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  1. #1

    Penny pincher strategies for the best gaming experience

    Now that my huntress has reached level 72, almost ready to enter Rohan (after almost half a year), I feel that I can give some not too outdated advice for those that are new to the game.

    IMO opinion you do not need to spend much (real) money, in order to have an enjoyable experience. If you do it right, and become lucky on the sales, between $15 to $35 suffice.

    On the other hand, you will have to spend at least some real money, in order to ensure a smooth game play right from the start. YES, you can play the game completely for free. But the early going will be rough. This guide is about convenience, and what is essential to ensure that you get it. Convenience can be bought right from the start, via a few well timed real money purchases. But you can also earn that convenience ingame, by grinding the necessary TP.

    For all essential benefits, I will list their cost in TP (and real money, if applicable). So you can decide for yourself, whether you want to spend the real money, or rather grind the TP.


    EDIT (shameless self-promotion):

    BTW, if you like this thread, I make a related one on "how to maximize your return on investment" in Lotro:
    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...ent&highlight=
    I know at least one forum member, who found it (partially) helpful, despite its length ;-)
    [dunno if anybody read everything]
    Last edited by MasterOfNothing; Mar 18 2013 at 04:49 PM.

  2. #2

    Essential buys for real money

    a) Samwise Gamgee Starter Pack (Sampack) [10$ regular price from Lotro Market]
    - riding skill and horse at lvl 5 (riding skill alone is worth 100 TP per character; the convenience at having a ridable horse available at lvl 5 is priceless)
    - account wide gold cap removal (400 TP)
    - account wide 4th bag (1000 TP)
    - early premium, giving you
    - 3 instead of 2 character slots (600 TP)
    - ability to mail gold (priceless)

    Summary:
    - Sampack gives perks worth at least 2100 TP for 10$
    - Potentially its worth much more, due to the account wide riding skill and horse at lvl 5 (for all characters on all servers, current and future)

    b) Mithril Edition [regular price is 20$ from gamestop, its been discounted every 3 months or so at 50% off for 10$]
    - 2000 TP to spend in the Lotro store
    - Trollshaws, Eregion, Moria and Lothlorien quest packs (3500 TP)
    - horse (without riding skill!) [nothing gained unless you collect horses, because you already have a horse from Sampack]

    Summary:
    - Mithril gives you perks worth 5500 TP for 20$ (10$ if bought on a 50% discount sale)
    - It includes all essential quest packs (except Evendim), which will get you up to lvl 65 (Lothlorien)
    [you need to buy the Evendim quest pack for 600 TP, but with Mithril you got 2000 TP to spend]

    c) VIP [15$ for one month: subscribe, then cancel your subscription after a few days (after you received your 500 TP)]
    [if you can, get the old Moria boxed version for ~20$: in addition to one month VIP you also get 2 character slots and warden/runekeeper class, worth 2800 TP]

    The benefits of VIP, that REMAIN even after VIP expires, are:
    - account wide 5th bag (1000 TP) [if you hadn't already bought Sampack, you would also have got the 4th bag, worth
    another 1000 TP]
    On all characters logged in during VIP:
    - all trait slots unlocked (1620 TP per char)
    - swift travel unlocked (priceless)
    Furthermore:
    - all advancements in guild crafting obtained during VIP remain
    [this could be worth nothing, if you do not care to craft]
    [it could be worth 2100 TP, if you have 7 crafters in different guilds and advance them to max guild level during VIP]

    Summary:
    - VIP gives you additional perks worth at least 2620 TP for 15$
    - In practice it will be worth much more:
    - every additional character saves 1620 TP just for the trait slot unlocks (you can create at least 5 characters per server)
    [Note: all slots on any character logged in during VIP are unlocked, but most are useable only at high levels]
    - swift travel is priceless
    [Note: all swift travel routes are unlocked, but most become useable only at high levels]
    - crafting guild unlocks could save another 2100 TP (but this requires ALOT of preparation)


    When should you buy?

    a) Sampack: ASAP. At the moment you feel you like Lotro and plan to stay with it for more than 2 weeks, go to the lotro Market and buy it.
    b) Mithril: Can wait a little. Watch out for discounts. You need it, when you finished Evendim (around lvl ~40) and are ready to enter Trollshaws/Eregion/Moria.
    c) VIP: No pressure. With Sampack you do not need to rush things. The more characters you have when you go VIP, the higher the benefits. OTOH, if you are not interested in guild crafting (or you are willing to spend 2100 TP later), Sampack allows you to go VIP much earlier.
    Last edited by MasterOfNothing; Mar 18 2013 at 04:14 PM.

