LOTRO to relaunch as free to play?


Man, I’ve not even had time for that. Glad you’re still goin’. :)


Congrats! That is pretty hard core.

Having just moved countries, and left my aging machine behind, I have not been able to play at all. However being gaming computer-less is bad, and I sense this state will have to change soon! I was really enjoying the small amount of time i did get to spend in Dunland before the move.


Over the past few months I’ve been working my way through central and eastern Gondor. A little grindy for my tastes, but I can deal w/ it.

I like how they’ve built a story around what was just assumed to be happening in the background for the movies. It’s cool seeing the invasion of the Corsairs and the movement of the dead army up the river with Aragorn and the Grey Company toward Minas Tirith. As far as I can recall decades after reading the books, they didn’t really get into that either. And this area in the game has filled in parts of the Middle Earth map I’ve seen for years but ignored (and didn’t really even notice) because nothing in the trilogy happened there.


That sounds very cool. Still have a long way yet before I reach Gondor.

On that note, with the lights turned out (for now) on all the old Eriador locations, I have officially begun working my way through Moria…turning lights ON there I suppose. You guys were right, thus far Moria is WAY more interesting and less aggravating than I remember. Last time I worked my way through it was right after it launched, and man…ugh. Now I have my own goat, lots of quick travel options, a well seasoned set of Legendary equipment, a couple of extra levels over much of the content in the areas I am exploring, and just a more well-rounded character overall. It’s been fun thus far.

I’ve pretty much finished off Great Delving and the Silvertine Loads, and am now working my way into the Water Works. It seems far more illuminated than I remember it being. I wonder if they went back and reworked the lighting throughout Moria or if it’s just me playing on a different system with a far better GPU and monitor now? I recall having lots of issues not being able to see out across chasms, having to be careful on the pathways and getting jumped by critters I could barely see, but now I have none of those problems. I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of Moria now.

I did take a break over the weekend for a bit to indulge in the Treasure Hunt event. I’ve done these a couple of times before, so I actually have all the emotes and cosmetics already. I think I even put a treasure chest in the kinship house at some point. It’s still worth participating though for two reasons : First, there is the slim chance I’ll find the Treasure-Laden Steed in one of the Huge Treasure Caches (yes, I have a mount problem…gotta catch 'em all). Secondly, 200 Treasure Tokens can be turned in for a Steel Key. Given that I have 20+ lootboxes in my bank currently, and only around 14 keys…well…

So I’m happy to report after a couple of hours spread across the past 3 days I now have an equal number of keys to lootboxes. I wish I was a streaming dude so I could do an epic “unboxing” stream where I open all my saved lootboxes.


Good information, I did not know that about the keys and thus did not see the point of that festival!


Ohhh, is that festival still going on?


It’s listed as going through October 4th (today), but I don’t know exactly when today it will go dark.

One thing to note about the Steel Key given in trade for the Treasure Tokens is that it has a different graphic than normal Steel Keys and is BOUND to the character who acquires it. Because of this, it’s best to run your character(s) who need keys the most through the Treasure Hunt.

Since the Treasure Hunt NPC quests (which result in the picks, dowsing gems and cave-claws you need to participate) take 15 minutes to reset, I recommend swapping between two characters while participating to maximize your reward:time ratio. Only the Huge Treasure Cache can contain a steed (rare chance), and there is only one Huge cache per round. The round ends and resets whenever someone uncovers the huge cache. Large and Medium caches often have decent amounts of Treasure Coins and usually a pick, gem or cave claw to replace one you’ve used though, so they are definitely worth digging up.

A good strategy to use is to find a spot where there are 5-7 dig sites around you, wait for the round to end, then at the very start of the next round drop a cave-claw. It will run to the best dig site in range. I’ve found Huge caches immediately several times doing this…though so far no rare mounts. =(


So last night I decided to give it one more shot since the Treasure Hunt was still live. One more go at maybe scoring a Treasure-Laden mount, and even if I didn’t, I’d top off my Treasure Token count so I could cash in for keys.

