Congratulations – you finally got your character to 115! Now what? If you plan to take your toon into any of the wonderful instances LOTRO offers, you are going to need to spend some time gearing up.
What is gearing up, why do it?
Gearing up is the process of improving your character's stats so you can better fulfill your role in groups. The process can be envisioned as a continuum – on one end you have the toons that have just hit end-game and have only quest gear. On the other end are the people that have fully maxed their toon and can do nothing more to improve it until new equipment comes out. The higher on the continuum your toon is, the greater your contribution will be to any instances you join.
What is gear? Anything that makes your character stronger!
(Links will be added to these as guides are made):
- Consumables: food, scrolls, hope tokens, & items specific to class
- Weapons: Mainhand, offhand, ranged, class slots
- Legendary Items: vary by class, but each has 2
- Class trait points: a total of 84 exist right now
- Stat tomes
Mordor specific information
Although the general method of gearing up is the same no matter what level your toon is gearing for, each new level cap and endgame has its own unique characteristics as well.
We have an interesting new reputation system in Mordor: Allegiances. Joining, and increasing reputation with, various allegiances has a number of benefits. For more details please see the Allegiance guide.
With Mordor, the developers intentionally set stats so that we have to make choices in which ones we want to cap, and which ones we can do without.
Finesse: One of the more important stats now, in any instance 106 or over. Long-ignored, it is now a significant factor in improving DPS; tanks will need finesse to in order to hit the mobs to maintain aggro. Healers will not heal more with increased finesse, but if they tend to help out with interruptions or corruption-removal they may find they need some.
Light of Eärendil: In any of the new Mordor instances you will also need a certain amount of the Light of Eärendil. For T1 instances you will want to get at least 150 Light; 200 or more for Naerband. The reason for possibly having more than the starting instance amount is that certain mobs have skills which increase the Shadow we are in. There is no benefit to having more light than there is Shadow around you. For more details see the Light of Eärendil guide.
Mordor armour: The Mordor armour sets have two basic types: offensive and defensive/healing. The sets have a starting amount of base stats, balanced by role, and no more than two slots for essences. For easiest planning, use an entire set and add essences to emphasize the stats that are important to you. Mix & match sets from the Allegiance Quartermasters, the Elf-Smiths, and the crafted sets for greatest control of your stats.
The list below, although not comprehensive will help you get started figuring out what sets are available and where:
Gear for T1
- Towers or Last Alliance gearsets, item level 323+; crafted, or available at High-Enchanter Elf-smiths and as rewards in Mordor
Gear for T2
- Vanguard or Mordor's Bane gearsets, item level 330+, available at High-Enchanter Elf-smiths
- Superior Armour sets available from the Allegiance Quartermasters
- Crafted gear, made with drops from instances, item level 333+
Finding the gear
Crafting: Purple crafted 115 recipes are available at the Quartermaster: Conquest of Gorgoroth Crafting barterer; also, many kinnies are able to craft these pieces. The recipes are not one-time use, and an entire set is 15 pieces each with 10 Light – adequate for T1 instances. These are the fastest/easiest way to get enough Light to start running T1 Mordor instances.
- Tailor (light/medium/cloaks): 1 well-treated doomfold leather each
- Metalsmith (heavy): 1 quality doomfold ingot each
- Jeweller (jewellery): 1 refined black adamant each
- Scholar (pocket): 1 restored doomfold parchment each
Ash: When you start Mordor at the Udun Foothold, there is a High-Enchanter Elf-smith with a quest for you. This quest leads you through acquiring a Flame of Ancalamír and learning to use it to disenchant certain items, leaving Ash of Gorgoroth. This Ash can be bartered for gear. Some people prefer to farm this Ash by standing in raids in high-mob-density areas killing everything in sight. Others seem to get enough just by running dailies and killing things on landscape. Ash also drops from Gorgoroth Loot-boxes, which can be opened using the Black Steel Keys available via Allegiance Daily Expedition quests.
Relics of the Last Alliance: Can be earned by doing daily Allegiance quests, and finishing certain deeds in Mordor. They may be bartered for Allegiance rep or pieces of gear.
Essences: Empowered Shadowed Essences are T10 and can be slotted on gear level 115. They are crafted by all vocations except cook and scholar and are the best essences in game. Light of Eärendil essences are only available, however, via landscape drops -- they are not in the boxes.
Relics: Mordor also has some new LI relics. Some of them are available at the Quartermaster: Conquest of Gorgoroth Rewards, they're very nice. Others are random drops from the instances. They can go in an LI's Rune slot. While the rune of binding is definitely worth it, there appears to be some disagreement as to the strength of benefit of the others.
- Rare/Incomparable Vanguard Rune of Binding: Increases base healing
- Rare/Incomparable Vanguard Rune of Striking: Increases base combat damage
- Rare/Incomparable Vanguard Rune of Enchantment: Increases tactical damage