With Stat Tomes 50% off through the end of the month, we thought it a great time to revisit our series on Stats.
In most MMOs character stats are an integral part of the combat system itself, and LOTRO is no exception. In this series of articles I'll try to explain what the numbers mean, and help you decide which ones to care about. Let's get started.
Stats Are For WinningWhat's the goal of combat? To win! Or, put another way, to defeat your opponent before he defeats you. To do that, you'll need both offense and defense. Some folks prefer a bit more offense for faster killing, others prefer a bit more defense for fewer defeats along the way. And that's the simplest way of looking at stats: some improve damage, others help survivability. If you find you are having trouble winning your fights, you probably need more stats.
Looking a little deeper, there's another category of stats: ones that help you do your group role. In groups you may be more of a specialist than a generic fighter. For example, a healer who is well defended by her group doesn't need to focus much on personal defense or doing damage; she's trying to get the most from her heals. Practically speaking, however, you can focus on just the offensive and defensive stats while leveling. When you start grouping in more difficult content (usually around level 50), you can start thinking more about specialist stats.
If you already have a character near the level cap, you're probably looking for an in-depth discussion of the more specialized stats. Feel free to skip ahead to the next four articles of this series:
Where Do Stats Come From?
Let's consider one of the simpler stats, Morale:
- Class, Level, Race. Your "naked" morale, without any gear, traits, buffs, or auras is determined by your class and level, adjusted for your race. You can see stats by level for the Minstrel class on Lorebook, for example. The Morale number will be accurate for Man minstrels, but too low for Dwarfs and Hobbits who get a racial bonus to Vitality. Vitality adds an indirect bonus to Morale too, as I'll explain in the Base Stats section. The number will be 20 points too high for Elves, who have a racial penalty to Morale.
- Gear. When you put your gear on you'll see your Morale jump due to +Morale bonuses on the gear, as well as the indirect Morale from +Vitality bonuses on the gear.
- Traits. Slotting virtues like Valour and Loyalty that add Morale or Vitality will increase your total Morale further. Some class traits, like the Minstrel trait Enduring Morale, add to total Morale.
- Stat Tomes. New with Free to Play, a stat tome will boost one of your base stats (Agility, Fate, Might, Vitality or Will) by 10. These are obtained either as rare drops in-game or from the LOTRO Store. You could apply up to 5 Tomes of Vitality, to increase your total Morale further.
- Food. Some trail foods like Cup of Red Tea add to Vitality and provide the indirect bonus to Morale.
- Buffs. Buffs can increase Morale directly, or by raising your Vitality. These include class skills that temporarily increase Vitality or Morale, for example, the minstrel's Tale of Battle. You can spend destiny points for a Morale buff as well.
- Auras. Some items like a Captain's Hope banner emit an aura that increases Morale. NPCs that are important heroes of the Lord of the Rings storyline like Elrond and Gandalf emit an aura that increases Hope. Like Vitality, Hope indirectly increases Morale if there's enough of it to offset any Dread in the vicinity.
If you find all of this a bit daunting, take heart. The flipside of the complexity is flexibility. Can't get enough of your favorite stats from gear? This system lets you make up the shortfall with Virtues, food and buffs.
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