Saturday, 15 July 2017

July: Month of the Hunter

This month is all about hunters in Middle Earth for me: I'm currently levelling three hunters through various parts of the game and really enjoying the class. I usually play blue spec because I like the mobility, but I've been having fun trying out the yellow spec traps and decoy lately too.

Level 100 Robinya (VIP) - West/Central Gondor


Robinya doesn't really like fighting, she likes collecting artifacts. Fortunately, her quests in West Gondor recently took her to Edhellond where there were corsairs running around and nearly trampling priceless old elven artifacts amongst the ruins, so she had no compunction about putting an end to them when necessary.

Edhellond

Then she went to Dol Amroth and met up with Jajax again, who told her about the corsairs down on the coast at Hashadîr, so she went to their camp and found some crates of artifacts and she wasn't going to let any corsair slavers or pillagers stand in her way of returning them to the library in Dol Amroth for further study. Then Jajax got kidnapped so she had to go rescue him from Abedec's Watch, and they had been stealing artifacts too, so she reclaimed them as well.

Robinya reached level 100 in Ethring, Ringló Vale in Central Gondor. It would be nice to get her to level 105 before the Mordor expansion launches, but I don't think I have enough time.

Mordor Expansion

I watched some streams of people playing the Mordor beta and saw that there is still a lot missing, placeholder text for quests, character appearances looking worse than before (fat faces with less expression, flat chests and big bellies), class skills needing balancing or fixing etc. so I figured the expansion was a still a little ways off - this is Mordor: I hope it will be really polished. Then we see the announcement for preorders and in the fine print it mentions the release date at the end of this month - July 31st. The fine print! <shakes head in disbelief> I love LOTRO but sometimes I despair over how the game is run.

For most MMOs, expansion release dates is a big deal and they usually give you a fair bit of notice to build hype and let people prepare for it. When I used to play WoW, I would arrange to take my holidays during the first week of a new expansion so I could play it non-stop and enjoy all the new content without interruptions (oh server crashes or major bugs were inconvenient but also bonds players who were there together as they commiserate and help each other on voice chat, in-game chat or forums).

This will be the first expansion in LOTRO since I joined, and I'd love to dedicate several days to it, but I won't even be there when the gates of Mordor open because I've already made other plans - visiting my family in New Zealand. Normally I would hope expansions launch on time and be complete (unlike Rift's latest expansion which was missing most of the advertised expansion content), but this time I hope the Mordor launch is delayed, for both selfish reasons and so they can make it the best it can be.

Level 35 Mystrandos (F2P) - Evendim


Evendim

My free-to-play hunter Mystrandos is questing through Evendim, working on the Epic questline and saving up LOTRO points to unlock Angmar next.

I don't really enjoy the quests in Northcotton Farm - so much traipsing back and forth - but at least she got quite a bit of XP from it. She completed some Shire deeds by questing around Oatbarton and the Glassblower's Camp near Dwaling, so those LOTRO points will help. Now she's based at Tinnudir and I'm looking forward to visiting the ruins throughout Parth Aduial.

Level 1-20 Hunter


I actually levelled a hunter from 1-20 at the start of the month so that I could create a little kin for crafting alts and invite myself into it with two accounts and two instances of the game open at the same time. However, I was already level 10 before it hit me that I should have screen-shotted and documented her levelling for the Introducing X Class guides. Oops. Opportunity missed. Ah well, I'll just make another hunter and take notes this time. Never can have too many hunters right?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Introducing the Guardian: Level 1-20

The guardian class is inspired by Samwise Gamgee who was a loyal protector to Frodo Baggins.

The guardian is a team player who defends their allies from foes. Typically, they wield a sword-and-board (one-handed weapon and shield), but there is a two-handed tanking option as well. They have strong defenses but damage output tends to be lower than other classes.

Here I'll record my experience levelling as a guardian from level 1 to 20, talking about skills, specs and anything else that might be useful to know.

Level 1 Hobbit Guardian

Here's our brand new guardian and some basic information about her:
  • Wears heavy armour
  • Wields a one-handed weapon (club) and shield
  • Primary stat is Might
  • Starting abilities are: Guardian's Ward (buffs block and parry chance and deals some single-target melee damage) and Sting (a basic single-target melee attack).

The first quest in the introduction provides a satchel that gives you an axe and shield. At level 2  you get Shield Swipe and Retaliation. These abilities will be very important as they can start a chain of events. Shield Swipe becomes available when you successfully block an attack, while Retaliation becomes available when you successfully parry an attack. Also at level 2, you are sent to see the Guardian trainer who wants you to practice attacking a training dummy and use Shield Swipe. They suggest using Guardian's Ward to increase your chance to block so that Shield Swipe will become available.

At level 4 you get a basic AOE melee attack, Sweeping Cut, which hits up to 3 targets in front of you. At level 6 you get another AOE melee attack, Whirling Retaliation. Like Retaliation, this is activated by parrying an attack, but it hits up to 5 targets in a circle around you.

Also at level 6 you get to choose a specialisation. The options are:
  • Blue = The Defender of the Free (1H/shield tank) - specialises in protection and survival, with multiple taunts and buffs. Shield skills have a chance to apply a fortification buff that increases your mitigations and stacks up to 5 times. You also gain Shield-Taunt which taunts several mobs after using Shield Swipe, and Litany of Defiance which slows the attacks of several mobs, gives you a temporary buff to mitigations and deflects some of the damage intended for your allies to you.
  • Red = The Keen Blade (DPS) - specialises in applying bleeds and hard-hitting finishers. Critical strikes apply a stacking bleed effect. You also gain Force Opening which lets you use skills that rely on a successful parry response, and Overwhelm which requires you to have used Retaliation or Whirling Retaliation, is a strong finisher that removes bleed effects from the target but applies a stun on a critical hit.
  • Yellow = The Fighter of Shadow (2H tank) - specialises in debuffing enemies and dealing Light damage. You gain the abilities Force Opening, which lets you use skills that rely on a successful parry response, and Take to Heart which marks a target, causing them to have a higher chance to miss, and you have a chance to restore some morale when you attack them.

My interpretation is that Blue is the main tanking spec, Red is for DPS and Yellow is sort of a hybrid, or maybe an off-tank. Yellow might also be good for soloing tough mobs. You can also use a one-handed weapon and shield as Yellow, as the option to block with a two-handed weapon is only available through Set Bonuses (which requires VIP player status or a purchase from the LOTRO store).

After completing the introduction, don't forget to check your mail for the adventurer's gift. It contains several useful items and starts a couple of quests, including one that rewards 5 Tokens of Salutations which can be traded with the Barterer for a pocket item that increases run speed and some health or power potions. The run speed buff can be quite helpful, especially if you don't have a mount.

At level 7 you get your first trait point to spend in your chosen specialisation. I've started off in the Red tree, and all the options in the first tier look useful - crits restore some morale, increased parry chance or increased skill damage.

At level 8 you get a ranged ST ability, Let Fly. Note: you need a bow or crossbow equipped in your ranged slot to be able to use this ability. You can get a ranged weapon from a bowyer or the auction house (or trade chat, or a friend/kin-mate), make one if you have the woodworking skill or get one as a quest reward or random drop from mobs. I'll have to buy one. With a ranged weapon equipped, you can also pull mobs from a distance with the auto-attack key (`), which may be useful until you get a proper taunt (or shoot them in the back if they run away).

At level 10 you get another AOE melee attack, Vexing Blow. You are also now eligible to take part in Epic Battles such as Retaking Pelargir, however it may not be a very successful or satisfactory experience because even though you get scaled to level 100, without all your gear slots filled and with only limited abilities, you will be quite vulnerable.

So far I'm finding the Guardian a bit frustrating. Already there are quite a few skills and there are so many cooldowns and pre-requisites and abilities flashing up on the Auto-skill bar that it can be hard to tell what to do next, so combat feels rather chaotic.
  • Single target scenario (as Red spec) - I start with Guardian's Ward then Sting. If I haven't blocked or parried, I hit Force Opening to enable the parry chain then use Retaliation, followed by Overwhelm. If I block, I use Shield Swipe. Once I've used Shield Swipe, Retaliation or Overwhelm, they have rather long cooldowns, so even if I block or parry again, I might not be able to use them, so I have to go back to using Guardian's Ward and Sting, or use AOE abilities. Or maybe I block one attack and parry the next so now I have both Shield Swipe and Retaliation and Whirling Retaliation available - which do I use first (I would go with Shield Swipe because it hits harder)?
  • AOE scenario (as Red spec) - I start with Guardian's Ward then use Sweeping Cut and Vexing Blow. If I haven't blocked or parried, I hit Force Opening then use Whirling Retaliation and Overwhelm on my main target. If Sweeping Cut, Vexing Blow and Force Opening are still on cooldown, I have to use ST abilities. If I block, I can use Shield Swipe on my main target, but if Whirling Retaliation is available that would be my priority because it hits more targets. I'm taking a lot of damage in AOE situations (with 3 mobs I might drop to 50% morale).

Writing down what skills I would use in different scenarios actually helped it to start making more sense. With a couple more levels under my belt, it isn't feeling so chaotic anymore.

Nevertheless, I decided to try out Yellow spec with a sword and shield. I enjoyed it more than Red and I think part of that is because of the target marking (which also taunts the mob) and getting morale back when hitting that target felt like a survivability boost, and partly because the DPS seemed a bit better.

At level 13 I decided to do a little test and compare Red and Yellow DPS against wolves in The Shire. I killed 5 wolves of the same level and recorded DPS and time to kill (from the CombatAnalysis plugin).

SpecialisationAverage DPS (range)Average Time to Kill (range)
Red17.14 (14.6-20.9)11.18 seconds (8.8-14.1 seconds)
Yellow17.92 (16.4-20.9)10.02 seconds (9.0-11.3 seconds)

It was only a small test, but I thought Red would have higher DPS; instead it seemed to be more spiky whereas Yellow was more consistent.

At level 14 you get the Charge ability which is a sprint. When I saw the skill name, I thought it was a gap-closer that lets you charge at a target, like in other MMOs, but the sprint is nice, even if it has a long cooldown.

Around level 13-14 you will get offered some quests to go visit Bree-land. At level 15 you get a class quest in the mail, asking you to visit the Guardian trainer in Bree (in Bree-land). The Guardian trainer is in the jail and sends you to assist one of his guards, Oswin Leek. Oswin wants you to protect a farmer, Burle Pierson, from brigands who are trying to scare him off his farm south of Bree.

