In a new dev diary Lotro team discussed two main issues from which many different problems spread:
- It is nearly impossible to accurately predict the combinations of gear that players will wear in order to get themselves to their stat caps.
- Steps between gear levels was too small, too incremental
The solutions are:
The Solo Player: The Solo Player benefits from these changes because they will see more consistent upgrades from the quest content they are consuming. Reputation rewards, skirmish rewards and epic book rewards provide some excellent upgrades for these players once they finish with their region content. Over time the Solo Player can, through the skirmish system, purchase enough Superior Fourth Marks to barter for the first four pieces of their class raid set. We think it’s important that dedicated soloers have the ability to obtain these critical rewards, even if the final two pieces will require a raid to acquire.
The Crafter: The Crafter will have their typical wealth of crafting options, as well as a few special reputation recipes and a few raid quality crafting items. Raid crafting recipes and items can be traded, so we expect this to serve as a profitable endeavor for the diligent crafter.
The Casual Group player: We identify this player as someone who enjoys three player instances, duo and three player skirmishes, and the occasional six player instance or skirmish. These players get a wealth of options. With Rise of Isengard we’ve added hundreds of new instance items and added tech that allows us to drop them in skirmishes and scaled instances. So now not only are you earning skirmish marks and campaign tokens, you’ll also be looting chests with real gear inside! This type of player will also have the opportunity to earn Superior Fourth Marks from challenge quests in any level 75 instance space. As mentioned earlier, Superior Fourth Marks can be used to purchase the first four pieces of your set gear.
The Raid-friendly player: The LOTRO Raider will earn raid level gear when completing 12 man skirmishes, defeating scaling raid and regular raid bosses. They also earn Superior Fourth Marks when they defeat raid bosses or complete instance and raid challenge modes. The final pieces of the raid set are available for them to obtain within the raid content itself.
A new stat called Finesse will be added. Finesse is a rating, not dissimilar from offense rating or critical strike rating. You will find it on quest gear, you will find it in instance loot, you will find it all over the place, and is not intended to be a replacement for Radiance!
Radiance required you to grind for extremely specific loot in order to be effective in a raid space; we’re not going back to that world. The hope is that a player will be about at their maximum finesse efficiency by wearing roughly 3 pieces on-level with the space. So a raid player might walk into a raid wearing four rare quality items with finesse on them, but after gearing up in the raid cut down to three incomparable items with finesse on them. We’re also not requiring you to wear it, there will be plenty of non-finesse options along all gear types. We just hope that the option to be parried, blocked, resisted or evaded less seems valuable since it means consistent DPS.