Part 3: Spending TP
As said initially, if you are going to play F2P you should have an idea of what you are going to buy. Let’s face it: there is a ton of cool stuff in the store, the problem is that winning TP takes time, which is why you will have to prioritize what you are going to buy. What follows now is a list of what I think is good to buy first as an F2P. The order I’ll give is also the recommended order, but you can move the items up or down according to needs and to the special offers given each week. Again, this list is not definitive, it is meant just to be a guideline. If you don’t agree with something, just change it.
1) Mines of Moria expansion: I already explained why exactly the expansion and not the questpack, but now I’ll have to reiterate why this one is the first on the list even though the content is for 50-60. The explanation is simple: stuff. Tons of stuff. You’ll get the chance to play the Runekeeper and the Warden, a better skirmsh soldier and, most important of all, you’ll have four character slots. More character slots means more variation while grinding the needed TPs. Besides, if you plan to play to the maximum level cap, you will cross Moria someday.
2) Evendim questpack: The big question once you reach level 32 is where to continue? What I like about the middle levels of LotRO is the variety of ways you can go to reach level 50. From 30-40 you pretty much have three options: Trollshaws, North Downs and the one mentioned above. Why Evendim? It turns out that this is a very well-rounded area, even after the revamp. Sometimes you may feel a bit tired of the long swims you will have to do (there’s a reason they call it “Everswim”), but all in all it is a beautiful area with tons of quests and the Annuminas instance at level 40. I would say it is one of the better deals, for it takes you easily to level 40, while the other two may require you some extra stuff to do to get to the aforementioned level.
3) Angmar: Angmar has in this case a much stronger reason. It may be a dreaded place to go, but it has many instances you can play with. Not only do you get the regular TP, but also the ones with Urugarth and Carn Dum, in other words, more points to collect for the store. Also, many players still run those instances a lot and the epic trait quest items are to be found there. Why not have access to it to get them without repeating the same skirmish once and again? Remember you may buy these items with skirmish marks, although at a very high price.
4) Currency cap removal: Currency seems to be a useless feature to get rid of. You may buy a horse or two and some vault space, but there seems to be not much more to be won. Many would rather buy extra bags or other more shiny things. The reason I include this one in my list is that for the almost 600 TPs it costs, you get even more space than getting a bag. Let’s face it: once you reach your gold cap, you will be able to buy only up to 60 vault slots. With the cap removed, you can buy up to 120 slots. In total you get 60 more slots, not 15/30 if you would buy the bags. Some clever inventory management would be necessary so you wouldn’t walk with your inventory full around, but it is worth if you can save the mats for the next weapons with this.
5) Mirkwood questpack: By this moment you should be already near the level cap. The last five levels can be covered with Mirkwood easily, and it is a beautiful zone to play in.
6) Inventory bags: Finally, I would recommend to get those last bags you might need to carry around stuff in Middle Earth.
From here on what?
The list here shows just the basics of what you should get first. Once you get all those things, you should be able to have enough for a good play experience in LotRO. Now the points you will get will amass and you will have the freedom to spend them however you want. What would I recommend?
First off, you should acquire two more questpacks, accompanied with two more character slots. In the order you want. The questbacks may be your main focus, since you’ll want to enjoy more of the content. I would recommend above all two areas ranging from 30-50, so the play experience won’t get monotonous: Trollshaws and Misty Mountains. Later on, as a good end-level content area, I would recommend Enedwaith.
Finally, the rest depends on your own play style: if you like skirmishes, I do recommend to buy more skirmish areas; if you want all questpacks, start collecting them bit by bit. If you like crafting, then there are the accesses to the Guilds. This is up to you.
The list may seem like quick to get, but believe me, it will take you a few months to get everything you might want from the game. Remember: as long as you are patient, all is obtainable.