LotRO's Rise of Isengard: The Road to Level 75, Days 4 & 5 - Page 3

Updated Wed, Oct 05, 2011 by gunky

Crafting and Inventory Management

I spent a good deal of Day 5 catching up on my crafting. I kinda had to in order to clear up some inventory space. My bags were getting pretty cluttered, and my vault is almost completely stuffed. This is an issue I brought up in the Preparing For Launch write-up - there's a whole ten levels' worth of new stuff to hoard, and vault space will be at a premium. My own vault is upgraded to 120 spots (the most I can get without spending a huge amount of Turbine Points to unlock more space), and it's jam-packed with old gear, consumables, bound barter tokens and other stuff I can't bear to throw away. My personal inventory is also limited, because I carry a full raid-ready "package" at all times (and this is fairly extensive for Hunters: 4 or 5 different kinds of crafted traps, stacks of 3 different kinds of bow chants, 2 kinds of oils, Focus potions, extra traveling rations, curatives, morale and power potions, food, battle and warding scrolls, hope tokens, a bunch of "trash" LIs that I'm leveling for relics, a few store items), which takes up two and a half bags. Honestly, I probably don't need to carry all of this stuff all the time. I mostly only use the Breach-finder scrolls and fire oil, and I could probably ditch most of my traps since they're kind of outdated now anyway - I'll probably donate them to a lower-level kinsman working his way through Moria, Lothlorien and Mirkwood.

Anyway, the new Westfold crafting tier is a little different from previous tiers. Here's a bullet-point list of differences:

  • There is only one ore type for metalsmith, weaponsmith and jeweller recipes - skarn, which can be refined into calenard ingots.
  • Each of the node-using gathering professions (prospector, forester, scholar) can refine their gathered resources into three usable materials. For example, prospectors can make low-quality, medium-quality and high-quality calenard ingots, and foresters can make three kinds of birch boards.
  • The third refined material type requires a recipe that must be purchased from the Dunlending reputation vendor in Galtrev, and requires Friend standing with the Dunlendings. This is fairly easy to earn (I got Kindred with them on day 2 or 3), but it effectively level-gates the Westfold crafting tier. Low-level crafting alts will not be able to craft top-quality Westfold stuff (like level 75 LIs)... or, at least, not easily.
  • Crafters do not need to assemble components to make a finished item. All they need is the proper ingots, boards, hidwwes, etc.
  • The new tier doesn't use raw, found crit items like whetstones, rock salt or the like. The new crit materials are crafted from rare resources dropped usually from rich nodes, and refining the crit items is a good way to earn crafting XP.
  • The Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigil occasionally found in rich resource nodes is the "new mithril flake," required for crafting the top-quality one-shot recipes and LIs. I haven't yet found any rare elites that drop them, but I've found 3 of them so far in ore nodes.

Gunkydoc is a member of the Tailor's Guild. In the old ranking system, he was Kindred with the guild, and in the new system that translates to Artisan of the Guild. The next rep tier is Master of the Guild. I had him make one each of all the guild rep items, from Expert to Westfold (which requires Friend standing with the Dunlendings, as it requires the teal item for the Westfold guild recipe), and when I turned them all in, I filled half the bar. If I had really been planning ahead, like a bunch of my kin-mates and friends did, I would have stockpiled the rep items for a few weeks in advance and turned them all in at once. This strategy allowed a bunch of my friends to earn Master of the Guild standing the very first day. I'll be able to get it by next weekend when all the recipes are cooled down again. It will be slower going for my alts, who do not yet have Friend standing with the Dunlendings and can't make the teal items needed for the large rep items.

On To Isendale

When my inventory situation was handled (I ended up spreading a bunch of stuff among my alts and donating crafting mats and random LIs to my kinnies), I headed out to Isendale. This region, in the narrow southern pass that is the Gap of Rohan, is the temporary home of the Rohirrim, who are in a long, protracted military engagement with the Draig-luth Dunlending tribe. The Draig-luth are at war with everybody, so that's not really a surprise. You are sent first to Forthbrond, where the Rohirrim have set up a military encampment with a good range of town services. Beware of the other settlements here that look like Dunlending towns - they are Draig-luth towns, and the inhabitants will not welcome you warmly.

The Heathfells is a kind of neat area - its central feature is a broad hill crowned with a ring of purple heath.

LotRO Rise of Isengard - Heathfells - heath-covered hill

The area is spotted with little caves, and the hills are crawling with hostile Dunlendings, orcs, hunting dogs and other nasties. Much of the questing here involves helping out the Rohirrim in the two camps, Forthbrond and Grimbold's Camp, usually by killing Dunlendings and taking or destroying their stuff.

I ran a few quests out of Forthbrond before ending Day 5 at level 73. The gates of Isengard lie just ahead, and Gunkydoc is knocking at the door of level 75.

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