Greetings, everyone! 🙂
The idea to write a guide for the Legendary Items system came to mind after listening to Episode 48 of LOTRO Players News, where there was some lamenting over the Legendary Item system and the ‘grind’ involved.
Later that day, while with others defending Helm’s Dike, the Rohirrim saw fit to award me an ancient symbol of old…
So I thought I might keep a written record of the steps taken to turn this Symbol into a new Scouting kit for myself, one with all the bells and whistles. I will go step by step, to help illustrate what all is involved in the process, and discuss some tips and tricks that you may or may not know that might help cut down on costs and ‘grind’. Hopefully, some of the unpleasant parts will be diminished for you, and more fun can be had as you work with your own legendary items! 🙂
Please, please, please feel free to leave comments if you know of different or better ways to do things than I mention!
A. Shards – The Currency of Legendary Items
Before we truly begin on our item, let us talk about currencies. When it comes to Legendary Items, there are four different currencies that can be used to barter for things regarding them: Turbine Points, Gold, Marks and Medallions, and Shards. Of those four, Shards are the only currency that deal with Legendary Items in exclusivity. What this means is, since the other three currencies have value outside of the Legendary Item system, we first want to look toward Shards as the currency we spend toward them.
Well, how can you earn shards, you ask? There are a few ways:
- Shards can sometimes be found in Hobbit Presents (those hobbits are so kind!)
- Shards can sometimes be granted when combining relics and a critical success combine happens. There is a Scroll of Combination, purchasable in the Store and once found in the Lotteries, that greatly improves the chance of this occurring. I do not believe they can be found as treasure, but please mention it below if so!
- Relic-masters can convert relics into Shards, through the process of refining (the last tab in their menu). The higher tier the relic is, the more shards can be earned from them.
That last process is one I want to discuss, particularly with regard to crafting. Most everyone knows that those who are skilled in a craft, and who are also in good with their guild, can learn how to craft relics able to be placed upon legendary items. What may not be as well known is that those relics can be refined into shards, the same as any other relics.
What this means is that there is a way to convert any of the excess resources you may have stored away into the currency of legendary items! And it can add up if you do so regularly. What I do is keep on hand the materials to make the ‘lesser’ crafted relics (the ones in purple text) for the last three crafting tiers (Currently: Westfold, Eastemnet, and Westemnet). You can craft one of each of these every 2 days and 18 hours, but I just do so twice a week. I also run to the mine in Hytbold once per week, to fetch a Compendium of Middle-earth, Volume IV as well. This enables me to craft the ‘highest’ Eastemnet relic (the one in the golden text) once per week as well. At 95 trainings, this can be done very quickly.
So, what does all this add up to? Let us go to the Relic-Master!
- Each Westfold ‘lesser’ relic is worth 258 shards
- Each Eastemnet ‘lesser’ relic is worth 358 shards
- Each Eastemnet ‘greater’ relic is worth 1,074 shards
- Each Westemnet ‘lesser’ relic is worth 458 shards
So, (258 x 2) + (358 x 2) + 1,074 + (458 x 2) equals… *counts on her fingers*… 3,222 shards per week, using piles of resources you likely have just sitting around! Over the course of a year, it will add up to over 150,000 shards, taking maybe 5 minutes per week, including the time to fetch that Compendium, maybe 1 minute only without that step.
But isn’t that a ton of resources that you need, you ask? Not really! Each of the lesser relics takes 2 of the Highest Grade resources for that tier, and 1 of the lower. 2 stacks of the highest (100 per stack) and 1 stack of the lowest will get you just about through the year 🙂
But that is not the end. Shards are shared by all of the smialmates on that account. If you have some crafters who belong to a crafting guild, but who do not really adventure much, they can also craft these relics and refine them into Shards to be used by your more adventure-minded smialmates as well, even while they progress toward Proficiency and Mastery at their craft! 7 Smialmates doing this over a year would earn over one million shards, to be used however you like!
