Update 21 raised the level cap to 115 with the Mordor expansion. Update 23 raised the level cap to 120 and added tiers. Update 23.3 added more tiers. The pictures reflect Update 23, but the numbers in the text are accurate for 23.2.
Notes on Imbuement
It took me a while to understand how Legendary Items (LIs) work and best practices for building them. The changes that added Imbuement to LIs will also take a while to understand. In the process, I’m trying to collect things I’ve figured out.
Much has been written (not all of it correct or consistent) about the process of imbuing LIs. I will start with how they work after Imbuement.
Imbued Legendary Items
An Imbued Legendary Item (ILI, but I wish there were a better abbreviation) is still a Legendary Item:
- There is a default legacy plus up to seven regular legacies that add various bonuses
- There are relics that can be slotted (so far, relics work the same for LIs and ILIs)
- There are First Age, Second Age, and Third Age ILIs
ILIs are simpler than LIs in some ways:
- There are no legacy points to spend
- There are no longer major and minor legacy slots
- There will be no reason to replace an ILI if or when the level cap is raised.
- When you replace a legacy or add a legacy slot, you can select the new legacy. You do not use a legacy scroll extracted from a deconstructed LI.
Some things are different:
- With LIs, the legacy rank determines the potency and the legacy tier affects how many legacy points are needed to reach a rank; with ILIs, the tier directly determines the potency of the legacy.
- LIs have 6 tiers, and a fixed amount of IXP to reach 60/60 or 70/70 after using a Scroll of Delving. In ILIs, Legendary Item Experience (IXP) increases the tier of legacies, up to some limit. More IXP can be added until all of the legacies have reached their limits (max tiers).
- The difference between First, Second and Third Age LIs is diminished with ILIs. When FA and SA LIs are imbued, a SA effectively has an additional Star-lit Crystal, and a FA effectively has 3 additional Star-lit Crystals. If you add Star-lit Crystals so they are at the same tier, an Imbued FA, SA, or TA will have identical stats. FA, SA, and TA ILIs have the same final tier for the default legacy.
If you look at an ILI (they appear in the same panel with LIs), you will see the default legacy and the regular legacies. Each will have a current tier and max tier. Adding or earning IXP will raise the current tiers until they reach the max for the particular legacy. It takes 30,000 IXP to raise one legacy one tier.
The max tier is the limit at the moment, but may not be the highest possible. The largest possible max tier is called the final tier. As of update 23.2, the final tier is 63 for the default legacy and 79 for regular legacies. Using a Star-lit Crystal increases the max tier of the default legacy. Using an Empowerment Scroll increases the max tier for regular legacies. (You can also spend Mithril Coins (MC) to do so through the Legendary Item panel, or buy scrolls in the LOTRO store).
Since earning IXP or adding IXP runes will eventually raise the tiers to the max tier, the true potential of an ILI is determined by its max tiers. After imbuement, once you have the legacies you like, it’s just a matter of using Star-lit Crystals to raise the max tier of the default legacy, using Empowerment scrolls to raise the max tiers of the other legacies, and using or earning IXP to raise the current tiers to the max tiers. Raising all the max tiers to the final tier allows an ILI to be all it can be.
The average max tier for a regular legacy after imbuement is between 45 and 46 (range 43 to 48). Depending on how a Crystal of Remembrance is used and how many stat legacies there are, it will typically take around 240 tier upgrades to raise all max tiers to the final tier. Assuming you use a using a Scroll of Delving, for a FA LI, it will take 25 Star-lit Crystals for the default legacy to reach its final tier; 27 for a SA, 28 for a TA.
The left image above shows a LI before imbuing, a scroll of delving and 3 star-lit crystals were used. A Crystal of Remembrance was used to add a legacy slot, but no legacy was inserted. The DPS was ranked up. The right image above shows it immediately after imbuement. Notice that the Charge Duration legacy was changed to Shield-swipe Critical Rating. The max tiers depend on the tiers of the legacies before imbuing. Legacies start at tier 1, although the DPS legacy starts at 17 because it was ranked up.
