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  1. #1

    A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    UPDATE (June 6): I've finally translated this guide into 3 interlinked "Game Mechanics" articles for the LOTRO Lorebook. I will no longer be revising this guide, and suggest that discussion threads move to the "Discussion" tabs for each respective Lorebook article. Here are the links to the respective articles (and yes, I have some even newer information in those based on yet another round of testing specifically for the interaction of auto-attacks and cooldowns):





    UPDATE (June 3): After further extensive testing of my own, it appears that several assertions in the original version of this guide were wrong. (About half of my original version of this guide was based on reviews of other people's posts and observations, and the other half was based on my own testing.) The two significant changes based on my further testing are:
    • Auto-attack "ticks" are largely independent of all other factors except that they are delayed (or possibly overwritten) by skills with long induction times. The only reason that faster weapons enable you to chain your various skills faster is due to the faster animations of the auto-attack "ticks" that fall in between your chained skills due to either the global cooldown timer or the cooldown timer of the next-queued skill in your current chain. For example, most 2H weapons have longer attack animation times than faster 1H weapons, and there is variation in the animation speeds of the 1H weapons too.

    • The damage reduction of off-hand weapons is quite minimal, and is based on the weapon's lowest value in its damage range, not a flat 60% or 70% reduction as originally reported. Both main- and off-hand weapons hit on the same tick and and are evaluated separately for miss/parry/dodge/crit, etc. There is no penalty to miss/parry/dodge/crit for the off-hand weapon. This means that your pure auto-attack DPS can often be higher with a dual-wielded weapon combo than with a 2H weapon, although a 2H weapon can make up for the lower auto-attack DPS by yielding much higher attack skill damage when using mostly attack skills with only main-hand "swings".

    For these reasons, the overall content of this guide has changed significantly.


    Basic terms and formulas

    • Speed: The weapon tooltip's listed weapon speed value. Lower values mean a faster weapon. Note that the real underlying Speed is rounded to 1 decimal place in the tooltip.


      • Speed determines the rate at which your auto-attack "ticks" occur.

      • Speed also affects the +damage modifier of your skill-based attacks. A slower weapon will increase the +damage modifer, and a faster weapon will decrease the +damage modifier.

      • For dual-wielders, your effective Speed is actually the average of the Speed value of both your weapons (add both Speed values and then divide by 2). There are not separate auto-attack ticks for each weapon. Both weapons always attack on the same tick. For example, if you have a 2.3 Speed weapon in your main hand and a 1.7 Speed weapon in your off-hand, your effective Speed is 2.0 and both weapons will always attack together on a 2.0-second auto-attack "tick" rate.


    • Max Damage: The weapon tooltip's highest value in the listed Damage range.

    • Avg Damage: The weapon tooltip's lowest and highest values, added together then divided by 2. For example, a 6-10 weapon's avg damage would be (6 + 10) / 2 = 8.

    • DPS: A simple value shown on the weapon's tooltip. It is the the result of a weapon's average damage divided by its speed. Note that the real, underlying DPS is rounded to 1 decimal place in the tooltip.


    Off-hand weapons do have damage reduction but it's less than in most other MMOs

    When dual-wielding, the weapon in your off-hand slot is capped to hit for the lowest value in the weapon's listed damage range, plus or minus a small percentage (usually just a point or two on either side of the lowest listed value). The offhand weapon can still crit at a normal rate (with no penalties for being in the off-hand), but it crits for roughly double the capped off-hand damage range. For example, a 9 - 13 weapon in your off-hand usually hits for 9 points (sometimes 8 or 10 points), and it crits for around 17 points, give or take a point.

    The damage reduction affects only auto-attack damage. All of your weapon-based skills that mention bonus damage based on your "off-hand" weapon are not affected by this damage reduction. In other words, if you have a skill that uses the "max damage" of the off-hand, and your off-hand weapon's listed Max Damage value is 10, then the bonus damage from that skill is based on a value of 10. Some of the following sections will elaborate on the important stats for off-hand weapons.


