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  1. #1

    What we sometimes forget…

    My main char is a lvl 67 Guardian, who came into life two years ago when I started playing LOTRO. He recently followed the Grey Company to Dunland, answering Aragorn’s call for help on his way to Rohan and beyond. I think Dunland was back in long gone days the last region once you reached lvl cap (65 it was, I believe) and so the developers made it a vast area with a lot of deeds and quests, which is good but the grinding can be tiresome sometimes (oh, another 250 Wargs to kill…!), especially if you want to complete the deed because a virtue you need is attached to it. I bought a XP disabler when my Guardian reached lvl 60 (should have done that much earlier) so I can relax and can do slowly all the deeds without out-levelling the areas…otherwise I would have reached most probably lvl 80+ by now.

    Some days ago, I rolled a new char just to see if and how U13 has affected the early character development (well, it has…). After having completed the story in the Archet starter area - as he is a man - I followed the introduction, got my crafting going, finished the first deeds for Breeland etc. While doing all this, I realized how much of the “aesthetic of the game” or “beauty of the game design and story” I had forgotten since my old Guardian experienced those two years ago: Searching relics related to the history of the Dunedain, or finding the ruins of Breeland… The Cardiolan Prince… I was quite excited to re-discover those things again. And after I tried to deal with those Brigands in the South, the Head Watcher in the Northern Bree fields – not believing the judgement of his own men - tells me he does not trust “those Rangers as they are just a bunch of other usurpers” (he had no clue, obviously), sends me to Ardos camp “as we can do without those Rangers”, where I help this hobbit to get rid of Bill Ferny and his brigand friends. After I did that, I really believed that’s it for Brigands in Breeland, as the Blackwolds had been destroyed earlier, when I receive a mail from… ? Well, from nobody else than from one of “those Rangers”, Saeradan, who writes to me that Bill Ferny is not done yet, that he was asked by his chieftain Strider to watch my progress (wow! I must be important…) while dealing with those Brigands and other evil things in Breeland and that he wants to meet with me… I had completely forgotten this part and was really flabbergasted when I got that mail from Saeradan because it fitted perfectly into the game flow. Pair this with the class quest you get when you are lvl 15 and the urgent call to report to the Skirmish trainer and Captain once you reach lvl 20…

    I realized again how well done those early parts of the game are... I am aware of course that most of you went through that and know that as well. But I think it is important to reflect that despite the flaws LOTRO has which we are all aware of (in my opinion U13 was a step into the right direction, by the way), I think it is good to remember from time to time the “aesthetic of the game”, especially of the early game and I am looking forward to rediscover the middle game and its forgotten pearls as well… I just wanted to share this observation of mine cause as for me this detour to the early game experience makes it much easier now to travel back to Dunland to kill those 250 Wargs…

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,392
    I adore the early zones, and am looking forward to playing a new class purely for the experience from Archet to Evendim again. I love Combe. And Staddle. And those gentle, early escapades, barely more than domestic disturbances that hinted at the real troubles to come.

    I'm playing LOTRO again, after I thought I'd truly quit after Isengard. What brought me back? Tea. Specifcally, vanilla rooibos, which I was drinking during my first pregnancy when I first started playing LOTRO. As I took my champion around Archet, Combe, Bree and beyond, I was listening to Laura Marling (Alas I Cannot Swim) and drinking vanilla rooibos, and I had utterly forgotten both facts until I drank the tea again. Suddenly I was back in Archet, dealing with the wolves at Bronwe's Folly and fighting the brigands by the hunting lodge. I was cautiously moving through the Chetwood, using up all my potions. I was gathering copper in the Midgewater Marshes.

    So I took my tea and I fired up the game again. I chilled out about random things like 'U13 squishiness' and 'symbols' and I sarted to treat Edoras and the rest a bit more like Archet. Help the people, kill the wolves, gather the resources. Keep things simple. Remember what it is you love about LOTRO.

    I have a little Hobbit guardian, still in the Shire, I've got a craving to level up now. Darn it.
    'A cage,' she said. 'To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    5,341
    One thing to remember about this game is that it is based on the books. Early on, there is a lot more freedom of action outside of the main story. As you noted, following the Grey Company south, things become more urgent and there is less leeway with the story. These areas are knee-deep into the events of the War of the Ring. The first Battles of Dale, of Lorien, and the Fords of Isen have or soon will be fought. Moving into Rohan proper things are much more constrained as events related to the invasion of the Wold, the Second Battles of Dale and Lorien plus the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen are now the focus, culminating in the Battle of the Hornburg. U13 deals with the events immediately following that Battle.

