I haven’t had much free time for proper adventuring in Lord of the Rings, but I have been doing a bit of housekeeping; selling off old quest rewards I’d been keeping around “just in case”, auctioning assorted bits of dropped loot, storing some potentially useful things in the vault, and spending some time in the craft hall turning bagfuls of ore and hides into assorted armour pieces.
This seems to involve an awful lot of running around. As far as MMOG towns go, Bree seems pretty similar, size-wise, to Stormwind or Ironforge, but the Lord of the Rings town planners could learn much from their Warcraft equivalents. (If there are any town planners. I don’t think I’ve encountered them as NPCs, I’d probably remember quests like “Go and tell the bloke at number 37 he didn’t get planning permission for those fortifications so he’ll have to take them down”, or “Compulsorily purchase these three properties so they can be knocked down to make room for a bypass”). In Stormwind, the hearthstone point, bank, auction house and gryphon point are pretty close to each other. In Bree, everything is miles apart, it’s like the place was designed by some evil PE teacher. “I’ll just do a spot of crafting!” *run to the crafting hall* “Ah, I need a Deranged Wombat’s Nose for this item, I’ve got one in the vault. I’ll just go and fetch it!” *run halfway across town to the vault* “Oh. No. It’s a Morose Wallaby Nose I have here, my mistake. Hmm… maybe I could get the right nose at auction…” *run three quarters of the way across town to the auction hall* “Nope, no Deranged Wombats here. Oh well. I’d better go hunt them in the North Downs. At least I can ride there… from the stable right slap bang diagonally over in the other corner of town!” (Though at least in that last case, you can ride from one corner of town to the other for a mere 1 silver).
In the process of making bits of armour, I progressed from Journeyman to Expert in both Tailoring and Metalsmithing. One quick tip here: as you get near the next “tier” of a crafting profession, it might be worth having a quick look at the quest you’ll be sent on to get to the next level (there’s a splendid guide which seems pretty good for listing them). The Metalsmith’s Expert quest, for example, “Will of the Iron, Part II” involves making a Feather Weight Shield, which needs an iron chain, steel braces and an iron band; had you known that *before* you got sent on the quest, you could have made those components in order to gain the skill necessary to be given the quest in the first place. If you see what I mean. It’s a bit Catch-22. Not that it’s a disaster if you haven’t made the items already, but as you can’t develop the crafting skill any further until you finish the quest, any potential skill gains are wasted, which is a little annoying.