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Stat Changes: Better or Worse?

June 21, 2011

AHHHHHHHH!!!! Run for the hills!!!!

Just kidding. 😀

The Devs dropped a huge bomb on us today with a Developer Diary by Graalx2 about stat updates coming in Rise of Isengard.

My gut reaction was “NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Not my build!!!!!”

My second thought was “hmm….could be a good thing.”

Here is a run-down of all of the changes, with my comments:

New stat: Finesse

  • A completely new stat called Finesse will lower the b/p/e of opponents.
    • Concerns have been raised on the forums that this is the new Radiance. However, Graalx2 responded that it will probably only have a minimum impact on raiding, as the raid bosses will probably only have 35% b/p/e or so, and Finesse will be available from crafted gear of about 10-15% and raid gear will provide about 10-15% more, making it very achievable to get bosses to “normal” b/p/e.
    • The fact that mobs will be able to use Finesse against us will help mitigate the effects of the b/p/e cap increase (coming down a ways in the post).
    • It is interesting that this will also be included on PvMP loot, so I am sure there will be a corresponding Corruption on Creepside or something to increase Monster Players’ Finesse (though I am amused and wondering if it will be possible for an Elf to have less Finesse than an Orc).

Stat Caps

  • Primary stat caps are being completely removed (Might, Agility, Vitality, Will, and Fate).
    • This is a game changer, because as most of you know, we have a cap at 10*level currently. That means that most of my characters have their primary stat (like Agility for my hunter or Vitality for my warden) at 600, that way I can take full advantage of the In Defense of Middle Earth buff that is available from captains, which increases all stats by 50.
    • My hunter can actually reach cap on Agility and Vitality simultaneously if I want him to, as with +46 Vitality food, I reach around 600. I usually prefer to go for power and power regen vs Vitality in a group situation, though.
    • This will change how we build, because now there will be hunters running around with 800+ Agility, since the cap will not only be raised to 750 like we were expecting, but completely gone! You might think things like ranged crit will be out of this world…which leads to the next change…
  • Caps on secondary stats (b/p/e, resistances, offence, incoming healing etc.) have been raised (not eliminated).
    • Here is a chart that might help explain this:
      Stat New Percentage Previous Percentage
      Block 25% 15%
      Parry 25% 15%
      Evade 25% 15%
      Incoming Healing 25% 15%
      Outgoing Healing 50% 30%
      Melee, Ranged, and Tactical Offense 50% 30%
      Resistance 50% 30%

      What will this do to the game as we know it? I honestly have no idea. It is a striking return to the way things were in Shadows of Angmar, Pre-Moria. There were not any caps (as I understand it, remember I came into the game towards the end of Moria), but there were also no partial avoidances (which by the way will stay at the same cap).

    • This could lead to genuine warden evade tanks, particularly if they are able to pull off more Parry and Evade than guardians. A tank at cap will avoid 75% of attacks, then what does get through will have to make it through partial b/p/e and then past mitigations. This could be a problem for designing content, which was the argument for caps in the first place, but this depends solely on a tank being able to cap out all of their avoidances, which will be extremely difficult because…
  • Primary stats and ratings will still contribute with diminishing returns to percentages.
    • This is currently in effect, as power-draining classes like hunters and wardens know very well. Fate, for example, is only worth getting up to about 400 for its power-regen properties. This chart at Math of Middle Earth shows the declining contribution of Fate. As the diary put it, “while it takes 4550 ratings to reach +15% at level 65 it will take 8850 to reach 25%.”

Stat consolidations

  • Resistances to Wound, Poison, Disease, and Fear will be combined into one stat, Resistance.
    • In other words, Fear, Poison, Disease, and Wound will each check against your resistance to effects in general versus each individual effect.
    • This makes the recent proposed changes to Lore-Masters make a little more sense, as Orion was talking about removing the resistance buffs currently present in our Wound and Disease cure skills.
    • I am very interested to see what the Devs will do about Virtues that have resistance stats on them. I slot Charity when going into the Moors on my hunter, for example, because I take the fire DoT from Blackarrows all the time. The wound resist might be made into just Resistance, but that would lead to a lot of redundancy on traits that have different resistances.
  • Fire, Lightning, Acid, Frost, and Shadow will all be combined into Tactical Resistance.
    • I really hope this happens on Creepside too, as Monster players currently have to pick which Tactical class they would most like to have kill them…
  • Critical Rating is combined.
    • No longer will ranged crit be separate from melee crit. Therefore, hunters’ melee capabilities will be increased…hmm…sounds familiar.

Primary Stat Contribution Changes

  • Deletion of Secondary Characteristics
    • For those a little sketchy on what Graalx2 means by this, I am thinking it means that some classes derive their stats more from one primary stat vs others. For example, champions get more melee offense from might than a burglar, despite the fact that both are exclusively melee classes, and a hunter gets less Parry from Might than a champion (though who cares, as my hunter has no Might). It could also mean the Passive Traits that we receive as we go through our levels, which some classes get more of than others. This is simply leveling the playing field. This transfers into another change…
  • Primary stat will influence offense ratings
    • Main change I notice is burglars and hunters will derive their melee offense from Agility now vs. from Might (finally!). This will be a HUGE bonus to hunters in the melee area, again sounding familiar. This eliminates my main concern about including more melee capabilities in the hunter class, which was the fact that Might is typically completely eliminated from hunter builds.
    • A weird change is lore-masters will derive their melee offense from Will. Someone please explain to me how willing yourself to hit harder will make more of a difference than working out…
    • Here is a quick run-down of the classes and their new Melee, Ranged, and Tactical Offense Primary Stats, which for healing classes also affects their Outgoing Healing.
      • Burglar: Agility
      • Captain: Might
      • Champion: Might
      • Hunter: Agility
      • Guardian: Agility
      • Lore-master: Will
      • Minstrel: Will
      • Rune-keeper: Will
      • Warden: Might

These are all very interesting changes, but we will see how they pan out. I am particularly interested in Finesse and seeing how it interacts in raids.

The one thing I do not like about these changes is the reduction of the number of stats (e.g. resistances) and the reduction of ways to build (i.e. a focus on Primary Stat + Vitality for soloing). This is another example of an seemingly overall focus on simplifying the game. Hopefully, with the introduction of Finesse, we will have more interesting ways to build.

I can’t wait to see what the next bomb will be! Perhaps some more information on Legendary Items? Who knows!

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