Daily Archives: September 2, 2010

A Sweep of the Lower Lone Lands

After the previous weekend’s failure at Weathertop, we decided it was time to work on getting a few levels before attempting to move on with the epic quest line again.  With four of us looking at a 6 person event, we need to get well ahead of it in levels before we go back.

The whole team was out on Saturday night:

  • Earlthecat – level 19 dwarf Guardian
  • Roderigo – levl 21 human Burglar
  • Garfinkel – level 23 elf Minstrel
  • Enaldie – level 24 elf Rune Keeper

And we were headed to the Forsaken Inn.

Smoking outside the Inn

The Forsaken Inn has developed into a serious quest hub over the life of the game.  There is a pile of quests there, all of which are flagged as solo.  You get to kill the ubiquitous boars as well as wolves, wargs, and goblins.

You get to slay many goblins.  There are several overlapping goblin quests, a couple of which are repeatable and which give trade skill item rewards.  And while, as I said, they are all marked as solo, there are a few on the list that are pretty tricky without some help.

The first task at hand was to root through some sort of Annorian junk yard which, conveniently enough, is overrun with wargs and wolves, knocking off a couple of lupines with a single stone.

Then, just next door, is a further set of ruins that has been overrun by goblins.  This is one of the areas in which one should take care is going in solo.  You have to delve fairly deep into the ruins to collect all the missing trade bundles that Anlaf has sent you after, and it is quite easy to get adds if you are not careful, especially from goblins that are above or below your location.

However, this was Saturday night and two other groups had swept through the ruins just ahead of us, so there wasn’t much in the way of drama for us.

Goblin free ruins

We did manage to find enough goblins to finish off all of the “kill goblins” quests we had, so it was back to the Forsaken Inn for the second round.

The second round sends you off to a goblin encampment which, like the ruins, is conveniently located for patrons of the Inn.

Like the ruins as well, there are lots of goblins and wargs wandering the area, which can make things tricky if you are solo.  As a group however, things are pretty smooth.

We made a circle of the camp, poisoning the goblin food supply as we went, until we made our way to the center ring of tents.

In that circle we were to face a named goblin, Luz, as well as find a human who had been captured by the goblins.

Unfortunately, both seemed to be otherwise engaged when we arrived.  So we waited.

Fire + Pipes = Role Play

We had actually seen the human captive, Pengail, go off with a dwarf who rushed past us to get to him.  The dwarf was level 21 and, judging from his morale bar, had just attempted and failed this quest.  He went on to fail it again while we were in the area.  Rushing past a group to grab a quest rather than asking to join up and do it together is a decision a player makes.  We respected his desire to do the quest solo and let him go off to defeat by himself yet again.

The line-up for the quest mob is one of those open world items that MMOs just fail on.  When ever somebody is ranting away against instancing in any form in MMOs, this is the first thing that pops into my mind.

Luz showed up while we were waiting.  In fact, he showed up three times.  More things you have to deal with in an MMO.  We slew him on purpose the first time, then by accident twice more.  We tried not to hog the quest mob, but he pops right there in the camp next to Pengail.

Pengail did, eventually show up.  We returned his amulet to him then asked if he wanted to, you know, stop being a captive.

Of course, like most people being rescued, he seemed a lot less interested in getting the hell out of the goblin camp and a lot more interested in figuring out where he left his keys and wallet.  And sword.  He wanted his sword.

So we followed him around as we walked through each clump of tents in the goblin camp, showing the same sense of self-preservation that escort quests mobs have been showing for ages now.

But Pengail goes it one better.  One you find his sword… or his father’s sword… the blood lust is upon him and rather than just high-tailing it, he has to go wreak vengeance upon the goblins.

Pengail Attacks!

We chased him around… literally… until he finally reached the road, having gone after every goblin in sight.  I guess when you have backup, you become brave.  Eventually though, he thanked us and went on his way.  And we went on ours back to the Forsaken Inn.

By this point, Earl had already hit level 21.  We decided it was time to go look into a horse.

Earl had saved up enough silver to buy his Bree pony, which goes for 220 silver pieces.  He did have to forgo training two skills.  Fortunately, the Bree pony does not require the whole riding quest scenario that the level 35 horse does, so we made it to the horse fields and Earl was soon astride his pony.

Bree mounts for all

After that, we were mostly done for the evening.  We did talk a while about game mechanics and went over the whole traits and virtues thing with Earl, at which point we felt we needed to visit a bard.

We headed off to Trestlebridge, it being the nearest town, only to find there is no bard there.  At least there was none that we could find.  So, being already in the North Downs, we rode out to Esteldin, picking up the stable master points along the way.

Riding to Esteldin

There we were able to find a bard, train up traits, and call it a night.

Next, on the last Saturday night before free-to-play goes live, we will probably head deeper into the Lone Lands.