Pierson's Farm

After defeating the brigand leader, you get a helmet and the title "Shield Against Adversity".

At level 16 you get the Challenge ability which lets you taunt multiple mobs. There are no new skills for a few levels but you do get a couple of trait points.

At level 20 you get Turn the Tables which lets you deal damage and stun an enemy if you are knocked down, dazed or stunned yourself. In a group, this also starts a fellowship manoeuver. You also get some passive abilities - you gain Critical Defence which reduces the chance of being critically hit, and you learn to use Shield Spikes which can have various effects such as increasing critical hit chance or changing the damage type (which may increase the effectiveness of your attacks against certain types of mobs). Shields spikes can be bought from the Guardian trainer, or crafted by a weaponsmith.

My gear obtained through questing wasn't very good at level 20. I still had level 5 gloves and was missing several pieces of jewellery. So I went to the Skirmish Camp and upgraded everything I could.

Here's how my guardian looks at level 20 now:

Level 20 Hobbit Guardian

I then went to the training dummies in the Training Hall in Bree and tested each spec's unbuffed DPS over 3 minutes (or until power runs out) with a sword and shield, and with a 2H-sword, and took a screenshot at the end to eliminate the effects of DoTs that kept going after I stopped attacking. For virtues, I had one tier of Compassion and one tier of Charity active. With my 7 trait points, I focused on damage-boosting traits where possible.

Here are my DPS results with a 1H and shield (collected with CombatAnalysis plugin):

StatisticsDefender of the Free (Blue)The Keen Blade (Red)The Fighter of Shadow (Yellow)
Damage1063392009611
Time3 m 0.5 s2 m 9.2 s2 m 42.6 s
Average DPS58.971.259.1
Minimum Hit241324
Average Hit51.148.953.1
Maximum Hit125137125
Attacks208190181
Critical Strikes (%)32 (15.4%)26 (13.8%)32 (17.7%)
Skill Priorities
  1. Shield-swipe
  2. Retaliation
  3. Guardian's Ward
  4. Sting
  1. Shield-swipe
  2. Overwhelm
  3. Retaliation
  4. Force Opening
  5. Guardian's Ward
  6. Sting
  1. Take to Heart (pre- combat)
  2. Shield-swipe
  3. Retaliation
  4. Force Opening
  5. Guardian's Ward
  6. Sting

Here are my DPS results with a 2H-sword (collected with CombatAnalysis plugin):

StatisticsDefender of the Free (Blue)The Keen Blade (Red)The Fighter of Shadow (Yellow)
DamageN/A1187111188
Time
2 m 21.3 s2 m 59.4 s
Average DPS
84.062.4
Minimum Hit
1433
Average Hit
60.365.8
Maximum Hit
201157
Attacks
200170
Critical Strikes (%)
23 (11.7%)23 (13.5%)
Skill Priorities
  1. Retaliation
  2. Guardian's Ward
  3. Sting
  1. Overwhelm
  2. Retaliation
  3. Force Opening
  4. Guardian's Ward
  5. Sting
  1. Take to Heart (pre-combat)
  2. Retaliation
  3. Force Opening
  4. Guardian's Ward
  5. Sting

Note 1: Blue spec with a 2H weapon only had 3 single target abilities and when all were on cooldown and she had to wait a few seconds, CombatAnalysis kept resetting, assuming she had left combat (hence why the results are marked N/A; not available). Based on multiple attempts, she was not going to run out of power, and average DPS was around 55-60.

Note 2: Because my guardian is on a free-to-play account, I didn't have set bonuses unlocked so could not block in Yellow spec with a 2H weapon, but VIP players could (I would prioritise Shield-swipe over Retaliation if available).

General Observations



Playing the Guardian requires concentration to monitor what abilities are available and the play-style is more reactive than proactive.

The Yellow spec mechanism of spreading debuffs from your main target to nearby mobs made it easy to switch between single target and AOE damage or take down a strong enemy and their minions/weak allies.

Armorsmith would be a useful profession for Guardians because they can make heavy armour, shields and legendary Guardian belts (which go in the class slot later).

Specialisations


Blue - Defender of the Free: Strong defences which is great for groups but boring and slow to play solo. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this spec for levelling solo but it should be good for tanking in instances.

Red - The Keen Blade: DPS can be a bit spiky depending on how frequently you trigger block and parry chains. Parry chains seem to be more important, so you could use a 1H and shield or a 2H weapon. I think I would use a 2H most of the time and swap to a 1H and shield for tough mobs. Unfortunately, from what I've heard on the forums and seen from my own experience levelling various classes, the DPS is low compared to other classes. Overall, I think while this spec is not ideal for instances, it should be fine for levelling or questing solo. 

Yellow - The Fighter of Shadow: I found this the most enjoyable spec to play. As mentioned above, it could easily switch between single target and AOE damage. It also had some defensive buffs so it felt tougher but the DPS didn't feel much weaker than in Red spec when questing - the difference was more noticeable on the training dummies. If you don't have the set bonuses unlocked, stick to 1H and shield, but otherwise 2H is a viable option and alternative to Red spec. Overall, I think this spec would be fine for levelling and would probably be good for group quests because you debuff and weaken the enemies, but I'm not sure about instances because it seems to be a hybrid DPS/tank.

Stats

  • Might - your main stat that increases your damage and your block and parry (activating various abilities and bonuses)
  • Critical Strike - increases your damage
  • Mitigations, resistances and critical defence - reduces damage taken
  • Morale and vitality - bigger health pool increases survivability

Here are some virtues that may be helpful for Guardians and how to get them by level 20:


VirtueActivityDeed
INNOCENCE

(physical mitigation, tactical mitigation, resistance)
Complete 75 quests in The ShireLife of a Bounder (Final)(The Shire)
COMPASSION

(physical mitigation, tactical mitigation, non-combat power regeneration)
Complete 15 quests in The Shire

Complete 20 quests in Ered Luin
Life of a Bounder (The Shire)

Defender of Ered Luin (Ered Luin)
DISCIPLINE

(might, physical mitigation, resistance)
Defeat 90 wolves in Ered Luin

Defeat 60 hendrovail in Ered Luin

Defeat 60 sickle-flies in Bree-land
Wolf-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Hendroval-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Sickle-fly Slayer (Advanced)(Bree-land)
PATIENCE

(physical mitigation, resistance, in-combat power regeneration)
Explore Dwarven settlements in Ered Luin

Retrieve spoiled pies in The Shire

Deliver mail between settlements in The Shire

Explore the ruins of Bree-land

Explore the Barrow-downs in Bree-land
Places of the Dwarves (Ered Luin)

No Place for Spoiled Pies (The Shire)

Restoring the Quick Post (The Shire)

The Ruins of Bree-land (Bree-land)

The Barrow-downs (Bree-land)
ZEAL

(morale, physical mitigation, armour)
Defeat 90 goblins in Ered Luin

Defeat 90 spiders in Ered Luin

Defeat 90 Barrow-spiders in Bree-land
Goblin-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Spider-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Brood-hunter (Advanced)(Bree-land)
HONOUR

(resistance, tactical mitigation, vitality)
Defeat 60 spiders in The Shire

Defeat 90 spiders in Bree-land
Spider-slayer (Advanced)(The Shire)

Spider-slayer (Advanced)(Bree-land)
FIDELITY

(tactical mitigation, vitality, power)
Explore landmarks in The Shire

Explore Dourhand strongholds in Ered Luin
The Sights of the Shire (The Shire)

Scouting the Dourhands (Ered Luin)

Pros of the Guardian Class

  • Good survivability
  • Blue spec tanks are popular for instances
  • ST and AOE abilities and debuffs

Cons of the Guardian Class

  • Low DPS
  • Limited ranged abilities 
  • Reactive play-style

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to leave any questions or advice for new guardians in the comments below.

Coming soon in the Introducing X Class series: the Hunter.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Finale

Armour and Steed of the Reminiscing Dragon

The Year 10 Scavenger Hunt quests are now available as well as the final rewards for completing scavenger hunts from each of the 10 years which include the title "Versed in Yesteryear", a package containing 7 pieces of cosmetic Armour of the Reminiscing Dragon (with both a hooded and unhooded cloak), the Steed of the Reminiscing Dragon and the Majestic Stag pet.

Reginald, the Majestic Stag

Not mentioned is that you also get the war-steed appearances for the Reminiscing Dragon and the blue parts are dyeable!


Warsteed of the Reminiscing Dragon

Warsteed appearances dyed forest green

I love the colours on the Reminiscing Steed (I know it's pretty similar to the Unflagging Dragon, but I prefer silver to gold) and I think this will be Myndariel's favourite mount for a while. Although I have completed scavenger hunts from every year, I still have a few quests to finish - mostly the ones involving instances and skirmishes - so the hunt continues.

I'm still curious about what the scrap paper is for too...

OK. I found out. I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't done it, so for more specific information, visit LOTRO-Wiki. In general terms though, the scrap paper is a clue about where to go to find the final quest in the scavenger hunt.

Here's a hint:


The final quest is timed (you have 30 seconds to complete it) and involves a companion, a rock and some emotes. And as a reward for completing it you get this:

and it makes noise

Thanks to Standing Stone Games for the scavenger hunt. It's been interesting and fun to revisit some iconic locations and events in Middle Earth. For everyone still taking part in the scavenger hunt, may you reminisce on many good times in LOTRO during the last ten years, and for those whose characters weren't high enough level to complete the scavenger hunt this year, may you be inspired to keep levelling and know that there is lots to see and do in Eriador, Rhovanion, Gondor and Mordor.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Update 20.1.2, the store and game launcher drama

The latest update on May 31 was intended to fix the in-game store, but had some serious side effects for a lot of players, with both Windows and Linux affected.

Basically, from what I understand, the in-game store uses some third-party software and the third-party changed their code to comply with some new legal requirements and Standing Stone Games had to change their code to maintain compatibility. While they worked on the changes, they implemented an external store for LOTRO in the web browser, but when they switched to the new in-game store using a Chromium Embedded Framework, older operating systems, such as 32-bit Windows XP and Vista as well as Linux systems using 32-bit Wine, did not support it, which caused critical errors and crashes upon launching LOTRO and clicking the Play button.

At the same time, there was also a problem with 64-bit Windows 7/8/10 systems that seemed to have the same outcome - the game crashed on launch - but a different cause. It was found to be due to a conflict with a third-party graphics utility called SweetFX, and removing SweetFX fixed the issue for many. Some people suggested ReShade (which works with LOTRO) as a replacement for SweetFX.

