Kin Guides - New Player Guide

Whether you are new to MMOs or a veteran, starting a new MMO can be daunting.  Below are just some of the answers to frequently asked questions and information that any new player to LOTRO would want to know.  If you have further questions, feel free to ask in game!
Choosing your Character
Races 
Classes 
Every race and class have special bonuses, skills, and roles.  Most race bonuses are quite minimal, however, so unless the bonus is percentage (%) based, it is not going to affect your play that much.  And, unless your goal is to one day run the hardest capped level content, even that does not matter that much.  Play whatever race/class you want.  You get multiple character slots, so try out a few different classes and races and see what you like the most!
*Some starting zones are more enjoyable than others.  For example, the Shire (Hobbit starting zone) is quite boring (unless you like delivering pies?).  However, once you complete the introduction, you can switch to any of the other starting zones (Archet, Thorin's Gate, Celondim).  There are immediate travel options to each starting zone from every other, found at a Stable Master.
Choosing a Craft
Check out this Crafting Professions link to get an understanding of what professions are available and what useful class items each profession can make.
For your first profession, I usually recommend:
Explorer
  • Tailor - makes light & medium armor
    • Gathers:
      • Wood (used for woodworker)
      • Hides (used for tailor)
      • Ore (used for weaponsmith, metalsmith, and jeweler)
Historian
  • Scholar - makes items such as buffs, healing and power potions, pocket items, dyes
  • Weaponsmith - makes weapons, throwing daggers, caltrops, etc.
  • Farmer - sows the mats for cooks and dyes
 
In the end, all professions are useful, so don't worry about it if you chose a different one! And, if you regret it, just choose the one you really want on the next toon or switch professions.
Is subscribing worth it?
You have to determine, from looking at your finances and how often you play, if buying a subscription to LOTRO is right for you.  Being VIP has a lot of benefits and makes quality of life in LOTRO much better.  It is possible to play the game completely free, but it requires a lot of grinding.  I would recommend that you go VIP for at least a month, because it gives you the account type, "Premium," which gives you a lot of perks that you would not normally receive, even after VIP is over.  Here's a link for specifics between the different account types.
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Getting Around
In LOTRO, there are several ways to get mounted rides.  Step one is to gain the riding skill.  How you can gain the riding skill varies depending on account type, so follow that link for more information!
Once you have the riding skill, you'll need to purchase a permanent mount.  You may purchase a horse at Hengstacer Farm in Northern Bree-Land for in game coin or a goat from Thorin's Gate (if you have maximum reputation with Thorin's Gate Dwarves).  Otherwise, you can purchase using LOTRO points in the LOTRO in-game store.
Group Content (when it starts, what it covers; what BB are, etc.)
LOTRO is a game where group content is optional.  However, group content, especially newer content and Epic (aka Big) Battles are beneficial to run.
Group content can begin as soon as level 10 with Big Battles (BB).  You'll want to run this to gain promotion points.  With 100 and then 200 promotion points, you gain a trait point.  They can be run as solo, duo, 3-man, 6-man, and 12-mans.  If you're a low level player, or new to BBs, you'll want to run with at least one other person.
At level 20, skirmishes and the Great Barrow unlock.  New instances unlock about every 10 levels or so after that.
Why Deed? and What Should You Deed?
Soon after you begin playing, you'll notice that you are gaining deeds.  There are discovery, slayer, skill, and meta-deeds.
You'll always want to complete your skill deeds.  They will give you trait points, which make you more powerful.
Many deeds give something called virtue experience.  Virtues are another way of increasing your stats.  I recommend completing all discovery and slayer deeds for the 3 starting zones (Shire, Bree, Ered Luin) to help kick-start your virtues.  You'll want to continue completing whatever discovery/slayer/meta-deeds you need to keep your 5 primary virtues up-to-date.
Most deeds also give LOTRO points (LP).  LOTRO points can be spent in the LOTRO store.