Weekly Poll (Very Important Again)

Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

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Weekly Screenshot May 28th – June 4th

What you lookin’ at frog?

Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

Weekly Screenshot May 28th – June 4th

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Spring Festival 2012 Is Here! – A Guide Of Sorts

The Spring Festival Is Live In Lotro

Already? I know, it feels like a week since the anniversary festival, but we arrive at yet another lotro festival, outfitted with repeatable dailies and many prizes.

What To Do?

The three main areas of this year’s festival are Bree Festival Grounds (The Hedge Maze included), The Festival Arena in Duillond, and the Shire Party Tree. As well as these festival areas, Thorin’s Hall has some Ale Association quests, so it is a great place to get drunk…I mean have fun.

Bree Land Festival and Hedge Maze To-Do list

Below is my recommended to-do list for the Bree-Land Festival Grounds and the Hedge Maze.

1. The Green Challenge – Get to the center of the Maze, find the keg, and get to the exit in three minutes. 

This is a favorite of mine because it rewards an interactive house item (see What You Can Get) and gives you the drunk effect. Note that this quest is only available to members of the Inn League.

2. Disorientation – Find and drink 6 Dire Brews in the span of ten minutes.

This one can be either really easy, or really difficult, depending on your knowledge of the maze and luck. The gist of it is that when you drink beers scattered throughout the maze, you teleport to a random location in the maze and continue from there.

3. A Fool’s Errand – Work your way through the maze in three minutes.

Although at first it might seem impossible, with practice it actually becomes very easy and doable. This is the last in a quest chain and the only quest in the chain to be repeatable daily.

4. Misplaced Companions, A Laugh at the Lost – These are both quests that require you to find and use a number of items or NPCs in the maze. 

Both of these quests are untimed, and very easy to complete, so it is nice to have them in the back of your mind while wandering the maze. Also, the Laugh at the Lost quest does not become available until you have completed the Misplaced Companions Quest.

5. Terrible Tweens – Find and apprehend misbehaving hobbits in the maze

This quest is at the bottom of my to-do list because of its level of agonization. First, the tweens you have to find are marked by a quest ring on your minimap, but they move, and the layout of the maze is such that you are very close to one of the rings, yet it is behind a wall or in another section of the maze entirely. Second, the tweens teleport around the maze, which is very annoying if you are chasing one of them. Thirdly, The tweens utter completely annoyingly terrible puns such as “This place is a-maze-ing” UGH!!!

What I do not recommend for the Bree-Land Festival Grounds

1. The Dance Quest. Reasons: Extremely long cooldown, difficulty, not great rewards.

2. The Chicken Dash. Reasons: Every time I get the notification that the quest is available, I am in the middle of a timed quest, and by the time it ends, the chickens have escaped. Also, 45 minute cooldown.

No Comment – Bree-Land Festival Grounds

The Horse Races

Duillond Stomp-A-Shrew To-Do List

This List is kind of short just because I do not enjoy the quests in this area of the festival.

1. Duillond Stomp-A-Shrew variety quests – A set of quests that you can choose from that vary in objective.

Most comparable to the Beer Battles of the Anniversary, this quest set challenges you to stomp shrews running around in the Festival Garden. I personally do not enjoy these quests, but put them first due to overall popularity. Proish Tip: Turn off floaty names (N key), this makes it easier to select the shrews and use the tab key to select the nearest shrew

2. A Shortage of Boots – Gather materials for the Festival Boot-Maker from around Falathorn and Celondim.

This is probably my favorite quest in the Duillond Festival Area. The initial quest is an arc with three subquests, but once that is completed, there is a daily without the subquests. Overall, an easy 2 spring leaves.

3. A Proper Festival – Gather Spring Flowers and plant them in the Festival Garden

A very easy gathering quest that is repeatable daily. The flowers are just outside the Festival Garden, so it is very easy to complete.