While ideally these issues would have been caught in QA testing before launching the Update, SSG started investigating the issues pretty quickly and kept providing feedback and suggestions in the forums, but the community was also great at trying to narrow down the root cause (although there were a few who decided to ridicule people using older operating systems which wasn't helpful).

Suggestions for fixing the issue included:
  • renaming/relocating the UserPreferences.ini file (didn't work)
  • restore default settings in the launcher options (didn't work)
  • run game as admin (didn't work)
  • reinstalling the game (didn't work)
  • removing d3d9.dll from the LOTRO game directory (worked for some people with Windows 7+, probably as it was a dependency for SweetFX)
  • changing Wine version to 2.7-staging or later and OS from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, and using OpenGL (worked for some people using Linux - but not for me)

Within 48 hours of the Update, the developers had new launcher and client files for affected players to download and copy into the LOTRO game directory (also recommended to backup the original launcher configuration file first). Reports started coming in pretty quickly that it worked for most people with Windows and Linux (worked for me).

So LOTRO worked for a few days until June 6, then they did server maintenance to implement some bugfixes and the game launcher crashed again - this time with an error message saying "You don't have the current version of the client." The solution was to download and install a newer version of the launcher and client files from the same place as before (but clear your internet cache/use incognito or private mode/use different browser to make sure you don't re-download the old versions). This worked, but I hope we don't have to do this every time they update the game.

Also, I'm still having to use the external browser to visit the store with no option to choose between the in-game store or the external store in the UI Settings or the UserPreferences.ini file. I'm using Linux Mint 18 and PlayOnLinux with Wine version 2.8, Windows 7 compatibility and DirectX 9. I've also tried Wine 2.7-staging, Wine 2.9-staging (with OpenGL, CSMT or default rendering settings) and Windows 8.1 compatibility but it made no difference to the store. DirectX 11 support in Wine is improving (I can play Elder Scrolls Online now, but with graphics glitches) but not complete yet, and I don't think changing to DirectX 11 will fix the store issue. I would like to have a working in-game store soon.

LOTRO is playable again, but they really need to get a permanent fix for these issues. It's putting me off playing LOTRO at the moment because I don't know if the game is going to work or if I'm going to have to go hunting for work-arounds, or if I'll have to wait for the next patch.

*Update 22/6/17: Tried to log into LOTRO and there has been a patch. First it told me that it could not save the data files, so I reset the launcher options to default. It patched ok and logged in, then crashed with the error message about "You don't have the current version of the client." I re-downloaded the launcher and client files (I've put shortcuts to the download links on my browser toolbar - looks like I might need them frequently), put them in the LOTRO folder, restarted the launcher and then the game worked.

*Update 29/6/17: Another patch, another crash and error message about not having the correct version. This time I only downloaded the lotroclient_awesomium.exe file and moved it to the LOTRO folder, then restarted the launcher and the game worked.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Level 50 Champion

Kaseya at the Walls of Moria

I got Kaseya, my champion, to level 50 and, surprisingly, she is loving Moria so far. She's finding it really easy and doesn't even mind that she's only got the slow (32%) goat from the quest - I was going to take her to Sarnúr to get kindred with Thorin's Hall to buy their faster goat (62%), but by the time she quested in Misty Mountains and Angmar and did part of Goblintown, she was level 48 and her first legendary sword was level 10 and she was keen to get her legendary rune and visit Moria.

I'm dual-wielding and playing both red and yellow specs on her - red for single mobs and yellow for groups of mobs. In the mid 40s she got some traits that let her attacks restore some morale in both specs, so her health doesn't drop much. She's finally got a cleanse ability (a.k.a. Fear Nothing!) to get rid of debuffs which helps, and a couple of abilities to boost dps and power regen for some nice bursts of damage.

Yellow had really good fervour generation at level 20 with Battle Frenzy, and now Red is generating lots of fervour too due to trait bonuses - Precise Strikes gives an extra pip for each crit (and she crits a lot) and Red Haze restores full fervour after killing a mob. Both specs have very little down-time which is great.

At level 50, Savage Strikes became Feral Strikes which removes corruptions. I was hardly using Savage Strikes because it doesn't seem to do as much damage as Remorseless Strike or Merciful Strike for Red, and Blade Storm or Raging Blade for Yellow. So I've moved it from my main action bar to my utility/situational bar and moved Clobber (an interrupt that deals a little damage) to my main bar instead because I'm using that a lot. I try to avoid getting stunned or letting mobs heal themselves.

My first legendary weapon started with Critical Damage Multiplier, Brutal Strikes Damage and Rend Bleed Damage legacies. The Crit Multiplier and Rend was good but Brutal Strikes is another ability in the Red tree that seems redundant at low levels, although there are some traits that may improve it later. The Champion Rune started with Champion's Horn Stun Duration, Swift Strike Power Cost and Ebbing Ire Cooldown legacies. I probably don't use my Horn to stun mobs as often as I should or could, so maybe this will remind me to use it more. Reducing the power cost of Swift Strike is good because it is way too expensive for the amount of damage it does. Ebbing Ire reduces threat - I'm levelling solo so I haven't even bothered putting trait points into it in Red line - so that was pretty useless.  Hopefully I get some better legacies for my Rune when I reforge.

My Rotation

This is what I use for questing solo at level 50 and it works well for me. There may be more effective rotations available and I encourage people to check out the Champion class forums and LOTRO wiki for more tips and guides.

Red Line - The Berserker

If it's an elite mob, I start off with Controlled Burn which increases melee damage, attack speed, power and fervour generation. I use Devastating Strikes to build 2 fervour and debuff the target so they take more damage. I use Wild Attack then Swift Strike if needed to generate enough fervour for Remorseless Strike. Keep building fervour then spending it on Remorseless Strike until Merciful Strike (the nuke/execute skill) becomes available, or if my health drops I use Bracing Attack. If I need more healing, I use Fight On. If my power starts to drop and Controlled Burn is still on cooldown, I use True Heroics to boost power and critical hit chance and debuff the enemy so they attack slower. I try to finish them off with Merciful Strike.

I use Clobber (interrupt), Fear Nothing! (debuff removal), Blood Rage (stun/disarm removal), Feral Strikes (to remove corruptions) and Hamstring (slow) as needed.

Yellow Line - The Deadly Storm

When I get in range of a group of mobs, I start with Battle Frenzy to boost fervour generation. I use Rend to put an armour debuff on the mobs as well as cause damage-over-time, and also generate 2 fervour. I can usually use Blade Storm straight away, but if I need more fervour I either use Blade Wall (which doesn't generate or cost fervour but hits all the mobs nearby) and wait a second for Battle Frenzy to generate some, or use Wild Attack then Swift Strike if needed. When Blade Storm is on cooldown, I build fervour with Rend, Wild Attack and Swift Strike, then spend fervour on Raging Blade (or Bracing Attack if I need some healing, with Fight On for more healing). If power starts to drop or I need a dps burst, I use True Heroics which boosts power and melee damage, and slows enemy movement speed (because by now some are probably defeated or nearly defeated and maybe thinking about running away). When Battle Frenzy is off cooldown, I use it again to keep fervour generation up. If multiple mobs are casting or starting to run away I use Horn of Gondor to stun them. I try to finish off stragglers with Merciful Strike, or if they run out of melee range I use my bow.

I use Clobber (interrupt), Fear Nothing! (debuff removal), Blood Rage (stun/disarm removal), Feral Strikes (to remove corruptions) and Hamstring (slow) as needed.

My Legendary Legacies Wish-list

For my weapon, I'd like (but can't have them all):
  • Major - Area of Effect Skill Damage
  • Major - Critical Damage Multiplier
  • Major - Wild Attack Damage
  • Major - Remorseless Strike Damage
  • Major - Rend Bleed Damage
  • Minor - Battle Frenzy Cooldown
  • Minor - Rend Armour Reduction
  • Minor - True Heroics Power
  • Minor - Fear Nothing Cooldown/Incoming Healing

For my rune, I'd like (but can't have them all):
  • Major - Blade Wall Damage
  • Major - Bracing Attack Heal
  • Major - Blade Line AOE Power Cost
  • Major - Devastating Strike Damage Multiplier
  • Major - Swift Strike Power Cost
  • Minor - Merciful Strike Damage
  • Minor - Strike Skill Power Cost 
  • Minor - Raging Blade Damage

My champion is a Westemnet Weaponsmith at the moment, so I'm looking forward to getting her to max rep with the Weaponsmith's guild soon so she can make level 100 legendary weapons. I am really enjoying playing this character now so maybe she will be my next character to reach max level as well.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Scenic Tour: Mirkwood

Mirkwood is easy to miss out because it is not readily accessible. First you need the Siege of Mirkwood expansion, then you need to start the epic quest line in Vol. 2, Book 9 to be able to get a boat from Lothlórien across the Anduin, and finally you need to complete the Mirkwood Landing quests in the Mirk-eaves before you can enter the rest of Mirkwood.

Looking across the Anduin towards Mirkwood
The docks at Imlad Lalaith
The Mirkwood Landing camp at Echad Sirion

The story in Mirkwood is very well done and leads you through the zone. You really get the sense of the encroaching orcs, undead and corrupted beasts taking over the forest and bringing destruction wherever they go, and the elves fighting to hold back the invasion and disrupt the Necromancer's plans.

The elvish outpost at Ost Galadh is surrounded by healthy forest
The orcish fortress of Dol Goldur is surrounded by dying forest

There are some surprising and interesting places tucked away in the forest off the beaten path. The swamps of the Drownholt with the angry huorns at Sâd Meryrn; the stone circle at Hrigg Vidukuni in Emyn Lûm; the spider den at Gorogrod and the Shrine of the Ancient One in the Scuttledells; the Verdant Shrine in Taur Morvith, and Sâd Doldúr in the Ashenslades, to name a few spots that are worth exploring.

Blue sky is a rare sight in gloomy Mirkwood

Saturday, 20 May 2017

May Update

Good news! I got a new computer and now LOTRO is better than ever. On my laptop I was getting 10-30 fps, on my new PC I'm now getting over 100 fps! The graphics look amazing and animations are so smooth. I'm still using Linux Mint - I think I'm truly converted now and can't imagine going back to Windows - and now have a SSD and a 2TB HDD (lots of room for screenshots!), and a nVidia GTX 1070 8GB graphics card.

