Ten Ton Hammer's Beginner's Guide for LotRO - Where Should I Be Questing At My Level?

Tips for New Players: Where Should I Be Questing At My Level?
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is a big place, and it keeps getting bigger as new content packages are
added to the Lord of the Rings Online. With the recent announcement that
new updates would be decoupled from the epic quest line updates, new
areas and quest packs can be added regularly. But as the world
grows and new players join in, many for the first time and with little
or no previous knowledge of the game or the setting, the progression
from start to finish can be a bit confusing. The game does not advance
in a straight line; moving from one area to the next adjacent region
can see massive leaps in mob levels. So the question often arises:
"Where should I be questing at my level?"

There are a number
of ways to answer this question. It really depends on how the player is
playing the game: is he chasing levels and trying to get to 65 as
quickly as possible? Is he on F2P where he has to purchase each new
area with Turbine Points? Is he taking things slowly and trying to
absorb as much of the game as possible before moving on to someplace
new and exciting? For the purposes of this article, I am going to
assume that the player is looking for the best XP from quests for that
level range, with an XP-heavy balance between time spent on quests and
overall difficulty for speedy, efficient leveling. In this case, the
player will want to do mostly white, yellow or orange quests, and move
on when the quests are blue, teal or green. Epic book quests can be
done as you go.

Again, it must be stressed: this is for fast
leveling. A lot of people prefer to do all the quests and deeds in an
area, regardless of level, before moving on to somewhere else. There's
absolutely nothing wrong with that approach - players who do this
usually have more money and Turbine Points than speedsters and questing
will be easier. But since they are seldom the ones asking where they
should be questing at a given level, this guide is not for them.
Furthermore, this guide may not be practical for Free-to-Play players,
as it will be necessary to purchase costly quest packs and the hard
pace does not allow much time for earning the points to buy them.
Leveling "point-farmer" alts will help accumulate points
faster, but in lieu of that I have made some alternate suggestions
where possible. Also note that fast leveling does not earn a character
very much money. You should get enough to train all your skills and buy
a horse, but don't plan on lavish spending.

To figure out where you should be at your level, find the
appropriate range on the list below and follow the link to find more

Level Range:

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1 - 12: Homeland: Bree-land, the Shire, Ered Luin

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and Dwarves start out in Ered Luin, Hobbits start in the Shire, Men
start out in Bree-land. As a general rule, the quests around Archet and
Combe tend to focus heavily on combat in a fairly small, contained
area, and quests in the Shire tend to be more running around and
collecting things. Quests in the Dwarf and Elf homelands are
action-focused but spread out, so there is a lot of running around
between. Questing in the Shire is the easiest since there is not a lot
of combat and little risk of getting murdered by bandits. The risk is
higher in Combe, but the pace is faster. Ered Luin is a balance between
the two.

12 - 15: Bree-land

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Staddle and
Bree-town are good for this level. Start in Staddle and then head west
to Buckland and Adso's Camp. Head into the Old Forest if you simply
must - there are a few quests in there, most of which involve running
through a
massive spider- and bear-infested maze. Some people really like the
place, but it is not a place conducive to fast leveling as quest
initiators and objectives are widely spread out and quest completion
involves navigating the maze. Rather than slogging through the Old
Forest, do the quick
stuff killing bears and bandits and move on.

15 - 18: Northwest
and Barrow-Downs.

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some orcs and wights for great justice and fast levels. Start with the
West Bree-fields area - the quests from the houses along the road
heading north and the ones from Adso's Camp - and head to Barrow-downs
when finished with those.
Barrow-downs will be fairly tough at this level and is best experienced
with a group.

18 - 20: Forsaken
Inn, Lone-lands

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you do not have enough Turbine points to purchase the Lone-lands pack,
out some deeds in the Shire and Ered Luin, because it is worth getting.
These will go fairly quickly
at this level, and will earn you some juicy virtues as
well. Forsaken
Inn quests can be done very quickly with a small group, and there are a
lot of them. If you cannot afford the Lone-lands quest pack, you can
get to level 20 by doing the advanced quests in Ered Luin, the Shire
and Bree-land, but it will take longer. Make sure the quests are at
least green - grey quests offer little or no XP. If you have to choose
between Lone-lands and North Downs, get North Downs and head to
Trestlebridge when it's no longer suicidal to do so.

20: Skirmishes

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Starting at level 20,
this will be your go-to level-grinder when the quest XP starts slowing
down in a given area. Doing the daily challenges for each skirmish
nets a massive chunk of XP at low and mid levels and earns good money.
Level 20 also opens up the classic instance Great Barrows: Maze. This
is a difficult instance at this level, particularly the fight against
the middle sub-boss and his two crawler buddies, but with a good healer
and tank it's doable.