  3. #3

    Optional real money buys

    d) Expansion Triple Pack [40$ regular price on Lotro Market. Has been on 50% discount for 20$ every 3 months or so]
    You already have the Moria quests from Mithril, so it gives you the following additional benefits:
    - Mirkwood (700 TP)
    - Isengard quest pack (2000 TP)
    - Isengard instance cluster (1300 TP)
    - Draigoch's Lair raid (800 TP)
    - skirmish soldier trait max rank 35 [corresponding to character lvl 75] (600 TP)
    - 2 additional character slots (1200 TP)
    - warden and runekeeper classes (1600 TP)

    Summary:
    - The expansion triple pack gives you perks worth 8200 TP for 40$ (20$ if bought on a 50% discount sale)

    However:
    - the Isengard instances (2100 TP) are seldom run (most now run Rohan instances)
    - not all players are into skirmishing (600 TP)
    If you are not a dedicated raider/skirmisher, subtract 2700 TP from the 8200 TP (that's still 5500 TP effective worth)
    If you have bought the old Moria boxed version to become VIP, subtract another 2800 TP for warden/runekeeper and 2 extra character slots

    Furthermore:
    - you do not need Isengard or Mirkwood to get to lvl 70+, at which point you could enter Rohan
    - If you want to get to Rohan as fast and as cost efficient as possible, save your TPs for Great River (800 TP) and Rohan (4300 TP)
    [I currently do not recommend buying Rohan with real money: Once your main has reached lvl 70+, chances are you have enough TP to buy it ingame]

    From the notes above you can deduce, that the effective value of the expansion triple pack depends very much on the circumstances:
    - For completionists it delivers a very good value (in particular if bought discounted for 20$).
    - However, if you are not a dedicated raider/skirmisher, who loves to do outdated content, and if you already own the Moria expansion, its effective value can be as low 2700 TP. In such a case it might be a better option to just buy the Isengard questpack and possibly Mirkwood with TP.

  4. #4

    Why buy the sampack, when vip offers more and better?

    Why do I recommend the Sampack, although "all of its benefits are obtained and surpassed by VIP", as has been claimed several times on the forums?

    First of all, the above claim is not true. Benefits from VIP are different from those of Sampack. The main difference is, that Sampack gives *account-wide* benefits for *all* characters, current and *future*, whereas (some) benefits from VIP only apply to characters logged in during your (fleet, 1 month) VIP period.

    So what are the differences?

    a) Bags
    VIP is truly better: Sampack gives an account-wide 4th bag, VIP gives (nowadays) an account wide 4th and 5th bag.
    [This was not always so: Before the 6th bag arrived at the store, the 4th and 5th bag for VIPs were only for characters logged in during VIP]

    b) Gold Cap
    Sampack is (slightly) better: Sampack's gold cap removal is account-wide, VIP's is only for characters logged during VIP.
    [This might not be a big deal for those, that plan to play just a few characters]

    c) Riding Skill & Horse
    Sampack is far superior: Sampack gives you the riding skill and a horse for free, as soon as your character leaves the introductory instance (usually at lvl 5). VIP gives you a quest to obtain the riding skill at lvl 20. In other words:
    - You have to wait 15 levels
    - you have to travel to Hengstacer farm
    - you have to do the quest
    - finally, you have to buy a horse, depleting your (at that time) scarce resources of gold.
    And all of this only works, if you actually do the Hengstacer ordeal during your VIP period for every character (including levelling every one of them to lvl 20)
    Compared to that, Sampack's horse and riding skill is hazzle-free:
    - You obtain the riding skill and a horse automatically, as soon as you leave the Introduction (and talk to the quest giver nearby).
    - Furthermore, Sampack's horse and riding skill is account-wide, e.g. it applies to all characters, even those created long after VIP.

    Of course, Sampack's value depends much on your playstyle. If you plan to create a lot of characters, whenever you feel put, Sampack shines.
    If you plan to stick to just 2-3 characters (never creating any new ones, except short-lived TP grinders), VIP appears to offer a better value.

    I personally would buy the Sampack, just for the riding skill and the tremendous satisfaction, having it available right after the Introduction for all my characters.


    However, this is not the true reason, why I recommend Sampack. The true reason is this:

    In order to use your 1 month VIP subscription efficiently, you must do a lot of preparations.
    These preparations will usually take a lot of time (depending on your time alotted to Lotro, this could take a few months).
    As long as you prepare for VIP, you don't (yet) have any benefits unlocked from VIP.
    Thus, you will be stuck with 3 bags, with the gold cap on all characters, and with no riding skill on none of your characters.
    You are constantly torn between the following two decisions:
    - should I "waste" 100 TP per character for the riding skill and another 400 TP for the gold cap removal, or
    - should I go VIP, despite the fact, that I am not yet optimally prepared?
    As you ponder these questions, you will also start to notice, that playing with just 3 bags, no riding skill and no gold cap removal is becoming VERY inconvenient. You might not notice initially, but you *will* notice, as soon as your bags start to fill with the highly diverse loot you get at the higher levels, you eventually hit the gold cap (likely at lvl 20), and you start to realize that you spend a lot of time running from one location to the next.

