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Goblinism in Lord of the Rings Online

One of my goals for my Lord of the Rings Online character is to make him a rich little hobbit. More gold in the bank means more pies and fine pipeweed to keep his hobbit-belly full and his fairy little feet happy.

Taking the Goblin's advice to heart, I realise the best way to become rich is probably not repeatable quests or mindlessly grinding, but to play the auction house and amass a fortune through trade and commerce. So let's take a look at the auction house in LOTRO.

The first thing that immediatly springs to my attention is I don't have something like WoW's Auctioneer addon to help me. So I'm going to have to analyse the market the old-fashioned way: lots of searching and note-taking with pencil and paper (and OpenOffice Calc).

My hobbit, Merrygrim Fairfoot, is an Armourer, which means he has easy access to all the spoils of mining -- not just the raw ore and the bars which can be made from them, but also the gems, stones and shards which are mined along with the ore. Of course, just because I can mine these myself doesn't mean they are free (time is money, after all) but it is somewhere to start. I could also sell the goods he makes while levelling his crafting skills, but they are worth far less than the raw materials -- a typical quirk of (most) MMO economies.

At first glance, however, the economy on my server appears to be a little crazy, and therefore ripe for profiteering. There must be LOTRO goblins out there (perhaps a LOTRO goblin is in fact a dragon, jealously sitting on a mountain of gold?) but there is little evidence of them in the auction listings. While most items seem to gather around a fixed price point, some are listed at prices wildly more or less than the average, just begging to be bought and flipped for a profit.

It seems to me that the best place to look for a profit will be in raw crafting materials and perhaps dyes; items which are useful to a wide range of players. Once I know more about the mechanics of the game, end-game raiding consumables may also be a good market to get involved with. For the mean time, I'll swallow my goblin pride and sell the raw materials I gather while questing until I have a cushion of money, and then concentrate instead on flipping materials other players have farmed.