    Speed affects your power burn rate

    Weapons with a lower Speed value (a "faster" weapon) have auto-attack animations that are typically faster than weapons with higher Speed values ("slower" weapons) such as 2H weapons. Because of the global cooldown timer between chained skills, and/or because the next-queued skill in your attack chain might still be in its cooldown phase, there are always some "ticks" of auto-attack damage that occur in between the queued-up skills in your attack chain. Because these few auto-attack animations that occur in between are literally faster for the faster weapons, the net result is that you can execute an attack chain faster, on average, when using faster weapons. In other words, a 4-skill chain will usually take longer to execute with a 2H weapon than with a 1H weapon or two fast dual-wield weapons.

    Note that there is also variation in the attack animation speeds among 1H weapons, so some are faster than others. Likewise, there is variation in the animation speeds among 2H weapons.

    The net result is that with a faster weapon, you will tend to burn down your power bar faster, simply because you are able to chain your skills faster.


    The DPS stat is generally the most important if you nuke more than you use melee skills

    If the skills you use most often during a fight are DD nukes or other "caster" type skills such as the Minstrel's heals/buffs, and you use very few weapon-based skills, then you might get more mileage out of a weapon setup that offers the highest DPS value. This is because most of your actually weapon attacks (if you're even in weapon range) will be auto-attacks in between your queued-up nukes/heals/etc.


    The Avg Damage stat is generally the most important for DPS classes (not Guardians or Burglars)

    If you mostly use weapon-based skills that apply "main hand", "off-hand" and "ranged weapon" damage, you might often be better off with a given weapon that is lower DPS than another one.

    What you really care about instead is the weapon's Avg Damage stat (remember, you have to calculate this for yourself--it's not directly shown in a tooltip).

    You always want the weapon with the highest Avg Damage stat in your main hand slot and your ranged weapon slot, because this will yield the highest overall damage from your weapon-based skills.


    The Max Damage stat is generally the most important for Burglars

    If the weapon skills you use most talk about "max damage" in the tooltip for the skill, then you generally want a weapon with the highest max damage stat in your main hand, regardless of it's Speed or DPS values.


    Fast weapons are generally best in the off-hand slot for all dual-wielding classes

    For all dual-wielding DPS classes, most of your bonus damage from weapon-based skills comes from the main-hand weapon. (For example, a given skill might give you 2x main-hand and 1x off-hand damage, or 3x main-hand and no off-hand at all, etc.) Unfortunately, all of the high Avg Damage and high Max Damage weapons that you want in your main-hand slot are typically very slow.

    It's a common practice, therefore, to equip a very fast weapon in your off-hand slot (regardless of its Avg Damage or Max Damage) to lower your overall effective Speed value (which makes your autoattack cycle faster).


    Fervour cost for Champions depends on whether you are dual-wielding

    Many Champion skills have a "Fervour" cost, and this cost varies depending on whether you're dual-wielding or not.

    • If you are dual-wielding, the Fervour cost of skills like Savage Strikes, Brutal Strikes, Exchange of Blows, etc. are lower, with a flat cost like "3 Fervour"

    • If you are wielding 1H only, 1H + Shield, or 2H, then the Fervour cost of these skills is higher, with a cost that says "Requires at least 4 Fervour, but Removes 3 from Fervour"


    When to use 2H weapons

    Because of the preceding guidelines, the classes that can use 2H weapons will typically do more damage overall with a 2H weapon, because they have a higher Avg Damage value and therefore your weapon-based skill bonuses are usually higher. This is especially true for the skills that do multiple main-hand "swings".

    For this reason, soloing will generally go faster and better if you use 2H weapons. However, guardians should stick with 1H weaps and a shield whenever they are in a fellowship for two important reasons:

    • Your shield attacks are a huge component of your threat generation.