I've been pretty busy trying to complete all the scavenger hunt quests. They've been a lot of fun but they do take a while. I'm still updating my LOTRO's 10th Anniversary article as more quests become available, with tips on where to go and pictures of the rewards as I get them.

The view from Wellinghall (Year 5 Tales: Merry)
I really like the Fishing Creel backpack (Year 5 reward)

With levelling a champion to 20 and writing about the experience, I've been enjoying the class so much I'm now working on levelling one of my champs to 50 so she can get some legendaries and head into Moria. I've also been really enjoying my free-to-play (F2P) hunter and I have been inspired by a kin member who has a F2P character who is almost level 105 and is farming Moria deeds on an alt to get enough LOTRO points for the next quest pack. It's encouraging to be reminded that you can get to max level for free if you really want to.

My goal for the rest of this month is to keep up with the scavenger hunts, finish my scenic tour of Mirkwood and get my champ to 50. Hopefully I can also level a guardian to 20 for my Introducing X Class series. Which reminds me, I still need to install TitanBar and CombatAnalysis plugins on the new computer.

Bye for now. Have fun in Middle Earth!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Introducing the Champion: Level 1-20

When I think of champions, I think of Gimli swinging his axes and revelling in the thrill of battle, or Aragorn with his sword, slicing through foes at the Battle for Helm's Deep, the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Battle of the Morannon (Black Gate).

Champions are strong melee fighters that are renowned for their ability to deal damage to many targets, although they can also duel toe-to-toe with a single enemy.

Here I'll record my experience levelling as a champion from level 1 to 20, talking about skills and specs and anything else that might be useful to know.

Level 1 Dwarf Champion

Here's our brand new champion and some information about him:
  • Wears heavy armour
  • Can dual-wield or use two-handed melee weapons
  • Can use a bow or crossbow as a ranged weapon
  • Primary stat is Might
  • Starting abilities are: Swift Strike (a single-target melee attack that generates 1 fervour) and Blade Wall (an AOE melee attack).

The first quest in the introduction provides a satchel that gives you a sword and dagger to dual-wield. At level 2 you learn a new ability called Savage Strikes that does multiple attacks against a single target and costs 2 fervour.

Fervour is a resource that champions generate and spend during combat. Abilities that cost more fervour tend to be more powerful. Fervour disappears if you are out of combat for more than a few seconds.

Also at level 2, you are sent to visit the Champion trainer to practice building fervour and spending it on Savage Strikes against the target dummy. As a reward, you are given some better weapons to dual-wield.

The next ability becomes available at level 6. Wild Attack is like a better version of Swift Strike - it hits a single target several times, uses less power and has a shorter cooldown. So now you can use Wild Attack and Swift Strike to build 2 fervour then use Savage Strikes to spend it. Rinse and repeat until individual mobs are dead.

At level 6 you can also choose a specialisation. The options are:
  • Blue = The Martial Champion (tank) - specialises in survivability and lets you learn how to block with a two-handed weapon and gain Sudden Defence, an ability which costs all your fervour for an absorption bubble to prevent damage. You also have increased threat generation and morale and a small chance to gain an extra fervour "pip" and reflect damage back at your opponent.
  • Red = The Berserker (ST DPS) - specialises in dealing burst damage to a single target and relies on critical strikes. You also gain some abilities: Devastating Strike generates 2 fervour and debuffs your enemy so they take more damage, and Remorseless Strike which costs 4 fervour, hits hard and is hard to defend against (so is more likely to be successful). Your single target attacks may also increase the critical strike strike chance of Remorseless Strike.
  • Yellow = The Deadly Storm (AOE DPS) - specialises in dealing damage to multiple targets and AOE abilities have a chance to reduce your attack duration so you attack faster. You also gain some abilities: Rend, which hits several targets and causes damage over time, reduces their armour and generates 2 fervour, and Blade Storm which does several attacks to several targets, reduces your attack duration if you get a critical strike and costs 4 fervour.

There are times when you will be fighting one mob and there are times when you are fighting several mobs so it would be good to be familiar with both red and yellow specs. Both red and yellow tend to favour dual-wielding as some abilities involve attacking with your off-hand (also gives you more chances for critical strikes which is good for red spec, and one-handed weapons attack faster than two-handed weapons which is good for yellow spec). Blue is more defensive and relies on a two-handed weapon. However, dual-wielding or two-handed weapons are your choice so find what works best for you. I don't have much experience with blue spec so I will have to try it out.

After completing the introduction, don't forget to check your mail for the adventurer's gift. It contains several useful items and starts a couple of quests, including one that rewards 5 Tokens of Salutations which can be traded with the Barterer for a pocket item that increases run speed and some health or power potions. The run speed buff can be quite helpful, especially if you don't have a mount.

At level 7 you get your first trait point to spend in your specialisation. In the yellow spec, I started putting points into Might Increase which will help increase both ST and AOE damage, while in red spec I put points into increasing critical strike chance, again because it will benefit both ST and AOE damage.

Try to get a bow as soon as possible (I got one from a quest reward at level 8, but you could also buy one from a bowyer) as it is very useful for pulling mobs or shooting mobs that try to run away, using your auto-attack key (`).

At level 10 you get the ability Champion's Challenge, which is a taunt. You also get some passive abilities allowing you to use two-handed weapons and one-handed spears.

By this stage I was finding that yellow spec is a joy to play - fast, fluid and fun. You've got a basic single target rotation, but you've also got some solid AOE options. I took on 8 goblins in Orodost (5 to start with and then another 3 joined in) and my health only dropped to about 60%. Battle Frenzy in the yellow spec tree is great - activate it before you start fighting a group of mobs (or pull a few mobs so you have a group to fight) to boost your fervour generation and then you'll be able to use your spenders like Blade Storm more frequently and eliminate the mobs quicker. At least at this level too, you barely use any power and skills have short cooldowns, so you can plow into the next group of mobs and keep going with very little downtime. I really felt like a whirlwind of destruction wiping out the entire enemy camp in a few minutes.

I've also been trying out red spec too, and it's fine - it hits hard and kills single mobs quickly. But when there are a group of mobs your AOE is limited, so you have to kill them one at a time. I noticed I took more damage during multi-target fights in red spec than in yellow spec. Also, without Battle Frenzy, you have several fervour spenders to choose from, but it's slower to build up enough fervour to use them.

At level 14 you get Bracing Attack, which is a single target attack that costs fervour but also heals you. It has a 30 second cooldown, but this should be a useful skill - just don't save it for healing up at the end of the fight and then kill the mob before you've used it or you'll miss out.

At level 15 you get mail notifying you of a class quest sending you to talk to Ultan Foebane in Bree. He hopes a champion like you can help eliminate some troublemakers around Bree-land, namely: a goblin called Zurpukh of the Deeps who is patrolling the Midgewater Marsh east of Goblinhole Ruins; a half-orc called Fair Sherman who is standing lookout near Southguard Ruins in the Vale of Andrath; and a brigand called Morley the Fierce who is laying low in the Old Greenway Fort in the Northern Bree-fields.


Zurpukh of the Deeps

Fair Sherman

Morley the Fierce

Completing the quest earns you the title "Blade of Renown" and a one-handed axe.

At level 16 you get a basic ranged attack ability that uses your bow or crossbow called Let Fly, which hits harder than an auto-attack and as mentioned above, is useful for pulling mobs into combat or finishing off mobs that run away.

I tried out blue spec for a couple of levels with a two-handed axe. My rotation was basically using Blade Wall to reduce enemy damage, then the basic single target rotation (Wild Attack, Swift Strike, Savage Strikes or Bracing Attack if healing needed). It felt like a tougher but weaker version of red spec - tougher because I didn't take as much damage, but weaker because I didn't deal as much damage either.

I went back to yellow spec and dual wielding and I found that my gear needed upgrading because I felt a bit squishy taking on several mobs. I think good gear and weapons will be quite important for DPS champions because they don't have as many healing or survival skills that some other classes have.

At level 20 you gain the ability Blood Rage which lets you break out of stuns, dazes and knock-downs (very useful). You also gain some passive abilities - Horns of Valour lets you use consumable horns crafted by woodworkers to stun a group of mobs. Runic Use lets you use Champion Runes in your class item equipment slot. There are two types of runes - Striking Runes that reduce the power cost of single target attacks, and Vanquishing Runes that reduce the power cost of AOE attacks. Runes can be crafted by jewellers but the level 20 versions can be bought from the Champion trainer. Personally I think Striking Runes will be generally more useful but Vanquishing Runes may be helpful for yellow spec to swap in if you know you're going to be farming an area or doing instances/skirmishes where you'll be fighting lots of mobs. You can also now use Potions of Fervour which are crafted by scholars to give you a quick boost of fervour.

I finished the quests I was doing in the Barrow-downs and headed to the Skirmish Camp to upgrade my gear. Here's how my champion looks at level 20:

Level 20 Dwarf Champion

I then went to the training dummies in the Training Hall in Bree and tested each spec's DPS with no consumable buffs active over 3 minutes, and took a screenshot at the end to eliminate the effects of DoTs that kept going after I stopped attacking. Or at least that was the plan (see below). For virtues, I had four tiers of Charity and one tier of Discipline. With my 7 trait points, I focused on general damage-boosting traits where possible.

I got quite a surprise when I faced the training dummies - for 20 levels of questing I never had any problems with power, but against the training dummies, I ran out of power quite quickly. I tried changing my rotation, but although it affected the DPS quite a lot, I still ran out of power. So, I repeated the exercise for each trait line 3x dual-wielding and 3x with a two-hander and recorded the set of results with the highest average DPS below in 3 minutes or until I received a notification: "Not enough Power."

