Update 38 Release Notes

Here are the release notes for Update 38: Corsairs of Umbar, released on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023. 

Of Special Note:

Corsairs of Umbar has arrived!

Face the Rising Tide of the Kindred's Power! Unfurl the sails and brace yourself for the intoxicating rush of adventure as you approach the enigmatic shores of Umbar! Feel the sea's salt kiss your face and the promise of untold tales beckon from the horizon. Here, in the heart of the City of the Corsairs, dark-bannered vessels whisper of legendary raids alongside the Kindred of the Coin's power plays. With King Elessar's mandate in your heart, rally a crew of old friends and newfound allies. Dive headfirst into the dangerous shores of Umbar, find your sea legs with the new innovative Mariner class, and reclaim the spirit of discovery in lands that LOTRO has never ventured before!

  • Find Your Sea-legs With The Mariner
    • Chart your own course with the Mariner, slashing through foes with slick swordplay, belting out rousing sea-shanties, and pulling off crafty moves that'll have enemies spinning in confusion.
  • Explore the Shores of Umbar
    • Discover the bustling Corsair haven, where sun-kissed shores meet the shadows of dark-bannered ships, and tales of legendary raids echo through its vibrant ports.
  • Fight Fierce New Enemies
    • From the striking coastlines of Outer Gondor to the sandy stretches of The Shield Isles, untold dangers and formidable adversaries lie in wait!
  • Over 350 Unique Quests
    • Venture deep into Umbar's heart, navigating political intrigues and ancient mysteries, as the formidable Kindred of the Coins rise, threatening the fragile peace King Elessar and Queen Arwen have fought so hard to achieve.
  • Unique End Game Content
    • Charge into an increased level 150 cap, dive into pulse-pounding instances, and gain access to an exciting new raid; prepare for an adventure like no other!
  • Get More with Collector’s and Ultimate Fan Bundles
    • Unlock the ultimate seafaring experience with unique cosmetics, pets, and extra expedition supplies today!

Learn more about Corsairs of Umbar on LOTRO.com!

Corsairs of Umbar features content for level 140 to 150 characters and continues the story of "The Song of Waves and Wind"! Players can start the previously-released Chapter 1 of "The Song of Waves and Wind" or acquire the newly-released Chapter 2 of the story by speaking with Glindor in Minas Tirith (Midsummer). Completion of Chapter 1 is required to begin Chapter 2. Access new landscapes and other content in Corsairs of Umbar by traveling through Linhir, in Dor-en-ernil, in King's Gondor. A dock-master network is available between all of the major harbors of King's Gondor (Pelargir, Dol Amroth), Outer Gondor (Lond Cirion), Shield Isles (Halrax) and Umbar Barharbel. 

News and Notes:


