A few weeks ago, Turbine gathered questions from players so that they could choose a few to answer. Well, the answers are out. Most of the questions felt like they were planted to highlight features we already know exist in the Mirkwood mini-expansion. Sapience admitted to answering a dev-written question during a dev-chat back in June, so I’m not too surprised. But that’s not the point of this particular blog entry. This is about gear-gating.
One of the questions they chose to answer was about radiance gear-gating. Currently, if you have 5 dread you will cower every few seconds which interrupts all your skills and movement. The interrupt happens so often that you can’t get through the inductions of any skill which lasts more than a couple seconds. Because of this barrier of cowering vs not-cowering, people refer to a particular raid as “requiring” enough radiance to get you to 4 dread.
As of the mini-expansion, you will not cower at five dread anymore. Instead you will cower at eight dread. This change makes the absolute radiance “requirement” seem more mushy. A person be level 65 and run Dar Narbugud with just four pieces of +10 radiance without cowering. Of course, doing so would still mean you would have seven dread. Just how bad a debuff is seven dread?
Taking a level 65 into DN with only four pieces of +10 radiance would mean you would have seven dread. All your skills would operate as if you were back to being level 60. Your morale would be shot down to half of normal and your out-going damage of your lower-level skills would be penalized an additional 30%. A level 65 who thinks they are safe going into a raid five levels below them because they have the “required radiance” might be a bit surprised at how bad a debuff dread is.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the change to cowering is a great step in the right direction. Instead of an absolute gear-gate, it’s a much more mushy and murky barrier. The barrier is still there, of course. As long as a helmet can raise your maximum morale by 20% and jump all your skills up by a couple levels, you’ll find raid-leaders will have to decide how much dread is acceptable for each member. Now you can be mad at your friends for not letting you raid with five dread instead of turbine.