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!
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.
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.
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.
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?