There’s a new devblog for the Lord of the Rings Online detailing the process of how creating the Brawler came about. Since this was the first new class added to the game in years, it was not a process undertaken lightly.
Since the Brawler is a melee class, the team was inspired in part by Helm Hammerhand who fought barehanded in Helm’s Deep. They used that concept to come up with just how the new class would play, move, and how well the Brawler would work in teams and in the overall lore.
The systems designer FriendlyHat said “one of my favorite things about the Brawler is the audacity it takes to march into battle without a regular weapon“. Following that came the idea of how the Brawler will fight and then they came up with the Battle Gauntlets. In a game that has musical instruments and swords in play, Battle Gauntlets just offer a suitable new option and variety.
The devblog also goes into the concept art and how they got the Battle Gauntlets to look correct on the player character models. Also important was making the gauntlets themselves. How would they look? What varieties would be available? They spent time considering this as well as conceptualizing different types of metals, different themes, and options that would help make each piece feel right in the world of Middle-earth. Since there is a tapestry of Helm Hammerhand already in the game they pulled from that for inspiration too, as well as the armor made for Riders of Rohan, since Helm Hammerhand was a Rohirric fighter. These all blend in the final release you can play now.
You can check out the full behind the scenes devblog about creating the Brawler class, including concept art, test animations, and more at the Lord of the Rings Online.