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  1. #1
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    Bilbo's Further Adventures

    I have to say I quite liked the story in these new missions to find missing Bilbo, well done! I look forward to more further adventures like this in the future.
    Pontin Level 130 Hobbit Burglar Leader of Second Breakfast Crickhollow Server.
    Alts: Legoan Elf Hunter, Belladonea Hobbit Minstrel, Unnari Dwarf Guardian, Jorunn Man Captain, Sallyberry Hobbit Warden. Maradoc Hobbit Hunter. Laurelin Server, Edwell Man Hunter.


    Here's some Screenshots of Middle-Earth taken over the years, and screenshots of different Cosmetic outfits I've put together.

  2. #2
    I will place my feedback on The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins here since I wish to offer constructive comments.

    Some of my feedback includes Spoilers. If you have not played through the adventure I suggest you do so first.

    Please note, my travels take me to many places in the multiverse. My intermittent adventures in Middle Earth average a few months each year. My 10 main characters currently adventure in Minas Tirith, North Ithilien, The Wastes, Mordor, and Felegroth. They all reached Level 130 about a year ago but have equipment relative to their actual place in the story with a some exceptions earned from Epic Battles, purchased on the Auction House, or from Mathom Armor. My characters adventure through regions in the correct chronological order so that the story also unfolds in the correct order. I keep to myself but solo dungeons when such things become possible.

    First, thank you very much for this new, stand alone short story and all the associated trade offerings. It was a pleasant surprise.

    Story: In my opinion, the short story was cute and mostly appropriate for Middle Earth. Your writers continue to produce professional prose but occasionally slip in a modern idiom, something I find mildly irksome. For example, in Mission 5, when approaching the final goblin camp, text appears on the screen including the phrase, "What was Bilbo thinking?" Such slips strongly stand out to me. In that particular case, something like, "What drove Mister Baggins to wander so far into this mountain wilderness?", strikes a more correct tone.

    The story starts slow, gradually gains some energy, and peaks when Bilbo arrives. The encounters and plot twists are very mild and thus not terribly interesting. While I wanted Bilbo to be more clever, he was clever enough to bring the story to a pleasant end.

    The elf character acting as the narrator serves as comic relief but often misses the mark. His dialog sounds too modern.

    In summary, the story was short, cute, and pleasant but would benefit from some minor polishing to improve the tone.

    Voice Acting: The voice actor for the elf narrator sounds like a character out of The Black Adder. I am not sure if that was intentional or not, but it did make me laugh a few times because it was so preposterous. "Baldric, do you really expect me to go traipsing about looking for some meandering midget who smells of turnips and sour cabbage?"

    Difficulty: I was able to complete all 10 episodes with two Level 130 Mistresses of Lore in very poor equipment, as described above. This was a very welcome surprise! The hardest encounter, by far, occurs in Mission 5 with the pack of 5 goblins. Even after waiting a time, they never wandered far enough apart to pull in smaller groups. Unfortunately, such high level monsters can resist so skills like Blinding Flash and Earthquake often fail. However, by moving slowly, despite a few close calls, every Mission was successful.

    For my third run through the story, I used a Level 82 Mistress of Lore in level appropriate equipment. She breezed through the entire story in 50 minutes, triggering an Instance Lock. Since the Instance Lock occurred on the 10th and final Chapter, she was not impeded.

    I am fairly certain my Level 130 Minstrels and Huntresses cannot survive Mission 5 as they lack level appropriate equipment. All my lower level characters should easily complete the entire story.

    Equipment Rewards: Thank you for the inclusion of the Level 130 rings. They represent a massive improvement for all my Level 130 characters since they have not yet reached a point in the story to obtain level appropriate equipment.

    Clothing and Housing Rewards: Individual tastes vary but these rewards seem quite good. I am not sure which ones I will seek, but I will definitely seek some of them.

    Weekly Mission Quests: The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins finally allowed me to successfully complete the Weekly Mission Quest and earn the associated rewards. This was an extremely welcome surprise. I had no idea these weekly quests award Virtue Experience and Crafting Materials and other useful items for level 130 characters. Even better, I can earn those rewards without disrupting my path through the main story arc. That is fantastic. Even better still, my low level characters can earn the very same rewards and help out my level 130 characters. Today was a happy day.

    Missions as Stand Alone Stories: When Missions were announced, I wrote something to the effect of, "I hope Missions allow the writers to offer us stand alone stories on a frequent basis." Well here we are. Success. The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins allows me to jump into a quick short story and gain some really useful rewards without disrupting my path through the main story arc. After spending the last year in The Wastes and Mordor, this was a very welcome diversion.

