Tag Archives: Eregion

Fiddling About in Eregion

Eregion.  Shit.  I’m still only in Eregion.

-Opening lines, Moriapocalypse Now

Not the there is anything enormously wrong with Eregion.  It is something of a middling zone.  Nothing much stands out about it.  The geography, the mobs, and many of the quests could have been copied and pasted from earlier zones.

It does, however, suffer from one big problem.  It stands between you and Moria.

Moria is the legend I want to find

Eregion is like a middle episode in a television season that doesn’t move the overall story arc forward much.  Sure, it lays down some ground work and probably provides some key details you’ll need to know for later, but it still feels like it is hanging about and going on longer than it should with its own little side tales.  Moria is the big event of the season, but first you have to muck about in the back story.

While the EverQuest progression servers were bogged down by the usual rush to get in, the LOTRO Legendary servers of Anor and Ithil were not under any similar strain.  Getting through to the first expansion had already weeded out the half hearted and the day trippers, leaving only the dedicate adventurers and the more hearty of the tourist class like myself.  So I nailed my colors to the mast… in the form of choosing a title… which I could change at any time… so not really nailed… but then again pulling out nails isn’t a huge effort either… and headed to Eregion.

Not sure why I was in Ost Guruth, but off I went

I had started in on Eregion a bit already while finishing up the volume I epic quest line.  You need to get in the initial quest count deed to be able to use swift travel to get to any of the hubs in the zone.  There are four such deeds, each unlocking swift travel for one of the quest hubs.  I had done enough quests to unlock the first two, which was enough to keep from having to take the long ride from Rivendell each time I needed to get back to Bree or Thorin’s Hall.  And you need to do that a few times.

Most of the quests tend towards the usual slaying of the local fauna.  Wolves and lynxes and such.  I think they straight up copied the lynx pelt quest from the Lone Lands.  And then there are the locals, the Dunlendings.  When I say that word aloud it sounds like the bank cutting off your credit line.  “Done lending!” said the bank manager.

Pretty sure I saw her at a Romeo Void concert in the 80s

They inspires neither fear nor passion.  And then there are the half orcs hanging about and the usual lying NPC escort quest.

As he walks slowly straight into some half orcs

Anyway, I ran the quest lines down to unlock the rest of the swift travel options and to get the invite to Echad Dunann, which is the stop just outside of Moria.

Map of Eregion

There you pick up the epic quest line again, which takes you into the Walls of Moria mini-zone.

Walls of Moria Map

There you piddle around with the dwarves, who are busy trying to get into Moria.  As we will see later, they are out in force and ready to infest Durin’s domain with quest givers, vendors, bankers, stable masters, and various other amenities of civilization.  But for the moment they are working on the door.

Somebody left a bunch of trash in front of the door

My job was to deliver lunches, collect wood, investigate various side quests, and warn the dwarves to stop throwing rocks in the mysterious black pool outside the door.  This last bit always makes me laugh as the dwarves in question are hurling stone after stone into the water like they were trying to fill the whole thing in before dinner.  At least they listed to reason, if too late.

Then why did I have to ask you to stop?

Eventually they all settle down, the doorway is cleared, and the work party has to stop for a moment to say some words before, you know, actually opening up the damn door.

Do you have to use that foreboding tone of voice?

And that is when the lurker shows up to start picking out dinner from the dwarf buffet table.  So it was time to run away, leaving the freshly cleared door behind.

All of which was the apparent necessary fore effort required to get you to Hundi, who has access to a cache of weapons of old, which are just the ticket for things like monsters lurking in deep pools outside of ancient dwarven ruins.

Hundi’s discount legendaries

Of course, Hundi’s gift loses its special nature when you find legendary weapons dropping like leaves in the autumn. I actually already had three in my bag from just running around Eregion.  As I said previously, I think WoW did the legendary thing better, making you do a little quest for a specific item then having you stick with it.  And I also think Blizz was smart to make that a one expansion exercise rather than trying to drag it along forever after.  But for a brief moment you can pretend that you’re getting something special Hundi.  At least you don’t have to go back to Rivendell and have Elrond and Glorfindel examine your new toy to give it their blessing.  The bureaucracy of the eldar is unending.

