LOTRO Academy: 115 – The Essence of Essences


LOTRO Academy: 115 - The Essence of Essences
In this episode Branick, Mysteri, Pineleaf, and Draculetta listen as Teriadwyn teaches us all about Essences and Essence Gear. As an added bonus, Mysteri takes us on the most on-topic tangent in LOTRO Academy history! Thanks for listening.


  1. I regret not grinding all the DA gear before taking my Captain to Pelargir. It made a huge difference. I did take the time to build out a spreadsheet to get a feel for the different combinations. Based on cost, and availability I originally slotted minor essences of moral.
    Anyone have thoughts on Essence Armor in PVMP? Is DA armor viable there?

    • Barnabras /

      The Pvmp slotted essence armour is a 3 slot set with Mitigations and some Morale and +4 audacity per piece. It seems to me most players use one of three builds. 1. Entire set of 5 slot Osgiliath stacking morale and Mastery. 2. Full Pvmp gear to get the maximum 25 audacity bonus. 3. 4 pieces of Pvmp gear and 2 Osgiliath to gain the benifits of audacity but are still able to stack Mastery for extra dps. I think one thing to point out as well is the tier 6 essences can be purchased in the Ettenmoors for comms, or at the skirmish barter. The hardest to obtain and most expensive at the auction house is the greater essence of Morale. I have found the greater tier 6 imorale>Tier 7 major and only slightly less than the Tier 7 morale. So to avoid an empty wallet, or endless grind, I purchase the tier 6 in the moors.

  2. To be clear, essence gear is not needed for anything PvE, or to complete anything at tier 1 (PvMP being a completely different story). Everything can be easily completed using level 95 guild crafted gear, or your choice of a class specific DA set. If your goal is to have a good, balanced character – essences might give you a fractional gain in certain areas. But, is it worth the grind for a less than 1% gain? That is up to the player. You’ll also have to consider losing any set bonuses that you may have, as essence gear does not have any.

    Currently, this is Turbine’s endgame “content” – grind for tokens to get slotted armor, grind for tokens to get a chance at essences, grind for tokens to get essence recipes, and/or run Starbucks Battles and hope you get essence drops. Personally I’ve chosen not to participate in this. I’ve not used one piece of essence gear and have had no trouble with landscape or instance content. Instead, I’ve made a rather small fortune off selling majors and supremes for what can only be described as ludicrous prices.

  3. Dragonwitch /

    Thank you for another great episode! while I understand some players having the opinion that the essence system is not for them, let’s be perfectly clear on this: the moment one reaches level 100 and enters Dol Amroth, virtually every level 100 piece of essence gear is better than level 95 crafted or class barter gear. It just is. You could conceivably slot the dreaded minor essences discussed in the show into a set of DA 4-slot gear and see at least a slight improvement.

    Here’s how the gear stands relative to other sets: Osgiliath 5-slot barter > Minas Tirith 3-slot barter > Anorien crafted 3-slot > Dol Amroth 4-slot > everything else. By the same token, the Anorien crafted 3-slot jewelry is better than the gold Stars of Merit barter jewelry and the gold Minas Tirith quest reward 1-slot cloak is better and the Roving Threat 2-slot pocket item is better. This is because of the flexibility of the essence system and the caps that Teri discussed in the show. It is now possible to reach or approach the cap in most of the stats with this system.

    But, you may say, I don’t like to grind. That’s fine, too. After all, we’re playing an MMO here, so my question would be: do you ever like to group with your friends, kinmates, and others to run interesting content you can’t solo? You do? Great! Store some essence gear in your bags/vault and you should be able to acquire many essences (not the Minors) along the way, whether it be Majors you or a friend can craft into Greaters/Supremes, Greaters/Supremes that drop in instances, trades with others for ones that suit each of you better, etc.

    The essence system is a good way to create the type of character you want to play, and the improvement in your stats (and, by extension, your ability to run the content in this game) is far, far (as in orders of magnitude) more than what others would have you believe, which drastically reduces the frustration many players feel.

    Trust me, folks – it’s totally worth it.

  4. Kaleigh Starshine /

    A wonderful show! Thank you for the kind words regarding my guide to Essences!

    I would like to touch a bit more on Dragonwitch’s excellent comments and provide some numbers to support them which might be a bit eye-opening.

    [i]1. The benefit that essences can provide is more than it first may appear[/i]

    Let us use the Masteries as an example. The way that Physical and Tactical Mastery work is that they provide extra damage based upon whatever the base damage for your skills are. If you mouse over your Mastery on your Character sheet, it will say what percentage is added to your base damage due to your Mastery.

    With standard gear, the most mastery anyone will be able to gain is around 50,000 or so, depending on the class. This amount of Mastery adds around +120% damage. So, you start with doing 100% of your base damage, and this mastery bonus makes that 220%.

    With essences, you can raise your Mastery to the current cap of +200% damage (which is 80,000 Mastery). You can also have benefits that provide a straight percentage bonus to damage which is unaffected by the Mastery cap (the Champion’s Area of Affect damage legacy on their legendary item is an example of this).

    So, with essences, you can do 300% base damage (100% + 200%). Comparing that to the 220% from standard gear, essences can provide a straight damage increase of (300/220) 36%. Even though essences are not required for any landscape or Tier 1 instancing, they can certain make things much quicker!

    As Dragonwitch mentioned, essences can also provide properties that are unavailable to standard gear or that have a limit to how much can be gained by standard gear (Morale and Mitigations are, respectively, a good example of those two things).

    [i]2. While there is quite a bit of effort required to gather the very best of the essences, one can make a very small investment and gain a high percentage of value.[/i]

    There is now both jewelry and armor that can be crafted which hold essences. The jewelry is best-in-game currently, unless you really like the set bonuses from the epic battle jewelry (some are still worth having over essences). I like the Dol Amroth essence armor that is for barter over the crafted armor for most classes.

    If you do want to go for the Dol Amroth armor, it will take you about 2 hours to earn, if you do not buy the coins for them outright. The entire set costs 80 Gold Coins and 80 Silver Coins. You can earn 7 Gold Coins per day per character, and many more Silver Coins by doing the Dol Amroth daily training exercises. The Armoury exercise is the quickest (about 6 minutes when you get used to it). If we say it takes 10 minutes, though, it would take 12 days of 10 minutes’ time, so about 2 hours. You will also earn many tokens for essences as well along the way.

    As for essences, you can barter for any specific Level 95 Major (purple) essence in the Skirmish Camps for 500 Marks apiece. Using Physical Mastery as an example:

    A level 95 Major (purple) essence gives: +1,019 Mastery
    A level 100 Greater (teal) essence gives: +1,229 Mastery

    So, for 500 Marks, you can have a nearly 83% equivalent to best-in-game. And, actually, since the armor’s inherent property is the same no matter which essences you put into it, that figure is a bit higher:

    A Dol Amroth armour piece with 4 Level 95 Major essences gives: +5,028 Mastery
    A Dol Amroth armour piece with 4 Level 100 Greater essences gives: +5,868 Mastery.

    About the most mastery a standard piece of armor will give is 3,000 or so.

    So, for a pittance, you can acquire something that is worth nearly 86% of best-in-game. But this is a poor way to gather essences, really. Many of the Level 100 Major (purple) essences sell for 1 gold or less in the auction hall.

    But it is up to each player, of of course. One of the great strengths of the Essence system is its flexibility, including how much (if any) effort one decides to put toward it 🙂

    • That’s a lot of useful information there Kaleigh, and it puts essences into perspective. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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