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LotRO: Developer Diary - Traits Mastery

Discussion in 'LotRO News and Announcements' started by Orvago, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Orvago

    Orvago Stratics' Finest
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

    Feb 26, 2004
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    The Lord of the Rings Online has released a Developer Diary detailing Traits within the game and how they will be perceived within the upcoming expansion, the Mines of Moria. You may read the official release here on the Turbine LotRO Web Site or continue to Read More for all the details right here at LotRO Stratics!

    Developer Diary - Traits Mastery


    Equipping your characters with armor and weapons isn't enough—not when sending them out to battle the evil forces of Middle-earth. To give your characters the best chance for survival and advancement, you also should equip them with Traits.

    Traits are among the greatest treasures your characters can gain. They make the game more enjoyable and add a little complexity. You can also mix and match them to personalize your characters and optimize their skills and combat abilities. If you're curious if other members of your Fellowship are so equipped, you can view their Traits by highlighting a character in question and using "inspect" from the drop down menu.

    There are four different types of traits: Class Traits, Virtues, Race, and Legendary traits.

    Traits are acquired by completing Deeds and Quests, by obtaining specific levels, and by using some skills. Each Trait bestows various effects, sort of like permanent "buffs." For example, the Virtue Traits called Justice and Mercy increase your character's Morale and Power. Confidence increases your Will and gives you additional Fear resistance, and Loyalty increases your Vitality and non-combat Power regeneration. Benefits gained from a certain Trait also "stack" with those accrued from other Traits. So it is possible to take two Traits that offer Wound Resistance and gain the bonuses from both.

    Each Trait produces three effects of some type: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary typically increases the quickest. The secondary and tertiary effects move at significantly slower paces—or sometimes not at all for certain ranks and levels. Once you decide what type of character you want to play, choose the Traits that best reflect the career path you want the character to follow.

    Class Traits are organized in three distinct sets, with eight members each. These traits can modify core stats as well as directly manipulate your skills and abilities. The more traits from a particular line you elect to slot, the more powerful your character will be at that job.

    Your race traits are very basic abilities that are given to every member of a particular race. They can be as small as a minor combat attack to as large as a full mitigation bonus.

    Legendary Traits are powerful new abilities, or large stat bonuses that can improve your characters effectiveness in a massive way.

    Acquiring Traits

    There are four main categories: Virtue, Race, Class, and Legendary, with a limited number of available slots for each. As you gain levels, more of these slots open. Your current Trait assignments can be accessed at any time by bringing up the Traits interface using Control-J, or with the new Traits icon.

    (Click for full size)
    Your Traits user-interface at 1st-level.
    (Click for full size)

    The number of slots you have opened (or not "locked" as indicated above) is based on your Deed completion and character level. A new character lacks slots for Traits. But time and a good dose of adventuring change that, because slots open as you gain levels. For The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, three additional Trait slots have been added: two in Class and one in Legendary.

    Slot 1

    Slot 2

    Slot 3

    Slot 4

    Slot 5

    Slot 6

    Slot 7


    Lvl 7 ​

    Lvl 9 ​

    Lvl 11 ​

    Lvl 17 ​

    Lvl 23 ​

    - ​

    - ​


    Lvl 13 ​

    Lvl 19 ​

    Lvl 25 ​

    Lvl 31 ​

    Lvl 37 ​

    - ​

    - ​


    Lvl 15 ​

    Lvl 21 ​

    Lvl 27 ​

    Lvl 33 ​

    Lvl 39 ​

    Lvl 53* ​

    Lvl 57* ​


    Lvl 41 ​

    Lvl 45 ​

    Lvl 60* ​

    - ​

    - ​

    - ​

    - ​

    *Slot added for The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria.
    You'll need some help applying the Traits you gain along the way. In other words, after earning a Trait you'll find that you cannot "equip" it yourself. You'll have to seek out a Bard to accomplish that. Not to be confused with a Minstrel, the non-player character Bard can equip (or adjust) your newly-acquired Traits. Bards can be found in major city hubs such as Thorin's Hall, Rivendell, Michel Delving, and Bree-town. You can also find a Bard in the Twenty-first Hall within Moria.