I started playing, ran the quests to nab more picks, a cave-claw and a gem, traded 5 tokens for another cave-claw (this usually pays for itself if you find a medium or better dig site with the cave claw) and got to work. I waited for the current round to end…saw the message about a new round starting, dropped my little cave-claw buddy…and he identified a HUGE dig sit. Awesome, but I’ve dug up plenty of those before and only received large amounts of tokens or an emote or yet another worthless cosmetic…so. I opened the Huge cache with faint hope and discovered…

…Treasure-Laden Goat! WOOO!!! Finally!!! After 3 Treasure Hunt events and close to 20 Huge caches discovered! And it’s a goat, which is perfect since I’m currently exploring Moria…OH. Oh crap…Oh man…I’m logged in with my Hunter alt. The mount is CHARACTER bound. Fuuu…

So, huge excitement turned to slight disappointment, but on the bright side at least my primary alt character (Ariondel, Hunter, Lvl 22) now has a 68% mount. =) Slainte has a 68% horse, but it would have been nice to score a 68% goat too. Ah well, next Treasure Hunt!


Yay goat!!!

I ran into massive trolls the first time the other night. Really scared me!


What region, or was it in World Chat?


I think it’s called Trollshaws?


Yup, I know those guys. Had the kill over 100 of them for the Advanced Troll Slayer deed to close out Trollshaws. If you go much deeper in that little corner of the Trollshaws you’ll find dozens of them all packed in there together.

What level is your main character now? I thought you were way beyond me at this point? If not, I should be crafting you some armor to use…


Just hit level 37 last night!


After much spelunking about in Moria, I have achieved Level 60. Slainte the Champion is now officially the highest level character I have ever had in a decade of playing LOTRO. In short order he will also become the most accomplished, having ventured further into the game than even my initial main character (Slainte the Guardian) way back when Moria was first released. Let there be much rejoicing!

Speaking of rejoicing…I decided to take a break from the depths of Moria to play around with the Harvest Festival (running now until early November). I’d done some Harvest Festival stuff in the past, but this time I wanted to rack up enough Fall Tokens to acquire both festival mounts. Thankfully it’s easy to earn Fall Tokens when you hit the Party Tree in Hobbiton and run both the party guest quests and the quests inside the Haunted Burrow. In just a couple hours of playing across two nights (some quests take 24 hours to reset) I had the 90 tokens I needed to cash in for both mounts. Neither horse is a 68% mount, but both look nice and the Steed of the Gloaming Autumn has a cool spooky look I really like.

After that it was back to Moria for more fun with the dwarves. Some day very soon, especially since I’m 60 now, I need to take a break and upgrade my Legendary Sword. I have one rated for Level 58+ in inventory, so all I really need to do is deconstruct the one I have, maybe pull a nice legendary trait off of it with one of my scrolls too, then buff up the new one with several xp items I have in the bank, a set of Tier 2 relics and a nice new title.

I also need to free up bank space by opening the 20 or so lootboxes I have saved up. Thanks to the Treasure Hunt last month I have enough keys to open them all now. They are all level 59 or below, so may as well crack them open and make some room for any 60+ lootboxes I may find from here on out.


I could not figure out those guest quests to save my life. Horse racing is fun though.


Horse racing IS fun. So awesome when you miss on one of the swampy bits but have hit everything else just right so that you cross the finish line and “win” just as your horse poofs out from under you.

Try this link for details on completing Harvest Festival Quests at the Party Tree. Follow the link there to a very good description of the Haunted Burrow that includes an invaluable map. Once you have the hang of how the doors in the Haunted Burrow work, you can run the quests in minutes flat.


So I’m finally at Minas Tirith (2 or 3-year old content I think), after some slogging through Osgiliath.

I suspect that there’s more hacking my way through both locations to come. And unfortunately I anticipate some Epic Battles to deal with in order to progress through the epic quest line.