  • Player melee skill ranges have been normalized. This means most damaging melee skills should now have the same range across classes, though there are some exceptions.
  • In light of this change, many persistent, harmful ground effects throughout the game have been reduced in size.
    • In general, targeted melee skills should now have a max range of 4 meters.
    • Area of Effect melee skills should have a max range of 5 meters.
    • Brawler's Melee Range tracery has been changed and now increases Aggressive Posture's Damage bonus.
    • Some Area of Effect skills have had their base number of targets increased.
  • Beorning
    • The Beorning barter vendor has been returned the the Ox-clan Merchant Camp to trade for Orthanc instance cluster equipment.
    • Updated Beorning rewards in older instances to replace existing medium armour rewards with heavy armour and relevant jewellery rewards.
    • A number of Beorning skills had errant knockback effects on them. Only Final Strike and Savage Knockdown should now have knockback effects.
    • Composure is now affected by the blue-line trait Animalistic.
    • Counterattack now consumes the 'recently evaded' effect gained from Evades while Counter is active. This will allow you to re-gain that effect thereafter, rather than timing out after a fixed duration.
    • Counter increases Evade chance by 15% while active (increased from 10%).
    • Beornings now gain 1 meter of extra melee range in Bear Form, down from 2 meters.
  • Burglar
    • Provoke's cooldown has been reduced by two seconds.
  • Brawler
    • Battle flow description fixed to show the correct bonus, and indicate that it applies to all skill damage.
  • Captain
    • Most damaging Captain skill now generate additional threat while specialized in the Leader of Men.
    • Impactful Blows once again increase weapon damage by up to 10%.
    • Shadow's Lament's cooldown has been reduced by five seconds.
  • Champion
    • While specialized in the Martial Champion, most damaging Champion skills will now generate additional threat.
  • Hunter
    • Emergency Preparation traps now deal their correct damage when triggered.
  • Lore-master
    • Some tracery titles have been changed to refer to 'Air Lore' rather than 'Charged Air' for clarity.
    • Burning Embers can now deal partial pulses, so you won't lose damage when upgrading or downgrading Embers.
  • Mariner
    • Flèche no longer moves your player character. Ultimately, the movement was simply not smooth enough on the live servers.
    • Increased the potency of traits which impact your healing potential.
    • Increased the potency of the Critical Defence debuff from the North Wind.
    • When traited in the Rover line enough to access 'Explosive Lunge' the cooldown of Lunge has been corrected so that it only increases to a minute when used directly after Debilitating Strike.
    • Salt-sea blade no longer erroneously benefits from bonuses to 'Advance' damage.
    • Resistance chance now works as expected for Mariner thrown/potion skills.
    • Fire Potion damage over time pulses now have their correct critical chance.
  • Rune-keeper
    • Concession & Rebuttal is now a combat-only skill.
    • Concession & Rebuttal description no longer states that it has an attunement requirement.

Combat and Monsters

  • Generic monster ranged attacks now have no minimum distance from the player that they are allowed to execute.  
  • Finesse now modifies partial b/p/e damage reduction.
  • Fix for monster power scaling -- Low level monsters were running out of power too quickly.


  • Vocations have been removed in favor of allowing players to train professions individually. Existing professions should not be impacted by these changes. Players will retain currently trained professions, as well as any progress and guild memberships associated with those professions. See a Profession Trainer to train a new profession or swap an existing profession.
  • The tooltips for Critical Results in the Crafting Panel are not displaying properly for all items.  This is a display issue only.  A critical success result of a recipe will have a higher item level and stats than the base result. 
  • Hard Biscuits and Superior Hard Biscuits now correctly share the same out of combat Morale regeneration rate. 
  • Trout and other fish used as crafting ingredients can now be put into crafting carryalls. 
  • Crit crafted heal potions had heal values similar to non-crit, these have been improved.
  • Crafted Mariner Instruments and their recipes have been added to appropriate recipe scroll cases and vendors throughout the game.

Housing and Decorations

  • Adding Angmarim Greenhouse Decorative Walls to Angmar Reborn Barter Vendor.
  • Adjusting prices of all Angmarim Decorative Walls to match (15 tokens).

Instances and Skirmishes

  • Player morale is now fully restored on login or on entering/leaving instances.
  • The Featured Instance rotation has been updated to include: Glinghant, Haudh Valandil, Woe of the Willow, Agoroth, the Narrowdelve, Stoneheight, and Ost Dunhoth - Gortheron Wing.
  • Draigoch's health has been increased by about 3x. Despite most values being reduced in the stat crunch, Fellowship Maneuvers actually gained potency, and Draigoch's stat crunch health reduction did not take that into account.


  • Legendary Item runes have changed how they function. The different rarities now give additional levels for each tier of rarity, and they no longer have different caps on the ilevel they can increase your tracery slots to, within the current level band, as this ended up being rather confusing. This increased the value of the lower rarity runes considerably, so they now have a commensurately higher cost in Ancient Script, but the increase in how many levels higher rarity runes provide should make leveling your Legendary Item traceries through adventuring a good bit easier overall.