    Format: The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins plays a lot like a quest chain from Dungeons & Dragons Online. The Mission format allows the story to progress from scene to scene without the necessity to ride for 5 minutes across the landscape between each nugget of story. Wonderful. I enjoyed the solid hour of story without the extra hour of useless, ride and click filler.

    Cost: Thank you again for the free short story. I will evaluate each future Story Mission offering as it arrives.

    Replay Value: Again, The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins plays a lot like a DDO quest chain. It is not much different than running dailies in Minas Tirith, The Wastes, or Mordor. For Middle Earth, the pace is pretty good. The rewards will keep me at it for a while.

    The Grind: Minas Tirith, The Wastes, and Mordor all include horrific deed grinds. The sheer quantity of repetition required sucks all fun out of your game. As best I can tell, The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins includes no such grind. Fantastic. Please, make all future deeds quick and leave the grind for accumulating tokens.

    In summary, I found The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins pleasant with excellent rewards. Thank you.

    .....

    Epilogue: Having experienced The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins, I suddenly find Missions very interesting and attractive. I had no idea the rewards were so good. I had no idea my low level characters could help my high level characters. After asking around, I discovered that Wildwood also serves as a stand alone story, just larger, and that it includes Level 130 Earrings. Well now. Off to Wildwood we go.
    Sophie the Enchantress - Creator, Dreamer, Explorer - Happy yet Sad - Seeker of Beauty and Wonder
    I wish all of you many successful and happy adventures., brave Ladies and Lords of Middle Earth!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I don't have enough positive adjectives in my vocabulary to express how much I enjoyed the story arc.

    While initially I thought Bilbo's "destination" (I don't wanna spoil it) was kinda predictable, I also found it fitting, logical.

    If this came out of MoL's virtual pen, then another point for you, kind sir! Beautifully done

    And yes, the rewards are all lovely - even tho my LM feels quite teased by the mini lurkers... she still wants a combat version of them!
    Home base: Gladden - Fluff server: Anor

    Chronicler of the unofficial LotRO Webcomic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Los Angeles
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    84

    Angry Are you kidding me?

    I quite actually just was able to get into the game again after a month spent reinstalling EVERYTHING, downloading, try try try after update 29, and now it's the same all over again!
    Bloody well ticked.
    Benwhalebutler Wrongtrousers
    THE ELDAR. Kinship of Evernight

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Cowplain, United Kingdom
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    Ignorning the irritatingly slow ability to hand in each section, which rather broke up the thread of the tale, it was an enjoyable diversion. I've done it twice so far without any "moments" and look forward to the possibility of some more. Might be a bit more thrilling...as it were... if you are not so good at dealing wirth multiple mobs as there are some sections that are a very target rich environment.
    Mithithil Ithryndi

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithithil View Post
    Ignorning the irritatingly slow ability to hand in each section, which rather broke up the thread of the tale, it was an enjoyable diversion. I've done it twice so far without any "moments" and look forward to the possibility of some more. Might be a bit more thrilling...as it were... if you are not so good at dealing wirth multiple mobs as there are some sections that are a very target rich environment.
    The one thing I did like about these is the multiple mob environments. Gives a player a bit more to do than just toe-to toe combat and gives good CC practise to those not familiar with it.
    Treat others as you do your best pictures, and place them in their best light.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    28
    A nice little addition, with an enjoyable story and some refreshing swarming tactics that we rarely see in instances, which usually involve just a handful of opponents.

    I like that we finally get content that can be enjoyed by toons of different levels, without disrupting the typical zone-to-zone progression.

  8. #8
    An enjoyable little story line, quick to do. I liked the little 'hints' on the quest panel giving an explanation of what to watch for in that segment.

    What I didn't like was giving the npc's voices. Outside the goblin jabbering away, they just didn't seem to work / fit. I'd almost rather hear the 'wah wah, wah wah wah' from the Charlie Brown cartoons when adults speak.

  9. #9
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    I did enjoy the diversion.
    I have been focusing on my "Challenge-Mode" character (no gear) and it WAS challenging, but I got through it.
    At L52 this guy is going strong and the "stress" of going up against swarms of mobs certainly was challenging.
    I saw some comments above about "worried because their character is under-geared", well as a Burglar, you won't need any gear. But you will need to stay on your toes and be ready to run-away, run-away.

    Something I noticed: Many mobs in this Mission-Quest ignore stealth. They seem to be able to "see" me no matter what. That took me by surprise.

    This certainly looks like MOL's work.
    Whoever it was.../bow.

    Nice job.

    Like I told you...What I said...Steal your face right off your head.

  10. #10
    I'm enjoying the story line and love that it's added to the missions to gain motes, rare crafting items, and empowerment scrolls when finishing the dailies.
    Thank you, SSG!

