It’s only taken a decade. Yes, I’ve finally decided to start crafting in LOTRO, mainly out of necessity. After the “debate” on the recent podcast as to whether to continue to invest time and energy into my alt on the Legendary Server, I decided to recreate my High Elf Guardian on Laurelin. The main advantage being having access to my account-wide barter wallet and its respective resources. However, unlike the healthy economy of the Legendary Servers, established servers such as Laurelin have a distinct lack of armour, weapons and jewellery for lower level characters available on Auction House. As I like to play any MMO as over powered as possible, I decided to start crafting to ensure that my Guardian is optimally equipped for the progression ahead. Now I’ve always been told about the highs and lows of crafting in LOTRO, but it has certainly been interesting to finally experience them after all this time.
First off there’s the “fun” of gathering resources. Well it immediately struck me that the sensible thing to do was to use my level 120 Lore-master for this chore. They can freely move around low level zones without the being incommoded by the local population, plus I have the benefit of +78% mounts run speed. I then did the requisite research to find which zones I needed to go to and farm the necessary ore. Needless to say, Google is your friend in this matter and I quickly found maps that marked the locations of all the nodes. Within 75 minutes, after making several circuits of the area, I had sufficient for my needs. It was interesting to note that I didn’t encounter any other players in The North Downs while I did this. All gathered resources where then dumped into shared storage.
Next, the “fun and games” really started as I logged into my Guardian and trudged through the various professions and slowly advanced them. Having chosen the practical Vocation of an Armoursmith, I had to refine the ore into ingots via Prospecting. Naturally making such ingots gains crafting experience and once you have obtained sufficient, it unlocks the next tier. This is important because you cannot go out and farm the next tier of ore until you have done this. It took about an hour to unlock the first three levels; Apprentice, Journeyman and Expert. By then I could process Rich Iron Ore which was the material I required to craft armour at a level appropriate for my alt. I then started processing the various ingots I had amassed into standard Heavy Armour (no additional recipe required). Again, you have to unlock each tier to progress to the next, which means you have to craft a lot more armour than you need. Since there is no market for it on server, I simply sold it to a vendor afterwards.
Crafting is an odd facet of LOTRO. Because of the age of the game, it is suitably esoteric, time consuming and frankly tedious. However, crafting provides experience gain not only in your chosen profession, but also with respect your progression to level cap. Hence, I gained two entire levels while crafting and hit 20 as I finished (and was also rewarded with the “Undying” title as a bonus). I ended up with a full set of Elven Steel Armour which has an item level of 24 but can be used from level 22, so for the present I cannot use this set. However, despite this minor inconvenience I did derive immense satisfaction in crafting this set and knowing that I don’t have to rely on random drops or quest rewards for the immediate future. I also made an additional set of armour for a friend who has an alt at a comparable level, which was also pleasing to do. Such is nature of crafting in LOTRO. It’s a necessary evil and a pain in the butt, yet it also provides an odd sense of achievement. Something that other players have known for a decade and I just found out, yesterday.
Top Tip: The Universal Toolkit is essential. Without it crafting becomes even more tedious and annoying.