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Will This Help Me To Moria? June 13, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Lord of the Rings Online.
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Turbine has announced the next expansion, Rise of Isengard. which should arrive on September 27th of this year.  This will bring out new zones and raise the level cap to 75 from the current 65.

However, my highest level character is only 44.  I haven’t seen any of the key content of the first expansion, Mines of Moria, slacker that I am.

There is, perhaps a glimmer of hope.

As with past LOTRO expansions, there are some pre-order incentives to consider.

There are, in fact, three tiers of pre-order, base, heroic, and legendary.   The differences between them is mostly about access to a variety of cosmetic items (including horses), the opening of some content that I already have with my lifetime subscription, and some additional Turbine points.

But all of the packages include one key item, Derudh’s Stone.

I’m not sure who Derudh is, but his stone grants a 25% boos to experience gain when equipped.  And it is a pocket item, perhaps the best slot in the LOTRO equipment hierarchy. (Giving one the answer to the eternal question, “What has it got in its pocketses?”)

It is actually very nice that this is an item as opposed to a potion with a timer, as EQ2 tends to hand out, or a general cut in the experience curve with each expansion, the WoW way of things (though that tactic has been used by EQ2, LOTRO, and others as well).  When you want your experience boost, you can equip it.  If you feel the need to slow down, you can just take it out of your pocket and put it back in your bag.

Like most such items, you get the stone on every character, including characters you make going forward.  It appears in your bags when you log a character in or create one anew.

I went through some of my characters, just to see who got what, being of a suspicious mind.  I was surprised to see that almost all of my many characters on Firefoot already had an item in their pocket.  My mind must be slipping.  Back at launch, such items were somewhat rare.  I would bet that if I logged on to Winfola and checked characters made at launch, few would have anything at all in their pocketses.

As for which pre-order I chose, I went heroic.  And I did it specifically to get the green versions of the special cosmetic gear and horse.

Green Clad Mount

The pre-order process is not without wrinkles, the first being the order system seeming to insist that you create a new account (the term it uses!) when you know you already have one.  But it really just wants an email address to which to send the activation code.  You might want to check out the pre-order FAQ put together by A Casual Stroll to Mordor if you find yourself at a loss.

Will a pre-order item from the third LOTRO expansion help me get to the FIRST expansion?

We shall see.

What do you think of this sort of experience boost item?

Would you rather have something more temporary like a potion with a timer, or something more sweeping, like a general cut in the experience curve with the launch of an expansion?

Comments»

1. Facepalm - June 13, 2011

I’ve been getting back into LOTRO lately since I’ve pretty much had WoW & EVE on hold/freeze.

It’s been great and I even purchased a box copy before it went F2P. Your post on the expansion items has me considering at least the base option. Thanks for the info!!

2. Aillas - June 13, 2011

I think the experience boost item is a great implementation – usage is 100% in your control. Potions are OK, but not as good because midway through the timer you might have to go. Or, do a bunch of travel that eats up the clock.

3. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 13, 2011

@Aillas – My older EQ2 characters all have piles of experience boost potions which I never use because they have a timer and I always wait to use them until I am at a point where I know I will get optimum value from them. And, as such, the mostly remain unused. I’ve popped a few of the short duration ones, 30 minutes is easy to gauge, but the two hour potions remain in my inventory.

4. Rinvan - June 13, 2011

Yes the +25% item does help quite a bit. It works great if you also have tons of rested XP & like skirmishes. Since you are 44 head to Forochel, that should get you very close to 50. (If you haven’t quested there already)
Also do all solo content in Eregion before Moria, then you can enter Moria around 53 & things will be a lot easier.

5. bhagpuss - June 13, 2011

As was discussed on another thread recently, items like this are effectively the game designers bribing you with the opportunity to spend as little time as possible in the content they designed.

In practical terms, I like these things, because I play a lot of characters and often I’m playing through content not just for the second or third time but the tenth or more. I have to question what they say about the underlying design of MMOs, though.

6. Jason - June 13, 2011

I’m with Aillas on this. There are a few places in LotRO where I’ve felt the sting of content gaps(which have been filled admirably well by Turbine with the changes to Everswim.. er Evendim), but it’s very nice to see an item like this that will boost XP from skirmishes, making that a more viable method of leveling.

7. Brian 'Psychochild' Green - June 14, 2011

The big problem with an xp item like this is that it can separate you out from your friends. If you have the item and they don’t, then either you advance faster or you don’t get to use it.

I’m also not really happy with the LotRO expansion plans. In DDO, subscribing means you get access to everything, including new content that is released. The “free to play” accounts have to buy the new content. I think that’s fair, but it’s obvious that they want it both ways with LotRO: You have to subscribe or pay, and you still have to buy new content. Sadly, I have to say that it seems like the “free to play” transition for LotRO has proven a way for Turbine to get more money out of the subscribers. Which is especially sad, as I had high hopes given how well they did the model with DDO.

8. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 14, 2011

@Brian – I have long learned to make a specific “stick with the group” character. While this tends to feed my chronic alt-itis, it does keep the group together. So my “run ahead” character in LOTRO is 44 and would dearly like to at least see Moria, while my instance group character is 31 and will likely remain there for all eternity the way things are going.

Being on the lifetime plan for LOTRO, I tend to be insulated from the greed factor somewhat. I kind of expect to pay for an expansion now and again. But I guess this does change the aspect of VIP status, as you previously got everything.

On the other side, it does seem to run in parallel with what SOE is doing with EQ2X, where you get access to all content except the most recent expansion, for which you must either pay for it (in which case you get it forever on both EQ2 and EQ2X) or you have to go for a Platinum account (in which you get access only so long as you are Platinum.)

I am a bit annoyed that the latest EQ2 expansion, Destiny of Velious is something like $43 when bought with Station Cash but $30 on the shelf at Best Buy. But that is another tangent and if you bought your Station Cash during the 3 for 1 sale the expansion was closer to $14.


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