alt="Tuesday's Tips"

style="font-weight: bold;">Understanding Equipment Expertise

style="font-style: italic;">by Shayalyn


What's equipment expertise? What does it mean to my character?


Equipment expertise (or EE) is Sigil's answer to the age-old
conundrum--how do we, the developers, keep players from outfitting low
level characters in godly gear, making them more powerful (or
indestructible) for their level than intended? 

The practice of getting a low level character set up with uber armor
and weapons is called "twinking." Many high level players will outfit
newbie alts in twink gear to make them more powerful and harder to
kill. It's an age old and time-honored practice, and while game
developers don't usually seek to destroy it completely, they do tend to
put limitations in place. Some games use item scaling, where
items scale appropriately to the level of the player. Others games
allow players to wear equipment that's  higher in level than
they are, but make the equipment less effective until the
character meets a certain level requirement.

Equipment expertise in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes uses
a mathematical formula. The result is a simple solution to the
problem of twinking. It allows a character to wear armor that's
significantly above his level, but not so high above as to make give
him an unfair advantage against monsters or other players within his
level range. Here's how it works:

  • Each player may use up to 100% of his EE
  • Items equal or lower level than the character will
    not use EE
  • Items higher level than the character will use a percentage
    of EE. The percentage used depends on how far beyond the character's
    level the item happens to be. A level 20 item on a level 15 character
    will use more EE than a level 16 item. (This is where the
    aforementioned mathematical formula comes in.)
  • No single item may use more than 20% EE

Once you understand how EE works, you'll want to use it to its
maximum potential. It's important to balance things so that your most
critical items (weapons or items with stats that are essential to your
class) use more EE than your less crucial items. For instance, it's
silly to dedicate 20% of your EE to that nifty Pearlescent Ring of
Punting (just because if increases your gnome punting skill) if you're
not going to have enough remaining EE to wield a great weapon (or two).
Watch your EE carefully and spend it wisely. Look at it this way: you
could have up to 5 items that use a full 20% EE each, but then all your
remaining items would have to be equal to or lower than your
character's level. Choose your items wisely.

In Vanguard, if your character is using 100% of his equipment
expertise, he's still going to be wearing some pretty uber gear.
(Assuming you spent your EE wisely.) In fact, you could still consider
such a character a twink. Sigil hasn't taken all the fun out of
twinking, they've simply come up with a way for players to outfit their
characters in great gear while keeping them reasonably
balanced against their enemies.

style="font-weight: bold;">Got a newb question you'd like
answered in Tuesday's Tips? Or maybe you're the resident
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To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.