To have an occasional break in-game from levelling my main, I’ve also spent some of my more recent sessions deliberately on gathering and crafting. For now I’m focusing on progressing my Warden’s weaponsmithing (he’s a Historian). I even bought the XP-disabler pocket item (Stone of the Tortoise), since crafting gives XP and he was created to be part of a Hobbit levelling duo.
Getting to play multiple characters for a specific reason always makes me happy in MMOs, the synergies for gathering and crafting are one of the things I love about LOTRO. My Champion main has a good number of fast travel skills and has the money to use stablemasters whenever needed. He has the Explorer vocation so is able to gather the large quantities of ore my Warden needs to practice his weaponsmithing.
I chose to level weaponsmith for a reason; my Champion’s Legendary weapons are looking at bit out of date and the better weapons in the game seem to be crafted these days. So I’m focusing on levelling weaponsmithing and crafting the large number of Weaponsmith Guild reputation items necessary to unlock the recipes to craft a decent weapon for him and eventually other characters!.
Even when I am planning to play other games and have no real-time for LOTRO I can still log in for a quick 30 mins to craft some of the reputation items. This requires my Champion to smelt and refine three different qualities of the relevant metal ore. He passes this via the account bank to my Warden to then craft the Emblem items that grant guild reputation. As a side note, all MMORPGs really need to have account level storage, it is so useful!
Once every 3-4 sessions my Champion gets to ride all over the different sections of Rohan to gather a ton of different tiers of ore to fuel this progress. That is actually a lot of fun as in most of the zones now the monsters are grey to him so they ignore him completely. It’s a liberating feeling to be able to ride around with impunity in areas where, not so long ago, I had to be wary of roaming threats!