Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
LotRO Journal - 29-May-2007

I keep playing Lord of the Rings Online in a low intensity way. My minstrel is level 21 now, and my guardian is level 19. I'm mostly playing the guardian, who is on a tour to explore Bree-land, and collect deeds there. I visited all the ruins and other points of interest on the various lists of things to see, and now I'm on the deeds to kill various critters. Including my very first orc in this game.

The critter-slaying deeds difficulty lies in finding enough of that type of mob to kill. The easiest were the neeker-beekers, because there is a dungeon that has over 20 of them in it, and can be run repeatedly. Mobs like brigands or orcs are usually easy, because they tend to live in camps in high concentrations. The animal mobs are sometimes more difficult. Some live concentrated in some places, like spiders in the middle of the marsh, but others are all over the place. I don't know how I'm supposed to kill 90 sickle-flies, I haven't found more than one at a time yet.

Collecting all the deeds isn't strictly necessary, but I like it. It is a low-key way to play, killing mostly mobs far lower in level than myself. That is a good way to earn money, as you get tons of loot for very little repair cost. And it forces you to visit all the corners of the zone, which is great from an exploration point of view. I especially like to do it with my guardian, who is miner, because the remote corners tend to be full of ore nodes. Not the fastest way to level, but I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere.

I did a couple of quests beside the deeds, as opportunity arose. There are a lot of group quests in Bree-land, and I didn't want to organize a group myself, so I just joined groups that were looking for more. The LFG system in LotRO isn't used any more than the WoW system is, which is a pity. Most groups form in the old-fashioned way of shouting for more people in the LFG chat channel. Just like in WoW there are quest series which get harder as the series progresses. For example the quest series on the alliance between orcs and brigands, I did the start by myself, teamed up with another guy for the middle part, and joined a full group for the final mini-dungeon instance.

I'm enjoying LotRO whenever I play it, but usually 2 hours a day is enough for me. I don't feel the urge to play every free minute as I did with WoW. That is probably a good thing. I get around to play some other games and get more Real Life ® done. Last night I installed Heroes of Might and Magic V, and it looks very promising.
Do you find it easier to level at your own pace on a role play server Tobold? One could imagine that role players are more interested in savouring the experience than getting to end game asap. On a normal server I try to play at my own pace but I feel a certain presure to keep up with the bulge of players if only to make it easier to find groups.

Camping rare spwans does crop up from time to time in Lotro sadly and often for very minimal quest rewards. I doubt it is deliberate - I guess they just forgot to put in enough of certain mobs.
I'm reading the official boards - I know, I know - and there sure seems to be a lot of griping; mostly about the value of armor.

There's also a good deal of complaining about the lack of interface options, which is what's keeping me from playing.

The icons are just too damn small to read, so I'm waiting until Turbine addresses this issue before I subscribe.
There is a serious flaw with Lotro. At around L30-35 and upwards you basically run out of quests possible to complete solo. The remaining quests are fellowship quests, and I absolutely hate games that have forced grouping. I can do grouping with my guildies and that's fine, but when around 90% of your quests are group quests and you can't always group with your guildies it becomes a serious pain. On top of that of course everyone you are doing it with have to be on the same step of each and every quest available, so you really have to only group with the same people all the time to be effective. Works fine for some, but when people are away from home or can't play for a while for other reasons it also becomes a problem.

I've read that the Evendim patch will make this better for levels 27-40, but I'm already at L38 so I will probably not be helped by that. And even if that had not been the case there are still L40+ which most likely have the same amount of fellowship quests.

Right now I'm slowly starting to regret that I paid for a lifetime subscription. I guess it might become better in a few months, but by then it might be too late. We've already had one in the guild who stopped playing because of this issue, and I hear some other people saying that they don't like it either.
I find I'm tromping about between Bree and the Lone-lands quite a lot (questing in the Lone-lands, back to Bree via the map for the auction house/craft centre/class trainer); if I'm not in a tearing hurry, running back from Bree instead of taking a horse saves money, and provides a handy opportunity to run through the marsh killing sickle-flies on the way and mining copper. It's only three or four flies at a time, so the Advanced Sickle-fly Slayer deed will take a while, but it makes the journey slightly more worthwhile than sticking auto-run on and dozing off, at least.
Sickleflys take patience, but it is not overly hard, so long as you do not mind a bit of a hike.

You need to head over to Far Chetwood, just south of Nen Harn in the very North East of Breeland. Walk around the forest and you will find them fairly regularly. It may take you 4 or 5 sweeps of the forest to get the amount you need, but if your trait is good for your class, then it will be worth it, as sooner or later you would come back to do it anyway.
Can't wait for that Heroes Review Tobold. This could be one that postpones my WoW progression :)
I'm starting to feel that the first 25-30 levels of LOTRO contains all the best bits! Since Weathertop and the Great Barrow the instances haven't been nearly as much fun or atmospheric. After the wow factor of Rivendell a few weeks ago (in Ultra High mode) I can't say I've had any other Wowzer moments since.

Hopefully there are more to come, I still have Angmar to explore yet and there's going to be lots of content patches to keep me coming back. I think therefore that this game could be one that ebbs and flows with content being added, and consumed, and then the next content being waited for.
This lack of content issue has pretty much forced me back to WoW. I loved LoTRO from lvl 1-33/5, but totally hated it after that. I don't mind grouping, in fact I like it quite a lot, but don't FORCE me to group, or leave me no other option if I can't find a group. And yah, I totally regret paying for a lifetime subscription. But it does allow me the luxury of parking it for a couple of months in the hope that this gets fixed. My burglar is now lvl 43 so I guess I'm past that, but I still find that the majority of quests are group based, and my 35-40 slog has put me off the game enough to make me part it for a bit. Sad really, because lvl 1-30 was really very enjoyable.
I haven't played in over a week now, because of real life goings-ons, but I'm not sure when I'll play again next either. I'm more interested in PotBS now... I beta'd LotRO for over a year, so maybe it's just getting old for me... good thing I didn't do the lifetime like I was going to.
Heh, Tobold I just wonder if you will hit the same wall as many others here, myself included. Right now I'm back on a break from everything MMO-related.
I'm starting to feel that the first 25-30 levels of LOTRO contains all the best bits!

I have heard similar comments and given that my highest ones are in low 20s and I have a few issues with the game there, it does not sound particularly promising.

Sounds like a good idea to put the game to rest for a while and look at it again in a number of months.
Yeah, I got my champ and hunter both to 21 and for the last few days I haven't had the urge to play. Dunno why.
Maybe the Lone Lands aren't very appealing to me, or maybe the quests are just boring me now.

And I haven't crafted one fun or useful thing yet.
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