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Introduction - LOTRO Traits and Deeds System
MMORPGs usually feature a bevy of different systems you can utilise to customise your characters. With Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), this is certainly true with LOTRO's traits and deeds system. Deeds and traits are the way you can customise your character and personally, it's one of the best customisation systems I've found, even if some elements of the LOTRO deeds and traits system can be rather grindy.
Character customisation doesn't always translate to customising your character's combat abilities either. Some of the customisation elements, thanks to deeds, can be just for fun. So, as you first need to complete deeds before you can get traits from them, deeds will be discussed first.
Essentially, LOTRO's traits and deeds compliment each other perfectly.
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What Are Deeds in LOTRO?
Simply put, deeds are the main way to earn traits which will give your character gameplay benefits and allow you to customise him or her to your liking. However, they also provide something else. Character titles. You can choose one to display for others to see and it provides no gameplay benefit.
Following on from this, there are several different types of deeds that you can earn while playing LOTRO. These different types will be dealt with further down, but deeds serve one other key purpose since LOTRO went free to play. When they are completed, you will (for the most part) earn Turbine Points (TP) that you can spend in the store. They give you an alternative to buying the points, via allowing you to purchase things from the in-game store through in-game effort.
One type in particular that should be mentioned are zone deeds. In order to be able to unlock these for a given area/zone, you need to buy the relevant quest pack from the store. Without doing so, you can only access the deeds in the three starting zones that free to play players have access to. The other types of deeds can be accessed though without doing so, because they're not zone dependant.
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The Different Types of Deeds in LOTRO
One of the most common types of deeds you'll gain access to are zone deeds. These deeds will award your character with titles and traits. Specifically, there are slayer, exploration, lore and quest deeds. Each of these deeds require you to do different things and will reward you with TP, in addition to the other rewards mentioned.
To start with, LOTRO slayer deeds require you to kill specific monster types in a given zone. The first stage of the deed will grant you 5 TP upon completion and also a title. The second stage will grant a new virtue trait, plus 10 TP.
Quest deeds have three stages. The number of quests you need to complete for each stage varies from zone to zone. However, you do get a virtue trait for each stage completed. You also gain 10 TP for the first and second stages, then 15 TP for the completion of the third stage.
The lore and exploration deeds require you to find different items and places, with each giving between 5 - 10 TP upon completion. They each give virtue traits as well.
Racial deeds require you to kill specific mobs, like goblins for elves. They give various amounts of TP and also racial traits. Likewise, class deeds will net you traits (class traits), but they require you to use specific skills a certain number of times.
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What Are Traits and How Are They Earned in LOTRO? How to Equip Traits in LOTRO
As mentioned, traits are the main way of customising your character, alongside equipping them with various items. They each provide different benefits. For instance, some may give statistic bonuses and others may alter some of your character's skills, allowing you to define how they play.
So, you know they're earned via completing various deeds. One or two class traits can also be acquired by completing class quests. Each character you create has a limited amount of slots that you can slot traits into and said amount is determined by the level of your character. You may also ask the question of 'how to equip traits in LOTRO?' The answer to 'how to equip traits in LOTRO?' is that you need to visit a bard in quest hubs and big towns.
Now then, many of the trait slots in LOTRO will be locked though for non-VIP players. In order to unlock the slots, you'll need to purchase them from the in-game store with TP. If a slot's locked and can be bought, you'll see a blue icon where the trait slot is, with a yellow circle in the middle. Click it and it'll take you to the store.
The trait screen itself can be accessed from the bottom left part of the UI. It's an icon reminiscent of Gandalf.
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An Overview of the Different Trait Types in LOTRO
As stated, there are several types of traits that you can equip. These are race, legendary, class and virtue traits. Each category has their own set of slots you can put them in. They serve different purposes as well, as will be explained further down.
For starters, there are virtue traits that have been referenced several times. These traits give a character statistic bonuses once they're slotted and up to five can be equipped at once, provided all of the slots are unlocked. Each of them affects three different statistics and the traits themselves have ranks. As you complete deeds, their ranks will increase up to rank 10, with each rank providing greater benefits. No other trait types have ranks though.
Racial traits are gained by killing the favoured enemies of your race. For instance, men need to kill wights, hillmen and wargs for their racial traits, with the exception of one. The exception is a trait you gain by achieving a certain rep rank with a specific faction (varies, dependant on race). As for what they do, they do various things. One, for instance, can teleport you to one of the starter zones.
Class traits are earned by using skills a lot. These traits can modify the skills themselves, but that's not all. They each belong to one of three sets/groups. If you equip enough traits from a group, you will gain a bonus, like with set items when you equip several from the set.
With regards to LOTRO legendary traits, these grant powerful new abilities and are gained via deeds and quests. Some are also earned if you equip 5 class traits from a group. These traits are really quite important, so try to get them as soon as possible.