  • Gear Essence Slotting
    • As of U38 gear may feature a Primary essence slot, a Vital essence slot, and regular essence slots.
    • A Primary essence slot can accept 'Main Stat' essences, allowing you to adapt a piece of gear to provide Might, Agility, or Will as needed to suit your build. If present, it will generally be replacing the existing main stat on a gear piece.
    • A Vital essence slot can accept Vitality, Fate, Morale, or Power affecting essences. If present it will usually be replacing the Vitality score on a gear piece.
    • Regular essence slots accept all the standard gear Essences. Their frequency/number should be similar to current gear.
    • The goal of the Primary slot is to make it possible for players to easily customize gear to use whatever mainstat they feel they require to suit their build, regardless of armor type.
    • The goal of the Vital slot is to allow flexibility in how players weigh vitality and power outlays, while also limiting Vitality stacking - it also ensures that Beornings in particular should never be stuck with Power related stats they cannot use.
  • Essence Values
    • The stat value of a standard essence slot, as well as the value of an essence itself, is being reduced. This means that more of the overall value of the gear will appear on its inherent stats, and a smaller percentage of the overall gear value will be found in its essence slots.
  • Critical Rating
    • The Critical Ratings of gear/traits/effects have been increased.
    • The cap on Critical Rating increased.
    • Critical Magnitude cap was reduced.
    • This has the effect of making it a little more difficult to achieve the Critical Chance cap, but will increase player's Dev Crit, and Crit Magnitude rates and make capping those easier if you choose to pursue that goal.
  • Armor Values
    • Base armor values on gear in the level 150 band will be somewhat lower than prior ones, as heavy armor characters in particular could quickly cap their Physical Mitigation even at modest gearing levels.
    • Shields have been dinged more than the rest of the gear, as they had a particularly high value - though shield tanks should be able to ultimately cap their physical mitigation values on armor alone, it will be at a significantly higher average ilevel.
  • The benefits granted to any given class from Agility, Fate, Might, Vitality, and Will have all been updated to help balance classes and itemization.
  • The primary stat for each class (Agility/Might/Will) should still provide the most benefit for the class, but the other two stats should still be appealing for some roles available to the class.
    • With the changes to all classes in the utility of agility, might, and will, stats on the following items have been adjusted accordingly: 
      Leather Riding Leggings, Dorchol, Earring of the Dead City, Fateful Gundabad Earring, Flowing Silver Stone, Flowing Silver Stone of the Tortoise, and the Fleet Merchant's Earring
  • Stats on many Wayfarer's and Traveller's gear items were adjusted to align with current standards.
  • Adventurer's gear at level 141 and higher also has new statting.
  • A few cosmetic and functional improvements to the tracery and essence socketing user interface have been added.   Legendary items sockets now show their levels when a tracery is not socketed.  The UI is now scalable in the horizontal direction to help with crowding of tracery names and descriptions.  Some erroneous messaging regarding traceries has been corrected.
  • Potion vendors have been updated with level 150 PDFW removal draughts and salves.
  • In light of changes to enhancement runes, many scaling instances now reward less rare enhancement runes than before.
  • The level 50 class armour sets available from class trainers in the Last Homely House for Marks are now bound to account, rather than bind on equip.
  • The currency cap for Marks of Renewal has been increased to 750.

Missions and Delvings

  • Fixed a typo in Mission: The Zhelruka Clan.
  • Mission Weekly Quests have been updated to go up to level 150.
    • NOTE: Upon the release of "Corsairs of Umbar", all Mission Weekly Quests that are underway will be reset.


  • Monster players now have a trait slot for Tribe Traits.
  • The Incoming Damage reduction from Akúlhun's Challenge and Lainedhal's Call to Arms has been significantly reduced.
  • Troll and Ranger session player characters in the Ettenmoors now have an inherent -50% Incoming Damage effect.
  • Orc Defiler:
    • Sticky Feet and Improved Sticky Feet debuff durations have been increased by 5 seconds.
    • The Improved Sticky Feet debuff no longer stacks; it can now only be applied once per target, and will refresh its duration if reapplied early.
    • Sticky Feet's Fire Mitigation debuff has been reduced from 5% to 2%.
    • Sticky Feet's Tactical Mitigation debuff has changed from a rating value to a 5% reduction.
  • Uruk Warleader:
    • The radius of Uruk banners has been significantly reduced.
  • Monster Play characters can revisit Tribe representative NPCs at Gramsfoot to obtain Blessing traits.
  • PvMP Essences are now correctly Bound to Account.
  • Ettenmoors bartered consumables (food, hope, scrolls) now require Tracker's Badges or Soldier's Patches in addition to commendations, but provide effects with equivalent potency to matching consumables obtained outside of the Ettenmoors.
  • Ettenmoors stun- and root-breaking potions bought for gold now cost 3% of your max morale, rather than a fixed cost of 500.

