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Joined: 05 Jun 2013
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re: New to LOTRO - Hints & Tips


GUIDE: New to LOTRO – hints and tips


  1. Introduction
  2. Basic game vocabulary
  3. Getting started
    • Races
    • Classes
  4. The game
    • Exploring
    • Kill enemies
    • Quests & deeds
    • PvP (end-game)
    • Socializing
    • Fishing
    • Tasks
    • Crafting
  5. General new player hints
    • Ways to gather information
    • Useful tips in the game
    • Combat hints
    • Making money
    • UI settings
  6. Other stuff
    • VIP benefits
    • Housing
    • Plugins
  7. Crafting
    • Getting started
    • How do I craft?
    • Making progress
    • Crafting guilds
  8. Legendary Items
    • Your first Legendary Item
    • Improving and customizing your LI
    • The Relic Master
    • Imbuement
  9. Skirmishes
    • Skirmish introduction
    • Skirmish categories
    • Skirmish mechanics
    • Why skirmishes?
  10. Epic Battles
    • EB introduction
    • EB specializations
    • Getting started with EBs
    • Why EBs?

1. Introduction

This is something I wrote with the intention of helping new players with some questions they might have. If you find anything that isn't correct or is incomplete in this guide, please let me know and I will edit it. Be warned, it’s a very, very long post… Please excuse me for that.

2. Basic game vocabulary

You may know some of these terms, others might be completely new to you... This is a small overview of commonly used terms and abbreviations (some are also used on other games or other parts of the internet).

  • Adds: Enemies that attack you after you've begun a fight with another enemy.
  • AFAIK: As far as I know
  • Aggro (aggravation): Can be used as a verb, meaning alerting an enemy so it will start to attack you, or it can be used as a noun, meaning the threat that you are to an enemy in a fight.
  • AH: Auction hall, a location in game where players can list items for sale and buy from each other.
  • Alts /toons: Other characters owned by the same player.
  • AoE attacks: Area of effect attacks that damage multiple foes within a certain range.
  • Bear: Beorning, character class.
  • BoA: Bind on Acquire, items that will be bound to your character as soon as you acquire them, which means they can’t be traded or sold to other players or characters.
  • BoE: Bind on Equip: unlike BoA items, these will only be bound to your character after equipping them.
  • BoV: Blessing of the Valar: a character upgrade bought from the store which will instantly elevate your character to either lvl 50 or lvl 95.
  • Boxruns: Running the weekly featured instance.
  • BPE: Block, parry and evade ratings, passive attributes indicating the character’s proficiency at blocking, parrying or evading incoming attacks.
  • Buff: an effect placed on a character (either by the character itself or by an ally) which boosts the character’s combat abilities.
  • Burg: Burglar, character class.
  • Cappy: Captain, character class.
  • Champ: Champion, character class.
  • Crit: Critical hit / critical success ratio, indicating either an attack which dealt more damage / healed more than the regular amount, or the rate at which a character can deal critical hits.
  • Debuff: An effect placed on a character (either by the character itself or by an enemy) which hinders the character’s combat abilities.
  • DoT: Damage over time, this will inflict a certain amount of damage every x seconds.
  • DPS: Damage per second, this can indicate the players or classes that deal most of the damage in a fellowship, or it can indicate the dps-value of a weapon.
  • EB: Epic Battles, also known as Big Battles. A special type of instance. See section 10 for more info.
  • F2P: Free to Play, an account status indicating that the player has not spent any real life money on the account.
  • Fellowship: Temporary group of up to 6 people, generally formed to do game content together which can’t be done solo. A fellowship can be converted to a raid which can hold up to 24 players. The monster play version of a fellowship is simply called “group”.
  • FI: Featured Instance: every week a new instance will be “featured” which means they drop special rewards upon completion. The schedule of which instances are included in this rotation change with updates to the game every few months.
  • FM: Fellowship maneuver, also referred to as conjunctions. These sometimes occur when you're fighting enemies while in a fellowship. The enemy will be stunned for about 10 seconds, and you will be able to choose between 4 options: a red, blue, green or yellow circle. When the enemy recovers from his stun, all fellowship members will perform a fellowship maneuver. The result depends on the combo that is made (more info later on). Note that creep FMs (warband maneuvers) are completely different from freep FMs.
  • Founder: An account status indicating that the player pre-ordered the original Shadows of Angmar game in 2007. These players were allowed to participate in the beta testing, had a lower pricing rate for both monthly and lifetime VIP status and received a few minor bonuses exclusive to Founders. In 2010, Founders automatically became VIPs (as long as they either paid their subscription or bought a lifetime account), but some people still refer to the Founder title.
  • GA: Garth Agarwen, a small instance cluster at the end of the Lone-lands questline at level 32, consisting of The Arboretum, Barrows and Fortress.
  • GB: Great Barrow, one of the first instance clusters many people encounter as it’s located in the Barrow-Downs of Bree-Land. There are 3 instances (The Maze, Thadúr and Sambrog – or Sammy) which scale between lvl 20 and level cap.
  • Guard: Guardian, character class.
  • HD: Helm’s Deep, either the actual landscape location or (more commonly) the EB cluster taking place there.
  • HoT: Heal over time, heals the target for a certain amount of morale (or power) every x seconds.
  • ICMR: In-combat morale regeneration, the rate at which your character heals morale over time while in combat, without help of potions or healing skills.
  • ICPR: In-combat power regeneration, same as ICMR but for power.
  • IIRC: If I remember correctly.
  • imo: In my opinion.
  • Kin: Kinship, a group of players joined together under one leader, similar to a clan or a guild in other games.
  • LI: Legendary Item, a special type of weapon or class item obtained for the first time at the beginning of the Moria epic questline.
  • Lifetime / Lifer: An account status of a player who bought a lifetime subscription back when they were still available. The lifetime plan is no longer being sold (since 2009) but they’re still very rarely given away as contest prizes..
  • LM: Lore-master, character class.
  • Mini: Minstrel, character class.
  • Mob: An NPC that you can attack.
  • Moors: Ettenmoors, the area where most PvP action takes place. On freep side only accessible by VIPs.
  • MT: Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor.
  • NPC: Non-player character.
  • Premium: An account status indicating that the player has spent some money on the game in the past, but is not an active subscriber.
  • PST: Please Send Tell, an abbreviation usually put at the end of a recruiting message looking for players to join a fellowship or raid, or when buying /selling on public channels, indicating that any interested people should contact them in a private message (tell).
  • PvP: Player vs. player, game mode in the Ettenmoors (or Osgiliath, but mostly in the Moors by far).
  • RK : Rune-keeper, character class.
  • Root: A skill that causes the target to become unable to move for a short amount of time. Attacking is still possible though.
  • RP: Roleplay, a way of playing in which the real life player makes the played character act as if the character is real and not part of a game.
  • RT: Roving Threat, a high-level enemy (lvl 100 – 105) roaming a certain area in a few zones. These were introduced in 2014 as a new type of landscape challenge for high-level players, but can pose a serious risk for lower level players as they roam areas with a much lower target level than their own and can easily kill an unaware player in one shot.
  • Scourge: An enemy type very similar to RTs but in higher level zones (115 – 130).
  • T2C: Tier 2 Challenge mode, a more difficult version of an instance or raid which also rewards much more valuable loot. Higher tiers (up to 5) have been introduced as well in 2019.
  • Tank: Person who takes most of the damage in a fellowship to protect players with lower defense.
  • Tell: A private chat message, named after the command /tell .
  • VIP: An account status indicating that the player currently has an active subscription.
  • Warband: A similar type of enemy to the RTs, but specific to mounted combat areas.
  • WTB: Want To Buy, a chat prefix followed by a description of an item the player wants to buy.
  • WTS: Want To Sell, a chat prefix followed by a description of an item the player wants to sell.
  • WTT: Want To Trade, a chat prefix followed by a description of an item the player wants to trade.

For those interested in PvP, here are some words and abbreviations often used in the Ettenmoors where most of the PvP action takes place.

  • AEOP/ AOP: Arador’s End Outpost, an outpost south of Isen.
  • BA: Blackarrow.
  • Comms: Commendations, the currency in PvP.
  • Creeps: Monster players.
  • Craid: Creep raid.
  • CXX (e.g. CTR): Crude map to location XX, a mapping skill for monster players with 1h cooldown.
  • DG: Dâr-Gazag, a keep which is always under creep control at the very western edge of the Moors.
  • EC: Elf camp, a smaller camp located between Lugz and ROP.
  • Fraid: Freep raid.
  • Freeps: Free peoples, meaning the normal characters in Middle-Earth: (stout-axe) dwarf – (high) elf – hobbit – race of man – beorning.
  • Grams: Gramsfoot, the base camp for creeps.
  • GV: Glân Vraig, the base camp for freeps.
  • Grothum: A goblin camp east of Isen.
  • GXX (e.g. GTR): Good map to location XX, a mapping skill for monster players with 5min cooldown.
  • HH: Hoarhallow, a hobbit village west of LC.
  • HOP: Hithlad Outpost, an outpost between HH and LC. Also known as South OP.
  • IOP: Isendeep Outpost, an outpost between Isen and TA.
  • Isen: Isendeep Mine, a keep in the north-eastern mountains of the Moors.
  • LC: Lumber Camp, a keep in the south-western forest of the Moors.
  • Lugz: Lugazag, a keep south of Grams.
  • Lugz rez: Rez circle near ROP where players can respawn if their faction controls Lugz.
  • OC: Orc camp, a smaller camp located between TR and IOP.
  • OR: Ost Ringdyr, a keep which is always under freep control at the very eastern edge ofthe Moors.
  • PXX (e.g. PTR): Poor map to location XX, a mapping skill for monster players with 10min cooldown.
  • ROP: River Outpost, an outpost between EC and HH.
  • STAB: South TA bridge.
  • TA: TolAscarnen, a keep in the middle of the Moors.
  • TR: Tirith Raw, a keep north of GV
  • TR rez: Rez circle near IOP / AEOP where players can respawn if their faction controls TR.
  • Tribe: Monster player version of a kinship.
  • WL: War-leader.
  • WTAB: West TA bridge.

Also good to know is how to use the basic chat channels in the game. To enter a new channel, simply type the command listed behind the channel name in the list below, followed by a space. The channel will automatically switch to the new channel (e.g.: /k Hello kin!).

