By Kyle Horner
For the many players who are still progressing through LOTRO's first 30 levels, reaching Evendim may feel like a daunting task.
This guide is here to help: Below you'll find tips for questing, and a breakdown of the various quest hubs scattered throughout Bree-land, the Lone-lands, and North Downs – eventually leading you to the Evendim area!
Tips for Leveling level up
There are several (optional) methods to increase the rate of your XP gain, especially in ways that aren't immediately obvious.
Quests = XP Points The most efficient (and fun!) way to level through the content in LOTRO is to pick up multiple quests and complete several at once. Then, once you've finished four or five quests – or more if you're feeling plucky – you should return to the non-player characters (NPCs) you received your quests from.
Quest Guide! When in doubt, press the "M" key on your keyboard to open the in-game map. Here, you'll find the super-handy-can't-live-without-it Quest Guide. This baby is loaded with information about nearly all quest types in LOTRO, and will help direct you along the correct path.
Bonus Tip! The Quest Guide highlights quest objectives in two ways: by painting areas where you can find enemies, and marking "points of interest" with the ring symbol. Prioritize ring markers first, and while you're making your way to them, kill enemy spawns relevant to your quest!
Train on Even Levels for Active Skills (i.e. 10, 12, etc) and/or Odd Levels for Passive Skills Class Trainers have active skills (i.e. attack skills, healing skills, etc) on even levels and passive skills (i.e. parry rating, block rating, etc) on odd levels. Prioritize return trips to class trainers based on your preference on which skills are more important. For example, I prefer returning to class trainers on even levels!
Buy Enhanced XP As you complete quests, you'll be slaying monsters left and right. Picking up some Enhanced XP from the LOTRO Store will increase the experience you gain from enemy mob kills!
Turn on "Always Loot All" By using "Always Loot All" (press "Esc" key for Options > click UI Settings > scroll towards very the bottom and check the box for "Always Loot All"), you can immediately grab all that satisfyingly hefty loot from fallen foes with just a single click of your mouse.
There are many styles of leveling in LOTRO, and everyone develops their own preferred method. This one happens to be my own, so feel free to cherry-pick aspects you like and forego others you dislike.
Levels 1 - 13
The first 13 levels of LOTRO are quite smooth to move through nowadays. My recommendation is to follow the starting quests (which are unique for Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit and Man) until you're near level 12 or 13. Then, when you're ready to head into Bree-town, complete your Epic Story Prologue.
Bree-land: Levels 13 - 19
Time to travel to Bree-land, home of Bree-town and the idyllic Bree-fields!
A great way to begin your adventures through Bree-town and the surrounding area is with the Welcome to Bree-town quest arc. Beyond these offerings there are several level-appropriate quests at Adso's Camp, Buckland, and Northern Bree-fields. You can also begin to work through Book 1 (solo, or in a group) without much difficulty.
To do this, press "L" to open your quest log, then search the left-side panel for "Epic Quest."
A Quick Note: The Epic Story
It's important to mention that Epic Story quests are highly worth doing for several reasons:
Plenty of XP gain!
Great Reputation (Rep) gains; rewards for high rep include faction mounts!
Many Epic Story rewards offer quality gear!
They're full of wonderful storytelling!
It's not a requirement that you complete Epic Story quests, however you may want to consider it; Epic Story quests involve the main elements of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings storyline -- and are completely free. Once you've finished the Prologue during your first 10 levels, Vol. I, Book 1 of the Epic Story will become available!
The Lone-lands: Levels 19-25
Welcome to the Lone-lands. Good news -- there's a plethora of solo-quests inside The Forsaken Inn! Grab every quest here that you can, and head eastward into The Lone-lands proper; make use of the in-game map ("M" key on the keyboard) and quest through areas where multiple quest objective areas overlap.
If you follow through with The Forsaken Inn quests, you'll eventually get a breadcrumb quest that leads into The Eglain quest arc. Move through these quests and you'll rack up quest and monster-kill experience points, bringing you that much closer to Evendim!
Another Quick Note: Skirmishes
When you reach level 20, a piece of in-game mail will arrive in your mailbox. I highly recommend travelling to the mailbox in Bree-town or at The Forsaken Inn and reading this letter!
Why should you do this? The letter in your mailbox is an introduction to skirmishes, and offers directions to LOTRO's first Skirmish camp located just outside Bree-town's South Gate. The Skirmish system is yet another way to earn XP, acquire useful gear (from Skirmish vendors offering a variety of gear selection) and add some variety to your ongoing journey through Middle-earth.
For an in-depth guide on the Skirmish system, click here!
Epic Story, Book 2: Levels 21 - 25
While questing in The Lone-lands it's a great idea to advance through the Vol. I, Book 2 Epic Story quests; this part of the Epic Story gets exceptionally interesting (and can still be completed solo or grouped). Expect battles with White Hand Orcs near, and eventually on, Weathertop itself!
Between skirmishes and the Epic quest chain you'll find a hefty amount of XP, Reputation and gear rewards. Before you know it, you'll be ready to move onto the (relatively) greener pastures.
North Downs: Levels 25-30
By level 25 you should be set for playing through content in The North Downs. Once you've finished with this area you'll be ready for Evendim!
You can find quest-offering NPCs scattered across The North Downs at Trestlebridge, Meluinen, and Esteldín. The quest text and Quest Guide make the quest arcs throughout The North Downs a breeze to play through – and incredibly fun, too!
Tip! While working on the quests in The North Downs, consider revisiting The Lone-lands to complete Book 2. These Epic Story quests lead to the instance of Garth Argawen. I would begin these quests around level 32.
Shiny New Evendim: Levels 30-40
Upon reaching level 30 you'll be ready for Evendim. Check out the Evendim Revamp Developer Diary for an in-depth look at quest hubs, quest delivery mechanics, and rewards – and be on the lookout for more official leveling guides in the future!
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