As a dwarf with a trait that boosts axe damage, I was kind of hoping to see an axe among the options.  However, for a shield bearing guardian you have only a sword and a club as an option.  As much as I like beating things with a club, I went with the sword.

So I had done it.  I had gotten my legendary weapon!

Only, as one does not just walk into Mordor, one also does not simply equip a legendary weapon.  First you have to go back to your home town and speak to somebody about the weapon.  It must be identified.  You then have to put some stickers on it or something.  Then, once they say you’re ready, you can actually wield the weapon.

So, weapon in hand, I took the swift travel options back to Eregion… you have to pass through the Rivendell travel hub of course… it is like the Atlanta of Eriador… to carry on questing. I wanted to put some levels on the weapon and so started in on the regular alerts.

Hey mister, your weapon leveled up again!

The alerts UI already loves to get on you about every little thing, so adding another did not thrill me.  And it is really bad at first because your weapon gets the first few levels nearly every time you hit something, at which point you have to stop and see how many points you have to spend on things to make the weapon better.  My usual first choice is raw DPS.  By default the weapon was worse than what I already had equipped.  Then I went after enhancements to bash related damage since about every other guardian skill involves you hitting somebody with your shield.

And then you get ten levels in and the alert says you have to reforge the weapon.

Every ten levels it is back to the shop

That means another ride back to your home town, some more instructions, and then back to Eregion again.  At least you get to give your weapon a custom name when you reforge.  I went with Cheese Slicer.

Back in the fields of Eregion I kept on going until I had the last swift travel deed unlock and had gotten a few more levels on the weapon.  Next up is a return to the walls of Moria and a bout with the lurker before heading back to Durin’s Door.

I’ll take what’s behind door number one

That is when the Mines of Moria expansion actually starts in earnest.

To the Ring Forges of Eregion

Eregion shouldn’t be there.  It shouldn’t be in the LOTRO Legendary server yet.  I shouldn’t be able to access it.

We’ll just stick with Legendary I think

As a zone, it was not part of the original launch content, or even a post-launch addition like Evendim and Forochel.  Eregion came in with the Mines of Moria expansion in early 2009.  It is the starter zone for Moria, the warm up that sets your location relative to the fellowship of the ring as well as the place where you pick up your legendary weapon so you can start that endless grind.

Not that the fellowship is all that hard to follow…

Also, as you progress through the zone, you start getting quests where the reward is experience for that millstone about your neck, your legendary weapon.  Only you can’t get one of those yet, so doing those quests are something of a waste.

Anyway, if you are keeping a list of all the ways that the LOTRO Legendary has included things that weren’t there at launch… and that must be a very long list by this point… you can add Eregion to it.

On the flip side, it would be hard to keep Eregion out.  Since SSG was determined to keep the effort as low as possible for this server, Eregion pretty much had to stay in because you can walk there if you so desire.  So, short of having a different map for the server… and I don’t think the patcher is up to even that level of complication, given how it seems to need to take its shoes off to count to twenty some days… we were just going to have to deal with Eregion being part of the first chapter of the server.

Eregion is also a bridge zone, a link between what happened in the original Shadows of Angmar content and what was to come in Mines of Moria.  It is where you prepare for your new life under ground.  It is also where the hand-off between Volume I and Volume II occurs, so I suppose it isn’t a stretch to argue it ought to be there.  You need to go there in order to finish up Volume I in any case.

And so it was that I launched into Book XIV of the epic quest line.  This book doesn’t center around a single zone, but rather sends you out again on a grand tour of various locations in Eriador.  We have the two halves of the ring Narchuil, so now we have to find out what happens next, all of which starts with Laerdan.

So, what’s it going to be Laerdan?

