One of my favourite resources while levelling up was the old mmorsel “easy ranks of virtues” pages, particularly for Valour and Innocence which I knew would be useful virtues. It gave me a good plan as I was going through various zones as to which deeds I should go out of my way a little bit to try to knock off or at least make a start. Unfortunately that site has not been updated since RoI which means that there’s been two updates to the max virtue rank since then and it also doesn’t take into account the moria virtue revamp that came with RoI. So the column today is going to both be a quick discussion of good virtue setups for lore-masters as well as a rough guide on how to get some of the most relevant virtues up to 14 with, hopefully, minimal pain.

I should note that there is a wealth of conflicting information on the web about what, exactly, changed with the RoI virtue revamp and unfortunately a lot of older resource sites like Burgzerg and mmorsel being inactive, and the “official” lore-book being hopelessly unreliable, there’s no updated and trustworthy source. All I’m certain of is that some (but not all) of the old +2 rank virtues got changed to +1 and that some of the old quest-completion deeds got changed to different deeds. Unfortunately I can’t now go back and check what these deeds currently award seeing as I’ve already earned them and I don’t know of any 100% reliable source of updated information. This post generally relies on the information on this LOTRO wiki page, except where I know it to be incorrect (eg. I was able to see on an alt that the Moria morroval slayer only awards +1 innocence now, not +2).

What virtues should I use?

There’s certainly a lot of room for personal opinion in virtue setups, so I’m not going to be dogmatic here. I think, though, that there’s general agreement as to the pool of virtues which are useful for lore-masters, or any of the tactical classes really. In here I’ll refer to virtues as having Tier 1, 2 or 3 (T1, T2, T3) of a particular stat, T1 refers to the highest stat modifier, T3 is the lowest. For exact ranks see the wiki page linked above. Where I do mention specific numbers, it’s their value at rank 14:

  • +Will: Wisdom (+42) and Confidence (+21). Will is obviously our primary stat so it’s always useful to boost Wisdom is a great virtue to slot in most circumstances, with T1 wisdom and T2 ICPR. Compassion is a decent backup skill with T2 and T3 of those stats respectively, its T1 stat (resistance rating) is much less relevant though and you’ll rarely have room for a second +will virtue.
  • +Morale: Zeal (+389) and Valour (+389). Staying alive is good, and these virtues will help you do that very nicely. The combined 778 morale from these two virtues is a huge chunk of survivability and you’d be hard pressed to find a situation where you don’t want these slotted. If you’re making a choice between the two, you should obviously choose Zeal because it has more relevant T2 and T3 stats. Note that the morale contribution from these virtues for a lore-master is far greater than from the direct +vitality virtues (Loyalty gives +42 vit = +126 morale).
  • +Physical mitigation: Innocence (+756) and Compassion (+756). Physical mitigation is an great virtue for all tactical classes, but lore-masters particularly given our desire to hit things in melee range. For classes with a low base level of mitigations from our armour, any extra survivability we can get from our virtues goes a long way and these should generally be slotted in solo situations and many group situations if there’s going to be physical AOE attacks (or if you risk pulling aggro). The T3 stat on each of these is a small amount of tactical mitigation which is gravy, the T2 stat on innocence (resistance rating) is marginally more useful than the OOCPR on Compassion.
  • +Tactical mitigation: Tolerance (+567) and Fidelity (+567). As with the physical mitigation virtues, these are great to have for all classes, but especially light armour classes which have low base mitigations. These are essential raiding virtues, as many raid fights feature either AOE or random-aggro tactical attacks. The fact that the T2 and T3 stats on each of these virtues are good is just a bonus.
  • +ICPR: Patience (+75). If I had 6 virtue slots, I’d use this a lot because it’s quite a nice chunk of ICPR. Unfortunately it’s only a small increment above Wisdom and it’s so hard to forego the four morale/mitigation virtues in any situation that I don’t find myself using it very often. Still, it’s not a bad one to use if you really want some extra ICPR.

I’m sure it’s possible to make the case for other virtues, but in general I think those are the core ones that lore-masters should focus on. My recommended virtue setup would generally be wisdom, zeal, valour + the two most relevant mitigation virtues depending on what type of damage you’re likely to face. So to help you plan on how to get these virtues, this column will go through those seven virtues – wisdom, zeal/valour, innocence/compassion and tolerance/fidelity. It’s gotten a bit long so I’m going to split the discussion up over two posts over the coming week.

Virtue planning guide

In this guide I’m going to list all of the deeds that award ranks of each virtue. Unless otherwise mentioned, each deed grants +1 of the virtue. The number in bracket next to the slayer deeds is the total number of mobs needed to get the virtue rank, so it’s the combined basic + advanced deed kill count where relevant. I’ve also given a subjective “grind” rating out of 5, where 1 is relatively light grind and 5 is the worst kind. Obviously these ranks are purely subjective, but basically the general idea is:

  • 1 – easy explore deeds and low-tier quest deeds
  • 2 – slightly harder explore deeds, high tier quest deeds and sub 100 kill-count slayer deeds
  • 3 – sub-300 or otherwise relatively easy slayer deeds, including boss kills that only require one run through a low level dungeon (which is fairly easy with just ~3 people at level 75)
  • 4 – more difficult sub-300 slayer deeds (eg. elites or instance mobs), other sub-400 slayer deeds
  • 5 – the really nasty ones, 400+ slayer deeds or 300+ ones with unconcentrated mob populations, high kill counts of tough elite mobs.

