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How Stats Work

How Stats Work

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 Winning

What'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:
Stats for Survivability
Stats for Damage
Stats for Tanking
Stats for Healing
If you are leveling a character or just starting to learn about stats, this article is for you. Be sure to check out our recommendations at the end of this article::(Stats for Leveling)

Where Do Stats Come From?

There are many different sources for your character's combat bonuses. Some are pretty obvious, like that +10 Vitality from the pair of boots you just equipped. Others are harder to track down, like the values you get for being a particular class, race and level. Still others are calculated based from a mashup of base stats, gear bonuses, class passives, virtues, race and class traits, food, potions, hope tokens, buffs and auras.

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.

Base Stats

There are a few key stats that are worth understanding as you level up. These are listed at the bottom of your character sheet (C).

Morale is what enemies attack; in other games this would be your health pool. When you run out of Morale, you are defeated. A few classes have skills that consume Morale when used. Heals refill your Morale bar, as do food and potions.

Power is consumed when you use your skills. Food and potions refill your power bar, and a few classes have skills that help them recover power. The Lore-master class can pass power to another player.

Armour reduces the damage you take in battle. It's a very desirable survivability stat for all classes - not just for heavy armor wearers.
  • reduces the damage you take from ordinary melee and ranged attacks, aka Common damage
  • reduces the damage you take from Shadow, Frost, Acid, Lightning and Fire attacks

Might is especially attractive to melee classes, and tanks.
  • adds to the damage you do with a melee weapon, aka Melee Offence
  • increases your ability to Block and Parry
  • reduces the Common damage you take

Agility is especially attractive to Hunters, melee classes and tanks.
  • adds to the damage you do with a bow or javelin, aka Ranged Offence
  • increases your ability to Evade and Parry
  • increases your chance to crit with a ranged or melee weapon
  • reduces your miss chance

Vitality is especially attractive to tanks, but it's a desirable survivability stat for all classes. Each point of Vitality adds 3 Morale for most classes. Guardians and Wardens get 5 Morale per point of Vitality.
  • increases your chance to resist Wound, Disease and Poison effects
  • reduces the damage you take from Shadow, Frost, Acid, Lightning and Fire attacks
  • increases your out-of-combat Morale regeneration rate (OCMR)

Will is especially attractive to healers and other casters. Each point of Will adds 3 Power.
  • increases the damage done by tactical skills, aka Tactical Offence
  • increases the size of your heals, especially for Minstrels, Rune-keepers, Captains and Lore-Masters
  • increases your chance to resist Fear effects, including Cowering
  • increases your out-of-combat Power regeneration rate (OCPR)

Fate is attractive to players looking for frequent, large criticals for tactical skills (including heals), and faster in-combat power and morale regeneration rates.
  • increases your chance to crit with a tactical skill
  • increases your in-combat Morale regen (ICMR)
  • increases your in-combat Power regen (ICPR)

Stats for Leveling: Recommendations

The stats that will help you most while leveling are the ones that help you win solo fights efficiently. Focus mostly on the Base Stats, since these also factor into many of the other stats.
  1. Be sure to buy your Passives from your class trainer!
  2. Every class can benefit from the survivability stats: Morale, Vitality, Armour, and +Melee Defence rating.
  3. Captains, Champions, Guardians, and Wardens need Might to improve melee damage. Burglars use Might as a secondary stat, after Agility. +Melee Critical rating is good stat for melee damage too.
  4. Burglars need Agility to improve hit chance and melee crits. The other melee classes use Agility as a secondary stat, after Might.
  5. Hunters need Agility to improve ranged damage, hit chance and crits. +Ranged Critical rating is another good stat for hunters.
  6. Minstrels, Lore-masters and Rune-keepers need Will to improve tactical damage (and heals). Fate is a good secondary stat to improve crits, as is +Tactical Critical rating.
  7. If you find you need more Power to finish your fights, add Will to increase your total Power and regen power more quickly between fights, or use food.

Related Articles

How Stats Work
Stats for Survivability
Stats for Damage
Stats for Tanking
Stats for Healing