  • Kinship: /k
  • Tribe: /tr
  • Officer (only available for kinship officers): /o
  • Fellowship (freep groups up to 6 people): /f
  • Group (creep groups up to 6 people): /g
  • Raid (groups up to 24 people, for either freeps or creeps): /ra
  • World (general server-wide channel): /world
  • LFF (looking for fellowship, to find players to group with): /lff
  • OOC (out of character, rarely used outside of the Moors, in the Moors it’s the default communication channel): /ooc
  • Trade (channel reserved specifically for trading/selling/buying with other players): /trade
  • Say (sends a message visible only to players in your direct vicinity): /say
  • Shout (similar to /say, but in a bigger range): /shout
  • Tell (private conversation with another player): /tell (no brackets)
  • Reply to your last received tell: /r (or just hit the “R” button when you’re not typing a message).
  • Help on available commands in chatbox: /help

3. Getting started

Welcome to the amazing world of the Lord of the Rings Online! Before you can rush off to explore Middle-Earth and kill countless orcs and goblins, you will need to create a new game character. *Help, which server should I play on? And what race/class should I choose?* It is very hard to answer these questions because they depend on what you want to play as. The server you pick doesn't matter very much. All of them are located in the USA, so there should be no difference in connection speed. Something you might want to look at is the roleplaying servers, and servers where French or German dominates (more info here).
A quick overview of the races and classes:

3.1 - Races:
Please note that although the racial bonuses may seem very useful in the beginning, they are quite small when you reach higher levels (a bonus of +15 is virtually nothing to an end-game character while it’s a huge boost for a lvl 15 player.). Don't let these bonuses determine your choice for 100%, you don't want to play a character all the way to end-game if you don't like his/her race.

  1. Dwarves: Sturdy and doughty folk that love crafting, resistant to corruption, but not to greed...
    • The dwarves have lost many great kingdoms in the past, which results in a lower fate than other folk (-7 fate).
    • Stocky dwarves aren't as agile as others (-7 agility).
    • Dwarves are very sturdy (+15 might, +10 vitality, +1% common mitigation).
    • Dwarves are enduring in battle (+30 in-combat morale & power regeneration, but -60 non-combat morale regeneration and -30 non-combat power regeneration).
  2. Elves: Fair and graceful creatures, the first ones to dwell Middle-Earth, with keen senses and a strong affinity for the beauty of nature.
    • Elves have trained their agility during the long years they have lived in the woods (+15 agility).
    • The fading of the Firstborn from Middle-Earth causes elves to have lower fate (-7 fate).
    • The sorrow of the Firstborn causes elves to be a bit more vulnerable (-20 max morale, -60 non-combat morale regeneration).
    • Elves are more resistant to diseases and poisons (+ [4 * level] to disease & poison resistances).
  3. Hobbits: short, but solid and dependable folk who enjoy a simple life and have at least 6 meals a day.
    • Hobbits are courageous (+1% fear resistance).
    • Hobbits are tougher than they look (+15 vitality).
    • Hobbits are able to heal quickly after battles (+60 non-combat morale regeneration).
    • Hobbits are resistant to corruption (+1% shadow mitigation).
    • Small size isn't really useful in combat... (-7 might).
  4. Race of Man: Men might not live as long as elves, be sturdy as dwarves or resilient as hobbits, but they are very courageous and resourceful. Despite the fact that their lives are the shortest of all 4 races, they are destined to rule the world of Middle-Earth after the Third Age.
    • Men have weaker will than other races (-7 will).
    • It is easy to inspire men (+5% incoming healing).
    • Men have the greatest destiny of all peoples (+15 fate)
    • Men have improved strength (+15 might).
  5. Beornings: Introduced to the game in 2014, the Beorning race has only one class (which is also called Beorning). They are the descendants of ancient Men, from Grimbeorn and Beorn themselves. When angered, they can skin-change into a bear. Beornings are gruff, distrustful and impolite, but respect all creatures of nature and hate Orcs more than anything.
    • The very low number of Beornings makes you question their fate (-7 fate).
    • Beornings wield a ferocity unmatched by other races (+15 might).
    • Their bond with the natural world gives Beornings a natural resistance to toxins (+1% poison resistance).
    • Beornings are thick skinned (+15 vitality).
  6. High Elves:Introduced to the game in 2017, high elves are among the oldest living beings on Arda, having witnessed the beauty of Valinor. They are similar to normal elves but differ in a few traits, and while their younger brothers and sisters are not able to become captains, the high elf can.
    • The fading of the Firstborn from Middle-Earth causes elves to have lower fate (-7 fate).
    • The Eldar have many centuries of knowledge and experience, which gives them inner peace and confidence while fighting (+20 max morale, +60 non-combat morale regeneration).
    • Being immortal can be a curse when you see everything around you change or fade out of history (-7 will).
    • Elves are more resistant to diseases and poisons (+1% disease & poison resistances).

3.2 - Classes:

  • Burglar: masters of stealth and misdirection, able to use several tricks to surprise enemies by attacking from the shadow, or stun them for a while to give your fellowship a chance to complete a coordinated attack. Playable by hobbits and men.
  • Captain: a leader who is skillful in wielding weapons and inspiring his fellows. Captains can summon an ally to support them in combat. Playable by men.
  • Champion: executing powerful, fervour-consuming attacks, the champion is the master of dealing damage while fighting multiple enemies. Their AoE attacks are unmatched by other classes, and their heavy armour ensures they can survive a lot of tough battles. Playable by dwarves, elves and men.
  • Guardian: protector of the weak and defender of people in need, the guardian has the greatest defense of all classes. He shields his weaker allies from the blows of the enemies. Playable by all races.
  • Hunter: dweller of fields and forests, the hunter is unmatched with his bow. They deal very high damage at a distance, but are quite vulnerable in melee combat. Their survival skills help their companions and trap their foes. Playable by all races.
  • Lore-Master: seeker of knowledge and guardian of wisdom, the lore-master wields ancient secrets of nature and lore to confound foes and aid friends, to protect them from dark powers of the enemy. Lore-Masters can summon a pet creature to aid them in combat. Playable by elves and men.
  • Minstrel: a herald of hope and renewal who uses ancient songs and music to heal and inspire his allies or deal devastating damage to his foes. Playable by all races.
  • Rune-keeper: a mystical linguist who uses the hidden power of words to either heal allies, or use destructive magic against the enemy, wielding the forces of fire, ice and lightning. Playable by elves and dwarves.
  • Warden: a powerful defender of weaker allies, armed with spears, javelins and a shield. Wardens use a gambit system to execute powerful attacks based on specific combinations. Unlike other tank classes, the warden wears medium armour and relies a lot on self-healing, blocking, parrying and evading. Playable by elves, hobbits and men.
  • Beorning: ferocious in both offence and defence, beornings can act as DPS or tank. Their bonds with nature give them great knowledge of healing herbs, which allows them to take on a healing role as well.

Okay, you have this summary... Now what? Well, there isn't much more that we can do. Advice is all we can give. If you cannot decide which class to play, try the ones that seem interesting to you (play one until level 30 or so, then you have a good idea of what the class can or cannot do).

After you created your character, you enter Middle-Earth. Well, not exactly. You start off in a beginner place, an introduction instance. For Humans and Hobbits this is Archet in Bree-Land, Elves and dwarves start at Thorin's Hall in Ered-Luin, Beornings start at Grimbeorn’s Lodge in the Vales of Anduin, High Elves begin in Rivendell in the Trollshaws and the Stout-axes start at Barad-Dûr in Mordor. In this tutorial instance, you will get to know the game a bit and learn the basics of playing. The introduction ends with a special instance in which something happens that changes the environment. By this time you are probably level 6-9. After you complete this instance, you are transported to the real world, every class to a separate area (Dwarves stay in Thorin's Hall in the north of Ered-Luin and are joined by the Stout-axes, Elves and High Elves go to Celondim in the south of Ered-Luin, Hobbits go to Little Delving in the Shire and Men stay in Archet, Bree-Land where the Beornings join them).

Main in AFS: Senarthor

Other characters on Landy: Fordil (mini, The Alliance), Cylbert (Burg, The Alliance), Aurun (guard),  Bregod (cappy), Framberra (warden), Nosdun (RK), Senarthir (hunter), Thirglos (bear)

Creeps: Nelbobeth (spider R7), Kuzgush (WL R6), Bagukh (Def R6), Nurzok (Warg R6), Griparsh (BA R3)

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re: New to LOTRO - Hints & Tips


4. The Game

4.1 - Exploring

Middle-Earth is a massive place. If you could play several days non-stop, you still wouldn't be able to see everything it has to offer. Don't try to rush to the level cap, but enjoy the journey you make. If you just rush towards the end, you will miss a lot of things on the way that you can't enjoy fully anymore if you come back at a higher level. Even if you don't rush you won't be able to do everything without outlevelling some parts of the game (unless if you buy the xp disabler, but that's quite expensive if you don't have much money to spend on the game). There are a few things to do at level cap, but LOTRO’s focus is much less at end-game than it is in some other MMOs.

4.2 - Kill enemies

In every zone, you will encounter a lot of creatures. Some are friendly, you can recognize them by their green or yellow morale bar, but most are hostile. Creatures with a yellow morale bar will not attack you until you attack them, creatures with an orange-reddish morale bar will attack you when you come too close (either immediately or after threatening). Creatures that have the ability to engage in combat (when you see numbers in morale and power bars) have names that can come in 9 different colours:

  • Grey: outlevelled, 9 or more levels below yours. These creatures won’t attack you spontaneously anymore. Their miss chance is dramatically increased and block/parry/evade chances are decreased.
  • Green: very easy, 6-8 levels below yours, very easy to kill without help.
  • Light blue: easy, 3-5 levels below yours, easy to kill without help.
  • Blue: regular, 1-2 levels below yours, a bit easier than intended for your level.
  • White: regular, equal level or 1 level difference, difficulty level as intended for your level.
  • Yellow: regular, 1-2 levels above yours, should be doable if you understand your class.
  • Orange: hard, 3-5 levels above yours, hard to kill without help.
  • Red: very hard: 5-7 levels above yours, extremely hard to kill without help.
  • Purple: 8 or more levels above yours, don’t try this because you won’t stand a chance! Your miss chance will be increased dramatically so you will barely damage the enemy and he will kill you in no time!