That being said, I think that they got both locations 100% right. I remember trying to picture in my head in the 70’s how Minas Tirith would look based on the text, and when I saw the movies I thought “that’s right !”. But LOTRO gets it better because you have to haul through it and deal with its size and geography. Same with Osgiliath, although the books and the movies don’t deal with its interior as much.

I am still impressed with how LOTRO captures the iconic locations. Even from early on, such as the Shire, Bree and Weathertop.


Minas Tirith sounds cool (and like somewhere a 68% mount or a lot of quick travel points would come in handy).

I’m currently slogging through The Water Works in Moria. Dear gods, it’s like they took Evendim and moved it inside! Tons of swimming required to get places, plenty of locations only reachable by climbing up single access points and working your way around to your destination, and a metric crapton of trash critters that are hostile. Of course every quest that has multiple parts is located in either a corner of the zone or dead center, so you’re constantly running to the quest site, back to the quest giver, then back to the quest site again, and some quest givers only “light up” when you’ve completed someone else’s quest, meaning it’s hard to collect 5 or 6 quests for the same area at once. Why LOTRO, WHY?!

On a positive note I found a nice Second Age Champion Sword on the auction house for only 1 gold. Got it identified and it’s got three very useful legacies on it! It’s also level 60, which means it’s better in all aspects than the sword I was hanging onto for switching out to soon. Looks like I need to do that ASAP now. I’m only holding off because my current sword is at Level 29, so one more level and I can pull a useful legacy off of it when I deconstruct it. It has one that increases the damage one of my AOE sweep attacks does, and it’s sooooo handy, it’ll be nice to pull that off and apply it to the new sword.

Still haven’t had time to open all those lootboxes either. I should soon, as I bet there are some nice Legendary Item enhancements I could use right now in a few of them.


Finally finished off The Water Works, learning that the Watcher in the Deep survived our previous encounter, but will require a raid if I want a rematch. Pretty sure that won’t be happening. Along the way I collected some really nice Legendary Item enhancements including XP items and some fused relics of higher tiers than I previously possessed, so…I decided it was time to forge a new sword.

I ended up using a few LI XP items to put both my original Champion’s Sword and my Champion’s Rune to level 30. Then I deconstructed them, resulting in very large LI XP items, a LI shard, several relics of various types and the ability to pull a legacy off each item since they’d reached 30. I applied one of the LI XP items to my Second Age Champions sword, reforging it to become Dagnir Fea, Elven for Bane of Spirits. I applied my Blade Wall (AOE) legacy from my old sword, and slotted Tier 3 and 4 relics to grant bonuses. Finally, I applied a Title I’d picked up earlier that added bonus damage to orc-kind. I then repeated the process with the Second Age Champion’s Rune.

The combination of new much-higher DPS Sword and much improved Rune is amazing. I was doing fine in combat previously, but now it’s almost too easy. I took the opportunity to compare and swap out my second, non-Legendary sword for a new one received as a quest reward, and swapped out a couple of pieces of armor and jewelry as well. When I reach Level 62 I will pop a couple of Mathom Hunter’s Armor boxes I have stashed, as that should result in Level 61 chest armor and leg armor that will be nice upgrades from the Level 57 Matom Hunter’s gear I am currently wearing. I’ve found the Chest, Leg and Arm pieces from Mathom Hunter’s boxes to be better than any quest rewards the past few levels.

I’ve progressed far enough along the Moria Epic that I now need to enter Zelem-Melek, south of the Twenty First Hall where I am currently located, and start doing the quests there. I’m about 50% finished with Moria it seems, having knocked out everything in Great Delving, Silvertine Loads, Water Works and Durin’s Way. It’s going faster than expected, and is WAY more fun this time around with all the improvements to Moria and character progression over the years since my first pass through.


What server do you guys play on? I’m on Landravol

I have a lvl 106 Hobbit Burg
a lvl 115 Elf Minstrel
and lvl 36 Man Warden