The left image below shows the ILI after IXP has been added to reach the current max tiers. The total of all the max tiers for this ILI is 311. The right image below shows it after 19 Star-lit Crystals were used to raise the default legacy to its final tier, 27 Empowerment Scrolls were added to the Whirling Retaliation legacy to raise it to its final tier, and IXP was added. After that, 5 Empowerment Scrolls were added to the Vexing Blow Damage legacy, but IXP has not yet been added. The Open Legacy Slot created by a Crystal of Remembrance has been filled with Guardian’s Pledge Cooldown legacy.
The Future of Imbued Legendary Items
The design of ILIs is such that when the devs want us to have more powerful ILIs, say when the level cap is raised, the final tier level can be increased as well, allowing ILIs to get more powerful without starting over. In fact, the final tier could be increased without raising the level cap (as it was in Update 17). In any case, it should not be necessary or worthwhile to scrap an ILI and start over to get a better one.
Since it is expected that ILIs will last forever, deleting them simply destroys them. Relics can be removed first with a relic removal scroll, but anything else you invested in the ILI is lost.
Legacies are intended to be open-ended to allow the final tier to be increased in the future. A legacy that increases damage or a rating can easily be extended, but one that reduces a cooldown may be a problem. In Update 16, many legacies were changed for LIs as well as ILIs to eliminate ones that would be difficult to increase now and in the future. For example, increasing AoE targets beyond a dozen is unlikely ever to be useful. Other legacies are changed when the LI is imbued. To allow more levels, the legacy effect may be more complicated. For example, Healing Skills Induction reduces the induction time by 0.5% per tier until it gets to -10% at tier 20. After that, the induction time decreases no further, but each tier adds 100 to the critical rating. When the final tier is increased, higher tiers of legacies may not be simple arithmetic progressions.
Using Imbued Legendary Items
Although many people focus on the ultimate ILI, with all the desired legacies at the final tier, it is not necessary to have that on day one. For people without the resources to achieve that, imbuing a LI can still make sense, allowing the ILI to be improved over time and tailored to your preferences.
Legacies can be replaced in ILIs, if you decide you’d rather have something different. An Imbued Legacy Replacement Scroll (ILRS) will let you select whichever legacy you like to replace an existing legacy. There is no longer a restriction of replacing a minor legacy only with a minor legacy or a need to extract a legacy to put it into an ILI. When you replace a legacy, the new one inherits the max tier of the old legacy. The current tier is set to 1, so you will need to earn or apply IXP to raise the tier, but you do not lose the effect of the Empowerment scrolls you have used. The quests through Eastern Gondor give you four Imbued Legacy Replacement Scrolls as quest rewards, the Minas Tirith quests give you two more, and Far Anorien quests give another. You can also use the Legendary Items panel to replace a legacy for 50 MC.
If you imbued a LI with less than 7 regular legacies, you may use a Crystal of Remembrance or purchase an additional legacy slot with MC to add another legacy slot. Although it is not likely to be a good idea, you could imbue a LI with as few as 3 legacies, and subsequently add them until you reach 7 regular legacies. When you add a legacy slot, you can choose whichever legacy you like to fill it, you do not need to supply a legacy scroll or use an Imbued Legacy Replacement Scroll. New legacy slots start with a tier of 1 and a max tier of 42.
Scroll of Delving
A Scroll of Delving can be used on a LI only once, either before imbuement or after imbuement. After imbuement, the Scroll of Delving increases the max tier by 1 for the default legacy and each of the regular legacies. Using the Scroll of Delving before imbuement is slightly better. If you have used a Scroll of Delving before imbuement, when the LI is imbued, the max tiers will be one higher for each legacy including the default legacy. So you end up the same whether you use it before or after. However, by using it before imbuement, you also get one extra reforge when you level it to 70/70, which means some legacy will have a higher tier before imbuement. (That will cost you IXP to level the LI to 70/70.)
Scroll of Empowerment
A Scroll of Empowerment will raise the max tier of one legacy. You will still need to add or earn IXP to raise the tier.
