Most items that can be equipped have a specific attribute requirement to fully utilize that item. This includes weapons, shields, and focus items. Should the attribute requirement not be met, the base stats from the item is significantly diminished (bonuses from upgrade components and inherent modifiers are not affected by requirements). Some lower-end items have no requirement and thus can be used at full power regardless of attributes. Other items such as the Censor's Icon have multiple requirements, each providing some bonus if met. Bonuses from upgrade components (or similar properties found on unique items) are not affected by requirements and always grant their full bonus. Note that Weakness, Atrophy and Wail of Doom have the ability to lower the target's attributes and if this causes an item's requirement to no longer be met, the item will behave as such until the condition or hex expires.
Drawbacks if the requirement is not met
- Base weapon damage is reduced by approximately two-thirds.
- Shield base armor rating is reduced to 8 if the shield was either: any randomly generated drop (8-16 base armor), or if it is a 16 armor shield that is not randomly generated. You will gain only 5 armor if that shield was not a randomly generated drop and was below 16 base armor rating.
- The base energy from a focus item is reduced to +6 if the focus item was a randomly generated drop with +7 to +12 base energy. You will gain only +3 energy if that focus item was not a randomly generated drop (for example, it is a collector focus item, unique, PvP Equipment or bonus item).
- PvP Equipment always comes with an attribute requirement of 9.
- In PvE when dropped as loot, it is possible to acquire perfect inscribable swords, shields, and focus items with only a requirement of 8. Perfect non-inscribable items can be found in Prophecies and Factions with a requirement as low as 7.
- The bonus provided by the "Aptitude not Attitude", "Forget Me Not", and "Master of My Domain" inscriptions are affected by the requirement of the weapon it is on.
- When trading, players commonly use the abbreviation "req <number>" or just "q or r <number>" to indicate a weapon's requirement.