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LOTRO Crafting First Step: Choose a Vocation

by: J. F. Amprimoz ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

LOTRO’s crafting system has expanded into a broad affair. This is great for experts, but how to get started on crafting great items and necessary supplies? We present the basics in a way to get you going.

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    Crafting is a common element of Fantasy MMORPG’s, but there is something magical to it in the Lord of the Rings Online. Middle Earth is full of tales about great items that were made, fought over, repaired, and used in amazing deeds. The story of the Ring itself is based around Sauron’s attempt to recover something he himself had made, and the Fellowship’s attempt to destroy it, which can only be done in the fire that was hot enough to make it.

    So if you aren’t doing any crafting, you might be missing out on more than nicer gear and access to needed consumables.

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    Professions and Vocations

    There are seven Crafting Vocations to choose from. Each contains three Crafting Professions. There are a total of ten Professions, so obviously there is some overlap between Vocations. We can divide the Professions into two groups, Gathering and Production.

    The Gathering Professions each involve collecting materials used by one or more of the Production Professions. There are three Gathering Professions: Prospector, Forester, and Farmer.

    Prospectors can mine and smelt ores into ingots used by the Jeweller, Metalsmith, and Weaponsmith. Foresters can take raw wood, and with Wax from an NPC supplier, make treated wood, which is used by the Woodworker. Also, anyone can gather hide (it drops when you kill an animal), but only Foresters can make it into the leather needed by Tailors. Finally, the Farmer gets food from farms (ya don’t say) for the Cook (shocking).

    If you’re keeping track, we’ve only mentioned nine so far. That’s because the Scholar, which uses artifacts to make potions, dyes, books and so on, can gather their own artifacts, so its kind of both Gathering and Production.

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    Choosing a Vocation

    Now I will help you choose a Vocation. Don’t worry, they are a lot more fun in Middle-Earth than real life, and the last thing I want to do is remind myself of my old guidance councilors. First, pick the kind of thing you want to make.

    If it is Heavy Armour, Jewelry (including Radiance Tokens), or Potions (including dyes, oils and so on), you’re done. Each of those Professions (Metal Smith, Jeweller, and Scholar) only appear in one Vocation, so choose Armourer, Tinker, or Historian respectively.

    A note on being an Armorer/Metalsmith: most Metalsmith recipes require components made by Tailors. Armorer includes the Tailor Profession, which helps, but you still need to find a Forester to turn hides into leather for you.

    If you want to make bows, staffs, and spears, your best choice is Woodsman. That way you get Forester (to gather wood) and Woodworker (to use it). You also get Farmer, which you can use to get stuff that Cooks need to make food. Armsman also gets Woodworker, but you will need to get your wood from someone else.

    The Armsman is the best choice for making swords, axes, and such. In addition to Forester, he gets Prospector and Weaponsmith, so he can get his own metal to make weapons. Note that some metal weapons need wood bits made by a Woodworker, and some wood ones need metal bits from a Weaponsmith.

    You may have noticed that all of the Vocations have one Profession that doesn’t pair up with another one. That encourages you to trade with players or use the Auction House, or at least make some alts. The exception here is the Historian. Since Scholar is self-sufficient, the other two Professions, Weaponsmith and Farmer, both require outside help.

    The Tailor Profession make medium and light armour, and like Weaponsmith, Woodworker, and Cook, is a Production Profession that appears in several Vocations. Also like those, there is one Vocation that does it best. If you want to focus on Light and Medium Armour, be an Explorer. In addition to having Forester to boil leather for Tailoring, you can gather and prepare wood and metal (the Explorer’s third profession is Prospecting) for use by alts or trade and sale.

    That leaves the Yeoman, who can grow and cook food on their own, and can Tailor. It may seem unglamorous, but food buffs are crucial to success when the going gets tough.

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    Are Some Races Better at Some Crafts?

    Not explicitly, but their starting areas have different crafting facilities that benefit some Professions more than others. All racial starting hubs (Bree, Celondim, Michal Delving, and Thoin’s Hall) have a complement of basic crafting facilities you can use to get started, as well as a Master of Apprentices. That is the NPC you talk to to make you Crafting Vocation choice.

    However, as you level your Crafting Tiers (which we will talk about in a coming article), you will need access to ‘Superior” crafting facilities. The Shire has Superior farmland (North of Hobbiton) and Ovens, as one would expect from a place full of Fat Smokin’ Hobbits. Thoin’s Hall has Superior Forges, used by Weapon and Armoursmiths, again what you’d expect, but from Dwarfs.

    Scholars are found among Elfs, but the Superior Studies aren’t in the starting area. They’re in Rivendell. Everyone else uses Superior Workbenches, which are in Esteldin. Also, the Crafting Guilds (which we will look at soon) for each Producing Profession are found in the same areas as the associated Superior Crafting locations.

    Oh, I almost forgot, you can open the Crafting Window buy clicking the little hammer and anvil button to the left of your Hot Button bar, or pressing the short cut key: t.