Guide to Understanding Rares and Runes

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Guide to Understanding Rares and Runes

Unread postby PostBot » Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:44 am

Guide to Understanding Rares and Runes


There seems to be much misunderstanding about how Runes and whats Rare and whats not. I have put together a little guide of what I have discovered through playing the game and researching.

One thing that I have noticed that seems to help boost the drop rate of Rare items, is doing Missions Solo. It is argued that a party of all Players has the same chance as a party of one. But, after much testing, I disagree. I went with Drake hunting parties probably 10 times before I could solo them, this being before the Loot Balancing Update, and found maybe one Gold item and one to two Purple items per trip. Keep in mind, this was split between the party, not reserved just for me. Going Solo, before and after the Loot Balancing Update, I found two to three Gold items pre LBU and I find one to two Gold iems post LBU. Almost every Drake drops a Purple Rare if it fails to drop a Gold.

Modifiers vs. Upgrades

Alot of people don't realize that there are actually two different types of statistics on weapons. Their are Modifiers and their are Upgrades. Modifiers are statistics that are static, or will always be present, on the item. These can consist of Damage bonuses, Energy bonuses, and various other bonuses.

Upgrades are interchangeable statistics that can be replaced by swapping them with another Upgrade Component. You might ask how can you tell if a statistic on a weapon is a Modifier or an Upgrade then? Every Weapon has two slots available for upgrades, though it may already be filled in items RL 1, 2, or 3. RL or Rarity Level is explained below.

Each weapon can have two Upgrade Components at a time. Upgrade Components are what give items their Unique names. One will effect the Prefix(beginning) of a Weapons title, and the other is like a Suffix(end).

Swords - Sword Hilt(Prefix), Sword Pommel(Suffix).

Axes - Axe Haft(Prefix), Axe Grip(Suffix).

Hammers - Hammer Haft(Prefix), Hammer Grip(Suffix).

Staffs - Staff Head(Prefix), Staff Wrapping(Suffix).

Bows - Bow String(Prefix), Bow Grip(Suffix).

Lets say you loot a Purple hued Sword. It is named Shocking Longsword. This would indicate that it has a Shocking Sword Hilt already in place in the Hilt Upgrade socket. Say it also has a Damage +10%(while hexed) Modifier on it. This is a Modifier because it does not affect the items name, and it is already present on the item at the time of looting.

Levels of Rarity (RL)

White (RL:0) - Items hued in white are base items with no Modifiers or Upgrade Components on them. These are your standard loot drops off low level creatures.

Blue (RL:1) - Items hued in Blue are items that have one, and sometimes two, Upgrades and/or Modifiers. These are much weaker than those of Purple and Gold.

Purple (RL:2) - Items hued in Purple are items that have up to three or four Upgrades and/or Modifiers. These are roughly 50% stronger than Blue Upgrades and Modifiers.

Gold (RL:3) - Items hued in Purple are items that have up to five Upgrades and/or Modifiers! They are 100% stronger than Blue Upgrades and Modifiers. These are also true "Rare" Items and when dropped as loot, they will be listed in the lower left corner as such.

Hued Armor and Runes

Certain creatures in the game tend to drop Salvageable Armor rather than weapons. Charr, Gypise Ettins, Various Undead, Shiverpeaks and Lesarus are all examples of the many creatures that drop these items. You may have encountered them before. Some examples are Flame Trapper Wieldings, Ettins Pauldron, Stalker Armor, Necrid Robes, etc. Occasionally though, you will notice that they will have a hue that falls under the Levels of Rarity listed above. Any Salvageable Armor that has a RL HAS a Rune in it.

Please note, their was a guide earlier that suggested that an Expert Salvage Kit be used prior to Identifing items to increase the success chance of extracting the Rune. This has no bearing. Also examine the Salvageable Armor closely; if it does not say "Unidentified", then tragically their is no Rune in the item after all. You should always use an Identification Kit on one of these items to see if its even worth the Expert Kit use. Many Runes you may not be able to even use, and Minor Runes are incredibly difficult to sell.

Levels of Rune Strength

Runes have three different Strength Levels, each with its pros and cons. Runes can affect any skill in any class; however their are also Runes of Vigor which affect your overall Health!