    • Your 1H weapons typically have faster animation times and therefore enable you to chain your skills faster, which can mean faster threat generationon your part.

    Even when soloing, you might choose to stick with a 1H weapon and shield versus mobs that disarm you a lot, because you can still use shield-based skills when you are disarmed.


    Cooldowns, induction times, and the auto-attack cycle
    (Thanks to A99Barnsey and Brat for this addition)

    Speed relates only to the rate at which your auto-attack "ticks" occur. The individual cooldowns on skills, as well as the global skill cooldown, are not related to weapon Speed in any way. However, the induction time of a skill essentially suspends the auto-attack cycle. Once the induction time is over, the auto-attack cycle resumes.

    You cannot really suspend auto-attacks indefinitely, however, because of the global cooldown and because of individual skill cooldowns. The global cooldown timer provides a "window of opportunity" for a suspended auto-attack tick to fire. Likewise, if the next-queued skill in your attack chain is still on its individual cooldown timer, this provides another window of opportunity for auto-attack ticks to fire.

    The bottom line is that if you're not worried about AE damage or effects (disease, etc.) from the foe you're fighting, even nuker classes can add more damage by getting into melee range and letting some auto-attack ticks add some damage.


    A final note on the fast versus slow debate
    (Thanks to A99barnsey and Brat for reminding me about this)

    In every MMO we see a debate about faster weapons versus slower weapons. LOTRO weapon speed seems to work more or less on the same principles as AC and AC2, which means that:

    • In a theoretically long fight, auto-attack damage from a fast weapon versus a slow weapon that both have the same exact DPS will be equal.

    • In short fights, however, the faster weapon always does more reliable and consistent damage and is therefore better for things like PvP where whiffing one of your big 2H hits can make you lose the damage "race" in a relatively short fight. Yes, a lucky streak with the slower weapon will do more damage but in general for short fights the faster weapon has better odds for doing the most damage within that short time period. I'm not going to rehash the math for this; it's been proven time and again even though this fact seems counterintuitive at first.

    What is not entirely clear yet in LOTRO is how armor mitigation works, and that has a big effect on whether faster weapons are actually better. Based on the anecdotal observations from others, I'm guessing that armor mitigation also works like it did in AC2, which means that harder-hitting, but slower, weapons ultimately do more damage overall. In AC2, for example, the Defender class quickly learned that the top-tier "flurry"-type skill (multiple swings from one attack) didn't do nearly as much burst damage as the top-tier "big hit"-type skill . The reason was that the armor mitigation mechanics subtracted the same exact value from every weapon attack, and faster but smaller attacks had most of their value "absorbed" by the armor mitigation. The amount mitigated from the big hits was proportionally much smaller, so more damage got through past the mitigation.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and make an educated guess, therefore, that armor mitigation in LOTRO probably entails a flat absorption amount rather than a scaling percentage of absorbtion. I could be wrong though! If I'm right, it means that against high-armor targets your auto-attack damage will generally be better with a hard-hitting 2H weapon than a faster but equal DPS weapon.

    Another aspect of the fast versus slow debate that is unique to LOTRO is the lack of understanding we currently have about power regeneration from cumulative group buffs. For the DPS classes, the bonus damage from many of your weapon-based skills is based more on all the "extra swings" those skills confer and less on the +damage component. For these skills only, a faster weapon can generate more of that "extra swing" damage over time in a really long fight. The problem is that using a faster weapon to gain this higher damage output from your "extra swings" will burn out all your power long before the fight is over.

    Because of the power burn-out issues, it's not easy to calculate which weapon Speed might be better for attack chains comprising mostly those "extra swing" style skills. Intuitively, though, if your fellowship is somehow generating a ton of extra power regen during battle, you should be able to do more damage over the course of a long fight with a faster weapon. Really, though, this is a judgement call and the anecdotal evidence so far points to the slower 2H weapons being superior damage over time in most regards.
    Last edited by Shannong; Jun 06 2007 at 07:25 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Great post, thanks.

