After coming back to LotRO I tend to still try to do things the same way I did them in WoW.  For example, when I see that magical swirl of light around me informing me that I made another level, DING!, I find myself hitting my N key to open my talent sheet.  DOH!

LotRO does not use talents to customize your class into one of three modes.  Instead they use a system based on traits, consisting of deeds, virtues, and legends.

Let’s take a look at the two systems and point you in the right direction to build your character the way you want him/her.

A WoW Refresher

In WoW, you customize your character into one of 3 main categories.  (I know that highbred builds exist, just clarifying for explanation).

Example:  Paladins can be speced Holy, Protection or Retribution.  In this scenario a Holy Pally will find that they excel in healing.  A protection speced paladin will have a skill set that helps them mitigate damage, making them wonderful tanks, while Ret Pallys have skills that serve one purpose, to punish and dish out the damage!

Each player class in WoW can chose a talent tree to spend points in.  It is up to play style and needs of a group as to how you spend your points.

LotRO Style – Let’s Talk Traits

If you are used to the wow format it can be a little difficult at first to wrap your head around the way Lord of the Rings Online customizes your character.  But once you get the basics it is just as easy.

Traits are character enhancements that are gained by completing deeds. There are four different types of traits which you can mix and match to personalize your character and optimize him for combat.

Traits are commonly achieved by doing deeds.  What is a deed?  Well, lets say you kill 60 Orc’s in Bree-land.  You will get a reward, a title that you can display that says “Defender of Bree-land”  Then if you kill 120 more Orc’s in Bree-land you will be rewarded Valour!

What is Valour?  It is a virtue that at rank 1 will give you 19 additional Morale points, .9 out of combat Moral Regen and 2 Might.  And as you do more deeds you can rank up your Valour.

The Bard

In WoW we simply spend our talent points as we level, in LotRO you have to slot your Traits.  To do that you must visit a Bard.  Bard’s are NPC’s that allow you to switch out your traits, much like going to your trainer and respecing, although it is not as time consuming as in wow.  LotRO also gives you the ability to swap out one or a few traits, not like wows all or nothing.

**virtue4 Types of Traits**

You can customize your character with 4 different types of traits.  You can only have a few Traits active at a time. As your level increases, you gain more slots for Traits, so you can have more active Traits. New Trait slots become available.

The four Traits you have to work with are:

  • Virtues
  • Racial Traits
  • Class Traits
  • Legendary Class Traits


**virtues**You can have up to 5 out of 20 virtues to chose from slotted.  Virtues are a type of trait that increase specific attributes and resistances.  Make sure to check out the great chart on Virtues at both the Lorebook and Lotro-Wiki to find the ones that best suit you.

You advance most virtues by deeds.

Racial Traits

**racial**Each race is given special traits. You may chose 5 at level 37 to slot.  Usually the most slotted are the travel to the home area of said race.  Other than that I encourage you to check out the racial traits on the Lorebook.  Might even help you decide what race you wish to play.

Class Traits

**class**You are able to work on skills and traits that build your class into something more akin to the wow talent build system.  You can slot up to 7 skills in the class slot making it very flexible.

Let’s say you are a Lore-master and want to do awesome AOE damage.  You would slot the skills that would give you skill sets to do that.  Perhaps you want to be better and point to point damage, or a pet centered LM.  Just change your build using the traits that fit together.

A nice feature of the Class traits system is a bonus system for slotting traits that are in the same family group.  Much like armor set bonuses you can achieve a more powerful build by going with one branch.

The Lorebook as a great recourse page on the Class traits.

Legendary Class Traits

And finally the legendary traits.  You can slot your first legendary at level 41 and open the second at 45.  With the release of Mines of Morea they added a third legendary slot that opens at 60.

Simply put you achieve legendary traits by starting a class quest and collecting pages for books that relate to your class.  Being legendary they are not easy to come by and take work.

Be sure to check out the Lorebook again to find your classes legendary traits and what you must do to get them.

Putting it all Together

The system in Lord of the Rings Online adds a level that is missing in WoW.  You have so many things you can chose and pick to change and customize your character.  You can pick a “cookie cutter” build or be a maverick and make your own.  Just know it will take some work.

A word about deeds.  They are not always fun to do, and my advice is to do a little research before you start your character.  When you know what you are shooting for traits wise make sure to get the deeds done in the zone you are working in to level.  It’s never fun going back to a starter zone as a level 50-60 to kill things that are spread out.

Right now builds are usually found on the official forums.  We will be providing a place to bring trait builds together here at Under the Banner.  You can check out the Virtue Build for RK’s that we have up here.