Minor - Minor Runes are the weakest of the Runes. These Runes provide an increase of 1 Attribute Point in the skill they are designated for. They have no real cons, except that they only provide an increase of 1.

Major - Major Runes are the middle Rune class. They provide an increase of 2 Attribute Points in the skill they are designated for. The con is that they also take -50 life Health away for each one you use.

Superior - Superior Runes are the highest level Rune class, and the most sought after. They provide an increse of 3 Attribute Points in the skill they are designated for. They have a major con though. They take a whomping -75 Health away for each one that you are using.

Vigor Runes - Vigor Runes are seperated though they follow the same conventional Rune Strength class system. They, however, can be used by all classes. Minor Vigor gives +30 Health, Major Vigor +40 Health, and Superior Vigor +50 Health. It is essential you have a Superior Vigor Rune if you are planning on using a Superior Skill Rune to help offset the Health Loss.

Using Runes Correctly

Many people go out and buy Runes not even knowing how to use them, or if they CAN use them. First of all, you can only use a Rune that is designated for your Primary Profession. If you are an Elementalist/Necromancer, then you can only use Elementalist Runes. Vigor Runes are universal and can be used by any profession; they are the one exception to this rule. Please take note that their is such a thing as an Energy Storage Rune. If you are not an Elementalist, you cannot use this Rune because you do not have the attribute Energy Storage.

Now that you know which Runes you can buy, you need to know what to do with them after buying or obtaining one. You can only use one Rune of a certain Attribute in the same suit of Armor that is currently equipped.

Things you CANNOT do:

You CANNOT place two Runes on one peice of clothing, even if they differ in Rune Strength and Attributes affected.

You CANNOT place two Runes of the same Rune Strength in seperate peices of the same suit to get a double bonus.

You CANNOT place two Runes of differing Rune Strength in seperate peices of the same suit to get a double bonus.

You CANNOT use Runes that affect Attribute Points that you do not have.

You CANNOT use Runes that affect Secondary Profession Attribute Points.

Things you SHOULDN'T do:

You SHOULDN'T place a Rune in a peice of Clothing/Armor that already has a Rune present as it will overwrite the existing Rune.

You SHOULDN't use more than two Superior Runes as you can only use one Superior Vigor Rune and you would have a defecit of 100 Health missing off your total Health bar.

Now that you know what you can't and what you shouldn't do, you are ready to use your Rune. Say that you are a Mesmer/Monk, and you have recently aquired a Mesmer Rune of Major Fast Casting in a game of chance. To use this Rune, you will double click the Rune and target a peice of your armor. It will apply the Rune to the armor. Now hit CTRL+H and notice that your Fast Casting Attribute is a different color. This is because it is being modified by the Rune. Take the peice you put the Rune in off to find out how much if you are not certain.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What if I put a Rune in my armor, then I decide to get new armor? Can I get it back?

A. Yes. You simply use an Expert Salvage Kit on the armor peice. It has been confirmed by Mikael that you can indeed fail while extracting it from crafted armors, but the chance seems reduced compared to extracting it from a Salvageable Armor.

Q. How come when I identified this Salvageable Armor, it didn't say there is a Rune in it?

A. Make sure that your Salvageable Armor says Unidentified before trying to Identify it. It can still have an Rarity Level without having a Rune or any special properties.

Q. Where can I find Salvageable Armor that have Runes in them? All I ever get are the White items.

A. You can get them off any creature that drops Salvageable Armor. I listed some examples in the guide above. They aren't as common as RL Weapons, but do drop occassionally. Be on the lookout for them during Missions.

Q. What is this Loot Balancing Update (LBU) that you speak of? How come I heard nothing about it?

A. Check for the latest game updates. The LBU basically was an attempt, poor I say, at keeping the Rare Gold items from flooding the market so quickly. Unforunately, they didn't change it quickly enough. It is still not right as it needs to be.

Q. Do you know any Rune hotspots?

A. I have a couple, though I am not ready to give them out yet. I will tell you one monster that seems to drop them pretty often. Gypsie Ettins seem to have a high rate of dropping Rune bearing Salvageable Armor, Ettin Pauldrons. The Runes in them range from Minor to Superior.

Hope this guide answers all of your questions. If you have any questions/suggestions/comments, please feel free to post. Thanks.
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