There is much running about across the landscape and a series of instances that tell what happened between Laerdan and his daughter Narmeleth, possessed by Amarthiel (and who can appear as here… or Sara Oakheart… as needs require) that I am sure would take years of therapy for either of them to work through all of what happened.

Questioning daddy before an audience

Trying to play nice, before getting rough

The whole thing is drawn out too far and makes you play as other characters with different abilities from time to time, something that always gets on my nerves when over-used.  You even have to run around and wake up sleeping orcs with a good, swift kick at one point, which might remind you of early quests in Durotar.

Eventually though it is off to Eregion, to the ring forges found there where the one ring… edit: nope, not the one ring… its companions (the three, seven, and nine), and an unknown number of lesser rings (including Narchuil) were made.

Map of Eregion

That all comes together at the instance at Tham Mirdain, down near Mirobel, in the southwest corner of the zone.  As before, this is a fellowship sized instance which, if you attempt it solo, you get a buff that makes you powerful enough to master it.

The instance is straightforward enough.  If you take on each group around an area it will save you some bother as they’ll all come to help if you go straight for the obvious main NPC there abouts.

In the end I made it through and found myself facing Amarthiel.  But Narchuil had already been reforged and she now wore it.

Pretty much the story of this whole quest line so far

She kindly offers to let me be the first to die to her new toy when Mordrambor, who has been running around after the ring himself shows up.  He also seems pretty confident that he holds the upper hand despite Amarthiel having the ring.  He has a backer, some power in his corner now, some heavy ammunition in his camp, but he isn’t saying who quite yet.

Interrogation is not her strong suite, let me tell you

And then we find out as Mordirith, who I thought Golodir and I had defeated back at the end of Volume I, Book VIII in Carn Dum deep in Angmar.  Reports of his death, however, were greatly exaggerated.

The trio re-united in Eregion… Mord has a dragon mount now!

To cut to the basics, this was all a ruse to test Amarthiel.  She failed, Mordrambor is awarded the ring by Mordirith.  Amarthiel is rightly pissed and tries to defy Mordirith, which works out about as expected.

Mage fight! Mage Fight!

It was kind of like the duel between Harry Potter and Voldemort… only they are both evil and you’re probably screwed no matter who wins.

The power of the Nazgul prevails and Amarthiel lays broken and sobbing on the ground as Mordrambor takes the ring from her.  And then Laerdan shows up, because this is the grand finale I guess, and promptly gets himself smote by Mordrambor because he called Mordirith by his middle-school nickname or something.

And so the scene ends.  Mordirith flies off on his dragon.  Mordrambor disappears… I guess the ring gave him that power, as previously he had to exit scenes on his own two legs.  Laerdan is… well… not dead.  Elves don’t die, being tied to the fate of Arda for all time, so he could come back.  But his current body was laying there lifeless. And Amarthiel is just sprawled on the ground, her plans undone.  The narrator says you capture her, but that is played off screen.

And that was it for Book XIV.  Just one more book to go to finish out Volume I of the epic quest line.

Level 50 in Eregion – 2,501,449 Experience Points Into the Game

My hunter hit level 50 at last in Lord of the Rings Online.

Finally, nearly four and a half years after the game launch, with 17 characters rolled up across 3 servers, finally one of them has not only hit the original level cap, but is actually fully cleared and ready to enter the mines of Moria.

The big moment came, of course, handing in a quest for slaying wolves.

Wolf problem? Who doesn’t have one?

One of the minor gripes I have about LOTRO is that it does insist on showing me raw numbers for things like my experience bar, a place where a simple percentage would do me just fine.

Still, at 50, I suppose it is nice to know your grand total so far.

Now, how much more to get to 65?

I’ve Been to the Door

I have been out to the walls of Moria.

It took me quite a while in book/movie calendar time, though only a few minutes in real time.

After getting to Eregion, getting stable master routes, and doing a few quests, I headed to the walls of Moria.  I was told I should get there as soon as possible to do that quest line, since it yields my first epic weapon.  Epic weapons level up, so the sooner you start using them, the sooner they get experience, the sooner they get better.

