Gear is a topic with which I, even seven years later, continue to struggle. What do I keep, is there something better, how does one learn the actual gear value? When you get to level ten, this becomes an even bigger issue.
Each update changes the game, some even cause the gear landscape to go through an enormous renovation. The recent expansion of Ravenloft, with its introduction of Barovian and Morninglord weapons, is no exception.
To that end, I have decided to make an endeavor to assist new players make sense of all their choices. This won’t be easy and I’m sure I will miss some things, but let’s give it a go, regardless.
Let’s start with RNG (aka Random Loot Drops).
Ideal choices will differ dependent upon things such as class, Adventure Pack Access, and your ability/ willingness to run raids. As one gets higher in level, the massive amount of options for gear tends to get convoluted.
Regardless of class or build, all characters will benefit from gear that raises their main ability, such as Strength, Intelligence, or Wisdom. Another great gear feature is Sheltering, which will mitigate the amount of damage suffered.
Elemental Damage is a concern in a majority of quests, and one can find gear with specific elemental reduction as frequent drops from quests, end rewards, and set bonuses. Suffice it to say, this will contribute a great deal to your survival.
Fortification is a property that you should be sure your character has or gets asap, with an aim of eighth level for Heavy. Until then, just take the highest Fort item you can find and keep it equipped to avoid one-hit deaths.
Other universal properties to watch for are Search, Spot, Haggle, True Seeing, Blur, Ghostly, Speed or Striding, Death Block, and Blindness Immunity.
Besides the gear I just mentioned, builds work better when their Feats and Enhancements are in complement. To that end, typical properties for RNG gear has been hereafter suggested.
Melee: Gear that focuses on your main ability such as Strength, Dexterity, etc, is an absolute requirement. Other helpful properties are Deadly, Seeker, anything that boosts their weapon’s critical profile- including the weapon itself, and Accuracy.
Fighters will want gear that will enhance their combat abilities, such as Trip, Stun, or Shield Bash. They also suffer from a lack of the ability to self heal, so gear that adds Healing Amplification will be a welcome addition for both the fighter as well as the group’s healer. Fighter classes tend to have low Will saves, so feats and gear that can increase their ability to overcome spells that affect the mind. Fighters can wear any type of armor that fits their style, though heavy mail is the choice most typical.
Paladins need good scores in both their secondary an tertiary abilities as well as their primary. As such, they should seek items that grant enhancements to Wisdom as well as Charisma. For weapons, you will want crit focused properties, and will find great return from scimitars and falchions. Paladins have access to healing spells, however their spell point pool tends to be limited, so to aid in this, one should watch for items with the title “Wizardry”. Heavy plate is a usual choice to get a Paladin to flourish.
Melee Rangers are bladed whirlwinds, and get amazing results from weapons and other gear that take advantage of the multitude of strikes Rangers will inflict. Like the Paladin, Rangers also have access to healing spells, but find their resources limited. Wizardry items can help eliminate that void. Rangers will want light armor to take advantage of their agility!
All casters will want some form item that increases their spell points (Wizardry), DC (Focus), critical chance (Lore).
Divine casters will also want to take advantage of heavy armor, since they will not be affected by its Arcane Spell Failure. In regards to defense, divine casters lack strong Reflex saves, and may want to invest in gear that alleviates this weakness.
Arcane casters may want to take advantage of a buckler, since 5% ASF is all they will be subjected to; less if they utilize Arcane Fluidity. Fortitude is not an arcane caster’s strongest suit, so they like gear in which this is fortified.
For offensive caster classes, you will want gear that enriches your ability to surpass spell resistance (Spell Penetration), as well as something to raise certain spell types of damage output. Just as with melee builds, you’ll also want something to boost your chance at getting that ever important spell critical, so you can dish out some major punishment.
Healers will want to be on the lookout for Healing Lore and Devotion. Some healers use light spells as offense, in which case be on the lookout for the gear properties Radiance Lore and Radiance.
Support casters will want items that not only boost their element of choice damage, but also some Enchantment or Necromancy Focus.
Ranged builds can get good elemental damage if they choose a type of elemental arrow, and then pick “Elemental Arrow” from the Arcane Archer enhancement tree, and thus benefit from elemental spell power. Gear with the corresponding elemental spell power adding to your ranged damage is equal parts awesome and insane.
Once the character reaches level eight and can wield the Silver Longbow, there isn’t much need for other gear, save for what’s already been recommended.
Utility builds such as a rogue or artificer not only need the gear to boost damage/ backstab capability and the same gear everyone else needs, but they also will need items that will help them find and disable traps, as well as to unlock the doors that lead to whatever lies beyond. This is where the ability to craft begins to shine.
Rogues make the best use of daggers and shortswords, while artificers are dangerous with crossbow repeaters and runearms. Both find light armor to be the best fit for their needs. Either can enjoy gear with “assassinate +#” trait, if their build can accommodate.
Named Gear/ Sets
There’s so much info on these that there’s little point in going over each piece that could be of any use to any possible build, so I will just focus on some of the ones that have been recommended or that I have found useful in the past.
Greensteel- Though complicated to understand and a pain to farm, Greensteel weapons and other gear seems today to be just as relevant. If you have access to The Vale of Twilight, you should start the farm process asap. Not only will it take a while to get the ingredients for the base weapon, but then you have to get the ingredients to upgrade.
Barovian/ Morninglord Weapons- I mentioned these before, and once you reach the Barovian wilderness, there is a “vendor” that just gives you one of these weapons, and- if you remember to talk to him a second time- you get a choice of a sentient jewel. If you can get to this area around level 10, you’ll be gifted with a weapon of great power. That is, if you have Ravenloft access.
Dragonscale Armor- If you have the Gianthold Adventure Pack, you’ll be able to flag to run Tor, which will give you Black, Blue, or White Dragon scales if you defeat the dragon that corresponds to the scale. The most you’ll get from each chest is three, and that means it’ll take a few runs of the quest, but I can attest that it is worth it. The quest isn’t long, and can be run at any difficulty. The number of scales you receive is related to the level it is run at (Normal, Hard, or Elite). Black dragon armor is good for dps builds, Blue for casters, and White works well for tanks.
Giantcraft/ Dragoncraft/ Elfcraft armor- Gianthold is a great source of gear. In this case, only 20 of the corresponding artifacts that are a random drop from wilderness kills. All three of these armors have varied types, and give different benefits. I consider these a great to use until you get your hands on a set of Dragonscale.
The Vale, Gianthold, and Tor are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other areas to get what you need, one of which is the Tempest Spine.
However, there comes a point when it’s just easier to craft your desired piece. This is very clear when one looks at roguish/ artificery gear to discover and disable the varied traps that have, on more than one occasion, been the source of my character’s death.
As mentioned before, this is the area where crafted gear stands above the crowd. Yes, you can make your own weapons and armor besides, but the sheer amount of ingredients required will result in rapid depletion.
As a newer player, it will be better to farm most of your gear in-game, and save your precious ingredients for your next life, or- if able to disarm traps- limit your crafted items to this focus.
That appears to be all I can think of at the moment. Readers, if you’ve more to add, please do so in the comments section below.
As always, I cannot thank you enough for the time you took to read this blog. I hope you’ll come back next week!
Have a great rest of your day, everyone!