.
Heavy Steed Train SkillsEdit
- Ride for Ruin: You ride for ruin and for victory, greatly increasing your chance to land a critical hit.Combine this with the Trait Shields Will Be Splintered to apply bleed damage and armour reduction when you land a critical hit.
Trait Trees & SpecializationEdit
The three War-steed types in Riders of Rohan are further specialized by earning and allocating trait points. All three steed types have access to unique trait trees, each complementing the three disciplines:
- 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.
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.
- Know your roles: The class roles you use today continue, but with a combination of Disciplines and War-steed those roles can be expanded. A Guardian, Warden, or Champion may still be the best at tanking when riding a Heavy War-steed; however, there exists a real possibility for a Lore-master, Rune-keeper, or Hunter to serve as tank—with the correct Discipline, Steed and Advancement Path. The important thing to remember is the strengths and weaknesses of your War-steed and class.
- Mark your targets: As always, communication is paramount to success. Your target indicator will help track your immediate opponent, but your enemies (and friends) will cross the battlefield at rapid speeds. Use Fellowship Target Marking to maintain visibility on specific foes.
- Stay close to your group: Many healing and enhancing abilities are available to use in a Fellowship, but these will only apply to riders around you. Ride together.
- Maintain your speed: To maximize your healing and damage, you'll need to build your Fury. Keep your speed high to build this resource and unleash devastating blows.