With Update 2: Echoes of the Dead just around the corner for
Lord of the Rings Online, you're probably
going to want to have
some extra coin on hand. There will be all sorts of new things to buy -
recipes, class skills, you name it - and the new relic system for
legendary items is rather coin-intensive, so taking the time now to
build up your bankroll is a fine investment.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Gold in LotRO is maybe a bit different from other games. First
off, there's the conversion rate:
1 Gold in LotRO represents much more than it does in some
other games where gold is the base currency. You can buy a small house
for around 1 gold.
Early on in the game, quest rewards are measured in Copper.
Vendor trash from mobs is worth a few copper here and there.
Eventually, quests reward silver, and vendor trash trophies are worth
silver. Gold comes from vendoring lots of trash and completing lots of
F2P accounts start off with a currency limit of 2 gold. Any
excess coin the player earns is stored with an escrow broker, and this
coin cannot be used, but this cap can be lifted by purchasing an
upgrade from the LotRO store. The currency cap upgrade increments the
amount of gold a player can carry and use, and several such upgrades
must be purchased if the player wishes to carry around large amounts of
coin. You likely won't need to buy this upgrade for a while, but later
on in the game it will be necessary.
One important thing to realize is that coin is only one of the
currencies used in the game. Gold and silver are used to buy mundane
things - crafting ingredients, travel from stable-masters, repairs,
etc. - and new skills. Exceptional items like raid armor and account
upgrades are purchased by other means, like barter tokens, skirmish
marks or Turbine Points. Having lots of coin is nice, but you will need
to earn these other things also.
LOW LEVELS: TRASH OR TREASURE?
At lower levels, most coin will be earned by killing mobs,
selling the junk they drop and turning in quests. There are, of course,
exceptions to this rule, but this is generally the case. Mobs drop
junk, junk is worth money.
Weapon, armor and jewelry rewards from low-level quests are
often inferior to crafted items for the same level range. Critted gear
has an even longer shelf life, and if you are walking around in a full
critted set of armor with critted weapons and jewelry, you can usually
just pawn all the reward items for quests. When handing the quests in,
look for the one with the highest coin value and select that. If the
reward is better than what you have, take it and use it instead, but it
usually won't be.
alt="Inventory with assorted item types"
with the dark purple background and grey border are vendor trash/task
trophies. Green background, green border are crafting items. The
red-bordered stuff in the bottom row is crap I can't delete from my
The "trash" trophies, items with a dark purple background (see
picture), can often be turned in for tasks. This is kind of a
trade-off at low levels - you get XP and (sometimes) reputation for
completing tasks from bulletin boards, but no coin, and if you decide
to sell them to a vendor instead for coin, you get no XP or rep for
them. If you are desperate for coin, avoid doing the tasks and just
sell the trash loot. Really, gaining levels is already pretty easy.
And then there's the crafting mats. Any item with a green
background (see picture) is useful to someone even if you can't use it
yourself. Never sell these items to vendors. Save up piles of them and
sell them to other players, either through the Trade chat channel or by
posting auctions in the auction house.
Trade channel is available to everyone: type /trade and
compose your message. Holding the CTRL key and right-clicking on the
item will link it in chat, so you can show what you are selling. Making
money by using the Trade channel will involve a bit of market-savvy,
knowing what the items you are offering are worth. You can determine
the worth of items by inspecting similar sales in the auction house and
figuring out a rough average per-item price. And if you're not sure of
a decent asking price, say "PST with offer" and keep your fingers
THE AUCTION HOUSE: PLAYING THE MARKET
The auction house is pretty easy to use for simple things, but
there are some subtleties that more advanced players can use to their
F2P players will need to buy the ability to use the auction
house through the LotRO Store. If you're in this game for the long
haul, this is definitely something to consider, as you can use the
auction house to make absurd amounts of money. But it is probably
something you will want to hold off on until later in the game, after
you have purchased other necessities like currency cap upgrades,
inventory space, virtue slots and quest packs.
ore generally sells for very high prices at auction. Vendor price is
just over 2 silver per unit, but Initial Price would be closer to 10
silver per unit - 500 silver for 51 chunks. Buyout price would be twice
that amount - 1 gold. Not bad for an hour of node-farming.
