by: J. F. Amprimoz
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Mines of Moria expanded the LOTRO Trait system dramatically. Whatever class you’re playing, you need to have the right Traits slotted, which means knowing what Stats to look for. Here we look at what you need to succeed as a Minstrel in Middle-Earth.
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We’ve already covered the skills your Minstrel uses in this guide. Now, let’s figure out which traits to slot so those skills hit, or heal, with some oomph. We start with the first Traits you are likely to get as you play a Minstrel, Virtues.
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We’re not talking about how nice we are to play a hard to solo class so we can keep other people alive in groups, though we do deserve a pat on the back for that. No, we are talking about the common Traits, called Virtues, that any class can get by completing Deeds.
Class Traits, discussed in the next article, are binary; you have them, or you don’t. Virtues, on the other hand, are decimal. The first time you perform a Deed that grants that Virtue, you get it at level one. Each time you perform a Deed that grants that virtue again, it goes up a level, all the way to ten. You can also have items that boost the level of a Virtue, and some Race Traits provide a bonus level to each of three Virtues.
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The Buffs to Look For
Choosing Virtues depends in large part on what level your Virtues are; obviously where possible use higher level ones. You also can tweak you Virtues for solo or group play or resistances to damage types you’re likely to encounter. Below are some tips that apply in any case.
Ignore Out of Combat Morale/Power Regeneration (OCM/PR). If you aren’t fighting you can eat or wait, and OCMR is totally useless since you can stand around and heal yourself between fights.
Fate and Will are the Minstrel’s most important stats. Fate determines your ICM/PR, (In Combat Morale/Power Regeneration) and your Tactical crit chance and magnitude. Almost all Minstrel Skills, damage or heal, are Tactical. Will governs your total Power, and needs to be high to keep the heals coming during a long fight. It also helps your Fear and Dread Resitance.
Vitality is good because you don’t get a lot of armour, and getting more Morale will help, as will the improved Wound, Poison, and Disease Resistances. Speaking of armour, that’s another good thing to look for in your Traits, as are Melee, Ranged, and Tactical, in that order.
Agility is less useful now that Evade and Parry effects are capped, and Might is pretty much useless to any Minstel.
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The Traits to Get
Now that you know which Stats are important, you can decide which Traits to slot, keeping in mind their levels, your solo/group play balance (largely if you need more ICMR to stay up or ICPR to keep healing), and the opponents you’re facing. Also consider the buffs you get from your equipment, and decide whether to stack what’s important, or shore up weak spots.
Minstrel Virtue Faves:
Empathy: Lots of armour, some Fate, and some Fear Resist.
Honesty: Power, armour, and a bit of Fate
Idealism: Lots of Fate, good Fear Resist, and a bit of Will
Loyalty: This one is very popular with the Minstrels. Lots of Vitality, some Power, and some armour; altogether a big help to survivability.
Innocence: Some Poison Resist and Shadow Defence, but lots of Melee Damage reduction.
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That is a good setup for most cases, options to specialize include getting tougher for solo or PvP, and loading resistances for specific enemies.
Charity: Lots of Wound Resist, some Ranged Damage reduction.
Compassion: Big Ranged Damage reduction, decent Tactical reduction.
Determination: More Morale and ICMR along with some Agility.
Justice: More Morale and ICMR.
Tolerance: Big Tactical Damage reduction, some ICMR, and a nice Agility bump.
Valour: Lots of Morale.
Confidence: Big Fear Resist, some Will.
Fidelity: Good against Shadow Damage, and gives some Vitality and Power.
Wisdom: Lots of Will and a decent Wound Resist
Zeal: Big Disease and decent Poison Resist, along with some Melee Damage Reduction.