    Pre-VIP game play is rough (compared to the much smoother going after VIP).
    Because of this, a lot of players decide to become VIP (too) early.
    Most then find, that (due to lack of preparation) they need another 1 month VIP period later on.
    That will cost them 30$, because they actually went "double VIP", consisting out of a (hopefully!) "early VIP" period (15$) and a "late VIP" period (15$).

    "Sampack" (10$) plus "VIP" costs only 25$, and compared to "double VIP" you have *additional* lasting benefits
    (the riding skill with a horse at lvl 5 and the gold cap removal, on all characters current and future, on all servers)

    Sampack removes most of the inconveniences of pre-VIP gameplay and therefore effectively reduces the pressure of becoming VIP too early.
    Sampack also provides a tremendous benefit when becoming VIP: In fact, if you want to become VIP early, you can do that easily with Sampack. Without Sampack you would have to level all your characters to at least lvl 20 (before or during VIP) to be able to do the quest for the riding skill at Hengstacer. With Sampack, you just need to log into your characters once during VIP, no matter how low their current level is (you might just create a character and log out immediately). In principle you could (rather easily, but tediously) create the maximum of 17 characters on all servers with all benefits unlocked within a day. On the other hand, if you have to level all your characters to lvl 20 for the riding skill, you will not manage to do that for more than, say 5, characters, unless you already levelled them pre-VIP or you can play 8+ hours a day.

    In my opinion, you cannot go wrong purchasing the Sampack, and the earlier you buy it, the more will you benefit from it.
    In fact, with Sampack, you can delay VIP almost indefinitely, without significant impact on the convenience of playing Lotro.
    OTOH, if you are not interested in guild crafting (or if you are willing to spend an additional 7 x 300 TP for the account-wide unlock for all 7 crafting guilds), Sampack allows you to go VIP much earlier (because you need not level your toons to lvl 20 for the riding skill). In fact, this is what I would recommend, if you are out for the highest convenience and the largest flexibility. 10$ for Sampack relieves you from the necessity to level all your characters to lvl 20 and do the Hengstacer riding skill ordeal during just one month of VIP. You only need to create them during VIP (which takes less than a minute). 2100 TP for the account-wide guild unlocks relieve you from the necessity, to achieve maximum guild status in just one month VIP. You can level obtain guild status at whatever pace you choose. And you do not have to go VIP again if you move to another server (assuming you were foresighted enough to create your characters on that server during VIP, taking 1 min each).

    One could say, that Sampack is "VIP-light" (reflected in the price of 10$ compared to 15$)
    But it is actually more than that, because some of its benefits (early riding skill and gold cap removal) will outlast VIP indefinitely.

    Comparing "one time VIP" with Sampack is not the right comparison for most players.
    Yes, one time VIP is doable (theoretically). You will often get that advice from experienced players. And of course, for them, in hindsight, that would have been possible. Or would it? In practice (especially as a new player), you do not know exactly what you must do, in order to pull off the "one time VIP" trick. It will also take you much longer than the experienced players to level your toons to lvl 20. They might be able to do that in half a day, a new player won't. In practice, in particular if you are interested in guild crafting and want to save the 2100 TP for the account-wide 7 guild unlocks, you will have to spend weeks, if not months, preparing for VIP. If you don't prepare properly, your VIP period will only be of limited use, and you will soon find yourself in a position, where you need another VIP run. You might not consider yourself a typical player (nobody does, except maybe the really good ones :-) ). For the typical player, the correct comparison is "double VIP" vs "Sampack + VIP".

    If you compare these two scenarios, the main shortcoming of "Sampack + VIP" lies in the early phase of the game, before VIP kicks in.
    In the late phase, after VIP, there can be no doubt that the combination "Sampack + VIP" is better - for less money - than "double VIP".

