Item Rarity Changes

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When the item rarity system went into place, many of the items that came out before essentials were rolled up into the uncommon category. Recently, we’ve gone back through and taken a look at all those uncommons to see what category they really belong in. A few of us have taken a stab at it and compiled a list of possible changes, which I’ve included in the second post.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to use the same criteria that we did and go through the magic items you’re familiar with to see if there’s anything we should add or remove from the proposed changes. On the 21st, we’ll turn over the list of suggestions (updated with your feedback) to the R&D team for them to pick over and finalize which changes will be made.

I know from previous conversations that there are some great ideas and opinions out there about changing item rarity—now’s your chance to make sure we get those ideas in front of R&D.

_________________________


Item Rarity Guidelines

Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium


This book is the benchmark for assigning rarity.


Rare Items


Rare items are meant to be character-defining, powerful objects that help forge the character’s identity in the world. If you find a flame-tongue weapon, you’ve uncovered an important, powerful blade. Since the characters won’t have many of these items, they can be more complicated in terms of type and number of powers.


A rare item . . .



  • Should be more powerful than an uncommon or a common item of the same level

  • Should have a combination of elements (properties and powers), unless its single property or power is exceptionally powerful

  • Should have the potential to affect every combat encounter (typically accomplished with a property, an at-will power, an encounter power, or a combination of these elements)


Few items published before Heroes of the Fallen Lands qualify as rare.


Common Items


Common items typically lack activated powers. They usually confer a simple bonus or a static effect that you note on your character sheet and forget about. For example, a pair of gloves that grants a +2 bonus to Thievery checks makes a fine common item. You note the modifier to your skill check, adjust the total bonus as necessary, and never think of the gloves again until you find new ones to replace them.


The intent behind common items is to keep the game’s complexity load manageable. Common items are useful, but they don’t create a distraction or an extra layer of choice within an encounter.


A common item . . .



  • Should have a single simple effect, which might be expressed by a property or, more rarely, a utility power

  • Should have an effect that is easy to interpret and that is not situational

  • Should be less powerful than an uncommon or a rare item of the same level


Because a common item can be crafted and purchased by a player character, the item should not provide an effect that is easy to abuse if the character acquires multiple copies of the item.


Uncommon Items


Uncommon items occupy the middle ground between rare and common items. They have powers, but these powers are typically daily abilities. They have static effects, but they are rarely character-defining or critical to a hero’s identity.


Most items fall into this category. Basically, if an item does not qualify to be common or rare, it’s uncommon.


Story Rarity vs. Item Rarity


Story rarity (“the world has never seen more than one sword such as this one”) is divorced from item rarity. In other words, story claims have no effect on whether an item is common, uncommon, or rare. The item must meet the game guidelines for its rarity.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Trevor Kidd Community Manager

I'd add another note specific to consuables.  Common consumables have to be extra-double-checked for scaling issues, because they become really really really cheap at higher levels.

Example: potion of invulnerability should probably cost a surge.
Example: Cognizance Crystals should cost something more than a free action.  Miss once, spend 8 level 4 crystals?  If they cost a surge, it might work better.  Or maybe a minor action, or ...

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Some of these criteria are contradictory.

 E.g.:

"Should have a single simple effect"
and
"Should be less powerful than an uncommon or a rare item of the same level"

But passive effects > item powers in the vast majority of cases.

Common items can be less complex or less powerful, but if you require both you'll find the list absurdly small.
Why would Radiant Weapon be on the list, when Sunblade, Frost, Flaming, and Lightning (plus any others in that vein) are not? It's just as character defining as any of these others. SELF EDIT: This is not to say that the others should be common, more that Radiant should remain uncommon. Others mentioned Staff of Ruin, but I disagree, as Staff of Ruin is just the boost to damage, whereas Radiant also changes the damage type, which is really the bigger offender.

