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LOTRO Beginner's Guide

Fatty Bolger by Giacobino

1. Introduction
2. Getting Started
 2.1 - Races
 2.2 - Classes
The Game
 3.1 - Exploring
 3.2 - Enemies
 3.4 - PvP
 3.5 - Socializing
 3.6 - Fishing
 3.7 - Tasks
 3.8 - Crafting
4. General new player hints
 5.1 - Housing
 5.3 - Plugins
6. Crafting

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…

2. 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:

2.1 - 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 might is about 0.5-1.0% of a lvl 85 champion's total might). 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...

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 folks (-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 unwearying in battle (+30 in-combat morale & power regeneration, but -60 non-combat morale regeneration and -30 non-combat power regeneration).

- 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).

- 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).
 Due to their rapid recovery, 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).

- 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 6 races, they are destined to rule the world of Middle-Earth after the Third Age.

 Men have a 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).

- Beornings -
Descend from ancient Men, and can "skin-change" into bears when angered. They are gruff, distrustful, impolite, respect all creatures of nature, and hate Orcs more than anything.

 Increased Might - Beornings wield a ferocity unmatched by other races. (+15 Might)
 Reduced Fate - So few in number, Beorning's Fate is in question. (-7 Fate)
 Improved Poison Resistance -Their Bond with the natural world gives Beornings a natural resistance to toxins (+1% Poison Resistance)
 Increased Vitality - Beornings are thick-skinned (+15 Vitality)

- High Elves -
Have beheld the beauty of Valinor, possess grace and strength beyond even their woodland kin. Those few who remain yearn to see that Middle-earth is safe to bequeath to Men before they depart for the Undying Lands.

 Reduced Fate - The time of the Elves in Middle Earth is nearly at its end. (-7 Fate)
 Increased Morale and Morale Regeneration - In times of peace, your vitality and spirit are renewed more swiftly than those of the younger races of the world. (+20 Maximum Morale +60 non-Combat Morale Regen)
 Reduced Will - You have witnessed the passing of Ages, and still feel the hurts of those lost in the battles of the Elder Days. (-7 Will)
 Improved resistance to Disease and Poison - Elves do not suffer illness. (+1% Disease Resistance +1% Poison Resistance)

2.2 - Classes

Beornings are descend from ancient Men, from Grimbeorn and Beorn himself. They can "skin-change" into bears when angered. They are gruff, distrustful, impolite, respect all creatures of nature, and hate Orcs more than anything.

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, fervor-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 armor 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 armor and relies a lot on self-healing, blocking, parrying and evading. Playable by elves, hobbits, and men.

Okay, you have this summary... Now what? Well, there isn't much more than 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 25 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. Elves and dwarves start in Thorin's Hall. In this starter 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, 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).

3. The Game

Things you can do in this game:

3.1 - 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 in 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 out-leveling 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).

3.2 - 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 colors:

- Grey: out leveled, 9 or more levels below yours
- Green: very easy, 6-8 levels below yours
- Light blue: easy, 3-5 levels below yours
- Blue: regular, 1-2 levels below yours
White: regular, equal level or 1 level difference
Yellow: regular, 1-2 levels above yours
- Orange: hard, 3-5 levels above yours
- Red: very hard: 5-7 levels above yours
- 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 color of the ring around an NPC’s head shows you his/her 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

3.3 - Quests & deeds

A game without a goal would be pretty boring… Each zone holds a certain number of quests that you can complete if you are high enough in level (you can start new quests when you are 5 levels below the actual quest level, there is no limit on completing quests below your level). 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 have a much bigger experience in this game (especially if you’re roleplaying). 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. It’s a story about how you start as a young adventurer and develop into a powerful 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 Turbine points, traits, emotes, titles, some passive skills, legendary experience runes and sometimes even a new mount. 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 attack x time.
- Epic deeds: completed by finishing book quests
- Exploration deeds: these are usually the easiest to complete. All you have to do is go to a few special locations in a zone.
- 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 a 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 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.
- 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 always twice as much as T1). Later on these numbers will increase to hundreds of enemies.
- 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.

There are other types but those aren’t very important unless if you’re a roleplayer who enjoys doing them.