Here are my DPS results while dual-wielding (collected with CombatAnalysis plugin):

StatisticsThe Martial Champion (Blue)The Berserker (Red)The Deadly Storm (Yellow)
Damage7424660112281
Time1 m 41.6 s1 m 12.5 s1 m 30.7 s
Average DPS73.091.0135.4
Minimum Hit151715
Average Hit42.462.343.5
Maximum Hit115484248
Attacks175106282
APS1.71.53.1
Critical Strikes (%)29 (16.6%)22 (20.8%)54 (19.1%)
Power (%)35/1000 (3.5%)18/1000 (1.8%)11/1000 (1.1%)
Skill Priorities:
  1. Blade Wall
  2. Savage Strikes
  3. Wild Attack
  4. Swift Strike
  1. Remorseless Strike
  2. Devastating Strike
  3. Wild Attack
  4. Swift Strike
  1. Battle Frenzy
  2. Blade Storm
  3. Savage Strikes
  4. Rend
  5. Wild Attack
  6. Swift Strike

Here are my DPS results with a 2H-sword (collected with CombatAnalysis plugin):

StatisticsThe Martial Champion (Blue)The Berserker (Red)The Deadly Storm (Yellow)
Damage5928623710036
Time1 m 39.1 s1 m 9.7 s1 m 22.7 s
Average DPS59.889.5121.3
Minimum Hit364215
Average Hit68.1107.557.3
Maximum Hit145645332
Attacks8758175
APS0.90.82.1
Critical Strikes (%)21 (24.1%)11 (19.0%)29 (16.6%)
Power (%)16/1000 (1.6%)30/1000 (3.0%)40/1000 (4.0%)
Skill Priorities:
  1. Blade Wall
  2. Savage Strikes
  3. Wild Attack
  4. Swift Strike
  1. Remorseless Strike
  2. Devastating Strike
  3. Wild Attack
  4. Swift Strike
  1. Battle Frenzy
  2. Blade Storm
  3. Savage Strikes
  4. Rend
  5. Wild Attack
  6. Swift Strike

I was interested to compare dual-wielding and two-handed DPS because there's an ongoing debate about which is better. At level 20, dual-wielding had consistently higher average DPS and maintained power for slightly longer than using a two-handed weapon. Yellow line maintained power for longer than red line, but I suspect the yellow line damage and DPS numbers are inflated because there was another training dummy next to the one I was attacking that also got hit by the AOE attacks. I might need to find a new location for testing in future.

General Observations


Champions don't get a skill to remove debuffs until much later, so potions to remove disease, fear, wounds and poison may be helpful to have on hand, and try to get some virtues to increase your resistances.

There seems to be few utility or survival abilities available before level 20, but more should become available at higher levels, such as a sprint, heal, power regeneration and interrupts.

At higher levels, it will be worthwhile investing some points in other trait trees. For example, Red and Blue lines will probably want to get Battle Frenzy (to boost fervour) from Yellow line, while Red and Yellow lines will probably want to get Second Wind (to boost power) from Blue line.

Good gear and weapons will make it much easier to survive and kill mobs quickly.

Specialisations

Blue - The Martial Champion: I did feel safer player this spec, but it was slower and didn't hit very hard. Perhaps if you're finding it difficult to survive in red or yellow, or if you're playing with someone else and want to be more tanky to protect them, this may be an option, but overall I wouldn't recommend it for levelling.

Red - The Berserker: This is a good spec for taking on bosses and elite mobs, but it seems to be more niche than yellow line. You could level in this spec, but fighting a group of mobs may be painful until higher levels when you have more abilities. Overall, I think this is a good back-up spec for situational use while levelling.

Yellow - The Deadly Storm: I love how fast and versatile this spec is. With Battle Frenzy, you build up fervour quickly and can use your heavy-hitting fervour spenders often. You can take on a single mob or a group of mobs with ease and it's satisfying watching them all fall at your feet at once. Just keep an eye on improving your gear and defensive stats so that you don't get crushed under your enemies' feet. Overall, this is a fun spec for levelling.

Stats

  • Might - your main stat that increases damage
  • Morale and vitality - increases survivability
  • Critical strike rating - increases damage (particularly valuable for red line)
  • Mitigations and resistances - reduces damage taken

These stats should help make the levelling process a bit easier in the beginning. Look for heavy armour with might and maybe some jewellery with critical strike rating. Morale is always helpful (vitality also increases morale). The best place to get mitigations and resistances at low level is probably from virtues.

Here are some virtues that may be helpful for Champions and how to get them by level 20:

VirtueActivityDeed
INNOCENCE

(physical mitigation, tactical mitigation, resistance)
Complete 75 quests in The ShireLife of a Bounder (Final)(The Shire)
COMPASSION

(physical mitigation, tactical mitigation, non-combat power regeneration)
Complete 15 quests in The Shire

Complete 20 quests in Ered Luin
Life of a Bounder (The Shire)

Defender of Ered Luin (Ered Luin)
DISCIPLINE

(might, physical mitigation, resistance)
Defeat 90 wolves in Ered Luin

Defeat 60 hendrovail in Ered Luin

Defeat 60 sickle-flies in Bree-land
Wolf-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Hendroval-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Sickle-fly Slayer (Advanced)(Bree-land)
PATIENCE

(physical mitigation, resistance, in-combat power regeneration)
Explore Dwarven settlements in Ered Luin

Retrieve spoiled pies in The Shire

Deliver mail between settlements in The Shire

Explore the ruins of Bree-land

Explore the Barrow-downs in Bree-land
Places of the Dwarves (Ered Luin)

No Place for Spoiled Pies (The Shire)

Restoring the Quick Post (The Shire)

The Ruins of Bree-land (Bree-land)

The Barrow-downs (Bree-land)
ZEAL

(morale, physical mitigation, armour)
Defeat 90 goblins in Ered Luin

Defeat 90 spiders in Ered Luin

Defeat 90 Barrow-spiders in Bree-land
Goblin-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Spider-slayer (Advanced)(Ered Luin)

Brood-hunter (Advanced)(Bree-land)
HONOUR

(resistance, tactical mitigation, vitality)
Defeat 60 spiders in The Shire

Defeat 90 spiders in Bree-land
Spider-slayer (Advanced)(The Shire)

Spider-slayer (Advanced)(Bree-land)
FIDELITY

(tactical mitigation, vitality, power)
Explore landmarks in The Shire

Explore Dourhand strongholds in Ered Luin
The Sights of the Shire (The Shire)

Scouting the Dourhands (Ered Luin)

Pros of the Champion Class

  • Good AOE damage
  • Various melee playstyles (DW/2H, ST/AOE, DPS/Tank)
  • Fast-paced combat

Cons of the Champion Class

  • Limited ranged abilities
  • Limited utility and survival skills
  • Power management

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to leave any questions or advice for new champions in the comments below.

Coming soon in the Introducing X Class series: the Guardian.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Finally Finished Mirkwood

The 10th anniversary scavenger hunt has made me go back and finish quest lines that I never got around to on Myndariel which is great. One of the quest-lines I have always wanted to finish is Mirkwood. By the time I finished Moria and Lothlórien, I was high enough level to go to The Great River so I pretty much skipped Mirkwood while levelling. I did start the epic and I have had my milestone set to The Haunted Inn for a very long time as a reminder to return.

The Haunted Inn
Dol Goldur and the doomed forest

And I finally did it - I finished the exploring and the questing (Mirkwood has some great story-telling!), got Kindred with the Malledhrim, became an "Ambassador to the Elves" (kindred with all the elven factions - Elves of Rivendell, Galladhrim and Malledhrim) and "Stalwart against the Shadow" (completed the epic quests in Vol. 2), and got three nice mounts and an Exquisite Elven Dress. It feels like a big accomplishment, even if it is a few years overdue.

Unfortunately I don't have many pictures of Mirkwood - partly because it's so dark and gloomy and partly because most of the pictures I did have are on my old computer that died recently. I will have to go back (again) and do a proper Scenic Tour of Mirkwood soon.

In the mean time, here are my new horses:

Prized Malledhrim Horse
Smokey Black Horse
Elf Ambassador's Horse

And here's the Exquisite Elven Dress (dyed violet):

Myndariel in Mirkwood

So, now I can work on a few other characters and look forward to more scavenger hunts that send Myndariel on new old adventures.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

LOTRO's 10th Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary LOTRO!

The scavenger hunt starts at the Party Tree

The Anniversary event runs from the 20th of April to the 8th of May.

To celebrate 10 years, there are new special scavenger hunt quest chains (that may be difficult to complete for characters less than level 105 as it takes you all over Middle Earth), with some nice rewards for completing all 10 sections of each scavenger hunt.

Lower level characters can still take part in the normal Anniversary activities including fireworks at the Methel-stage in the Shire, fireworks in Bree, lost invitations in Bree, the gift-giving quest chain (Bree-land, The Shire, Thorin's Gate), the beer-fights in Thorin's Hall Festival Arena, and horse races.

There is also a new dragon themed steed (war-steed appearances also available) and matching dragon-themed cosmetic armour set to buy with Anniversary Tokens.


Steed of the Unflagging Dragon

Mount and Cosmetic Armour


Unflagging Dragon Cosmetic Armour
on a Dwarf

Unflagging Dragon Cosmetic Armour
on a Woman

To help you (and me) with the scavenger hunt, here are some tips on where to go. Note this is a work in progress as I complete the scavenger hunt too.

*Updated 17 June 2017*
The scavenger hunt runs until the 13th of July with quests unlocked weekly. All 10 years of  scavenger hunts are available now. An anniversary token barterer has been added in Bree for the remainder of the scavenger hunt. Have fun!

The Path of the Fellowship

Complete all ten years worth of Tales to earn 3 anniversary tokens, 3 ashenslade green dyes, 3 lórien gold dyes, and the title "Devoted to Company".

