The Lord of the Rings Online Legendary server has been a big success for me personally so far.
I went back, played through the Shadows of Angmar content, revisited old favorite places, and expanded my reach into things I had not done in the past. Op success.
It wasn’t perfect. I did most of the run solo. Friends I had played with in the past were not interested in returning (having the lifetime subscription made returning easy for me, but I am not sure I would have gone if I had to pay) and I didn’t end up finding any sort of regular group. I joined a Kinship, then never did anything with them. I was moving too slow at first, so was behind the curve and not able to join in on instances with them.
And by the time I had caught up and was through with the epic quest line, I was feeling done with Shadows of Angmar. Initial plans I had about alts and such faded after three months of focus on the game. It was a “three monther” I guess.
But the Mines of Moria expansion is coming. Standing Stone, in its usual indecisive, foot shuffling way, suggested in its recent producer’s letter that Moria will probably open up some time in March, that being the nearest of futures I suppose, all while avoiding making direct eye contact.
Given my general feeling of success when it came the run through Shadows of Angmar, I am seriously considering a return bout for the Mines of Moria. But I am not sold on it yet, so I am going through the pros and cons of such a venture.
Refreshed – After a month away from LOTRO, I might be ready for a fresh expedition.
Moria itself – The place is huge and epic and really unlike any other MMORPG expansion that I can think of. Has there ever been an expansion set almost completely underground?
New Discoveries – I’ve only been end-to-end through Moria and out into daylight on the other side once. I am sure I missed something along the way. I was getting antsy to get out towards the end there.
The Crowd – The one time I did make it through Moria I think Helms Deep was the current expansion, so I went through a very quiet version of the underground complex. It might be nice to see it crowded with people.
Progress – It might be nice to move through the game with each unlock. I own all the expansions, but really haven’t played much beyond Moria.
Lifetime – Hey, since I have a lifetime subscription, it won’t cost me anything extra. I am already paid up.
Competition – March also sees the 20th anniversary of EverQuest hit, and when it comes to the nostalgia factor, EQ > LOTRO. That does depend on what Daybreak has on tap, but there it is.
The Crowd – Honestly, there were a lot of people in Moria relative to how Tolkien described it. The dwarves moved in pretty damn fast behind the fellowship, especially considering there was a war on. What will it be like in that constrained space with tons of players milling about?
Moria itself – As majestic and wonderful and large and well appointed as Moria can be, it is still a goddam cave, and we don’t call somebody a “caveman” as a compliment. In my one run through it I wanted to get to the end in part because I wanted to get outside under the sky again. Ten levels in Moria made me miss the usual bear/boar/wolf tropes of Shadows of Angmar.
Eregion and Lothlorien – There is a bell curve of interest when it comes to the Mines of Moria expansion. Eregion on the near side is nothing special, and Lothlorien on the far side is uninspired enough that I was tempted to go back into the cave after a bit of sunshine.
Legendary Weapons – Somebody will claim to like legendary weapons, but I am going with Stockholm syndrome when that comes up. I hate legendary weapons and I wish Turbine had dropped the idea the moment we get out of the cave. Having to constantly tend to the needy baby that is your legendary weapon is just unfun. Identifying, advancing, reforging, adorning with gems and runes and whatever else, all of which requires you to go back to camp, is an endless chore. And don’t get me started on all of the legendary weapons that drop that you cannot use, since they are class specific. Just what I need, more inventory issues and something else I need to bring back to camp to deconstruct.
Progress to What? – The problem with getting past Lothlorien is that it just leads into Mirkwood, which lives up to its reputation from The Hobbit. It is a dark and boring place… literally darker than Moria in my memory.
I am undecided. My enthusiasm is at war with my pessimism. I left Eregion alone once I had finished the epic quest tasks there and had done enough quests to unlock the first stable master. And much of the zone is skippable if I recall right. You just have to get on the right path to get into Moria and then into the hole.
I will likely start off down the Moria path. Whether or not I end up persisting probably depends as much on other options as anything. As I said, the EverQuest 20th anniversary has a possibility of providing a viable and even more nostalgic alternative. Then there are some friends who are talking about giving Path of Exile a run when the next season of it commences. And there is always WoW. It is easy to slip into playing that. I guess we will see by the end of the month where I fall on this.