Same with Iron Armbands of Power and Bracers of Archery. The ability to ignore cover is already worthless to crossbow users, and not that great for bow users either. If you're going to have Iron Armbands, it would be silly to leave off Bracers of Archery. SELF EDIT: My bigger concern is that Bracers of Mighty Striking and Bracers of the Perfect Shot NEED to have the same rarity, as they do the same thing, with the same logic applying to Iron Armbands of Power and Bracers of Archery. I'm not sure why they ended up with different levels, let alone different rarity.

Defensive Weapon would make a good Common.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Its good that you added ones like ioun blessed symbol and staff of divinity   With the revised multiclass implement rules all it does is boost your crit damage to 1d8 so it needs to be given something more anyways to even really be worth more than a regular +1 symbol/staff/wand. 

Symbol of the first spirits main purpose was also for mc implement users, it doesn't have a power and is not on your list.
  
With holy symbols a lot of the more powerful ones are the simplest, especially at lower levels.  I would consider symbol of divine reach and symbol of the holy nimbus, but those might be too powerful.  Almost all holy symbols either have a very good property, have a power, or were totally obsoleted by the aforementioned mc implement rules revision.
Some of these criteria are contradictory.

 E.g.:

"Should have a single simple effect"
and
"Should be less powerful than an uncommon or a rare item of the same level"

But passive effects > item powers in the vast majority of cases.

Common items can be less complex or less powerful, but if you require both you'll find the list absurdly small.



I think this is an important point. I'd like to participate and draft a list of common and rare items myself for submission to WotC but I find it difficult because of this contradiction. E.g. Iron Armbands of Power should be common because of its simplicity but on the other hand it should be rare because it's so powerful.
I get that the "common items should be simple" and should be "less powerful than than an uncommon or rare item of the same level" can contradict, specifically when an item has riders on a property or power that generally make that property/power harder to use. That kind of thing tends to make an item weaker while adding complexity to it.

When we were putting our suggestions together we did our best skirt that grey as well as we could. For the most part, if it's weaker but had some riders - we left it uncommon. We erred on the side of trying to keep the commons as simple as possible. If this struggle in guidelines is going to keep you from adding some suggestions, I'm sorry - it's not something can change at this point. (I'll also be removing any further comments about this contradiction to keep the conversation focused)

As to all the basic suggestions of changing the item rarity - while I definiteily appreciate feedback, please keep this conversation to specific items (I've removed all the posts that weren't on that topic). Basically, which ones should be changed in rarity with possibly a brief description of why based on the criteria.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Why would Radiant Weapon be on the list, when Sunblade, Frost, Flaming, and Lightning (plus any others in that vein) are not? It's just as character defining as any of these others.

Same with Iron Armbands of Power and Bracers of Archery. The ability to ignore cover is already worthless to crossbow users, and not that great for bow users either. If you're going to have Iron Armbands, it would be silly to leave off Bracers of Archery.


I agree with the first question, but maybe not its intent.  I'd say the Radiant should not be on the common list.  Having the ability to change your damage type isn't really a "simple effect."
Similarly, while it is just a property, BloodIron's crit damage and re-damage easily makes it as good as (if not better) than a lot of other same-level weapons.  So it too should stay uncommon.

I'd love to see Bracers of Archery as a common.  It falls into that category of items that are not character-defining, but more heavily role-supporting.  Every archer should have access if they desire it, in other words.  It's almost regretable that it has a weak power holding it back.

Lastly, I don't understand why ammunition would be common, since their properties are applied to other actions (rather than being always-on properties like the Armbands).  I certainly wouldn't think that anything applying a condition (freezing arrows) or effecting multiple targets (firestorm) would qualify for common status. 
Of course, as a player, I don't mind this idea at all.  As a DM, I know I would change it without hesitation. 

Cheers.  And thank you.
-VIC

Depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

Right off the bat Iron Armbands of Power, Bracers of Archery, and the Bracers of Mighty Striking (from HotFL) need to be removed from Common (there may be others). These items are SO far beyond the value of any other items in this slot that if they are common 100% of all players will opt to buy/craft a pair for their character. There's no point in even having an arms slot with these items being common, just give everyone a free damage bonus. The only other option would be to move these items to a much higher level, but that really doesn't solve the problem, just staves it off for a while.

