Lord of the Rings Online: Making and Keeping Silver in your 20s
MMORPG.com Lord of the Rings Online Correspondent Jim Braner writes this article full of handy tips for making and holding onto money in Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online
Middle Earth and all its amenities can very entertaining, but it can also be very expensive. It seems at about level 20 or so you get that "want to buy a horse/pony" panic; or maybe you just want to splurge on that item from the Auction House. Luckily, there are several very easy ways for a level 20ish character to save and make silver in the Lone Lands and North Downs.
The first and probably most obvious is to stop buying horses to take you between the various towns. It is nice and saves time, but the 20 silver to take you from Bree to Ost Guruth really adds up. Not only are you out the 40 silver on a round trip, but also anything you can pick up along the way. Depending on your level, there are plenty of wargs, boars, and goblins to slay while you walk. You get their xp and a decent amount of copper from the loot. If you are a prospector on a horse, you are passing up a lot of opportunity. There are something like 15 common spots that ore appears just a short distance off the road. Wood is a little less common, but gathered up near the spots with bunches of, you guessed it, trees. So walk around and gather it up! After all, nothing says walking from town to town has to be boring. With all your gathered items, hit up the /trade channel and sell it. With that said, please don't run from Bree back to Thorin's Gate for any reason. The 1 silver for a fast travel is a negligible expense when you look at the time saved.
In addition to selling raw wood and ore, you can also make something. Cooking and farming are two really easy professions that don't require you to move around, just to spend some silver. Cooking is kind of a gamble for profit. Some people like to buy stat food, others do not. Farming too is a gamble, but a little bit safer. As a farmer you can sell what you make to cooks. You can also grow pipe-weed. Now anyone can /smoke or /smoke1 in game, but using pipe-weed makes it special. Some varieties show you blowing smoke rings, colors, or even a sailing ship! If you want a sure way to make some coin for your trouble do something with all those hides, ore, and wood you have collected. Almost every class needs light or medium armor for their beginning levels. Boil the hides you have collected and sell them off to an armorer. Those stacks of wood can be waxed and made into bows, staves, and now spears and javelins. Making the actual weapons isn't the most lucrative method though; sell the wood to a woodworker after you wax it up. Alternatively, you can stick your stacks of items into the Auction House if you are ok waiting for a bit.
If you have a decent number of hides saved up you can do a little something for yourself: get some armor made. Getting a full set of armor every five or so levels, when available, will save you a lot of silver. By keeping to the bleeding edge of armor, you keep your AC up and get nice stat boosts from it. Not to mention you probably won't have to pay to repair the old stuff because it won't wear out and since your AC is so high you might not die as much. Not dieing means not losing a bit of condition on every item on you and in your inventory. It may seem trivial but it adds up extremely quickly. Before you get your set of armor made, find a tailor and see what item is needed to increase the critical success of the items. Sometimes you will get lucky and it will be an easy to farm item like Scared Warg Tails; tough other times it can be Heart Wood, drops from the Elite Trees of the Old Forest.
At about level 20 you can leave Bree-Land and try out the Lone Lands. The Lone Lands are full of things to kill and quests, but severely lacking in trainers. In fact, there are none. Nor is there an Auction House or a Vault. All of those amenities can be found in Bree, and you will be going there often. And if you are already saving silver by not purchasing rides what are you left to? A nice long run or using your Map. Yes! It is simple, it is easy. Leave your Home location in one of three Bree Milestones. You will still have to run back to the Lone Lands, but you at least cut your time running in half. And while it would be nice to have your home in the safety of Ost Guruth, it is a much closer run to there from anywhere in the Lone Lands than to Bree; just run it. Just across the road from Ost Guruth and a little to the West lies a large ruin called Ost Cryn.
The ruins are filled with Orcs just waiting to drop their silver for you. While there are a good many of them, they are also spread out and you can easily pull just one or two at a time. Once you find your way to level 25, rejoice, for your grinding is about to become a lot more profitable. Head North of Bree-Land to the North Downs. Just inside the zone is Trestlebridge, a town complete with a small crafting area. Just beyond there are many small Orc camps. Have your way with them and get into quests from Trestlebridge; many of them have you grind the Orcs you already are. If you follow the road North out of Trestlebridge and turn east when you can you will run into Esteldon. Find the Milestone just inside its walls for this town has a Vault, Craft Hall, and trainers; no more Bree runs for you! When you are comfortable there you can venture all over the North Downs slaying Orcs, Giants, Dwarves, and Hillmen. Hillmen are a bit higher than you, at level 35, but drop about 3 silver each plus the items you loot.
If you find you are trying to use your map before it cools down, you can try something else too. An alternative to Mapping is using Traveling Rations and your skills "Travel to Kinship House" or "Travel to My House". That is assuming your house or kinship house is in the Bree-Homesteads or whereever you are trying to get to. Note that it will cost you two Traveling Ration at 2 silver apiece, 4 silver total. This is not a horribly expensive way to travel and can usually take you a lot further of distances for cheaper than a rented horse. If you are a Hunter you can also use your "Guide to 'location'" skills. This will take up a Traveling ration for you and everyone in your fellowship. If you aren't a Hunter, you can find one easily. It is common enough to see people in the OOC (Out Of Character) channel asking for ports to various towns. Just try to realize that there are not ports to smaller places, like the Forsaken Inn or Trestlebridge. That you will have to run from Bree, Ost Guruth, or Esteldin. And remember to repay that friendly Hunter at least the cost of the Traveling Ration!