    So what are the differences in the early phase of the game?

    a) Bags
    Obviously "early VIP" is better than "early Sampack" (5 bags vs 4)
    However, whereas you will notice a dramatic improvement going from 3 bags to 4, the next step (4 to 5) is not that dramatic:
    As long as your characters are below lvl 50, you do not really need the 5th bag (but you will need the 4th!)

    b) Riding skill
    Sampack is far better than VIP will ever be (instant satisfaction for all characters at lvl 5).

    c) Trait slots
    "Early Sampack" will not unlock your trait slots. Here VIP appears to be better.
    However, the trait slot unlocks only become important at level cap. They barely make a difference when levelling.
    [I currently play a lvl 70 hunter with no trait slots unlocked, and have no problem at all vs orange/yellow mobs and can handle most red mobs, too.]
    Also note, that most of the unlocked trait slots become useable only when your character has reached a certain level. If you go VIP when your main is, say, lvl 30, you will hardly notice any difference at all.

    d) swift travel
    This is the feature, where "early VIP" can make a noticeable difference vs "early Sampack". Swift travel is only obtainable through VIP.
    However, my personal experience has been, that I rarely have felt more than a slight inconvenience due to my lack of swift travel.
    I must admit, though, that my main is a hunter, the class with the best travel options in the game.
    If your main is not a hunter, you will probably wish to have access to swift travel, as soon as you leave Evendim.
    With Mithril, you'll probably go to the Trollshaws after Evendim (which does not have any good swift travel options).
    However, eventually you will hit Angmar (for the class quests and the epic storyline). Without swift travel you will have a lot of running back and forth, not just in Angmar, but also in any of the regions that follow.

    OTOH, no matter what class you choose for your main, I highly recommend to buy the travelling bundle ASAP (see TP-purchases, below).
    The travelling bundle might seem awfully expensive (1750 TP), but believe me, it is worthwhile, even for a hunter or warden.
    I bought it (much too late) at 35% off for 1138 TP. You get 5 additional milestones and the "hurried traveller" skill, which reduces the cooldown of all your milestones from 1h to 30 min (unfortunately, it does not reduce the cooldown of your hourly personal house travel skill)
    With 6 milestones total (plus a personal house), you will rarely feel the need to swift travel at all.
    Bottom line:
    - You do not really need swift travel until you leave Evendim / Trollshaws (between lvls 40-44).
    - Most players level their main to level cap, before they seriously start levelling alts.
    - Thus lack of swift travel is mostly an issue for your main.
    - Your main character deserves the best treatment. If she is not a hunter (and even if she is) buy her some additional milestones.
    - With enough milestones, swift travel is rarely required. In fact, milestones are much more flexible than swift travel (or hunter/warden travel skills).
    - Because milestones are the most flexible travel option in the game (by far), you will eventually want additional milestones on all your high level characters. The earlier you get them, the higher the benefit.

    So in the end it boils down to the following:
    VIP is better than Sampack, but most players require "double VIP" (or even "triple VIP" and more).
    On the long run, "Sampack + VIP" is better than "double VIP" (and therefore recommended). It costs less and gives you more in the end.
    For the early game "double VIP" is slighlty more convenient (that is, if you like running until lvl 20), but this is only a fleeting temporary benefit, and does not justify the higher price.

    Another point to consider is this:
    Sampack allows you to explore the early game in a very convenient way, for just 10$ initial purchase.
    You shouldn't buy it on the first day you discovered Lotro, but you should consider buying it if you still like it after a week.
    Even if you find out within the next couple of weeks, that you don't like Lotro, you lost only 10$.
    If you had gone "early VIP" instead, you would have lost 15$.

    And a final point:
    If you listen to the talk on the forums, that one single month of VIP is all you ever need, chances are that you will delay VIP for a long time. If you opt for single VIP, delaying it is not a good option (see below why), and to be fair, most experienced players on the forums that recommend single VIP, also tell you to become VIP as soon as possible. However, unless you are the person that does everything recommended, my guess is that you will delay VIP, because it is obvious that the benefits of VIP increase with the amount of preparation done beforehand. At least that's what happened to me. Assuming that most players will delay VIP, in order to complete all necessary preparations, those players will have quite a rough time pre-VIP. If they do not buy the Sampack, they are stuck with 3 bags, no horse, the gold cap. That will put a lot of pressure on them, to go VIP ASAP. The best scenario is, that your preparations were optimal: After VIP everything is perfect and you do not require a second VIP period - ever. But before VIP you had a rough time. Buying the Sampack could have made that time much more enjoyable, for just 10$.

    The more likely scenario is, that your preparations were not optimal; you went VIP too early and you need a follow-up VIP period. That'll cost you 30$ total, and you still had a rough time pre-VIP.

