September is going to be a big month for the Lord of the Rings Online. The forthcoming Riders of Rohan expansion promises to change the landscape in some pretty big ways - a massive new area, ten more character levels and a big, flashy new game mechanic. With less than a month until launch, now is the time to start preparing for the journey to the Eastemnet, so you can hit the ground running when the expansion goes live on September 5.
First up is the obvious stuff for level-capped characters who will be rushing into Rohan right away:
- Stock up on supplies - top tier morale and power potions, curatives, food and class consumables.
- Clean up the quest log - finish up any quests you have outstanding to make room for the new Rohan quests.
- Finish those gear sets - the new gear coming out with Riders of Rohan will eventually replace the stuff you can get now, but you will want to hit the ground running when the expansion goes live. Go ahead and finish up your gear sets now while they're still current, and you will start Rohan with an advantage.
This is the standard for any expansion, all common-sense stuff for level-capped characters. Low- and mid-level characters won't be heading into Rohan right away, but there are still some things they can do alongside their high-level pals to prepare for the expansion:
- Farm crafting mats - collect up whatever you can and bank them so you can play the auction house market around launch. Demand for any tier of crafting mats may spike if there are new recipes to make, and top-tier stuff will sell well to people who failed to prepare.
- Make stuff to sell - crank out tons of Tier 7 class consumables and potions. This might be difficult or costly for low-level characters who are unable to acquire the mats without buying them off the auction house, but some smart shopping now might make for a big payoff on the investment after launch.
- Grind deeds - build up your virtues and earn loads of Turbine Points. Run through the starting areas - Ered Luin, the Shire, Bree-land and the Lone-lands - and rip through all the slayer, exploration and lore deeds you haven't finished there yet. Alternately, you can roll a "disposable" alt and do those same deeds over and over with friends to earn around 50 TP per hour. We wrote a guide to quick deeds shortly before the Rise of Isengard expansion launched, which you can read Here.
Now for the less-obvious stuff. Riders of Rohan comes with some unique new stuff that will require some specialized preparation. The new mounted combat system presents some interesting new challenges, and it will be the centerpiece of the expansion. Anything you can do now to prepare for this will go a long way.
If you bought the Legendary Edition pre-order package, you'll want to complete those deeds for the Rohirrim steed at Hengstacer Farm. Do the dailies, complete all the horse-play sessions, and you will unlock a new mounted-combat skill for your warsteed that is not available to anyone else - a daily-use healing skill for your mount.
The warsteed is a customizable companion creature with a lot of unlockable cosmetic options. There are several different items you can customize on your warsteed - coat color, leg wraps, head cover, saddle blanket, etc. Some of these cosmetics can be earned through questing or by other means, but you can unlock some special ones by buying one of the premium store-exclusive mounts. If you've purchased a Steed of Night, for example, or one of the class mounts, those cosmetics will be available to your warsteed once you get it. Premium mounts generally cost 1995 Turbine Points, so you may need to do a bit of point-farming.
As we saw in our play-session with Aaron Campbell, warsteeds will have a slot for a legendary bridle, which will be upgradeable the same as any other legendary item. That means it will need relics and other upgrades. Grab up a few scrap legendary items to level up a bit and deconstruct into relics and shards. You can also buy the sealed relics with Marks from skirmishes, or with gold on the auction house. And don't forget those crafted relics - make a few so you have them when and if you need them.
This is something you will want to be doing anyway. A 10-level cap increase means new tiers of legendary weapons. These new items will make your current maxed-out First Age Sword of Awesomeness obsolete, so you'll need to start saving up for something new to replace it. Round up as many disposable trash LIs as you can carry, level them up and deconstruct them for relics. Save up your skirmish, instance and raid currency for more Scrolls of Greater Empowerment, bank up some TP to buy more upgrades and legacy scrolls.
Rohan comes with a new crafting tier to match the ten-level cap increase. Whether or not you have topped off your reputation with your crafting guild, start cranking out rep items. If you are still working on building that rep, hold off for now and bank those items. The new tier will come with new high-value rep items at the new tier which will give you a big rep boost fast. If you've already capped your guild rep, bank the items anyway and turn them in after the expansion launches for an instant massive reputation boost.
These preparations will get you off to a galloping start when Riders of Rohan goes live. Got any tips you would like to share? Let us know in our comments!