Tag Archives: Forsaken Inn

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.

Into The Tasty Center of the Lone Lands

Meanwhile, back in pre-Free-to-Play LOTRO last weekend, the instance group was still in the Lone Lands.  The four of us on were:

  • Earlthecat – level 21 dwarf Guardian
  • Roderigo – levl 23 human Burglar
  • Garfinkel – level 24 elf Minstrel
  • Enaldie – level 25 elf Rune Keeper

We had to travel back to Bree and then to the Forsaken Inn from Esteldin, where we had left off previously after our horse purchase.

At the Forsaken Inn, we had to head deeper into the Lone Lands to the second quest giver encampment.  There we really started our work in earnest for the Eglain.

The quests were a series of collect so many items, kill so many bad guys, pick up so many drops that are the standard fare for MMOs.  This set happened to be well tuned for a group, for while all of the quests were marked solo, there are a few in there that are pretty risky unless you are in a group.

And so we tramped about the the center of the Lone Lands, a place that reminds some of us in the group of the central coastal area of California, scenery you see if you take Highway 101 south to LA.

Did we just pass Salinas?

The quest path took us through a stronghold of the Dourhands, where we defeated their leader.  This also helped us along with one of the memorable (in a bad way) quests in the area, the one where you collect Dourhand axes, which seem to be unpredictably rare drops at times.  And it moved Earl along with Enmity of the Dourhands, which yields the great dwarf attack, head-butt.  Great as in a great animation.

We also discovered a door in the stronghold that lead us out to another key quest location, Iorvinas.

It's the big rock with the door in it

Iorvinas had been added in since we last ran through the Lone Lands as a group.  It consists of a an underground area where the Dourhands are apparently cooperating with the orcs, meaning there are plenty of both to fight.

Inside Iorvinas

The geography of Iorvinas stretches the imagination a bit.  The distance between the two doors that lead into the underground seem a lot further apart on the surface than they do underground.  But the area is well done and it is good to do as a group, as the bad guys are clumped and wander around so it is very easy to get in over your head if you are solo.

We suffered our only defeat of the night in Iorvinas due to an accidental proximity pull.  We were less in over our heads than we were simply not used to keeping an eye on our morale.  Earl, especially, as the lowest level and the tank hadn’t had to pop an athelas potion so far and was defeated in this fight.  The rest of us managed to finish off the bad guys, but it was a reminder that we need to keep up with things.

Many Dourhands were slain.  We finished up the quests down there, but had to keep killing Dourhands for another 15 minutes or so until everybody had all 24 of their Dourhand axes.

Then it was off to the half-orc encampment, stopping to slay some lynx on the way.  They are apparently “good eating.”

At the half-orc camp we were there to… well… kill half-orcs and their leader in particular… but also there to clean up any piles of junk of mis-laid crates of goods.

More crates over there

We did have the usual Saturday night problem here.  Another group had rolled into the camp just ahead of us, so we spent some time hanging about waiting for orcs, junk piles, and crates to respawn.

In a classic LOTRO slow quest update scenario, in the fight with the boss and his minions, where you needed to kill five specific mobs, they each counted for two different quests.  After the fight, there was a shout of, “Hey, I only got three of the minions” in the group because the updates were rolling in on screen so slowly.  They do, of course, update in the chat window immediately, but when a fight is done for a bit and you finally get the 3 of 4 message, one can take it the wrong way.

Then it was time to retrace our steps back to the various quest givers.  We were then pointed towards the next bastion of the Lone Lands, Ost Guruth.

Ost Guruth as seen from Highway 101

We rode there, picked up the stable master route, collected some quests, then called it a night as far as adventuring was concerned.  We all still had to head back to our trainers and such, since we all gained a level or two.

The most ominous skill learned had to be Garfinkel’s new ability to play the bagpipes.

Shall I play "Scotland the Brave" again?

As the saying goes, centuries ago the Irish introduced the Scots to the bagpipes… and the Scots still haven’t gotten the joke.  (source: Dave Allen)

And thus ended our last instance group night in Middle-earth before the change over to Free-to-Play.

This coming Saturday we will have some new options to explore.  Skirmishes are now open to levels 20 and up, so we might try that.  Or we might just go insane listening to the OOC channel around Bree, which is already lighting up like Barrens chat on a Saturday night.

Or maybe the whole thing will crash with the onrush of new players.  We’ll see on Saturday night.

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.