Earning or Adding IXP
IXP is earned for ILIs as well as for LIs. You earn extra IXP according to how many LIs or ILIs are able to use IXP. The total is divided evenly among the LIs and ILIs. For each ILI, the IXP it earns is divided evenly among the legacies that are below their max tiers. It will still be a good idea to level additional LIs to increase the total IXP earned. When they reach 60/60, deconstruct them to get the IXP runes. You can then add the IXP to ILIs as you like.
Heritage runes of different sizes add IXP to a LI or an ILI. The IXP is divided equally among all the legacies that have not yet reached their max tiers. Each legacy requires 30,000 IXP to go up one tier. This is actually not a lot of IXP. One 938,000 IXP rune that you might get from deconstructing a LI will raise the default legacy and seven regular legacies almost 4 tiers each.
Planning for Imbuement
If you are creating a LI to imbue, the strategy is different than when you are creating a LI to use. LIs have restrictions that we have to live with. However, a LI that will be imbued may eliminate those constraints.
Think about what legacies you want to have in your ideal ILI. Think about which legacies you absolutely must have. There may be others that are equally acceptable; if so, you can save by not replacing one with another.
What Imbuement Does
Imbuement permanently changes a Legendary Item (LI) into an Imbued Legendary Item (ILI).
The default legacy is changed to use the ILI tier structure. It starts with a max tier of
- + 1 if a Scroll of Delving has been used
- + the number of Star-lit Crystals in the LI (0 to 3)
- + 3 if it’s a FA LI or 1 if it’s a SA LI
Rank up the default legacy to rank 7 before imbuing. This will save you some IXP (180,000).
The other legacies are changed to use the ILI tier structure. Some ILI legacies are not very close to the LI legacy they replace. Check your class legacies on lotro-wiki.com for the differences.
The max tier for a regular legacy is
- +3 if it is a stat legacy (agility, might, will, vitality, or fate)
- + tier of legacy in the LI
- + 1 if Scroll of Delving has been used
The current tier starts at 1. If you have at least a handful of large IXP runes, you will be able to level a new ILI up to its max tiers. Further progress will depend on raising max tiers with Scrolls of Empowerment or Star-lit Crystals.
What Legacies Are Possible?
One way to see all the legacies that are possible is to imbue a junk LI (just identify it, slot it and imbue it). You can mouse over the default legacy and the 3 legacies it has. Then select one of the legacies and click Replace Legacy. (You will cancel before it charges you anything). You will see the possible (not including the initial 3) legacies. Mouse over them to see the bonuses they confer.
Some legacies are different after imbuement. Take a LI that you are considering imbuing to the forge-master. If you click on Imbue Legendary Items and select the particular LI, it will show you the legacies you will have after imbuement (it does not tell you the tier it will have, just the generic stats for the particular legacy). You can cancel if you aren’t ready to imbue.
Crystal of Remembrance
With LIs, you were stuck with up to 3 minor legacy slots that could never be upgraded. On LIs where you wanted more major legacies, you could use a Crystal of Remembrance to add one, but you were still stuck with however many minor legacy slots you had. Except for that constraint, it was easy to replace legacies by extracting them from other LIs you were levelling. However, they would start at Tier 2, so you might have to get a pile of Empowerment scrolls to make them usable.
Empowerment Scrolls are much easier to get in the game now. It used to be you would try to minimze that number, but now it is probably not worth trying to save them by spending other things. Using a Crystal of Remembrance before imbuing can save you one Empowerment Scroll, but you will need to extract the legacy you want from another LI. If you use it after imbuement, you can choose whatever legacy you like at no cost.
Are First Age and Second Age LIs worth it?
After imbuement, a FA, SA, or TA LI uses the same legacies with the same bonuses according to the tier of the legacy, including for the default legacy. The difference is that (assuming no Star-lit Crystals), at imbuement, the max tier of the default legacy for a TA will be 34, a SA will be 35, and a FA will be 37. (If a Scroll of Delving is used, it will raise each of them by 1.) This means a FA acts as if it has 3 Star-lit Crystals, and a SA acts as if it as 1. After imbuement, if you add 3 Star-lit Crystals to a TA, it will have identical stats to a FA with the same legacies and tiers. The final tiers are the same for all, so if you add the needed Star-lit Crystals, they will have the same stats.
