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Is there a community recognized way to hook up with other players that have crafting skills I don't have (for purposes of processing raw materials into ingredients my recipes call for)

As a new LOTRO player, I just found out that picking a profession with its associated crafting skills can put one in a position where it is not possible to craft one's own recipes because they have ingredient requirements that seem to be unavailable from in-game vendors. LOTRO is an MMO after all, so it certainly makes sense that collaboration with other players is required.

It almost goes without saying that that building a cadre of "friends" would be a good way to do this long term, so perhaps the question could be restated by asking if there are recognized ways to locate people that are willing to team specifically for purposes of crafting.

LOTRO has some in-game tools for hooking up with other players (i.e. the instance finder, global chat, and IM).

Global chat understandably seems ineffective for this sort of thing as it is difficult to really monitor global chat while playing. If one posts a query or request for help, one would hope the response would be an IM so one would not have to idle while watching the chat screen to avoid missing a reply there, but, it seems significant that it is difficult to effectively watch the Global chat to see other people making such requests, so I would not even be an effective help to others.

After trying global chat without results, I hung out in a crafting area where new players obtain a profession and are taught new skills, then just waited, and waited, and waited... until a player appeared to be crafting the type of item I needed. I could then IM the player and ask if they'd be amenable to helping out, trading, etc. (I had raw materials and was willing to trade for more than the XP they'd get from processing my materials). The experience wasn't very fun, but eventually I found someone helpful.

Does anyone have other suggestions for methods of hooking up, or even other solutions to the root problem of not finding in-game vendors of ingredients I need?

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Here are some suggestions:

  1. Multiple Characters With Different Professions - One thing that helped me when I first started playing LotRO was filling up my available character slots with characters having different crafting professions. I would recommend this as a first step to allow you to cover as many different crafts as possible on your own. As a side note to this, I would recommend the character you intend to play the most to be assigned the Explorer profession as this character will be able to gather wood and ore for your other crafters (send back and forth via shared storage or mail). Explorer is a bonus for the character if it is not one of the heavy armor classes as the 3rd Explorer profession is tailor (makes light and medium armor & cloaks). Low level crafters work very well in LotRO because crafting proficiency is pretty much independent of character level.
  2. Join a Kinship - I have been in a few kinships during my time in LotRO and usually, if you join a good kinship, people are willing to refine materials or craft things for you for free (assuming you provide the components). Sometimes this happens when your kinmate's has free time and the output is mailed back to you. Sometimes they are able to do it right away. If the kinship has a website through a guild hosting site like gamerlaunch, there is frequently a crafting function where a member can request something be crafted and another member with a crafter of the appropriate profession/crafting level can pick up the request and do it.
  3. Auction House - I usually see a bunch of crafting materials posted on the Auction House. The caveat to this is that you have to obtain the gold/silver/copper required to purchase the materials through questing or some other means. I find farming tedious, so I use the Auction House to buy ingredients for just about anything I want my cook to craft.

I'm sure others might have different suggestions, but #1 and #3 are the way that I built up my crafting to be almost completely self-sufficient (farming being the only gap).

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