Note: This article refers to information available prior to the launch of LOTRO F2P. This information has been integrated into our other guides.
Crafting is another game system seeing some changes with the launch of LOTRO free-to-play. While the changes are not massive, they do raise an important question: Is crafting still worth it?
The Supply and Demand OutlookThe outlook for crafted gear is mixed. While the influx of new players at launch will see renewed interest crafted goods, especially at low levels, good alternatives to crafted gear have also increased. Players will be able to start skirmishes at level 20, and the skirmish barter vendor now offers a handful of options in each level range that are comparable to “crit” crafted gear. Players who group up for Great Barrow and later instances will have additional gear set options.
On the other hand, the outlook for consumables is rosy. Food, scrolls and hope tokens are still very helpful for speeding up leveling and beating tough encounters. Sure, some folks will buy consumables from the store, but most will save their TP for items that can’t be bought in-game.
Finally, class items and crafted legendary items should enjoy a small, but steady market.
More Crits While LevelingPerhaps the biggest change to crafting mechanics is that you will be able to crit a recipe (and use crit components) in the second anvil of a tier, when you are still working toward mastery. This is great news for new players, since it means you’ll be able to get much more use out of crit gear that you’ve crafted yourself. You’ll still want to complete mastery on each tier though -- you can only have the second anvil open on one tier at a time.
Other Changes Now in Beta
Training for Gathering Professions. Prospectors, foresters and farmers, beware! After F2P launches, you’ll need to complete a "read a book" quest from a crafting supplier to unlock the second anvil of each tier.
Unlock for Crafting Guilds. Everyone can join a crafting guild once they are at the expert tier of a profession, but Free and Premium players have to buy access to the crafting guild from the store to advance farther than acquaintance standing with the guild. You can buy and make the guild reputation recipes for crafting tiers you have achieved, and stockpile the reputation items prior to buying the guild unlock. But you'll need that unlock to buy and use guild recipes for improved outputs, including "crit" gear. Special thanks to Ajay for helping us figure this one out!
Cooked Food. Food now boosts in-combat morale and power regeneration ratings instead of pulsing a heal or power restore every 30 seconds. While the net effect of the food will be the same in most cases, expect lots of discussion about this change - especially as it relates to the Lieutenant fight in Dol Guldur, Champion’s incoming heal penalty in Fervour and the ICMR/ICPR caps.
Crafting Panel. Jewellers, Metalsmiths, Tailors, Weaponsmiths and Woodworkers will enjoy the new sub-categories that group gear recipes by the level of the item they produce.
Armaments and Standards. New Tier 6 recipes (dropped) for Captain’s armaments and standards. With the changes to the captain class, expect these to be popular.
Farming in Ered Luin? In Beta, there is a door outside Thorin’s Hall to a new zone called The Greenhouse, which has normal farming fields inside (but no superior fields). The catch? No farming vendors or workbench yet, so this may not go live with F2P launch.