Guide to LotRO's Mounted Combat, Part 3: Legendary Bridles
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|The Legendary Bridle|
Now that you have mastered the basics of mounted combat and delved into the intricacies of your mount's build, it's time to have a look at the final piece of the puzzle, and the only piece of equipment your war-steed can equip: the Legendary Bridle.
The bridle is a Legendary Item for your horse, and it follows the same rules as any other LI: it can only be used by a specific class (or weight, in this case), and it must be slotted in the LI panel in order to gain fractional XP (the same as all your other LIs) and to be equippable on your mount. There is no special LI panel for legendary bridles. It uses a slot on the same panel you've been using since Moria, so if you're running gear-heavy and your LI panel is constantly full, you'll either need to start deconstructing or buy new slots. The LI panel has been expanded by two slots for this feature, but keep in mind that there are 3 bridle weights - you will need to economize if you want to have one bridle for each weight.
The base stat for all bridle weights is Fury Bonus Contribution Rating. As the name would suggest, this affects the amount of bonus damage that the Fury combat stat contributes to damage from mounted attacks. Obviously, a higher rating means more damage, but this will have a varying effect since your Fury meter is constantly emptying and refilling as you fight. When the Fury bar is full, this base stat will have a greater effect, and when it is nearly empty it will have almost no effect. Higher-level bridles will have a greater maximum rating.
As you might expect, these new LIs draw from Major and Minor legacy pools, the same as regular LIs - they start with three Major legacies, and gain a new Minor with each of the first three reforges, with a small chance of gaining a new Major. In the case of bridles, Major legacies are tied to the bridle's weight - Heavy bridles will have only Heavy War-steed Major legacies that will affect skills in the Heavy skill tree, Medium will have only Medium War-steed legacies, and Light will have only Light. The Minor legacies are common across all 3 weights, and affect the stances and base combat stats like evade and parry ratings.
Third Age bridles of varying levels can be found as random corpse loot, the same as any other LI, or you can earn a Level 75 Third Age bridle of the weight of your choice by doing the mounted combat introduction instance in Harwick. Additionally, guilded Tailors can craft Third and Second Age bridles of all types for level 85.
Legendary bridles differ from other LIs in one key way: relics. The bridles use different sets of relics than standard LIs, and these can't be found in the usual ways. Bridle relics will occasionally be found randomly in the gift boxes from warband quest turn-ins, but the only reliable way to get them is to bank up a ton of shards and meld them at your friendly neighborhood Relic-master.
There are two tiers of bridle relics - the "meh" ones that require any 3 Tier 4 relics and 194 shards to make, and the decent ones that require 3 specific Tier 8 relics and 2496 shards to make. These relics provide much smaller bonuses to the war-steed than regular relics provide to characters, but smaller bonuses make a slightly bigger difference to the war-steed.
As with standard LIs, players will be able to buy Legendary Bridle upgrades, relics and legacies from the LotRO Store. The store has a new heading for war-steeds in the main menu, and offers everything from trait set and cosmetic slot unlocks, cosmetic accessories, colour packs and bridle bits. Prices and selection were not set at the time of this writing, but we can likely expect costs to be in line with equivalent items elsewhere.