During the seasonal festivals (Spring, Summer, Farmer’s Faire, Harvest, and Yule), the Inn League and Ale Association continue their rivalry. These are two reputation factions. In most quests, gaining reputation with one lowers your reputation with the other. It is possible to be kindred with both factions; you gain more reputation with one than you lose with the other, so if you do a quest for each, you have a net gain with both. (If you use reputation accelerators, the increases are accelerated, but the decreases are not. Instead of +900 -500 or a net +400 for each if you do a quest for both, you get +1800 -500 or a net +1300 for each. You will need 900 of rep acceleration per quest.)
There are more details beyond the scope of this post, for example, there are initiation quests that must be completed before you can do the delivery quests discussed here. Check https://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/The_Inn_League_(Reputation) and https://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/The_Ale_Association.
Some of the quests also reward with tokens called Badges of Taste (Inn League) and Badges of Dishonour (Ale Association). These can be bartered for a variety of things, but significantly can be turned into the festival currency of your choice! Previously, you could trade a badge for 3 of tokens (Spring Leaves, Yule Festival Tokens, etc.). Now you also have the option to barter 2 badges for a Box of Festival Tokens, which contains your choice of 6 Spring Leaves, 6 Anniversary Tokens, 3 Summer Festival Tokens, 10 Fall Festival Tokens, 12 Farmers Faire Tokens, or 12 Yule Festival Tokens. With items such as Anfalas Star-lit Crystals, Essence Removal Scrolls, and the new limited-availability dyes, being able to farm a bunch of tokens could be worth the effort.
To barter, you need to have Friend reputation with the Inn League (to get into the room in the Bird and Baby Inn) or Acquaintance reputation with the Ale Association (the barterer is in the Thorin’s Hall Inn). There is a 5 second cooldown for extracting the tokens from the box. Be sure you get the tokens for the current festival. The extract dialog has a search, so if you type the name, it will show only that particular kind.
There are multiple daily quests with each faction, but the largest number are in the form of delivery quests, sending you around Middle-earth delivering (alleged) potables to various NPCs. Whether you want the reputation or the badges, having an efficient way to do the delivery quests will pay off.
The delivery quests are timed. You have one hour from picking up the quest to complete it. The Inn League quests are the easiest because you can buy a bunch of the particular drinks before picking up the quests. You can pick up the quests from the Inn League Tavern Keep at the Party Tree, Bree-land Festival Grounds, Thorin’s Hall Inn, and Duillond and deliver the drinks to the different NPCs within an hour. Each quest is separate, so if you don’t get to some, you can redo those. In fact, once you know where they are to be delivered, you can skip picking up the quests from the Inn League Tavern Keep! Simply travel to the NPCs at your leisure, accept the quest from the NPC and deliver it immediately!
The Ale Association is much more restrictive. You can’t buy the drinks in advance. You must pick up the quests from an Ale Association Tavern Keep, travel to the place where the drink is available, advance the quest there, then travel to the thirsty NPC and complete the quest. To do these quests efficiently, you need a route through the various locations to pick up and deliver before time runs out. Which way is quickest for you depends on your travel skills, including ports, milestones, swift stable routes, etc. If you are low-level (the Hrimbarg and Zigilgund quests are level 45), you might not be able to accept the quests or safely travel to the destination. These complications make it hard to specify a plan that will work for everyone. If the route I describe below doesn’t work for you, search the internet for others that might be appropriate for you. This forum thread has a good discussion of the issues and number of proposals: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?329700-Ale-Association-and-Inn-League-Repeatables-Guide.
Double your badges
If you want to get reputation with both factions, or you just want more badges, the two different approaches to delivery mean you can do both sets of delivery quests at the same time! Once you have a plan that works for the Ale Association, simply pick up in advance the drinks desired by the Inn League NPCs and carry them with you as you do the Ale Association delivery quests. (Do not accept the Inn League quests from the Tavern Keep, as that will block the corresponding Ale Association quests.) Instead, after completing the Ale Association quest, accept the Inn League quest from that same NPC and immediately complete it with their beverage of choice.
There are 11 delivery quests for each faction, which means one run will gain you 22 badges if you can do all the quests.
Michaleo is a VIP level-cap hunter, so can do it easily. However, because I want Nodread and Wrytune and my lower-level crafters to be able to do it as well, I have pressed my level 42 crafter hunter into service to take them around, multiboxing on my laptop and PC. This means I have to make some compromises, since my crafters don’t have swift travel in Forochel or Angmar.
Doing a dry run (pun intended!) is useful since you may find some undiscovered travel routes and you may want to set some milestones.
The delivery to Zigilgund can be time consuming if you can’t use the swift stable routes. An option is to port to the campsite at 7.4N 75.4W and ride to Zigilgund, so I set that campsite on my hunter.