B. Envision your Legendary Item in advance and prepare for the day when it comes to you
So, having stitched my Scouting kit, I take it over to the Forge-master to have it appraised…
“Please, appraise this bundle, sir! Mmm…385 silver? Can I pay you in another currency, maybe? Oh, you take Shards as well? Very nice!”
(Remember, you can make most any Legendary Item related purchase in shards! Most merchants prefer coins, though, so they will try to get those from you first. Do not let them unless you wish it!)
The Forge-master has a look…
Not the best, unfortunately. In fact, with all of the legacies being Tier 2, the same tier at which replacing a legacy with a scroll begins (more on this later!), this item will require the largest ‘grind’ possible within the Legendary Item system to get it to where we want it to go. I am working on this as I write, so I did not know this would happen! I guess we will see how much of a grind is really possible 🙂
At any rate, two of the three legacies are keepers, while Hedge Your Bet will have to go. I know this because, before I put the very first stitch into this bundle, I knew exactly which legacies I would have it end up with, and I have been preparing to have them ready, in the event that I did not get the ones I wanted by random chance. How is this?
By deconstructing items at Level 31 or higher, we not only get some relics for the item, but we may also choose one of the legacies of that item to be scribed into a scroll.
*holds up a scroll*
With so many of the rewards in Middle-earth moving away from a system of merit and toward purely random chance, it is nice to have something toward which we can make solid and steady progress! We can overcome our initial misfortune and still end up with the exact item we want. It will just take a little more effort is all 🙂
Usually, you will find yourself exploring new lands, performing new quests, and earning new levels far before you will even start to think about working on a new Legendary Item. Why not start preparing for one then, while things are not yet a grind? As you are questing, exploring, even visiting the festivals, have some items on hand that will progress as you go. Then, when it is time to deconstruct them, choose scrolls with the legacies you will want later and keep them in storage. That way, when the time does come to work on your new item, the ‘grind’ of preparing scrolls is already done! 🙂
Legendary Items earn experience in a number of ways. That experience gets them to where we can deconstruct them for relics, the scrolls from above, and other useful things. How can Legendary Item XP best be earned?
I am glad you asked… 🙂
C. Multitasking with Legendary Items – The More, The Merrier!
We can earn experience for our legendary items in many ways. Every foe we dispatch earns us some. Every quest or task we perform earns some as well. Even quests at the festivals make our items better! Running off the shrews in the gardens of Duillond and poking fun at ‘Tweens in the Hedge Maze north of Bree-town will make your items grow!
You can do just about anything but sneeze and earn some progress toward cycling through your legendary items. They progress at a fairly quick rate, provided you are actively doing things.
But would twice that rate be better? Of course!
Did you know that, for each legendary item beyond just one that is currently progressing, you earn 20% more Item XP than what is displayed? That bonus is not mentioned anywhere that I am aware of, but it is there! The more items you are currently working on, the greater the overall gain.
Most everyone will have one legendary weapon they wield and some other legendary item, depending upon the Class they took at the Academy. Also, most will have a bridle for their steed. Since we all start with 6 available slots for legendary items, that means most will likely have 3 spots open for items to cycle through. You can purchase more slots (up to 10 total) in the Store as well, which I recently did when they were on sale.
In my case, I keep two stickers and two Scouting bundles, one pairing for each of the Scouting disciplines that I use, depending upon the circumstances I find myself in. With one bridle as well, that leaves five slots open for items to work through. For every 1,000 Item XP I earn, I am really getting 1,800. This is an invaluable aid for lessening the ‘grind’ toward earning relics, replacement scrolls and so on. Take advantage of multitasking as best as you may! 🙂
Five items at a time is too much hassle, you say? What I do is use the Item XP runes to make sure all of my items have nearly the same experience if any get ahead or behind. That way, I can reforge all five at once when they need it, deconstruct all five at once when they are done, and start a new batch of five all at once thereafter.