    Compare that to my recommendation: Buy the Sampack the moment you realize, that you like Lotro. Its just 10$, and its main function is to give you a good time right from the start. Then prepare without haste, as leisurely as you want, at your own pace, for your coming VIP period. With the Sampack you actually never have to become VIP at all (my main is currently at lvl 72, and due to my horse, the gold cap removal and my 4 bags I do not feel any significant pressure to go VIP. But I definitely felt the pressure before I bought the Sampack). Because Sampack dramatically reduces the pressure to go VIP (too) early, chances are, that you will prepare much better. When you finally go VIP, it is much more likely that your preparations were optimal. Consequentially, you will be better off than most that did not buy the Sampack. But even when you compare your achievements to the few lucky guys, that managed to pull off the "single VIP" trick seemlessly, has the Sampack been worthless to you? I believe not: You might have lost 10$ dollars (in the worst of all scenarios). But Sampack gave you a much better time pre-VIP, and will continue to give you a better time for all characters created "ex VIP", because every one of these characters will have the gold cap removal and can mount his free horse at lvl 5. And believe me, once you have a horse (and I didn't have one for a long time, because I wanted to save those puny 100 TP) you will never want to go back to your horse-less times.

    [To be fair: During your one month VIP period you need not be horse-less (except for the Introduction): If you know how, you can power level a new toon to lvl 20 within 6-10 hours, and earn some 300 TP in the process. Using the free 24h horse from the gift box, you can do all that on your temporary horse. If you do the riding quest at Hengstacer within 24 hours, you will have a permanent horse, without ever having been horse-less. But this only applies during your one month of VIP. Afterwards, every new toon will be without a permanent horse, unless you have the Sampack or purchase the riding skill for 100 TP.]


    Having advertised the Sampack maybe a little too much, I will admit, that it is not always the best option. It is the best option, if you want to remain as flexible as possible. BUT: Sampack gives you options for your future gameplay. Whether you realize these options (by playing many different characters over a long period of time), remains to be seen. For those, that do not require the flexibility Sampack offers, there is a cheaper alternative:

  5. #5

    A cheaper alternative with reduced options:

    If you
    - plan to stick with just 5 characters
    - do not want to become member of a crafting guild
    - OR are willing to spend up to 2100 TP later for the guild crafting unlocks
    then the recommendation, to become VIP early is a good one.

    In that case, PLEASE LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF THE EXPERIENCED PLAYERS and become VIP as early as possible!
    Do not make the mistake, to think you are better off delaying VIP, in order to get (slightly better) benefits.
    Either you are content with what early VIP gives you, or if you are not, buy the Sampack and go VIP later.

    Pros (if you go VIP early):
    - You get 5 bags right from the start on all characters, current and future, and can immediately buy the 6th account wide bag for 1000 TP
    - If you like guild crafting, unlocking guild access for 7 * 300 TP is so much more convenient (on the long run), than to try to get all your guild crafters to max level during one month of VIP
    YES, you pay up to 2100 TP more for the guild unlocks. But my advice is about convenience of game play, not about minimal TP spending. If you like guild crafting, the TP spent for the PERMANENT guild unlocks are a good investment. If you don't, no need to worry about TP never spent.
    - With only 5 characters, you have more time to concentrate on every single one.
    YES, with Sampack + VIP you can potentially have 17 characters on 29 servers. But do you have the time to play them all?

    Cons:
    - You are less flexible compared to "Sampack + VIP"

  6. #6

    Necessary tp-purchases, that will bring you up to rohan:

    BUY INSTANTLY for your main character (2100 TP):
    [all of the following "instant" perks, except the second auction house upgrade, can be bought from the 2000 TP of the Mithril edition]

    a) Universal Toolkit (150 TP)
    [greatly speeds up gathering; much higher chance for crit-crafting; can be shared between characters on same account (and server)]

    b) 2 Auction house upgrades (200 TP)
    [with Premium status from Sampack this will give you 15 slots to post stuff and 20 slots to bid]

    c) Travellers bundle for your main character (1750 TP)
    - It is expensive, but it greatly speeds up all of your questing: Much less tracking back and forth, in particular in Angmar and any region after
    - It also helps when power-levelling, because it is much easier to hop back and fro the yellow/orange/red quests in different zones.
    - You will start out with only 4 bags (instead of 5 or 6 after VIP). Emptying full bags is much easier with additional milestones.
    - In Moria 3-4 additional milestones will save you several hours of riding back and forth, in particular if you do the repeatable quests.
    - same for repeatable quests in Lothlorien (and other zones you might eventually purchase)
    - It also helps to reduce the inconvenience, from not having access to swift travel (before you become VIP)
    - Perks that save time are of the highest priority. You can expect to save ~10 min per 3-4 h session, often considerably more.
    - In 100 sessions (half a year) you might save up to 20-50 hours. You can make 50 TP per hour, so you could have made between 1000-2500 TP in the time saved. Compare that to the price of 1750 TP (undiscounted). Go figure.
    - If you plan to take your main toon to level cap (will take about 100 3-4 hour sessions for the first time) its more than worthwhile.
    - 5 additional milestones and reduced 30 min cooldown is also great after level cap (or even after moria), when doing dailies in different locations.
    [because of the very high price, you might want to wait for a sale. I got it at 35% off for ~1140 TP. Just dont wait too long.]