The colour of the ring around an NPC’s head shows you his/her/its rank. Higher ranked enemies deal more damage and have better defenses & morale. In climbing order:

  • Green: Swarm
  • Blue: Neutral
  • Orange: Signature
  • Orange mixed with green: Rare Signature
  • Orange + Eye of Sauron = Elite
  • Orange mixed with green + Eye of Sauron = Rare Elite
  • Orange + Eye of Sauron + 4 spikes = Elite Master
  • Orange mixed with green + Eye of Sauron + 4 spikes = Rare Elite Master
  • Orange + Eye of Sauron + 6 spikes = Nemesis
  • Orange + Flaming Eye of Sauron = Arch Nemesis

4.3 - Quests & deeds

A game without goal would be pretty boring. Each zone holds a certain number of quests that you can complete if you are high enough in level and when you own the quest pack for that zone (you can start new quests when you are 5 levels below the actual quest level, there is no maximum level at which quests can be completed). Quests give a lot more experience than regular mob-killing, and often rewards useful new equipment. Most people don’t even bother, but if you actually read the quest dialogues, you will experience the game much more intensely (and not only when you’re roleplaying). There are some great storylines to follow in the game, but you won't pick up much of it if you don't read the quest dialogues. Although the first 4 zones are free (Ered Luin, the Shire, Bree-Land and the Lone Lands), you will either have to purchase all other zones, or become a VIP and only buy the expansions (more info later on).

The epic questline is free for everyone, even if you don’t own the zone where the quests are located. The only exception here is the region of Western Rohan where you do have to buy the quest pack to continue in the epic questline. In the epic, you develop your own story as a young adventurer and grow into a powerful, well-known and respected warrior, hated by the enemy because of your support towards the fellowship. I won’t spoil any of the fun for you, go and discover it all for yourself!

So much for questing. Next up: deeds. I noticed that a lot of new players don’t know what deeds are, even though they are a fundamental part of this game. A deed is an accomplishment in this game, rewarded by LOTRO points, virtue xp, emotes, titles, legendary experience runes and sometimes even a new mount. You may know similar systems in other games known as achievements or other similar names. You can find all your deeds in the deed log (either click the deed log icon in the shortcut bar at the bottom, or press “shift+L” to open it). Some are zone-specific, others aren’t, but the ones that are not zone-specific usually have a minimum level you need to reach before you can start them. There are several types of deeds:

  • Class deeds: as the name suggests, these are class-specific. Usually they are completed by using a certain skill x times.
  • Epic deeds: completed by finishing book quests.
  • Exploration deeds: these are usually the easiest to complete. All you have to do is discover a few special locations in a zone. By doing the quests of a zone, you will often discover almost all (if not all) of these exploration targets.
  • Hidden deeds: these aren’t listed in your deed log, but your character is advancing them without you being aware of it. An example is to use certain emotes x times, or being target by an emote y times. They are revealed when the deed is completed.
  • Lore deeds: these deeds have a link to the LOTR lore, like “The History of the Dunedain” in Bree-Land.
  • Meta-deeds: a special kind of deed, these are sometimes invisible until you complete them (like the hidden deeds), but not always. They are activated by completing other deeds and usually grant much larger rewards than other deeds (like a new mount).
  • Racial deeds: race-specific deeds, which consist of killing creatures that are most hated by your race.
  • Reputation deeds: most zones you can go to have a faction of people that you can befriend by doing quests for them or by finding and using valuable items that hold an important history to these people. Most factions have 5 reputation levels (neutral, acquaintance, friend, ally and kindred), but some have extra levels (more info here). Deeds completed by finishing a certain amount of quests in that zone are considered to be reputation deeds as well according to the game, but these are more often referred to as quest deeds by players.
  • Slayer deeds: these will take up a lot of your time. In the starter zones you will only have to kill 30 enemies of a certain type (e.g. spiders) to complete the tier 1 deed and 60 for tier 2 (T2 is usually twice as much as T1). Later on these numbers will increase up to 120/240 enemies. In the Ettenmoors, players get slayer deeds to kill creeps or freeps of specific races and classes (depending on your faction) which are divided into 5 tiers (500 – 1000 – 2500 - 10,000 and 25,000 respectively).
  • Skirmish/instance deeds: these deeds will advance by achieving certain things in instances and skirmishes. Some are regular slayer deeds, others are more specific (like completing all encounters available in a skirmish).
  • Social deeds: there are several deeds in here that are hard to classify, such as reaching level x without being defeated or using a specific number of festival consumables.

There are other types but those aren’t very important unless if you’re a roleplayer who enjoys doing them. More info can be found here.

So, why complete these deeds if they take up so much time and don’t reward you with new gear or money? The answer: virtue xp and LOTRO Points. Traits are special extra characteristics you can give to your character, by equipping them in the traits panel (accessed by pressing "J" by default). Traits are classified in 3 big groups:

  • Virtues: these are earned and levelled by completing regular slayer, explorer and lore deeds. All virtues are obtainable for each player and have the same effects for everyone, as long as they are on the same level. Each time you complete a virtue-rewarding deed, it will grant you virtue xp which will add to the virtue that is currently selected to earn xp in the traits panel. You can equip 5 different virtues simultaneously.
  • Class traits: Before the trait tree system was introduced, a player could only have 7 class traits active at the same time. Now, you just earn points by leveling, by completing certain quests or by completing class deeds, and buy new class traits with these points in order to improve your character’s stats or gain new skills.
  • Racial traits: Every race has certain racial deeds that are rewarded by racial traits. Every race has one trait that allows them to quickly travel back to an area that is important for that race (Thorin’s Hall, Rivendell, Michel Delving or Bree), but there are also 8 other racial traits that give other benefits.

Please note that you cannot slot the maximum number of traits right away. You will need to unlock the trait slots by leveling, and if you’re no VIP (or if you never played that character during a time when you were VIP) you’ll only have access to a few trait slots until you unlock the rest through the LOTRO store.

4.4 - PvP

PvP is not a major point in this game, the devs spend very little attention to it. It is only available in the Ettenmoors (and recently Osgiliath as well, but very few players actually go there), a separate area that can only be accessed by VIPs (the Freeps – free peoples) and monster players (Creeps, available when your first character reaches lvl 10).

Even though it is an aspect of the game which is rarely looked at by the devs, there is still quite a bit of activity going on, mostly by a solid group of die-hard PvP enthusiasts who keep the Moors alive. Activity may change depending on your server, and some servers may barely see any PvP action at all. An easy way to find out about PvP on your server is to ask about it in world chat, and to create a monster character to ask again on the creep side – you may get different responses depending on which faction you ask.

PvP is restricted to level cap. Monster players will always be leveled up to the cap automatically, while freeps will be scaled up if their level is lower than the current cap. While level scaling gives lower level players a chance of participating in PvP, it’s rarely recommended to do so because you will be considerably weaker than a player who is at the right level and has the proper gear (not to mention traits and skills) to match the level.

Starting at PvP is the hardest part, as you will not have any special buffs or boosts that defend your character against the enemies that do have them. The safest way to start participating in PvP is either to find a strong group to tag along with, or, ironically, to avoid actual PvP and stick to landscape questing in the Moors (or Osgiliath) until you reach a higher rank and get stronger.

By completing these Moors quests and by killing players of the other faction, you will gain renown (freeps) or infamy (creeps), which serves as an alternative to experience points gained by quests and killing mobs. Instead of adding to your level, gaining renown or infamy will increase your rank when you gather enough. Each rank will boost your combat abilities in the PvP zones, but only after you purchase the passive rank upgrade from the barter NPCs in your base camp. Ranks go up to 15, and while you can easily go from rank 0 to rank 2 or even rank 3 in one day, you need years of daily playing to reach rank 15.

Aside from renown and infamy, you will also gather Commendations (or Comms). While your gold may be useful to buy all kinds of stuff in other zones, it’s virtually useless in PvP. Instead, you will buy upgrades using Comms. These Comms are account-shared, so you can farm some on a stronger character to spend on a newly rolled toon, but they are capped at 15,000 max. If you gather more than that, they’re lost so make sure to spend them in time (you will not recover the lost Comms after you lower your balance below 15,000!). You can spend Comms on new armor and jewelry (freeps) or PvP skills, traits and appearances (creeps).

Monster players can perform a wide array of quests, which will grant them maps (teleport skills) if they perform enough quests for a certain keep, allowing them to swiftly move around the map without horses.

4.5 - Socializing

Since LOTRO is such a massive game, and has 12 servers (with more special servers being added every once in a blue moon), there are thousands of people in Middle-Earth. An easy way to make new friends is join a friendly kinship (just ask in the chat channels if any kinships are recruiting, you shouldn’t have trouble finding any around Bree and other popular places).

Outside of a kinship, you can also join a fellowship to do group quests or instances. Fellowships exist of 6 players maximum (raid groups go up to 24), and you leave them automatically when you log out. You can add character names to your friends list to stay in touch with them more easily. You can store up to 100 characters in your friends list (under the social panel, shortcut is “O” by default).

Finally, you can also just go to areas with lots of players (most common is Bree-Town) and talk to people there. On roleplaying servers, this is a very common sight.

And there it is again, this “roleplaying”. What does it mean? Basically, it means that you behave like you’re not playing a game, but as if you were a real person in the world of Middle-Earth. Some people go very far with that, spending hours to come up with a name that matches their heritage and creating a background story for their characters, but a lot of players are more laid back and don’t worry too much about these things. Some basic RP rules are that your name matches the Lore (so no such things as “Bloodyidiot”, “Iaminvincible” or whatever names people pick nowadays), that you don’t laugh at other people for roleplaying and especially not disrupt them when they’re doing a RP-activity. More info in this thread.

4.6 - Fishing

Fishing is currently the only hobby you can train in LOTRO. You can learn how to fish from a Hobby Master, and train your skills up to level 200. There are only 2 “real” benefits from fishing: one is that you sometimes fish up a fish that cooks can use in certain recipes, the other is that you have a slight chance of finding an extraordinary fish which can be brought to a taxidermist to make it into a housing trophy.

Fishing is an activity sometimes seen in player-organised events (like kinship parties) or in festivals, where players are challenged to catch a specific kind of fish within a certain time limit.

