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LOTRO: Guardian Fundamentals: Traits

Traits are the primary means of class (and character) differentiation in the Lord of the Rings Online. As such, even in the Guardian class, some very intriguing yet significant choices need to be made. For instance, one could focus on improvements to the might statistic, which increases damage with a melee weapon. Alternatively, one could improve on vitality (increases morale), increases resistances and decrease vulnerability – clearly advantageous to the primary tank. There are a myriad of other possibilities as well, and while it is near impossible to list all of them, I will provide an explanation for the more important traits and suggestions for where aspiring Guardians should focus on.

Statistical Traits

These traits concern increases to your base statistics – such as mighty, vitality, fate etc. Each of these correspond to an important attribute to your character; might increases damage with weapons and vitality overall morale. As such, if one wishes for increased damage for their Guardian, then increments to might would be beneficial; the same logic can be applied for boons to health. Generally speaking, however, each of these traits – by themselves – do not wield much, but combined together can make a formidable difference.

Class Traits

These traits are among the most important (save legendary) one can acquire, and as such wield some very significant benefits to your character. These include, but are not limited to, improvements to existing skills and increased chances to block and parry. The latter items are of particular importance: the Guardian relies heavily – both on offense and defense – on being able to parry or block attacks. It would be advisable then to take such skills. Alternatively, however, if one wants more offense and move out of the stereotypical tank role, you could seek skill improvements that deal heavy damage. So while these traits are among the most important, there is room for diversity, depending on ones ultimate preference.

Damage Reducing Traits

These are the traits that Guardians will seek out if they embrace the tank role. In this category I include decreases to vulnerabilities (long and short range) and increased resistances. Like the statistical traits, they are not very significant on their own, but bundled together they could be very significant, but, unlike them, very situational. For instance, if your fellowship is actively fighting spiders, then traits that increase poison resistance would be ideal. Regardless of circumstance, however, these traits are important in fulfilling the tank role.

Which traits should include, then?

As mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, that entirely depends on what sort of role you want your Guardian to be. Do you want your character to be the penultimate tank? If so, you may want to focus on traits that increase blocking and parrying, taunting skill effectiveness and reductions to melee and long range vulnerabilities. If, on the other hand, you want more offense, focusing on might and skills that improve damage would be critical. Or, you could arm yourself with a mix of the two. The bottom line is this: the system allows for an incredible amount of diversity and there is no set guideline to follow; you can do what you want. In addition, there are many other combinations then what was listed here; this is just a basic guideline for trait allocation.