Going to the Source
The first place that needs to be mentioned, and of which you are probably aware, is the Official Forum. It is the main point of contact with Turbine itself. The Announcements section is where all new important information is officially explained and what you read there comes from the horse’s mouth. The forums are also extremely active, so tips and tricks from the community are everywhere. And I mean everywhere: finding what you are looking for amongst the pages upon pages is often impossible, despite a very robust search feature.
Turbine, perhaps recognizing this, launched a Lorebook site. A very dressed up wiki, community members can post there instead of the forums if they feel more like sharing information than opinion. Also, forum posts that are particularly useful and well written are being awarded Community Guide of the Week and being added to this section of the Lorebook. The Lorebook is also nice because it is seeded with a lot of official entries… information straight from the game. The issue remains however, that it is a site run by the game’s owners, and they don’t feel like handing out spoilers.
A Helping Hand When Needed
If you are banging your head against a wall trying to find a Quest Objective or get through a tricky Instance, you may need to look elsewhere than official sources. Now different people play different ways, but I do recommend not resorting to these maps and walkthroughs for every quest. Nothing will destroy your immersion faster than having to constantly Alt+Tab to a walkthrough every four minutes, and the folks with whom you’re playing might not be thrilled for that matter. It might take two minutes to look up something it takes twenty to figure out, but that is two minutes doing research instead of twenty playing the game. We all reach a point when mounting frustration makes the game less fun than we would like though, and at that point the following sites can be life savers.
mmodb has excellent user driven LOTRO content. Their quest database in particular is fleshed out quite well as is the info on crafting recipes. Allakhazam isn’t quite as easy to search, but they do feature more guides. LOTRO Quest isn’t as up to date as the last two sites, and only deals with quests, but the way it does so is great: select an area or quest type from a drop down, select the quest from another drop down, and there is the area map with all NPC’s and objectives, along with co-ordinates and notes on more elaborate requirements.
Unfortunately, two great sites are in Limbo. Fizen’s Rare Drops List hasn’t been updated in months as it really was a lot of work for poor Fizen to do all on her own. She offered to have someone else take over the site, but it appears the transfer met with limited success… hopefully someone can revive this resource that Fizen put together and maintained for us so expertly; there was no better place to track down the locations of strange items and hard to find mobs needed for advanced crafting.
The prognosis is stronger for Middle Earth Head Quarters, though. This site, home to the most searchable, complete, maps on the web, is just in the midst of an update. The sooner it is up again the better: their maps are the best way to discover the last spot you need for an Exploration deed or one of those NPCs that just insists on making itself impossible to find. UPDATE: still no change on this one, sadly.
So whether you need to know what changed in Book 14, what recipe and ingredients to track down for the perfect weapon, how to get through that insane fight at the end of the Instance, where the last two flowers in the Old Forest are, or just about any question that you can think of in terms of LOTRO, you know where to look.