I haven’t given a full guide to where to find good concentrations of mobs for the slayer deeds, again see the wiki page or Burgzerg for references.

Without further ado, here’s my guide to getting 14 ranks of wisdom, valour and zeal.
Wisdom

Thankfully 14 ranks of our primary stat virtue are relatively easy to earn (unlike those poor melee classes). You can earn 10 from grind level 1-2 deeds (11 if you are an elf) and the rest from level 3 ones. The few slayer deeds that we do have to do are relatively light on the grind and the only large number one (Angmarin in Evendim) is pretty quick to do thanks to the high concentration of Angmarin in the non-instanced Annuminas and the possibility of repeating some of the epic books featuring many Angmarin while buffed with inspired greatness.

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Erid Luin Exploration Elf-ruins

1

Bree-Land Exploration The Old Forest

1

Bree-Land Random drop Lore of the Cardolan Prince (Barrow Downs)

1

Lone-Lands Exploration Weathertop

1

North Downs Exploration The Western Ruins

1

Eregion Exploration The Ruins of Eregion

1

Misty Mountains Exploration The High Passes

2

Forochel Exploration The Battle for Forochel

2

Moria Exploration The Redhorn Lodes

2

Mirkwood Exploration The Wilds of Mirkwood

2

(Racial) Elf racial trait Friends with Elves of Rivendell

2

Evendim Slayer Angmarin (360)

3

Eregion Slayer Uruks (120)

3

Moria Slayer Glow-worm (180)

3

Dunland Slayer Craban (180)

3

Moria Slayer Grand Stair orcs (180)

4

Moria Slayer Sixteenth hall orcs (180)

4

Great River Slayer Brigands (375)

4

Valour

There’s no two ways around it, this is a really grindy virtue. The grind used to be alleviated somewhat by getting +2 ranks from Moria worm slayer, but that is only worth one rank nowadays unfortunately. To get this virtue to max rank, you’ll have to do every deed on the list below except two. Personally, I’d skip Sarnur trolls and Urugath trolls, although the latter isn’t too difficult if you’re able to get a couple of people together to repeatedly clear out the huge mass of trolls just to the right of the entrance to Urugath. For the two absurdly high kill-count worm slayer deeds, there’s high concentration populations at Sálgaitë (Forochel) and near the Crossroads of Ash (Flaming Deeps) which alleviate the pain a little bit – definitely wait until your max level though to speed the process up.

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Bree-Land Slayer Orcs (90)

2

Shire Slayer Goblins (90)

2

Moria Exploration The Foundation of Stone

2

Lothlorien Exploration City of the Lord and Lady

2

Mirkwood Exploration Evil Strongholds of Mirkwood

2

Lone-Lands Slayer Goblins (180)

3

Lone-Lands Slayer Goblins (180)

3

Trollshaws Slayer Worms (270)

3

Angmar Slayer Carn Dum bosses (5)

3

Misty Mountains Slayer Trolls (240)

4

Moria Slayer Spiders (360)

4

Great River Slayer Easterlings (375)

4

Erid Luin Slayer Sarnur Trolls (300)

5

Angmar Slayer Urugath trolls (180)

5

Angmar Slayer Worms (450)

5

Moria Slayer Worms (360)

5

Zeal
Zeal is another very grindy virtue. This time you can earn 10 ranks from grind level 1-3 deeds (provided you can get a couple of people to help you clear 16th hall), but will still have to choose 4 of the remaining level 4-5 ones. Thankfully the once hideously grindy Kergrim slayer got a boost, with a bunch of them being added to [url=http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Haudh_Valandur]Haud Valandur[/url] in the Evendim revamp. Again, assuming you can get another person or two to clear the orcs in the entrance room in the Forges a few times (bring a friend for the Misty Mountains giants too) then you don’t need to do any of the 5-ranked deeds, but if you do find you have to do one, the pick of them imo would be Forochel worms; although it has an absurd kill count, at least there is a high population cluster just north of Zigilgund (you earn plenty of coin from the scales too!). Avoid the Moria dragonet slayer deed like the plague, those things are impossible to find – it’s literally the only non-instance deed in Moria that I still haven’t completed! Note that wood trolls count for the Trollshaws troll deed, so you can get a decent number by repeating the epic 1.4.8 (The Unmarked Trail) from the reflection pool with inspired greatness, it’s about 40 per run from memory without a slayer deed tome.

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Erid Luin Slayer Goblins (90)

2

Erid Luin Slayer Spiders (90)

2

Moria Exploration Bulwarks of the Enemy (+2 ranks)

2

Dunland Exploration Carreglyn

2

Dunland Quests Bonevales

2

Great River Exploration Great River

2

Evendim Slayer Kergrim (360)

3

North Downs Slayer Goblins (240)

3

Moria Slayer 16th hall bosses (3)

3

Trollshaws Slayer Trolls (240)

4

Misty Mountains Slayer Giants (240)

4

Angmar Slayer Orcs (400)

4

Moria Slayer Forges orcs (120)

4

Bree-Land Slayer Barrow spiders (400)

5

Forochel Slayer Worms (400)

5

Moria Slayer Dragonet (360)

5

Enedwaith Slayer Wood-trolls (375)

5

Up next time are innocence, compassion, tolerance and fidelity – thankfully most of those involve much less grind than these last two!