D. Determining the Initial Legacies for your Item
At this point, we want to raise the item’s level to 30, in order to determine what the item’s initial legacies will be. Legendary Items need to be ‘reforged’ every ten levels. The first three times (at levels 10, 20, and 30), you will be shown two different legacies and may choose one to be granted to your item. Any reforging after 30th level (40, 50, and so on) will instead give you a choice between two of the item’s existing legacies. The legacy you choose will have its tier upgraded one level, instead. The higher the tier of your legacies, the less expensive they cost to give rank to, but we are getting ahead of ourselves 🙂
Off to the Forge-master!
*holds up her scouting bundle with a sigh*
There are two different groupings of legacies for all legendary items: Major Legacies and Minor Legacies. When a Legendary Item is first identified, it will always start with three Major Legacies. The first three times it is reforged (at levels 10, 20, and 30), you will be shown two legacies at random, one of which you may choose to add to your item.
The legacies shown at these reforges are Minor Legacies nearly all of the time, but there is a small chance (maybe 10-15%), that you may have been given the option of adding another Major Legacy instead. Sometime, very rarely, both options will be Major Legacies.
In general, Major Legacies tend to be far and away more powerful than the Minor Legacies. Before the changes to the Trait Trees, it was almost always the best choice to take any Major Legacies offered when reforging, even those that were not specifically wanted. You could then replace that legacy with another major legacy that was more desirable, and have quite an item on your hands! 🙂
Unfortunately, many of the legacies now concern skills that are gated behind the different trait lines, rendering those legacies all but worthless unless you are working within the trait line to which that skill belongs. It is worthwhile to plan out which legacies you would like to have if you end up with the option for an additional Major legacy or two, and also to know in advance if having extra Major legacies is not worth trying for, due to the gating of their relevant skills.
You can identify which legacies are Major, and which are Minor, by the ring that encircles their tier indicator:
Major legacies have a golden ring, while Minor legacies have a dull, silver ring. As you can see, I was not given any options for a Major legacy during my three reforges. But, not only that, none of the options I was given had any legacy that I wanted much at all!
In all of the years that I have been working with legendary items, this will be the first one ever which will have all six legacies at Tier 2 before I begin righting this wayward ship and steering it back on course! But we will, and this is good in a way, as it will be a wonderful example for how to reclaim the worst possible Legendary Item and what is involved in order to turn it into gold 🙂
E. Create a circumstance where random chance is in your favor
So, we know what we are working with now. We will have three more reforges, each of which will allow us a choice between two of its existing legacies to raise one of them by one tier. Remember, the Tier of a legacy dictates how many legendary points have to be spent to raise that legacy’s rank. The higher the tier, the less you need to spend. You can tell what tier a legacy is at by how many lines form its symbol. In the above rendering, the first four legacies are Tier 2, the next Tier 3, and the last Tier 4.
But, as I have mentioned, I do not care much for the legacies that are currently on the item. Now is the time to use the scrolls we have been saving to replace the unwanted legacies on the item, before we start the reforging that will increase the tiers of legacies we may not want! 🙂
First, I will switch out Hedge Your Bet with the Positional Damage scroll I showed above…
And now I will play a special trick…
These rare and precious crystals can sometimes be found as treasure while adventuring, and can also be purchased in the Overlords’ Store. Breaking it over one of your legendary items will grant it an additional Major legacy, giving it a total of 7 legacies in all. No more than one of these crystals can be used on any given item, so seven is the most any can ever have. It is basically a blank legacy which requires one of the legacy replacement scrolls to switch into something useful. I will do that now and use one that gives a Critical Buff Duration legacy, like so…
Now the Scouting bundle has four Major legacies, the four I had planned on from the beginning. There are eight Major legacies for a Scout’s kit. Unfortunately, four of the eight are worthless while in the Quiet Knife line, so there is no real motivation to try and get more. Aside from having to spend a Crystal of Remembrance, and the lowly tiers of the legacies themselves, this was the best outcome, at least regarding Major legacies.