21 - 25: Trestlebridge,
North Downs

Central Lone-lands

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you have the points for the North Downs quest pack, get it. If you
can't afford it right now, continue with Lone-lands and skirmishes.
If you have to choose one or the other, get North Downs rather than
Lone-lands. Trestlebridge has enough questing for a couple of levels,
then you can
work on the Eglain rep quests and the quests out of Ost Guruth. Agamaur
quests are something of a time-sink - slogging through lots of elites
equals slow XP
progression. If you can not afford either North Downs or Lone-lands
quest packs, you'll be stuck doing skirmishes and Great Barrows runs
for a while. Doing Great Barrows daily runs is fairly efficient, and
the level
25 Barrows armor sets are pretty good.

25 - 30: Esteldin,
east North Downs

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Othrikar, Meluinen and Fornost. This is a big area with lots to do.
There are a few time-sink traps here that can be avoided - Dol Dinen
and Fornost are full of tough elites and will slow down leveling
progress. These areas must be done with a group at this level, so if
you are looking to earn some solid group experience to better learn
your class, go ahead and do these. Otherwise, the time spent doing
these quests can be spent more efficiently elsewhere. If you don't have
the North Downs quest pack, you can grind through these levels with
skirmishes, Great Barrows runs and Agamaur quests, or by tearing
through some of the blue, teal and green quests you may have skipped

30 - 35: Evendim

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Tinnudir, Ost Forod and Eavespires are all
good quest hubs for this level, and you will probably want to do the
Annuminas instances later - if you have to choose between Lone-lands,
North Downs or Evendim, get Evendim. Level progression will be
seriously slowed
without the Evendim quest pack, and the only other real options for
level range are Garth Agarwen instance runs and skirmishes, or the
Trollshaws quest pack which will be very challenging until level

35 - 40: Trollshaws

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This is kind of
the leveling "hump" where progress is slower. It's not as bad now as it
used to be before skirmishes, but players will still probably notice a
bit of a slump. Start in southwest Trollshaws and work your way east to
Thorenhad, Echad Candelleth and Rivendell, mixing in daily skirmishes
taste. If points are at a premium and you have to choose between
Trollshaws and Angmar quest packs, get Angmar. You'll need it later.

38 side-trip: Aughaire,
Southwest Angmar

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is a quest chain here for an excellent armor set: Fem gear. Complete
this chain for all 6 pieces and a teal pocket item that will last you
until almost level 50. And if you have to choose between Trollshaws and
Angmar, get Angmar.

39 side-trip: Malenhad,
south Angmar
and Misty Mountains

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this level, you can buy books from your class trainer. These books are
missing pages, and when those pages are all collected you earn awesome
legendary skills. Low-numbered pages are found in Angmar, high-numbered
pages are found in Misty Mountains. Popular "farming" spots for pages
include the goblins in western Malenhad and Corcurs on the Bitter Stair
in north Misty Mountains, near the entrance to Helegrod.

40 - 45: Misty
, Angmar, Forochel

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Mountains falls into the low end of this range. Questing in the more
remote areas in Angmar or Forochel can get you to level 50, but by then
you will want to be elsewhere. Of these three, Forochel is a bit
faster, with large groups of quests clumped together in the various
town hubs. Angmar is more spread out and has many more elites to slog
through, and Misty Mountains is very spread out and feels draggy. Avoid
Goblin-town if you can - it is a giant, complex maze stuffed full of
elites with quick respawn rates, worth experiencing if you are a
lore-junkie and want to see where Gollum lived, but there are really
not enough quick quests here to make it a worthwhile spot for fast,
efficient leveling.

45 side-trip: Echad
Dunnan, Eregion

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to the gate and begin the intro quest chain to enter Moria. The mobs
will be very challenging at this level, but you can skip the
non-essential quests if you want and focus solely on the epic quests to
get your first legendary item. You can hold off on finishing this book
for a little while, waiting to enter Moria until level 50. Build up
your LI first! You can't ride the Moria goats until level 50, and
the mines without a goat can be a chore.

Note that with the November patch, Free-to-Play players
will be able to get into Moria without having to buy anything. No
purchases are required to play through the epic books.

45 - 50: Eregion

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in Gwingris, work your way south and east to Echad Eregion and Echad
Dunnan, then loop back west to Echad Mirobel. Eregion is a treat after
slogging through the Trollshaws and the bleak expanses of Angmar and
Forochel - the quests are straightforward and plentiful, and most can
be done solo. The Eregion quest pack gives you access to the School and
Library of Tham Mirdain, both 3-man instances starting at level 50.
When you get to level 65, these instances are excellent ways to earn
Superior Third Marks.