Frankly permanent always-on bonuses shouldn't exist in items, but obviously that isn't something that will be addressed here.

Edit: Certain consumables also present a rather interesting issue. Magical ammunition for instance can be QUITE advantageous, even when using ammo of a lower level than the PC. These items also may need to be uncommon. There can certainly be common ones, such as simple +N ammo, although the economics rarely justify it.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
damage bonuses SHOULD be common just to speed up combat. i dont think twice about giving out shards and staves of ruin

Glad to hear  R&D are willing to resort the Toolbox a bit and put Items out of Uncommun toward either Commun or Rares. I'd be happy to help for sure !    Here's a little start.  (more to follow Wink)


245       Mind Hunter’s Armor                     Psionic Power                             Armor               C
246       Darkleaf Shield                             Adventurer’s Vault                      Arm                  C
247       Jousting Shield                             Adventurer’s Vault                      Arm                  C
248       Bracer’s of Enforced Regrets        Adventurer’s Vault 2                   Arm                  C
249       Floating Shield                             Adventurer’s Vault                      Arm                  C
250       Fighting Shield                             Dragon 385                                Arm                  C       


 

Iron armbands bracers of archery and dwarven throwers should all be the same level of item and rarity Why should throwing rangers be penalised over their archery/melee counterparts

(ie change dwarven throwers to a level 6 item same could be said for bracers of perfect shot but difference between 2 and is negligble compared to 6 and 10)
Calimoakheart on RPGTableOnline
Zephyr Boots give flight as a property, and flight was the example of a rarer property that DMs could control (and why the Mantle of the Seventh Wind is a Rare)

I'd suggest that the shards should only become common if their bonuses are typed as item bonuses... and also ones made for every other type of attack, not just a couple different energies and implement attacks. 

The Badge of the Berserker is the Uncommon counterpart to the Common "Lesser Badge of the Berserker" in MME... though the normal badge could also just go away or turn into a completely different item.

The Foe Binder ring has a power, depending on whether you look at the compendium or the source material - may want to address which version is correct before making it common.

I'm dubious of Eagle Eye Goggles and Radiant weapons being common, based on their power level, even though they're obviously simple.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director

This probably should apply to dragonshards as well. In any event, if you are planning on updating dragonshards, please, please, please change dragonshards to item bonuses.



x10000


and yea, Badge of the Berserker has long outlived it's place. A level 3 item that does the same thing as an ED? No good. Take that piece out of the supercharger set and move on, or move it to rare or something.
Radiant weapon is probably the best of all the weapons that have the ability to change damage type because most undead creatures are vulnerable to radiant. Couple that with the fact that undead are one of the most common types of monsters in D&D and you have a potent weapon indeed.

I think anything that is a big game changer should be made uncommon.
Any weapon that does another weapon damage should be uncommon even if it is situational.  The avalanche hammer with the badge of the berserker combo is to powerful.  Both items should be uncommon.  They unbalance the game if they are common.  as a matter of fact both of those items should not even be avilable until the paragon teir as well as sudden recovery armor.
I could see "lesser" things (like the Lesser Badge of the Beserker) being Common, whereas other things (like the regular Badge of the Beserker) are Uncommon.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

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57019168 wrote:
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I want to make it clear that the list on the front page is just filled suggestions that we put together, they're not definite changes. Some talented R&D folks will take a look at the list and decide what really should/shouldn't be changed - we just didn't want to come to you guys with nothing so we took a first shot at it. And if you see things on there that you don't think should be on there - that's not completely unexpected either. If we were unsure, we would often err on the side of putting it on the list, specifically so you guys could see it and give us your feedback.

