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I am fond of tradeskills in MMOs, but games seem to be very hit and miss as far as what is actually worthwhile for players to take on. For instance, in WoW, engineering was pretty worthless while enchanting or alchemy were amazing.

I am looking for a brief overview as to what the actual professions in LOTRO can produce, and which are actually desirable by players.

If it makes a difference, I know there is some interdependence between the tradeskills and I will be playing fairly frequently with a friend so we will be able to, if necessary, pick complimentary vocations.

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I've played a lot of MMOs and I've come to a conclusion that I find reinforced with each new game: the crafting that has the best bang for your buck is whatever is involved in making consumables. So in LotRO that's the historian. I don't find the weaponsmithing so useful--largely because of the cost of the ingredients versus what user-crafted stuff sells for--but the farmer and scholar can both rely on selling their stuff at the auction house without much trouble.

For example, each weekly batch of master-level athelas/celebrant potions I make cost me less than 200s but frequently bring in 1g (or more) at the AH with barely any effort on my part. And if I'm willing to make lower-level stuff--the oils for arrows in particular seem to sell well--then I can make even more money. But I find a quick and easy 1g a week more than pays for my efforts.

The tinker is probably the second best profession in light of the various tokens he can make, which are always needed for instances. And of all the items the various professions can make, it seems to me that I regularly sell high-end jewelry more easily than high-end armor, weapons, etc.

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I found woodworking useful while leveling a hunter- many of the best leveling bows are crafted. However, the legendary item system has completely destroyed the crafting of weapons at high levels; even with good recipes, any half-decent legendary is better. –  Scott Jan 29 '11 at 5:32
    
@Scott I think that Woodworking Guild gives Legendary Item Recipes. –  Joe the Person Jun 30 '11 at 5:10

Tradeskills are way more useful in LotRO than in, for example, WoW.

Up until approximately level 50, when you start getting legendary items, crafting is the way to reliably gain access to best weapons and armours.

This is completely different from WoW, where major items are obtained through random drops and instances.

In LotRO while levelling, you can with few exceptions safely vendor-sell any piece of armour/weapon that drops -- nobody will buy it in Auction House.

Instances provide weapons and armours that are comparable to crafted, so do skirmish marks. However, crafted items are for most part slightly better and usually way easier achieved. Crafting allows you to make exceptional (blue) items for every 10th player level starting with 20. These items are also easy to achieve and rarely have adequate counterparts available for skirmish marks or instance drops.

Considering that as crafter you can also easily achieve crafting of legendary items, it still makes a lot of sense to level crafting of the type of items you can use yourself.

You might want to check out http://prezi.com/hw0aez2lk8vt/lotro-crafting/

to see which classes can craft what items.

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