4. How The Shire Shoos Shrews – Talk two three farmers throughout the Shire and report back to Duillond

This one is at the bottom because it takes you to another zone entirely. I recommend only doing this quest if you are passing through the Shire.

What I Do Not Recommend For The Duillond Stomp-A-Shrew Event

Stomp-A-Shrew — An Enormous Shrew. There is only one enormous shrew per event and the chances of you getting it are very small, also, it requires an entirely different set of boots to stomp with, not worth the five spring leaves.

The Shire Bullroarer Celebrations

This is only one quest chain concluding in a two repeatable dailies.

I wholeheartedly recommend this quest chain to be completed because the resulting dailies are my favorite quests in the whole festival.

1. Bullroarer’s Challenge – Drink a beer and don’t fall off of the fence

This is my favorite of all of the quests for this year’s festival, and it yields some great prizes. There are two repeatable dailies for this event. One is simple, the other is more advanced. The gist of it is that you have to cross a gap only walking on a fence, while drunk. It might seem hard, but look below for some proish tips. The basic difficulty gives you plenty of time, while the advanced difficulty challenges you to cross it in under 20 seconds!

Pro-ish tips for the Shire Bullroarer’s Celebration

1. Don’t sweat it. If you fail a quest, the retry is available every 20 seconds or so. Use that cooldown time to practice crossing the fence.

2. Hurry Up. Don’t overthink it. I have found that the best way to accomplish this is if you treat even the simple difficulty as if you only had 20 seconds. Having that momentum definitely helps.

3. Drunk = Harder. If you are finding it hard to accomplish due to the drunken effects, turn them off by disabling Post-Processing effects in the advanced graphics panel of the options menu.

4. No Leaves. Neither of the difficulties give you spring leaves as a reward, so don’t do these if you want to farm the leaves, no pun intended.

Flower Quests

This is a series of quests much like the Bullroarer’s Brew quests. Once you complete them, there is a daily quest that unlocks much like the envelope quest from the anniversary festival.

I recommend this quest only if you are very bored, or want a beautiful horse. Basically, the quest gives you an hour to run around middle-earth and collect patches of flowers, Marigold near Michel-Delving, Violet near Breetown, and Primroses near Celondim. When the timer expires, take your collected flowers to Gredlan Mugwort in Bree to trade in for Gift Boxes. Reminder that these gift boxes cost six of each type of flower, so collect somewhat near to an equal amount of each flower. In these gift boxes drop random items, such as cook and farmer recipies, misc. Main-hand items, and a new horse. (For more details, see below)

Pro-ish tip

These flowers remain in your inventory even after the  quest timer expires. I recommend holding onto all of them until the end of the festival, when you can get a whoppingly large amount of giftboxes

Also, there are three colors of Gift Boxes, Blue, Red, and Green. The colors of dyes dropped from these boxes seem to correspond with the color of the box, but the new horse dropped from each color box.

What You Can Get


There is a new horse for this year’s festival, as well as a horse that drops randomly in the flower quests.

This is the new 2012 Simbelmyne Steed!

Speed: 62%

Morale: 200

Cost: 2 Spring Race Tokens, 1 Document of Mount Ownership, 40 Spring Leaves

This is the 2011 Springtime Steed

Speed: 62%

Morale: 100

Cost: 1 Spring Race Token, 1 Document of Mount Ownership, 20 Spring Leaves

This is the Steed Of The Jester, the horse that drops from the Gift Boxes.