4.7 - Tasks

Tasks are a way to gain easy experience and reputation points for certain factions. Tasks are available starting at lvl 8, and the first task boards you'll encounter are located in Gondamon, Hobbiton or Bree-Town (near the Boar Fountain). The basics are the same for every area: you go to the taskboard, accept one of the tasks available, collect a certain number of items dropped by enemies (e.g. 10 polished scales from spiders & insects), and then you return to the taskboard to get your reward. To claim your reward, interact with the rewards chest right next to the task board and finish the task quest. You can also collect a lot of dropped items for tasks and complete the same task several times in a row.

Tasks are available in many zones, and you can complete tasks only when you are 5 levels below the task level or higher. Tasks are very useful to speed up your reputation gain with factions that are hard to reach kindred with, but they are limited to a maximum of 5 tasks each day. This limit can be increased, either by buying an item from the store or by completing the deeds that reward task limit increases every 100 tasks (up to +5). Additionally, the daily limit can be reset by spending Mithril Coins.

4.8 - Crafting

Since crafting is such a major part in this game and takes a bit more to explain, I’ve written a separate chapter for this. See chapter 7 for more information about crafting.

5. General new player hints

5.1 - Ways to gather information

Don’t be afraid to ask others for help in the chat channels. It doesn’t matter if you are obviously new, everyone has to start at some point, and some people don’t learn as fast as others do. The chatbox has several default chat channels: OOC and Regional are limited to the region you are currently in. LFF, Trade, World, fellowship chat, raid chat and kinship chat can be used across the entire server. LFF means “looking for fellowship” and is used to recruit people to do some fellowship quests or instances/raids. OOC stands for “out of character” and is used to talk about stuff that either aren’t related to the game, or to talk freely without roleplaying restrictions. The World channel is used by players to communicate with each other on the same server without area restrictions. The purposes of other chat channels are pretty obvious I think.

Apart from those default channels, players can also enter up to 8 custom channels. You can join (or create) a channel by typing “/joinchannel ” in the chatbox (the password field is optional when setting up a new channel). Sending a message to this chatbox is similar to the other channels, you need to use a command to let the chatbox know which channel to post the message in. For custom chat channels, this command is “/1”, “/2”, ... "/8" (depends on the order in which you enter the custom channels). A custom channel is deleted within a few minutes after the last member left. The game remembers which custom channels you have entered so you automatically enter them upon logging in. To leave a custom channel, use the /leavechannel command.

Apart from the chatbox, you can also find a lot of information in the quest descriptions, the map (both minimap and full map) and the internet (,, If none of these work, you’re probably doing something wrong or you’ve encountered a bug. To report a bug, contact support by pressing F7 (or type /bug in the chatbox) in-game and follow the instructions.

5.2 - Useful tips in the game

This is just a summary of several hints that might make the gameplay a bit easier.

  • If you’re stuck in a place where you can’t move or cannot get out, type “/stuck” or “/unstuck” in the chatbox. After 1 minute, you will be teleported to the nearest rally point (respawn point, stone circle).
  • When selling stuff to a vendor NPC, take a look at the lock item next to each item. When you click it, the item will be locked in your inventory, making it impossible to sell it until you click the lock again. This is very useful when you have certain items in your bags that you absolutely don’t want to sell by accident. You can also lock items directly in your inventory by clicking the lock icon in bag 1, clicking on each item you want to lock and then click the lock again to revert to normal inventory use. The sell all option at vendors becomes a lot safer to use this way.
  • The Num Lock key will enable/disable autorun. You can also stop the autorun by using standard movement keys (except the keys you use to turn, these won’t stop it).
  • The insert key toggles running/walking mode. Quite useful when you have to escort slow NPCs like Sara Oakheart.
  • By pressing “N”, you toggle floating names. This can help a lot when trying to find a particular NPC or item, or to spot camouflaged enemies from a distance. It can be a bit overwhelming though when you’re in a small room/area with a lot of people.
  • The TAB-key selects the nearest/next attackable NPC, DEL selects the nearest item.
  • Pressing “U” while having an item/NPC selected will let your character use or interact with it.
  • F11 is the shortcut key to make a screenshot (saved under My Documents\The Lord of the Rings Online. F12 is used often in combination with that because it hides all user interface (UI) elements, being the minimap, shortcut bar, vitals, quest log etc.. To show the UI again, simply press F12 again. If you play through Steam, you’ll probably make screenshots with F12 too since it’s the default shortcut key in Steam to do so. This can be changed through the Steam options.
  • F7 will open the help menu.
  • Keys F2-F6 will select your fellowship members (or members in your group when in a raid), F1 selects your own character.
  • F9 will select the nearest player, shift+F9 will select the next one and ctrl+F9 selects the previous one. The same goes for F10 to select NPCs.
  • Alt+F10 will activate your torch, lighting up the screen a bit, very useful in dark areas like caves.

5.3 - Combat hints

While some classes can be played with just a little more than random button mashing, this isn’t something you want to do if you want to find groups later on. Learn the effects of your skills, how long their cooldowns take. Don’t keep pressing the same button over and over again while you wait 5 seconds for the cooldown to finish, but use another quick skill while you wait.

Several skills (both your skills and skills the enemies may use) can cause a buff (when applied on the caster) or a debuff (when applied on the target). These are shown under the vital bars, and you can read the effects when you hover over them with your mouse. A lot of effects can be cured with several draughts or salves, but some are incurable. Studying which of your skills apply a debuff on the enemy or remove one of your own debuffs may help you a lot in combat.

Finally, while fighting in a fellowship, you will sometimes get the chance to perform a fellowship maneuver of FM in short (they used to be called conjunctions in the past and some veteran players still use that word, in monster play they’re called Warband Maneuvers). Basically, it will stun the enemy for about 10 seconds. Meanwhile, you and your fellowship get the chance to trigger a special combination attack. Different combinations lead to different results. If you are not targeting the stunned mob at that time, you get the chance to switch to that target before the maneuver’s executed by clicking a bull’s eye / target icon with 4 arrows around it.

There are 4 basic moves to choose from:

  • The red circle: Ent’s Strength - deal a high amount of melee/ranged/tactical damage to the target.
  • The blue circle: Stallion’s Spirit - restore a small amount of your power.
  • The yellow circle: Spider’s Guile - deal a small amount of damage and apply a DoT debuff on the target.
  • The green circle: Eagle’s Cry - restore a small amount of your morale.

These moves can be bound to hotkeys (2, 4, 6 and 8 on the numpad for example, + 5 being the “switch target” shortcut), which can be very useful in the middle of the fight (sometimes you lose track of your mouse with all the flashy effects… quite annoying if you cannot find it back in time). Certain combinations or repetitions will make the effects stronger than the sum of the individual effects, some other combinations may add totally new effects and other combinations may not do anything special at all besides their basic functionality. More info on the combinations, FM triggers and other stuff can be found here.

Monster players have a similar system, called Warband Maneuvers, but the moves are different from the ones that freeps use. I won’t explain that system here because the guide is long enough already… But if you’re interested, you can find more info on this page.

5.4 - Making money

Lots of new players want to make a lot of money… Even though there is no need to have lots of it in the early part of the game (except for buying a horse – more info later on). But if you’re one of them, and can’t have enough of it, just kill as many mobs as you can, and sell the loot they drop. Higher level mobs drop more valuable loot. Almost everything you can find has a value. Be careful though, the value you see in the tooltip when hovering over the item is not always what it’s actually worth (for example: a crafted piece of gear for level cap may be worth about 35 silver according to the tooltip, but sell for 5-20 gold on the auction hall).

Keep in mind that F2P players have a gold cap at 2G, premium gold cap is 5G and VIPs can gather up to 9999 gold. You can either unlock the gold cap through the LOTRO store or by upgrading to VIP (the gold cap won’t come back after downgrading, but it won’t apply to new characters if you do it this way). If you are at the gold cap and earn new money, it will go into overflow. That means it won’t be given back to you after you drop below the cap again, it remains locked away until you buy off the gold cap.

5.5 - UI settings

  • You can change the colours of every chat channel through the options (crtl+O). You can also adjust the opacity of the chatbox if the chat isn’t clearly visible because of the game terrain or other background textures).
  • By pressing “ctrl + \” (the right key combination may vary depending on your keyboard layout), you enter a mode to edit the position of every UI element on your screen. Drag and drop them to a position that seems better for you. Use the same key combination again to exit this rearrangement mode.
  • Under the quickslot options, you can lock your quickslots so you don’t accidentally move or switch skills in your quickslot bar. At lower levels, it’s not a problem to find out which skill you accidentally moved, but when you have 30 skills in your quickslots, it might become a bit more difficult.
  • In the options menu, there’s a tab called “Key mapping”. There you can adjust all hotkeys and key combinations available in the game (or at least almost all). It’s impossible to give everything a hotkey, just make sure the important things that you use a lot have one.
  • One key that many players remap is the X key, because it will make the camera turn automatically to face the item or character you have selected, which can be extremely annoying. Most people either clear the key binding or remap it to a distant, unused key.
  • Also in the options, you can adjust the scaling of UI elements, which can be useful if you play on a high resolution monitor or if you have bad eyesight.

Last edited by Senarthor on Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

Main in AFS: Senarthor

Other characters on Landy: Fordil (mini, The Alliance), Cylbert (Burg, The Alliance), Aurun (guard),  Bregod (cappy), Framberra (warden), Nosdun (RK), Senarthir (hunter), Thirglos (bear)

Creeps: Nelbobeth (spider R7), Kuzgush (WL R6), Bagukh (Def R6), Nurzok (Warg R6), Griparsh (BA R3)

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re: New to LOTRO - Hints & Tips


6. Other stuff

6.1 Housing

At level 15, you become eligible to buy a personal house. You cannot have 2 classic personal houses on 1 server, not even on different characters. To buy a classic house, go to one of the 4 housing areas and talk to the housing broker. You can own as many premium houses as you like, but these need to be bought with mithril coins which are quite expensive. Premium housing can be found in the Haven of Belfalas (Gondorian coastline) or, starting in 2020, in the Eastfold and Kingstead areas in Rohan. Kinships can still only have one house, so either a classic kinship house or a premium kinship house.