Please refrain from commenting on the rarity system or the very basics of this list in this thread, and back and forth discussion. If you have something you want pulled from the list or added to the list, post that information up, but leave the other comments in other forum conversations.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Here are more Items to be sorted out:

251       Armblade                     Eberron Player's Guide                          Weapon              C
252       Frightful Weapon         Player's Handboo Race: Dragonborn     Weapon             C
253       Horn Totem                  Forgotten Realms Player's Guide           Weapon             C
254       Rod of Corruption        Player's Handbook                                  Implement         C
255       Subtle Weapon           Adventurer’s Vault                                   Weapon            C
256       Carnage Weapon        Dark Sun Campaign Settign                    Weapon            C


If you have something you want pulled from the list or added to the list, post that information up, but leave the other comments in other forum conversations.

I'm not sure this is what you're looking for, but I'd like rituals involving teleportation and overland flight moved over to rare. I'd consider doing this to any long-range scrying as well.
I'm not sure if this quite fits the criteria, but Shadowflow armor should perhaps be considered for rare status. It's mostly just an untyped bonus to stealth (it being untyped makes it one-of-a-kind powerful; almost an autopick for serious stealth builds) and then it has a pretty solid encounter power on top of that. So it's very powerful and has at least a decent amount of complexity.

I can also see the argument for it remaining uncommon too though. Just thought I'd put it out there.
I don't think Eagle Eye Goggles should be common, due to power level concerns (particularly with seekers and some Essential characters). I'd rather have them receive errata, but barring that, they should be kept as uncommon. For that matter, a continuous, scaling bonus to hit that can potentially apply to all of a character's attack is such an unusual (and strong!) effect that would arguably deserve being rare

The Badge of the Berserker makes no sense as a common when a weaker, Lesser version of the item has just been released at that rarity and the same level. Keeping it as uncommon is the better choice, and there might also be a case for turning it into a rare - ignoring opportunity attacks altogether is a pretty big issue.

Any consumable that becomes problematic when stacking lots of lower level versions of the item should become uncommon, by definition. That said, I'm not sure how the rarity rules interact with consumables: does an uncommon/rare potion take up an item slot of that rarity? That would make them useless, and would need to be changed. These problematic consumables include, but are not limited to: Firestorm Arrow, Freezing Arrow, Lightning Arrow, Spider Bolt, Lesser Elixir of Invisibility, Potion of Resistance, Potion of Invulnerability.
 
My blog about 4e rules and news: Square Fireballs The Magic Item Reset: A standalone set of items for 4E
I think that the Holy Avenger should be made Uncommon.  As a rare item goes it's not very impressive to me.
Hi folks,

As Trevor mentioned earlier, this thread is specifically for suggestions on what items should have which rarities, not for discussion of the rarity system itself.

I've removed a couple of posts.

Thanks.

All around helpful simian


Here are more Items to be sorted out:

251       Armblade                     Eberron Player's Guide                          Weapon              C



If this one should be common wouldnt you add the Armbow and Shoulderbow, also?
Id add the Armbow as a Commun. But not the Shoulderbow because it has a Property and a decent Power.
Id add the Armbow as a Commun. But not the Shoulderbow because it has a Property and a decent Power.



The property being "its embedded" means the power is it. I'd call that common.


Hedge Wizards Gloves should be common. 
Here are more Items to be sorted out:

257       Armbow                                Eberron Player's Guide              Weapon              C
258       Mirtok, Ogre Chief                   Dragon 367                              Hands               R
259       Slaying Stone of Kiris Dahn    HS1 The Slaying Stone              Wondrous         R
260       Belt of Resilience                   Adventurer's Vault                    Waist                  C
261       Sun Globe                            Adventurer's Vault 2                  Wondrous            C
262       Armor of Resistance              Adventurer's Vault                     Armor                 C
262       Mithral Plating                      Eberron Player's Guide               Armor                  C
263       Staff of Divinity                    Adventurer's Vault 2                  Implement            C
264       Life Saving Brooch               Adventurer's Vault 2                   Neck                    C
265       Helm of Opportunity             Adventurer's Vault                     Head                    C
266       Lancing Gloves                     Adventurer's Vault                     Hands                  C
267       Moon Armor                         Adventurer's Vault 2                  Amor                   C
268       Riding Boots                         Adventurer's Vault 2                  Feet                    C
269       Healer's Armor                     Adventurer's Vault 2                  Armor                  C
270       Potion Bandolier                   Adventurer's Vault 2                  Waist                   C






Opal Ring of Remembrance should probably be made Rare.

