Just like the Minecraft community, the LOTR Mod community has adopted a variety of unofficial standards that will help new players get a hang of the game. Many, many people (if not most) have been very inefficient or died unnecessarily. Therefore, we'll present a list of things that shouldn't be done in order to improve the gameplay experience. However, making mistakes is an important part of learning the mod, so this page is also a collection of the most frequently made mistakes. See if you can find yourself on this list -- you can mention it in the comments below if you wish.
Also, remember that the rules are there to be broken. If you wish to simply walk into Mordor, go ahead. Don't say we didn't warn you, though.
If you're planning to be an evil player, the prospect of slaughtering the little folk of the Shire sounds like an appealing way to get Gundabad alignment, right? Think again. While the Shirriffs might not seem like a big deal to a well-equipped player, a large group of them can still kill an unarmoured or poorly equipped player. A far greater danger, however, is getting out of the Shire and into Eriador. Killing hobbits costs alignment with the Rangers of the North, and they have both a ranged and a melee attack, and are very difficult to see, especially at night. Make sure to suit up and get at least iron-level equipment before leaving the Shire, otherwise you will probably not last very long.
Don't Chop Down Trees in Fangorn or the Old Forest Edit
This may not come as a surprise to you, but Ents aren't exactly fond of their tree-friends being chopped down for firewood. The reason is most likely because some of those trees aren't really trees; they are Huorns! No matter what your alignment is, trying to chop down a tree or Huorn will result in them attacking you, so keep your tree-chopping to other forests, or you will pay most dearly!
Alignment is a major feature of this mod. Basically, the peoples and races of Middle-Earth are divided into numerous factions, and it is impossible (unless in Creative Mode or if you choose to play as a pacifist) to gain a positive alignment with every one of them. Thus, even as you make friends, you will make enemies. Certain factions only spawn in certain biomes, so you would do well to research a new biome and its inhabitants before entering, else you may just find yourself surrounded by hostile NPCs. For more information on alignment, see here.
For some of the more adventurous players, the prospect of facing many enemies at once may not seem like a big deal. However, note that some biomes hold more dangerous enemies than others. For example, Hill-trolls deal much more attack damage than standard trolls, in addition to throwing rocks. The Rohirrim of Rohan are all mounted on the best horses that can be found in the mod, and will see you from 24 blocks away.
Don't use the wrong weapon in combatEdit
The LotR Mod adds its own Combat System that differs from vanilla Minecraft (but is somewhat similar to the combat in 1.9). All melee weapons have different reach, speed, and attack damage. Spam-clicking will not work, as each weapon can only be swung a limited number of times per second. Be aware that NPC's have reach, too; don't try to take down an NPC wielding a pike with a sword, for example, as you will get hit and knocked back before you get a chance to hit the NPC. Ranged weapons, too, have different characteristics; some bows shoot farther, faster, and deal more damage than others, crossbows deal a lot of damage and can be shot instantly but take a long time to load, and blowguns deal little damage, but are quick to fire. Different people prefer different weapons; the only way to know which weapon you'll prefer is to try all them all out until you find a weapon you like.
Don't try to fight without armourEdit
Even if you're an expert warrior in vanilla Minecraft, capable of surviving in Hardcore mode without any armour at all, don't try to take down Middle-Earth NPC's without armour. Almost all NPC's are already wearing armour, and wielding tough weapons that are capable of dealing some serious damage, even through armour. Even a basic Gundabad Orc is much tougher than a zombie, and a Gundabad Orc Archer is much harder to kill than a skeleton. And those are only the easiest NPC's to kill; depending on alignment, you might face attacks from fast-moving Rohirrim, hard-hitting Dwarf Axe-Throwers, fast and fearless Uruk Berserkers, or army-destroying Olog-hai.
Don't be a Stranger in the Woodland Realm Edit
As a side note, Wood-Elves in particular are suspicious folk, and may attack you even if your Woodland Realm alignment is positive. You must have at least +50 alignment with the Wood-Elves for them to completely trust you. This alignment is most easily gained by killing Mirkwood spiders or Gundabad Orcs.
|“||One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. The great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, ash, and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.||”|
–Boromir in the Fellowship of the Ring (film)
When you first enter Middle-Earth, don't go into Mordor lightly. It is a barren wasteland swarming with Orcs, and any good or not yet evil enough (below +100 Mordor alignment) player who goes there without suitable armor is likely to meet a grisly death. Even though the ring portal can only spawn in the Shire, suit up, because very little vegetation grows in Mordor, meaning you will be hard pressed to find food. If you need out, the best thing to do is to find a safe place, stop, and look at your map. If you are in the western half of Mordor, head to the West, towards Ithilien. If you are in the Eastern half of Mordor, go towards the East (Rhûn). However, try to avoid going to the northwest or in any southerly direction! Going towards the northwest will land you in Dagorlad and then the Brown Lands, both vast areas with little food and few living trees. Going in a southerly direction will likely make you end up in the deserts of Harondor or Near Harad, with absolutely no food or wood. As well, you run the risk of approaching Nan Ungol, a dangerous place even for players with a hundred Rohirrim to back them up.
Don't enter the Forodwaith or Near Harad without being preparedEdit
The Forodwaith biome is freezing cold, while Near Harad is scorching hot! Both will cause you to take damage periodically. There are several ways to avoid this. In the Forodwaith, you can either stand near a light source (torch, furnace, etc.) or wear Fur Armour, a cozy outfit for the cold. In Near Harad, it is best to stay out of the sun, or wear the robes added in Public Beta 24. This means keeping to the shade and/or traveling by night, but beware the scorpions if you choose to travel at night. However, both places are a good place to build a base.
