May 11, 2020

LOTRO Animation Cancelling Game Mechanic Guide - Maximizing DPS and Attack Speed


In this guide, I have a quick tip on animation cancelling in the Lord of the Rings Online. This method of combat allows you to increase DPS, quickly finish skills, and potentially smoothen gameplay.


This guide has three parts:

·    Overview on animation cancelling with video examples

·    Class-by-class animation cancelling abilities

·    Closing notes


In this guide, you may notice the use of the words “ability” and “skill”, these refer to the same thing and are used interchangeably.


Animation Cancelling Overview


In LOTRO, ability speeds are inherent properties of every ability in the game that determine how fast your skill will trigger when you press or click the button to activate the ability. The three possible speeds are:

·    Normal (no text is displayed)

·    Fast

·    Immediate


By using an immediate ability, your character instantly stops what they are doing to perform the action of the immediate ability. Thus, cancelling the animation.


Animation cancelling has three basic steps:

1.      Use an ability (that you want to cancel the animation of)

2.      Wait for the ability to trigger (usually a fraction of a second)

3.      Use an immediate ability


This is often done with powerful, long-animation abilities to quickly trigger the full attack/benefits of the ability to skip the animation and be able to quickly use your other abilities.


One important note is on what immediate abilities you use. Most immediate abilities provide some utility or strong benefit to you or your group. It may be wise to save their use for when needed, to not ‘waste’ them on DPS and faster actions. 


Many immediate abilities interrupt inductions, a powerful effect.


Below is a video showing animation cancelling (right) as it compares to the normal animation of abilities (left) on a few classes with some popular combinations of abilities to animation cancel.




Immediate Skills by Class


Below is a list of immediate skills that can be used to animation cancel (excluding long CD skills) sorted by class, alphabetically.



Viscious Claws – Interrupts inductions and deals damage (gaining other benefits from class traits).



Addle – Interrupts inductions and increases induction time. Improved Addle adds a tactical damage debuff to the enemy.

Double-edged Strike – Unlocked by a critical hit at the start of the critical chain, it deals damage and opens critical chain finishers.



Kick – Interrupts inductions and deals damage.




Clobber – Interrupts inductions and deals damage. Costs 1 fervour.


Battle Frenzy Yellow line - adds fervour.


Sweeping Riposte Blue line - available after parrying, it deals AoE damage.


Sudden Defence Blue line - adds a personal bubble, absorbing damage.


Unbreakable Blue line - defensive buff that increase morale and tactical mitigation. After being hit, Mighty Roar unlocks, another immediate skill that deals AoE damage.



Stamp – Interrupts inductions and deals damage.


Ignore the Pain – Removes debuffs.



Hunters do not get an immediate skill (that is used to animation cancel).


Lore Masters do not get an immediate skill (that is used to animation cancel).



Cry of the Chorus – gives a buff, based on stance, to improve ballads and codas among other boosts.

Gift of the Hammerhand – Gives a bubble to the target, absorbing damage.


Soliloquy of Spirit Blue line – heals the target.



Rune Keeper

Final Word – interrupts the target, attuning 3 neutral attunement. Improved Final Word removes up to 3 corruptions.

Word of Exaltation – Gives a bubble to the target, absorbing damage.


Essay of Exaltation Blue line – ground targeted ability that gives a bubble to nearby allies, absorbing damage.


Wardens do not get an immediate skill.




Closing Thoughts


Cancelling animations can allow you to continue to use other abilities in combat faster, ultimately allowing for more damage or the ability to use important abilities earlier. For classes with long animations, such as Guardians and Champions, it can make gameplay feel smoother, allowing for some skills to have a more immediate impact (such as Sweeping Cut). Frequently, animation cancelling will just increase kill speed, however, it may save you sometimes! It is often important to save immediate utility skills for their use and not use them just for animation cancelling. This is especially true with cooldowns and interrupts!


On a personal note, I am not a big fan of animation cancelling being a thing, in particularly of it being needed for a class to perform optimally. I believe any utility skill that has a niche use should not have a use for animation cancelling. On the other hand, it is important for interrupts and similar skills to go off quickly after their use – for some classes with long animations, having them immediately go off is important.



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As I work on class mini guides, I have noticed some important game mechanics that are worth their own topic. I will be formatting mini guides knowing that these have been or will be released. As the game mechanic topics come up, I will focus on those guides. Otherwise, I am still working on class mini guides!