This page is an essay written by Glflegolas. In it, I will discuss four basic things you need to know about surviving in Middle-earth.
1. Get Aligned!Edit
The first thing you should do when you enter Middle-Earth is to find a faction and to stick to it. Try to get as much alignment as you possibly can with the faction of your choice as fast as you can; this is especially true in multiplayer. Not only will this probably provide you with cash (if you choose to do mini-quests), but it will allow you to use faction-specific equipment and, in time, hire an army! A great way to get alignment fast is to do some Mini-Quests; in addition to providing you alignment, you'll also get some cash. It's also a good idea to get decent amounts of alignment for at least two factions; that way, you'll be able to hire troops if you're on a trip.
As you gain alignment, you will become friends with certain factions. But, unless you plan on playing as a pacifist, you will also become enemies with other factions, and this is where things can get very interesting. When you plan on entering a new biome, make sure you know something about the inhabitants. For example, if you've been killing Gundabad Orcs in order to become friends with the Rangers of the North, you shouldn't enter Angmar unless you know what you're doing, because Angmar and Gundabad are allied. A surefire way to check whether or not the biome you plan on visiting is safe is to read the wiki pages regarding biomes (they will tell you the inhabitants of that biome), and look at your alignment with the inhabitants' faction. If it's -1 or lower, you will be considered an enemy of that faction, and face the risk of being attacked.
Once you have -1 alignment or lower with a faction, that faction has a chance to launch an invasion in your area -- provided, of course, you're in a biome that the faction can invade; see the invasion page for more details.
Fortunately, invasions don't come without warning; you will be alerted in the chat with the following message, along with the blast of a low-pitched horn:
[Faction] have launched an invasion nearby!
As soon as you hear the horn, or see the message in chat, get ready! Either run away, or fight off the mobs that spawn (there will be 30-70 of them). Also, note that invasions can spawn units that do not normally spawn. Always take invasions seriously; one misstep and it can mean the end of your campaign.
Aside from invasions, you'll probably run into bandits every now and then while travelling. These NPC's spawn near you, take stuff out of your inventory (especially your money) and then run away! Getting alignment won't help here, because bandits will steal from you regardless of alignment. However, hired troops will dispatch bandits for you, and you can slay them if you're fast enough, bringing in lots of cash (see below).
4. Hire an army!Edit
One of the greatest things you can do in the LotR Mod is to hire your very own, personal army. This will require you to get enough alignment with the faction of your choice and some silver coins. From there, you need to locate a captain, and tell them you want to hire units. As soon as you click the sword icon, the unit you chose to hire will be yours.
To control your army, you can use a Horn of Command, in order to summon your units and to halt them if needed, and a warg bombardier units off to distant targets. You can also use a Table of Command to assign your command items to different squadrons and put your soldiers in separate squads (for example, you might keep some soldiers guarding your base, while you go attack with the other squad).
1. Try to get as many silver coins as possibleEdit
Regardless of your alignment, you will need silver coins for something or other, whether it's for trading with players on a server, trading with NPC's, or hiring an army. In this game, it's good to collect everything, for almost anything can be valuable in some way, shape, or form. For example, don't discard equipment dropped by NPC's you killed. Keep it, take it home, unsmelt it, and sell the stuff to an oddment collector. There are lots of traders for you to choose from, regardless of alignment; see the page on traders for more information. Always keep cash on you, too; you never know when it'll come in handy.
If you live in an area where traders are uncommon, or you can't be bothered doing quests (see below) or selling stuff to traders, you can still make money by mining silver ore. Each piece of silver ore will yield one ingot when smelted, which can be made into nine nuggets. Four nuggets can be combined to make four coins, so each piece of silver ore can potentially be worth nine coins.
When you've found a faction that you want to stick with, be sure to right-click a bunch of NPCs. Sooner or later, one of them will offer you a favour. Doing favours is very useful because it benefits you in two ways; it will give you cash when you complete the favour, but it'll also give you alignment with that faction, both of which are sure to come in handy. Even if you have lots of alignment with a faction, favours are still a good way to bring in money.
4. Take advantage of travelling tradersEdit
When wandering Middle-earth, traders will sometimes spawn near you. When planning to enter a new biome, check to see which traders can spawn there, and keep cash and items that the trader might be interested in in your inventory. If these items are taking up too much space, put them into a pouch. Just remember where they are when the trader shows up!
For Good playersEdit
If you play as a good player, it is pretty much inevitable that you'll have to deal with wargs sooner or later. Killing a warg with nobody on his back is pretty straightforward, but what about if there's an Orc or Uruk mounted on his back? The answer to that question depends on the specific unit mounted on the warg. If you're facing a warg mounted by a melee unit, then you should always kill the warg first. Attacking the rider will mean that the warg and rider will not be knocked back, and that you'll be attacked by both units at the same time.
If the mob mounted atop the warg is a ranged unit, however, things can get a bit more complicated. The trick here is to kill the rider using ranged attacks or throwing weapons before the warg gets close enough to use his melee attacks on you. But beware if the rider is an Uruk crossbower; chances are, you probably won't be able to kill the rider in this case before the warg gets close to you, because the crossbower has a lot of health. If you have managed to weaken the crossbower significantly, deal with him first using melee weapons, and kill the warg next. If you didn't manage to land several hits on the crossbower, try to kill the warg first and the crossbower second using melee attacks. Be careful, though, if the warg is armoured; this technique is prone to failure in those conditions. Riding a mount can be very helpful when fighting any kind of warg rider.