These are the drinks for the Inn League quests and where to buy them:
|Moor-boar Beer||Barliman Butterbur||The Prancing Pony, Bree|
|Stars of Old Cider||Barliman Butterbur||The Prancing Pony, Bree|
|Beakbreaker Ale||Lizbeth Honeymeade||The Comb and Wattle Inn, Combe|
|Swill||Anlaf the Forlorn||The Forsaken Inn, Lone Lands|
|Forsaken Ale||Anlaf the Forlorn||The Forsaken Inn, Lone-lands|
|Dorwinion White||Sogadan||The Last Homely House, Rivendell|
|Bombur’s Beard Lager||Rúnulf||Thorin’s Hall Inn, Thorin’s Hall|
|Limael’s Vintage||Brethilwen||Limael’s Vineyard, Near Celondim|
|Blagrove’s Brown||Carlo Blagrove||The Bird and Baby Inn, Michel Delving|
|Thistlebelly Brew||Hereward Loamsdown||The Ivy Bush, Hobbiton|
|Brandy Wine||Gunderic Grubb||The Golden Perch, Stock|
There are several long stable or other rides. The +20% Mount Speed you get in Hobbit presents speeds up non-warsteed mounts as well as stable rides. There are a few places you need to ride to, so that will help if you don’t have a warsteed. You don’t do a lot of walking, so a Run Speed buff won’t help much.
When you visit a NPC, you will do one of two operations. Picking up a Drink means advancing one of the Ale Association quests you have. In a couple locations you will pick up two drinks from the same NPC, advancing two of the quests.
The other operation is Delivering a Drink, which has 3 steps. You first complete the Ale Association quest. You should then see a quest ring on the NPC for the Inn League quest. Accept that quest and immediately complete it with that NPC. Note that a few of the NPCs have some drama associated with the drink delivery before the quest ring appears.
Start at the Party Tree
When you’re ready to spend an uninterrupted hour running around Middle-earth, head to the Party Tree. If you’re going to be in a fellowship (e.g., for hunter ports), get everyone ready to go.
Take all 11 Ale Association quests from the Ale Association Tavern Keep. Don’t take the Inn League quests, as they will prevent you from taking the Ale Association quests. As soon as you do, the timers start running, so don’t stand around. The quests are sharable in case someone misses one.
Ride to the Ivy Bush in Hobbiton. Pick up a drink
Ride to the Green Dragon in Bywater. Pick up 2 drinks.
Ride to the Floating Log in Frogmorton. Pick up a drink.
Port to Ost Guruth. Ride to the Forsaken Inn. Pick up a drink.
Port to Michel Delving. Ride to the Bird and Baby. Pick up a drink.
Port to Tinnudur. Swift stable ride to Oatbarton. Deliver to Harigar Mudbottom, north of the stable.
Swift stable to Brockenborings. Deliver to Foxglove Grubb just south of the stable.
Still in Brockenborings, go up to the Plough and Stars. Pick up a drink.
Port to Ost Guruth. Swift stable ride to Rivendell. Swift stable ride to Echad Candelleth. Deliver to Saerthuihel up the stairs at the far end.
Swift stable (or Port) to Rivendell. Ride to The Last Homely House. Pick up the drink in the Hall of Fire, to the left on the first floor as you enter.
Port to Hrimbarg. Deliver to Oli, up the stairs to the left.
Port to Thorin’s Hall. Enter Thorin’s Hall Inn. Pick up a drink.
Exit Thorin’s Hall. Ride down the stairs then east to the Refuge of Edhelion. At the east end, turn left and, at the top of the stairs, deliver to Lendasil.
Port to Bree. Ride to the Prancing Pony. Pick up 2 drinks.
Ride to Thornley’s Worksite northwest of Bree. Deliver to Wesley Hopwood.
Port to Bree. Swift stable to Suri-kyla. Swift stable to Zigilgund. (For my characters without Forochel rep, I port to the campsite and ride to Zigilgund instead.) Deliver to Lofi next to the stable master.
Swift stable to Suri-kyla. Swift stable to Gath Forthnir. Swift stable to Aughaire. (Or Port to West Angmar.) Deliver to Nathalan, west from the stable.
Port to Esteldin. Stable to Othrikar. Deliver to Muli ahead and to the left on the platform.
Port to Bree. Swift stable to Celondim. Stable to Duillond. Stable to Thrasi’s Lodge. Deliver to Alrek.
Port to Ost Guruth. Ride southeast to Ost Haer, where you see the campsite on the map in Haerlog. Deliver to Wald Mugwort.
If you didn’t finish in time
One reason for doing this delivery last is that if you just miss the time, it is easy to redo. Go to Thorin’s Hall Inn. Accept the quest from the Ale Association Tavern Keep. Pick up the drink at the bar, then head to Ost Guruth and Ost Haer with an hour to complete it.
Delivery 10 takes a longer amount of time, so if you’re way behind, that’s the one to skip. You redo it by accepting the quest at the Bree Fairgrounds, Get the drink at the Prancing Pony, then head to Ered Luin to finish it at Thrasi’s Lodge.
If you do all 11 quests for both factions, you will get 22 badges to use or barter for Boxes of Festival Tokens. You will also have 4400 more reputation with each faction (14300 if you used accelerators).
Once you have the path down, it takes only a little over an hour (by definition) to complete, and can be completed every day.