Year 1 Tales: Frodo

  • Collect Remembrances in Bilbo's Home - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Pat Grip and Fang at Farmer Maggot's farm - near Stock, The Shire
  • Eat a meal at Tom Bombadil's House - The Old Forest, Bree-land
  • Dance on a table at the Prancing Pony - Bree, Bree-land
  • Faint at the ranger's camp near Weathertop - Candaith's Encampment, The Lone-lands
  • Talk to Frodo in Bilbo's Room - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Sit on the chair at Amon Hen - near Parth Galen, East Rohan
  • Defeat some Fell-wights in the Dead Marshes - accessed via Cave of the Avorrim, West Gondor
  • Collect Remembrances in Henneth Annûn - Henneth Annûn, North Ithilien

Year 2 Tales: Sam

  • Bow to Gaffer Gamgee - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Eavesdrop at the window in Bag End - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Fetch a small beer for Rosie Cotton - Bywater, The Shire
  • Challenge Old Man Willow - The Old Forest, Bree-land
  • Visit Bill the Pony at the Prancing Pony - Bree, Bree-land
  • Defeat some Neekerbreekers in Midgewater Marsh - Midgewater Marsh, Bree-land
  • Talk to Sam in Rivendell about Oliphaunts - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Talk to Sam on Cerin Amroth in Lothlorien - Cerin Amroth, Lothlorien
  • Shake your fist at Gollum near the Anduin - Thinglad, The Great River
  • Cook a stew with 3 taters and 2 coneys (frypan provided)

Year 3 Tales: Boromir

  • Talk at the Spire of Meeting in Rivendell - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Use the Chronicle of Events to complete The Horn of Gondor (must have completed Vol III, Book 7, Chapter 8) - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Stride into the Redhorn Snowfall - Redhorn Pass, Eregion
  • Collect Remembrances of being led blindfolded from Echad Andestal to Cerin Amroth - Echad Andestal, Lothlórien
  • Collect Remembrances in Pre-battle Osgiliath - Osgiliath, Eastern Gondor (one near Gates of the Sun, one on the Great Bridge)
  • Find part of Boromir's Horn amongst the reeds near the Anduin north of Cair Andros - Talath Anor, Old Anórien (NE of Parth Lisc)
  • Kneel before the Steward's Chair in the Tower of Ecthelion - Minas Tirith, Old Anórien
  • Find the plaque of the former Steward Boromir in Minas Tirith - Minas Tirith, Old Anórien (1st tier near the Foodmongers' Market)
  • Defeat some foes in Old Anórien - Old Anórien

Year 4 Tales: Aragorn

  • Smoke in the Prancing Pony to the right of the stage - Bree, Bree-land (at the table near the minstrel on stage)
  • Collect Remembrances up on Weathertop - Weathertop, The Lone-lands
  • Talk to Arwen in Rivendell - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Talk to Aragorn in Rivendell to relive the reforging of Narsil - Rivendell, The Trollshaws (The Blade that was Broken quest chain)
  • Defeat some foes in Annúminas - Annúminas, Evendim
  • Pick an Elanor flower at Cerin Amroth - Cerin Amroth, Lothlórien
  • Find Pippin's brooch south of the Springview Estate in Rohan - Norcrofts, East Rohan (50.2S, 56.1W, near the bottom of a small bank/slope)
  • Collect Remembrances at the Paths of the Dead - The Dark Door (near Dunharrow), West Rohan (x1 remembrance), and Paths of the Dead, Western Gondor (x2 remembrances)
  • Visit the statue of Thorongil in Pelargir - West Pelargir, Central Gondor
  • View the marching plans inside the tent at Aragorn's Pavilion - Aragorn's Pavilion, March of the King (after-battle)

Year 5 Tales: Merry

  • Carry packs to the ponies in front of Bag End - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Visit Buckleberry Ferry - near the Brandywine River; east of Stock, The Shire or south Buckland, Bree-land
  • Collect Remembrances at Brandy Hall - Buckland, Bree-land
  • Collect Remembrances in Bonfire Glade - The Old Forest, Bree-land
  • Study the maps in Elrond's house - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Drink some of Treebeard's ent-draught in Wellinghall - Entwood (Fangorn Forest), West Rohan
  • Enjoy a meal in the gatehouse of Flooded Isengard - Isengard (after), Gap of Rohan (accessible from Derndingle or Helm's Deep in West Rohan)
  • Thank Éowyn in the Rohirrim camp at Dunharrow - Dunharrow, West Rohan
  • Mourn at Snowmane's Howe - behind Aragorn's Pavilion, March of the King
  • Talk to Merry in the High Hall (after the battle) - Halls of Healing, Minas Tirith (after-battle), March of the King

Year 6 Tales: Pippin

  • Collect Remembrances at the Great Smial - Tuckburough, The Shire
  • Steal Farmer Maggot's mushrooms - near Stock, The Shire
  • Enjoy a meal at the Dead Spire in the Barrow-downs - Southern Barrow-downs, Bree-land
  • Enjoy a meal at the Prancing Pony - Bree, Bree-land
  • Enjoy a meal in the Hall of Fire - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Look down the well in the Chamber of the Crossroads - Chamber of the Crossroads, Moria
  • Gaze into the Orthanc-stone at the eastern foot of Dol Baran - Dol Baran, Heathfell, Dunland
  • Salute Bergil in pre-battle Minas Tirith - Worker's Tier (1st tier), Minas Tirith, Old Anórien
  • Collect Remembrances on the 7th tier of pre-battle Minas Tirith - The Citadel, Minas Tirith, Old Anórien
  • Faint on top of one of the Slag Hills - Slag Hills, The Wastes (one of the two large, low, flat hilltops near the milestone) 

Year 7 Tales: Legolas

  • Dance in the Caradhras Snowfall - Redhorn Pass, Eregion
  • Hug Gimli in Cerin Amroth - Cerin Amroth, Lothlórien
  • Look from the top tower of Ost Galadh - Ost Galadh, Mirkwood
  • Spot a Nazgûl flying over the Anduin from the shore of the Great River - near Rohirrim camp, Thinglad, Great River (23.8S, 60.2W - an interactive patch of light says to "Look Up")
  • Defeat orcs in Rohan - East or West Rohan
  • Defeat orcs in Epic Battles - Helm's Deep or Minas Tirith (instance finder)
  • Resist a gull's cries on the piers of Pelargir - Pelargir, Central Gondor
  • Defeat a mûmak - Pelennor Fields, Old Anórien; near Lân Mefam or The Crossroads in South Ithilien, or in Dome of the Stars instance (can be scaled down to level 50)

Year 8 Tales: Gimli

  • Collect Rembrances around Rivendell - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Bow to Gloin in the Misty Mountains - Gloin's Camp, The Misty Mountains
  • Read the book upon the stone in Mazarbul - Chamber of Mazarbul, Moria (north of 21st Hall)
  • Look at the Mirrormere from Mekhem-bizhru - Nanduhirion, Lothlórien
  • Hug Legolas at Cerin Amroth - Cerin Amroth, Lothlórien
  • Talk to Galadriel at the house of Celeborn - Caras Galadhon, Lothlórien
  • Collect Remembrances from the East Wall to Eomer's Vengeance - The Norcrofts and Entwash Vale, East Rohan (follow the river from south of Elthengels, near the Ancient Tomb and the East Wall cliffs, towards the lake at Minas Rant (3x Remembrances), then head north from the lake towards Springview Estate (1x Remembrance on hill overlooking SW burned fields), head NW towards the big hill between Eaworth and Wyrmdelf in Entwash Vale (1x Remembrance on hilltop), then follow the road from Eaworth towards Thornhope Stable-master (2x Remembrances), and finally head to Eomer's Vengeance on a hill near the Eaves of Fangorn Forest (1x Remembrance))  
  • Defeat orcs in Epic Battles - Helm's Deep (instance finder)

Year 9 Tales: Gandalf

  • Set off fireworks near the Party Tree - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Scold Barliman Butterbur at the Prancing Pony - Bree, Bree-land
  • Talk to Radagast at Agamaur - Barad Dhorn, Agamaur, The Lone-lands
  • Read from the Chronicle of Events and complete instance: The Wizard's Vale - Rivendell, The Trollshaws (Vol. 3, Book 4)
  • Complete skirmish: Ford of Bruinen (instance finder)
  • Meditate at the Hollin Gate - Walls of Moria, Eregion
  • Collect Remembrances at Zirakzigil (1x, Zirakzigil), The Endless Stair (1x, Foundations of Stone) and the Bridge of Khazad-dûm (2x, Nud-melek) - Moria
  • Find Gandalf in Fangorn - Treebeard's Hill, Eaves of Fangorn, East Rohan
  • Shake your fist before the throne of Meduseld - Edoras, West Rohan
  • Pat Shadowfax in the High Stables of Minas Tirith - High Stables, Master's Tier 6, Minas Tirith, Old Anórien (near Dome of the Sun)

Year 10 Tales: Bilbo

  • Stand on a table at the Party Tree and give a talk - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Check what is on the mantelpiece at Bag's End - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Sing to Bilbo in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Find the wooden box under Bilbo's bed at Elrond's House - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
  • Visit the Stone-trolls' Glade in the Trollshaws - Stone-trolls' Glade, The Trollshaws
  • Talk to Grimbeorn at Vindurhal in the Misty Mountains - Vindurhal, The Misty Mountains
  • Acquire one of Bilbo's buttons in Goblintown - Goblintown, The Misty Mountains
  • Think of another riddle in Gollum's Cave - Goblintown, The Misty Mountains
  • Defeat some spiders in Mirkwood - Mirkwood
  • Collect Remembrances in The Bells of Dale - The Bells of Dale (instance finder)

Ten Years of Travels

Complete all ten years worth of travels and earn 3 anniversary tokens, 3 belegaer blue dyes, 3 lavender dyes, and the title "Wanderer of Middle Earth".

Year 1 Travels: Towering Monuments

  • Collect 20 Remembrances from near the monuments
  • Visit the Bounder's Bounty Statue - Michel Delving, The Shire
  • Visit the Falconer's Tower - Fields of Fornost, North Downs
  • Visit the High King's Crossing - High King's Crossing, Evendim
  • Visit the Giant's Needle - The Giant Halls, The Misty Mountains
  • Visit the Gate of Shadows - Carn Dûm, Angmar
  • Visit the Dwarf-lords' Gate - The Great Delving, Moria
  • Visit the Gate of the Seven Fathers - The Flaming Deeps, Moria
  • Visit the Argonath - The East Wall, East Rohan
  • Visit the Stone of Erech - Blackroot Vale, West Gondor
  • Visit the Cross-roads - The Cross-roads, South Ithilien

Year 2 Travels: Tavern Crawl, Eriador

  • Collect 22 Remembrances from taverns (1-3 at each tavern)
  • Have a drink of ale at each tavern
  • Visit Thorin's Hall Inn - Thorin's Hall, Ered Luin
  • Visit the Bird and Baby Inn - Michel Delving, The Shire
  • Visit The Ivy Bush - Hobbiton, The Shire
  • Visit The Green Dragon - Baywater, The Shire
  • Visit The Floating Log Inn - The Frogmoors, The Shire
  • Visit The Plough and Stars - Brockenborings, The Shire
  • Visit The Golden Perch - Stock, The Shire
  • Visit The Prancing Pony - Bree, Bree-land
  • Visit The Comb and Wattle Inn - Combe, Bree-land
  • Visit The Forsaken Inn - Forsaken Inn, The Lone-lands

