One of the aspects of playing The Lord of the Rings Online that make it stand out from other games is its plugin system. Using a limited API via programming language LUA, the community is able to add to gameplay information without affecting how the core game functions. In this blog post I’ll explain how to download and install plugins. Then I want to introduce you to my top 9 LOTRO plugins I use nearly every time I play the game! If you already know how to install and update them, then you can Skip to my Top 9 Plugins. Otherwise, keep reading!
Aside from doing a search on your favourite search engine (mine is DuckDuckGo) the go-to place is LOTROinterface. There you can find legacy and up-to-date plugins to download for free. I believe it’s against LOTRO’s ToS to charge for plugins anyway!
Incidentally if you want to change your interface skin (UI) you can also find player-designed UIs at this site.
There you can find tons of plugins, organised by category. If you develop your own LOTRO plugins you can also contribute to the site.
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However, by far the easiest way to install them is to use a little application called Plugin Compendium. This handy app features search, install and update functions.
The first thing to bear in mind with new plugins is that not all of them are kept up-to-date. They are created free for the community. Anyone who has taken time to learn LUA may update them. That’s not to say old plugins are not useful – in fact one or two of mine are not regularly updated.
With Plugin Compendium, you can either:
- Browse the list of available plugins (usually sorted by the updated date
- or search the list by keyword.
So, for example, if you want some functionality to do with maps, you can just enter ‘map’. The list then filters automatically.
Once you are happy you want to install a LOTRO plugin, tick the box and press the “Add” button.
Get Plugin Compendium
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Installing a plugin is only the first step. The next stage involves a decision on your part
- Is this appropriate for all my characters on a server?
- Or is it for one, or only a few, of them?
Once you’ve decided that simply follow these instructions.
From the LOTRO Character Selection Screen
- There’s a handy Manage Plugins button the login screen. Click it!
- The Plugin Manager UI will open up.
- In the right pane use the cunningly-named “Automatically Load For” drop-down box. Select individual characters or check “All Characters”.
- Enter Middle-Earth as normal. If that plugin is activated for that character you’ll have its functionality.
If You Have Logged a Character In
- If you’re logged into a character press Ctrl+Alt+P. This opens the Plugin UI. This is the same UI as in the instruction above.
- Scroll to your new plugin and left-click it once
- In the right pane use the cunningly-named “Automatically Load For” drop-down box. Select individual characters or check “All Characters”
- If you want to use it now, usually double-clicking the name on the left will load it. After that it should become available for the characters you have selected, as soon as you login.
Make sure you have the ‘check for updates on startup’ option checked on the Configuration Tab. When you load Plugin Compendium any available updates are immediately highlighted in yellow. This allows you to tick those that are out of date and hit the “Update” button to fix them.
If you do not have this option checked, you’ll need to use the “Scan” button to check for updates.
Note: if you do manual installs, then you’ll have to check LOTROinterface and download updates. This is why Plugin Compendium is fab.
Get Plugin Compendium
I wrote all of the above in case you’re new to LOTRO Plugins. Now that we’ve done the basics, let’s get on with my Top 9 LOTRO Plugins!
The first one I ever tried, and now often get asked about is “that top bar” I have on my screen. This is TitanBar. It contains a wealth of options that it would take a whole blog post to cover! However I can give you a brief overview of some of the information it can show you!
- How many of your bag slots you have used
- How much coin your character has and/or all your characters on that server have. You will need to relog all characters for TitanBar for it to collect the information.
- How many Marks, Medallions etc you have on that server.
- Track reputation progress with factions of your choice. Note: it does not track reductions in reputation. So you’ll have to manually adjust for these.
- The day/night cycle stage. Very handy for timing slaying those wights when technical night-time hits!
- Current local and server time.
Tap the image below to see the full-sized version!
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Do you ever forget whether you have a particular cosmetic item already? Or whether another character has the crafting materials your current one needs? Well no need to keep logging in and out – KikiInventory has you covered! An alternative to this is AltInventory. TitanBar has a bag search, but KikiInventory goes further than that.
- Pull up the UI with the /inv chat command.
- You can then search Bags, Vault, Shared Storage or… “everywhere”.
- Search Wallet – yes, you can see how many festival tokens all your characters have.
The places you cannot search are Wardrobe (but that’s server-wide anyway), and Homestead storage – because LUA does not allow that.
- You will need to log all your characters on the server so the plugin can collect the information. Plugins do not interact with your account or server (as far as I know). Once you’ve logged them all once, the information will be updated as you quest.
- If you delete a character from the server, you’ll have to manually remove it from Kiki Inventory from another character.
Although this is recommended mostly for Hunters and Wardens, I use it on all characters. Travel Window frees up any quickslots you’re using for Return-To skills, Hunter Guides, Warden Musters and Milestones. This has been massively useful to my Guardian who has amassed a lot of Return-To skills from Reputation Vendors.