Speed: 68%

Morale: 250

Special: Makes a jingling sound when you ride


Cost: 3 Spring Leaves

Special: Gives you fortune cookies, used for fortune cookie deeds

Cost: 3 Spring leaves

Cost: 3 Spring Leaves

Cost: 3 Spring Leaves

Cost: 2 Spring Leaves

Cost: 20 Spring Leaves


Long-Sleeved Spring Flinger Hauberk

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

Short Sleeved Spring Flinger Hauberk

Cost: 13 Spring Flinger Hauberk

Spring Adventurer’s Quiver

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

Spring Flinger hat

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

Spring Flinger Cloak

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

Spring Flinger hooded cloak

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

Spring Dandy Cloak

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

Spring Dandy hooded cloak

Cost: 13 Spring Leaves

White Rose Circlet

Cost: 15 Spring Leaves

Slapper Fish

Cost: 15 Spring Leaves

Wide Brimmed Spring Hat

Cost: 15 Spring Leaves

Simbelmyne Circlet

Cost: 15 Spring Leaves

Simbelmyne Spring Cloak

Cost: 18 Spring Leaves

Simbelmyne Tunic and Trousers

Cost: 18 Spring Leaves

Simbelmyne Dress


Cost: 18 Spring Leaves

Cold Fish

Cost: 15 Spring Leaves

Special: Grants /fishslap emote







All photos of horses, cosmetics, and consumable rewards courtesy of CasualStrollToMordor. http://www.casualstrolltomordor.com

Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

Question to the viewer

Are you going to participate in the 2012 Spring Festival?

Answer in the comments

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Weekly Poll: May 21st -May 28th (Very Important, Read Below)

I am about to start my leveling guides and I thought it would be a good idea to ask you all which server I should level my walkthrough characters on. Unfortunately, these are the only servers I am considering leveling on, so I am sorry if your server is not on the list.

Very Important!!!!!

I also wanted to leave it up to you guys as to what race/class combo I should use as my first one. Please leave a comment.


Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

Posted in Back to the Basics | 3 Comments

Weekly Screenshot May 21st – May 28th




Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

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Back to the Basics: Character Creation Part 2: Classes and Appearance Customization

Choosing A Class

So you have chosen your race, be it Man, Elf, Hobbit, or Dwarf, now comes the time to choose the main driving force behind your character. Classes are the most influential customization you can apply to your character. That is why it is good that Lotro has such a diverse class selection system, ranging from Warden to Loremaster and Burglar to Captian.

Class mainly determines what role your character will be playing, your playstyle, and the skill you will be using to combat the dark shadow of Mordor. Class also determines what weapons, armor, and other such items your character will be able to wear.

So You Think You Can Choose A Class?

The first thing to take into consideration when choosing a class is to determine what role you want your character to be playing. This basically means: What do I want to do? Simple right? Well, sort of. At the beginning, the game teaches you to play your class in a tutorial area of sorts (future Introduction Guide coming). As you level your character, your role becomes more complicated, as your skill list gets deeper and more in depth, and you are able to do more things.

But all that aside, choosing a class is basically choosing how you want to play the game. So let’s get into it.

Dramatis Personae


Difficulty: Advanced

Specialties: Debuffs, Fellowship Maneuvers.

Pros: Stealth skill, Easy to Solo, Moderate DPS

Cons: Low health, Medium Armor only, Advanced Tactics


Difficulty: Moderate

Specialties: Jack of All Trades

Pros: Healing Abilities, Pet Class, Easy to Solo

Cons: Sometimes spread too thin, Advanced Tactics, Easily by-passable in a grouping situation


Difficulty: Basic

Specialties: DPS, and AoE

Pros: High DPS, Easy to Play, Easy to Level

Cons: Not much range in Abilities, Can be Squishy


Difficulty: Basic

Specialties: Tanking

Pros: Easy to be kept alive, Easy to do your job

Cons: Slow to level, Power Management


Difficulty: Basic

Specialties: Ranged DPS

Pros: Ranged, Well-Rounded, Port Skills

Cons: Can be Squishy, Power Management (sometimes)


Difficulty: Advanced

Specialties: Crowd Control, Healing, Power Regen,

Pros: Many talented, Pet Class

Cons: Power Management, Advanced Tactics, Squishy


Difficulty: Moderate

Specialties: Healing

Pros: Great Healing, No Problem finding groups

Cons: Not many damaging skills, Hard to solo


Difficulty: Advanced

Specialties: DPS/Healing

Pros: Very Powerful, Many Talented

Cons: Hard to switch between roles, Hard class quests


Difficulty: Advanced

Specialties: Tanking

Pros: Well-Rounded, Very Powerful

Cons: Gambit System is hard to learn, Hard to find high-level groups

After reading the above, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want your character’s class to be. If you can’t decide between two of them, create two characters (A free account has two character slots per server). So you have successfully chosen your role(s) and are ready to hop into game!