    Now if only you'd offer more shared wardrobe storage space above the amount that's been the cap for a very LONG time, my life would be truly happy. But alas! *sniffs and wipes single tear from eye* Ah well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SophieTheEnchantress View Post
    For example, in Mission 5, when approaching the final goblin camp, text appears on the screen including the phrase, "What was Bilbo thinking?" Such slips strongly stand out to me. In that particular case, something like, "What drove Mister Baggins to wander so far into this mountain wilderness?", strikes a more correct tone.
    I recognize the point, although we don't generally enforce that writing style for internal monologues, which is what that line represents -- I think your rewrite would be just the thing for a character speaking aloud, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Laurelinarien View Post
    If this came out of MoL's virtual pen, then another point for you, kind sir! Beautifully done
    This one did, but I know other members of the team are interested to make some Further Adventures in the future -- I would expect them to improve on the format!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithithil View Post
    Ignorning the irritatingly slow ability to hand in each section, which rather broke up the thread of the tale, it was an enjoyable diversion.
    I'm definitely interested in refining the way we do these to minimize the aggravating aspects. Maybe five slightly more involved chapters instead of the ten chapters of this first one? Sev wanted five chapters and I argued for ten, but I can see that spending so long at Celeblir between Missions can interfere with the pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnenna View Post
    The one thing I did like about these is the multiple mob environments. Gives a player a bit more to do than just toe-to toe combat and gives good CC practise to those not familiar with it.
    I also like the variety of mixing up the gameplay scenarios, and lessons learned from this one should help future Further Adventures too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nebless View Post
    What I didn't like was giving the npc's voices. Outside the goblin jabbering away, they just didn't seem to work / fit. I'd almost rather hear the 'wah wah, wah wah wah' from the Charlie Brown cartoons when adults speak.
    The only new voices requested for this quest arc are Celeblir's ten instance introductions -- so I think any other voices you're hearing have likely been in the game for awhile.

    MoL

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post


    I'm definitely interested in refining the way we do these to minimize the aggravating aspects. Maybe five slightly more involved chapters instead of the ten chapters of this first one? Sev wanted five chapters and I argued for ten, but I can see that spending so long at Celeblir between Missions can interfere with the pace.




    MoL
    Please don't go that route. 5 would be too little. All that needs to happen is SSG find out and fix what is causing the system to not recognise that players have actually left the instance. Right now, especially in peak population times, we leave instance and the system doesn't recognise that we have left, and thinks we are still inside. Once that is addressed, all aggravation will be gone.
    Treat others as you do your best pictures, and place them in their best light.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post


    I'm definitely interested in refining the way we do these to minimize the aggravating aspects. Maybe five slightly more involved chapters instead of the ten chapters of this first one? Sev wanted five chapters and I argued for ten, but I can see that spending so long at Celeblir between Missions can interfere with the pace.




    MoL
    Please don't go that route. 5 would be too little. All that needs to happen is SSG find out and fix what is causing the system to not recognise that players have actually left the instance. Right now, especially in peak population times, we leave instance and the system doesn't recognise that we have left, and thinks we are still inside. Once that is addressed, all aggravation will be gone.

    It needs to be fixed, not cut content in half. Standing for long waits to hand in five, will be just as aggravating as waiting to hand in ten, but with less rewards (tokens, weekly ticks) at the end of it.
    Treat others as you do your best pictures, and place them in their best light.


  14. #14
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    Dec 2019
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    MoL

    You have to have accepted the canvas the world-builders provided you to work on. Did not the level 41 goblins spawns and the vendor icon on the mini map indicate just far too much "baggage" was also in the deliverery? Do the landscape area quest triggers that pop in other missions not have you concerned that shortcuts they make in haste are lots of unnecessary processing for client and server both?

    Are you happy to what once would be a pleasant phasing Epic Quest Arc and inconsistent with being daily repeatables has been levered into the new missions tech?

    It it a case of your getting what you are given or not your "sphere"? Who's Sphere is it?


    Braer

  15. #15
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    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnenna View Post
    Please don't go that route. 5 would be too little.
    Actually the interruption and travel to Rivendell during a few of the missions was a little odd.
    Not worse than previous quest series that forced us to go to goblin camp, back to NPC, camp, back, camp, back, camp, back....
    Now we got the same in missions and our chars return to the quest giver at the most ridiculous moments. We're used to it, but it is still odd.
    So reducing this to fewer missions in terms of the story would work nicely. It is just that the missions might be too long then (for repetitive missions).