  3. #3

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    I have a question for you. I thought that the global cooldown on special attacks was independent of weapon speed. But what you seem to be saying is that a 3.0 speed weapon will make your delay between successive special attacks twice that of what a 1.5 speed weapon would have.


    Also, power consumption can be an issue for guardians in long fights. So as long as you can keep agro under control, a slower weapon would actually be better.

  4. #4
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    The cooldown is independant, that is correct, but the time between skill usage is not. Basically, if you have two skills and both are available, the second one will not trigger until your weapon speed timer is expired and the next swing is available. This is completely seperate from the cooldown timer. At least this is what a lot of us are surmizing (no definitave proof as of yet).

    Right now the biggest issue regarding fast/slow weapons is that power consumption is flat. In other words, it doesn't matter what speed weapon you use, you're going to use the same amount of power for that skill. This puts faster weapons at a disadvantage. They'll run out of power faster and do less overall damage, unless they are being fed power, then overtime, the faster weapons will actually outdamage the slower weapons.

    The formula for this has not been revealed yet due to the lack of log parsing, but given a character with infinite power capability, I think that faster weapons would become more valuable in end content raids where effects of skills come more heavily into play. If characters are somehow able to regenerate power at a faster rate (from buffs, etc) then flat power consumption becomes trivial and faster weapons become legitimate. Only other option (that I see) is that Turbine scales power consumption to weapon speed (same way the calculate damage modifier from skills) to balance out the damage output between fast and slow weapons.

  5. #5

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Good clarification, Brat. I've revised my original post to include your answer to a99barnsey's question.

    I've also added a section near the beginning to clarify off-hand damage reduction and its effect (or lack thereof) on your overall damage.
    Last edited by Shannong; May 16 2007 at 06:47 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    A great post. One thing that I don't believe you directly say, but imply, is that faster weapons can be better for burglars because it gives them more chances more often to apply or reapply their on-hit debuffs. Fairly similar to the reason fast weapons are advantageous for Guardians. So for burglars, you need a balance between highest max weapon damage and fastest speed. (I don't actually play a Burglar, but that is what a Burglar friend told me.)

    Also, you say in your section "Speed affects your power burn rate" that faster weapons drain your power faster. I think the far more significant aspect of this, however, is that (at least for Captains) the cost of your weapon skills does not scale with the average damage of your weapon. So it's not that it drains your power faster, it's just that you get a heck of a lot more damage / power consumed from a high average damage weapon, and the faster weapon doesn't even out put more damage faster.

    To illustrate my point, I'll calculate it out for a scenario with a couple make-believe weapons and 5 make-believe skills. This is presuming you have a 2.0 second cooldown on your abilities.

    If I were to use a 5 ability skill chain where each skill costs an average of 20 power with a 2.0 speed 20 average damage weapon that's 5 x 20 power = 100 power consumed and 5 x 20 extra swing damage = 100 damage dealt from extra swings. 100 damage / (5 abilities x 2.0 speed) = 10 dps from extra swing damage on those five abilities. 100 damage dealt / 100 power = 1 damage from extra swings per one power consumed.

    With a 3.0 speed 30 average damage weapon those skills would still cost 20 power each, though. So 5 x 20 power = 100 power consumed and 5 x 30 extra swing damage = 150 damage dealt from extra swings. 150 damage dealt / (5 abilities x 3.0 speed) = 10 dps from extra swing damage on those five abilities. 150 damage dealt / 100 power = 1.5 damage from extra swings per one power consumed.

    And that's the key stat for Captains. The fact that the additional damage from abilities does scale with average weapon damage normalizes this power consumption to an extent, but as you said, it's really the extra swing damage that results in most of your increased damage done from using skills. So for a class like a Captain where power consumption is always (in my experience) the biggest factor limiting our dps, you will always want to go with the highest average damage weapon available. Which usually means the slowest weapon you can find.
    Last edited by CorayThan; May 16 2007 at 09:16 PM.

