New Player Hints

Preface
Here are a number of hints, tricks and bits of advice to help the brand new player find his feet. Most of these are specific to Lord of the Rings Online, but I also cover the very basics of grouping in an MMO. Many new LotRO players will probably be familiar with the material under the heading “The Basics of Grouping”, but even so, you may find the rest of this article helpful.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of anything; it is merely a handful of advice which I believe will benefit the newcomer.


Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt
+ F4 is a Windows shortcut which closes the current window. Do not believe anyone who tells you that alt f4 is the command for anything in the game, pressing alt F4 will instantly force-close your game client. Don’t be the poor sod who falls for this one.

The personal torch, however, is activated by pressing alt + F10. It doesn’t work in all areas, but in the places where it does work it is very useful. The personal torch surrounds your character with an aura of light which makes things easier to see. It is only visible to you and not to other players.

F12  will toggle off all of the game’s user interface, which is nice for sightseeing and for taking screenshots. To toggle it back on, simply press F12 again.

F11 will take a screenshot, Screenshots are by default saved to “My Documents” in a folder titled “The Lord of the Rings Online”.

F9
will target the nearest player character other than yourself.

F10
will target the nearest NPC, be it a live monster, a dead monster, a vendor, a quest-giver, a Captain’s banner, a Loremaster’s pet, etc.

Tab or Backspace will target the nearest attackable (that is, living) monster.

U will “use” the targeted item; this can be used to loot corpses, speak with an NPC, pick up quest items, etc.

F1 will target your character as will the backslash key (\).

F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 will target the other members of your fellowship.

CTRL
+ O opens the options pannel, where any number of settings can be changed.


Gameplay and Settings Hints

Pets can be renamed
Loremasters, Captains and Runekeepers all have pets which can be named. To name your pet, simply target it and type /pet rename Name. The Pet’s name will instantly be changed to Name.
Loremasters, you can also name your pet by right clicking the pet itself or by right clicking it’s vitals (by the way, you might think it’s witty to name your raven Poe or Nevermore, but it really is old hat. Sometimes I feel that if I see one more raven named Poe or Nevermore I will simply scream. If you must name your raven after Poe’s works, try and make it something a tad less pervasive, like Ligeia or Eleanora).
Captains, your herald can be named by right clicking the herald or its vitals; your banner can be named by right clicking it’s “vitals” (really just a white box displaying the banner’s name), the banner will be difficult to select by clicking, so it’s probably best to use F10.
Runekeepers, your Rune of Restoration can be renamed by right clicking its vitals; right clicking the stone itself results in an error message.

Pet names follow the same rules as character names (spaces and characters other than the 26 letters of English alphabet are not supported, profanity isn’t allowed, and names already existing in Tolkien’s novel will be summarily rejected), except that more than one pet in the game can have the same name and that any capitals letters used in the name will be retained. A Raven named BobTheRaven will display as BobTheRaven, but if you try that name for a character it will be reduced to Bobtheraven.

The profanity filter can be disabled
Lord of the Rings online had a built-in profanity filter will automatically changes dirty words to a string of nonsense characters. However, profanity filters aren’t infallible and will filter out words like cockpit; it also filters out milder swear words, such as damn. And then there are the people would rather not be left wondering just what Offensive Bob is saying about their mothers. I believe that most people prefer not to have a profanity filter in place, but turbine has the filter toggled on as a default (better safe than sorry, right?).
So to turn it off. In the options panel find the button marked “Chat”, one of the toggles here is labelled “Profanity filter enabled”. Uncheck this box and viola, no more random nonsense characters.
Remember that the profanity filter only filters incoming chat, not outgoing. If you have it toggled on and type the word “cockpit”, other players who have it turned off will indeed see what you typed. Also, toggling the filter off does not exempt you from the TOS. If you’re being offensive you can get yourself banned, filter or no.

All skirmishes and some classic instances can be scaled to different levels
When you open the instance join panel and select an instance, you will see several lines of information at the top of the panel. One of these is level. The instance will default to your level, but you can select the number and type whatever level you please, as long as it’s within the listed level range for that instance. If you are in a group and wish to run an instance at a different level than your own, there is no need to hand leadership to another player of a different level, simply type a different number in the box.


The Basics of Grouping

A fellowship in LotRO is composed of six people, not five.
If you are running content marked as “Fellowship”, this means that it was designed for six players. I suppose other games have five-player groups and many people have gotten it into their heads that “group = 5”, but in LotRO, if you have five and you’re about to start a quest, you need a sixth.
That said, “small fellowship” means three players. if you set a skirmish as small fellowship, you will not be able to bring a fourth person into it.

Healers
are important; they heal you so you stay alive. Almost without exception, every single fellowship quest will require that one of the number be a healer. Minstrels are healers, as are Runekeepers (Runekeepers can either heal or deal damage, but not both at once; make sure your Runekeeper is aware of what he should be doing). Captains and Loremasters both have some small healing skills, but neither are actually healers and should not be called names for being bad at healing if the group failed to bring a healer.

Tanks are as important as healers. “Tanking” means making the monsters hit you instead of the rest of the group. Guardians and Wardens are tanks, some Champions can also tank (but always ask your Champion if he’s comfortable tanking). The tank holds aggro so that the others in the group are free to do their jobs. A group with no tank will have monsters running wild and hitting whoever, and this is a recipe for unhappy players and a failed quest.

Aggro is a bit difficult to define, and it can be a verb or noun. I’ll explain it by example.
Enkidu here is a Guardian, so he has skills which encourage or force monsters to hit him; we call these “aggro skills”. If a monster is targeting Enkidu, we say that Enkidu “has aggro”. When monsters continue to target and hit Enkidu instead of running off to kill the healer, we say that Enkidu is “keeping (or holding) aggro”. If Hunter Gilgamesh deals a great deal of damage before Enkidu gets a chance to walk up to the monsters, the monsters might hit Gilgamesh and give Enkidu a hell of a time “pulling aggro” off of Gilgamesh; in this case we could say that Gilgamesh has more aggro than Enkidu.
As for its use as a verb, monsters are said to aggro when they run to someone and begin attacking, and players are said to aggro monsters when they cause them to attack.
P.S. Please don’t be Gilgamesh. Let the tank aggro the monsters first.

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