    The Bard's Trait Trainer interface.
    (Click for full size)

    When your character meets a Bard, you can drag-and-drop your available Traits into corresponding open slots. But there's a cost! You must pay the Bard to make the assignments permanent—even non-player characters have to earn a living, after all. As long as you can meet the Bard's fee, there is no limit to the number of times you can rearrange your Traits to achieve different enhancements.

    Once you've completed several Deed-earning Quests and have attained a higher level, you'll likely end up with more Traits than you have slots for. Remember, you can always pay a Bard to alter your Traits—they are never lost or disabled. They simply float around your character waiting to be reassigned later.


    The Deed Log tracks your accomplishments regarding new Traits. Deeds essentially are tasks, and when you complete them, your character is rewarded with a Title, Trait, or Skill. There are three different types of Deed groupings—Class/Race/Social, Regional, and Hobbies. Characters earn Traits based on a particular task. Further, the higher the Rank of the Trait earned, the more benefits attached to it.

    For example, if there is a Deed to kill 10 slugs in the area surrounding the Shire, the Deed will appear in your journal after you have slain your first slug—provided that you have taken the corresponding Quest. Similarly, if there is a Deed to complete 10 Quests in Ered Luin, completing the first Quest will trigger the journal listing.

    Deed task types are loosely broken down into the following:

    • Quest Completions: You must complete a specific number of Quests in one of the lands of Middle-earth. For example, completing 10 Quests in Ered Luin by the time you reach 5th level gains you one Trait Rank in Charity.
    • Exploration: When you discover a new location of Middle-earth, for example The Wilds of Tal Bruinen in the deadly region of the Trollshaws, you get one rank in Honesty.
    • Lore: Here, you might find items that NPCs have lost, or are needed to complete epic adventures. These Deeds are usually presented as Quests.
    • Kills: Slaying a specific number of a creature type advances your Traits in this area. For instance, killing at least 60 slugs in The Shire equals one rank in Determination.
    • Skill Usage: Sometime when you use a particular skill a number of times a Trait will be gained.


    Virtues, once acquired, can be improved by completing additional Deeds. Virtues are available to all Races and Classes, and most of them give some sort of enhancement which improves your character's combat abilities.

    These could be a boost to Power regeneration, Evade, Morale, statistics, and overall defenses. Some Virtue Traits can also be earned by raising your character's reputation with the various races of Middle-earth. Each such Virtue has three benefits. Wisdom, for example, at Rank 1 bestows the following: +3 Will, +50.6 non-combat power regeneration, and +203 wound resist rating. There are currently 20 Virtue Traits you can gain through heroic Deeds.





















    (Click for full size)

    Racial Traits

    These vary depending on your race: Dwarf, Elf, Hobbit, and the Race of Man. All Racial Deeds are gained essentially as "Slayer Deeds" when they involve racial foes. At lower ranks the bonuses from Racial Traits can be considerable, such as +20 to your character's Fate of Will. At mid and higher ranks these Traits bestow enhancements to skills, attacks, statistic boosts, and other special abilities.
    • Race of Man: Dead, Wargs, and Hillmen
    • Elf: Goblins, Orcs, and Drakes
    • Dwarf: Dourhands, Goblins, and Trolls
    • Hobbit: Wolves, Spiders, and Goblins
    Some focus on increasing the strength of statistics and skills common to your character's race, as well as boosting passive skills or perhaps calling for a new ability.

    A Dwarf might gain bonuses when wielding an axe or using a shield by completing the Deeds related to Enmity of the Dourhands.

    Racial Traits for an Elf increase bow damage and stealthy movement by gaining Traits from the Deed Enmity of the Orcs.

    Hobbits can gain bonuses when attacking with clubs. Or they can fake being dead when they are hopelessly outnumbered from the Deed Enmity of Goblins.

    The Race of Man can use Traits to help master the sword or to gain significant bonuses to the Morale of a fellowship by braving the Enmity of the Hillmen Deed.

    Class Traits

    Similar to Racial Traits, these focus on strengths specific to one of the nine character classes. They are generally gained by using class-based skills successfully, and they improve the power of class abilities, as well as providing additional passive bonuses to statistics. Your character can add more Traits in the Mines of Moria expansion at 53rd and 60th levels.