Quests, Deeds, & Adventure Areas

  • Rohan Housing Stable-masters are now properly displayed on the Radar and Maps again.
  • The turn in for quest "Of Stars and Blossoms" now has the correct quest guide and map rings.
  • Physics have been removed from the chests for the Sant Lhoer 3-man instances. Players will no longer be displaced by chests showing up.
  • The Sant Lhoer 3-man boss Tarkka-oka will no longer sit idly by while you attack his Keeper.
  • Kholnedak's appearance has been fixed so that she looks correct.
  • Applying salve to scarred trees during the quest "The Ravages of the Taurgrim" will now say, "Applying..." instead of "Examining..."
  • Fixed a typo in the skirmish "Siege of Gondamon."
  • Floating crates and NPCs in the quest "Marked for Export" have been grounded.
  • During quest "Delivery to Meregrot North-took" Rosalinda will no longer tell you the basket is on a table next to her.
  • Physics have been removed from Orkish Weapon Caches in Tharbad.
  • The location for Sterkist has been corrected for the turnin for the quest "Scattered in the Forest."
  • Kholnedák and Dingási are no longer wearing the same outfits and looking similar.
  • The map guide for the quest "Release the Hounds" has been fixed.
  • Patrols for healers in the House of Healing during the wedding season have been fixed.
  • A quest objective for the quest 'Fortifying Crithost' has been moved out from underneath a rock for better access.
  • Lossi in Annak-khurfu's VO has been changed to reflect his Iron Hills background.
  • The Poisoned Dwarves in Azanulbizar have been given proper lines to express thanks for the antidote.
  • Fixed a T-posing irritated Zhelruka Dwarf.
  • Physics has been removed from numerous grub and mushroom quest objects in Mattugard.
  • Uluithiad will now say one less "the" than the "the"s he was "the"ing before.
  • Increased player damage and ally health slightly in the session play 'Remembering Thrymm'.
  • Orcs in the Moria Halls of Crafting instance are no longer excited about falling into the abyss.
  • Door naming issues in Midsummer Minas Tirith have been resolved.
  • Problematic Fish in the Brandy Hills are no longer problematic. They know what they did.
  • Misc Floating Objects have been grounded.
  • Misc Missing Physics issues have been resolved.


  • Adds a higher quality "DX10 Dynamic Shadows" setting. The current "VeryHigh" will be renamed to "High" and a new "VeryHigh" option will replace it with the following improvements:
    • Increases distance that shadows are rendered to bridge the gap between the dynamic shadows and farview baked shadow maps.
    • Adds terrain to the shadow casters list.
    • Increases shadow map resolution to reduce pixelization.
  • Stat tomes now offer a smoother progression of bonuses from level to level.
  • /listen is now useable while mounted.

Known Issues:

  • Adventurer's Lootboxes opened at level 141 and higher are not giving the proper level 141 Sea-faring Adventurer's Humble Essence Box, but instead are still giving level 140 Delving Adventurer's Lively Essence Boxes. We will correct this issue in the next game update. Players interested in receiving level 141 essences should wait to open their Adventurer's Steel-bound Lootboxes until after the next game update.
  • We have temporarily disabled the ability to use the Flame of Ancalamir, and we will re-enable its usage in the next game update.
  • The Interlude at the end of "The Song of Waves and Wind" Chapter 7 is temporarily unavailable. This quest will return in the next game update.
  • The Task quests in Corsairs of Umbar are temporarily unavailable due to a bug. We will reopen these quests in the next game update.
  • A small amount of text may display in English as it is pending translation.