  • Bree-Land Homesteads: located south of the Midgewater Marshes, alongside the road between Bree and the Lone Lands. The houses here are made out of wood and stone, similar to the houses found throughout Bree-Land.
  • Falathorn Homesteads: between Duillond (Ered Luin) and Needlehole (The Shire). These are the elven homesteads, houses are similar to other elf buildings throughout Eriador.
  • Shire Homesteads: located south of Michel Delving and Waymeet, houses are either above-ground houses or dug into the side of the hills, both in hobbit-style.
  • Thorin’s Hall Homesteads: a large cavern in Thorin’s Gate, south-west of the stables. Houses are carved out of stone, similar to other dwarven architecture in Thorin’s Hall.

Each classic neighborhood consists of 30 houses: 16 standard houses, 10 deluxe houses and 4 kinship houses. Standard and deluxe houses are both available to all players, kinship houses can only be bought by the leader of a kinship which is at lifespan rank 7 or higher (meaning the kinship has existed for at least 3 months).

Premium houses are available in the Bay of Belfalas area in Gondor, between Dol Amroth and Dor-en-Ernil, or in Rohan premium housing which is added in an update in 2020. As mentioned before, they are purchased using Mithril Coins or Premium Housing Writs (store bought), but their upkeep is free for VIPs or can be paid with gold by free players. There's a difference between Stately houses (145MC), Luxurious houses (445MC) and Deluxe kinship houses (745MC). All of them are larger than the normal houses available in the starter areas. Housing storage is shared between all your houses (if you have more than one).

Apart from the houses, a neighborhood also has a gathering area, close to the center of the neighborhood. There you’ll find a vault-keeper, housing furnisher, healer, provisioner & supplier and skirmish trainers. There’s also a stage and a few rows of chairs for public events. Owning a house in a certain neighborhood gives you a discount with the vendors there (also on repairs, it can save you a lot of money when you need to repair broken end-game gear!).

Standard houses
The costs for a standard house vary from 950 silver to 1 gold and 150 silver coins. Upkeep varies from 47 silver and 50 copper to 57 silver and 50 copper coins. The house has 2 rooms, 1 medium and 1 small, the medium room has a fireplace. You can buy a storage chest for in-game currency, and later expand storage for Mithril coins.

Deluxe houses
Purchase costs for deluxe houses vary from 6 gold and 650 silver to 8 gold and 50 silver coins. That means you need to unlock the gold cap to buy one of these houses. Upkeep costs range between 142 silver and 50 copper, and 172 silver and 50 copper coins. Deluxe houses have 1 large room and 2 small rooms, and there are fireplaces in the large room and in 1 small room. A storage chest can be purchased.

Kinship houses
Kinship houses are the largest and most expensive classic houses available in the game. Their cost varies between 15 gold and 17 gold and 250 silver, with upkeep costs between 300 silver and 345 silver coins. Kinship houses have an entrance room, a grand hall, a smaller room and a room upstairs, each with a fireplace. A storage chest can be purchased.

Housing decorations may be crafted or bought from housing furnishers, reputation vendors and taxidermists (both interior and exterior decorations) or from the LOTRO store. There are several kinds of decorations (small wall, large wall, small floor, large floor, thin furniture, small furniture, large furniture, special furniture, ceiling, wall surface, wall paint, floor surface, floor paint, doormat, small yard, large yard, huge yard and enormous yard). Huge yard and enormous yard decorations are available in kinship houses only. Crafting stations may be purchased from the LOTRO store as well and allow crafting at your house or kinship house, instead of forcing you to move to a crafting hall first.

When you buy a personal house, you are granted a new skill that allows you to travel to your new house quickly, which has a cooldown of 1 hour (can be permanently reduced in the store). Premium houses grant a new skill for each house you own, with a cooldown of just 1 minute. Being in a kinship that owns a kinship house also grants you a “return to kinship house” skill, similar to the “travel to personal house” skill. You will also receive a discount in the kinship house neighbourhood (smaller than the discount from owning a personal house, and the discounts don’t stack).

You can edit the permission settings of your house (go to the character panel and click the housing button, then select permissions). Here you can select who can visit your house, decorate it, pay upkeep, use decorations, have access to housing chests and manage permissions. It is advised to be very careful with these settings because people could easily steal your items if you grant them access to the decorations and chests, needless to say that the permissions should be restricted to yourself and at best a very limited number of people whom you trust.

If you already own a classic house but want to buy another one, you will first have to abandon the old house (also in the housing panel). You will receive the money you paid in advance for your housing upkeep through mail, and your decoration items will be available at an escrow broker (also at a vault-keeper, but be warned: after 2 weeks the items will be removed and you won’t have access to them anymore).

6.2 VIP benefits

By subscribing to the game, you gain several benefits, many of which are only granted to characters that you log in to while the VIP status is active except when stated otherwise. These benefits are listed below, and more info can be found here.

  • Unlock all trait slots on your current characters;
  • Access to all swift travel routes;
  • 5 inventory bags;
  • Removal of the currency cap (account-wide, permanent);
  • Ability to trade or mail money (account-wide, permanent);
  • Full access to all Community services and Customer services;
  • Access to all quest packs (not the expansions);
  • Access to all skirmishes and instances (once lvl or quest requirements are met), including Inn of the Forsaken and Halls of Night, which are not accessible by buying the quest packs as F2P;
  • Access to rest xp: you earn some kind of bonus xp every day that boosts your xp gain on quests and killing;
  • Access to shared wardrobe (20 slots);
  • Access to 30 auction listings;
  • Access to unlimited monster play (F2P can only play the reaver class without purchasing the others from the store);
  • No chat or mail restriction;
  • 500 LP for each month of subscription;
  • Free riding skill for all characters who don't own it yet and who have reached lvl 20 (quest at Hengstacer Farms in Bree-land);
  • High priority on login when servers are full;
  • 2 or 3 extra character slots (2 for players that are already premium, 3 for players who were normal F2P, total ends up on 5 + extra slots already purchased from the store);
  • Full access to crafting guild advancement;
  • Access to the slow Bree-Land Starter Pony (available from lvl 5 in Hengstacer Farms for 200 silver);
  • Ability to spend destiny points;
  • Access to the Ettenmoors (PvMP);
  • Free premium housing upkeep

When your subscription ends, your account will be permanently elevated to premium status. If you have empty character slots, you'll lose 2 of them when your subscription ends, but if you have no empty slots available, you’ll have to choose 2 characters to become unavailable until you purchase the slots or become VIP again (if you would delete an available character while you have locked slots, you cannot create a new character, you will only have 1 locked character left but you can choose which one). You also lose your maximum number of auction slots, premium has only access to 5.
Note: you will never lose access to quests and instances in areas you purchased before you subscribed, or to other upgrades that were purchased before subscription. When you have active quests in an area that you don't own while your subscription ends, you can still finish these quests but not start new ones.

In my opinion: I bought 1 month of VIP (4 times, because I created a lot of new characters that I wanted to have the past-VIP perks…) and I have no regrets whatsoever, it's practically the best deal you can make in the game for real money. Creating a new character and playing it without the past-VIP perks is a real pain once you’re used to them… *Free advertisement for Standing Stone Games*

6.3 Store items worth purchasing early

The LOTRO Store holds a huge variety of things to buy, and for new players it may not always be clear what is a good thing to spend your hard-earned points on and what is definitely not, so a few do's and don'ts for you:


  • Quest packs: These are never a lost purchase, and they grant you access to more deeds to earn even more LP which you can then spend on other stuff.
  • Riding skill: A passive skill needed to buy and ride horses other than the ones in the stables. If you're VIP, you can do a quest at Hengstacer Farm in Bree-Land at level 20, but those who are not VIP need to purchase it for each character. Cost: 95LP / character.
  • Currency cap removal: until you buy off the gold cap (explained in section 5.4), free players are limited to a maximum of 2G, or 5G for premium members. Definitely worth purchasing once you reach lvl 30-40. Cost: 395LP (account wide).
  • Class traits: If your character has never been lifted to VIP status, you need to purchase access to the bonus traits in your class trait trees. As these traits significantly improve your abilities, they become quite essential in late game stages. Cost: 95LP / trait / character.
  • Premium wallet: Once your LPs start flowing steadily and you don't need to worry too much about buying quest packs anymore, the premium wallet is a great purchase: it allows you to store almost all barter items in your wallet instead of your inventory, saving you dozens of inventory and vault slots. These include taxidermist items, festival tokens, regional barter tokens and much, much more. Cost: 995LP (account wide).
  • Inventory slots or bonus bag: as a wise player once said: you can never have too many inventory slots. You can purchase 5 extra bag slots for 325LP, or pay 995LP for a bonus bag which holds 15 slots (both account wide).


  • Mounts: as pretty as they may be in the store, they are extremely overpriced and offer no benefit other than their looks over a mount purchased with gold or reputation tokens. All store-purchased mounts have a +68% run speed boost and 250 morale compared to the +62% speed and 100 morale of most normal mounts, but there are also 68/250 mounts available with just in-game currency or by completing the right deeds.
  • Cosmetics: similar to the mounts, the cosmetics will make you look good but you'll pay a lot for an item which won't help you progress further into the game.
  • Consumables: most (if not all) consumables that can be bought in the store can also be bought or crafted in the game, so buying in the store is just lazy. Only do this if you don't know what else to spend your points on.
  • Mithril coins: even though they can be used in all kinds of situations, there is no need to buy these on a young account. They're extremely expensive so you end up paying a lot of LPs for whatever you're using them on in-game.
  • Gift of the Valar: I don't even know where to start with this one. Purchasing this item will advance your character immediately to lvl 50 (or even 95). Not only will this cause you to instantly outlevel (and so miss) a lot of great content, you also have a mid-lvl character that's almost high enough to start running instances and/or raids on a regular basis without having a clue how to play that character. With normal gameplay you learn the effects of your skills by playing and using these skills, a new one every 2-3 levels. With Gift of the Valar, you suddenly have to learn how to use all these new skills at once, making it very overwhelming. It may be called a "Gift", but it's a poisoned one in my eyes. As I've said before and will say again: LOTRO is not made to rush towards the cap but to enjoy the journey. The only way I would ever even remotely consider buying one of these, is if I already have another character of that class somewhere but I want to do a full restart to get some things that I missed before or re-live through some content (and even then I’d think it’s a waste of LP).

6.4 Plugins

Plugins are additional software you can download from the internet to improve your gaming experience in LOTRO. There are hundreds of them and I will not describe them all, just the ones that I use.