If you didn't know already, the Eorlingas are rather fond of their mounts. Killing one in the sight of a Rohirrim will bring their wrath down upon you. Not the best idea. If you have a need for leather, kill cows instead.
The journey to the portal is daunting in itself, and once you enter Utumno, you will need to brave all three levels (ice, obsidian, and fire) of dungeon-crawling madness before you can find the Melkor Plate, activate it, and return safely to Middle-Earth. The foulest and darkest creatures dwell here, including Utumno Orcs, Utumno Wargs, Utumno Trolls, tormented Elves, and even Balrogs, the demons of the Underworld. These beasts will always be your enemies, for it is impossible to gain positive Utumno alignment.
And on top of it all, the whole place is essentially a labyrinth in the dark; the player will need to find stairs that will lead them down each layer, or otherwise use keys to jump down a level. The walls of special Utumno bricks cannot be mined with any tool except the Pickaxe of the Underworld. Don't even think about bringing stacks of torches or the materials to make them; torch-light does not travel far in Utumno.
Don't attempt to sleep in UtumnoEdit
In case you were thinking that Utumno would be a good place to catch some sleep, it's not. Sleeping in Utumno will cause your bed to explode violently, likely killing or severely hurting you. However, it can be a way of obtaining Utumno Bricks, if you do it carefully.
Don't try to kill Warg Bombardiers with a melee weaponEdit
If you think that killing creepers in regular Minecraft is too easy, wait until you see the new "creeper" that this mod has to offer. Warg Bombardiers, the bane of every good player, have 18-40 hitpoints, can run faster than you, and are equipped with a triple strength Orc Bomb, which will kill you regardless of the armour you're wearing, and likely take out your army too. While it is possible to kill these units if you're mounted by using a polearm with a long reach (i.e. a lance, pike, or halberd), the best way to kill these units is with a ranged weapon or one of the mod's throwing weapons.
Many of the enemies in LotR Mod have high health and attack strength. While most enemies won't target your mount, it is almost inevitable that it'll get hit by ranged units at some point. An unarmoured mount will probably get killed in combat, and that can be very dangerous if you're surrounded by enemies.
Don't go to the Dead Marshes Edit
The loot you can find in the dead marshes (NW from Mordor), remains, are not worth the risk. Whenever you touch the water, Marsh Wraiths will spawn. These ghosts are only killable with certain rare weapons and they will shoot projectiles at you. This land is cursed, so stay away!
Don't try to Build Another Ring Portal Edit
The only ring portal that you should build is the one that brought you to Middle-Earth in the first place. Ring portals cannot be built when one ring portal is already active, which means throwing a gold ring into the fire will not yield any results (beside losing the ring). Currently, there is no other use for the gold ring either, so save your eight gold nuggets for something else!
Don't look for Redstone or DiamondsEdit
Redstone and Diamonds have been removed from the Middle-Earth dimension. Don't spend hours looking for ores that are non-existent! If their absence simply cannot be tolerated, plan a trip to the Overworld. If you want to mine obsidian, consider getting a Dwarven Pickaxe or a Blue Dwarven Pickaxe.
Don't use ranged weapons for fighting infantryEdit
There are many different types of ranged weapons added by the LotR Mod, with varying characteristics, but all of them have one thing in common; they require ammunition, whether it be arrows, bolts, darts, or pebbles. Most enemies you'll be fighting in the mod have a lot of health and/or armour points, along with decent attack strength. While it might seem like a good idea to use ranged weapons to deal with a bunch of Gondor soldiers, it's not. Assuming an Orc Bow deals around 9.5 HP per shot, and a Gondor Soldier has 20 HP, along with 15 armour points, you'll only be dealing ~4 HP per shot, meaning that to kill one Gondor Soldier will take five arrows. That means a stack of arrows will only kill 12 or so soldiers, so use melee on melee infantry. Save your ranged ammo for dealing with truly dangerous foes.
It is known that in vanilla Minecraft, saddles can only be obtained from the chests found in abandoned mine-shafts and naturally generated structures. In this mod, there is in fact, a crafting recipe for saddles.
Most of your tools can be made of bronze instead of iron. Bronze Equipment isn't as durable or as strong as iron or faction equipment, but that's not a problem for tools; who uses a pickaxe to fight anyways? Using bronze instead of iron for shovels, pickaxes, and axes will save you a lot of iron in the long run.
Don't spend hours walking to where you're goingEdit
If you're planning to travel to a faraway place, don't bother walking there, unless that's part of the adventure. If you wish to get there fast, consider getting one of the many mounts that this mod has to offer. Alternatively, install a mod like iChun's Morph Mod, and turn into something like a bat and fly to your destination. It's significantly faster than walking or riding, and you'll be able to stay out of reach of hostiles.
Silver coins are precious. They're good for trading with players on a server, trading with NPC's in the mod, and hiring an army. Think of the silver coins in the mod just like you would money in real life. If you need a new Rohirric Coif, and have all the materials you need to make one at home, and home isn't too far away, don't be lazy and waste your money buying one.
Don't get rid of enemy dropsEdit
Building a baseEdit
Don't build in a hostile biomeEdit
Especially important in multiplayer, this rule is almost a no-brainer. If you build in a hostile biome, you'll be unable to get out of your base without constantly being attacked by enemy NPC's, and you'll likely have a lot of problems building a base in the first place. Besides, many multiplayer severs outlaw building in hostile territory.
Don't use too much woodEdit
Don't build too close to someone elseEdit
The land of Middle-Earth is large, even at the 1:20 scale used in this mod. There's plenty of room for everyone on all multiplayer servers.