    Trait Sets

    The exciting change for Class Traits is Trait Sets. Following a specific Trait Set Path helps you gain additional bonuses beyond what is already listed for a particular Trait. These additional bonuses come into play once you have slotted two, three, four, and five Class Traits in any one specific Path.

    For example, if your Hunter has earned and slotted True Shot and Barbed Fury, he has moved down the Path of the Bowmaster, and hence gains a +5% bow critical multiplier in addition to any benefits from the Traits themselves. If you were to equip a third Trait in this Path, the bow multiplier increases to +10%—along with gaining benefits to your hunter's Strength Stance. Once you've slotted five Class Traits of a specific Path, you open up a Legendary Trait slot, though you must still earn the Trait itself.

    Class Trait Sets have the following qualities:
    • All classes have three Trait Sets.
    • There are eight traits per set, with one Legendary Trait making up the capstone.
    • Like item sets; each set gives the player more bonuses for each additional member trait that is currently slotted.
    • You cannot slot the Legendary Trait until you have earned the final capstone trait via a quest.
    • Trait sets give their maximum amount of bonuses when five out of eight members are slotted at once. (Though you can slot more if you have the Class Trait slots.)
    • Traits can modify everything from damage output, cooldowns and even if a skill is usable in combat or not.
    • Class Traits sets of the same family share the same color icon background to make it easier to tell what family they are a member of.
    • Class Traits can be unlocked via repeated use of skills or from doing class quests.
    • When looking at your Class Traits there are three tabs under Class Traits. Examine each set carefully to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each Trait Set path.

    There are three Trait Sets for each of the nine character classes. The Class Traits you earn dictate which of the Paths you can take, and how soon. For example, if you are a Rune-keeper and prefer to act as a healer instead of using offensive magic, then it would be best to focus on Traits and Skills associated with the Benedictions of Peace Path. Another example would be if you were a Warden and built your character around melee combat rather than ranged spear attacks. In this instance the better choice would be to acquire Traits related to Way of the Fist, rather than Way of the Spear.
    • Burglar: The Quiet Knife, The Mischief Maker, The Gambler
    • Captain: Leader of Men, Hands of Healing, Lead the Charge
    • Champion: The Deadly Storm, The Berserker, The Martial Champion
    • Guardian: The Fighter of Shadow, The Defender of the Free, The Keen Blade
    • Hunter: The Bowmaster, The Trapper of Foes, The Huntsmen
    • Loremaster: The Keeper of Animals, Master of Nature's Fury, The Ancient Master
    • Minstrel: The Watcher of Resolve, The Protector of Song, The Warrior Skalds
    • Rune-keeper: Cleansing Fire, Solitary Thunder, Benedictions of Peace
    • Warden: Way of the Spear, Way of the Shield, Way of the Fist

    Legendary Traits

    The most difficult to obtain are Legendary Traits, which are directly related to your character's class, and sometimes skills. These are gained by finding Legendary Books made for your specific class . . . once you've exceeded 39th level. Then you must deliver those books to certain NPCs to obtain the rewarded Traits—after which those Traits can be slotted by visiting a Bard. These NPCs include members of the Fellowship of the Ring: Elrond, Gandalf, Legolas, and Gimli to name a few, one for each of the available classes which can only be found in Rivendell. Your character can find these books in the Trollshaws, Misty Mountains, and Angmar. They might have pages missing, which you'll need to find so you can complete the whole Legendary Book.

    If you happen to find a book that doesn't match your class, save it for a member of your own Fellowship or take it to the auction. There are now seven Legendary Traits that are available for each class—and a third slot is available once your character reaches 60th level.

    Another feature of Legendary Traits is their link to skills your character has chosen. Some skills call for a specific Trait to be slotted before they can activate. In the above example for a 50th level Warden, the extremely effective new skill Way of the Warden requires the Legendary Trait of the same name be slotted for the skill to function.


    Traits in the Mines of Moria take on an even bigger role, as you'll be able to create Trait synergies by slotting traits from the trait lines. These Trait Sets are the key to true effectiveness in Moria. You'll also have access to even more slots, which means a greater level of character customization and power. Characters now have access to three legendary traits, enabling players to create even more customization in Moria then ever before. Traits will be your gateway to character customization with the Mines of Moria.

    Article References:

  2. Orvago

    Orvago Stratics' Finest
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

    Feb 26, 2004
    Likes Received: