LOTRO Legendarium: Six essential LOTRO store purchases for new characters

    
37

In my Lord of the Rings Online career, I have started way, way too many brand-new characters. It’s just something I do every so often, sometimes carrying them through to the endgame, and sometimes abandoning them in the Lone-lands at level 20. No, I can’t hear you pleading for my attention, alt; I have other worlds to explore!

Because of this, I’ve been quite mindful about what goes into setting up a new character for his or her journey ahead. Even for a subscriber, there are several important quality-of-life purchases that I feel are important to make right out of the gate. Today I thought I’d share with you six of them, six LOTRO store purchases that offer long-term benefits for any character.

Note that I’m not going to speak to free or premium accounts that probably need to be spending LP on things like inventory space or other features that are unlocked by default when you subscribe. So what would I suggest you pick up?

The riding skill

For free and premium accounts, there’s no way to buy the riding skill with gold, so the store is the only way to go for this. But even for VIP accounts that can get the ability to use mounts at level 20 after doing a quest, I’d still argue that it’s worth getting right away. The reason is that you really, really don’t want to be slowly jogging your way across the first 20 levels. Considering that the riding skill is fairly inexpensive and that the LP I get in the newbie zones pays for it anyway, it’s a no-brainer for me.

Of course, I do wish that I had purchased the one-time account unlock a long time ago, but I think it’s too late for me to do that.

Milestone cooldowns

I’m utterly serious when I say that picking up the two milestone cooldown unlocks is the best thing you can do for your character. Normally, the milestone is at a 60-minute cooldown, which makes it a once-in-a-long-while thing. But through two unlocks (one for 30 minute reduction, one for 25 minutes), you can bring that down to an astonishingly quick five minute cooldown.

That’s five minutes for all of your normal milestones, by the way. And it is amazing considering all of the traveling you have to do in this game. A five-minute milestone makes it so easy to keep hopping back to a convenient hub or stable-master to get where you need to be. For the first volume of the epic quest series — which sends you all over the place, repeatedly — it shaves off so much time you won’t believe it. I swear by this unlock.

More milestones

In conjunction with the cooldown reductions, I always prioritize getting at least two additional milestones for my character. This is all about giving you instant travel choice, and three total is a good number. This way you set one milestone wherever you happen to be currently questing, one back in a town for which you won’t get a free racial travel skill (i.e., Michel Delving if you’re a Man), and one in Rivendell. Always one in Rivendell, at least until level 50. Elrond wants to have many, many words with you, and you’ll be forever traveling back there. Later on, I’ll spread these milestones out, usually putting one in the 25th hall for Moria access and another in Gondor or Rohan.

SSG occasionally runs sales on travel skills, including all I’ve mentioned, so it’s sometimes helpful to wait until this happens to get the best bang for your LOTRO points.

Five mithril coins

OK, you’re going to have to hear me out on this, but yeah, I think you should spend the 50 LP or whatever it is to get a measly five mithril coins. Why? Because you can run over to Laila’s Market in Bree and pick up an additional travel skill for just three of those coins. It’s a pittance of a price, and what you get (I feel) is well worth having. As you can tell, travel is a high priority for me, and this simply gives you another option. At low levels, this is a great blessing and can even free up a milestone bind for somewhere else.

Premium wallet

Ten out of 10 Hobbits agree: You’re going to want a premium wallet no matter what kind of account you have. This is a one-time unlock for your entire account, and boy is it worth buying. It vastly expands your wallet to hoover up all tokens, currencies, and even certain items into its infinite space, freeing up those precious inventory slots for other use. Most players rave about this, and they’re right to; it’s a must-have.

Stone of the Tortoise

For the longest time, I completely ignored this item. Why would I want to buy and equip an item that completely halts my XP intake? That seemed totally against the whole progression design of MMORPGs. But in LOTRO, I’ve found that it kind of makes sense to have this on hand. The thing is that if you’re doing all the deeds and quests, you’ll quickly out-level zones. And while that’s not the worst thing in the world, it is a little disheartening to be spending additional hours in a place where all the mobs are grey and don’t appear on your radar.

By equipping the stone when I hit the level cap for a zone, I ensure that I’ll be able to see the mobs on my radar (which is essential to slayer deeds) and keep things at least a little bit competitive. Then when I move on to a higher level zone, I remove the stone and start progressing again.

Anyway, those are my six picks. What are yours?

Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an adventure (horrid things, those) through the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, well, legendary online world of Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, send it to him at justin@massivelyop.com.
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
moondog548

Great advice, though the SotT is pretty niche (while absolutely outstanding value for the folks that really do want that never-overleveled experience).

Reader
Ardra Diva

i honestly only have one gripe with this game, they need a lot more cosmetics in the Store. I’d buy them if they had stuff I wanted.

Reader
moondog548

Sadly they have focused for years on monetizing “pay to mitigate how broken and unfun we made parts of the game” instead. I blame Daybreak being a front for an Oligarchs’ toady’s money laundering. Fingers crossed that EG7 forces changes for sustainability.

BodeanG
Reader
Patreon Donor
BodeanG

Everyone keeps mentioning the riding unlock. I’m not sure what I did but every new character I make has it in their inventory from the start. Of course I have to wait until level 5 to read it, but, I always have it.

I definitely need the wallet and Universal Toolkit.

Reader
Michael18

I wish they added a few items similar to the tortoise that do not entirely turn off XP but decrease it by a constant amount, such as 30%, 50%, 70% and so on.

Turning XP on/off all the time with the tortoise makes it feel extremely artificial and ruins the illusion of a steady progression through exploration and adventures. I know it is a bit silly, but that’s how my stupid brain works.

Such an option alone would probably be enough to motivate me to level up another character. And it seems like something that should be almost trivial to implement.

Reader
moondog548

For what it’s worth, the Legendary Servers (Anor and Ithil) have a full-time XP gain nerf. I think they call it “story mode” or the like :D

Reader
Ardra Diva

universal toolkit and rally horns for me.

Reader
Robert Mann

TBH I’d argue milestones <<<<<< quest packs and other account unlocks in any way, shape, or form. They aren't that big a deal anymore with so many "travel to" skills to unlock, and with more content supporting level scaling in various ways.

I'd actually say that my number 1-5 would be:
Wallet, riding, ensuring you have content to chew on, inventory (which is account shared), and then character slots for a month of VIP.

The reason the last is incredibly important is the benefits that remain:
The following features are maintained on a per-character basis:
Swift Travel
All trait slots and class bonus skills unlocked
75 inventory slots (plus any additional +5 Inventory slots purchased)
No maximum Gold limit

This means that the coin limit unlock is not needed, just the premium wallet. It adds inventory space permanently. It unlocks progression for character skills in the trait trees… and swift travel, which makes the milestones much less an issue in general.

Milestones are a nice to have after getting good on those points. IMO, though, with so many options to get the ability to recall to a zone, there's generally minimal need outside making the epic/main storylines less grindy.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

My new love, Stone of the Tortoise. I, too, thought it a near worthless store purchase, but of late I’ve grown to love it. Nearly all my alts have one. Since the change in the virtue system, this is the only way to go. Now doing all the content in all the zones makes sense. This is me going back and finishing Trollshaws, Evendim, Great River and Dunland on all my alts. And pies. Lordy, so many pies.

Reader
Ardra Diva

you can spend years in Rohan just trying to do everything. it’s astonishingly huge.

Reader
moondog548

You mean there are DOZENS of us who think Hytbolt is awesome? ;-}

Reader
Matthew Yetter

I absolutely swear by the Universal Toolkit, and love the fact that it’s account-bound rather than character-bound. I have a few of them at this point, simply to avoid having to swap them between characters very often.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Stormwaltz

The best thing about my retired 14 year-old character is that she has Return to Bree, Return to Michel Delving, Return to Thorin’s Gate, and Return to Rivendell.

Every character used to be able to get all the racial recall abilities all by maxing rep. I don’t know when they changed that, but I don’t care for it. :/

Reader
Robert Mann

You can get all except Rivendell still, except that the home race must get it via racial ability (so elves can get them all). I do think it is somewhat less a pain with the other return to skills that have been added, but it would have been nice to keep them available to all without LP required.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Stormwaltz

You are correct!

I remembered Bree/Michel/Thorin’s being a purchase from the rep vendors, like rep mounts and “award of X virtue,” but they’re bartered off different vendors using rep tokens – and apparently have been that way at least since 2011, before I took a break from the game.

Now I’ll be spending some days grubbing through barrows for treasure. :)

Reader
Robert Mann

Glad to be helpful! I hope you enjoy having those on characters!

Stormsong Minstrel
Reader
Stormsong Minstrel

1. Riding skill. A must
2. Premium wallet. 10 of 10 Dwarves agree: thou shalt hoard anything that shineth.
3. Milestone cooldown (not if you are Hunter)
4. Milestones (not if you are Hunter)
5. Crafting Guild access: the only way to try to outperform that pesky Celebrimbor and craft Precious Precious…
6. Shared storage upgrade – as long as on sale, as much as possible, one will need to store lots of things.

And, of course, Beorning class, because it is cool grumpy Beorning.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
zoward

You can also skip the milestones if you are a warden.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Kazdal

I just started playing 4 days ago so this is all new to me. I rolled a hunter…could you explain more about what you mean about milestone (not if you are Hunter)?