Year 3 Travels: Heights & Depths

  • Collect 20 Remembrances from high and low places
  • Visit the top of High King's Crossing - High King's Crossing, Evendim
  • Visit Men Helch - Southern High Pass, The Misty Mountains
  • Visit the top of the Redhorn Pass - Redhorn Pass, Eregion
  • Visit the Moria well - Chamber of the Crossroads, Moria
  • Visit the top of Zirakzigil - Zirakzigil, Moria (near Celebros, NE of Broken Cleft)
  • Visit the bottom of the Endless Stair - Foundations of Stone, Moria
  • Visit the Bridge of Khazad-dûm - Nud-melek, Moria
  • Visit the highest flet in Lothlórien - House of Celeborn, Caras Galadhon, Lothlórien
  • Visit Nár's Peak - Thrór's Coomb, Enedwaith
  • Visit the tip of the prow at Minas Tirith - Minas Tirith, Old Anórien

Year 4 Travels: Orc Clans

  • Collect 40 Remembrances from orcs
  • Defeat Tarkrîp orcs - Northern Bree-fields, Bree-land; Nain Enidh, The Lone-lands
  • Defeat White Hand orcs - Annunlos/Glumhollow, The Lone-lands; Redhorn Lodes, Moria
  • Defeat Ongbúrz orcs - Fields of Fornost/Norbury Gates, The North Downs
  • Defeat Blogmal orcs - Fornost, The North Downs; Ram Dúath, Angmar
  • Defeat Krahjarn orcs - Mor Maudhúl, Angmar; Mirobel, Eregion
  • Defeat Ghâsh-hai orcs - The Flaming Deeps, Moria
  • Defeat Globsnaga orcs - Redhorn Lodes/Foundations of Stone, Moria
  • Defeat Bûrzthrâng orcs - Gathbúrz, Mirkwood

Year 5 Travels: Bodies of Water

  • Collect 6 Remembrances from each of these waterways
  • Visit the shores of Nen Harn - NE Bree-land
  • Visit the shores of Lake Evendim - Evendim
  • Visit the shores of the Forochel Ice Bay - Sûri-kylä, Forochel
  • Visit the Ford of Bruinen - Ford of Bruinen, The Trollshaws
  • Visit the Water-works - The Water-works, Moria
  • Visit the Foundations of Stone - Foundations of Stone, Moria
  • Visit the shores of the Mirrormere - Nanduhirion, Lothlórien
  • Visit the shores of Nen Hithoel - The East Wall, East Rohan
  • Visit the shores of the Lake Isingmere - Wildermore
  • Visit the shores of the Lake Gilrain - NE of Linhir, Lebennin, Central Gondor

Year 6 Travels: Tavern Crawl, Rhovanion

  • Collect 20 Remembrances from taverns
  • Have a drink of ale at each tavern
  • Visit the Haunted Inn - Dourstocks, Mirkwood
  • Visit Stangard Tavern - Stangard, The Great River
  • Visit Harwick Tavern - Harwick, The Wold, East Rohan
  • Visit Floodwend Inn - Floodwend, The Wold, East Rohan
  • Visit Elthengels Inn - Elthengels, The Norcrofts, East Rohan
  • Visit Snowbourn Tavern - Snowbourn, The Sutcrofts, East Rohan
  • Visit Aldburg Tavern - Aldburg, Eastfold, West Rohan
  • Visit Beaconwatch Tavern - Beaconwatch, Eastfold, West Rohan
  • Visit Woodhurst Tavern - Woodhurst, Stonedeans, West Rohan
  • Visit The Mud - Woodhurst, Stonedeans, West Rohan (lower Woodhurst, opposite the pond)

Year 7 Travels: Places of Battle

  • Collect 6 Remembrances from each of these battle-fields
  • Visit The Greenfields - The Greenfields, The Shire
  • Visit Fornost - Fornost, North Downs
  • Visit Nan Curunir - Isengard, Gap of Rohan, Dunland
  • Visit Fords of Isen - Westfold, West Rohan
  • Visit Helm's Deep - Helm's Deep, West Rohan
  • Visit the Dead Marshes - accessed via Cave of the Avorrim, Western Gondor (3 remembrances heading west from Artamir's Camp towards the orcish Marshland Outpost [30.2S, 11.5W / 29.7S, 12.3W / 29.5S, 13.1W], and 3 remembrances to the east, south and west of the big rocky hill Haudh Aîr [28.8S, 16.1W / 29.4S, 16.3W / 29.3S, 16.2W])
  • Visit Pelargir - Pelargir, Central Gondor
  • Visit Osgiliath - Osgiliath, Eastern Gondor
  • Visit Pelennor - Pelennor Fields, Old Anórien

Year 8 Travels: Tombs and Haunts

  • Collect Remembrances from each of these haunted barrows
  • Visit Hautham - Northern Barrow-downs, Bree-land
  • Visit the Barrow of Ringdor - Northern Barrow-downs, Bree-land
  • Visit the Barrow of Taradan - Northern Barrow-downs, Bree-land
  • Visit Gwantham - Southern Barrow-downs, Bree-land
  • Visit Haudh Iarchith - Southern Barrow-downs, Bree-land
  • Visit Lhe Colvarn - Lich Bluffs, Enedwaith (entrance is a hole in the ground at Drûg-haniad, east of the road [74.3S, 15.3W])
  • Visit the Ancient Tomb - Norcrofts, East Rohan
  • Visit the Paths of the Dead - Paths of the Dead, Western Gondor

Year 9 Travels: Middle-Earth Curiosities

  • Collect Remembrances from each of these sites
  • Visit the snowman of Ered Luin - Ered Luin
  • Visit the tallest cow in Buckland - Buckland, Bree-land
  • Visit the cat house in Bree - Bree, Bree-land
  • Visit the turtle house in Bree - Bree, Bree-land
  • Visit the sand castle in - Evendim
  • Visit the amateur ice-skater in Forochel - Forochel
  • Visit the rabbit in Ost Dunhoth - Ost Dunhoth, Lich Bluffs, Enedwaith
  • Visit the rabbit cave in The Great River - The Great River
  • Visit the peculiar home in Eastfold - Eastfold, West Rohan
  • Visit the squirrel village in Eastfold - Eastfold, West Rohan

Year 10 Travels: Tavern Crawl, Gondor

  • Collect 18 Remembrances from taverns
  • Drink a pint at each tavern
  • Visit Lothgobel Tavern - Lothgobel, Lamedon, Western Gondor
  • Visit the Scholar's Tavern - Dol Amroth, Western Gondor 
  • Visit Ethring Tavern - Ethring, Ringló Vale, Central Gondor
  • Visit Forlong's Hall - Arnach, Lossarnach, Eastern Gondor
  • Visit The Wheel and Cask - Worker's Tier (1st tier), Minas Tirith, Old Anórien 
  • Visit The Mûmak and Keep - Soldier's Tier (2nd tier), Minas Tirith, Old Anórien
  • Visit The Haven - Craftsmen's Tier (3rd tier), Minas Tirith, Old Anórien
  • Visit The Merry Swan - Craftsmen's Tier (3rd tier), Minas Tirith, Old Anórien
  • Visit The Thirsty Seer - Sage's Tier (5th tier), Minas Tirith, Old Anórien

    Ten Years of Trifles

    Complete all ten years of trifles and earn 3 anniversary tokens, 3 dark clay dyes, 3 moria silver dyes, and the title "Bustling Adventurer".

    Year 1 Trifles: Old Foes

    • Defeat Baugarch - Chetwood, Bree-land
    • Defeat Jagger Jack - Blackwold Headquarters, Bree-land
    • Defeat Svalfang - Svalfang's Hut, Bree-land
    • Defeat Mangemaw - Rushock Bog, The Shire
    • Defeat Skíthi Blackhand - The Grimwater, Ered Luin
    • Defeat Morrafn - Fields of Fornost, North Downs
    • Defeat Dhît - Stone-troll's Glade, The Trollshaws
    • Defeat Rothlúg - Southern High Pass, The Misty Mountains
    • Defeat Farathlúg - Talvi-mûri (NE of Kuru-leiri), Forochel

    Year 2 Trifles: Reflections I

    You can access these instances by completing the relevant quests or, if already completed, by visiting the appropriate Reflecting Pool.
    • Complete instance: Beneath the Greenfields - Vol. 1 Prologue (The Shire) or Michel Delving Reflecting Pool, The Shire
    • Complete instance: The Infiltrator's Surprise - Turtles in the Soup quest chain in Bree, Bree-land or Bree Reflecting Pool, Bree-land
    • Complete instance: Othrongroth - Vol. 1, Book 1 or Bree Reflecting Pool, Bree-land
    • Complete instance: Retake Weathertop - Vol. 1, Book 2 or Ost Guruth Reflecting Pool, The Lone-lands
    • Complete instance: Red-pass - Vol. 1, Book 2 or Ost Guruth Reflecting Pool, The Lone-lands
    • Complete instance: A Formal Complaint - Hob Hillbrow's quests near Dwaling, Evendim or Tinnudir Reflecting Pool, Evendim
    • Complete instance: The Tomb of Elendil - The Blade that was Broken quest chain (starts with Aragorn in Rivendell) or Tinnudir Reflecting Pool, Evendim
    • Complete instance: The Twisted Heart - Longbough's quests in The Eavespires, Evendim or Tinnudir Reflecting Pool, Evendim
    • Complete instance: Fire and Ice - Vol. 1, Book 5 or Rivendell Reflecting Pool, The Trollshaws
    • Complete instance: Mordirith's Fall - Vol. 1, Book 8 or Aughaire Reflecting Pool, Angmar

    Year 3 Trifles: This Time with Feeling I

    • Do a handstand for Ivar the Bloodhand - Garth Agarwen: Barrows instance, The Lone-lands
    • Blush at Naruhel - Garth Agarwen: Fortress instance, The Lone-lands
    • Flex for Mordirith - Carn Dûm instance, Angmar
    • Sing to Helchgam - Carn Dûm instance, Angmar
    • Calm Igash the Fanatic - The Grand Stair instance, Moria
    • Kiss Vrarz the Cook - Fil Gashan instance, Moria
    • Poke Coldbear the Wight - Sâri-surma instance, Forochel
    • Scold Gorothúl - Sammath Gûl instance, Dol Goldur, Mirkwood
    • Wave goodbye to The Ring-Forge of Orthanc - The Foundry instance, Isengard, Dunland
    • Smoke with Rook (The Lord of Pinions) - The Dome of Stars instance, Osgiliath Culverts, Eastern Gondor

