Virtue Effects for Gear in release 53 instructions says: Once upon a time, striving for virtue was just what you did because that's where the story was leading us, to be a better person. You'd meditate at the shrines and get a stat bonus for doing so, but that wasn't why you were there. You wanted to gain that eighth a hell of a lot more than you cared about any side stat bonus. In Ultima 9, there was karma, and the reason to be a good guy was so you could get more mana. This was silly, but that was Ultima 9 and by the time we got there, we accepted whatever silly mechanics made its way into that game because that was 1995-2000 and a lot of new things were being tried, and we all know the rest, they did their best given the circumstances. Now in post-launch SotA we have armor that we strive to get - not just for virtue, not just because trying to be virtuous is the cool thing to do, but because it lets us fight better. There shouldn't be (much of) a reason to get this stuff beyond the fact that your character wants to be virtuous. Virtue armor shouldn't be any more powerful (if at all) than regular armor. It's basically decorative, but restricted to those who are getting that much closer to being an Avatar. It should be story-centric, and nothing else. If that isn't enough of a draw to get the armor, something is wrong with the story.