A while back, I put together a list of 10 tips to enhance your everyday Lord of the Rings Online play experience. It was a fun list to do and seemed to be well-received, so for my first column of the new year, I thought I’d assemble a follow-up with another 10 tips for our favorite Middle-earth MMORPG!
Festival tokens can be exchanged for other ones
While this isn’t a super secret, I feel it’s not as well-known among casual players. During every one of the six major annual festivals, there’s a barter vendor who will let you exchange tokens from that festival for boxes of tokens from other ones. What’s nice about this is that it allows you to stock up on tokens from easier festivals/festival activities so that you don’t have to subject yourself to unwanted grinds.
Personally, I always love parking characters in the mystery room of the fall festival’s Haunted Burrow and getting free tokens on an hourly basis — then trading those fall tokens for winter and spring ones so that I can buy the new cosmetics right away.
You can trick out your interface
I’m not the biggest fan of modding my MMORPGs, but I acknowledge that this is pretty important to others. While LOTRO isn’t as mod-friendly as some other online games, it does offer limited interface modding support. If you’re curious about that scene, I’d recommend checking out LOTRO Interface for more information.
Coffee makes you run faster
Not every class has a run speed buff, which makes us slowbies glare at Beornings and Hunters when they zip by. But you can up your jogging game with a couple of select gear pieces scattered around the game — and with a good old-fashioned cup of coffee.
That’s right: Coffee gives you a rather lengthy run speed buff, depending on the level and quality of java that you consume. Having a 10% speed buff for 50 minutes is nothing to poo-poo! But it probably will make you poo-poo.
Bingo Boffin is your fast-track to cosmetics and pets
If you couldn’t tell from past columns, I’m a huge fan of the goofy, world-traveling Bingo Boffin and his lengthy quest line in this game. Not only is it endearing and funny, but it’s a great source of cosmetics, housing decor items, and vanity pets. Make sure you pick up his 56-ish quest series starting in Michel Delving at an early level — and enjoy the rewards.
Make money as a scavenger
I generally don’t sweat making money in this game, as it’s not used quite as often as with other MMOs. But if you want a fat bank account in LOTRO, one easy way is to grab the Explorer vocation.
Explorers get both forestry and prospecting as gathering skill lines, which means that you can track and harvest wood and ore as you adventure through the game world. Turn around and sell all of those mats on the auction hall, and you’ll be sitting on a Scrooge McDuck-sized vault before long.
You can pause your XP gain (for a price)
For those who hate out-leveling zones for various reasons (including not being able to see hostile mobs on your minimap or leveling with friends/kinship), you can actually halt your XP progression in this game. You simply need to buy the Stone of the Tortoise for 100 LP from the game store and equip it. While wearing it, you won’t level up at all, although your deeds and other forms of progression will still continue.
Houses are more than just for looks
If you’re the type of player who usually eschews buying an in-game house, you might want to rethink that in LOTRO. Depending on where you buy, there are several practical benefits to owning a home, such as an additional free teleport to a region with services, a storage chest that isn’t shared with your vault, a mailbox, task boards, and access to crafting tables.
What stats you should get
So LOTRO isn’t always on the up-and-up with you in regards to the most important stats. While the game will tell you that each class has one or two stats that are “very important,” such as Will or Strength, the truth is that most experienced players pick critical-boosting stats as well as either physical or tactical mastery (depending if your class is a physical or pseudo-magical attacker).
After that, by all means go for the more basic stats, but make sure you take those masteries first for the best DPS!
Transfer your user interface settings
If you get your user interface to that perfect level of fine-tuning, did you know you can easily port it to your other characters? To save it, you’ll use the command “/ui layout save [name]“. Then log in a different character and type “/ui layout load [name]” to override the old arrangement with a new one. It’s also a helpful tip if you want different UI arrangements based on various activities.
Make LOTRO run better on your machine
Of course, we all know that LOTRO’s been struggling with performance issues that are mostly on the backend, but there are a few tweaks that may help your computer produce a more fluid and enjoyable game.
- Making sure you select the 64-bit client in the loader settings (assuming your computer’s processor can handle it, which it should in 2023).
- Going to the Troubleshooting tab in your game settings and putting Engine Speed to “maximum.”
- Going to the Advanced Graphics tab in your game settings and maxing out the texture cache.
- You can increase your FPS significantly by turning off shadows, but that’s a trade-off in visuals.
- Turn off 3-D portraits (in Advanced Graphics toward the bottom).