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Update 23 Release Notes

By Cordovan

Update 23 Release Notes

Here are the Release Notes for Update 23: Where Dragons Dwell.

Of Special Note:


Where Dragons Dwell

Update 23 features a journey into the homelands and histories of the dwarves, including the Longbeard descendants of Durin the Deathless. Beginning with an expanded Erebor, you will adventure into the fabled Iron Hills, and finally arrive in the lost dwarf kingdoms of the Grey Mountains. The Where Dragons Dwell Quest Pack is free to VIPs and Lifetime Account members, and includes more than 120 quests and deeds, along with three resource instances, a new Instance cluster, and releasing soon - a new raid! These new Instances are currently available to play up to Tier 2 difficulty, and a new Tier 3 difficulty will be released soon! Tier 3 is a new challenge level that replaces the former T2C difficulty, and offers a new challenge in addition to new rewards. 

Black Book of Mordor: Chapters 7 and 8

Two new chapters of the Black Book of Mordor story are now available! The War of the Ring brought darkness and bloodshed to the Lonely Mountain, but now the dwarves of Erebor seek to rebuild their home and make certain their legacy. Your adventures will bring you to new lands in the company of allies familiar and unexpected, as you uncover secrets that have been hidden for an age. Stand with Gandalf the Wizard against Sauron’s lieutenants, and beware the weapons of Karazgar, the Weeping Warrior! Any player who has purchased the Mordor expansion will continue to have access to the entire Black Book of Mordor story line. Players who have completed Chapter 6.7 can speak to Gandalf at King Thorin's throne in the Hall Under the Mountain to begin Chapter 7.1.

Hobbit Avatar Update

Hobbits have a new look! We've updated hairstyles, head styles, and more for the hobbit race. Players can continue to use their existing look if they wish to by unchecking Avatar Update Visible checkbox in the Advanced Graphics section of the game options.

Increased Level Cap

Players can now level their characters to 120! The increase features new gear, appearances, and cosmetics, among other things.

News and Notes:



  • Changes have been made to the way ratings are calculated throughout the game to provide a more even gameplay experience throughout leveling, and to make gearing at end game more compelling. In particular:
    • Mastery has had its cap decreased from 400% to 200%, and it is now subject to some degree of reducing returns. This change is retroactive to all levels and equipment, which makes it easier to achieve moderate mastery levels, but harder to maximize them.
    • Monster health has been adjusted to be considerably lower at the higher levels of the game to adjust for the change to mastery.
    • Monster health has been adjusted upwards at very low levels to compensate for skill bonus changes over time.
    • Well-geared DPS builds will see a relatively minor change to their average time to defeat a monster, while non-DPS builds will see a faster average time to defeat enemies at higher levels. Higher-end DPS builds may find they now have room in their gear layout for mitigations and other stats at relatively little cost to their overall DPS output.
    • All gear now has its stats linked from the core ratings system, meaning that gear statting is now more consistent over the level range. This scaling has been extended to cover the Vital stats as well, such as Might and Vitality.
    • Item levels are now distributed more evenly from level to level, to progress more smoothly over each band of levels. Item levels of existing gear will not change, but scaling gear dropped at various levels will obey the new item level patterns. Any item levels over 105 remain unchanged.
    • Ratings caps no longer change from level to level, and are now consistent throughout your character's leveling experience.
    • Most ratings now follow a gentler curve of reducing returns, and most ratings use the same curve. This generally means end-game gearing will make a more noticeable difference.
    • It is now more difficult to max out most of your role-relevant ratings.
    • Gear now generally provides more of the base stats per point budgeted to them.
  • Might is now a more prominent main stat for Beornings, granting Evade and Crit in exchange for less Resistance. Fate now grants less crit, and no longer grants Tactical Mastery.
  • The Hunter Deed Swift and Sharp now increments when the skill Swift Bow is used.
  • Champion Skill animation delays have been fixed.
  • Lore-master pet morale has been adjusted as part of a broader balance pass. Their morale pools are lower, but they should have the same level of survivability as before.
  • Warden skill delays have been corrected.


