How to Start a New Character in Before the Shadow

LOTRO How to Start a new Character in Before the Shadow | How to Choose Your Tutorial at Character Creation

At the time of writing this, LOTRO’s Before the Shadow expansion is near its launch date! There are various changes coming in at the same time so that players of all levels have new things to explore. But one of the biggest changes is right when you start a new character. If you own a copy of Before the Shadow, you can choose your tutorial and starter zone, regardless of your race! So in this short guide I’m going to show you how to start a new character in Before the Shadow and begin your adventures in Swanfleet. Let’s go!

How Can I Buy Before the Shadow?

As of March 2023, you have two options:

  1. Buy an Expansion package, with various fab extras bundled in. I did a review of the Before the Shadow Ultimate Edition, for example.
  2. Unlock the basic expansion for LOTRO Points LOTRO Points in the in-game store. The price is LOTRO Points 1,999. A rough calculation puts this at about £16.25GBP, not much different to the £16.99 Standard Edition price.

Character Name UI Update

As soon as you elect to start a new character, one of the most obvious UI changes is the Character Name box at the top. LOTRO have done a great job at making this look elegant, while also drawing the eye by using constrasting colours and a metal edge.

The Randomize button is still there if you want automated character name suggestions. This is handy in case coming up with your own name is difficult.

How to Start in the New Area – Choose Your Tutorial!

Start in Before the Shadow

Instead of the defaults, click the “Before the Shadow” button then complete your character’s appearance. Hit “Enter Middle-Earth” and let’s see what happens next!

How to Start Before the Shadow on an Existing Character

If you just want to pick up the Epic and side quests on a character you already have, then just head to Mossward.

Another player told me that the easiest route is Michel Delving → Mossward with the Stablemaster.

Why I Like the New Tutorial

Enter Tegwyn! This is a spoiler-free zone, so I won’t go into how you meet Tegwyn. I love how the child is scripted though!

You are the Tutor

However, he plays a key role in the new LOTRO tutorial. What I really like is that SSG have made a tutorial that doesn’t treat you like a clueless, lumbering fool. Instead, your character is instructing Tegwyn on the basics of the adventuring life. So you take him to key locations.

  • The Blacksmith’s shop to show the importance of gearing up and repairing your gear.
  • In that shop, a side-line is about needing to earn Silver CoinCopper Coin coin to pay for gear and repairs.
  • The defeat circle outside of Mossward, so you understand what happens when you are defeated.
  • A training dummy to demonstrate the basics of your class’ fighting style.

So, while it is a starter guide for the player themselves, it doesn’t make you feel bad for not knowing the basics of a new game. And I like that a lot.

A Little Extra Mount

The last major change to the initial leveling experience and tutorial relates to mounts. It used to be an involved process, which is why I wrote How To Get Your First Horse in LOTRO. That post will be updated after Before the Shadow launches!

How to Get This Steed

Anyway, per the Update 34 (Beta 2) Patch NotesExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab), you can get the new Little Extra Mount by completing the quest “A Little Extra Never Hurts — Part 2“.

It’s a lovely grey horse, or pony, with a simple bridle. And, although it’s a “standard steed”, it’s based on newer LOTRO mounts models, so “feels” more real.

Unless you have at least Apprentice Riding, this steed gives a +32% movement speed.

Getting the Mount on Other Characters

The Patch Notes also say you can pick up this steed by bartering Mithril Coin Mithril Coins at Archet, Celondim, Little Delving and Thorin’s Gates.

When Can I Start Before the Shadow?

I updated my original LOTRO Before the Shadow post after see this tweet from @lotro. If you have purchased a copy of Before the Shadow, the release date is now the 15th November 2022.

From what I’ve seen on Bullroarer so far, it will be worth the wait!

TL;DR Start A New Character in Before the Shadow to Experience It!

My initial impressions of Mossward and Swanfleet are that it is a beautiful region. The music here is sublime. So, once it launches, go and start a new character in Before the Shadow, experience the new tutorial and claim your mount. I’m very much looking forwwrd to digging deeper into the new regions. I hope you are too. Have fun in Middle-Earth!

About the Author

Fibro Jedi
Fibro Jedi

I have been playing MMOs for about ten years and began writing guides to The Lord of the Rings Online in 2017. I've only been creating content about Final Fantasy XIV since 2022, but I am glad for the mix. My current games include LOTRO, FFXIV and the occasional Palia session too.

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