But what about the Minor ones? I do not like any of those, truth be told. In fact, I do not really care for any in the entire pool, to be honest. They either affect skills gated by different trait lines and are therefore worthless, or they are more legacies that lend only a bit of convenience rather than any potency. If only there was something else to be done with them…
Off to the Relic-master!
Relic-masters have an incredible variety of wares for your legendary items. Through the process of melding (the third tab on their menu), they can use a given number of your shards and create from them a whole host of useful things! One of those things is creating a Minor legacy scroll that will boost one of the wielder’s given attributes (Might, Agility, Vitality, Fate or Will). You can even choose between a Lesser version of the scroll (which grants a Tier 2 Legacy, costing 943 shards) or a Regular version (Tier 4, 1,886 Shards).
Well, as I said, I do not really care for the usual Minor legacies for Scouting kits, and Scouts can always be more Agile, so let’s give that a try. I have enough shards on hand to choose the Regular version, so I will do that in case I want to increase the rank of that legacy later…
Yay! 🙂 Now, instead of having a legacy that was virtually worthless, now I am getting +130 Agility without spending a single point on that legacy! 🙂 How much higher can it go?
Not much higher, it looks like. To gain 8 more points of Agility, I would need to spend 163 points. But, even so, this legacy is tremendously useful! 🙂
F. Use Front-loaded Legacies to your favor
If you were to take a First Age Legendary Item and increase the Tier of every single legacy on it to the highest possible (which is Tier 6), you still would not have enough points to increase them all to their highest rank. Front-loaded legacies are an incredibly valuable tool, because most of their value is gained from just having the legacy at Rank 1 🙂 I can leave this Agility legacy alone, rather than spending 163 points to go from a bonus of +130 Agility to merely +138, and spend those points I saved on legacies that have a more linear progression.
Here is an example of another front-loaded legacy, from a different kit I have with me:
The Critical Rating begins at +1,304, with a maximum potential of +1,368. The very first rank of the legacy holds over 95% of its possible worth! And look at the cost to increase it at Tier 2! 356 points, nearly half of the maximum possible. No thanks! 🙂
When planning for the legacies on your legendary items, be sure to consider where front-loaded legacies can help save you some points, and which ones are most worthwhile for you!
In fact, I think I will exchange the other two Minor legacies on my kit with Fate and Vitality legacies, like so…
G. Collecting on our free Scrolls of Empowerment
Now, it is time to do our three reforges and see which legacies we can tier up, yes? Not quite, and not only three! Before we start those, let us look at two more Legendary Item scrolls that will be of use to us!
The Scroll of Delving will grant our Scouting bundle an additional 10 levels worth of advancement, while the Scroll of Empowerment will allow us to choose one Legacy and raise its Tier by 1. These are the final pieces that will let us bring the item that started so horribly out of the darkness and allow us to make it shine! 🙂
Firstly, since the Delving Scroll increases the item’s maximum level from 60 to 70, it gives us an extra reforge, which is basically a free Scroll of Empowerment, save for the random chance involved. But you see what we have done, yes? By switching all of the legacies on the bundle to ones which we want before starting those reforges, we have insured that we will almost always have a good option available to us! 🙂
We should apply that Scroll of Delving first and then do our reforging, saving any Empowerment scrolls for after we are finally through with all random outcomes. Mmm… those prices, though. I wonder if we can barter for these things more cheaply from someone else…
And we can, or we can with differing currencies, from the Relic-master. Consider…
- Eorlingas Scrolls of Delving: 4,560 Marks and 552 Medallions from the Skirmish Camp, versus 19,500 Shards from the Relic-master.
- Eorlingas Scrolls of Empowerment: 1,368 Marks and 173 Medallions from the Skirmish Camp, versus 28,440 Shards from the Relic-master.
Notice how the Relic-masters place more worth on the Empowerment Scrolls than the merchants in the Skirmish Camps, but less on the Delving Scrolls than they do? Just like in Bree-land, it pays to shop around! 🙂
We only need one Delving scroll but likely a slew of Empowerment scrolls… I think I will barter for the Delving scroll with Shards, and use Marks and Medallions for the Empowerment scrolls.