    BUY AFTER LONE-LANDS (1600 TP):
    [Taking 2 toons through Ered-Luin, Shire, Bree, and Lonelands doing all the "easy" deeds should give you the necessary ~1600 TP]

    a) Evendim (600 TP)
    [Mithril covers everything to get to lvl 65, except Evendim]

    b) 6th Bag (1000 TP)
    [buy after VIP: VIP now grants a permanent (account-wide) 5th bag. So once you hit VIP, you can buy the 6th bag.]
    [DONT buy the 5th bag, when you are still pre-VIP (on Sampack)]

    A good time to become VIP is after after Evendim. Reason is:
    - Evendim brings you to lvl 40+.
    - To enter Moria you must be lvl 46+.
    - The only other pre-Moria zone you have (from Mithril) is Trollshaws, which will not allow you to cover the gap between 40-45 (and requires a lot of running back and forth).
    Questing in other zones (Forochel, Angmar, Misty Mountains) during VIP is a good way to cover the gap.

    If you plan to have a lot of alts, you might want to go VIP later (I am still not VIP, after more than half a year, with my main at lvl 70). Reason is:
    - The more characters you have, when you go VIP, the greater the benefits.
    - VIP saves ~1600 TP per character, and ~300 TP per guild crafter.
    - You can buy up to 10 extra character slots. Earning the TP (ingame) to buy those extra slots takes time.
    - Creating and levelling the extra characters takes some time, too.
    - One extra slot costs 600 TP. Even for a dedicated TP grinder every extra slot will take ~2 weeks (assuming you do a 300 TP grinding session every week).
    Bottom line:
    - Figure at least 2-3 months to earn the TP (ingame) for 10 extra character slots.

    If you like crafting, you need even more time. Reason is:
    - Without preparation you cannot bring 7 crafters to max guild level in one month of VIP.
    - If you plan to cover all 7 crafting guilds, all 7 guild crafters must prepare IN ADVANCE.
    - For every guild, you must make a large number of guild reputation items from the special guild reputation recipies.
    - Guild recipes have cooldowns and are skill-gated. If you have not yet maxed out your "normal" (non-guild) crafting skills, you can only make the low level guild reputation items.
    - To max out your "normal" crafting, your main must be able to gather Eastemnet (riddermark) materials, or you must spend a lot of gold on the auction house.
    - In either case, earning the gold for the crafting materials, or getting your main to lvl 75+ in order to gather the materials in Rohan, takes time.
    - Even if you have bought all crafting materials at the auction house (not likely, unless our main is lvl 70+), it takes time to make the guild rep items due to the recipe cool-downs.
    Bottom line:
    - Starting from scratch, figure at least 2-3 months to get your crafters to Eastemnet, and to craft enough guild rep items for max guild level.
    [The only exception are cooks: You can level a farmer/cook duo to Eastemnet in a day, which will allow you to use all guild reputation recipies. With access to all guild rep recipes, and the right timing, you can make enough cook guild rep items for max guild level within a month.]


    BUY AFTER LOTHLORIEN (800 TP):
    [taking one toon through Evendim (~200 TP) and Moria/Lothlorien (~750 TP) should grant ~1000 TP]
    [yes, you can make more TP if you do all deeds, but some deeds are difficult, extremely time-consuming and/or require fellowship quests or raids]

    a) Great River (800 TP)
    [enter at 65 (after lothlorien), leave at 72+ (ready to enter Rohan)]
    [if you enter great river at lvl 65, you will have to do most quests vs red mobs. It should be doable. If not, skirmish and do dailies in Moria/Lothlorien until you are lvl 67-68 and the mobs are orange or yellow.]
    [If it was doable on my squishy lvl 65 huntress (no trait slots unlocked, only quest gear), it should be doable for the more sturdy classes.]
    [Some quests vs elites (with 12000+ HP compared to my huntress meagre 3000) had to wait, until they turned orange.]