So, why complete these deeds if they take up so much time and don’t reward you with new gear or money? The answer: traits. Traits are special extra characteristics you can give to your character, by equipping them at a bard. Traits are classified into 4 big groups:

- Virtues: these are earned 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 increase the level of the virtue by 1 or 2. You can equip 5 different virtues simultaneously.
- Class traits: update 12 came with a full class revamp, which completely changed how class traits work. Before, each class could equip a total of 7 class deeds, but now the system works with a trait tree. There are 3 trait trees (blue, red and yellow), and their purposes change depending on which class you're playing. By gaining levels and completing class deeds, you earn trait spec points which you can use to unlock class traits, but you need to unlock a select number of class traits in the same tree to get access to the best traits of that tree. It may seem a bit complicated, but it's not that hard to understand when you see it in-game... It's probably harder to try to explain it in a few words :D
- 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. You can equip a total of 5 racial traits.
- Legendary traits: these no longer exist after update 12, since the former legendary traits and skills are now integrated into the class deeds and traits.

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 past VIP) you’ll only have access to a few trait slots until you unlock the rest through the LOTRO store.

3.4 - 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, a separate area that can only be accessed by VIPs that are lvl 80+ (the Freeps – free peoples) and my monster players (Creeps, available when your first character reaches level 10).

3.5 - Socializing

Since LOTRO is such a massive game and has more than 30 servers, there are thousands of people in Middle-Earth. An easy way to make new friends is to 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 store up to 50 characters in your friend's list (under the social panel, the shortcut is “O” by default) to keep in touch with them.

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.

3.6 - Fishing

Fishing is 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.

3.7 - Tasks

Tasks are a way to gain easy experience and reputation points for certain factions. The first taskboard you will encounter is the one in Bree, near the Boar fountain and the crafting hall. 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.

Tasks are available in every area starting in Bree-Town (so not in starter areas), and you can complete tasks only when you are within 5 levels range of the task level. 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 (can be reset by spending Turbine Points).

3.8 - Crafting

Since crafting is such a major part of this game and is a bit harder to explain, I’ve written a separate chapter for this. See chapter 6 for more information about crafting.

4. General new player hints

4.1 - 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 7 default chat channels: Advice, LFF, OOC, Regional, Trade, fellowship chat and kinship chat. 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 isn’t related to the game or to talk freely without roleplaying restrictions. The purposes of other chat channels are pretty obvious I think.

Apart from those 7, every server has one big custom chat channel, usually “glff” or “globallff”. You can join this channel by typing “/joinchannel glff” in the chatbox. 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 either “/1”, “/2”, “/3” or “/4” (depends on the order in which you enter the custom channels). You can also create a custom chat channel by typing /joinchannel (without brackets, a password is optional). A custom channel is deleted within a few minutes after the last member left.

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 contact Turbine support, press F7 in-game and follow the instructions (or type /bug to submit a bug report).

4.2 - 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.
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 and corpses.

4.3 - 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 (they used to be called conjunctions in the past and some veteran players still use that word). Basically, it will stun the enemy for about 10 seconds (I think). 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 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 (8, 6, 2 and 4 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). 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.

4.4 - 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 85 may be worth about 35 silver according to the tooltip, but sell for 5-20 gold on the auction hall). Also keep in mind that F2P players have a gold cap at 2G, the premium gold cap is 5G.

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.

Another way of making money is crafting items that other vocations need but can't craft for themselves, and sell these items to other players. The Auction Hall is a very good place to make some money (but also to spend a lot if you don't watch out).

4.5 - UI settings

You can change the colors 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 background).
By pressing “Ctrl + \”, 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.

Shire by KillerGmbH
5. Housing, VIP benefits. Plugins

5.1 - Housing

At level 15, you become eligible to buy a personal house. You cannot have 2 personal houses on 1 server, not even on different characters. To buy one, go to one of the 4 housing areas and talk to the housing broker.
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 cabin houses found throughout Bree-Land.
Falathorn Homesteads: between Duillond and Needlehole, close to the border between Ered Luin and 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 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. When every building in a neighborhood is occupied, a new neighborhood is generated so more houses become available for purchase.

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. There are 22 interior decorating hooks (= locations where you can place a decoration item) and 5 exterior decorating hooks. In addition, you can also buy extra storage space for in-game silver and gold, and mithril coins, similar to the vault system.

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. The house has 47 interior decorating hooks and 7 exterior decorating hooks, and you may buy extra storage space for silver/gold and mithril coins. Deluxe houses have a higher storage space limit than standard houses.