You can find plugins on this webpage, with description, rating, file size and more. To start with, you might want to download the LOTRO plugin compendium. It’s not a plugin, but a piece of software to manage the plugins you have installed and to install new ones, or updates to your installed plugins. You can find the compendium here.

After you installed the plugin compendium, open it and go to the “Add new plugins” tab. There you can find a whole bunch of plugins for LOTRO. To install one, check the box next to its name and click the “add” button. After the selected plugins have been installed, it’s good to go to the “installed plugins” tab and perform an update in case there are newer versions available. You will need to load those plugins in the game, which can be done through the plugins manager (type “/plugins manager” in the chatbox) or by typing “plugin load <plugin name>”.

A short description of the plugins that I use:


Buffbars is a really useful tool, there’s a lot to explain so this video might show you what this plugin is capable of . Please don’t try to copy the settings you see in this video because the options menu has completely changed. It’s not hard to use though, you’ll be able to use everything easily enough (I think… Otherwise, feel free to ask me for help!).

Combat Analysis

Ever since I started teaming up with a hunter on my champ, I felt the need to become better and compare my stats to others (mainly because I didn’t know back then that DPS should not be compared so strongly between classes). Combat Analysis is THE plugin you need when you have this need as well. When enabled, it allows you to track an awful lot of details during a fight (amount of damage dealt, dps, number of crit hits, % of total damage you dealt in your fellowship etc… and that’s only the outgoing damage tab, there is also a tab for incoming damage, outgoing healing and power). It’s really easy to use so I’m not gonna spend more time describing it here .


This might be a lame plugin for a lot of you, and it is not used very much outside of the roleplaying servers. Basically, it allows you to play songs on your musical instruments (lute, drums, flute, harp etc, you can buy these at a bard) without having to type the commands in the chatbox each time. It also supports synchronized playing and swapping instruments easily. To play a song, you need to have it saved in the My Documents/The Lord of the Rings Online/Music folder (.abc files), and you need to build a library for Songbook so it knows where to look for the .abc files. To do so, look for the Songbook.hta file under (My Documents/The Lord of the Rings Online/Plugins/Chiran), and run it. Don’t forget to repeat this each time you add a new .abc file to your collection! Players who perform in a band together with other players often use the Lyrical plugin, but I have no experience with that one. Also note that non-minstrel characters will need to be taught how to use most instruments, either by a minstrel or by an item which grants you the passive skill.


TonicBars is a nice plugin that allows you to add extra quickslots to the UI, and even edit settings so your custom quickslots won’t show until you trigger them with a certain action. It might be a bit complicated to set up, so this video will explain it for you. It may not be very useful yet at lower levels, but once you reach level 30ish, it will surely come in handy. For instance, I have 2 extra quickslot bars on my LM: one just for my numerous pet skills, and one for various other skills like mounts, travel skills, crafting resource tracking and so forth. When I hover over the bear in my pet quickslot bar, a new bar will slide out and show me all the different bear forms I can summon, similar for my other pets species, my ports etc.

7. Crafting

7.1 - Getting started

Crafting is another giant part of this game. There are several vocations to train, each with its own benefits. Shortly after leaving the introduction instance, you will encounter a person in the town where you start out. This person will give you a quest to go visit the nearest master/mistress of apprentices. When you talk to this master/mistress, he/she will give you the choice to train one crafting vocation out of the 7 possibilities. A quick overview:

  • Armourer: prospector (mine and smelt ores), metalsmith (turn smelted ore into heavy armour) and tailor (turn pieces of leather into light or medium armour).
  • Armsman: prospector, weaponsmith (turn smelted ore into weapons) and woodworker (turn treated wooden planks into wooden weapons).
  • Explorer: forester (collect and treat wood, turn hides into leather), prospector and tailor
  • Historian: scholar (create potions, scrolls and other special stuff by using ancient texts and knowledge), farmer (grow and harvest crops for cooks and scholars) and weaponsmith.
  • Tinker: prospector, jeweler (turn smelted ore into jewelry) and cook (make food out of crops and other ingredients).
  • Woodsman: farmer, forester and woodworker.
  • Yeoman: farmer, cook and tailor.

Please note that these descriptions don’t tell you everything that profession can do, it’s just a brief summary with the main purposes.

Prospectors, foresters and farmers provide materials for metalsmiths, weaponsmiths & jewelers, tailors & woodworkers and cooks & scholars respectively. If you choose a vocation with one of the material craving professions but without the matching supplying profession, you will have to buy your materials from other players. An example is the woodworker proficiency when you are an armsman: you can turn treated planks into wooden weapons, but you can’t treat the wood for yourself so you need someone to do it for you.

7.2 - How do I craft?

Most professions need a crafting facility to execute crafting recipes. For prospector, metalsmith and weaponsmith, this is a forge. Tailors, woodworkers, jewelers and farmers use workbenches (note that farmers only need a workbench to pick good crops from the stacks they harvest, crops are grown on farmland), cooks need an oven or campfire and a scholar only needs a study after he/she reaches the artisan tier (more info up ahead).

After you chose your profession, the master/mistress will have 3 quests available for you: 1 for each profession. These quests will direct you to somebody who is a novice in the profession you are training. These NPCs will give you a crate with materials needed to craft a certain item. What you do next is open your bag, use the crate to open it and equip the matching craft tool you received. You then move towards the crafting facility you need to use (if that’s necessary, if you’re a scholar you can ignore this) and right-click it (or press "T") to open the crafting panel. In the crafting panel, select the correct tab at the top left, and then select the item you need to craft for your quest. When you click a recipe, it will show you which materials you need to craft it in the middle-right of the crafting panel. Click the craft button to make the item and return to the novice to show them your work (don’t use the item yet, you can keep it after you turn in the quest but it has to be in your bag when you turn in the quest).

Some professions come with a tracking skill you can use to find materials more easily when exploring Middle-Earth (track ores for prospectors, track wood for foresters, track artifacts for scholars and track crops for cooks). Some of the craft introduction quests require you to activate that skill before you progress to a next stage of crafting, be careful with that, you wouldn’t be the first to craft the item after reading the quest description, only to find out that you had to use your tracking skill first!

*Oh no, I’ve lost my materials and now I’m stuck because I can’t complete the introduction quests for my crafting profession…* Don’t worry, usually this is solved easily by going out and search a bit for new materials. Ores and wood can be found pretty much everywhere outside of villages and towns, hides can be found on beasts and artifacts (for scholars) can be found in most ruins and ancient buildings or caves.
However, if these materials are meant for one of the professions that you can’t supply on your own, you will need to get them from another player or another character. You could also restart the quest, but that will start a cooldown of 24 hours before you can retry.

So, now you should know the basics of crafting, why would you do it? Every profession has its use, all the way from the beginning up to end-game. Cooks provide you with food that fortify your stats, weaponsmiths and woodworkers provide powerful weapons, jewelers make jewelry, metalsmiths and tailors make armour and scholars make all kinds of nice thingies. All other professions are needed to provide the necessary materials for the ones listed above. And apart from all that, you can also collect or make materials and sell them to players who need them for some extra coin.

7.3 - Making progress

When you craft items, you may notice that the progress bar will slowly fill up. When the orange bar is full (tier proficiency), you will advance to the next tier and you can start filling the same bar again, but this time in a yellow colour and for twice as much craft xp. When that bar is full too, you have mastered the tier. After you have reached proficiency, you have a small chance of gaining critical success upon crafting an item. This will either result in more crafted items, or a more powerful single result. The chance for creating an item with critical success can be increased by using certain items, depending on your profession and tier. Tier mastery is a requirement to become proficient in the next tier, so you cannot be proficient journeyman as long as you haven’t mastered apprentice yet. The different crafting tiers (+ the player levels they can create items for) are listed below:

  • Apprentice: lvl 7-12
  • Journeyman: lvl 14-20
  • Expert: lvl 22-31
  • Artisan: lvl 32-41
  • Master: lvl 42-50
  • Supreme: lvl 51-65
  • Westfold: lvl 66-75
  • Eastemnet: lvl 80-85
  • Westemnet: lvl 90-100
  • Anorien: lvl 100-105
  • Doomfold: lvl 106-115
  • Ironfold: lvl 116-120
  • Minas Ithil: lvl 121-130

As you progress in your craft, you will encounter new recipes of several kinds. Some can be bought from profession vendors or barter NPCs (often reputation barred or requiring tokens obtained from instances and raids), others have to be found (usually in crafting recipe scroll cases). There are 6 types of recipes:

  • Basic recipes: the regular recipes that are provided by default on each tier.
  • Vendor recipes: sold by a novice or expert profession vendor (up to Supreme tier).
  • Guild recipes: can be bought from guild vendors (see section 7.4)
  • Reputation recipes: purchasable from faction representatives when you have sufficient reputation with that faction.
  • Dropped recipes: obtained from looting defeated enemies or treasure chests (and alike).
  • Single use recipe: the recipe will be destroyed after use, so you will have to find a new one to execute it again. Most single use recipes have a guild recipe equivalent. The sole purpose of these recipes is to make leveling your craft less grindy.

Each tier also has a few processing recipes. These do not yield any items which you can use, but allow you to turn a resource into something else and then revert it back to the original resource (reducing the amount of items in the stack by half each time you complete a processing cycle to prevent infinite processing with few materials).

7.4 - Crafting guilds

After you’ve trained your crafting vocation to the expert tier, you can talk to a master of crafting guilds (found near a master/mistress of apprentices). This person will allow you to join a crafting guild (not available for prospector, forester and farmer, some vocations have the choice between 2 crafting guilds but you can only join 1). You will start out as a guild initiate. In the crafting guild’s hall (see list below), you can buy certain guild recipes to create items that will grant you guild reputation upon use (some of these items are also needed to execute other guild recipes). When you reach higher reputation standings, you get access to more recipes at the guild vendors (reputation standings are guild initiate, apprentice, journeyman, expert, artisan, master, Eastemnet master and Westemnet master of the guild - similar to the several crafting tiers currently available).

Crafting guild halls can be found in the following locations:

  • Cook’s Guild: Michel Delving, crafting area (The Shire).
  • Jeweller’s Guild: Esteldin, crafting hall (The North Downs).
  • Metalsmith’s Guild: Thorin’s Hall, crafting hall (Ered Luin).
  • Scholar’s Guild: Rivendell, The Last Homely House (2nd floor, Rivendell).
  • Tailor’s Guild: Esteldin, crafting hall (The North Downs).
  • Weaponsmith’s Guild: Thorin’s Hall, crafting hall (Ered Luin).
  • Woodworker’s Guild: Esteldin, crafting hall (The North Downs).

