[LOTRO] The Future of Radiance Gear

Lord of the Rings Online is another MMO which is in a long, slow period at the moment. It has been a few months since the last content patch, which was fun, if a bit on the sparse side.

And the raiding scene is beginning to struggle. Which just means that more people are giving up on raids than are being replaced. And that means that perhaps the barriers on getting into raiding are a bit on the high side.

This warrants more explanation. In WoW, resilience was introduced as a pure PvP stat to differentiate PvP gear from PvE. In LOTRO, Radiance was introduced as a pure raid stat – mobs in raids exude a debuff that can only be countered if you are wearing gear with sufficient radiance.

It serves a similar purpose to resilience and means that players can’t use raid gear to run rampant over the monster play PvP areas. But in addition, there’s no point even entering a raid until you have enough radiance on your gear, so it acts as a kind of attunement/ gating mechanism.

And you get radiance gear from drops in various dungeons. For example, this is a guide written last year on how to get radiance for new raiders. If you are unlucky with drops, you may have to run those instances a lot, them’s the breaks. Oh and of course most other players by now are thoroughly bored with those instances so there won’t be a lot of random groups going.

So with this background, Turbine (and Codemasters) are running a poll to ask players how they feel about the Radiance gear which is used for gating raids.

Astoundingly to me, lots of players have voted for deed related radiance – that would mean that you could up your radiance score by killing zillions of mobs. Deeds are grindy, bears shit in the woods. No, Turbine should get a clue now and ditch radiance. It has served its purpose. It was never popular in any case. The people they need to lure into raiding now to keep the rest of the existing playerbase occupied with them are not the hardcore who will happily jump through all the grouping or grinding hoops. They are the people who may not be willing or able to organise their own group dungeon runs with a bunch of other players who are already bored of those instances and stand to gain nothing from them.

There are other options. EQ used to have a scheme whereby an existing raid guild could quickly attune new members. That type of facility comes into its own later in the expansion cycle when the flood of hopeful new recruits has dried to a trickle. Maybe crafting materials could drop in the raid instances to allow crafted radiance gear for new raider-wannabees also. But the view that you need to work for your raid attunement , whilst appealing to some, isn’t much help when your raidgroup needs new blood.

Gaming has moved on from when raiding was the high pinnacle of PvE to which to aspire. It’s still challenging and rewarding, but there’s no need to force people to grind their way into raid groups any more. The goal is to get more people into the raid game, not fewer. Right?


2 thoughts on “[LOTRO] The Future of Radiance Gear

  1. Gloom/radiance is a textbook example of a fantastic idea (dread/hope) gone bonkers. But there’s always Blizzard .. and some comments about the “boss-progression” in Cataclysm hint at something that could be remotely related to the old dread system.

  2. LOTRO always had some very intentional grind elements, the old hunt for “perfect legacies” on legendary items introduced in “Mines of Moria” and the “lottery system” for proper relics were meant to keep people busy.

    Radiance kept people busy and was intended to take a lot of time (unfortunate for the players). You had to do all Moria dungeons, basically. Several times, till you were eligible for the coin or lucky to roll it. It was required to get all set parts to raid the “Watcher” and later Dar Narbugud, besides that the Moria radiance gear simply still has awesome stats.

    As a mechanic from a player point of view it simply sucks. It is content gating and putting people into a threadmill.

    The new way to acquire radiance gear is to run the Swordhall of Dol Guldur over and over and over – then you are eligible to enter the Barad Guldur raid which also has some mechanics like the “Gauntlet” that are intentionally set up to stall people. After a set amount of time it resets, and you have to fight the hordes again.

    Skirmishes are the new relic/legacy grind of Siege of Mirkwood, as they provide people with the legacy improvement scrolls that can sooner or later (more likely later) turn EVERY legendary weapon into a “perfect” weapon.

    I see no point in making people run the Swordhall of Dol Guldur till they have all the tokens for full radiance set. I assume their latest strategy seems to be to sell a lifetime membership and sell more content in Mirkwood-sized chunks instead of keeping people subscribed by stalling them.

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