Gear Check?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One of the tenements of LOTRO as a game is that grinding for the best gear wasn't going to be a hurdle along the way of completing content. That is, you don't need the best gear in the game in order to be an effective player. My captain is wearing as of this posting mostly the critted level 47 crafted heavy armor. This armor was not the best armor for the previous level cap of 50, but it was second best. And I only got it well after reaching the level cap and grinding out a ton of coin to purchase it on the AH.

Here I am at level 58 (33k from 59) and I'm still wearing some of it. That's over 10 levels beyond when you can first wear that armor. As a note of comparison, there are four other sets of crafted gear that I could have upgraded to (as long as it was critted gear) along the way. Why didn't I do this?

Well first, it's bloody expensive because the new crafting tier (supreme) is new along with all the materials - this means there's a high demand and thus high price. Second, this newness has also made these items and materials for these items scarce, again jacking up the price. And by the time I do find the items I'm looking for, I've out leveled them. Third, I need the critted version of the gear in order for all the extra stats (not just the armor value) to be an upgrade of my current gear. Lastly, and this is the point I'm really getting at, is that I haven't really needed it. Or do I?

First, I don't think this is a true gear check. A gear check, for those of you who don't know, is basically a set of content that cannot be completed without a specific set of gear be it stat bonuses or armor value. The Mines of Moria thus far has not seen me too hindered by my lack of gear. That said, I feel my armor beginning to become obsolete.

With Moria, the mobs are more smart. They use different and more powerful skills against you and hit harder. Better gear obviously mitigates this and as I've progressed, I've subtly noticed it. Not so much as to prevent me from completing the solo content in Moria or to reach the new level cap.

I cannot speak to group content such as instances or raids. I would imagine that because of the harder mobs that I might encounter a true gear check at this point. I still think that LOTRO does an excellent job of not punishing you too badly for having 10 level obsolete gear.

Lucky me I'm 5/6 pieces away from a full set of class specific level 60 gear. For Captains, this comes in three different sets: Rallying Shout/Stoutheart, Brazen Call, or Hall-General's Armor. The last on is the teal "Radiance" set which is the best armor in the game at the moment. Hard to get. I'll save talking about that for a future post. The armor I bought from the AH is the Rallying Shout and Stoutheart armor. All I'm missing is the helm. But I'll probably have it before I reach 60 so I can immediately put on the new armor.

Honestly, it's going to feel nice getting into a new high level set of gear with appropriate stats. I can't wait to see the difference in combat. I'll certainly be making a post about reaching 60 and my new armor. I'll make sure to include a screenshot of the new stuff as I've dyed it all to replace one of my outfit sets. It's not the best looking armor in the game but not many of the high level captain sets are in my opinion. Perhaps only the North Star set from the Rift is visually appealing to me (aside from this level 60 set). I'm so glad we have the outfit system. I'd be one ugly captain.

And then of course is the critted Jewelry which will help round out my stats... but that'll be very expensive.

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