Making a choice
To start crafting, you must first play through the initial series of quests and move out into the wider world. In various towns throughout Middle-earth, you will find a Master or Mistress of Apprentices who will help you select your vocation. Each vocation is made up of three professions, as shown below. At least one workplace of each type is near each Master or Mistress of Apprentices, so that you can immediately begin crafting. A Provisioner is also nearby, to sell you tools and some of the necessary ingredients.
Spend some time to carefully select your Vocation and its associated professions. Some Professions are very difficult and expensive to advance, while others are very easy. Perhaps the easiest vocation is Explorer because two of the professions (Prospector and Forester) allow gathering of resources and the third (Tailor) requires hides, which are readily available resources.
Easy Professions - Farmer, Prospector, Forester, Cook
Harder Professions - Tailor, Metalsmith, Weaponsmith, Woodworker
Very Hard Professions - Jeweller, Scholar.
There is some debate about which profession is "harder" than another. This is because not all crafters become maximum level adventurers and often buy resources from the Auction Hall. In general, you can check the prices for stacks of 100 resources in the Auction Hall to see what is truly difficult right now. The experience of expensive/cheap can be different on each server. Compare prices for resources with the list of resources you would need at all crafting levels. It is also possible to level a Jeweler (for example) by making polished gemstones, which are usually reasonably priced. Now that processing has been added to crafting, Jeweler may be one of the easiest professions to level since there are two options for simple leveling, gemstones and processing.
With Scholar however, it's very rare to see full stacks of 100 resources up for auction. So it may be best to plan to level a Scholar all the way up to 95 or the maximum adventure level so that you have access to resources yourself. Also the usual "hunt and gather" method for Scholar does not seem to work as well as patiently waiting in a ruin area for nodes to repopulate. It also may be difficult to find midlevel wood resources on your server, so any craft that depends on Forester should consider at least a modest adventurer level such as 75. Ore is used by so many crafts that it seems the simplest to find for sale.
Note: A character may change vocations at any time; however, you will lose ALL progress and recipes memorized in any profession that is not available in your new vocation.
Near each Master or Mistress of Apprentices, there is a Provisioner and Novice-level Crafting Trainers of all types. The Trainers are stationed at the assorted workplaces that are needed to engage in crafting tasks. Between the Provisioner and the Crafting Trainers of your chosen professions, you can acquire most of the items you need to begin crafting. All crafts require the correct tools, raw materials, and a workplace to perform the task. For instance, woodworking requires a set of woodworking tools, a supply of wood (which can be found throughout your travels in Middle-earth), and a workbench. (You receive your initial tools when you choose a profession.) Workbenches are found in many locations in most towns.
|Tier Level||Proficiency||Points Needed||Mastery||Points Needed||Resources**(***)|
|3||Expert *||360||Master Expert *||720||135(69)|
| * Once the Expert Proficiency is completed a crafting quest must be completed allowing further advancement towards Master Expert and opening the Artisan tier; find any trainer of the related profession. This hindrance do not apply to the gathering professions.
** Resources refer to prepared resources needed to achieve mastery in a tier. For example: this would be ingots, not ore, boards, not wood, and leathers, not hides. Double this number if you are starting with ore/wood/hides/etc. It takes into account that most players want some resources left over after they have completed a crafting tier, therefore, with crafting XP scrolls and speed potions, this number can be considerably reduced, especially if leftovers are not desired. You would process half of this number into shavings (for example), and then return them to their intact state to complete a tier. You should expect considerable loss of resources whenever you use Processing.
Each profession is broken up into tiers, and each tier has two requirements furthering your progression towards the higher crafting tiers. Creating an item in a given profession rewards you with an amount of Crafting Points, see the table for requirement per tier. Each requirement you reach, you earn a new crafting title which provides new abilities (notice the footnote attached to the table).
Proficiency: Completing the Proficiency part of a tier (denoted with a bronze anvil) enables you to achieve critical successes while crafting items from that tier (see below), and, furthermore, it opens up the first part of next tier.
Mastery: Completing the Mastery part of a tier (denoted with a gold anvil) enables you to begin earning mastery points of the next tier. Until Mastery is completed you can just earn crafting points to complete Proficiency of the next tier, but not any further. Once Master of a tier you do not earn any more crafting points from crafting items of that tier. Critical success on a tier requires Mastery of all previous tiers.
The following explains the four levels of crafting progress per tier:
|An empty bronze anvil: you are currently working towards Proficiency.|
|A bronze anvil: you have gained Proficiency.|
|A bronze anvil and an empty gold anvil: you are currently working towards Mastery.|
|Two filled-in anvils: you have also gained Mastery.|
Mastery and Critical Successes
After gaining Proficiency in any tier of a crafting profession, each time you craft an item for that tier, you have the chance to receive a Critical success. This is commonly referred to as "to crit" or "critting"; the resulting product of such a success is often called a "crit item".