Posting an auction is simple enough. Open the auction house
panel at the auctioneer, select the Post tab, drag the item you wish to
sell, set the price and the duration, hit Post Auction. There are a few
different options for this process, but that's the basics. When you
post an auction, you are charged a small fee for the posting, the amont
depending on the duration of the posting. When the auction sells, the
auction house claims 10% of the final bid for a "delivery fee" and the
money is sent to your mailbox.
Before you post, though, you will want to know what your item
is selling for currently. To determine this, you'll want to look for
other auctions of the same item. Drag your item to the search box and
hit the Search button, and you will see all the other entries for that
item. You can look through these auctions, figure out a mean average
price for the amount you are selling and determine whether or not that
amount is acceptable.
When you post an auction, there are 2 fields for the asking
price: Initial Price and Buyout Price. The Initial Price is the lowest
amount you will
accept for the item, and interested buyers will increment this price
with each consecutive bid. You will want to set the initial price at at
least the vendor value, plus the posting fee, plus 10 - 15% to cover
the "delivery fee". If you set it lower than this amount, you
will make more money by just pawning the item to vendors, so the
auction is a net loss. For particularly desirable items, you can set
the initial price much higher. Setting the initial price low can lead
bidding wars, which can be kind of fun to watch. People will literally
wait by the auctioneer, monitoring their auctions, for hours,
countering bids as they happen. For some auctions, there will be no
apparent interest until the last few hours, at which point there may be
a bidding war.
The Buyout field is optional, but you can sometimes stand to
make more money quicker by setting a high Buyout price because some
people (like me) are impatient and don't want to bother with a bidding
war or wait until the auction ends to win (or lose) the bid. The Buyout
option allows people to buy the item right away. For the Buyout field,
set the highest price you think you can reasonably get for the the item
according to current market value. Generally, this is 5 - 10% lower
than the lowest current buyout of the same item, but there are
For big auction house profits, timing is crucial. Big-ticket,
sure-sale items can be posted for shorter durations (which reduces the
posting cost). For other items, keeping the auction alive for longer
may be necessary to ensure sale, and you may want to wait until the
weekend to post them. Weekends typically see more players online, which
means more people looking for particular items than you might see on,
say, a Wednesday morning. When more players are buying, prices can be
set higher. Weekend = big money.
Smart auctioneers can play the market like a Middle-Earth
broker. Once you learn what items typically sell for, you can watch for
bargain-priced auctions, snap them up (or bid on them and keep your bid
on track with the Bids tab) and repost them at a markup. For example,
if someone posts several stacks of black dye for under 100 silver a
stack buyout, you can buy them up and repost them for 200 silver,
selling in smaller quantities over an extended period of time so you
don't flood the market and encourage undercutting. This
tactic requires a good deal of patience and market-savvy, and is more
of a long-term thing than a way to make quick-and-easy cash, but shrewd
players can make it pay off.
CRAFTING: HIT OR MISS
Selling crafted items and crafted components through the
auction house can earn some pretty big bucks, but it can also be
disappointing if you go in blind.
Raw materials almost always sell, and they usually command
very respectable prices. Explorers have an advantage here, because they
can harvest everything: wood, ores, gems and crit items from nodes,
hides from beasts, Scholar mats from humanoid mobs, plants for food and
dye recipes. Spend a couple hours gathering a stack or two of basically
anything and you can convert it to cash. But keep an eye on the market
if you plan on doing this; you don't want to waste time collecting
Ancient Iron for three hours only to find that the auction house is
flooded with the stuff and nobody is buying.
alt="Barrow-iron on the auction house"
guy is selling 30 ore (15 ingots) for 550 silver. The next guy is
selling 20 ingots (40 ore) for 333 silver. Guy 1 is making much more
money than guy 2... provided his auction sells.
Whether or not you want to sell processed materials is up to
you. For example, with Ancient Iron, you can smelt it into Ancient Iron
Ingots, Westernesse Steel Ingots or Elven Steel Ingots, or you can just
sell the Ancient Iron Ore. Some professions can't process their own raw
materials and require processed materials for secondary crafts (for
example, Historians have Weaponsmith, but not Prospector, so they can't
smelt their own ores into ingots). Selling processed materials can be
kind of a trade-off, though, because processed stuff doesn't always
sell for twice as much as unprocessed. A stack of Barrow-iron Ore makes
half a stack of Barrow-iron Ingots, but the half-stack of ingots does
not sell for the same price as a full stack of ore. Selling raw will
generally net higher profits than selling processed.
