Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A WASTED OPPORTUNITY


Observe these two items of equipment: though lacking the "must-have" chic of teal items, they are good, solid bits of armour, carrying some very desirable increases in stats - the +30 Agility, +15 Will and +45 Power you would get from the Leggings of Mirkwood are not to be sneezed at, and even the "green" Dwarf Leather Gloves of Might look useful.

Alas, it is a dead cert that nobody has ever worn these pieces of armour into battle, nor the many dozens like them. Why? Because they can only be equipped by players who have reached the giddy heights of level 50, and nobody else. Which is completely inane, since l.50s have a wide choice of crafted or reward items with stats vastly superior to these; anybody sticking their nose into Helegrod or Barad Gularan wearing similar items (never mind the Rift) is heading for a quick wipe. On the other hand, players around, say, l.40 would give their eyeteeth for some of these items.

This has always struck me as one the odder (and, I suspect, lazier) design decisions of the game; LOTRO is chock-a-block with weapons and armour of all kinds whose use is limited to levels 48-50. The iron law of marketing which states that top-level players will invariably make a beeline for the best available equipment the game offers, ignoring everything else, also guarantees that such second-rate (for their level) items will become nothing more than vendor thrash. Which, like every wasted opportunity, is a pity. A drastic down-grading of minimum levels for a lot of this stuff would be a sensible future move.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more!

Meth.

The One True Blogger said...

Yeah another great post agree 100% and is one of the things I hope to chat the Devs about at Connect 08. As it seems that there is a bit of a gap in the lv 40 to 47 for decent gear.

Bad_Panda

Darzil said...

The way it works is this. At any given level, a yellow item has 25% more Armour than a white one. A purple item has 50% more Armour than a white one. A teal item has 62.5% more Armour than a white one. The stats also increase as the tier increases. The armour is proportional to the level in addition.

This means that a level 50 White item has the same armour as a level 40 yellow one. A level 50 yellow item has similar armour to a level 42 purple one. A level 50 purple item has similar armour to a level 43 Teal item (if they exist).

Though there are some exceptions, the level of an item is the level of the quest it can be obtained, or the minimum level that the item can be equipped (if a drop), or three higher than the minimum level that the item can be equipped (if a crafted item). Generally the exceptions occur at the end of long quest chains, hard quests or epic quests.

And yes, it means that some items can be junk, unless you are a person who finds particular stats useful, and they aren't available elsewhere. Minstrels, for example, may be really interested in yellow items with in-combat power regen, which any melee class would avoid due to the low armour.

When I get stuff like that I just assume that it is equivilent to sell loot.

Incidentally, the legs you've shown are better than the non-crit non-single use top tier crafted ones (same armour, +30 Agility, +22 Max Power, +3% Poison resistance), and better for some than the non-crit single use top tier crafted ones (same armour, +30 Will, +90 Power). All you can say is certain is that it, as a top level purple item, is inferior to top level teal items.

Taldric said...

Hey Kairos,

I completely agree with you on this. But I'm afraid there's no better option if you still want humanoids to randomly drop pieces of armour. Somehow, everybody will try to run around in the best possible armour for their level. That doesn't mean all the other items are worthless, as I found out last sunday, during my first Rift Raid. Thor said the contents of some box were worthless vendor items, but yet 3 of the 5 items were better than what I had equipped at that moment (they were al purple though). So I got to upgrade my equipment a little bit, but it's nowhere near the maximum possible (i.e. the Rift Armour set).

Great articles by the way. Really enjoyed reading all of them!