Travel Window sits as an unassuming Briefcase, which you can then click to access travel options. You can choose from a variety of display methods for these, although my preference is a drop-down menu.
Personal, Premium and Kinship houses are also automatically ticked. Untick any that are not applicable so you only have items you need inside Travel Window.
View Travel Window
Middle-Earth is huge. Like, really huge. Couple that with the horrific memory I have and it can be easy to forget how to get from Ost Guruth to Caras Galadhon. Stable Guy helps you to find the quickest route from “A to B”. Although I’ve found some routes are no longer correct, these have been rare. Also note the ‘find nearest Stablemaster’ feature does not work. But this plugin is insanely useful.
I would also urge any LUA programmers in the community to consider looking to update this. Although it contains Mordor, it does not seem to show Dale onwards.
Okay disclaimers aside, let’s look at how it works.
- Right click the horsey icon (after you’ve moved it wherever you want it on your screen.
- From Location: choose the region and the specific stablemaster.
- To Location: choose the region and the specific stablemaster of where you want to go to.
- Click Calculate Shortest Route
- The directions are posted in chat to the Standard channel. Go do the things.
View Stable Guy
Whether through LOTRO Festivals and Events, Bingo Boffin, the Motes Vendor or any other places you can obtain Pets, keeping track of them can be tricky! You may want to use a quickslot bar, but Pets makes it much cleaner than that. Pets is a collapsible bar enabling you to easily access your favourite (or all) your cosmetic pets. (If you’re looking for a plugin for Lore-Master Companions, see Lore-Master Pet Carousel).
You’ll first have to double-click the cat icon and tick the pets you want in your pets bar.
Potentially Updated ‘Clone’?
I’ve noticed 4andreas appears to have cloned and updated this plugin, but it’s not in Plugin Compendium for some reason. But if you’re brave and want to try a manual update, you can see it here.
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Ever wanted to create notes inside LOTRO instead of scribbling stuff on paper or in your preferred text application? LOTRO Pad enables you to do just that. Nothing fancy, but does what it says on the tin.
- Click on the quill icon (which you can drag anywhere on your screen)
- Rename tabs/documents
- Type your notes and hit Save All.
- LOTRO pad also saves automatically on log out.
View LOTRO Pad
Buffbars is an extremely useful, visual aid to your current buffs. Whether through foods, scrolls or in-combat temporary buffs, you can quickly see what it in play at any given moment. This does include ‘fake buffs’ such as ‘being in a treasure field’ for the Buried Treasure Event. Other global/regional things are shown such as ‘Control of Annùminas’ in Evendim, Welcome Back Weekend XP boosts or ‘Carrying a Pie’ when completing the Deeds of the Shire!
You can exclude certain buffs from showing if you want to.
Buffbars comes with a quickslot, an effect window (which is the screenshot above) and an effect slider. I only use the Window, but use what works for you!
We’re nearly there! The 8th of my 9 LOTRO Plugins I want to feature is Mouse Finder. I only use this on my Guardians and Wardens. What Mouse Finder does it help you to find your curser at moments you most need to. So with Guardian and Warden, there are skills that are only available at certain points in combat. Although I use keybindings 99% of the time, it can be helpful to click abilities at other times. Mouse Finder circles your cursor for you so you don’t lose precious seconds searching for it mid-combat!
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So in my quest to reduce the amount of…gumph on my screen, I did a search for a particular plugin. While the generic Pets plugin is fantastic for cosmetic pets, it does not include Lore-Master pets (who I usually call Companions). Well, it turns out there is a very old but fully-functioning plugin for this purpose.
Pet Carousel creates a moveable mini-quick-bar for Lore-Master pets. Having played with it, thinking it needed updating, I was wrong.
- Simply drag your preferred pets from the Skills panel (or your quick slots) into the Carousel
- Use your mousewheel (or other button if you’ve programmed one) to scroll through your pets.
- Activate whichever you want.
- There is a handy little X button which dismisses all Lore-Master pets. It works even when mounted because it’s a chat command shortcut.
So if you have a Lore-Master, you don’t need to fill your quickbars with animals, birds and spirits. Just use Pet Carousel!
TL;DR These are my Top 9, but Use the LOTRO Plugins You Will Find Useful!
There are loads of LOTRO Plugins and these are just my Top 9! Other players will recommend their own set – for example Songbook if they play in a band. You’ll only know what you find useful by trying some out. Just remember to deactivate or completely remove any you’ve tried but don’t need any more. I hope you’ve found this a helpful quickstart guide. Enjoy enhancing your gameplay in The Lord of the Rings Online with these amazing extensions developed by other players!