Additionally, representatives of all guilds can be found in Galtrev (Dunland), Snowbourn (East-Rohan), Forlaw (Wildermore), Aldburg (West-Rohan), Dol Amroth (Western Gondor), Minas Tirith (Old Anórien) and Dale (Eryn Lasgalen).

Guild recipes give you more or better results than regular recipes, and starting in the artisan of the guild standing you will get access to legendary recipes if available for your profession. That means you can craft your own legendary items when you master these skills, something that will become more clear when you get access to the LI-system (minimum lvl 45). The downside for these recipes is that they have a long cooldown period (up to 6 days and 18 hours).

Main in AFS: Senarthor

Other characters on Landy: Fordil (mini, The Alliance), Cylbert (Burg, The Alliance), Aurun (guard),  Bregod (cappy), Framberra (warden), Nosdun (RK), Senarthir (hunter), Thirglos (bear)

Creeps: Nelbobeth (spider R7), Kuzgush (WL R6), Bagukh (Def R6), Nurzok (Warg R6), Griparsh (BA R3)

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re: New to LOTRO - Hints & Tips


8. Legendary Items

8.1 Your first Legendary Item

Starting at lvl 45, you are able to being the epic quests of Vol. II (even if you haven’t finished Vol. I yet). In the pre-Moria era of LOTRO, the last books of Vol. I all took place in Eriador, and half of entire Vol. I consisted of lvl 50 quests, so it’s quite understandable if you don’t want to stick around to finish those. Vol. II will lead you into Moria and continues the storyline after lvl 50, but since you can start quests 5 lvls below the actual quest lvl, it’s possible to start at 45. The first book of Vol. II will introduce you to the Iron Garrison, a company of Dwarves determined to retake Moria. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with your first Legendary Items (or LIs for short). There are 3 types of LIs: a main-hand weapon (sword, axe, rune-stone etc.), a class item (minstrel songbook, guardian belt etc., Hunters are an exception here as they have an off-hand weapon instead) and a Legendary Bridle for mounted combat (lvl 75+). Usually, the main-hand weapon will boost your offensive abilities while your class item will focus on your other roles in grouping, like healing or tanking.

LIs can be further classified based on their age and lvl requirement. You can find new LIs as epic quest rewards (rarely), in loot (any minimum equip level possible between 50-100), bartering them at LI barter NPCs or by crafting (minimum equip levels of 60, 65, 75, 85, 95 or 100). The age of an LI determines how powerful it is: First Age (FA) items are more powerful, but require much more experience than Second Age (SA) items, and Third Age (TA) items are rarely used once you’re beyond lvl 65 since they can’t compare to SA or FA. Once you’ve acquired a new LI, you need to take it to a Forge Master NPC to identify it. During the identification process, the abilities (or major legacies) of your item are determined. Good to notice is that even a FA LI is probably not as good as a TA LI of a higher level, even if the other LI is only 1 level higher.

8.2 Improving and customizing your LI

What’s so special about LIs is that they level with you, and thus they grow stronger when you have them for a while. Normally, the maximum lvl of your LI is 60, but it can be increased to 70 by using a special Scroll of Delving. Each time your LI gains a level, it will also get a few Legendary Points which you can spend to improve the ranks of your legacies. Every legacy has a tier which determines how many points it costs to upgrade its rank: higher tier legacies are cheaper to upgrade so you can improve further with the same amount of Legendary Points. On top of that, every 10 levels you will need to reforge your LI to unlock further progress. By reforging (done at the forge master), you will unlock new minor legacies (reforges at 10, 20 and 30) or upgrade the tier of a legacy (at 40, 50, 60 and 70). You can also add more legacies, replace them or upgrade their tiers (max. tier 6) by using other Legendary Scrolls, but these are hard to come by. Useful to know is that every item type has one default legacy which is always present (like a bonus to tactical healing on the minstrel songbook or bonus to shield use on the guardian belt).

In order to make things even more complicated, Turbine/Standing Stone Games added 4 relic slots to each LI: one for a setting, one for a gem, one for a rune and one for a crafted relic. Settings, gems and runes can be found by deconstructing other LIs, fused relics or sealed relics at a Relic Master. Crafted relics can only be acquired through crafting guilds. Relics also have tiers to indicate their potency, ranging from tier 1-10. There are also mounted relics which only fit on Legendary Bridles, but they’re quite similar so I won’t discuss them here.

Another thing worth mentioning are Legendary Titles: these are special items which you can barter or obtain through special quests in order to give your main-hand LI a special advantage over certain types of enemies, or just give it another stat bonus. These titles have 3 tiers and boost stats, mitigations or damage type skills, or they alter the damage type of your weapon. Altering your weapon’s damage can be crucial in order to survive some locations, as there are some types of mobs that are extremely resistant to common damage.

I’ve already mentioned Legendary scrolls a few times, so here’s an overview of the different types that exist. Keep in mind that each type of scroll has several sub-types depending on the minimal equip lvl of the items you can use them on.

  • Scrolls of Renewal: these reset the spent points on your LI so you can spend them in a different way. These aren’t used very often as you have the option to reset your spent points each time you reforge your LI.
  • Scrolls of Empowerment: used to upgrade the tier of one legacy.
  • Legacy exchange scrolls: will swap one of your current legacies for another specific legacy listed on the scroll. These can be stat legacies or legacy scrolls you obtained by deconstructing another leveled LI. Keep in mind that the scrolls you obtained from deconstruction can only be used on LIs that are max 1 crafting tier higher than the deconstructed item.
  • Scrolls of Delving: unlocks 10 additional experience levels on the LI, can only be used once per item.

Finally I’d also like to mention Crystals. Star-lit Crystals are rare items which can be occasionally found as loot in raids or instances, and they are used to empower your LI even further. Upon use, the crystal will upgrade the DPS rating, the default legacy and any ratings-based legacies on the LI (so not percentage-based, cooldown-based or number of target-based legacies). You can use up to 3 Star-lit Crystals on each LI (5 when imbued, more info later on). The other type of Crystal is the Crystal of Remembrance. They can be used to add an additional major legacy slot, but they can only be used once on any LI.

8.3 The Relic Master

The Relic Master is (I think) the least known aspect of LIs for new players, even though he can be very handy. Most people only use the Relic Master for deconstructing LIs they don’t need or don’t need anymore. Since a LI can’t be sold to a vendor, it’s usually the only way to get rid of one besides destroying it from your bags. I would not recommend destroying them though, because deconstructing them has benefits: each time you deconstruct a LI, no matter how low or weak, you receive at least 1 relic (10+ relics for a fully leveled LI). These relics can then be used on your new LIs in order to empower them.

Another thing you can do at the Relic Master is Relic Forging. Basically, you take 3-5 relics of one tier and create one relic of a higher tier (or a few relics if you achieve critical success). Relic Forging is essential if you want to empower your LI with strong relics, since the higher tier relics are extremely rare to find. Since most Relic Forging will be random, you can’t really predict what kind of relic you’ll be creating. Don’t worry though, because through the Melding option at the Relic Master, you can transform one type of relic into another of the same tier by using shards (which are obtained by deconstructing LIs, refining relics or critical success during Relic Forging). You can also use the Melding ability to create items from just shards, very useful items like scrolls, random relics, Legendary Scrolls, Stat Legacies or unidentified low-lvl LIs.

The last option at the Relic Master is the Refining tab. Here you can choose any relic you possess and destroy it to receive shards, which can then be used for Melding. There’s also a small chance of receiving Heritage Runes upon Refining that will allow you to add a specific amount of item xp to your LI.

8.4 Imbuement

The last thing I want to mention is Imbuement. Introduced with Update 16 in May 2015, you can imbue a LI at lvl 100 to transform it permanently. Basically, you will never need to reforge or deconstruct the item again because it will level with you for the rest of the game. In order to do that, your LI has to be changed though: there won’t be a LI lvl anymore, but your legacies will level instead. Your LI’s “level” will then be shown as the total of all individual legacy levels. This means that you will no longer need to spend points on legacies, they will get stronger automatically. When your LI gains xp, it will be distributed equally among all legacies. For now, 83 tiers can be earned for each legacy. The default legacy will have fewer tiers though, and the final tiers can be unlocked by using star-lit crystals. Some legacies will also change their function because otherwise there would be legacies that improve your block chance to 90% and similar situations.

It is advised to use a Scroll of Delving before imbuing your LI, and if possible equip it with all desired legacies as doing these things post-imbuement will cost you mithril coins or the use of rare/expensive items. Delving scrolls will still work after imbuement, but you gain more by using them before doing so. Crystals of Remembrance are also best used after imbuement because you will be able to choose which legacy you want to add from a list instead of having to extract it from another LI, and you don't have to worry about being limited to a certain number of major and minor legacies.

More extensive guides can be found online, I don't want to go too far into detail here.

9. Skirmishes

9.1 Skirmish introduction

When you reach level 20, you will receive a letter through the (in-game) mail which calls you to any skirmish camp in the game (most people go to the one in Bree, but any skirmish captain can help you advance the quest). You can recognise skirm camps on the map as a bunch of blue flags bundled together. When you arrive there and talk to the captain, you will be taught the basics about skirmishes in 2 tutorial skirms. The first one is Thievery and Mischief, where you retake Bree from the brigands who took control. The second is the Defence of the Prancing Pony, where you defend the courtyard in front of the Prancing Pony from brigands trying to take back Bree.

9.2 Skirmish categories

Already we can see that there are different kinds of skirmishes: offensive and defensive. In the offensive one, you will move through the map and kill the enemies who hold a control point, then capture the control point and defend it from an incoming wave of retribution before moving on to the next control point. There are at the moment 10 offensive skirmishes available in the game, although only Trouble in Tuckborough can be accessed for free and 5 more after completing the corresponding quests in the Epic storyline. The remaining 4 offensive skirms need to be purchased in the LOTRO Store if you are no VIP.

The defensive skirmishes may seem very stationary based on the tutorial, but in most defensive skirms you will still run around quite a lot because enemies will attack from different directions and you need to avoid them breaching the outer gates. Survive all waves of enemies and kill the final boss to win the skirmish. Players can currently participate in 8 defensive skirms, but again only the Siege of Gondamon is available to everyone at level 20. There are 4 defensive skirms which can be unlocked through the Epics, and 3 more which are VIP or Store only.

