Rushed to the Lone Lands

Back to the LOTRO Legendary server.

Just going to be in every Legendary post

It has been long enough since I have played the low level game in LOTRO… still the best part of LOTRO to my mind… that I have lost some of the “feel” as to where I ought to be for a given level.  I have to take the game’s word for where I ought to go next.  I last left off heading to the Old Forest.

Very atmospheric, but the fog machine only covers some of the zone

I was rolling through there, slaughtering as usual, when the game popped up a quest for me pointing me at the Lone Lands.  I had just hit level 19 and was starting to level out of the Old Forest, the quests having all gone that aqua blue color.

Visit the Lone Lands

I still had the Barrow Downs and Tom Bombadil to see to however, the latter being part of the main story line, so I figured I would put off heading out for at least a level while I worked on that.

The leveling and quests have always been a bit off, but with the experience reduction set for the server it was more on track than it has been for a while.

40% of quest sale

And it did seem pretty spot on as I moved through the opening quests out of Thorin’s Hall.  There is that odd set out of Gondomon where you’re level 8 or 9, get a level 12 quest in a chain, but then the quest after it goes back to level 10, but for the most part I was on track through there.

Things seemed to get a little off the rails in Bree, though I suspect that gaining experience through harvesting and crafting wasn’t helping me.  I can’t remember when harvesting and crafting started giving you experience.  It wasn’t there at launch… I don’t think it was.  Anyway, it showed up at some point and the Blizzard copied the idea for WoW.

Anyway, I left some quests behind in Bree and a few more in the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs.  Some of them I didn’t mind.  I wasn’t going to chase Lalia all over again.

The lost leading the... short?

Must suppress this memory…

I did run up to Hengstacer Farm to do the quests up around there.  That wide range of open and almost empty land around Nen Harn is something I couldn’t pass up.  Then there was that odd quest that asked you to speak to Elrond in Rivendell, which I figured I would pick up and look into later.  I don’t recall Gandalf teleporting you up there, he not being all that big on overt magic.  But there I was!

Wait, I just skipped a few chapters I think

But eventually I ran down the quests up at the north end of the zone of the Bree fields and wrapped up things in Rivendell. Having hit level 21 along the way I was feeling a bit worried about getting too far ahead, so I started out for the Lone Lands.  Soon the Forsaken Inn was in sight.

Still have to fix that roof

Of course, on arriving I found I was anything but too late.  The first couple of quests were about on level, but most everything to hand was three or four levels up from me.  I ran through a few… being a guardian means I can take a punch and keep going, and the Forsaken Inn drops a good dozen quests on you right away… but eventually I started thinking that maybe I had missed something along the way.

Then, looking in my quest log, I found that quest about getting to Trestlebridge.  You get that as part of the intro quest lines on your arrival at Bree.  The mayor seems almost indecently eager to send you on to some other jurisdiction, like he thought I was there just to… well… I guess I was there to cause trouble and murder the locals.  He might have been on to something.

Anyway, that quest was already fading into blue so I figured maybe I ought to go up there and get a few levels before getting stuck into the Lone Lands.

Of course, on arriving there, I found the quests equally above my level.  I knocked out a few, managing to level up myself, before deciding to head back to the Lone Lands to just see what I could do.

Back at the Forsaken Inn, I started cleaning up around the area, ending up with my friend Pengail, who cannot bear to see a living goblin.

Still better than Lalia

At that point I had fallen behind the curve with everything but the main story.  So I made my way around to Candaith’s camp and helped him out with his work around Weathertop.

That put me ahead, to level 24, so when I was done there I could start clearing out the quests at the west end of the Lone Lands fairly steadily.  I did notice that experience started to taper off noticeably at about that point as well.  That was bad timing as I was really at a point when I felt I needed a bit of a boost to catch up to the zone.

I supplemented my experience gain with the local task quests… I was bypassing those… and carrying on with trade skill harvesting and processing.  I also took another ride around to the North Downs to run down some quests there for a bit of an additional boost.

Still, as noted, the guardian is a strong solo class.  My guy does decent damage and his mitigation skills keep him from taking too big of a hit from higher level mobs.  And, of course, the Lone Lands are practically like home to me.  I know where to go, how to get there, and generally where to find the things in the zone.

As of last night I stand at level 26 and am facing the quests between Ost Guruth and the Trollshaws.

The Lone Lands, little flags marking where I have been

Keeping with how things have gone, the quests are levels 29 and 30.  I’m tempted to put that xp boosting item in my pocket for a couple of levels.

Continuing on with the same “too early” trend, in Ost Guruth you immediately get the quest chain that eventually sends you off to Oatbarton, at the far end of the Shire, which starts you off towards Evendim and Annuminas.  That, too, is an area in which I very much enjoy questing.  But I will hold off on that… the starter quest itself is level 30… until I’ve finished up in the Lone Lands… and maybe the North Downs as well.

On the plus side, I have managed to stick with my second character so far.  I do tend to alt like crazy at some point when playing LOTRO.

4 thoughts on “Rushed to the Lone Lands

  1. cyanbane

    Where were you around 13-15? It has been so long since I played it seems to be at all white/blue quests and about to hit that level range.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Cyanbane – I got to Bree at 11 and, from there, went to the cabin not too far from the gate, then Thorley’s work site, then Adso’s camp, then on up to Buckland and into the Old Forest. The chain around Bree seems to let you get ahead of the curve if you aren’t careful… or if you’re crafting a lot… but I think I skipped out of the Barrow Downs too early before heading to the Lone Lands.

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  3. Bhagpuss

    It’s odd – I wouldn’t immediately think I’d played that much LotRo but I knew all of that, having been through much of it several times. It’s certainly one of the more repeatable leveling processes in MMOs, not only having a fair amount of choice in where you level but also in the variety of quests. I did find the whole thing was starting to pall around the late 30s the first time through but that’s now the only part I’ve done just once so I’m a little curious to see it again and judge how well it holds up.

    It’s particularly interesting to think back on the exceptionally quest-heavy leveling process and compare it to playing as a free player, where you get virtually no quests at all. I wrote about how much I enjoyed that when I first tried it – it’s very freeing, not having to bother about quests at all, just roaming around killing dangerous animals and bad monsters for the bounty, but that, too, palls in the end. I’m not going to sub for the Legendary server but I might stump up a few dollars and buy a quest pack or two for my Guardian in Forochel, just to ease him over the hump.

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  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I remember back when LOTRO was working up towards launch that the idea of quest experience being so heavily weighted on your progression path as somewhat controversial. Of course, any minor change of formula can be said to have been controversial to some degree. Still, we went from EverQuest, which was “Quest experience? You have to have quests for that!” to WoW, where killing the mobs tended to be, on balance, worth as much as the quests themselves, to LOTRO, which pretty much required that you do the quests to level up. I recall a VirginWorlds podcast where Brent seemed somewhat chagrined at the idea, saying that sometimes you just want to grind mobs without having to worry about following the quest chain.

    I think that got adjusted a bit later on, though leveling is still pretty quest-centric. But there are always those deeds. If I want to grind mobs I can always work on the advanced spider or warg slaying objectives.

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