    Enjoy your journey, it is worth it (and is the main point of the books ... how the characters deal with their personal flaws and adversity, whether in a fight or not).
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
    "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda
    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
    We old vets need to keep in mind those who come after us.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    148
    I love the early parts of the story, too. Moria felt like such a tedious grind that I left the story behind me for a while and just did what I needed to do to level and get out of there. Once I was in the 80's, I went back and picked up the epic storyline and grumbled to get it out of the way. But then I was 'saddled' with Nona, Corudan and Horn. And oh my -- I found that feeling again. I wanted to be in LOTRO and experiencing it and enjoying the landscape and doing important things with these three NPCs. It was that comfortable, at-home feeling I had when I was first venturing out of Ered Luin with my elf hunter and exploring the beautiful countryside of the Shire and Bree. It was less mundane and felt more significant than a lot of previous story which felt, well... futile. I know that was intentional because things have to get worse before they can get better, but you have to have some sense of accomplishment to want to move forward. Moria, Lothlorien and Mirkwood lacked that for me. I was sick of the greedy, stubborn dwarves. I was sick of the ho-hum elves. And I was sick of fighting a losing battle in Mirkwood. Dunland, Isengard, Great River... things began to come back to life and get more interesting... and I think they set things up perfectly for Rohan. I'm glad they're doing smaller increases in level cap throughout this year, because I think I'd go stir-crazy if I had nothing but Big Battles (which feel pointless and tedious) to go off of now that I'm at the level cap. The immersive story and landscape makes all the difference, and I think some of the mid-level zones are too linear -- you lose that feeling. Some optional fluff quests to see more and do more would be a nice diversion from the storyline's direct path. But... that's something else altogether, and I'm likely not the voice of the majority.

    I would love a cup of that tea, Lilka.
    [CENTER][COLOR=#009966][FONT=franklin gothic medium][SIZE=3][I][FONT=palatino linotype]I can understand your anger at me, but what could you possibly have against the horse I rode in on?[/FONT][/I][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/CENTER]
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    12,622
    Oh, yes.

    That's why I have so many alts.
    Eruanne - Shards of Narsil-1 - Elendilmir -> Arkenstone

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by djheydt View Post
    Oh, yes.

    That's why I have so many alts.
    Indeed.

    Having started a new one last week, I now have 11.

  7. #7
    I totally agree.

    Bree-land was amazing. Lone lands are amazing after the revamp. North-downs was amazing. Evendim... well, Evendim is pure and unadultered joy if you sink into all the background story (sad story for most parts but oh so well written). I seem to take longer every time I take a new char through Evendm, wonder why

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,392
    I'm too emotional now to play Evendim. Two pieces of the music get me every time, and those amazing sunrises/sets over the lake...
    'A cage,' she said. 'To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.'

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lilka View Post
    What brought me back? Tea. Specifcally, vanilla rooibos, which I was drinking during my first pregnancy when I first started playing LOTRO.
    Lilka, I found that very touchy...

    @AarawynneP
    The immersive story and landscape makes all the difference... Some optional fluff quests to see more and do more would be a nice diversion from the storyline's direct path. But... that's something else altogether, and I'm likely not the voice of the majority.

    Well, I am actually not sure that you are not belonging to a majority, but I have the feeling it is a tacit majority of people, who are just playing and enjoying...
    Thanks for all replies so far, shows me that I am not alone enjoying the early game despite having a higher level char at the same time... might even enjoying it more now...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    12,622
    Quote Originally Posted by Dranoel_Dragon View Post
    Indeed.

    Having started a new one last week, I now have 11.
    You're well ahead of me. I have two that are mere storage mules
    and will never get out of the housing instance, four at or near
    level cap, and five somewhere in between, mostly at Esteldin.

    My husband has two accounts and more alts than *I* can count.
    Eruanne - Shards of Narsil-1 - Elendilmir -> Arkenstone

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    5,341
    I have 32 alts. I'll probably make a few more when the new class gets released. I'll probably quit making any more before I get more than 40. It takes a month to touch them all as it is now, and most of them are craft/storage mules.
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
    "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda
    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
    We old vets need to keep in mind those who come after us.

 

 

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