Also, I like that Dancing Weapon is being changed to Rare. While it may not come into play every combat, it's definitely crazy-incredible in the right hands.
Elixers - really, any consumable that formerly 'used an item daily' - should be Uncommon.

Healing Potions - and any other consumable that 'uses a healing surge' - can reasonably be common.

 

 

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Bag of holding and handy haversack seem like exactly the kind of items that should be Common.
Some items that probably should be made rare:
Items that grant Action Points on a Critical Hit(Symbol of Victory, Solitaire Violet)
Items that grant consistent, additional bonuses to damage or to-hit that are not Item bonuses(Ring of the Radiant Storm, Dragon Shards, Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor, Opal Ring of Remembrance, etc...) - this is more an argument that many of them should be item bonuses.
Items that give free extra actions per encounter, particularly at-will(Ring of Free Time)
Dice of Auspicious Fortune

Some items that should be made Common:
Lunia's Bracelet
Feyleaf Sandles 
MwaO, Of those, I mostly disagree with the "untyped damage" stuff.  Most of that should be item, but it's ok if a few +item boosts stay.  But I agree with the rest of your list...

My blog posting on this was here.  Copying into here...

Commons


  • Cloak of Survival (PHB, 9+).  While this doesn't help a DM looking for level 4 items, it helps fill that slot for levels 9,14,19,24,29.

  • Riding Boots

  • Assassinbane Armor (can't be surprised)

  • Sandals of Precise Stepping (skills booster)

  • Bracers of the Perfect Shot (ranged Bracers of Mighty Striking)

  • Iron Armbands of Power

  • Bracers of Archery (see IAoP)

  • Staff of Tongues (skills, language)

  • Reading Spectacles

  • Flying Hook

  • Immovable Shaft

  • Gem of Auditory Recollection

  • Enchanted Reins


The following items have static properties that doesn't quite seem like they can be coded in the builder in such a way that the item can be completely forgotten, but they are really close



  • Healer's Armor (might be overpowered as a common)

  • Bracers of Brachiation

  • Striking Staff

  • Footpad's Friend (might be overpowered as a common)

  • Varient Energy Weapons that don't have the encounter powers.  "Property: damage done by this weapon/implement can be {fire,cold,acid,poison,psychic,radiant,lightning,etc} instead of any other damage type"

  • Woundstich Powder


The following items were presented as ritual focuses.  Having to find one at the expense of another slot doesn't seem approriate.



  • Tenser's Circular Shield

  • Unseen Servant's Hand

  • Monocle of Comprehension


The following items have a main purpose of removing pointless tracking.  Some of them don't quite follow the apparent design constraints for commons, but I think they could be common anyway.



  • Bag of Holding (minus the minor-action draw bits)

  • Instant Campsite

  • Lamp of Discerning

  • Everburning Torch

  • Restful Bedroll

  • Map of Orienteering

  • Spymaster's Quill

  • Sending Stones


Other suggestions for Rare Items:



  • Master's Blade, but I'd like it to have a second daily.

  • Claw Gloves: class feature in an item, and rather character defining.  As a rare, IMHO should have a power or two...

  • Opal Ring

  • Boots of Teleportation (teleport speed)

  • All Boons/Talents/Trainings (fluff justification, and the free slot aspect)

  • Dice of Auscpecious Fortune, Fortune Stones (slotless items that affect combat)

  • Words of Creation (overpowered consumables)

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I don't believe I'm experienced enough to comment on the reorganization of item rarity in general, but thank you for clarifying story/flavor rarity vs. game rarity.

