Valar Guild

Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online Basics as of Helm's Deep

Basic information for those wishing to get started in Lord of the Rings Online. This is not meant to be exhaustive, merely to cover the most basic info.

Some Basic Terminology

Some basic terms that are useful to understand (this is not meant to be exhaustive):

  • PvE - Player vs Environment. Ex: Quests, dungeons, raids.
  • PvP - Player vs Player. Ex. Battlegrounds, Arenas, Duels; any time you engage another player character in combat.
  • PvMP - Player vs Monster Player. LotRO's spin on PvP.
  • Tank - The characters who are supposed to hold the attention of the enemy creatures.
  • Healer - The characters who are supposed to keep everyone alive.
  • DPS - "Damage per Second." Used for both the damage itself and the characters who are supposed to be maximizing it so the enemy dies before the group does.
  • Add - "Add"itional target introduced during a fight.
  • Morale - This is what would be called "HP", "Hit Points", or "Life" in other games. It represents your will to carry on. When it reaches 0, you're done.
  • Power - This is what you use to activate abilities.
  • You do not "die" in LotRO. You are "defeated."
The Free Peoples

There is one faction players are a part of for PvE: The Free Peoples of Middle-earth.

There are four races to choose from: Man (Humanity), Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits. Each race has certain racial traits that affect the character's stats.

Within each race, you have the choice of the group/nationality to which you belong.

  • Beornings are both a class and a race.
  • Dwarves hail from the Blue Mountains, the Grey Mountains, the Iron Hills, The Loneley Mountain, or the White Mountains.
  • Elves hail from Edhellond, Lindon, Lorien, Mirkwood, or Rivendell.
  • Hobbits can be of the Fallohide, Harfoot, or Stoor branches.
  • Men hail from Bree-land, the Dale-lands, Gondor, or Rohan.
PvP and Monster Play

In addition to PvE, the Free Peoples may participate in PvMP in the Ettenmoors.

It is also possible to play "monsters" serving Sauron in the Ettenmoors. These include Orcs, wolves, and spiders. These servants of the enemy do battle with the Free Peoples for control of strategic points, but they start off in a safe zone with their own quests.

  • Stalkers are wargs.
  • Weavers are spiders.
  • Black Arrows, Defilers, Reavers, and Warleaders are orcs.

Sometimes PvMP is also referred to unoffically as "Freeps vs Creeps" ("freeps" as in "Free Peoples", and "creeps" as "Creature Players").

Classes, Specs, and Roles

There are ten classes to choose from: Beorning, Burglar, Captain, Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-master, Mintrel, Rune-keeper, and Warden.

Certain classes are limited to certain races, while others can be played by all races.

  • Beornings are both a class and a race.
  • Burglars can be Men or Hobbits.
  • Captains can only be Men.
  • Champions can be any race but Hobbits.
  • Guardians can be any race.
  • Hunters can be any race.
  • Lore-masters can be Elves or Men.
  • Minstrels can be any race.
  • Rune-keepers can be Dwarves or Elves.
  • Wardens can be any race but Dwarves.

Each class has 3 trait trees which allow them to perform different functions, or the same function in different ways.

There are four primary roles characters fulfill: Tank, Healer, Damage, and Support.

If you want to tank, you can be a:

  • Beorning
  • Champion
  • Guardian
  • Warden

If you want to heal, you can be a:

  • Beorning
  • Lore-master
  • Minstrel
  • Rune-keeper

If you want to focus on damage, you can be a:

  • Champion
  • Hunter
  • Rune-keeper
  • Warden

If you want to focus on supporting your allies, you can be a:

  • Burglar
  • Captain
  • Lore-master
Armor and Weapons

There are three armor types: Light, Medium, and Heavy.

Some classes start at a lower armor type, then graduate to their final armor type. You should be wearing the highest armour type you are able to.

You wear Light Armour if you are a:

  • Burglar
  • Lore-master
  • Minstrel
  • Rune-keeper

You wear Medium Armour if you are a:

  • Hunter
  • Warden

You wear Heavy Armour if you are a:

  • Captain
  • Champion
  • Guardian

While generally any weapon you can equip with stats useful to your class will be good, some class and race traits do offer improvements to damage when wielding certain weapons, so you will want to take that into account when you pick them.

Primary Stats (Attributes)

There are 5 attributes: Might, Agility, Vitality, Will, and Fate. While all will provide some benefit to all classes, your class and role will generally determine which of these are going to be most useful to you.

Secondary Stats (Ratings)

Secondary stats are broken down into Offence and Defence and are generally measured in ratings.

Offensive secondary stats are Critical Rating, Finesse, Physical Mastery, and Tactical Mastery.

Defensive secondary stats include Resistance, Critical Defense, and Incoming Healing.


There are four groups of Traits: Virtues, Race, Class, and Legendary.

  • Virtues affect various primary and secondary stats, from Might to damage mitigations to morale and power regen.
  • Race Traits are based on the race you chose and grant you abilities related to that race.
  • Class Traits are based on your class and organized into one of three trees. Focus on one tree to specialize in a given role.
  • Legendary Traits are also related to your class, and will either grant you a new ability or upgrade a current one to be even better.
Legendary Items

Starting as you enter Moria, you will begin to get legendary items, which, when equipped, can level as you gain experience for them through quests and combat (among other things). Each level gives you points on that item to apply to various "legacies" that increase something about your character. You are able to trade out some of these legacies to ones more conducive to your style, and you can even socket runes or gems into them.

While legendary items can grow from experience, there is an upper limit, and once you've reached that limit, you will want to find a better legendary, either in terms of quality (determined by the "Age" it is from: Third, Second, or First), or by level (if your legendary isn't already from the highest level zones).

Combat Mounts and Mounted Combat

In Rohan, you get a horse, with a set of skills that allow for combat on that mount. There are three types of horses with different strengths in combat: light, medium, and heavy.

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