Monday, 28 July 2008


The appearance of new content usually provokes rumbles in the LOTRO economy, and Book 14 has been no exception. One major new factor has been the ring lore quests - 70,000 of them per server before the gates to Eregion are opened. Each of the 70,000 quests is rewarded with a chest containing a item of some kind; these range from second-tier rep items all the way up to (or so rumour, or a single post on the Codemasters forum would suggest) a Helchgam's slime - one example of which was sold on the AH about a month ago for 20G. Don't hold your breath, though.

The vast majority of rewards are third-tier rep items, and this has definitely impacted on their price in the AH. Luistins (Lossoth rep items) which were selling for up to 475s in early July are now averaging 150s, and War Dispatches are down to around 300s from 450s. In general, the best-selling rep items are still those for the tougher or more useful factions, namely Lossoth, Council of the North and Elves of Rivendell, and while the price of these has all dropped, the demand is still there.

Interestingly, though Beryl Shards are now dropping (though not very often) from more mobs than before, the price of this perennial market indicator has remained surprisingly firm throughout July, and still averages about 750s. Exceptional Hides, most easily farmed in Forochel, are also maintaining their price, averaging about 400s for fifty.

Slightly more recipes seem to be dropping from mobs. Though down by about 25% on a couple of months ago, top prices can still be achieved by recipes for polished weapons and engraved beryl jewelery; recent examples were 1G, 500s for a Polished Ancient Steel Dagger recipe, and 2G, 100s for an Engraved Beryl Earring recipe. The new woodworking recipes and scholar's dye recipes are also in demand at the moment, but the market for the commoner recipes, including many that are single-use, has sagged badly.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


Legendary items have made their first appearance with Book 14. So far, we have seen items in four categories: “Common” (usually grey icons), “Uncommon” (green icons), “Rare” (purple icons) and “Incomparable” (teal icons). The colour coding has not been entirely uniform, since a number of items such as trophies and components don’t always follow the rules, but it is usually valid for armour, weapons and jewellery. It is worth noting that there has been some confusion in the past over the precise character of “Legendary” items; for example, the LOTRO online database MMODB includes a long list of Legendary items which are in fact only Incomparable (teal).

It is now confirmed that the icons for true Legendary items will have a gold (or deep yellow) background to their icons. So far, four Legendary items have surfaced, but disappointingly, they turn out to be nothing more than re-classified Balrog drops: a necklace, an earring, a pocket item and the Wig-feld cloak. The three items of jewellery are good but not stunning, and depending on your class, they may or may not be an improvement on the best teals; Wig-feld is probably the finest general-purpose cloak available to date. All four of these drops are rare to extremely rare.

Saturday, 5 July 2008


Rarely Seen Sights, II: The Drowned King

One of the best things about LOTRO is the way in which the designers have lavished care and imagination on all aspects of the world, not just the ones directly implicated in moving the plot forward; this means that the more adventurous players - the ones who take pleasure in exploring Middle-Earth, rather than just running a race with themselves - are constantly coming across interesting scenes and arresting details.

This giant statue of an Arnorian king, half-drowned in the waters of Lake Evendim, can be found in the warren of submerged docks and streets in the south-west corner of Annuminas, in the shadow of the island fortress; the area is clear of Angmarim patrols and there are no material rewards to be found there, but it is one of the game's more magical spots, particularly by moonlight.