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How Radiance Works

How Radiance Works

Radiance is an armour stat that acts like a buff to offset the Gloom in some raid encounters. Before the Siege of Mirkwood expansion, Radiance also offset Dread (from defeat, fell stones and Shadows of Angmar era raids) - no more. If you read a post or guide that shows a conversion of Radiance to Hope, it's probably out of date.

Bottom line: unless you raid in Moria or Mirkwood, radiance is a useless stat to you.

How Does Radiance Work?

Exactly how radiances works, unfortunately, is quite complicated. LOTRO has two "hopeful" mood modifiers - Hope and Radiance - that are similar to one another, but not identical. Likewise there are two similar-but-not-quite-the-same "dreadful" mood modifiers: Dread and Gloom. Through a maze of rules and math that would be at home on a tax return, you arrive at a net mood value on the Hope/Dread scale.

Still, radiance plays a significant role in determining your mood in end game raids. As your mood dives into the Dread zone, you become increasingly less effective in combat.
  • At 1+ Dread, your morale and combat effectiveness start to decrease.
  • At 3+ Dread, you start to lose effective levels, and your skills become less potent.
  • At 8+ Dread you may cower every 10 seconds.
  • At 11+ Dread cowering can no longer be resisted, and you will cower every 10 seconds.
In other words, raiding with Dread sucks. With more than one or two Dread your ability to function well in a raid is severely impaired. You'll want to have enough "hopeful" modifiers from Radiance and Hope to keep your net Dread to a bare minimum.

Radiance Math

You can see your mood on the Hope/Dread scale by mousing over the icon in the lower right rim of your mini map. It's listed in the top line of the tooltip. If you are in the Dread end of the scale, you'll see something like "Dread: 9"; in the Hope end it will be something like "Hope: 3" instead.

If you have Dread you'll need to add some Radiance and/or Hope to get to a level where you can function well.

I'll use a real example (the first pull in Barad Guldur) to make the calculation a little clearer. I popped into Barad Guldur wearing just 55 Radiance, and as you can see I'm already 9 deep in the Dread zone and cowering. No way I'll be able to raid like this!


Here's where the maze of rules starts.

Rule #1 : Radiance cancels Gloom. My Radiance cancels 55 of the 150 area Gloom, leaving 95 "Power of Darkness". If you have more Radiance than Gloom, by the way, your Power of Darkness value is 0. No bonus for extra radiance.

Rule #2: Excess Gloom rounds down when converted to Dread. The Gloom that is not cancelled by Radiance, aka Power of Darkness, is converted to Dread at a rate of 10:1. In my example of have 95 Power of Darkness, so 95 / 10 = 9 Dread. There's no such thing as half a point of Dread in the game, so the extra 5 Power of Darkness isn't counted. This is good news since it means that wearing 115 Radiance has exactly the same effect as wearing 120 Radiance.

Rule #3: Hope cancels Dread. For the rest of the calculation my total Dread (including Dread from other sources like defeat) is cancelled by my total Hope, and I am left with a mood somewhere on the Hope/Dread scale.

Since I still have Dread it's time to add some Hope by popping a token, spending Destiny Points, or using one of the rare stackable Hope buffs like the chain turn-in from the Balrog. It's pretty common to use +5 Hope tokens and a + 1 Hope DP buff on a raid for +6 Hope. In my example that's still not enough Radiance + Hope to cancel out the Gloom for the trash pulls in Barad Guldur, let alone the bosses. I need more Radiance!

How Much Radiance is Enough?

First, remember that Radiance is needed only for three specific raids in Moria and Mirkwood. Other raids and instances may have Dread, but it can be countered with a Hope token and other hope buffs.

Vile Maw ("The Watcher")

The minimum radiance for the Vile Maw is 45. 75+ is ideal.

Dar Narbugud

The minimum radiance for the Dar Narbugud is 65. More is needed for the harder bosses, especially the Blind One. 115+ is ideal.

Barad Guldur

The minimum radiance for the Barad Guldur is 115. More is needed for Hard Mode attempts and the Lieutenant fight. 175+ is ideal, but you'll need to raid Barad Guldur to get that much.

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