The drawback to using a FA or SA LI for imbuement is that it takes much more IXP to reach 70/70. (Remember, you will want to use a Scroll of Delving to get the extra reforge and tier upgrade before imbuing.) There is also the potential cost for the symbols to create one, and the cooldown for the recipes to try another one (7 days for FA, 3 days for SA, 1 day for TA).
For some classes, two-handed LIs have additional stat bonuses randomly generated when they are created. There are differences in the stat values for FA, SA, and TA LIs, and these persist through imbuement. It is unclear whether this is intentional or a bug. For most stats, the difference is small. With the general inflation of stats at level cap (but no change in the stats added to two-handed LIs), any difference is proportionally smaller.
Replacing legacies before imbuement can cost you tier upgrades. Replacing legacies after imbuement can cost you ILRSs. Since making a TA LI uses only common ingredients, it could be a better idea to create multiple TA LIs until you get one that has the legacies that you want and higher tiers. You would be giving up some Star-lit Crystals, but could be better off by saving more tier upgrades.
Costs of Operations on Imbued Legendary Items
Over time, scrolls and crystals have become easier to acquire in-game, but many are needed to raise a new ILI to its maximum. You can still spend TP and MC if you like. If you plan to spend MC, be sure to buy MC when they are on sale, since in-game MC prices do not change. Scrolls and crystals are regularly on sale in the LOTRO store for TP.
If you do not wish to spend MC or TP, there are scrolls and crystals available in-game as quest rewards or for barter. Imbued Legacy Replacement Scrolls are available as quest rewards, for barter for Ancient Ithil-coins, and rarely in Anorien Iron-bound Lootboxes. Empowerment Scrolls can be obtained for a variety of barter currency and are common drops from Featured Instance boxes. Star-lit Crystals have more limited availability, but can be bartered during festivals. Crystals of Remembrance can be rare drops or even Hobbit Presents.
When considering bartering, be aware that some items are bind on acquire, so you must barter with the character that will use them. For example, the Anfalas Star-lit Crystals bartered in festivals are bind on acquire, so a low-level character cannot get one and pass or sell it to another character. Stars of Merit are shared by the characters on the server, but when you barter for a Star-lit Crystal or Scroll of Empowerment, it becomes bound to the character, not the account.
Delving Scrolls (you need only one per LI) are relatively inexpensive. Empowerment Scrolls are what you will need the most, and they are available from a variety of different barterers. The following shows the costs in various currencies of different items:
Anfalas Scroll of Empowerment
- 2,541 Marks plus 293 Medallions
- 20 Amroth Silver Pieces
- 15 East Gondor Silver Pieces
- 7 Gold plus 20 Silver Tokens of Dol Amroth
- 10 Gift-Giver’s Brands
- 4 Minas Tirith Smith’s Tokens
- 3 Morgul Crests
- 3 Ancient Ithil-coins
- 90 Stars of Merit (BoA)
- 42,660 Shards (!)
- 10 MC
- 295 TP
Anfalas Scroll of Delving
- 3,177 Marks plus 476 Medallions
- 80 Amroth Silver Pieces
- 80 East Gondor Silver Pieces
- 7 Gold plus 35 Silver Tokens of Dol Amroth
- 58,500 Shards (!)
- (no MC equivalent)
- 195 TP, 3 for 525 TP
Anfalas Star-lit Crystal
- 300 Stars of Merit (BoA)
- 9 Morgul Crests
- 6 Ancient Ithil-coins
- 10 MC
- 495 TP, 3 for 1,195 TP
- One provided as a quest reward in East Gondor
- Festival tokens (number varies by festival) (BoA)
Anfalas Crystal of Remembrance
- 99 MC
- 995 TP
- One provided as a quest reward in East Gondor
Imbued Legacy Replacement Scroll
- 50 MC
- 795 TP
- 30 Ancient Ithil-coins (BoA)
- 4 scrolls are provided as quest rewards in East Gondor
- 2 scrolls are provided as quest rewards in Minas Tirith
- 1 scroll is provided as a quest reward in Far Anorien