LotRO's Update 5: Currency Consolidation

Update 5: Armies of Isengard will add lots of nifty new stuff, but it will also take some things away - namely, all those extraneous Skirmish Marks you've been hoarding, in favor of a more streamlined, slimmed-down system.

LotRO Update 5 Currency Consolidation

So you've been running skirmishes in
the Lord of the Rings Online
for a while now, and
your Barter Wallet is filled with a myriad of different kinds of Skirmish
- First Marks, Veteran's First Marks, Superior
Fourth Marks, Lefnuilan Campaign Marks and a dozen or so others.
You've been hanging on to them because you're not one hundred
percent sure if they will prove useful or not. Well, Update
5: Armies of Isengard
will change all that with
currency consolidation.

As mentioned by Aaron Campbell, Senior Producer for LotRO, in our
recent Interview
with the Devs
, this is a streamlining of the existing
convoluted skirmish mark system, which is used to purchase
everything from mediocre low-level adventuring gear to crafting
supplies to endgame raid gear. It was first implemented during the
launch of Siege of Mirkwood, when skirmishes were first
introduced, and has continued to evolve by the devs simply adding
new currencies to fit new content. It has grown into a rather
cumbersome and occasionally confusing beast - how do you earn
Second Marks to train certain skills for your soldier? Does that
skill require Second Marks or Third Marks? Should you bother
keeping campaign marks to buy campaign-specific items, or trade
them in for regular skirmish marks?

Currency consolidation aims to fix that by simplifying the
system, refining the whole set into three new types of barter

Marks - these are the new Skirmish
, and are earned the way regular Skirmish Marks
are earned, and at approximately the same rate. All Skirmish Marks
you have before Update 5 goes live will be converted 1:1 into
Marks. The "trash marks" (Guardsman's Marks and the like) that can
only be exchanged for Skirmish Marks and are not directly used to
buy items from skirmish vendors will also be converted to Marks.
Marks are the "base currency" and can buy the same stuff regular
Skirmish Marks can.

Medallions - These are the replacement
for Campaign Marks, (First, Second, Third,
Fourth) Marks and other similar tokens. The conversion rate for
these will vary from one mark to the next - some are worth more
than others. These are earned in the same way Campaign Marks and
the like are earned - some drop in solo instances, more drop in
group instances. They will be used to barter for the new instance
gear, and can fairly be regarded as "instance currency."

Seals - These are the new Superior
Fourth Mark
, or S4M. S4M will trade
1:2 for Seals (1 S4M = 2 Seals). These are earned by running
endgame group content (raids, classic instances and the new
Isengard instance cluster) and will be used to barter for raid
gear. They can fairly be regarded as "raid currency."

To get a feel for how the conversion will work, I ran my level 65
Guardian, Gunketta, through a handful of Tier II solo skirmishes
on live to accumulate a bunch of different kinds of skirmish
marks. Here's what I ended up with:

LotRO Update 5 Currency Consolidation - Barter Wallet

For the record, that's 3 Eruilan Campaign Marks, 2 Helegrod
Marks, 1 Inn of the Forsaken Mark, 1 Lefnuilan Campaign Mark, 3
Naillan Campaign Marks, 2 Odothuilan Campaign Marks, 3,254
Skirmish Marks, 9 Third Marks, 6 Veteran Guardsman's Marks, and 6
Guardsman's Marks (the last 2 are the "trash marks" that go into
your inventory rather than the Barter Wallet, and are not shown in
the image). I then copied her over to Bullroarer and checked what
she had after the conversion:

LotRO Update 5 Currency Consolidation - Barter Wallet

That bloated, bewildering collection boiled down to 3,614 Marks
and 330 Medallions - 2 item types instead of 10. I'm sure someone
clever can do the math and work out the actual exchange rate
there. I'm more of a crossword puzzle guy.

Since my Guardian is only level 65, she had no S4Ms to convert,
and thus has no Seals. My Hunter and Captain, both level 75 and
copied to Bullroarer, had a few S4Ms on live and those translated
into Seals on Bullroarer when I copied them over during Build 1.
They've both run new content on Bullroarer, and have earned Marks,
Medallions and Seals there, so they can't be reliably used to
determine the conversion rate. They can, however, start looking at
the new things they can buy with their consolidated currency...
but more on that later.

alt="LotRO Update 5 Currency Consolidation - Barter Wallet, Capngunk" />

This is Capngunk's Barter Wallet. He ran a few instances from the
Isengard cluster to earn the Seals and Medallions, and got 15,000
Skirmish Marks from the auto-level guy in the Eyes & Guard
Tavern, which converted directly to Marks when I re-logged. On the
live server, Capngunk has the same sort of unwieldy, random
collection of assorted marks as Gunketta

As of beta Build 2, characters copied over with a cache of S4Ms
can exchange them for Medallions or Seals, but the exchange rate
may not seem all that favorable. Exchanging S4M for Seals, the new
endgame currency, results in a slight loss since you're paying a
"premium" for the upgrade, but exchanging them for Medallions
results in a fair-value swap. Currently, the new currencies can
only be downgraded, not upgraded. Seals can be exchanged for
Medallions or Marks, and Medallions for Marks, but Marks cannot be
upgraded to Medallions and Medallions cannot be upgraded to Seals.
This is something that may be addressed in the future, but the
plans for Update 5 do not include an upgrade option.

Drop rates for Marks, Medallions and Seals, and token cost for
the new gear, are not yet finalized. Earning these new tokens will
require some good old-fashioned elbow grease, running instanced
content. Turbine has removed the daily component of many scaled
instances, so single runs will generally net fewer marks, but
these instances can be run as often as desired, so there is an
overall gain. And using the Instance Finder will give players a
1.5x currency gain bonus, as mentioned in our Instance
Finder article

Bullroarer server is being shut down at noon today (Nov. 23). But
stay tuned as the system undergoes further development - we'll
have more details in the coming weeks.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated:

Around the Web