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Update 10 - Critical Defence Revision

Update 10 - Critical Defence Revision

By: Jared "Kelsan" Pruett


As part of an ongoing examination of the Combat System, we have been making adjustments to the nature of Critical Hits in LotRO.  Previously, we changed Critical Defence from a rating that reduced incoming Critical Chance to one that reduced incoming Critical Damage.  In this update we are examining the other side of the coin and making alterations to Critical Rating and nature of skill crits.


  • Maintain the counter-stat nature of Critical Rating and Critical Defence
  • Give Critical Rating value beyond the Critical Hit Cap.
  • Simplify effect-based skill crits by unifying skill and effect critical chance.

What's Changed?

Critical Rating

Critical Rating now increases your Critical Magnitude in addition to increasing your Critical Hit Chance. This provides a reason for Critical Attack builds to continue invest in Critical Rating after they reach the Critical Hit cap.

This is not meant to be a replacement for Masteries, but instead compliment a DPS/Heal build that is a balance between Mastery and Critical Rating. For every 300 points of Critical Rating you will gain roughly 1% bonus critical damage, with a small amount of diminishing returns as you invest more heavily into the rating.


  • At level 85, 300 points of Critical Rating nets you roughly 1.1% bonus damage.
  • At level 85, 5000 points of Critical Rating nets you roughly 16.4% bonus damage
  • At level 85, 10000 points of Critical rating nets you roughly 28.2% bonus damage

Generally speaking, all skills have a base Critical Magnitude of 1.5x and Devastating Critical Magnitude of 2.0x. Critical Damage bonuses granted by Critical Rating, traits, skills, etc are then added to the base multipliers.

  • Player A has a 15% Magnitude bonus from Critical Rating.
  • Player A lands a critical attack with a skill that has a 1.5x base critical magnitude.
  • Player A will now do 1.65x (1.5 + .15) bonus damage on crit and 2.15x (2.0 + .15) on dev.

Critical Defence

The amount of Critical Damage reduction you gained per point of Critical Defence rating has been reduced. Previously you gained roughly 2% for every 100 points of Critical Defence, this has been reduced to roughly 1% for every 100 points. The reason for this reduction is a simple one -- we are now allowing all classes to itemize for Critical Defence.

Critical Defence For All!

Critical Defence will now be available on items for all classes. Tanks will maintain the edge in Critical Defence as they will gain significant amounts from traits and shields.

You may be asking yourself, why does Critical Defence provide more per point than Critical Rating?  If these are counter-stats shouldn’t they be equal? If players derived 100% of their Critical Damage from Critical Rating, yes they should be equal. Since the majority of a player’s Critical Damage is granted passively, Critical Defence needs to grow at a faster rate to compensate.

Additionally, we have added Critical Defence to all signature+ monsters. The tougher the monster, the more Critical Damage they will negate. In these situations, Critical Defence debuffs and high Critical Rating will shine.

Effect Critical Chance

Currently, skills and their applied effects roll separate critical checks, which leads to situations where one crits but the other does not.  Beyond giving confusing user feedback, this hinders the design team’s ability to create mechanics based on Critical Events for effect-based classes (healers). As such, we’ve unified this system so that the skill makes a singular critical check; the result of which is then passed to all applied target effects that modify morale or power. A ‘target effect’ is any effect applied to your currently selected target.  Effects that are automatically applied to the caster are not impacted by this change and will continue to make separate critical checks.

To ensure that Heal-Over-Time and Damage-Over-Time effects do not become overpowered by this change, we've added some special sauce.  A skill’s critical result is only applied to the initial pulse of HoTs and DoTs.  All subsequent pulses perform individual critical checks.

  • Coda of Resonance
    • This is a skill that does damage to a target and heals the caster and their fellowship.
    • The skill critical result is passed onto the damage.
    • At the same time, it applies a fellowship heal to the caster. Since this is applied to the caster instead of the target, the heal performs a separate critical check from the skill.
  • Bolster Courage
    • This is a standard targeted healing skill.
    • The skill critical result is passed onto the effect causing the heal to crit.

Impact on Monster Play

Critical Defence

Changes to the per-point value of Critical Defence will cause a significant reduction in Creep critical protection.  Creeps will lose roughly 50% of their current Critical Damage reduction, which we feel is a good thing as the current values are so high that Creeps need never invest in Critical Defence Corruptions.  That being said, we did feel this more negatively impacted the lower armour Creeps so we increased the amount of Critical Defence granted by the Rank 1 Armour Passive from 600 to 800.

Base Critical Defence on LIVE:
600 (12.3%), 1200 (22%), 1800 (29.7%), 2400 (36.1%), 3000 (41.3%)

Base Critical Defence Changes:
800 (8.6%), 1200 (12.3%), 1800 (17.4%), 2400 (22%), 3000 (26%).

Critical Rating Corruptions

We’ve added a new set of Critical Rating Corruptions to Monster Play, to provide Creeps with an equal opportunity to make Crit builds.  The premise we used when creating these was that if a Creep should fully invest in Critical Rating they should be able to push the Critical Cap similar to Freeps.  Each Corruption grants 1717 Critical Rating, and all six can by acquired by Rank 4.


This seems to counter the changes that were made to Critical Defence, why do it?

We wanted to maintain Critical Rating and Critical Defence as opposing stats and ensure that we aren’t allowing players to shut of crits with no recourse for crit-based classes.

This seems to favor Hunters and Burglars.

This is meant as a beneficial change for all players that want to specialize in critical attacks. Yes, some classes are innately built for critical and will have an easier time (just like some classes have an easier time negating Critical Damage), but all classes have access to Critical Rating and Critical Defence and can build into this.

As a tank, I’m concerned that I won’t be able to maintain threat against critical burst damage.

With Critical Defence being added to all signature+ monsters in the game, we don’t feel you will see a significant boost in threat generation from Critical Damage (but we, of course, will be monitoring it) in Boss encounters. Our goal is to have Bosses negate the majority of base critical damage (turning devs into crits and crits into normal attacks). Players that specialize in Critical Rating will be able to overcome the Boss's Critical Defence and land higher impact attacks than party members that are not specialized in Critical Rating.

Will my Critical Rating magnitude bonus be applied to my Healing/Damage Effects?

Not at this time.  Currently, Critical Rating is only applied to the skill and skill damage, not to associated effects.  It’s something we are actively looking into, but we felt this could have a serious impact on heal potency and want more time for analysis.


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