  • Weaponsmiths no longer create Doomfold Metal Shavings with Ingredient Packs.
  • A new Ironfold tier of crafting is now available! Tier 12 includes new gear, class items, and a new tier of musical instruments.
  • Doomfold crafting recipes that once produced Enchanted Gorgoroth Adamants now produce items which can be traded for Motes.


  • We are making some adjustments to the way players acquire keys for lootboxes and earn currency in-game to get these rewards. We are separating keys from the in-game reward process, and creating two lootboxes for the game: One for level cap, and one for non-level cap.
    • Black Steel Keys will be used to open all lootboxes in the game, and are available in the LOTRO Store.
    • Instances and other quests which previously awarded keys will now award either Motes of Enchantment or Embers of Enchantment. Embers of Enchantment are used to acquire endgame lootbox gear from a vendor in-game, and Motes of Enchantment are used to acquire non-endgame lootbox gear from a vendor in the game.
    • When new content is released, there will be an approximate two to three week delay before the content's equivalent new gear arrives in the vendor or lootbox.
    • Consumables available in Lootboxes can be earned elsewhere in the game.
    • Motes of Enchantment, Embers of Enchantment, and Figments of Splendour have a cap of 10,000. If you have more than this number, you will be unable to get more Motes, Embers, or Figments until you spend down below this limit.
    • Players will need to complete certain content in order to access items related to the content from the vendors.
    • Ashes of Enchantment have been renamed to Motes of Enchantment, and will stack with new Motes of Enchantment you acquire.
    • Gear can be Disenchanted to Embers or Motes of Enchantment, depending on where the gear was acquired, and cosmetic items can be Disenchanted into Figments of Splendor.
    • Figments of Splendour can be used to acquire cosmetics from the same vendors that offer lootbox gear.
    • Embers or Motes of Enchantment can be converted at the vendor to Figments of Splendor, but Figments cannot be converted into Embers or Motes.
    • The 3rd and 7th Anniversary Gift boxes now include Black Steel Keys instead of Sturdy Steel Keys.
    • Cosmetic pet and steed granting items that drop from lootboxes will be disenchantable into Figments of Splendour and will bind to account. This affects already exiting items including:
    • Osgiliath Steed, Tome of the Agarnaith Wormling, Tome of the Ash Frog, Tome of the Banded Snake, Tome of the Blight Frog, Tome of the Diamondback Snake, Tome of the Eager Beaver, Tome of the Lasgalen Owl, Tome of the Little Goat Kid, Tome of the Plateau Mole-rat, Tome of the Red Snake, Tome of the Russet Hedgehog, Tome of the Storm-cloud, Tome of the Striped Snake, Tome of the White Peacock, Tome of the White Peahen, Tome of the Yellow Snake, Tome of the Agarnaith Crawler, and Tome of the Gorgoroth Crawler.
    • Most places where Sturdy Steel Keys were rewarded now reward Motes of Enchantment.
  • New Bassoons are now available! Basic Bassoons can be purchased from any Bard NPC. For minstrels, an Ironfold crafted Bassoon recipe can be acquired from the Dwarf-holds Crafting Rewards Quartermaster in Skarhald. Staccato and Vibrato Bassoons will be available in future content.
  • Kinship and Legendary Item naming is now more flexible.
  • The Imbued Legendary Item level cap has been increased. There are now five additional levels for Legacies, two of which can be unlocked, and three of which are granted for free. There will be another small increase alongside the release of the raid.
  • Fixed Legendary Item name display from being cut off in the examination panel.
  • The Fish Pond housing decoration now fits in a large yard hook instead of a huge yard hook. The Fish Pond can now also be placed in a special furniture hook indoors.
  • Several incorrect icons for Allegiance quest items have been fixed.
  • More chairs are now usable with the /sit emote, including chairs in Dol Guldur, Dunland, Gondor, Isengard, and Rohan.
  • Essence selection boxes received from cap-level lootboxes can now be disenchanted into Embers of Enchantment using the Flame of Ancalamír, however the essences within the box cannot be disenchanted.
  • Festivity Tokens are now categorized under "Instances and Skirmishes" in the Wallet.
  • Cosmetic instruments can now be hidden.
  • With the introduction of the new Grey Mountains instance cluster, drop frequencies of legendary item upgrade items from the Gorgoroth instance cluster have been reduced and limited to the challenge chests. Equipment and cosmetic item drop rates from all Gorgoroth instance chests remain unchanged (or in a few cases they have been increased).
  • The War-axe of Khand now has a size appropriate to one-handed weapons. 


