Friday, 26 August 2016

Guide to LOTRO's Treasure Hunt event

Lord of the Rings Online's Treasure Hunt event is one of the few I had not tried out yet. The event typically runs for a mere few days at a time and is irregular: considering my terrible track record of keeping up with LOTRO's event calender, it's maybe not so strange at all that I missed it thusfar.

Yesterday, I finally found myself hunting treasure in Ered Luin. And guess what, the event has some amazing rewards, especially for dwarf and burglar characters. I had no clue what to do at first, so I wrote this quick guide to help you get started. Don't worry, it's easy!

A dorf in their natural environment: a field full of potential dig sites

The Treasure Hunt takes place in Ered Luin (18.7S; 98.2W). Use the one-time map you got from the automatically bestowed introduction quest (check your inventory), or take a special festival horse from one Eriador's main hubs (Bree, Michel Delving, Thorin's Gate and Celondim).

The actual dig-site is a bit further uphill from the stable master and barter NPCs. You can recognise the places where you can dig by their golden glow. If you have nameplates turned on ("N" key by default) they will be individually labelled as "dig-site".

You'll notice the occasional event shouts in the middle of your screen.

"The round has ended! The event will restart shortly" means someone has dug up a huge dig site. There is only one of these each round and it is spawned at a random location. After it has been found, all dig-sites will disappear and reappear within a minute. You will be notified that this has happened by the text "A new round has begun".

Before you run off to the dig-site itself, take a minute to do the introduction quests. You'll be rewarded by multitudes of three different items in your inventory:
  • Trained cave-claw
  • Dowsing gem
  • Pickaxe

All items are consumed on use. The pickaxes are the most valuable out of the lot and are to be deployed with care  when possible, but more on that later.

Using cave-claws

Look for a spot in the middle of a group of dig-sites to deploy your trained cave-claw. You do this by right-clicking it in your inventory. The cave-claw will run off to the most promising dig-site within 20 meters, then burrows to disappear. After you've dug up your treasure, you should move to another place with dig-sites that have not been checked by your cave-claw before you summon another. This way you ensure to find the best dig-site within each area, maximizing your chances of finding a huge dig-site.

Using dowsing gems

Another tool to predict the value of an individual dig-site is the dowsing gem. Select a dig-site by left-clicking it when in range, and right-click on a dowsing gem in your inventory to activate it. 

One of the following messages will appear on your screen:
  • You're getting a very weak reading - Small Dig-site 
  • You're getting a slight reading - Medium Dig-site 
  • You're getting a strong reading - Large Dig-site 
  • You're getting a very strong reading - Huge Dig-site

If you get the first message (see the picture above), it is best to not waste a pick-axe on this dig-site. Take out another instead (even if you don't have a cave-claw or dowsing gem to test it out) - after all, it cannot get worse.

Right-click on the teal treasures in your inventory (if you got any) to open them. They serve no other purpose, so there's no point hanging onto them. By opening you will receive tokens and - if you're lucky - rare drop items. You can find a full list of possible drops on the LOTRO-wiki. You can also barter your tokens for various rewards at the dorf NPCs near the start (see picture above).

When you run out of pick-axes, you can no longer dig up treasures. Unfortunately, the only way to get more is to either buy them from the LOTRO store, or to wait for the quest cooldown timers to expire (15 minutes). If you want to keep treasure digging non-stop and you don't want to spend TP, the best way is to rotate through alts. You can maximize your chances for finding good treasure by bartering for trained cave-claws (5 tokens each) or dowsing gems (1 token each) at the dorf NPCs; however, since they cost tokens to buy it remains a gamble.

Update: I've added pictures of the event rewards here.

Happy digging!

More on the Buried Treasure event:


  1. Something to note: you can buy an extra copy of the initial one-time map from the barter vendor if you need to pop off and do something in between and need a quick way to get back.

  2. I am not really a festival lover in LotRO, just Yule, and anniversary. And sometimes a random one if I feel like it. AND: Treasure Hunting! Don't know why, it is the same every time. I got all the treasures (except for the horse) I want. But I think it's a little boys thing, seeking for treasures, I just love it!~

    Glad to see that there are more berriebushes now, and that they spawn faster. And still there are berriestealers. When I run to a bush, and see someone else is there faster, I seek another bush. Some people just run along, and ig I don't click fast enough they steal my berries. Ah well, morons are everywhere. (HAd to get that off my chest, haha)

    But, nice article for people that don't know what to do. Fist time I was there I was like 'huh?'..... NOW... LOVE IT!

    1. I was so like "huh?!?" when I set foot in the Treasure hunt area at first. So that's exactly why I wrote this!

      I'm not as much of a fan of the event as you because of its RNG and grindiness, but I'm glad I finally got to check it out. :)

  3. I don't claim to be an expert but...
    It is always best to use a cave-claw or dowsing gem to minimize wasting picks. They are worth the coins.
    I try to hunt when there are fewer people around.
    When a session lasts a long time, odds are the huge spot is on the fringe, so check fringes using dowsing gems.
    When a new session in starting, stake out a good place with 4-5 dig spots to release your cave claw (before anyone else does!)
    Don't get caught using a pick (or any resource) when the session is ending. Make sure to MOVE to negate the use when you see the message.


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