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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    One thing I think is missing are that some mainhand skills' bonus damage is affected by weapon speed. Burglars get this on Surprise Strike, a mace in the mainhand does mainhand + 16 at level 23. A dagger does mainhand + 12, even if they have the same DPS. That is something for people to keep an eye on.

    Instant skills? Are they in?

  8. #8

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Xpheyel View Post
    One thing I think is missing are that some mainhand skills' bonus damage is affected by weapon speed. Burglars get this on Surprise Strike, a mace in the mainhand does mainhand + 16 at level 23. A dagger does mainhand + 12, even if they have the same DPS. That is something for people to keep an eye on.
    This bit was covered in the first section on Basic terms and formulas. It's easy to miss; it's a big essay with lots of details.

  9. #9

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by CorayThan View Post
    A great post. One thing that I don't believe you directly say, but imply, is that faster weapons can be better for burglars because it gives them more chances more often to apply or reapply their on-hit debuffs. Fairly similar to the reason fast weapons are advantageous for Guardians. So for burglars, you need a balance between highest max weapon damage and fastest speed. (I don't actually play a Burglar, but that is what a Burglar friend told me.)

    Also, you say in your section "Speed affects your power burn rate" that faster weapons drain your power faster. I think the far more significant aspect of this, however, is that (at least for Captains) the cost of your weapon skills does not scale with the average damage of your weapon. So it's not that it drains your power faster, it's just that you get a heck of a lot more damage / power consumed from a high average damage weapon, and the faster weapon doesn't even out put more damage faster.
    Good suggestion about elaborating on power burn. I've revised that section accordingly.

    As for best speed for Burglers, I tried to stay away from class-specific comments unless a guideline was generally universally true for a given class. Guardians have some universally true guidelines about weapon Speed when tanking, and Bandits have a universally true guideline about the max damage value of their main-hand weapon.

    As for whether a faster or slower weapon is better for Burglars, that really depends on whether you debuff more or try to do CC/DPS more, and it depends on the types of debuffs you tend to use, their cooldowns, etc. So what you're suggesting is an individual choice that each Burglar has to make according to their playstyle and the needs of a fellowship they might be in.

    Many burglars go with a slow, high Max Damage weapon in their main hand and very fast weapon in their off-hand to compensate for the slow speed of the main-hand weapon as much as possible.

  10. #10
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by CorayThan View Post
    A great post. One thing that I don't believe you directly say, but imply, is that faster weapons can be better for burglars because it gives them more chances more often to apply or reapply their on-hit debuffs. Fairly similar to the reason fast weapons are advantageous for Guardians. So for burglars, you need a balance between highest max weapon damage and fastest speed. (I don't actually play a Burglar, but that is what a Burglar friend told me.)

    Also, you say in your section "Speed affects your power burn rate" that faster weapons drain your power faster. I think the far more significant aspect of this, however, is that (at least for Captains) the cost of your weapon skills does not scale with the average damage of your weapon. So it's not that it drains your power faster, it's just that you get a heck of a lot more damage / power consumed from a high average damage weapon, and the faster weapon doesn't even out put more damage faster.

    To illustrate my point, I'll calculate it out for a scenario with a couple make-believe weapons and 5 make-believe skills. This is presuming you have a 2.0 second cooldown on your abilities.

    If I were to use a 5 ability skill chain where each skill costs an average of 20 power with a 2.0 speed 20 average damage weapon that's 5 x 20 power = 100 power consumed and 5 x 20 extra swing damage = 100 damage dealt from extra swings. 100 damage / (5 abilities x 2.0 speed) = 10 dps from extra swing damage on those five abilities. 100 damage dealt / 100 power = 1 damage from extra swings per one power consumed.