  • Categories have been re-arranged and adjusted to find things more quickly and easily. 


  • Steadfast Barrage can no longer crit, as the description indicates.

Quests and Adventure Areas

  • A new Featured Instance rotation has been set up, including Dome of Stars, Silent Street, Quays of the Harlond, Blood of the Black Serpent, School at Tham Mírdain, and Helegrod - Spider Wing. Featured Challenge objectives in these instances are available for players at cap level and will award Embers of Enchantment in addition to Newfound coins.
  • The Misty Mountain stable-masters have decided to rent sturdy goat mounts instead of horses for travel in those mountains.
  • The Epic Quest Blackwolds Broken now rewards more level-appropriate gear for Beornings.
  • The Bree-land Starter Steed at Hengstacer Farms is no longer barred if you already have the Bree-Steed or Bree-Pony mount skills. Please note, however, that these steeds share appearances and mount speed.
  • Quests in Skarhald, Moria's 21st Hall, Galtrev, and Bree will now allow you to make a weekly exchange of specific crafted items for Embers and Motes of Enchantment.
  • Shadow will now only apply at level 115 in the Court of Seregost and Dungeons of Naerband instances.
  • East Rohan endgame quests no longer rotate, and will be available every day.
  • Legolas has remembered how to properly hold his bow during Instance: The Unmarked Trail.


  • All characters now have a passive skill called Bassoon Use Instrument Proficiency granted at level five. You can find the new Basic Bassoon for use in the /music system on any Bard NPC.


  • Two new Trait Points are now available. One Trait Point is awarded when a player reaches level 120, and a second Trait Point is awarded upon the completion of The Black Book of Mordor - Chapter 8.7: The First Promise.
  • Races who choose to venture back into the lands of Mordor at level 116 and beyond will acquire a passive trait that grants 20 Light of Eärendil at level 116 that increases up to 80 Light by the time you reach level 119. 


  • Players can now sort their characters from the Character Selection screen by using a small drop-down arrow situated above the list of characters. Sorting options are: Name (A-Z), Name (Z-A), Class (A-Z), Class (Z-A), Level (Max-Min), Level (Min-Max), and Last Login.
  • The Character Select screen now shows six characters instead of five.
  • A tooltip has been added to the rename button on the Legendary Items panel.
  • A tooltip has been added to the Legacy Replacement button of the Replace Legacy panel.
  • The loading screen will now display hints based on the player's level.
  • When a dye is used, items in your bag that cannot be dyed are darkened.
  • When the Flame of Ancalamír is used, items in your bag that cannot be disenchanted are darkened.
  • Fixed an issue where a resize cursor would not appear in French and German game clients.
  • The /raid locks command now gives remaining completion information for timed raid locked chests.
  • A "Destroy All" button has been added to the Pending Loot panel with a confirmation dialog.
  • Chat links now properly reflect rewarded gear that has received an item level bonus adjustment.


  • Human female heads now match correctly between old and new. An extra new head that was missing has now been added. Old heads 10 and above have been shifted up by one to compensate.
  • Spam detection triggers have been slightly loosened.
  • Improvements have been made to the game launcher, including:
    • Added an option in the Repair tab to repair game data. This will delete your client_*.dat/x files, and download new files from a fresh installation. This option should resolve most issues where we typically recommend reinstalling the game.
    • Fixed the icon for the game shortcut on older installations.
    • The newsfeed now automatically updates every five minutes while the launcher is open.
    • Akamai Netsession Download Manager technology has been removed. The http download functionality has been upgraded to be multi-threaded and more robust.

Known Issues:

  • Traveller's and Wayfarer armour and cloaks are using placeholder appearances. These appearances will change in a future update. 

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