(Important note: There is also an option to barter for these scrolls in the Skirmish Camps using Seals rather than Marks. Never, never, never do this! If you do have Seals, any that are unused will be converted to Medallions down the road, at a ratio of 20 Medallions per 1 Seal, which is far and away a better bargain than using them in this manner!)
And, finally, we are off to our reforging. Here we go! 🙂
Remember, front-loaded legacies have most of their value in just being on the item. Because of that quality, increasing the Tier of those legacies is likely not the most efficient choice, as you will most likely rank up the legacies that progress more linearly first. I should have mentioned that all of the Major legacies I have chosen progress in a linear fashion beforehand, but you all probably knew the answer anyway 🙂
Completing the rest of the reforging with that in mind, we finish up with the item’s leveling like so…
Now, the only thing left to do is to decide how many Empowerment Scrolls to use to increase the tiers on the legacies we want to rank up. Well, I do not mess around when it comes to these things 🙂
And we are pretty much done! 🙂
We may as well finish it off for a final rendering, though! What is left?
- The Ents are far too unhasty with parting with their Legendary Item scrolls, so we will fetch one from those in the Eastemnet. Wildermore is another option as well
- We can craft a relic to place within the item
- 3 Eorlingas Star-Crystals would look lovely as an accessory, wouldn’t you say? 🙂
- Settings, Gems, and Runes! How did we forget those!
Taking care of the first three things brings us to…
Lastly, the relics for our bundle:
I will discuss making choices amongst the relics in more detail a bit later. For now, I can say that the Relic-master has a dizzying variety of relics, and I am going to choose the most potent ones for my kit…
And the transformation is done! From the worst beginning to a legendary item possible, into something the most dedicated and perseverant raider Scout would adventure with. That is an important thing to note, in my opinion. No longer are the best items gated behind content or restricted from anyone. With enough effort and perseverance, we all can reach for these things 🙂
H. The Reckoning – What was the cost?
But there is a cost. There is always a cost. What was the final cost to craft and work this bundle into what it eventually came to be?
- We will assume to have been storing enough Item XP runes and Legendary Legacy Replacement scrolls in advance.
- One Crystal of Remembrance (these are given from pre-ordering Helm’s Deep, can be found in treasure, and can be bought in the Store. For this, we will assume we purchased it for the going rate in the Auction Hall, around 350 gold
- 1,886 Shards for each of the Stat Legacy Scrolls (Agility, Fate, Vitality), for a total of 5,658
- 1 Eorlingas Scroll of Delving from the Relic-master – 19,500 Shards
- 12 Eorlingas Scrolls of Empowerment from the Skirmish Camp – 16,416 Marks, 2,076 Medallions
- Around 20-30 minutes worth of time for the LI Scroll from Snowbourn, assuming we did not have 50 of their tokens lingering in our wallet 🙂
- 525 Marks and 69 Medallions for the Compendium of Middle-earth, Volume V for our crafted relic
- 3 Eorlingas Star-crystals – In actuality, these do virtually nothing for the item, but I had extras, so I threw them in 🙂 They sell very cheaply now, so we will say 60 gold for the three 🙂
- The Setting, Gem, and Rune I chose were all True Runes of the Eastemnet. The total cost for all three: 29,952 Shards and 12 Tier 9 relics of any kind.
So, the final cost:
- 410 gold coins
- 55,110 Shards
- 16,941 Marks and 2,145 Medallions
- 20-30 minutes of effort in the Eastemnet for our LI Scroll 🙂
- 12 Tier 9 relics
You know, for the best possible Legendary item in the game, that is not bad, in my opinion. Especially when you consider:
- You will likely find enough Star-lit Crystals during your normal adventuring, or you can just skip them. You can skip the Crystal of Remembrance easily as well, especially if you get an extra Major legacy from reforging.