    Year 4 Trifles: A Good Old Skirmish

    • Complete skirmish: Trouble in Tuckborough
    • Complete skirmish: Storm on Methedras
    • Complete skirmish: Attack at Dawn
    • Complete skirmish: Thievery and Mischief
    • Complete skirmish: Defence of the Prancing Pony
    • Complete skirmish: Assault on the Ringwraiths' Lair (skirmish unlocked during Vol II, Book 9 in Mirkwood)
    • Complete skirmish: Battle in the Tower (skirmish unlocked during Vol II, Book 9 in Mirkwood)
    • Complete skirmish: Rescue in Nûrz Ghâshu (skirmish unlocked during Vol II, Book 9 in Mirkwood)

    Year 5 Trifles: Reflections II

    You can access these instances by completing the relevant quests or, if already completed, by visiting the appropriate Reflecting Pool.
    • Complete instance: Frodo's Burden - The Valley of Imladris quests, The Trollshaws or Rivendell Reflecting Pool, The Trollshaws
    • Complete instance: A Trap for the Creature - quests at Garbert's Cottage in Tâl Bruinen, The Trollshaws or the Rivendell Reflecting Pool, The Trollshaws
    • Complete instance: The Last Refuge - Vol. 1, Book 5 or Rivendell Reflecting Pool, The Trollshaws
    • Complete instance: The Doom of the North - Vol. 1, Book 14 or Rivendell Reflecting Pool, The Trollshaws
    • Complete instance: The Fellowship Departs - Vol. 2 Prologue or Rivendell Reflecting Pool, The Trollshaws
    • Complete instance: Mordrambor - Vol. 1, Book 11 or Tinnudir Reflecting Pool, Evendim
    • Complete instance: The Ties That Bind - Pynti-peldot quests, Forochel or Sûri-kylä Reflecting Pool, Forochel
    • Complete instance: The Rite of Clúclath - Crannog's Challenge quest chain, Aughaire, Angmar or Aughaire Reflecting Pool, Angmar
    • Complete instance: The Seven Swords - The Secret of the Swords quest chain, Angmar or Aughaire Reflecting Pool, Angmar
    • Complete instance: One Hope Remains - Vol. 1, Book 15 or Aughaire Reflecting Pool, Angmar

    Year 6 Trifles: Creatures Great & Small

    There are probably many places you can find these friendly creatures throughout Middle Earth. These are just some examples.
    • Pat an Aurochs - Gondamon, Ered Luin
    • Pat a Bird - Tuckburough, The Shire
    • Pat a Cat - The Party Tree, The Shire
    • Pat a Chicken - Waymeet, The Shire
    • Pat a Cow - Buckland, Bree-land
    • Pat a Deer - Rivendell, The Trollshaws
    • Pat a Fox - Barad Dhorn, Agamaur, The Lone-lands (Radagast's tower)
    • Pat a Frog - Bharad Dhorn, Agamaur, The Lone-lands (Radagast's tower)
    • Pat a Goat - Floodwend, The Wold, East Rohan
    • Pat a Pig - Buckland, Bree-land
    • Pat a Rabbit - Rivendell, The Trollshaws or Barad Dhorn, Agamaur, The Lone-lands (Radagast's tower)
    • Pat a Sheep - Waymeet, The Shire
    • Pat a Snake - Noman-lands, The Wastes
    • Pat a Squirrel - Rivendell, The Trollshaws or Barad Dhorn, Agamaur, The Lone-lands (Radagast's tower)

    Year 7 Trifles: This Time with Feeling II

    Many of these instances are raids, so bringing friends may help.
    • Flip for Thorog - Helegrod instance, Helegrod, The Misty Mountains
    • Wink at Bogbereth - Torech-i-Bogbereth, Himbar, Angmar
    • Pose for Thaurlach - The Rift of Nûrz Gâshu instance, Angmar
    • Stare at the Watcher - The Vile Maw instance, The Water-works, Moria
    • Hug Nornúan - Filikul instance, The Water-works, Moria
    • Flirt with the Mistress of Pestilence - Dâr Narbugud instance, Foundations of Stone, Moria
    • Dance for Dúrchest - Barad Guldur instance, Dol Goldur, Mirkwood
    • Wave to the Lieutenant of Dol Guldur - Barad Guldur instance, Dol Goldur, Mirkwood
    • Congratulate Draigoch - Draigoch's Lair instance, Thror's Coomb, Enedwaith
    • Curtsey for Durin's Bane - Ost Dunhoth instance, Enedwaith
    • Meditate with Gortheron's Golem - Ost Dunhoth instance, Enedwaith
    • Show Saruman you think he's crazy - The Tower of Orthanc instance, Isengard, Dunland

    Year 8 Trifles: Reflections III

    You can access these instances by completing the relevant quests or, if already completed, by visiting the appropriate Reflecting Pool.
    • Complete instance: The Drowned Treasury - Vol. 2, Book 4 or Twenty-first Hall Reflecting Pool, Moria
    • Complete instance: New Devilry - Vol. 2, Book 6 or Twenty-first Hall Reflecting Pool, Moria
    • Complete instance: The Mirror of Galadriel - Vol. 2, Book 6 or Caras Galadhon Reflecting Pool, Lothlórien
    • Complete instance: A Cornered Foe - Scuttledells quests, Mirkwood or Ost Galadh Reflecting Pool, Mirkwood
    • Complete instance: In the Presence of Saruman - Vol. 3, Book 4 or Gravenwood Reflecting Pool, Dunland (at Rohirrim Scout-camp)
    • Complete instance: Battle of the Ford, Sunset - Vol. 3, Book 5 or Gravenwood Reflecting Pool, Dunland (at Rohirrim Scout-camp)
    • Complete instance: Troubled Dreams - Vol. 3, Book 6 or Gravenwood Reflecting Pool, Dunland (at Rohirrim Scout-camp)
    • Complete instance: Lords of the Eastemnet - rebuild Hytbold quests or Snowbourn Reflecting Pool, East Rohan
    • Complete instance: The Battle for Hytbold - rebuild Hytbold quests or Snowbourn Reflecting Pool, East Rohan
    • Complete instance: Theoden, Son of Thengel - Vol. 3, Book 11 or Dunharrow Reflecting Pool, Kingstead, West Rohan

    Year 9 Trifles: Up for a Challenge

    • Defeat some foes in Sarnúr - Sarnúr, Ered Luin
    • Defeat some foes in Ost Alagos - Ost Alagos, Weather Hills, Bree-land
    • Defeat some foes in Garth Agarwen - Garth Agarwen, The Lone-lands
    • Defeat some foes in Hîsuk - Dol Dínen, The North Downs
    • Defeat some foes in Annúminas - Annúminas, Evendim
    • Defeat some foes in Giant Valley - Giant Valley, The Trollshaws
    • Defeat some foes in Giant Halls - Giant Halls, The Misty Mountains
    • Defeat some foes in Limlight Gorge - Limlight Gorge, The Great River
    • Defeat some foes in Tarlang's Crown - Tarlang's Crown, Blackroot Vale, Western Gondor

    Tear 10 Trifles: Enormous Beasts

    There are many places in Middle Earth where you could find these creatures. Below are some examples.
    • Defeat some Gorthorog - Annúminas, Evendim
    • Defeat some Stone-trolls - Ost Belegram or Ost Thondol, The Trollshaws
    • Defeat some trolls - Giant's Valley, The Trollshaws
    • Defeat some drakes - Giant's Valley, The Trollshaws
    • Defeat some giants - Giant's Valley, The Trollshaws
    • Defeat some mammoths - Giant Halls, The Misty Mountains
    • Defeat some Huorn - Eaves of Fangorn, East Rohan

    A Journey Through Middle Earth

    Complete scavenger hunts from all ten years to earn 3 anniversary tokens, Armour of the Reminiscing Dragon (cosmetic armour set), Tome of the Majestic White Stag (pet), Steed of the Reminiscing Dragon (mount) and the title "Versed in Yesteryear".


    Reminiscing Dragon Armour and Steed

    Majestic White Stag

    • Complete any Year 1 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, The Stone of Erech (housing decoration), Farmer Maggot's Dog (pet) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 2 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Little Old Man Willow (housing decoration), Bill the Pony (pet) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 3 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Dwarf Well (housing decoration), Raven (pet) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 4 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Banner of the Paths of the Dead (housing decoration), Tarkrîp Clan Shield (cosmetic shield) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 5 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Treebeard's Ladle (cosmetic axe), Fishing Creel (cosmetic backpack) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 6 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Friendly Deer (cosmetic pet), Puffy Sheep (cosmetic pet) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 7 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Legolas' Cloak (cosmetic cloak), Legolas' Hooded Cloak (cosmetic cloak), Quiet Cow (pet) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 8 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Caras Galadhon Mirror (housing decoration), Happy Pig (pet) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 9 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Erebrandir's Other Horseshoe (pocket item), Sand Castle (housing decoration), Radagast's Cloak (cosmetic cloak), Radagast's Hooded Cloak (cosmetic cloak) and Scrap Paper.
    • Complete any Year 10 scavenger hunt and earn 1 anniversary token, Cloak Rack (housing decoration), Hobbit Cupboard (housing decoration) and Scrap Paper.
    (I don't know if the Scrap Paper has a purpose but I'm hanging on to it just in case). *Update - for more information about the Scrap Paper, see my Anniversary Scavenger Hunt Finale.*


    Stone of Erech
    Year 1

    Farmer Maggot's Dog
    Year 1

    Little Old Man Willow
    Year 2

    Bill the Pony
    Year 2

    Dwarf Well
    Year 3

    Raven
    Year 3

    Banner of the Paths of the Dead
    Year 4

    Tarkrip Clan Shield
    Year 4
    (The Tarkrîp Clan Shield will probably change ..."The Tarkrîp Clan Shield is indeed using an incorrect appearance. I would encourage you to hold onto the cosmetic item rather than destroying it until the problem can be rectified and you can make a decision based on its intended look." - Tybur )

    Treebeard's Ladle
    Year 5

    Fishing Creel
    Year 5

    Friendly Deer
    Year 6

    Puffy Sheep
    Year 6

    Legolas' (Hooded) Cloak
    Year 7

    Quiet Cow
    Year 7

    Caras Galadhon Mirror
    Year 8

    Happy Pig
    Year 8

    Radagast's (Hooded) Cloak
    Year 9

    Sand Castle
    Year 9

    Cloak Rack
    Year 10

    Hobbit Cupboard
    Year 10