There at the walls of Moria I found that the fellowship had already been and the doors were blocked.

So while I rode pretty much straight from Rivendell to the Hollin Gate without any attempt at stealth, the fellowship quietly moved across Eregion, up to the Redhorn Gate, got stuck, thought about it a bit, came back, and went into Moria.

If this were L.A. Noire I’d be calling somebody a liar about now.

And, as something else to file under the heading of “stuff that went on while the fellowship was elsewhere,” I found an expedition of dwarves at the walls trying to get into Moria themselves.  This is, no doubt, the explanation of how my characters will eventually get into the mines.

After several quests and some work by the dwarves, the door was revealed.

The door revealed at last!

There were of course, complications.

For starters, the dwarves left a couple of piles of rubble in front of the door.  You’d think with all that effort they would have finished the job.

And then there were a few dwarves who seemed to have an OCD-like obsession for throwing rocks into the great pool before the door.  They were literally heaving them into the water non-stop at two second intervals.

When a dwarf gets a mind to do something, he just goes crazy doing it I guess… unless it involves clearing a doorway.

Looks quiet to me

But, you know, that lake has a huge algae bloom going on, which I am sure means everything is safe.  I probably shouldn’t have even bothered stopping those rock throwing dwarves.  Look at that moon.  Everything is so peaceful.

We’ll just go move that rubble and head on in.

Did you hear something?

We Must Hurry…

Another escort quest NPC makes promises he cannot keep.

Anurandir strolls onward...

Naturally, after that statement, he proceeded to walk at a leisurely pace.

I suppose I should have been thankful that he hadn’t lost his contact lenses or his three handled, moss covered, family credenza or some other item for which he would have felt compelled to search.

Of course, true to form, at the very end, he did hurry.  He rushed forward to engage a boar just as the last three mobs sent to stop him materialized in front of us, turning the 3 on 2 fight into a 4 on 2 fight.  At those odds, it was every man for himself… and the Halls of Mandos for Anurandir I’m afraid.

Well, at least it is consistent with the lore for him to be re-embodied and returned to Middle-earth.


First Steps into Eregion

With Gaff blazing the trail to Moria ahead of me, I was able to trade on some of his experience.

One of the things you get in the Moria expansion is an epic weapon that gains experience and grows in power over time.  That seemed like something to get started on sooner rather than later.

Which, in turn, meant getting started on Volume II of the epic quest line that follows the story of the books.

This meant running around and helping the fellowship get ready to go and then seeing them off.

The Fellowship Departs

The whole thing plays out just as in the books… or in the movie I suppose.  There are farewells.  Boromir sounds his horn.  Everybody heads off.

The usual Hobbit punchline

Then it was my own turn to depart.

At the border of Imladris

One of the things that the game does make you think about is everything else that was going on while the fellowship was making its way through Middle-earth.

That is, after all, your role in the game.

Sometimes you get to help the fellowship directly, and might rise to be renown as the “third elf on the left.”

But most of the time you are working behind the scenes, or just tending to the everyday business of the world.

But to get on with my own business, I had to find Eregion.

Fortunately, it was on the map, and the path seemed obvious.

Rivendell to Eregion

Of course, like a lot of maps of this scale, there is some missing detail.

I managed to get myself into a dead end loop just to the left of where I wanted to go and spent a good 10 minutes in constant flight from elite level giants and rock worms.  Eventually though, I found my way out of that pocket, still alive (barely), and hit the right path.

Eregion at last!

And, true to form, the game threw out its usual representative for the first mob I encountered: The boar.

Ah, my old nemesis!

I suppose by this point it would be just weird if I ran into anything besides a boar, a bear, or a wolf .

But at least I am now into the the Mines of Moria expansion.

The Mines of Moria

I can now wear my Moria Expeditionary title with pride.  I should dig out the cloak as well.  I’ve only had it sitting around for nearly 3 years now.