What with a war on in EVE, I haven’t spent as much time in LOTRO as I might have otherwise. But I still manage to get into Middle-earth now and again when fleets are not forming or I do not have the time set aside for what might turn out to be a multi-hour operation.
My last post on LORTO was saying, “Oh wow, I am in the Lone Lands already!”
This time around I am saying, “Oh wow, I am done with the Lone Lands already!”
I have been trying not to pass the guild designated goal levels, which hasn’t been that hard, since it seems like every time I get close they go up. I thought I might stop in the Lone Lands, but then the bar was raised to 35. And once I hit 30 around Ost Guruth I decided to wrap up my time in the Lone Lands. There was more to do. I had not yet finished up the Red Maid or the swamp area. But I was ready to move on.
I like the Lone Lands as a zone. There is a comfort going through it, knowing where to go for all the quests. It is the one zone where I really feel like a ranger, so familiar am I with the terrain. But at best now it ranks as my second favorite zone, at when I hit level 30 I was ready to go to my current favorite: Evendim.
Revamped Evendim that is, not the original which caused so much pain… and required so much swimming… back in the day.
You can certainly make the case that it should not be my favorite. It is designed in a way that has been declared “bad” by those who purport to know best. In a game where the now maligned quest hub structure is common, Evendim takes the quest hub idea almost to extremes.
You show up at a quest hub, you get a quest with a big reward that essentially tells you that you must do the quests of a handful of other NPCs in order to get that reward, and then you are stuck servicing all their varied whims.
That might have ended badly had the quest design not been above par for the game. There are the requisite “go kill an oddly specific number of something” quests, but they are well leavened with all sorts of other different, and sometimes goofy, tasks. Like collecting farm animals for hobbits.
You also get to set things on fire now and again. The zone seems to set you against the idea of boats.
And occasionally being asked to go to some high point in the zone simply to look (/look command) at the zone around you, which if nothing else puts the grandeur of the zone right in your face so you can’t miss it.
The quests are also pretty well focused around the story line of the given location. They give a feeling that there is a legitimate task at hand and that you are helping them along with something more urgent than, say, collecting lynx pelts so they will have warm clothes for winter.
And then there are the rewards for the zone. The Wardens have their own currency which can buy three pieces of very nice gear and getting your standing with them up to the “kindred” level opens up some more options. Finally, finishing out the quest line in the zone fills in a few more pieces, leaving you rather well equipped if you finish the zone.
So far I have managed to horde enough of the currency to buy the three pieces of the Forgotten Hope armor set available from Cannuion.
I also managed to make it “kindred” status with the wardens rather quickly this time around. In the past I have been well into the final set of quests in the heart of Annuminas before getting there. This time around I was a “made warden” before I got to the series of quests at the tombs of the kings.
That opened up my next weapon, the level 40 halberd from the reputation vendor as well as the special mount.
I am now level 39… because our goal level got raised to 50… and on the last couple of quests in Annuminas, after which I will have the final piece of the captain’s Forgotten Hope armor set and be done with the zone. Of course, that last bit is a doozy, even with Orchalwë and my herald in tow. Actually, especially with those two in tow, as they seen to find joy in pulling in adds. But even if they were perfect, the the Banners of the Iron crown is a tough nut to crack alone, and I have to go in there no matter what, as it is also the final location to finish off Orchalwë mission. I might have to get Gaff over to help me.
Then I will be fully outfitted, level 40, and ready for the next zone. I am clearly not playing enough alts if I am moving this fast. And, honestly, I have stopped so often in the past at this point, I am not quite sure what the next zone is.
Angmar I think. Off to Angmar.