Game Systems: Traits
align="right" height="358" hspace="10" vspace="5" width="200">In
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, a Trait is an
interchangeable ability that alters your character in some fashion.
Traits allow a great deal of skills customization, so two characters of
the same class and the same level can still be significantly different
from each other depending on how their players have used Traits to
modify their character's skills.
most basic Traits do fairly simple things like increasing your Might
stat or your block rate in combat. These Traits take a number on
character and make it bigger. Simple, but effective, these
basic Traits are the first ones you will see throughout the course of
your character's advancement.
More complex are the Traits that
modify skills (or groups of skills). For example, one Trait may add a
new effect on a critical hit that it didn't have before, while another
may make a skill uninterruptible or reduce the power cost of an entire
group of skills. Yet another type of Trait works only after a specific
combat event, allowing you to gain power on a critical hit or increase
your defense on a successful block.
The majority of Traits are
passive; once the Trait is slotted it is always "on," providing its
benefit to the player. However, there are some Traits that are active
these Traits, when slotted, give you an entirely new skill. Like other
skills, they must be placed on your hotbar and activated to do
Your character doesn't start with active Traits
far from it. Traits must be earned through completing Accomplishments
(more info on Accomplishments will be released soon!). When a player
earns a Trait, it goes into their Trait pool. Much like the equipment
in a character's inventory, Traits don't do anything until they are
"equipped" (in our case, dragged to a Trait slot).
are unlocked through leveling. Combined with Accomplishments, this
allows the player to "grow into" their specialization, building upon
their preferred play style rather than being inundated with confusing
choices at the beginning of the game that have repercussions much later
down the road.
While Traits can be slotted and unslotted,
slotting a Trait is not free. A player can only slot and unslot Traits
while speaking with a Minstrel NPC in a town; Trait slotting may also
have a cost associated with it. This allows players to re-spec their
character (customizing it to better fill a role, like a healer in a
fellowship, or to better function in solo play) while still making
their choices meaningful.
All Traits are not the same kind.
Traits are grouped into four families: Common, Race, Class, and
Legendary. Each Trait can only be slotted in a slot of the matching
Common Traits are the simplest Trait types and are
available to all players. These are typically the first slots to be
unlocked and the first Traits to be earned.
Race Traits are
slightly more complex. A player can only earn race Traits of his
corresponding race (e.g., Hobbit may get better at eating but he won't
be able to gain the toughness of a Dwarf).
Class Traits are the
bread and butter of the Trait System. The majority of slots the player
will earn are class slots, and these are the ones that directly modify
class skills, providing much more power and depth than most race or
Finally there's the top tier of Traits:
Legendary Traits. These Trait slots are not unlocked until the higher
levels, and the Traits themselves are more difficult to earn than
others. The goal is for Legendary Traits to be truly legendary
something the player can be proud of earning and slotting.
are an incredibly flexible system that provides enormous flexibility
and in turn gives the players room to develop a unique character of
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