Recently, my 12-year-old daughter began playing Lord of the Rings Online for the first time after having watched the movies and read The Hobbit. It’s been a voyage of discovery for her to inhabit Middle-earth and learn the ins and outs of the various systems of this game. I’ve tried to give her some leeway to figure things out, although after a while I did step in to help her navigate some of the less intuitive parts of the game design.
Filter out unwanted quests, sounds, and loot
One common annoyance in the game is either unwanted lockboxes cluttering up your inventory or particular sounds that get on your nerves. This is where the in-game filters come in handy. Hit ALT+R to pull up the panel to filter by character or account. You can drag unwanted loot there, not to mention quests and sounds. Here is a link to more detailed explanation on how to use this feature.
Additionally, quests that you don’t want can by toggled off by clicking a button on the lower-right-hand side of the quest text panel.
An easy way to level your lowbie alts
Tired of going through Eriador with a low-level character for the thousandth time? There’s a free and low-key alternative to questing. At level 20, take your character up to Trestlebridge and park it there. Every day, log in and do three to five very quick missions from the mission giver. Not only will this give you a nice chunk of XP (more if you are VIP and get that bonus daily experience), but you’ll rack up virtue XP and other goodies through the weekly wrapper quests. You can knock out those quests in under 15 minutes, and as long as you’re patient, you can repeat over several weeks until that character is ready for Moria.
Pro-tip: Work on that character’s skill deeds while repeating missions.
Grab a cheap extra travel ability early on
When you start out with a new character, you’ll be hurting for more milestones and map skills than just the one you are initially given. You can get a second skill almost immediately in Bree. Make sure you have at least three mithril coins (if you don’t have any, you can grab five for a small handful of LP through deeds), go to Lalia’s Market next to the Prancing Pony, and talk to Lalia herself. She sells a travel ability back to the market for three coins, which is well worth it considering that you’ll get an extra port back to a city hub.
Several settings you should activate
When you create a new character, there are a few settings that almost everyone should activate in the options panel:
- UI Settings: Check selection vital display, induction bar display, chat bubbles, show trivial quests in radar, and always loot all.
- UI Settings: Uncheck tutorial hints (if you don’t need them) and LOTRO store purchase feedback.
- UI Settings: You can increase the size of all of the UI or particular elements here. I like setting my and my enemy’s vital display to 1.30.
- Combat Options: Check play optional combat animations, allow combat animation blending, war-steed auto-slowdown, and enable movement assistance in combat (this last one is mostly great for melee-centric classes).
- Chat: Turn window opacity up to 100% to help improve chat window reading. I also increase the font size of particular channels I don’t want to miss, like tells and kinship.
- Quickslots: I activate dock bars 1-3 and click “always show.”
Move UI elements and consolidate bag space
For further user interface tweaking, hit CTRL-\ and then move elements around to your heart’s content. Then for your inventory, open all of your bags and click the little gear “edit mode” button. Drag all of the bag bars into Bag 1. Once you’re done, click the edit mode off and you’ll have a single large inventory panel.
You have my permission to skip Volume 1
So here’s the thing: Volume 1 of LOTRO’s otherwise great epic story is really creaky and old at this point, it takes absolutely forever to do, the story isn’t exactly the best, and it involves way too much travel time. Plus, the rewards are not needed. So if you want to do it for the story or because it’s your first playthrough, then go ahead. Just know that it’s perfectly OK to skip this one Volume and then jump on board with the rest of LOTRO’s epic with Volume 2 (which starts in Eregion).
You can rename your cosmetic pets
Unlike the Lore-master’s or Captain’s combat pets, cosmetic pets can’t be right-clicked on for a name change. However, you absolutely can rename your precious little fluffball with a simple slash command: /cpet rename NAMEHERE
Don’t neglect your ranged weapon slot
So this is something I do far too often on characters that don’t use a bow or crossbow, which is to completely ignore the ranged weapon slot. The thing is, every class has items that go there, but those items aren’t usually given out as quest rewards. Look to crafter friends or the auction hall for them and enjoy the bump to stats.
How to handle slayer deeds
Ask anyone who plays this game about slayer deeds, and you’ll get an earful. Nobody really likes them, but they’re often needed for virtue XP and zone meta deeds. There are a few ways to approach slayer deeds (which are simply “grind X of a particular mob”).
If you need the XP, just suck it up and do them on level. They do give some nice experience, and you’re advancing your character via virtues in the process. Go to LOTRO wiki and look up that particular deed to be given coordinates on a map for the best places to farm said mobs.
But if you don’t need the XP, then ignore them until you’re at least 10 levels higher. Then come back and one-shot mobs to your heart’s delight. Save slayer bonus items to higher-amount deeds, and try to knock off a few of them in rapid succession before your timer runs out.
Get your legendary items at level 45
When your character dings 45, you should drop everything and book it over to Eregion to grab the first Volume 2 quest. Follow that chain up to the doors of Moria, and you’ll be granted your first set of legendary items. This will take you an hour or less.
It’s important to get these at 45 not just for the power bump but because every subsequent quest you do will also reward legendary item XP. You shouldn’t wait on that!