    With a 3.0 speed 30 average damage weapon those skills would still cost 20 power each, though. So 5 x 20 power = 100 power consumed and 5 x 30 extra swing damage = 150 damage dealt from extra swings. 150 damage dealt / (5 abilities x 3.0 speed) = 10 dps from extra swing damage on those five abilities. 150 damage dealt / 100 power = 1.5 damage from extra swings per one power consumed.

    And that's the key stat for Captains. The fact that the additional damage from abilities does scale with average weapon damage normalizes this power consumption to an extent, but as you said, it's really the extra swing damage that results in most of your increased damage done from using skills. So for a class like a Captain where power consumption is always (in my experience) the biggest factor limiting our dps, you will always want to go with the highest average damage weapon available. Which usually means the slowest weapon you can find.
    Great Post

    Thank you for the analysis and research. Good job on it!

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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannong View Post
    This bit was covered in the first section on Basic terms and formulas. It's easy to miss; it's a big essay with lots of details.
    You're right, I missed that.

  12. #12
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by CorayThan View Post

    Also, you say in your section "Speed affects your power burn rate" that faster weapons drain your power faster. I think the far more significant aspect of this, however, is that (at least for Captains) the cost of your weapon skills does not scale with the average damage of your weapon. So it's not that it drains your power faster, it's just that you get a heck of a lot more damage / power consumed from a high average damage weapon, and the faster weapon doesn't even out put more damage faster.

    To illustrate my point, I'll calculate it out for a scenario with a couple make-believe weapons and 5 make-believe skills. This is presuming you have a 2.0 second cooldown on your abilities.

    If I were to use a 5 ability skill chain where each skill costs an average of 20 power with a 2.0 speed 20 average damage weapon that's 5 x 20 power = 100 power consumed and 5 x 20 extra swing damage = 100 damage dealt from extra swings. 100 damage / (5 abilities x 2.0 speed) = 10 dps from extra swing damage on those five abilities. 100 damage dealt / 100 power = 1 damage from extra swings per one power consumed.

    With a 3.0 speed 30 average damage weapon those skills would still cost 20 power each, though. So 5 x 20 power = 100 power consumed and 5 x 30 extra swing damage = 150 damage dealt from extra swings. 150 damage dealt / (5 abilities x 3.0 speed) = 10 dps from extra swing damage on those five abilities. 150 damage dealt / 100 power = 1.5 damage from extra swings per one power consumed.

    And that's the key stat for Captains. The fact that the additional damage from abilities does scale with average weapon damage normalizes this power consumption to an extent, but as you said, it's really the extra swing damage that results in most of your increased damage done from using skills. So for a class like a Captain where power consumption is always (in my experience) the biggest factor limiting our dps, you will always want to go with the highest average damage weapon available. Which usually means the slowest weapon you can find.
    Problem with this is the damage modifier from skills is calculated off of weapon speed, so you end up with higher damage for the same power consumption. As far as I've been able to calculate (without a timestamped log and parser), right now faster weapons will run you out of power AND you'll be doing less overall damage. Given unlimited power, faster weapons will soon catch up and overcome slower weapons in total DSP. As stated before, until we can determine if there's a way in game to offset this power loss (either from gear or from other fellowship members "buffing" us), then faster weapons are a hinderance. I actually prefer daggers in both hands and will most likely continue to use them in PvE just for asthetics and because I'm used to a faster paced fight, but unless there can be some balance between the two, I'll be forced to go with a slower mainhand weapon in MPvP so I don't gimp myself too bad.

    In end content raids in which fights will be for long periods on single mobs, I think the differences won't be as noticable, but for soloing purposes on mobs of equal level, you definately notice the differences.

    Btw, great thread OP, thank you for starting this. Refreshing to not have someone saying "this is my way and the best way, if you don't agree then you're stupid."

  13. #13

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Excellent post!

  14. #14
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    This is a great thread, but not 100% complete. If only we could get a guide that tells us what damage types are good against what types of mobs (ancient/fire/light etc) we could make fully educated weapon choices!

