In Praise Of….LOTRO Starter Bundle

It just so happens that a lot of you might have found yourselves on the LOTRO Market website in the past couple of days. Some sort of big thing going on I hear….OK, OK, yes I know, its Gundabad pre-order time (really am excited to get to play brawler on live servers, really do want those Ultimate Fan Bundle bonuses but it’ll have to wait a fair while until I can afford it) but while you’re over there, did you ever click on the special offers?

Here’s why you’re going to want to do that and why it’ll be one of your best ever LOTRO purchases. I give you the essential mega-bargain that is the LOTRO Starter Bundle!

So here you are on the LOTRO Market and enjoying your expansion options, but you see that little link up towards the top right of the page? The one that says Special Offers? You’re going to want to click on that.

When you do click on that, you’ll find yourself here. That’s the price in the UK, you’ll see the price in your own currency, but whatever currency that is it’ll be a bargain. Why would you want it? Stick with me and I’ll explain! For now, I’ll explain the purchase process.

When you buy now it’ll ask you to login. Just like any other LOTRO market purchase, you log in with your account username and password, just like you were trying to log into the game. You can only buy the bundle once per account, so be sure to get it right.

Once you’re logged in, you pick whatever payment option seems best to you.

Typical online store stuff, just hit the complete purchase button to confirm your order.

Once you’ve completed your order you’re on your purchase details page and all done with the LOTRO Market section of this guide. But why have we actually bought it? Keep reading and I’ll show you what you get, how to work with it and why its so good!

REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE: The goodies will be delivered to whichever character from your account that you log on with first. If you run on multiple servers BE VERY CAREFUL and log on to the server and character you want to get most of the goodies. They’re mostly account bound, not character bound, so you can (and probably will want to) share them around between characters, but there’s no helping you if you log on to the wrong server, so do please take care at this point!

One thing you get is account wide, however; the High Elf race is unlocked (if you don’t have it already) on your whole account, on every server, once you purchase the starter bundle. You just don’t see anything about it in-game, but you would be able to roll a High Elf character now. I won’t be touching on that in this guide, instead I’m focusing on the items you get in-game.

Here’s a likely looking low level hobbit who might need some boosts, so its a good job I’ve logged him on to unpack all his new presents! Lets see what he’s got…

Open your inventory and there’s your goodies, all bundled up together and called Middle-earth Starter Pack. That’ll probably sound familiar to some of you, but I’ll come back to that before the end of this guide. I’ll show you what happens when you unpack this box.

When you unpack you’ll see in chat there’s one thing that you don’t actually see in your inventory and is the only thing that is character bound – the Riding Trait. This is why its VERY IMPORTANT to open the box on the character you want to give the riding trait to. Everything else you can transfer to other characters, so be extra careful to select the right character before doing any unpacking.

Well that’s a heap of stuff that just emptied out! Lets go through it all carefully and see what you’ve got.

First is the steed selection box, where you can pick from a selection of 68/250 steeds that normally cost 1995LP on the LOTRO store. All these steeds come with Warsteed cosmetics too, so you’re already ahead on the deal and this is just the first item!

Next up is 6 premium housing writs. That’s enough for a Stately Belfalas house! Choose your home wisely and this is the biggest bargain of the lot, but I’ll explain more about that later.

Next along is 500 silver. Not a lot of money in the LOTRO economy of today, but if you were rolling on a new server it’d be very welcome indeed as you try to get established.

Next up is a modest virtue pack. AKA a big pile of 25,000 virtue XP. I mean, we’re not talking Valar amounts of virtue XP, but this is still the most you can get outside of buying a Valar package. Remember, this is account bound too, so you know that character whose virtue build you messed up? Welcome to a big boost towards fixing it!

Our penultimate present is a universal toolkit. *Puts on my Gaffer voice* I remember when they didn’t have toolkits and you had to switch between your tools, that was fun when you were an explorer. Didn’t annoy anyone you were playing with, ever… Well, there’s no more of that, because this is a really well specced universal toolkit that you can equip whatever your crafting profession. Schweeeeeeet.

Last up is a small crafting carry-all. Can never have too many carry-alls, right, even if they’re small ones. Just think of it as getting 9 extra inventory slots, for free! I do love crafting carry-alls. They normally eat so many of my LPs but not this one!

That’s a well equipped little hobbit we have there now, but we’re not done. Here’s how you work with the different things that you’ve already unpacked.

