Home > LOTRO, LOTRO Advice, LOTRO Class Guides > Getting creative with TonicBars

Getting creative with TonicBars

June 10, 2011

TonicBars is a wonderful plugin for Lord of the Rings Online. I have recently been making full use of it on all of my characters. When it comes to things as simple as travel or as complicated as mid-fight weapon-swapping, it makes my life so much easier.

TonicBars is available here.

The plugin basically consists of two parts. The first is the quickslots, which are the foundation of TonicBars, and the second is extensions, which are branched out off of quickslots. Both quickslots and extensions are able to be set up exactly as you prefer: if you want 20 slots, then you can make 20 slots. You want a constant row of food vertical, then a mouse-over to pop out horizontal rows of various types? Done.

Quickslots are either present on your screen all of the time or pop up when you hold down a certain key, such as [Shift] or [Alt]. You can also have them only show up in combat or out of combat. For classes dependent on combat responses, such as parries (hunter, guardian) or crits (burglar, warg), TonicBars can pop up a quickslot in response to those class-specific actions. It filters the options based on your class, so don’t worry about getting quickslots accidentally being set to come up on blocks if you have a hunter for example, it will not even have that option.

The thing I like most about TonicBars is the extensions feature. Extensions are based off of quickslots, so you must have a quickslot, even if it is only one slot, then the extension can be added by right-clicking the quickslot. Extensions are really useful for hiding icons until moused over.

I have very specific things for which I like to use TonicBars, and I will go through a few of those setups. Some of these are general, which I use on all of my characters. Some, like the weapon-swapping that I mentioned earlier, I use on multiple classes, but not all of them. And finally, I will display a few examples of class-specific setups that have made my life MUCH easier.


  • Travel
    Something I have on every character is a travel bar. The travel bar starts as a little icon, a single quickslot, right next to my radar, then when I mouseover, it expands using the extensions feature to show all of my travel options, such as my kinship house, personal house, racial travels, and milestone destinations. This is set to trigger only when out of combat.

    TonicBars travel expanded

  • Food
    Another thing I use on every character is food. Food, as you probably know, comes in three varieties: Trail food (stat food), Cooked food (regen food), and Fortifying food (resist food). I have a quickslot that has one of each at the top middle-right of my screen, and a mouseover drops down options from there using extensions. My preference is to not have this display while in combat.

    Collapsed quickslots

    Food extensions

Weapon- and gear-swapping

This is a very handy and unique way to use TonicBars. For one, I am always looking for a way to speed things up for my characters. When I join a group, I don’t want to have to track down my grouping gear to swap it with my soloing gear, as I have enough to do to prepare, including retraiting, making sure I have potions, tokens, and scrolls, and making sure my legendary points are spent (it’s a big pet peeve of mine when I forget to spend my legendary points after a reforge, but I digress).

My main tool in the weapon-swapping progress is a fishing pole. You see, a fishing pole is the only 2-handed item a hunter can wield. Thus, I can equip it, then equip my main legendary weapon and my other off-hand. The quickslot consists of a 2 slot row, that pops down only when I hold down [Shift], to give myself breathing space. When I mouse over the fishing poles, which are all that are visible initially, you see the extension drop down, with my usual mainhand, my grouping offhand, bracelet and ring, and my soloing offhand, bracelet and ring.

Left, solo items. Right, grouping items.

Another way I like to use TonicBars is for mid-fight weapon-swapping. I have it configured so my bows are all right in a row on my hunter, making it easy for me to switch damage types quickly in a raid. I also have my mainhand weapon there, just in case something goes wrong with a switch, and I need to get that back immediately. This is set to trigger only when I hold [Shift].

Class-specific: Hunter

Here are some examples of things I’ve done specifically for my hunter.

  • Find the Path
    This quickslot is triggered by not having the buff “Find the Path” active, like when I first log in. It starts off with just the spear that has the legacy on it, then I mouseover, and it expands. I click Find the Path and my mainhand and presto! Lots of great combat-only legacies on my mainhand, and +21% run speed!
  • Agile Rejoinder
    I simply just forget to hit this skill when I get a parry response. It is set to trigger only when I get a parry response, and it is not shown at any other time.
  • Tracking
    This sits next to my food, and it is set to trigger when I am out of combat. It is nice to always have the Beast tracking one available out in the Moors. Plus, it shows me whether it is on cooldown or not, which means I can be tracking every time it’s up.
  • Stances
    I have an embarrassing secret…sometimes I forget to activate a stance. I generally notice most on my champion, because my fervour generation is so low. So I started this with the champion, and the practice spread to my other characters with Stances. My stances stay there until I activate them, reminding me.
  • Moors
    When I am in the Moors, speed is everything. I can’t be looking around for my Elf-stealth that I so rarely use. Finding it quickly might be the difference between getting caught in a Reaver’s charge and escaping to set up a nice Heartseeker. This setup only pops up when I’m in the Moors, and the quickslot is a vertical set of three, that has extensions coming out to the right.
  • Items
    My consumables, such as Bow-chants, oils, and Focus potions, are easy to lost track of in my bag. When I hold [Shift], the following setup shows up. Only the two weapon-switching fishing rods are extensions, everything else is just quickslots. You see the two best books for my level, my weapon-swaps, my mainhand weapon, my Beleriand, Westernesse and Ancient Dwarf bows (from left to right), my Focus potion in the bottom left corner, the Breach-finder bow chant in the bottom right corner, and my fire and light oils in between them with the oil wash (reusable btw!).

Class-specific: Loremaster

The lore master has an interesting setup because of the many pets and their cosmetic options. Here is how I handle 1.5 million skills:

The top row is the actual quickslot bar, and the rest are extensions coming down with the various cosmetic options for each pet. I guess I will have to add another column next to the bog-lurker when I get my auroch! At the end of each row, I have added a shortcut “/pet release” which dismisses pets. I added it to my hotbar first, then onto the extension.

Class-specific: Captain

  • Buffs
    They’re the name of the game with the captain, and here is the massive list of triggers TonicBars has for captains (though not quite as long as for minstrels):

I have two setups for buffs, one for my usual set for myself and my herald if I have one, and one for my group members.

  1. Group-buffing
    I have my buff sword or emblem, then the buff, then my usual mainhand, all available to me when I hold down [Alt]. This provides quick buffing abilities when in the midst of battle.
  2. Self-buffing
    This quickslot bar is shown when I hold down [Alt]. This allows me to just buff myself real quick, just clicking across the row. Weapon and emblem switches for better buffs are automatically included. If I have a herald, then the Shield-brother skill is on the end.
  • Rezzes
    Another thing that the captain has at his disposal are rezzes, which need to be executed quickly (or in some situations, not!). The rez quickslot pops up either when a fellow is defeated (for the quick rez, Cry of Vengeance) or when I hold [Shift], for the regular rez (Escape the Darkness). I can swap to the emblem with the cooldown before I pop the rez, too.

I hope that my setups have inspired you to try out your own! Let me know any of your ideas too, I would be happy to try some new things.


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