Alone in Middle Earth

A Guide to Solo Play

By Darkgolem

When soloing in Lord of the Rings
(LOTRO) there are certain tactics and strategies that can
make it easier for you to solo.  Not all classes can solo well,
some, such as href="">
loremasters, have a harder time than others classes.  However,
by using the methods discussed, you can find it easier to solo, and the
time it takes for you to level while soloing will be extended.

Quest Choice

Not all quests are the same.  Some quests are just harder for the
experience gain you get for them.  As a general rule, quests which
are not part of a quest chain are easier to solo than those that
are.  This is because the story behind a single quest is less
involved and epic, and requires a less exciting climax.  Often a
difficult combat is a good way to end a story with an exciting climax,
so quest chains tend to have difficult combats.

Other quests are almost administrative in nature.  There are
several which are like this.  There are the many crafting
quests.  These are great quests, because you can do them without
risk, instead a simple investment in the auction house or doing some
crafting will gain the materials you need for quest completion. 
You should do as many of these as you can afford, and if you have a
richer alt, plan on spending the money on all these quests.  I
would suggest you travel to all the areas that have these quests and do
them; even if it is outside the area you are currently adventuring.

Runner quests, such as “ href="%3Ca%20href=%22">Bree-Town
to Trestlebridge”, are another great way to earn experience without
risk.  You sometimes have to worry about mobs guarding the sides
of roads you travel down, but compared to the effort in a quest
involving fighting, this is easy experience.

It is best to plan quests to avoid those that require groups, and to go
to multiple areas that are level appropriate for your character to get
as wide a choice of quests to chose as possible.  You can also
avoid taking quests until they are a level or two lower than yourself,
because a quest that works better with a small fellowship can often be
soloed a few levels later.


href=""> alt="Grinding is a good time to get materials"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px; height: 173px;" align="left">One
choice to make is to avoid questing for a period to bridge the gap in
levels between a series of quests you have done and the next series of
quests you wish to do.  You can do this by grinding. 
Grinding is boring sometimes, but it is a great way to earn crafting
materials for use or auctioning, and experience.

Swarms are often the best mobs to grind with.  You often can
handle mobs that are a few levels higher than you if they are a swarm,
and gain a fair amount of experience for very little effort or
risk.  It takes some trial and error to figure out what enemies
you can handle when you are soloing, but if you are looking to grind,
take an hour to survey an area to see all the enemies there, with an
eye to look for pushover mobs to grind with.

Strategies for Optimizing Your Character

You should plan to optimize your character.  There are several
ways to make your character more powerful than you character “as is”
with what quest equipment you have picked up.  

An expensive but very effective way to optimize your character is the
use of crafted items.  Crafted equipment is substantially better
to most items of the same level, and while sometimes quest items are
better, you can often greatly increase your armor class, important
statistics, and similar with the purchase of items from the auction
house, or by making a crafting alt or two.  Don’t neglect your own
solo characters crafting skills.  Those skills can save you a lot
of money in purchases from the auction house and make you money from
selling your gathered materials.

Often-overlooked benefits are consumable items.  Consumable items
purchased from the auction house such as href="">food,
battle and warding scrolls, potions of althelas and celebrant salves
are huge benefits for soloer’s, granting combat bonuses, healing in
combat, and rapid regeneration of morale and power in combat too. 
As a soloer, you should always have these items in your button
bar.  Very expensive, but very worth it too.

Tactics for Solo Play

When soloing, the tactics of individual encounters are important. 
Probably the most important consideration is how long does it take you
to defeat an opponent.  Time is critical for group combats, and
you will not be able to avoid group combats.  

href=""> alt="Fighting Alone"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px; height: 174px;" align="left">As
a general rule, you should avoid ever getting into a situation where
you are fighting more than three opponents.  Three opponents is
really too much, but depending upon the level of your opponent compared
to your own, it can be done occasionally.  If you can defeat an
opponent quickly, then you can handle multiple opponents more often.

The nature of your attacks are important too.  If they require
induction (a timer between activation and completion of the attack)
than they will be interrupted when opponents get within melee
range.  Often it is a good idea to use all your instant attacks
upon your first opponent of a group, so as to kill them quickly. 
That way, when your opponents get within range, you will not have your
attacks interrupted easily.

The speed with which you dispatch opponents is related to the speed of
the respawn of opponents.  If you are in an area with scattered
opponents that are moderately close together, they will respawn
quickly, and if you cannot clear an area fast enough, you will be
constantly fighting as opponents respawn again and again.

Using terrain is a useful way to increase your survival when
soloing.  Monsters and other opponents cannot jump off slopes that
are too steep to climb.  As such, you can often fight opponents
and then jump (literally) off a cliff without your opponents being able
to reach you.  You cannot be out of reach when you are fighting
opponents, they will become immune to attack if they cannot find a path
to you.  If you have a quest, which requires you to kill a single
opponent in a group, you can defeat that opponent then make a quick
retreat jumping to safety, in some cases.

Separating opponents out of a group is often possible.  If you see
a group of opponents, take a moment to watch them patrol  
Often encounters are designed to allow a careful adventurer to separate
specific opponents out of a group, making them much easier to handle.

One difficult but usable technique is what I call “herding”. 
Opponents will automatically flee back to their spawn location if they
get far enough away from it.  When that happens, they stop
fighting, will not attack opponents, and are immune to attack.  If
you see a group of opponents, you can sometimes get their attention,
run away, and turn when the closes opponents hit their “leash” and
return to their spawn point.  At that point you deal with the
opponent who has not hit their leash.

Planning ahead is the key to successful solo play.  It is very
important to know what quests you want to do, when to grind and avoid
quests around your level, and to make your character as powerful as
possible for your soloing adventures.  By doing these things, you
can count on being able to handle what Middle Earth has to offer
without needing to have a fellowship to face it.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016