Whoa! wait a sec, you don’t want a balding dude in underpants strolling across Middle Earth do you?

If you were wondering, the answer is no. But seriously, it is time to create your character. After choosing your class and race, you are ready to proceed to advanced appearance customization. To do so, click continue in the bottom right of the screen. Then you should be transported to a screen something like this.

Depending on your class and race, your screen will probably look different from mine, as mine is a Man Champion. You will see many different buttons on this screen, but they are pretty straightforward to use.

Customizing Your Character

To the far right, your details can be customized, such as you hair, face, and/or some combination of the two. To the left of the screen is the basic customizations, such as where your character is from specifically. Also, name suggestions and tips are below the region selector.

As the Race of  Man, you can choose to make your character originate from Bree-land, Dale-lands, Gondor, or Rohan. As an Elf, you can originate from Lindon, Lorien, Mirkwood, Rivendell, or Edhellond. As a Hobbit, you can be a Fallohide, Harfoot, or Stoor. And as a Dwarf, the nationalities are the Blue Mountains, Iron Hills, Lonely Mountain, Grey Mountains, and White Mountains.

Region of Origins do not affect your character in any way except for specializing the color of hair, eyes, and skin that you can choose for your character. If you are a Man who originates from Rohan, you do not start in a level 75-85 zone.

The rest of the character customization is purely cosmetic. There are many great guides on the different looks you can customize your character with that I will link to at the bottom of this post. The different races and classes all have different customization, so feel free to just play around with your looks.


 Barbers can change many of your character’s appearances in game, after the initial character creation, including hair style, facial hair, hair colour, facial details such as scars, wrinkles, and freckles. Barbers are not able to change facial structures like the shapes of noses or eyes. Barbers are located in Rivendell, Bree, Michel Delving, Thorin’s Hall, and Galtrev. Please note that it does cost money to rearrange your appearances.

What Do You Want?

Just remember that the character that you choose is what people are going to view you as. These people over the internet have no idea of what you actually look like, so choose something that you feel comfortable with. For example, many real-life males tend to choose female avatars (also called toons) for some wierd scientific reason, so feel free to choose whatever you want, just don’t hope to be a dwarf female.














Question to the reader

What made you choose the Class you did?

Ben, Middleearthinitative


Posted in Back to the Basics | 4 Comments

Weekly Poll: Fifth Anniversary Accomplishments

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Weekly Screenshot: May 14th – May 21st

Horse Parade In Bree

Weekly Screenshot May 14th – May 21st

Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

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Back To The Basics: Character Creation Part 1: Interface and Races

Character Creation

After you have chosen a world for your character, it is time to create said character. One thing that sets Lotro apart from other MMOs is its vast, lore-accurate, character customization system. When you first log into your server to create your own character, the screen will look something like this.


To the left of the screen is your initial customization bar. This is where you select your character’s race, class and gender (if applicable). Before we get into the customization itself, let’s just go over the basic layout of the screen. Other than the customization bars to the left, there are also interactive features on the bottom and right side of your screen.

On the bottom, there is a control center where you can control the camera’s view of your character, zooming in and out as you wish. The arrows also rotate your character. The two buttons to either side of the camera controls are for exiting or advancing in the character creation. Clicking Exit Character Creation will send you back to the library of all of your created characters. Clicking Continue will send you into the appearance section of Character Creation.

To the right of your screen, there are two boxes with extra information about the race and class that you are choosing. With each race, there are either four or five characteristics that your character naturally obtains. By hovering over the icons, the statistics for each of those characteristics will be displayed in a pop-up box. In the lower right-hand box, the specifications for the class you have chosen will be detailed. You may wish to browse through the lore of your class if you so desire.