    BUY AFTER GREAT RIVER (4300 TP):
    [to get the necessary TP, you need to earn some TP on your alts. Your main alone will not get you there]

    Rohan Expansion (4300 TP)
    [the expansion will give you all quests, the heavy and light war horse traits, the Rohan instance cluster and max skirmish soldier rank of 40]
    [you could also buy just the quest pack for 1500 TP, but then you would have to buy the other stuff separately]

    How to get 4300 TP:
    - You might still have another unused ~300 TP on your main character, from Trollshaws, Eregion, class, race and rep deeds.
    - You might be able to buy the Rohan expansion at 30% off (for instance, at a determine your own discount sale), saving 1000 TP.
    - The missing ~3000 TP can be gained through TP grinding with a disposable character (10 sessions, 6 hours each, 300 TP per session),
    - Or you can (leisurely) take 4 permanent toons through Ered Luin, Shire, Bree and Lonelands, doing the "easy" deeds (~800 TP each)


    CONGRATULATIONS, you have made it to Rohan. Soon you can do all end-game content. If you have not become VIP yet, this is the time to do it.
    You will need all your trait slots, if you plan to do the more difficult end-game content (such as raids on T2).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    GV Stairs
    Posts
    755
    Nice post!

    +Rep
    [IMG]http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/254/6rpe.jpg[/IMG][FONT=Verdana]
    Tindalas is Laurelin's negative nancy. ([/FONT][FONT=Verdana]Felathurin aka Brunt)[/FONT]

  8. #8

    Additional purchases for an altoholic:

    a) Additional character slots (600 TP each)
    - Alts for storage and guild crafting can make you fully independent.
    - You also get to know different classes (which play very differently).
    - When your main is at level cap, you can level up your other toons in completely different regions (you will earn enough TP to unlock them).
    - Keep in mind, that eventually every extra slot will pay off in terms of TP:
    - Doing all "easy" deeds in EredLuin/Shire/Bree/Lonelands gives ~800 TP
    - The pay-off can be rather quick: A 6 hour TP grinding session in EredLuin/Shire/Bree will grant your new character ~300 TP.

    b) Shared Storage (1000 TP)
    - once you have enough alts, it is much better to use Shared storage to transfer stuff, than the chests in a personal house (or mail)

    c) Premium Wallet (1000 TP)
    - Will free up some inventory slots.
    - Becomes really useful, once your main hits Moria (as more and more different items go into the wallet).
    - The more alts you have, and the higher level they are, the more inventory slots freed.

  9. #9

    Optional purchases after rohan:

    Once you have brought at least one character to Rohan, you might want to do the same for other characters and classes. In order to have a different experience, you might want to quest in regions, that were not (yet) accessible to your first character. For this you should eventually buy all extra regions, and possibly all skirmishes as well.

    All extra regions provide the following benefits:
    - Every new region lets you earn a moderate amount of additional TP, without the need to reroll your favorite characters.
    - Most regions have factions, with which you can become kindred (giving more TP and opening up special barter opportunities).
    - The more regions you own, the higher diverse your gameplay will become: You can do different quests, when levelling different characters.
    - Each region has its own flair (you might not always like the diversity: For instance, some love the gloomy atmosphere of Angmar, some hate it.)


    a) PRE-MORIA REGIONS

    i) Misty Mountains (700 TP)
    - ideal to earn additional Thorin's hall rep for the Thorin's hall goat and to get from lvl 40 to 45
    Pros: Nice calm atmosphere (in particular during snow storms :-) ). Quests give Thorin's hall & Rivendell rep.
    Cons: Amount of TP is low. Some areas are sparsely populated. Goblin town sucks (some love it, I usually go there, when the mobs are green or grey).

    For power levellers it is important mostly, because it helps to gain Kindred status with Thorin's Hall.
    Kindred Status allows you to purchase the 62% Thorin's hall goat for use in Moria. You should get that goat BEFORE entering Moria.
    A cheaper alternative to obtain the Thorin's hall rep goat is this:
    - level your main only to lvl 10
    - use TP grinders and alts to get many low level task items (broken sword sheats, dirty filth, etc.)
    - use the task items on your main in Gondamon and level him up (through task items only) to lvl 16+ (this should get you to ally status)
    - after that, power level to lvl 44
    - then grind any missing thorin's hall rep items in Sarnur or Misty Mountains (you do not need many) before you hit lvl 45
    - buy the goat and enter eregion/moria (start the legendary item quests at lvl 45, enter Moria at lvl 46)

    ii) Forochel (600 TP)
    - a beautiful (mostly solo) region, which can be used to cover the gap between lvl 40 to 45
    Pros: Beautiful landscape. Interesting people and quests.
    Cons: Somewhat out of the way. Nothing really essential there.

    iii) Angmar (800 TP)
    - a group oriented region with a unique gloomy atmosphere. It also allows you to cover the gap between lvl 40 to 45
    Pros: If you can find a decent group, you can earn a lot of TP doing highly challenging instances. Epic quests and class quests take you there anyway.
    Cons: Not good for soloers. A lot of running back and forth (already for the epic quests)

    iv) North Downs (600 TP)
    - Must have only for completionists. Will not help to cover the gap between lvl 40 and 45.
    Pros: Nice instances (Fornost)
    Cons: Landscape is rather ordinary, cannot compete with Evendim.


    b) POST-MORIA REGIONS

    All post-Moria regions are worthwhile, because they give additional daily quests and special barter opportunities.

    i) Mirkwood (700 TP)
    - Go there before Great River, if the direct route Lothlorien -> Great River is too tough.

    ii) Enedwaith (700 TP)
    - A nice alternative to Lothlorien.

    iii) Isengard (2000 TP)
    - Go there after Great River, if the direct route Great River -> Rohan is too tough.