If the warg is carrying a bomb instead of a unit, you could be in for a serious situation. See Tip 3 below for what to do in that case.
2. Do not enter Mordor, Dol Guldur, or Angmar without a good planEdit
If you remember the words of Boromir at the meeting of the Fellowship in Rivendell, where he says "One does not simply walk into Mordor", you know that it's not a smart move to walk into Mordor unless you know what you're doing. But, Mordor is not the only place you want to be careful when entering; it's also not smart to enter Dol Guldur or Angmar unless you're careful. All of these places have units that are far more dangerous than Orcs; Mordor has Olog-hai and Black Uruks, Dol Guldur has an abundance of Mirk-trolls and Mirkwood Spiders, and Angmar is filled with Trolls and Hill-trolls (and Angmar Orc Warriors too, in versions prior to Public Beta 24). All of these units are very dangerous; for example, it's very difficult to defeat Trolls without a Warhammer, and the Mirkwood Spiders can poison you. So, unless you have made a good plan, and know exactly what you're doing, stay out of these regions.
3. Beware of Warg Bombardiers!Edit
Of all the units you will be facing in Middle-Earth, few can match the sheer danger of the Warg Bombardier. While they don't normally spawn, they can spawn in Angmar, Mordor, and Isengard invasions -- and if they do, they can cause great chaos; not only will they kill you no matter what armour you're wearing, but they will be able to destroy most of your army, too. Combine that with a speed that's faster than you can run, 18-40 HP, and a triple strength Orc Bomb, and danger is right there. If you see a Warg Bombardier, kill it with ranged weapons, spears, or Throwing Axes immediately. In short fire everything! Anything else can wait for the time being.
4. Always be on your guard at nightEdit
In general, evil units can only spawn in most regions at night. During the day you will only find them underground or in dark places, but at night, they will spawn in many regions of Middle-Earth. So, always be on your guard when travelling the lands of Middle-Earth, although regions populated with large concentrations of good NPC's and only a few evil NPC's (Gondor, Rohan) are relatively safe at night.
For Evil playersEdit
1. Stay out of Rohan and Dor-en-ErnilEdit
If you do not have a good or neutral alignment with the land of Rohan or Dol Amroth, do not venture there. The inhabitants are plentiful, fast and powerful, and can see you from 24 blocks away compared to the normal 16. On top of that, they are too fast to be outsprinted. In particular, the bowmen of the Rohirrim are almost impossible to kill without a fast mount or a ranged weapon; they will back off and shoot quickly enough that you can't hit them. Only enter these biomes if you're an experienced fighter and know what you're doing. Watch out for Rohirrim wielding lances as well; these weapons have double the reach of a sword, and the knockback of a warhammer; Rohirrim lancers will usually manage to hit you before you can hit them unless you're using a pike or halberd.
The mounted Swan Knights of Dol Amroth are equally dangerous, for they spawn in large groups, can outsprint any player, and have the armour, health, and attack strength of a High Elf Warrior. Furthermore, many of the Swan Knights wield lances, too.
Most good NPC's can spawn regardless of the time of day. But, unless you plan to always stay in evil biomes, in which evil units spawn regardless of the time of day, most evil units will only spawn at night. By travelling at night, the naturally spawned evil units can help keep you safe. Also, any hired Orcs you have will be slowed down and weakened by the sun; travelling at night will result in your army being at its strongest.
If you're travelling in Eriador and its surrounding biomes, or in Ithilien, be careful of Rangers of the North and Rangers of Ithilien, especially if you've got a hired army. These units will go into a ghost-like form when they see an evil player or NPC, and can snipe your units without your units being able to find their attackers, which can seriously weaken (or even destroy) your army; a Ranger Invasion can pretty much kill most of your units, if you don't play your cards right. Not only that, Rangers are very hard to see when they become "invisible", especially at night. Don't get overrun by Rangers; if there are too many for you to handle, move off to another area. And always try to travel at night, whenever possible (see above).
For the same reason, it is not recommended to kill Hobbits immediately upon entering the Shire, as that will cause you to be attacked by Rangers as soon as you enter Eriador. Try to avoid killing Rangers or Hobbits until you enter the Lone-Lands, do a favour for an Orc to get your +1 alignment, get some decent gear, and only then attack either Rangers or the Hobbits.
4. Take full advantage of your evil powersEdit
As an evil player, you can make many powerful varieties of equipment that are barred to good players. These include the terrifying Morgul Blade, the Uruk Crossbow, and Orc Bombs. As an evil player, you are also able to ride many special mounts, such as Wargs, a common mob that spawns at night, and two varieties of spider, both of which can climb straight over fortress walls! If you're planning to hire an army, don't hesitate to use powerful and devastating units such as the Olog-hai, capable of destroying many foes at once, Mirk-trolls, which inflict poison on their foes, Orc Bombardiers/Uruk Sappers, capable of blowing through walls and inflicting chaos on attacking armies, and -- every good player's worst enemy -- the Warg Bombardier, able to make an entire company go out with a bang!
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