This guide is aimed at both new and veteran players to give some insights into the gearing up process. Given how random the gear in this game can be, it can be a challenge to decide when to replace a piece or even what pieces are considered good. I’ll lay out a road map for building up your character. While the advice I give will be generalized for all classes, I will sprinkle in class specific tidbits here and there. I would strongly recommend you visit your class forums or talk to knowledgeable players about specific stat priorities for your class though.
The first thing you need to do is consider your gear as a whole. The sum total of all the stats your gear gives you defines how strong your character is. Each piece of gear has a certain number of “stat rolls” that are determined when the gear piece is dropped, as well as a fixed number of seal slots. Each stat roll is randomized when the loot is dropped and certain stats can only appear on certain pieces (e.g. Cooldown reduction will never appear on a helm).
5 armor pieces (3 stats each/1-2 seal slots)
1 weapon* (3 stats/1-2 seal slots)
*Assassins get 2 weapons.
1 offhand* (3 stats/0 seal slots)
*Beserkers and Mages have no offhand
2 rings (3 stats)
1 necklace (3-4 stats)
1 Crossbow (3 stats/ 1-2 seal slots)
1 Lance (3 stats/ 1-2 seal slots)
* Only one mounted weapon can be active at a time. The stats on the active mounted weapon DO apply to your character while you are on foot. You can swap between which weapon is active during combat if needed.
So depending on class and seal slot luck, you have up to 33 stat rolls and 14 seal slots (16 for assassin) to work with.
Builds and “Bottleneck Stats”:
Before you can evaluate how good a piece of gear is, you have to first determine how it fits into your overall build. Again, I would consult with your class forum or veteran players to get a better idea of what is considered a good build for your class. For the purposes of the guide, I will make some general assumptions based on my knowledge of certain classes. Generally speaking, DPS classes will want to maximize DPS, tank classes will want to balance HP and damage (survivability and threat), and priests are a mix of damage/HP.
For each different build, there are usually one or two “bottleneck stats” that you will try to cap out to maximize your performance. Bottleneck stats are stats that are important to your build, can be capped, and only appear on certain pieces of gear. Bottleneck stats and their associated gear pieces include:
Critical Percentage (Crit %) [85% physical/95% magical] – Gloves, Weapon, Necklace, Crossbow, Lance, Sealed Familiars
Cooldown Reduction (CDR) [50%] – Shoulders, Necklace, Spear, Set Bonuses
Cast Time Reduction (CTR) [50%] – Shoulders, Rings, Crossbow, set Bonuses
Evasion Power (EP) [20%] – Helm, Offhand, Necklace, Dexterity (+20 dex = 1% evasion)
Physical/Magical Attack % (PA%/MA%) [No Limit] - Weapon, Offhand, Necklace
Health Percentage (HP%) [No Limit] - Rings
When evaluating your build and how to achieve your desired bottleneck stat caps, you should consider not only the stats on your gear itself, but also possible set bonuses, familiar buffs, passive skills you have, active buffs you apply, and buffs that may be applied by party members.
An example of this is if a mage were to stack up to 95% critical rate on their gear, when they receive the priest Ellora’s mark buff (15% crit%), they would be well over the cap, making the buff useless. In this case, it would be better to aim for 80% crit% and assume that for party content you will always have a priest to buff you up to your cap of 95%. For a deeper discussion on these external buffs, I would consult the class forums.
A general evaluation of each bottleneck stat for each class:
Guardian: CDR (cap to 50%) > HP% (as much as you can get) >PA% (as much as you can get) > Crit%
Priest: Crit% (cap at 80% from gear) > CDR = CTR (Depends on your build) > MA%
Mage: Crit% (cap at 80% from gear) > MA% > CDR = CTR (Depends on your build)
Assassin: Crit% (assassins have crit passives, so up to softcap ~50-60% > PA%
Berserker: PA% > Crit%
A final consideration for your build is how much HP you should aim for. I’ll touch on this below in the roadmap section in more detail. While going pure DPS seems like a great idea, without a certain minimum level of HP, you are far more likely to die. A dead DPS does no DPS, so you have to decide what HP level makes you feel comfortable.
Gear evaluation is a messy business. Everything is random, so try to think of how each gear piece fits into your overall goal, not just how it replaces your current piece.
Think of your bottleneck stats first! If you are a Guardian that wants to reach 50% CDR and a shoulder armor drops with triple constitution stats and two seal slots, at first thought it might seem like an amazing piece. But if you consider your bottleneck, only three gear slots can have CDR. If you don’t get CDR on your shoulders, there will be no way to hit your cap! So this triple constitution shoulder piece would not be considered good for a Guardian.
Aside from your bottleneck stats, you need to know what other stats are good for your class. Below is a general breakdown of the stat priorities for each class that aren’t considered bottleneck stats. These stats have no cap in the game, so just get as much as you can. Any stat not listed for a class can be considered useless for that class.
Assassin/Berserker: Strength/Physical Attack (Great), +HP/Con/Crit Damage (decent), Dex (meh)
Priest/Wizard: Intelligence/Magic Attack (Great), +HP/Con/Crit Damage (decent), Willpower (meh)
Guardian: Constitution/Strength/Physical Attack (Great), +HP (decent), Dex (meh)
My general philosophy on gear pieces is as follows:
- 3 great stats/2 seal slots = Perfect
- 2 great stats/2 seal slots = Great piece. Likely a permanent keeper
- 1 great stat/2 seal slots or 2 great stats/1 seal slot = Decent piece. Use if you need a set bonus
- 1 great stat/1-2 decent stats/1 seal slot – Bad piece. Use if desperate for a set bonus. Replace ASAP.
- Everything else can be sold to a vendor or broken down for tempering stones.
and 1 other.