Login issues apparently resolved for the moment, I was able to play LotRO again. I did some more mining with my guardian, and got my metalsmithing up to master artisan. So I was able to check what rare monster part I need to make critical success bronze armor. It turned out that this was "clean barghest tails", something that drops from barghests, a kind of undead dog in the Barrow Downs, close to Bree. As the dogs are level 14 to 16, and my guardian is level 13, I switched to my level 18 minstrel instead.
First I went to Bree and grabbed all the quests I could find, several of which where for the the Barrow Downs. Then I walked over to the Barrow Downs and found it choc full with other players. There were more other players than mobs around, which made hunting there rather difficult. Especially stupid was an escort quest, which takes quite a long time, and other players can't start it before the previous escort finishes. So the spot where the hobbit lady to be escorted spawns was camped by several groups of players. I joined a group, and in spite of dying once on the escort managed to finish the quest. That also finished another quest, to kill wights. A nice quest where a ghost was giving you directions to a barrow I was also able to finish. But in all that I only got one clean barghest tail, because it was so difficult to find a dog that wasn't tagged by other players already.
So I went back to Bree instead, handed in the quests, and made level 19 in the process. There is one significant difference between WoW and LotRO, and that is the importance of quests. In WoW doing a quest gives you about the same number of xp as you get by killing the monsters during the quest. In LotRO the quests give more xp and killing monsters gives less xp, and you usually need to kill less mobs to finish a quest than in WoW. "Grinding" mobs in LotRO without a quest gives very little xp, and isn't recommended. Interesting concept, as long as there are enough quests for your level. But I hear that at the higher levels quests are currently thin on the ground, which is obviously problematic. And the higher you get, the more quests are group quests, making it harder (but not impossible) to solo your way to the top.
After this adventure I did some more farming. Due to the farming nerf the yield of seeds has been slashed, but as the prices for the other ingredients and the vendor prices for pipe-weed are unchanged, it is still profitable to farm with the seeds you have in stock. I had 250 seeds in my bags, and kept farming until they were gone, getting my money back up to 3.5 gold. So now I'm out of seeds and have to wait for the June patch to fix the farming system.
Somebody from my guild is a scholar, and scholars can make dyes. Now my miner had lots of copper salts from mining copper, and it turned out that these are needed to make olive green dye. So I send the scholar the copper salts, and got some dye as thanks. I used them on my minstrel, who was wearing mostly green armor, but had a cloak and leggings that didn't fit in color. It turns out that with dye you can change the color of any visible item, which is very cool. Even quest rewards and loot drops can be dyed, and be made to fit in color with your other gear. This is something that is very much missing in WoW, where by choosing the gear with the best stats you often ended up running around dressed like a clown. I always wondered how much people were after tier whatever sets in WoW just for the fact that the sets fit together in style and color. LotRO shows how easy it is to just apply a die and change the texture color of an item.