Types of Critical Success
There are two different outcomes when you critically succeed while crafting:
- Producing a larger number of items. Example: Normally Bronze Ingots produces two ingots at a time, but a critical success yields four ingots.
- Produce a better quality item with improved statistics. Example: A normal outcome is Leather Armour but a critical success gives Tough Leather Armour which has increased stats.
Notice that Weaponsmiths, Metalsmiths and Tailors also have a special feature attached to critical successes at Artisan level and above: they are given the option to Inscribe Item (allowing custom named items).
- Certain Guild Recipes are referred to as "Auto-Crits." These recipes can only generate the Critical Success outcome. They normally require a "Guild pattern" of some sort associated with that profession, as well as the same materials as required by the "normal" recipe, and are typically on Cool-down timers. They typically require a certain Guild Reputation level to acquire and execute. No "critical success bonus" is associated with these as the success rate is always 100%. Example: Item:Cloak of Théodred Recipe
- Similar to "Critical Successes" are Bulk Crafting Recipes available from Guild's "Improved Recipe" vendors and from the Skirmish Crafting Trader. These recipes allow the creation of multiple items at one time. Most are related to resource or component production. They typically require specific Mastery or Reputation levels. Examples: Item:Bulk Brushed Leather Recipe, Item:Bulk Tome of Wisdom Recipe
Achieving Critical Success
If a crafter is proficient in the crafting tier being used, and if the recipe allows critical success, the base chance of attaining a critical success is 5%. This base chance can be increased by using player-crafted Crafting Tools, special "mastery components", and Scholar-made crafting lore scrolls.
To see possible outcomes from critical successes, open a recipe in the crafting panel (at the page Critical success an example is included that illustrates this section). The lower area of the screen is commonly called the Mastery Component area. The special name of a critical success is displayed in this area, if one is possible. Hovering over the icon will display the improved stats and bonuses. Notice that if you have not yet attained proficiency for the tier of the recipe, the content of this area will be disabled.
The Mastery Component area of most recipes also displays a special ingredient slot for what is commonly called a "Mastery Component". If the crafter has the special ingredient available, he may select the "use" box and that way increase the likelihood for critical successes. In the example to the right Chunk of Grey Rock-salt may be used. Single-use recipes usually require "crafting journals" crafted by scholars, e.g. Artisan Metalsmith's Journal rather than standard mastery components.
- One mastery components is used per craft attempt.
- Mastery components are optional; also crafting without them may yield a critical success.
- Standard Mastery components are random loot but Farmers may buy them from vendors.
- Not all recipes have an option for mastery components.
- The base chance stack with crit chance from crafting tool, mastery components, and scholar's lore.
- A critical success is never guaranteed as you may never reach 100% likelihood (except for Farmer fields).
- The percentage outcome of critical successes is generated per crafting attempt, not over a series of attempts, thus the mileage of a shorter crafting session may differ considerably. The average of longer sessions should be close to the expected likelihood. If a crafter, as in the example crafts 20 Items, that is 20 individual attempts!
At the page Critical success a hands-on example illustrates how the different improvements interact to a better likelihood for critical successes.
The crafter must have learned the recipe for items he want to craft. Recipes are either given automatically when achieving a crafting tier, purchased, dropped from mobs, or obtained as treasure.
|Type of Recipe||Description|
|Basic||Each tier has a number of basic recipes that are provided for you once that tier is available.|
|Vendor||This recipe can be purchased from a Novice or Expert profession NPC. Example: Heavy Quilted Armour Recipe can be purchased from Tailor trainers.|
|Guild||This recipe can be purchased from the appropriate Guild Representative for Improved or Legendary Recipes.|
|Reputation||This recipe can be purchased from the appropriate Faction Representative. Recipe access and use is normally controlled by Reputation Level.|
|Dropped||Obtained as loot from various creatures or from treasure chest (or alike). These recipes are one of "vendor" or "single-use" type.|
|Single Use||A recipe can only be crafted once and then it is removed from your recipe list. Note: Quest recipes are generally single-use and do not offer crafting XP.|
There are hundreds of recipes per profession and to list them all is crazy, but we tried our best!
Crafting Guilds provide additional paths of advancement for many professions.
In particular, after level 45, most players begin to find legendary items in the game, these take the form of third age, second age or first age (see more information on this under legendary items). Crafters can also make legendary items, but each craft is limited to making them for two classes. Jewellers, for example, make legendary items for Rune-keepers and Champions. Legendary items are also made stronger with relics which may be found or "made" by crafters. What happens is, a crafter will make an item which has a cooldown of 18 hours, This item may be bartered for the relic. Some relics will bind to the crafter on acquire, some may be sold or traded freely.