First, lets try the steed selection box. Unpack that and it gives you a pop up to select which of the steeds you want. The Steed of Bree, the Steed of Michel Delving, the Steed of Rivendell or the Steed of Thorin’s Hall. So, a human, hobbit, elf or dwarf horse. Have a look at the horses on the wiki and remember to check their war steed appearances too before deciding. My favourite is the Steed of Michel Delving (big shock there) so that’s what I’m going to give this hobbit. Click on the one you want and press select at the bottom of the pop up.

Here it is on the mounts panel, so just a quick drag to equip and…

…my hobbit has got some slick new hooves to ride around on. I bet I’ll not be able to get him to get down off that horse the whole rest of this post now, you just wait, you’ll see I’m right.

Lets have a look at this hobbit’s inventory. Just as I thought, lots of crafting items taking up space. Time to deploy that crafting carry-all.

Right click to open the carry-all and you’ll see there’s nothing in it. Not carrying much, but lets fix that. Hit the Gather button at the bottom of the pop up window.

There, that’s better! All those crafting items have jumped into the carry-all, freeing up all that inventory space. Really got to love a carry-all.

How about the toolkit? Couldn’t be simpler! Just click to equip it and it goes into the crafting tool slot and that’s about the only time you’ll have to think about it. Just sit back and enjoy that 20% crit chance or -3s crafting duration boost you’re getting from it. Its unglamorous, but its a cool tool! That’s what they should call crafting tools from Forochel.

Now, about that virtue XP. Unpack the shiny box it comes in and you’ll get 5 VXP bottles, just like you get from hobbit presents, except these are a lot more potent at 5000VXP a go. CHOOSE WISELY for your virtue build, or give them to characters who need them, they’re bound to account and so easy to give to those un-virtuous characters in need.

Last thing I’ll touch on in this guide (the silver you can just sell to any vendor, simples) is the housing writs. Have you never done premium housing before? You’ll want to, because you’ve got a free house sitting in your inventory, but you’ll also want to choose well and this is how to do it.

Take yourself to the Boar Fountain in Bree and have a word to Nothwen, the Cape of Belfalas housing broker.

Choose the Purchase a House option from the dialogue pop up box. You’ll be presented with a list of neighbourhoods….

….like this! Lets make it a whole lot easier by pressing the house types selector at the bottom of the window. When you get the drop down, untick the Deluxe Kinship House and Luxurious House options, as you only have enough writs for a Stately House.

Don’t know what to pick? Here’s some friendly advice; you want 1 Bay Road. Why? Because its super close to the stable master in Belfalas and with the 1 minute cooldown on travelling to a premium house instead of 1 hour for a standard house you’re basically giving every character on your account a fast travel to lots of different places in Middle-earth. You really do want 1 Bay Road as your first premium house. To get to it just hit the Tour House button once you’ve found a 1 Bay Road for sale.

And here you are at 1 Bay Road! Look at that view! To purchase a house with writs just click on the For Sale Sign.

You can see that in the Your Money section of the pop up window there’s your six writs listed and the buy house button at the bottom of the pop up shows the writs icon. So you can go right ahead and buy, but WAIT just a moment! Its always wise to check out who your neighbours are before you buy, do you really want someone who thinks that a Tower of Orthanc and Thaurlach’s Blade are great yard decorations for anything other than a Belfalas kin house?

I’d suggest just taking a moment to ride around to take a view of the neighbours before you….

…oh. Well maybe not this particular 1 Bay Road then, but even if there aren’t any available right now, wait a few days. New Belfalas neighbourhoods are being generated every day, so keep on checking the broker until you find one that you like.

For now lets head back to that lovely little personal shire house and reflect on having done such a good job in getting a fantastic bargain.

But wait, wasn’t there something else, about a Middle-earth Starter Pack? Oh, you mean THIS Essentials Pack.

This you can buy from the in-game LOTRO store and is also once per account. Yet, despite being very similar in its offerings (though the Starter Bundle does offer the best value with the High Elf race and crafting carry-all included), you can buy BOTH the Starter Bundle AND the Essentials Pack once per account. This. Is. Brilliant. You could apply these boosts on different servers! Or you could instead get them both on the same server and now you’ve got a total of 2 great steeds and warsteeds, 2 toolkits and 12 housing writs; that’s most of the way towards a Rohan house and for way cheaper than buying writs or mithril directly. Plan your purchases and you can bag some huge bargains!

So there you have it. Expansions aren’t the only thing that’s good to buy on LOTRO Market. Do yourself a big favour and pick up a Starter Bundle while you’re there, before it disappears. Its one of the best LOTRO purchases you’ll ever make!

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