  15. #15
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    Question Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannong View Post
    Speed is an important factor for guardians

    A guardian's role in the fellowship is to generate threat above all else. Most of your skills have a damage component and a threat generation component.
    To this end, has anyone noticed it the 'threat' still hits if the weapon misses? Or if the threat ever misses?

    If the threat 'bonus' of guardian skills is tied to the skill making contact - I will argue that 'swords > all' for the to hit bonus and the fact that they aren't significantly slower than other weapons.

    I need to pay more attention the the threat glyph and the damage hit/miss if no one else has.

  16. #16

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaronofsky View Post
    This is a great thread, but not 100% complete. If only we could get a guide that tells us what damage types are good against what types of mobs (ancient/fire/light etc) we could make fully educated weapon choices!
    Or if we could get a dev response as to which assumptions are correct or incorrect, but I won't hold my breath for that.

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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Another issue I see that will effect eventual total damage output is that auto attack and "specials" share the same timer. Only very judicious monitoring of swing rates will allow for max damage output.

    I think that slower weapons will increase overall damage simply because they allow for auto attack to fire more frequently without being over written by a "special". The average player will probably not see any benefit however to an attack rotation, but someone skilled in this will.

    Not all MMO out there share timers. I wish this wasn't the case in LoTRO

  18. #18

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Kovanos View Post
    Another issue I see that will effect eventual total damage output is that auto attack and "specials" share the same timer. Only very judicious monitoring of swing rates will allow for max damage output.

    I think that slower weapons will increase overall damage simply because they allow for auto attack to fire more frequently without being over written by a "special". The average player will probably not see any benefit however to an attack rotation, but someone skilled in this will.

    Not all MMO out there share timers. I wish this wasn't the case in LoTRO
    For the min-maxers, you're probably on to something here. I got so sick of dealing with "perfect shot rotations" for my hunter in WoW that I blissfully ignore it here, but ya, this could be another part of the reason that people report faster kills with big 2H weapons (because they're slower, so more auto-attacks are inserted between the skills). Still just conjecture at this point, but it makes sense.

    Without damage log parsers and good damage meters, though, I'm not certain that we'll ever know for sure on this score. Great thought to toss on the thread, though. Thanks!

  19. #19

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    For my Minstrel I took the trait that doubles my Herald strike damage and combined it with the biggest damage range, slowest speed mace I could get my hands on.

    When I pop my Noble Cause ability (3 back to back Herald strikes with virtually no delay + heals + refreshes the ability for a 4th normal swing) I get a massive surge in damage.

    The big slow high damage range weapon, for my Minstrel, is far and away better than it is with faster, lower damage range weapons (daggers/swords). I get a massive damage boost every time the ability refreshes and when soloing it makes all the difference.

    ~Whispen the Bard~

  20. #20
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Kovanos View Post
    I think that slower weapons will increase overall damage simply because they allow for auto attack to fire more frequently without being over written by a "special". The average player will probably not see any benefit however to an attack rotation, but someone skilled in this will.
    Auto attacks happen more frequently with a slower weapon? How is that supposed to work?

    Anyway, I'll take a 17.5dps weapon in one hand (+ another weapon, both 2 sec. delay, or less) over an 18.5 dps (3 sec. delay) two-handed weapon any day. (Both recieved at lvl 30, as a champion.)

  21. #21

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike000 View Post
    Auto attacks happen more frequently with a slower weapon? How is that supposed to work?

    Anyway, I'll take a 17.5dps weapon in one hand (+ another weapon, both 2 sec. delay, or less) over an 18.5 dps (3 sec. delay) two-handed weapon any day. (Both recieved at lvl 30, as a champion.)
    I think what he's saying is that sometimes special attacks cancel out auto attacks.

    So over 60 seconds you might get 19/20 possible attacks with a 3.0 speed weapon but only 23/30 possible attacks with a 2.0 speed weapon.