Returning to the jeweller example, Jewellers may trade in Relics that provide a +10, +30 or +40 to will on a legendary item. Your choice of craft is not dictated by which Crafting guild provides which benefits to your class, because it is impossible to completely provide all you need in legendary items for yourself. In another example, a Lore-master may provide well for himself as a Scholar, but he will need a Woodsman to make his staff for him anyway. Both the Lore-master/Scholar and the Woodsman will have to be members in good standing in their Crafting Guilds to provide what the Lore-master needs. Therefore, cooperation is needed.
Membership in a crafting guild is exclusive - you may only be a member of one crafting guild at a time.
You may choose to join a different crafting guild, but bear in mind that you must abandon all guild recipes and progress gained from your current guild in order to join a new one.
Note that there is no guild for Farmers, Prospectors, or Foresters.
Crafting Guild Halls can be found in the following locations around Middle-earth:
|Cook's Guild||Michel Delving's Craft-fair||The Shire|
|Weaponsmith's Guild||Thorin's Hall - The Forging Hall||Ered Luin|
|Metalsmith's Guild||Thorin's Hall - The Forging Hall||Ered Luin|
|Scholar's Guild||The Last Homely House in Rivendell||The Trollshaws|
|Tailor's Guild||Craft-hall of Esteldín||The North Downs|
|Jeweller's Guild||Craft-hall of Esteldín||The North Downs|
|Woodworker's Guild||Craft-hall of Esteldín||The North Downs|
|All crafting guilds||Galtrev||Dunland|
|All crafting guilds||Snowbourn||Sutcrofts|
|All crafting guilds||Aldburg||West Rohan|
Recipes require ingredients in order to create items. These ingredients can range from cooking ingredients to mining ore to hides from animals. Some ingredients are used to make components for other item recipes or may be used directly for those items.
Crafting materials are found throughout Middle-earth from Vendors, as loot drops or Resource Spawns, or in the assorted chests and crates around the world. Raw materials for crafting consist of Ores, woods, gems, seeds, cooking supplies, dye components, hides and lore items.
Crafting resources (Ingredient Packs) are also available for purchase from the LOTRO Store.
- Ores and woods are most commonly found as ground spawns, and if you have the gathering skill to collect them, you will have a tracking skill that you can activate to give you an indicator when you are near that resource. Ore nodes can also produce gems for Jewellers, and minerals for Scholars.
- Seeds and cooking components can be purchased from Provisioners or tradesmen.
- Hides are found as loot drops from many creatures.
- Lore items are found as loot drops on humanoid enemies or in and around ruins inside ancient Artifacts.
- Rare items for high level crafting and single use recipes may be found in Farming fields as well as any appropriate level resource node. They may also drop from "Rare Elite" or "Rare Signature" creatures. See Crafting Rare Components
- Rare Drop Effect: Some people have observed that rare items (ie. Emerald Shard) do not drop as easily if you are working on a field at higher level than your craft. For example, a Master Supreme Weaponsmith/ Master Supreme Scholar may find rare items for crafting up to the Farming level of Supreme, but less likely higher. This effect also seems to occur in other resource nodes, if for some reason, you gather ore/wood from nodes much higher level than you can craft reasonably. There is no factual confirmation of this effect, so your experience may vary.
All of these assorted materials can also be found in chests scattered throughout the landscape and in dungeons (Instances).
Tools and Facilities
|Cook||Campfire • Oven • Superior Oven|
|Farmer||Farmlands • Workbench|
|Jeweller||Workbench • Superior Workbench|
|Metalsmith||Forge • Superior Forge|
|Scholar||Study • Superior Study|
|Tailor||Workbench • Superior Workbench|
|Weaponsmith||Forge • Superior Forge|
|Woodworker||Workbench • Superior Workbench|
Once you have spoken to a Master or Mistress of Apprentices and chosen your vocation, they will give you a set set of appropriate inferior crafting tools and offer you a series of introductory quests. These quests include appropriate Ingredient Packs to begin your crafting career.
After completing this basic training, your next stop should be at the nearby Provisioner.
You begin your profession with a basic set of inferior crafting tools. These are "brittle" and should immediately be upgraded to "normal" tools at the nearest Provisioner. As your character progresses in level (not crafting rank) additional tool types are available from a friendly Metalsmith. (They are player-crafted items.) Or are often found at the Auction House at prices ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. For the gathering professions, these improved tools decrease the time necessary to gather a "resource node". Higher ranked tools also provide an increase in the "critical chance" associated with their use.
- See: Crafting Tools for details on their availability and capabilities
In addition to the necessary tool that must be equipped on your character for use, every profession has an appropriate place to actually do the work. The gathering professions, Scholars, Prospector and Forester, primarily harvest "resource node," in the wild. Farmers also grow resources in Farmlands. However once harvested, these resources must then be "refined" in the same Crafting Facilities used to create crafted items.
The Cook and Scholar are the only two professions who can craft certain items anywhere.