In each of the right hand boxes, there are buttons that say “play movie”. Clicking those will launch a narrated short that describes either the race or class chosen. Hitting Exit Movie or Esc will send you back to the character customization screen.


In Lotro, there are four playable races, excluding monster races. They are Man, Dwarf, Hobbit, Elf. Anyone familiar with the works of Tolkein will be familiar with these races, as they are the main races in the Lord of the Rings books and movies (as well as The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and other Tolkein literature).

The Race of Man – The youngest of all of the races in Middle-Earth. The Race of Man is the most generic of all of the races, and has the most classes available to it.

Available Classes

Burglar, Captain, Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Loremaster, Minstrel, Warden.


Gift of Men: +15 fate

Diminishing of Mankind: -7 will

Easily Inspired: +5% incoming healing

Strong Men: +15 might

Men from Tolkein lore: Boromir, Aragorn, Eowyn, Theoden

Dwarves – One of the oldest Races in Middle-Earth, these Miners have constructed some of the greatest monuments in all of the realm. The Dwarves only have a male option available, and there is only one female dwarf ever mentioned in all of Tolkein’s literature.

Available Classes

Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel, Runekeeper


Sturdiness: +15 might, +10 Vitality, +1% common mitigation

Stocky: -7 Agility

Lost Dwarf Kingdoms: -7 Fate

Unweary In Battle: +30 in combat power and morale regen, -60 non-combat morale regen, -30 non-combat power regen

One-handed Axes: Allows the use of one-handed axes

Dwarves from Tolkein lore – Gimli, Thorin Oakensheild, Thrain, Bombur

Hobbits – The Shire-dwelling folk of Middle-Earth, the hobbits live in relative peace and comfort, although war is threatening their borders. Hobbits, along with dwarves are the only race that rides ponies instead of full-grown horses.

Available Classes

Burglar, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel, Warden


Small Size: -7 might

Hobbit-toughness: +15 vitality

Rapid Recovery: +60 non-combat morale regen

Hobbit-courage: +1% fear resistance

Resist Corruption: +1% shadow mitigation

Hobbits from Tolkein lore – Frodo Baggins, Bullroarer Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Bilbo Baggins, Smeagol

Elves – The oldest race in Middle-Earth, elves are very graceful and wise. Elves are the least known race, and are considered alien to some, especially Hobbits.

Available Classes 

Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Loremaster, Minstrel, Runekeeper, Warden


Sorrow Of The Firstborn: -20 Maximum Morale, -60 non-combat morale regen

Agility Of The Woods: +15 Agility

Fading Of The Firstborn: -7 Fate

Suffer No Illness: +1% Disease Resistance, +1% Poison Resistance

Elves from Tolkein Lore – Galadriel, Elrond Halfelven, Glithoniel, Tinuvel

That’s it for this post. Basic Class guides should be coming soon as well as appearance guides.

Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

Posted in Back to the Basics | 9 Comments

Thank You Lotro Academy!

Lotro Academy

I would like to give a huge thank you to Branick from Lotro Academy for linking MiddleEarthInitiative on their main site.

What is Lotro Academy?

Unless you are new to Lotro, or have been living under a rock, you are probably wondering what Lotro Academy is. Lotro Academy is a Lotro podcast that gives helpful information to new and veteran players alike. I would recommend downloading some of their older podcasts, as they address topics more focused towards beginner players in those episodes. The second action I would take would be to subscribe to their podcast, and bookmark their homepage. Lotro Academy is hosted by two amazing hosts, Branick and Mysteri, and they help give life to their podcasts.

Link To Lotro Academy


check out the link to MiddleEarthInitiative link in the lower left of the site.


Give them lots of love and tell them MiddleEarthInitiative sent you.


Ben, MiddleEarthInitiative

Posted in General | 1 Comment