  10. #10

    Additional advice

    (feel free to ignore it, as there is a lot of personal preference involved)

    WHAT CLASS AND RACE TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR FIRST CHARACTER?

    First, despite what some perfectionists on the forums or ingame-chat tell you, race barely makes a difference. Feel free to choose the race that "looks" best. If in doubt, choose man.

    Choose the class that feels best suited to your playstyle. All classes in Lotro are worthwhile playing.
    Every class plays differently. If you have the time, try out all of them.

    I have compiled a very short summary, that might get you interested in one or the other class. Just keep in mind, that even the best advice of others can never give you better information, than you trying out the class for yourself.

    Hunter: Ranged Killer. Their main role in groups is damage per second (dps).
    Champion: Close up Killer with devastating area attacks. Their role in groups is dps, but they can also off-tank.
    Guardian: Can take a beating. Their role in groups is to tank (soak up the damage, keep it away from their fellows).
    They will stand, when most others have fallen (except, possibly, Wardens)
    Ministrel: Primary Healer. That is their role in groups. But they can also put out a lot of damage when soloing (as all classes can).
    Captain: Universalist. Can heal, dish out damage, buff, off-tank. In groups their main function is support (make their fellows perform better).
    Loremaster: Trickster. Can stun, debuff, distract, damage. They have a pet to help them in these things (making things even more complicated).
    Burglar: Stealth expert. Can dish out a lot of burst damage in a short time. In groups they can start fellowship maneuvers (important for difficult group content).

    Access to the Runekeeper and Warden classes must be purchased separately:

    Warden: Tank in groups, but are also great soloers. They play quite differently than any other class due to their unique gambit mechanics.
    Runekeeper: Heal and ranged damage. They can only do one of those well at a time (switching from damage to healing or vice versa takes time)


    If you still have no idea, what class to choose, you might want to consider hunter.
    In fact, if you are new to the game, a hunter main has some advantages.

    Hunter Pros:
    a) Hunters have a lot of additional travel options, in fact the best travel options in the game. If you are new to the game, you will run back and forth alot. Hunters will dramatically cut down on the time, where you failed to foresee where the quest-chain takes you next.
    b) Hunters get a movement speed buff of 15%. This will allow you to do landscape quests faster. Also, if you like to gather wood & ore, that goes faster as well.
    c) Hunters kill fast from range. They also die fast, if their foes come close. But this does not matter, if you kill them before they even reach you.
    d) Hunters are rather straightforward to play. A little preparation before the fights. Then pew pew. However, hunters also get some nice croud control (CC) skills: Traps, special shots that stun, slow or fear, and more. You can play them simple, but you can also play them complicated. Whatever suits you best.
    e) Hunters can also port others from one place to the other. Thats quite a social skill: You might like being asked in a friendly way for a port to Rivendell, or you might despise being constantly harassed to perform ports.

    Hunter Cons:
    a) Hunters are squishy. They cannot (usually) take on more than 2 mobs on level.
    b) Hunters are popular. This means, there are (too) many at end game. Occasionally the hunter slots (dps) in a fellowship are already taken.


    WHAT VOCATION?

    All characters can choose a vocation. A vocation gives access to three crafting skills (actually some of those are gathering skills). You need not choose any vocation at all: Crafting and gathering crafting materials is optional in Lotro.

    If you like gathering or crafting, I recommend the explorer vocation for your first character, because explorer gives you the highest flexibility. Explorers are the only vocation with two gathering professions: Explorers can gather wood & ore, all other vocations can gather either wood, or ore, or none (they can gather/farm crops, or gather relics for scholars instead). If you like crafting, your explorer main can gather all the necessary materials for all crafting professions (even for cooks and scholars). Explorer also has the tailor crafting profession, which allows you to craft medium and light armor. In addition to tailor, there are 6 more crafting professions. You can have all your 6 (low level) crafting alts sit in Bree. An explorer main can provide all necessary crafting materials for them, which will eventually allow them to obtain the highest crafting level (despite their low character level). OTOH, if you do not like crafting, an explorer gathering wood and ore and selling it off on the auction house will make tons of money (to buy all the equipment, that you cannot craft yourself)

 

 

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