Crafted goods, on the other hand, are a different beast.
Particularly desirable crafted goods can sell for much, much more than
the sum of their components. But the crafter will need to know what is
desirable and what is not. For example, Metalsmiths may have a hard
time selling armors in the level 40 range because that's around the
time players can get the Fem set in Angmar. And there's another gap at
high levels, 60+, because that's when people are wearing the raid sets
from Moria and beyond. Weaponsmiths will similarly have a hard time
selling crafted main-hand weapons past level 50 or so, because why use
a crafted, static weapon when you can use a legendary item that is way
The crafted goods that sell the best are the ones that people
use most often: food, tokens, scrolls and other consumable items.
Cranking out massive volumes of consumables and posting them a few at a
time is a great way to earn a steady income. Historians and Tinkers
have the market pretty much cornered in this respect; these vocations
are money factories.
But while consumables can provide a long-term, steady income
stream, other vocations can make one-shot, big-ticket items that sell
for large amounts. Metalsmiths can make tools and shields, Tailors can
make cloaks, and guild-kindred crafters of all vocations can make
legendary items or crafted relics. Guild kindred is a good goal for
those looking to make money with their professions.
SKIRMISHES, INSTANCES & DEEDING: THE LITTLE THINGS
By the time you get to level cap, making money becomes much,
Skirmishes make OK money from the bounties that occasionally
drop from lieutenants. You won't get rich running skirmishes, but you
will usually make enough from vendoring the bounties to cover your
repairs plus some extra. Plus you'll be getting loads of skirmish
marks, which can be traded for items that sell well on the auction
house. The Symbol of Celebrimbor currently sells for around 20 gold,
and that can be earned in a day by running 5 instances. If you're
lucky, you'll get more than 1.
Instances tend to have a bigger payout than skirmishes,
because mobs in instances drop coin and other loot. A full-clear of
Grand Stairs can earn you around 2 gold just from that. You can also auction the relics from boss chests. Running a lot
of endgame group content will typically earn you a lot of money.
Occasionally, people will organize "gold runs" on later-game
raids. The leader will set a price for specific loot pieces, and anyone
who wants that specific piece pays into the pot to be guaranteed that
loot. At the end of the raid, all the money is divided among the
participants. This kind of run carries its own risks, but if you are
raid-ready, hurting for coin and willing to risk wasting a few hours
with a bunch of clueless noobs, go nuts.
alt="Vendor trash from deed grinding"
drop from the worms in Angmar. Grinding that deed from start to finish
will net you about 1 gold from vendor trash alone.
Deed grinding is another way to earn decent coin. Humanoid
mobs tend to drop coin and other loot, and beasts and such drop loads
and loads of vendor trash. Killing hundreds of worms in Angmar means
hundreds of scales, skins, eyes and what have you - these all add up.
Obviously, this is not a get-rich-quick
scheme, but it is profitable over time.
GOLD-SELLERS: DO NOT WANT
Gold-sellers are perhaps not as common in LotRO as they are in
some other games, but they do exist, and they should be avoided for a
number of reasons.
For starters, gold-selling is basically organized crime. Theft
and fraud are illegal everywhere, and these people set up their sleazy
little online franchises to commit these crimes. These guys
are the reason people are getting their accounts hacked and all their
Gold-sellers are violating the End-User License Agreement
(EULA) by selling in-game currency for real-life money, you are
violating the EULA by buying it, and they earn the money they are
selling by means of theft and fraud. Gold-sellers are scum-sucking
bottom-feeders and criminals, and should not be supported. The bottom
line is, this practice is unethical and wrong, and you don't need LotRO
gold that badly.
The wise player knows how to adapt to change, and to
anticipate how said changes can earn the mad bank. When an update is on
the horizon, that usually means big new stuff that everyone will want.
For example, with Update 2: Echoes of the Dead, there will be some new
Hunter books, which will be made by Scholars. Supreme Scholars can
start rounding up the mats now and prepare to meet the market demand
head-on when the new recipes become available. Additional outfit slots
means more cosmetic hauberks for Tailors to slap together, and more
dyes for Scholars to brew. A new raid coming up means a need for food,
curatives, tokens and other consumables. Start stockpiling now, and be
ready to take advantage of super-inflated auction house prices while
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