    What I did like was that there was a choice at a point. So: nice design, but 500LP seem overpriced.
    Sure, we can repeat the missions, but it is not really that much entertainment after the first time.
    Last edited by thinx; Apr 22 2021 at 10:24 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnenna View Post
    The one thing I did like about these is the multiple mob environments. Gives a player a bit more to do than just toe-to toe combat and gives good CC practise to those not familiar with it.
    When I read this I thought on my burglar who can use his advantages to run directly to the end boss (if the target) and finish other missions almost as the mobs are finally materialising. Such environments would dissuade participation. I supposed that the Snowbeast Squall encounter would be the worst so began to test leaving Gloin and his dwarves to fight without my help. So long as you run some circles the three of them are completely able to clear everything on their own, a timely heal pot all I needed. Just shows it's the standard epic quest "anyone can complete it" difficulty level.

    But with all these missions the problem remains that the mission specific stuff comes last to the space after so much else and we need more indicators that it's ready for us.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post
    I recognize the point, although we don't generally enforce that writing style for internal monologues, which is what that line represents -- I think your rewrite would be just the thing for a character speaking aloud, though.




    This one did, but I know other members of the team are interested to make some Further Adventures in the future -- I would expect them to improve on the format!



    I'm definitely interested in refining the way we do these to minimize the aggravating aspects. Maybe five slightly more involved chapters instead of the ten chapters of this first one? Sev wanted five chapters and I argued for ten, but I can see that spending so long at Celeblir between Missions can interfere with the pace.



    I also like the variety of mixing up the gameplay scenarios, and lessons learned from this one should help future Further Adventures too.



    The only new voices requested for this quest arc are Celeblir's ten instance introductions -- so I think any other voices you're hearing have likely been in the game for awhile.

    MoL
    I think the mission system just doesn't work with sweet little stories like this. And that's what it is, a nice story. One big instance where the quest giver accompanies us and continues the story. Like some of the epic instances. No back and forth. Missions haven't found the sweet spot for me yet. They are very repetitive. Having played through Bingo several times for me the best way is now on a lvl 95+from start to end making my own breaks. Just like I would read a book. Epic Vol 1 as of Angmar, I just concentrated on that to follow the story at my pace. This is what makes Lotro great for me, stories I can go through from start to end without much interruption. Why chop a story into missions, just choose the system to tell it in one part.

    Of cause that doesn't fit well into repetitive end game design.

  18. #18
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    Dec 2019
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    I've been doing the adventures on my F2P char, for the 45 missions quest. I got a bunch of torches with my left over steel coins and all the drama has given me plenty of time to advance that deed, I'm even running out of them. So I figured that I'd refresh the stack, however just doing the missions has earned me no steel coins! So nothing hooked up to a loot table?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by wispsong View Post
    I think the mission system just doesn't work with sweet little stories like this. And that's what it is, a nice story. One big instance where the quest giver accompanies us and continues the story. Like some of the epic instances. No back and forth. Missions haven't found the sweet spot for me yet. They are very repetitive. Having played through Bingo several times for me the best way is now on a lvl 95+from start to end making my own breaks. Just like I would read a book. Epic Vol 1 as of Angmar, I just concentrated on that to follow the story at my pace. This is what makes Lotro great for me, stories I can go through from start to end without much interruption. Why chop a story into missions, just choose the system to tell it in one part.

    Of cause that doesn't fit well into repetitive end game design.
    I found when I did this right after it went live that it was a nice story, but once was enough. I came back today, May 6th and found that unlike the first time there are no mob drops, since they have been turned off for characters under I am told 50th. Feh. Now instead of an alternative to outdoor questing/farming it's just watching reruns wtihout popcorn.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Arnenna View Post
    The one thing I did like about these is the multiple mob environments. Gives a player a bit more to do than just toe-to toe combat and gives good CC practise to those not familiar with it.
    On all the classes I did that no CC was needed, regardless of level. Just bursting through the enemies with damage cooldowns and AoE. Champ, Red Burglar, Red Hunter, Red LM, Captain, Guardian, Beorning. Only class I can imagine having trouble with that is Minstrel, maybe Runekeeper if undergeared. Not saying that learning to CC is not useful, but the state of the game just does not ask for use of CC here. Damage is king, especially with how easy it is to overgear content.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Braer View Post
    I've been doing the adventures on my F2P char, for the 45 missions quest. I got a bunch of torches with my left over steel coins and all the drama has given me plenty of time to advance that deed, I'm even running out of them. So I figured that I'd refresh the stack, however just doing the missions has earned me no steel coins! So nothing hooked up to a loot table?
    I think loot was turned off for low level characters, it was too easy to farm things in there while getting very good XP at the same time. Plus these were resettable if you did not complete the objectives.

 

 

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