LOTRO: Tales from the Barter Wallet
One of the fun things about LOTRO is the way each player evolves their own personal way of navigating around Middle-earth. Although there is an extensive “stable” network throughout the game, I often find it quicker to use the various “Return to” skills, to get where I need to go. Turns out there’s a lot more in LOTRO than I realised. One of the most beneficial is “Return to Minas Tirith” which places you in the city before the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The main advantage is that you arrive close to the stable-master who has an extensive list of travel destinations throughout Gondor. More so than his counterpart in the Minas Tirith after the battle. The skill “Return to Minas Tirith” is obtained from the Quartermaster (Defenders of Minas Tirith) at the Great Gate of Minas Tirith for 30 Minas Tirith Silver Pieces.
Now you may wonder why I mention something that has existed in the game since October 2017 when Update 17 - The Siege of Minas Tirith was released. Well the above stemmed from me digging around in my in-game barter wallet and wondering whether any of the older reputation reward tokens were still of any practical use. I have one primary alt that I’ve invested a fair amount of time into. I usually end up doing all quests in each zone, so tend to have maximum rep with all factions and a surfeit of barter tokens. Naturally, armour from Enedwaith or Dunland is no longer relevant at current endgame and it is the nature of MMOs to produce gear that has its day in the sun, only to be consigned to oblivion twelve months later. So, it’s par for the course that LOTRO generates a wealth of tokens that simply fills up your barter wallet only to be forgotten. However, there is “gold” to be found if you take the time to look.
Pet, mount and cosmetic collectors would be well recommended to do some research. For example, the Bingo Boffin episodic quest chain yields a wealth of cosmetic pets. Who doesn’t want an Umber Goat? Again, the Defenders of Minas Tirith can supply a Striped Pelennor Pig for 50 Minas Tirith Silver Pieces. Then there’s a Rohirric Follower if you have full rep with the Riders of Rohan. Then there are the respective “Return to” skills to such places as Galtrev, Mirkwood and Snowbourn. If you purchase the right skill from the LOTRO store you can reduce the cooldown time on all of these to 30 minutes. And although I said that a lot of the faction gear becomes statistically obsolete as you progress through the game, you can still equip items cosmetically if you like the look of them.
A lot of items in your barter wallet can also be traded in for practical commodities like Scrolls of Empowerment and Essence and Relic removal Scrolls. These are always of use and it never does any harm to stockpile them. Also, some of the items that you can obtain via your barter wallet can then be sold via the Auction House. And then there are the skirmish marks. I’ve always enjoyed this particular aspect of LOTRO and have often used skirmishes as an alternative means of levelling. They offer short and convenient challenges and it’s surprising how you can build a large fortune of marks and medallions over time. I still use my Landscape Soldier and it’s easy and convenient to buy the tokens for their use, from the skirmish vendors.
If like me, you’ve been playing LOTRO for a while, you may well have equally built up a supply of rep tokens and sundry barter currencies. It is certainly worthwhile investigating what you can actually trade them for and enhance your game. Because of the way LOTRO has grown over the years, many of its game systems are somewhat esoteric and are often overlooked by all but the most dedicated player. However, there’s no real quick or convenient way to really discover what you can or cannot get, other than by visiting the vendors of each particular rep faction and simply trawling through their inventory. Alternatively, you can search through the LOTRO Wiki and just see what’s available in game. All things considered it’s well worthwhile investigating the far reaches of your barter wallet. It may well offer you something unexpected and convenient.