Kinship houses

Kinship houses are the largest and most expensive 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 with a stage and fireplace, a smaller room with fireplace, and a room upstairs with fireplace. There are 80 interior decorating hooks and 12 exterior decorating hooks available, and even more storage space may be bought.

Housing decorations may be bought from housing furnishers, reputation vendors and taxidermists (both interior and exterior decorations). 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.

When you buy a personal house, you are granted a new skill that allows you to travel to your new house quickly. This skill requires you to have 1 traveling ration (sold by provisioners) and has a 1-hour cooldown. 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 neighborhood (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.

If you already own a 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 the 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).

5.2 VIP benefits

By subscribing to the game, you gain several benefits. These benefits are listed below, and more info can be found here[].
Unlock all trait slots on all your characters on all servers;
Access to class trait set bonuses (the special traits on the left of the class traits panel);
Access to all swift travel routes (except a few special destinations like Candaith's camp in the Lone Lands or Saeradan's cabin in Bree-land);
5 inventory bags;
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);
Removal of the currency cap;
Ability to trade or mail money;
Full access to all Community services and Customer services;
Access to all quest packs in Eriador and Rhovanion except 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 while you're offline 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);
No chat or mail restriction;
500 TP 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;
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)

The first 7 of these last after the subscription ends, but only on characters that you log in to during the VIP-time (the 5 bags are an exception on this rule, they will be granted to new characters as well). Your characters will be permanently elevated to a premium account. If you have empty character slots, you'll lose 2 of them, 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, a premium has only access to 5.
Note: you will never lose access to quests and instances in areas you purchased before you subscribed. 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 (3 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 if you’re used to them… *Free advertisement for Turbine*

5.3 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 a description, rating, file size, rating 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. 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 ”.

Short descriptions of the plugins that I use are listed below. Please note that there are also other plugins available to manage your quickslots, it may take some time to find one you like.


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.

Combat Analysis

Ever since I started teaming up with a hunter on my champ, I had the need to become better and compare my stats to others (mainly because I didn’t know back then that champ DPS could never match hunter DPS when it comes to single targets). 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!


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 to you.
It may not be very useful yet at lower levels, but once you reach level 30ish, it will sure come in handy.

J.R.R Skins Collection - A tribute to Middle Earth -

JRR is, first of all, a complete theme designed for today's high-resolution screens. It also offers you to enjoy a collection of legacy/tribute themes, updated and revisited! There are currently 28 themes and sub-themes included in the main download!

6. Crafting

6.1 - 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:

Armorer: prospector (mine and smelt ores), metalsmith (turn smelted ore into heavy armor) and tailor (turn pieces of leather into light or medium armor).
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 wisdom), 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 of the main purposes. Prospectors, foresters, and farmers provide materials for metalsmiths, weaponsmiths, and jewelers, tailors & woodworkers and cooks 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 a weaponsmith: 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.

6.2 - How to 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 (not that farmers only need a workbench to pick good crops from the stacks they harvest), cooks need an oven or campfire and a scholar needs no crafting facility until 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 persons 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 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!

*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 fortifies your stats, weaponsmiths and woodworkers provide powerful weapons, jewelers make jewelry, metalsmiths and tailors make armor 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.

6.3 - 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 color 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 a 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 90-95

When you reach proficient expert in any profession, you won’t be able to advance anymore. In order to advance your craft further, you need to talk to a novice crafter of your profession, who will give you a new quest. This quest will bring you to another person who will give you a crafting assignment to craft a few items. When you are done with that quest, you will have access to superior crafting facilities, which you need to execute any recipes of the artisan tier or higher. This is kind of tricky because you are not alerted in any way except that you won’t get any more xp for crafting. As you progress in your craft, you will encounter new recipes of several kinds. Some can be bought from profession vendors, 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.
Guild recipes: can be bought from guild vendors (see next part)
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.

6.4 Crafting and Crafting guilds 

After you’ve trained your crafting vocation, 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). 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 and grand master of the guild - similar to the several crafting tiers currently available).

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).

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!

This is a guide from Lotro forums provided by Thornelas. This is his work and will be treated as such even if we did updates to this post.

Thanks to:
Thornelas for his hard work
and J.R.R. Tolkien the men in charge of every single masterpiece he wrote.

J.R.R. Tolkien by AudreyBenjaminsen

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