For some reason, it's been difficult to explain that concept to some of my younger players that a very "rare" and unique item may not necessarily be so in terms of game mechanics.
Staff of the Serpent - Uncommon, 7+, 1d8 poison crit, property that adds poison damage, daily that adds ongoing poison (AV)
Staff of the Viper - Uncommon, 7+,  1d8 poison crit, daily that adds ongoing poison (MME)

I'm sad that the Viper was even created, given how similar it is to the first. However, it should be common because it's almost the same, just slightly worse, than the Serpent.

Vampiric Weapon - Uncommon, 9+, all damage is necro, on a crit you gain HP, daily power to do more damage and add HP
Lifestealer Weapon - Uncommon 4+, on a kill you gain temps, daily power you do damage (less than vampiric) and add HP

Again, Lifestealer +2 and higher is just a worse copy of something that already exists, so level or rarity should be changed.
Currently the Ring of Invisibility is a Rare while the Greater ring of Invisibility is an Uncommon. I don't think either of them quite warrant rare status.
Honestly, a lot of these seem really really iffy.

I'd absolutely BEG that you run this through CharOp to see what it breaks.

I'd also echo notes about simplicity not necessarily being equated with low power, and item powers with high power.  If you want something to be character defining, it needs to be always on, and always useful, not have a single daily power, and thereafter be decorative.

I'd similarly echo notes about Dragonshards.  Introducing more item bonuses to damage into the system would really, really help to make the Arms slot more interesting - as it is, on most characters it's very, very difficult to even consider taking an arms slot other than BoA/IAoP, and it means that people who don't or can't benefit from them (sling users being a particular bugbear of mine, since BoA only work with bows and crossbows) often fall behind, rendering the game more homogenised and less interesting.  Either that, or simply adding a blanket +1/2/3 item bonus to damage to all Arms slot items, thereby making the BoA/IAoP less dominant - take a slightly lower IBD, and a power/property, or a higher one and no power/property.  It reduces the variance.

Finally, stuff like Bag of Holding, (Endless Quiver, but MME dealt with that one), Unending Flagon, infinite rations etc, should be common.  Making the mundane bookkeeping ignorable by RAW would be handy.

But overall, please, please be careful with this stuff.  Not everyone has the luxury of house-ruling when stuff hasn't quite been thought far enough through, and these changes have a big impact particularly on Encounters, but also on LFR.  I really look forward to the results of this effort, but I hope to goodness that it can be done as carefully and rigorously as possible, because it can easily go pear-shaped.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Right off the bat Iron Armbands of Power, Bracers of Archery, and the Bracers of Mighty Striking (from HotFL) need to be removed from Common (there may be others). These items are SO far beyond the value of any other items in this slot that if they are common 100% of all players will opt to buy/craft a pair for their character. There's no point in even having an arms slot with these items being common, just give everyone a free damage bonus. The only other option would be to move these items to a much higher level, but that really doesn't solve the problem, just staves it off for a while.

Frankly permanent always-on bonuses shouldn't exist in items, but obviously that isn't something that will be addressed here.



I don't think there's a problem with permanent always-on bonuses to skills or certain defenses, but the damage bonus from these items completely dominates the rest of the field.  Maybe if the damage bonuses were cut in half (+1/tier), but as written it's nuts to classify them as common.  These items dominate the entire arm slot for weapon characters.  Maybe they should be rare?

-KS

the worst thing you could do would be to make them rare. they should be common. every day there is a thread about combat speed, and taking one of the few routes to extra damage away from players just seems completely insane to me
frothsof has it exactly right.  the boring old static bonus granting items almost need a category more common than common.

the competing items largely fall into 2 categories.  The first has underwhelming choices, so stuff like IAoP become the default choice because they are effective if not flashy.  The second is stuff that fills a niche (like a Resist or skill bonus), in which case the IAoP isn't even given a glance.

arm slots are particularly cantankerous, because of the whole sharing a slot with magic shields thing. 

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