- Using the crafted relics to earn shards, and assuming no other shards of any sort, this is about 18 weeks worth of crafting relics, and maybe 30 minutes to an hour of time, once you have the resources ready to go! 🙂
- The marks and medallions… If you had a committed group to earn these with, and used a few of the +100% Mark Acquisition scrolls, you could probably earn this many Marks and Medallions in about…4 hours or so, give or take? 400 Marks per Sambrog run, doubled is 800, assuming 10 minutes per run, which is very slow, is 4,800 Marks per hour. But if that is not for you, just normal and unhurried adventure will do! You can earn 993 Marks and 211 Medallions or so – per side objective – in the… *covers Draculetta’s ears* Deeping Wall Epic Battle raid 🙂 The side quests in Fornost give 80 Medallions each! Just clicking on three catapults to break them gets you 80 Medallions, and another 100 come from finishing the instance. There are so many choices, and that is what it is all about in the end! Do what you enjoy and let them come 🙂
I. One Final Project – A Butterfly Facsimile on a Shoestring Budget
So, let us say that you have drawn a line in the sand. You have decided, for whatever reason, that you simply do not wish to put anything more than the most nominal effort toward your legendary items. What then?
I still believe you can work toward a very nice legendary item, one that will be closer to the butterfly above than the caterpillar it began as 🙂 Let us see what we can do!
The first thing to recognize is that we have an advantage toward ensuring that we get off to a good start versus dealing with the First Age kit. Why?
Rarity. We are not likely to have multiple First Age kits, from which we can choose the one with the best legacies from the start. But 3rd Age kits are commonplace. We can ask kinmates to send us any they might find, buy them cheaply at the Auction Hall, and find many on our own!
I took the five or six kits that I had stowed away to claim relics from and had them appraised. This one seemed to be the best of the lot:
All three legacies are ones I would want and, while the tiers of the legacies are not stellar, they are not so bad, either. On to the first three reforges!
Again, not amazing, but not awful, either 🙂 We did get an extra Major legacy, and the two Minor legacies deal with the Quiet Knife line. Unfortunately Tricks Duration is useless as a Quiet Knife Scout, and we just will not have the points to rank up those Minor legacies, either. Let’s replace the Minor legacies with Stat Legacies, and we will swap out Tricks Duration with a front-loaded Major legacy to save even more points, like so…
Now, we work through our remaining reforges, each acting like a Scroll of Empowerment. Remember not to raise the tiers of front-loaded legacies! 🙂
Well, we were unlucky on the last reforge and had to choose between the two Stat legacies. Still, we have 3 front-loaded legacies, and three others just shy of being ranked fully.
Now, regarding relics. Most of the relics, save for the True relics which I used earlier, are front-loaded like some of the legacies are. We will choose 3 Tier 1 relics, while also adding the same crafted relic and LI Scroll that we did for the first kit, like so:
A side-by-side comparison…
All in all, not bad, even compared to the Butterfly! The crafted relics and LI Scroll are identical. The two Stat legacies are nearly identical, as are the three legacies shared by both (Positional Damage, Skills Critical Multiplier, and Specialization Skill Critical Buff). In exchange for the Butterfly’s extra linear legacy, we have a front-loaded one giving us near its full worth. Basically, the only things we are down on at all really are the extra Stat legacy on the Butterfly and the quality of the relics. But wait until you see how much we saved! 🙂
Total Cost of the Facsimile:
- 3 Shards
- 20-30 Minutes for the LI Scroll
- 525 Marks and 69 Medallions
- 3 Tier 1 Relics
That is it! We can approximate quite well the best Scouting kit possible in the game for so little effort that it is difficult to imagine anyone not wishing to do so! 🙂
But we all have that choice, and Choice is what makes for an inclusive game, one that is welcoming to most everyone 🙂
In the end, the Legendary Item system, like everything we do in these lands, is all about choice. A clear vision of what the Legendary Item system entails and a clear understanding of what is possible within that system,relative to the amount of effort required, simply helps us make better choices. I hope this long script has demystified some of all that is involved with the Legendary Item system and what the possibilities within it are! Comments, questions, critiques? Please, scribe them below! 🙂