Finally, there is also a Survival skirmish category, in which there is only one skirmish (for now at least): Barrow-Downs Survival. As the name suggests, the goal here is just to survive incoming waves for as long as you can. New waves will keep spawning at regular intervals, and your progress is tracked in several deeds. These deeds are based on either the number of enemies you kill, or on the amount of time you survive.

9.3 Skirmish mechanics

You can run these skirmishes solo, duo, in small fellowship (up to 3 players), fellowship (6) or in raid format (12). This last size is also referred to as “skraid”, a combination of “skirmish” and “raid”. Aside the group size, you can also select the difficulty level in 3 tiers, with T1 being the easiest and T3 the hardest. Rewards get better when you play in larger groups and at higher difficulty settings.

During defensive or survival skirmishes, you will often see the message “A lieutenant of the enemy has joined the battle”. This is an indication that a powerful enemy has spawned with the newest wave of incoming mobs. In offensive skirmishes these lieutenants appear throughout the area that you have to conquer, and they may spawn during a retribution wave. Which lieutenants spawn is decided randomly, although some lieutenants are specific to certain group sizes. Each lieutenant also has a slayer deed associated with it, which requires you to kill that type of lieutenant 5 times for the first tier and 50 times for the advanced tier. There is an impressive number of lieutenants that can spawn (42 to be exact), and while all have their strengths and weaknesses, some are immensely more powerful or just plain annoying than others.

Besides the skirmish lieutenant deeds, there are also skirmish deeds for each individual skirmish. These deeds will require you to defeat all possible encounters in a given skirmish. An encounter is a powerful enemy that will spawn at a specific point between waves, or after successfully taking a control point, and remain there until the final boss of the skirmish appears. Only 2 encounters will appear during a skirmish so you will need to run the same skirmish several times in order for each encounter to spawn.

9.4 Why skirmishes?

There are 4 major reasons why people do skirmishes, which I have listed below:

  • Marks, medallions and seals: These form a special currency dedicated to skirmishes which you can use in skirmish camps to trade for all kinds of items, from crafting ingredients to cosmetic outfits to reputation items and more. Unlike copper, silver and gold coins, marks, medallions and seals don’t get converted when one reaches a limit (i.e. 100 marks is not worth 1 medallion, like 100 copper is the equivalent of 1 silver). While you can exchange marks for medallions, medallions can be exchanged for seals and vice versa, it is not recommended unless you have a vast abundance of one and a shortage of the other. Seals only drop from the challenge quests at the latest level cap instances and raids, and are required to barter for some high valued items.
  • Enjoying the content: while this one speaks for itself, it is the least frequent reason why people run skirms.
  • Loot: by completing objectives, killing lieutenants/encounters/end bosses and by looting the chest that spawns at the end of the skirm, items like star-lit crystals or LI crafting components can be obtained, along with a iXP runes and sealed or fused relics.
  • XP: skirmishes are one of the ways that free players use to quickly gain XP and get to a higher level fast. While it is an efficient method if you don’t have the LP to buy quest packs or expansions, it gets boring very fast.

Last edited by Senarthor on Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

Main in AFS: Senarthor

Other characters on Landy: Fordil (mini, The Alliance), Cylbert (Burg, The Alliance), Aurun (guard),  Bregod (cappy), Framberra (warden), Nosdun (RK), Senarthir (hunter), Thirglos (bear)

Creeps: Nelbobeth (spider R7), Kuzgush (WL R6), Bagukh (Def R6), Nurzok (Warg R6), Griparsh (BA R3)

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re: New to LOTRO - Hints & Tips


10. Epic Battles

10.1 EB introduction

If you own the Helm’s Deep expansion, have a character that is at least level 10 and you’ve followed up on Erkenbrand’s Messenger’s letter (“An Eic Battle Awaits”), there’s a good chance you were quite confused once you got into your first EB (or maybe you still are). EBs are another special type of instance in which all participating players are scaled to a certain level (lvl 100 for the Helm’s Deep EBs). Each EB has a main objective, and several side quests which are optional (but highly recommended). These side quests are determined randomly by the game and can be different depending on which group size you’re playing with. The rewards for these side quests and for the EB in it’s entirety depend on how well you perform during the side quests. When a quest is finished, a certain amount of merit is awarded depending on how well the objective was completed.

Each side quest has 5 different reward levels, shown as medals: none (objective not completed or failed), bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each time you complete a quest, the amount of merit determines which medal is earned, and a progress bar next to that medal advances a bit. When the progress bar fills up, you earn a reward of which the quality depends on the medal: the better the medal, the better the rewards. For bronze and silver medals, you can enable a point forwarding toggle (shown as an arrow, above the chest icon between the progress bars) which will add some progress to the next medal when your progress bar fills up instead of granting you a lower quality reward. It’s generally recommended to enable these forwarding options at all times as the gold and platinum rewards are much better than the bronze and silver ones.

10.2 EB specializations

Instead of being purely combat based, EBs have another dimension to them: each player can select 1 of 3 specializations, each specialization has its own uses and needs promotion points (also referred to as EB points) to upgrade.

  • Engineers are the most common specialization, and the most rewarding for beginning players. They can set up, repair and upgrade traps, barricades and siege weapons. These are very useful as a highly skilled engineer can kill enemies by just using traps, which lightens the load on the rest of the fellowship or raid, and on the NPCs that fight alongside you. These NPCs are more important than you may think initially, because their survival plays a part in the scoring system during the EB. Keeping them alive is crucial to obtaining platinum medals.
  • Officers can command the NPC captains on the battlefield to issue orders (like switching the NPC soldiers to 2-handed mode and focusing on sappers as priority targets) and buff them with heals or boosts to offense/defense/speed. Upgrading the officer traits will decrease cooldowns on your commands and increase their effectiveness. Officers can also place a banner on the battlefield to make the other players more effective in their roles.
  • Vanguards are played less than engineers and officers, even though they seem the easiest at first glance. The vanguard needs to build up a killstreak which will fuel their abilities in combat. Certain skills will be unavailable at the start of the EB but will unlock as you gain kills. Additionally, when a vanguard player dies in combat, those around them get inspired to fight harder. Vanguards play a major role in controlling the number of enemies on the field to avoid others getting overwhelmed, and bringing down (side-)quest targets quickly. Vanguards are rarely needed unless you’re doing some 6- or 12-man EBs, so use your available configurations to work on an engineer build and an officer build, and only consider going for a vanguard when you’re at a high rank already.

To earn the promotion points which you need to upgrade your specialization, you need to complete side quests in the EBs. Each time you earn a medal for a side quest which you had not achieved before, you get a number of points. A bronze medal is worth one point, silver gets you 2 points, 3 points for gold and a total of 4 points will be awarded when you achieve platinum. However, if you obtain bronze first and gold later, you will only get 2 new points from your later run so you have 3 points in total from that side quest. You can never earn more than 4 points from a single side-quest. You are able to get more points for completing the same quest in a different group size though.

For example, you complete Helm’s Dike as your first EB together with a more experienced friend, and manage to get a silver medal for the Flames at the Gate side quest and gold for The Statue of Helm Hammerhand. That will net you a total of 5 promotion points for completing that EB. Some time later you do Helm’s Dike again and get platinum on The Statue of Helm Hammerhand and again platinum on Powder at the Gate. That would earn you 8 points if it was your first time completing those 2 quests, but since you already had 3 points from the statue quest before, you will only earn 5 points from this second run. You can however do Helm’s Dike again in the fellowship version and earn up to 8 new points for these quests.

10.3 Getting started with EBs

Before you storm off to go do your first EBs, keep in mind that you will be virtually useless in combat until you reach level 90ish because the level scaling does not always work properly. You may still be able to do things in group, but it will be (near-)impossible to do solo at rank 0. While players who are at a higher level than 100 will technically be stronger than their on-level counterparts despite the scaling down, it is also impossible to obtain loot for levels above 100. You also need to unlock 4 of the 5HD EBs by doing them in the right order the first time you visit them. That means you can’t access The Deeping Wall until you’ve completed Helm’s Dike, and the Wall is required to get into the Deeping-Coomb and so on. The same goes for the 3 Pelennor EBs.

If you want to get into EBs, the best advice I can give you is to find someone who has a few ranks already and is willing to run you through a few of them. You don’t even have to wait until you are level 90+, it’s perfectly possible to start around 50 with a stronger friend and gain some points. Once you are rank 3, you can solo several of the EBs and once you unlock rank 6 you can ease through almost all of them (assuming you know what to do of course). Especially engineer is a good specialization when playing solo because the siege engines, barricades and traps help immensely. Additionally, it’s generally easier to do the Pelennor ones (Retaking Pelargir, Defence of Minas Tirith and Hammer of the Underworld) before heading into HD. Especially the Defence of MT is very easy as you can complete it while AFK in a safe spot. You may not get platinum medals, but the NPCs can handle whatever is thrown at them and you’ll get a bit of bling for completing the EB.

10.4 Why EBs?

Reasons for doing EBs, aside from the fun, are:

  • Class trait points: you get one point for reaching 100 promotion points, and another for reaching 200. It may take a bit of time to get there, but it’s definitely worth it.
  • The jewelry that drops in EBs is among the best available at your level, if not the best.
  • You’ll get a large amount of marks and medallions
  • If you are lvl 100, they have a chance of dropping the rare symbols required to craft FA Lis.
  • You’ll get stars of merit for completing quests, which can in turn be traded for more jewelry, star-lit crystals, essence removal scrolls, scrolls of empowerment etc.

That’s about it for this guide, I hope it helped you to start up your journey through Middle-Earth, and if you have any questions… Feel free to ask! Again sorry for the very, very long post, and thanks for your patience if you read it all the way to this point. See you in-game!

Main in AFS: Senarthor

Other characters on Landy: Fordil (mini, The Alliance), Cylbert (Burg, The Alliance), Aurun (guard),  Bregod (cappy), Framberra (warden), Nosdun (RK), Senarthir (hunter), Thirglos (bear)

Creeps: Nelbobeth (spider R7), Kuzgush (WL R6), Bagukh (Def R6), Nurzok (Warg R6), Griparsh (BA R3)
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