    I haven't really noticed this effect, but I haven't been testing much either. Just playing the game to enjoy it.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Ok just to add some numbers and thoughts.

    You have a choice between

    2H 8 DPS +4 Might hammer with small chance to stun.
    2 1H each with 4 DPS +4 might hammer with small chance to stun.


    Ok I would think the 2 1H'ers to be better, I get +8 to might plus don't I get double the chance to stun and parry or does stun and parry only work off the main hand?

    What I am trying to get at is there is a lot more to weapon choice then just pure 'real' DPS, stat modifiers, skills and traits, power, roll of the character(tank/damage dealer) as well as many other factors play a very large roll in rather to use 2H or 1H and I havn't even touched on shields

  23. #23
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    Apr 2007
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Quote Originally Posted by a99barnsey View Post
    I think what he's saying is that sometimes special attacks cancel out auto attacks.

    So over 60 seconds you might get 19/20 possible attacks with a 3.0 speed weapon but only 23/30 possible attacks with a 2.0 speed weapon.

    I haven't really noticed this effect, but I haven't been testing much either. Just playing the game to enjoy it.
    In my experience, that's more or less the case - hitting a special attack means the next time the weapon speed cycles, the special attack goes off.

    But that just leaves a bigger window to overwrite slower weapon auto-attacks...so I don't see what he's saying except maybe: use a slow weapon, and (almost) never use skills - but that will not speed up combats.

    edit: 6 attacks at about 12 dps beat 2 at 18 dps any day of the week.

  24. #24

    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    It's quite possible that the theory about slower weapons enabling you to fit in some auto-attacks between your attack skills is a red herring. It sounds plausible to anyone familiar with WoW, because there you could pick a weapon speed that enabled you to squeeze in specials among the auto-attacks for a max "shot rotation".

    This might not be the case at all in LOTRO, but the fact that 2H weapons tend to do more damage is what makes people think this might be part of the reason.

    The fact that 2H weapons tend to do more damage might instead be due *only* to the fact that they also have higher Avg Damage than faster weapons, and we do know for sure that Avg Damage is the most important stat for many classes in LOTRO for reasons explained in my OP in this thread.

    Also someone else made a good point about how Minstrels might also benefit from having a slower, harder hitting weapon due to some specials they get. I haven't played my Minstrel up far enough to see for myself, but my impression is that when you're supporting a group or another player, you don't have much time to use attack skills. Still my OP is just some rough rules of thumb and there are always exceptions for individual playstyles.

  25. #25
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    Re: A complete guide to choosing your weapons

    Here is the practical Burglar example. I don't know if I'm 'overwriting' auto-attacks by doing this or not. I kind of don't think so.

    Ok, Burglar Jim spots a patrolling Tarkrip. He slips into stealth, distracts the target, toggles reveal weakness, burgles the Tarkrip, sticks a note to its back, checks of potential adds to riddle, etc etc etc. Normal Burglar fight warm up time.

    Now for the combat bit, Aim followed immediately by Surprise Strike. Then Burglar's Advantage, of course. I probably enqueue Double Edged Strike right around now but it doesn't fire of course.

    At some point after that, the puny auto-attack goes off. Its unmodded damage blushes in shame, overshadowed the glorious 300+ initial hit.

    Double Edged Strike now gets to do its thing. While my character is occupied with that, I'm pushing Disarm. Which fires immediately after Double Edged Strike is finished.

    So basically around one auto-attack, I've executed Surprise Strike, Burglar's Advantage, Double Edged Strike, and Disarm.

    I don't what all this does to my auto-attacks. Maybe it delays the first one a bit from after BA executes? Not sure about that. I'd also have to note when the auto-attacks toggle on after the initial SS. There isn't an auto-attack in between SS and BA or between Double-Edged and Disarm. Just one between BA and Double-Edged.

    Anyway, down the road if I do things right I can pair BAs or Disarms with Subtle-Stabs, Surprise Strikes, and I think Cunning Wound.

 

 
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