50 - 53: Moria,
upper levels

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you've completed the intro quest chain, start questing in Durin's
Threshold, Dolven-View, Chamber of Crossroads and Deep Descent. There
are a lot of quest hubs between Durin's Threshold and the Twenty-First
Hall, and tons of deeds - more than enough to blast you through 3 or 4
levels. If you
start feeling claustrophobic, take a break from the mines and work on
epic books up to book 15, which will earn you a ton of cash and some
decent gear. You can also start running the Rift of Nurz Ghashu and
Helegrod raids, the Annuminas instances and the Library and School of
Tham Mirdain 3-man instances.

54 - 58: Moria,
and lower

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Horn Lodes and Orc-watch, Waterworks and Rotting Cellar, Anamarzekhem,
Foundations of Stone,
Twenty-First Hall and Jazargund are all good areas for this level. Most
of Moria can be soloed, but there is usually enough people around that
you can find a group when you need one. You
can also work on the Volume II epic books and do skirmishes.

58 - 60: Lothlorien,
Moria instances

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radiance armor is currently among the best non-raid gear in the game.
Stats-wise, it is generally better than the teal Helegrod and Annuminas
armor sets, though the armor rating and radiance is lower. While
Helegrod and Annuminas sets will provide (much) higher bonuses in very
limited areas, the Moria armor set provides higher all-around bonuses,
and the difference between the sets can be easily made up with jewelry,
LI legacy scrolls and virtues. If your goal is to eventually get a full
set of raid armor, the Moria radiance set should still be your first
stop. Besides hammering out the radiance gear instances, you will want
to get at least Acquaintance standing with the Galladhrim so that you
can cross into southeastern Lothlorien and take the boat to Mirkwood at
level 60.

60 - 65: Mirkwood

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are the current endgame areas. Mirkwood is a more-or-less straight shot
west to east and will take you from 60-65 in a few days. Enedwaith is
not really necessary for leveling, strictly speaking, but if you want
to do numerous level 65+ quests, that's the place to
go. It would be quite difficult at level 60, but good XP can be earned
in Enedwaith by heading there around level 63-64. But be warned: the
normal mobs in Enedwaith are tougher than the normal mobs in Mirkwood
and range from level 65 - 67. This is also a good time to finish Volume
II epic books and get
caught up on Volume III.

65: Endgame Content

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The world of Middle-Earth is now your oyster. For a lot
of people, this is where
the game really begins, and you have a lot of options:

  • Raids - Run Helegrod raids and/or Annuminas instances
    until you get enough radiance gear to run the Vile Maw (60 radiance
    minimum), Dar Narbugud (90 radiance minimum) and Barad Guldur (120
    radiance minimum).
  • Gear grinding in the high-level classic instances -
    some good jewelry items drop in the Mirkwood 3-man and Moria 3- and
    6-man instances.
  • Deed-grinding for remaining virtues and class traits
    will earn a bit of money and boost your character's overall
  • Explore Enedwaith and build rep with the Grey Company
    and the Eglain factions
  • Play a more social game by helping lower-level
    kinsmen and friends with difficult quests, or stand around in Bree
    playing the A-Team theme song on your lute.

Minimum Recommended Quest
Packs for F2P

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If you want to level quickly on F2P, it may require
making some sacrifices in regards to which quest packs you purchase.
Some areas are more or less safe to skip, but some are pretty much
mandatory. At the bare minimum, you will want these quest packs:

  1. North Downs (level range 20-30)
  2. Evendim (level range 31-37)
  3. Angmar (level range 38-45)
  4. Eregion (level range 45 - 51)
  5. Mines of Moria expansion (level range 51-60)
  6. Siege of Mirkwood expansion (level range 60-65)

Level progression will be slowed somewhat with only the
bare minimum of quest packs; early quests in each area will be
over-level and the last few in the area (you will need to be thorough
and do everything availble in each region) will be well under-level.
Keep an eye out for sales on quest packs and get them at a discount
when you can - there is currently a sale on the Lone-lands quest pack,
marked down to 50 points, and while this is not on the "bare minimums"
list, it's totally worth getting.

Also note: currently, you can purchase the Mines of
Moria package for around $10, which gives you a 30-day subscription as
part of the deal. This is a pretty sound investment if you plan to play
the game for a while, as it opens up all the Eriador maps, inventory
bags, virtue slots and a few other things that are unavailable to F2P
without numerous microtransactions.

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

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