I’ve seen a lot of confusion regarding the changes to reputation items introduced by Update 5. According to the developer diary on this subject, instead of bartering with NPCs, now players simply consume reputation items like they would food or potions, and the reputation is automatically added to their total. This works for the factions in Middle-earth that have reputation items as well as crafting guilds.
Most of the barter NPCs have been removed so you don’t have to go looking for them every time you have something to turn in (So long, Greylond Bottomley!). And because they’re gone, you won’t see any more quests such as “Well-kept Mathoms — Introduction”. You might have received a message that a quest like this was removed when you logged in after the update.
Crafted reputation items are still in the game, and so are the NPCs selling recipes. The items you craft use the new system so you don’t never have to return to the NPC.
This change also took away all the level requirements for using reputation items. In theory, you could see a level 5 player with a generous benefactor fresh out of the introduction riding on a Prized Thorin’s Hall Goat. It’s also easier now to earn some extra Turbine Points especially if you have a free character slot and some cash to blow.
Pro tip: You get more TP on higher tiers of reputation: From Neutral to Acquaintance level, you effectively get one Turbine Point per 2000 reputation points, and from Ally to Kindred, you get one Turbine Point every 1500 reputation points.
But this change also brought several downsides. In the previous system, you usually had to collect stacks of ten or more to collect reputation of 300 or 500. So when the update rolled around, all these items changed to individual use, either 30 or 50 reputation per item. That means if you have a stack of these smaller reputation items, instead of bartering 10 times at an NPC, you’ll have to consume each of the 100 items to get your reputation. Pro tip: Right-clicking each and every one can make you go mad, but putting the stack on a quickslot and using a keyboard shortcut may save your sanity.
In addition, Moria reputation which is split into two factions, the Iron Garrison Guards and the Iron Garrison Miners, used to use the same reputation items before Update 5, but now that reputation items are consumed, the reputation can only go to one faction or the other. All the previously existing items now go to the Miners and there’s a new set of items for the Guards:
Iron Garrison Miners:
Uncut Moria-adamant (1200)
Durin Figurine (900)
Green Crystal Lamp Fragment (700)
Cracked Etching (50)
Broken Engraving (30)
Iron Garrison Guards:
Purple Crystal Lamp Fragment (700)
Cracked Dwarf Tablet (50)
Worn Dwarf Carving (30)
People who saved their Moria reputation items were shocked to see their items only working for the Miners when they may have been saving them for the Guards. Luckily, “Avon” says that they’ll “include barter tables in Moria to allow you to trade Iron Garrison rep items for Miners rep items, and vice-versa.” Even better, this should be ready for Update 5, Patch 1.