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Stats for Damage

Stats for Damage

Want to deal massive damage? Don't we all! Damage dealing is a key aspect of questing, skirmishing and grouping in LOTRO. Doing more damage usually makes things easier, faster and more fun. In this article we discuss how to boost your damage in Mirkwood.

Better Damage without Math

Damage calculations in LOTRO are complicated, and let's face it: math is not that much fun for most folks. So let's skip ahead to my general recommendations for stats that increase damage:
  • Buff base damage first. Base damage affects every attack, even crits. That's because crit size is a multiple of base damage in LOTRO.
    • For melee and ranged attacks, get better weapon DPS
    • For tactical attacks by Minstrels, Lore-masters and Rune-keepers over level 50, get a higher rank of Tactical Damage Rating on your legendary weapon
    • For shield attacks by Guardians over level 50, get a higher rank of Shield Use Rank on your legendary belt
  • Offence stats for Melee, Ranged and Tactical are multiplied with base damage * 
    • 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.
    • Burglars need Agility to improve hit chance and melee crits. The other melee classes use Agility as a secondary stat, after Might.
    • Hunters need Agility to improve ranged damage, hit chance and crits. +Ranged Critical rating is another good stat for hunters.  
    • 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.
  • Criticals are a significance source of additional damage * 
    • The best source of critical chance for most classes is Passives - don't forget to buy them from the class trainer!
    • Direct +critical rating bonuses are often easier to stack than raw stats
    • Agility adds Hit chance, Evade rating, Melee Critical rating and Ranged Critical rating, making it a great stat for melee and ranged classes
    • Fate adds to Tactical Critical rating and magnitude

                * Tactical Offence is the damage dealt using tactical skills. Bleeds and DoTs(Damage over Time) are Tactical Offense. If you prefer more bleed damage, Will increases Tactical Offence Damage, while Fate increases Tactical Critical Damage. HoTs(Heals over Time) are also effected by Will/Fate in the same manner.

There's More To It Than Stats

For damage, stats are only the beginning of the story; there are several other factors that affect the damage you deal. These aren't the focus of this article, however I'll offer some general recommendations here as well:
  • The damage you do with class skills is only partially affected by your stats. Often there's something unique to the skills: a fixed amount of damage added in, a better-than-average critical chance or magnitude, something added when a particular class trait is slotted, a bonus when skills are used in a particular order, etc.
    • Read the tooltips of your class skills and traits carefully to understand what makes each skill unique
    • Visit the forums for your class and ask which traits and skill order folks prefer for best damage
  • Legacies on legendary weapons (level 50+) can provide an enormous increase to your damage
    • Some legacies increase the damage or crits of your skills
    • Some legacies allow you to better penetrate your target's defenses
    • Visit the class forums and ask which legacies folks prefer for best damage
  • Buffs & debuffs from group members can provide an enormous increase to your damage
  • Mob defenses can have a big impact on your ability to damage them

In the rest of this article, I'll dig into the stats part in more detail. A lot of these use those big ratings numbers I explained in the Stats for Survivability.

DPS, Tactical Rank and Shield Use Rank

You'll find the stats that affect your base damage on the Combat Effectiveness tab, in the Damage column.

Tactical Rank is a meaningful stat for Minstrel, Rune-keeper and Lore-master. It's the "level-up" stat for dealing tactical damage: the higher it is, the more potent your tactical damage skills are. Until level 50, it matches the player's level. After level 50 the three tactical damage classes can continue to increase it via ranks of Tactical Damage Rating (TDR) on their legendary weapons: minstrel weapon, rune-keeper stone, and lore-master staff. Higher level and better quality legendary weapons have more ranks of TDR. On average each rank increases the damage done by tactical skills by more than 1%.

Guardians see Shield Use Rank instead of Tactical Rank. It's the "level-up" stat for damage done by shield skills: the higher it is, the more damage you'll do. Until level 50, it matches the player's level. After level 50 Guardians can continue to increase it via ranks of Shield Use Rating (SUR) on their legendary belt. Higher level and better quality legendary belts have more ranks of SUR. Each rank increases the damage done by 1.5% - 2%, depending on the skill. It's additive with the Shield Damage legacy.

The Melee DPS, Off-Hand DPS and Ranged DPS stats simply report the DPS of the weapon you currently have in those slots, if any. This is the same value that is shown in the tooltip for the weapon. In a sense DPS is the "level-up" stat for classes that deal physical damage since higher level and better quality weapons have higher DPS, both before and after level 50.

Many class skills use one or more of the stats in the Damage column to calculate the base damage of the skill.

Melee Offence, Ranged Offence and Tactical Offence

The Offense stats can contribute a lot to your overall damage. Each adds a straight bonus on top of the damage your attacks would do normally. There are three seperate Offence stats, one for each of the damage types: melee, ranged and tactical.

Offence ratings convert to a percentage increase over the base damage of skills. Offense from ratings is capped at 30% (not 15% as with other ratings-based stats).

Skills that provide a percentage-based bonus to skill damage, such as Rune-keeper's traited Calming Verse, can push your Offence to well over 30%.

The ratings portion of your Offences are calculated from your base stats. Usually one of the three Offences - Melee, Ranged, or Tactical - is clearly best for each class, because the bonus for that Offense is significantly bigger than bonuses for other stats. For example, a Lore-Master gets 10 points of Tactical Offence rating per point of Will, but only 3 points of Melee Offence rating per point of Might. Wardens get equally large Offence bonuses from both Might and Agility, although Melee Offense is generally more useful to them since the majority of their skills are melee.

  Best Offence Stats to Offence
Burglar Melee Might * 7
Captain Melee Might * 10
Champion Melee Might * 10
Guardian Melee Might * 10
Hunter Ranged Agility * 10
Lore-master Tactical Will *10
Minstrel Tactical Will *10
Rune-keeper Tactical Will *10
Warden Melee / Ranged Might * 10, Agility * 10

An easy (although not always cheap) way to raise Offences temporarily is to use a Scroll of Battle Lore, made by scholars.


Criticals (crits) are rare, extra-powerful attacks (and heals, for Tactical classes). They do an extra 25% to 100% damage (or healing), depending on the skill. Your general chance to crit is calculated from a Critical Chance rating number derived from base stats + passives + bonuses from traits and gear. Crit chance from ratings is capped at 15%.

It's important to note that some class skills have a built-in higher-than-normal chance to crit, or higher-than-normal crit magnitude, that is independent of your Criticial Effect stats.

Devastate Criticals (dev crits or supercrits) are super-rare, but do an extra 150% to 200% damage (or healing). Your chance to devastate is usually one-third of your normal crit chance %. Critical Multiplier bonuses add to the size of the critical portion of a crit or dev crit by a fixed percentage. Critical multiplier bonuses are not shown in the stats panel.

There are three types of Criticals: Melee, Ranged and Tactical. The value shown in the stats panel is the raw Critical Chance rating for each.

Melee Criticals are an important source of damage for melee classes and situationally useful to Captains for unlocking defeat response skills. Each point of Agility adds 2 points to your Melee Critical Chance rating. Burglars, Champions and Wardens get large Melee Critical passives from their class trainers.

Ranged Criticals are an important source of damage for Hunters. Each point of Agility adds 2 points to your Ranged Critical Chance rating. Hunters also get very large Ranged Critical passives from their class trainer.

Tactical Criticals are an important source of damage for tactical classes. Each point of Fate 2 two points to your Tactical Critical Effect Chance rating. Rune-keepers get large Tactical Critical passives from their class trainer.

Related Articles

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