Since one of the down sides of LOTRO is that the distances and the cost of public transport make travel either annoying or expensive until you hit level 35 and can buy a horse (buying a horse is also annoying and expensive, but at least it is only annoying and expensive once), getting a FREE mount at level 25 is actually a big deal to me.
So, as long as you were a founder or a life time subscriber to LOTRO, you got a new, level 25 horse for the holidays. Actually, you get a mount for any of your characters that are level 25 plus any characters that cross level 25 at a future date.
Not a bad deal.
While I have not played LOTRO much since the instance group reformed in World of Warcraft, I have peeked in once in a while. I am both a founder and a lifetime subscriber and I have at least one character over level 25, so I wanted that horse.
But, since I have a new CPU at home, that meant installing LOTRO from scratch.
And when I say “from scratch,” I am not kidding. I could only find the disk from the beta, so I had to start with a really out dated set of files.
It installed, and then the patching began.
17,726 files to be updated!
Oh my. That is a lot of files.
At least it wasn’t at some peak time, like the release of a new expansion. It only took a few hours to install the update. I started the update before I went to work and it was done by the time I got home.
I logged in, once home, and ran from Bree up to the horse fields to find the NPC who was giving out the horses.
It turned out to be the same NPC who starts the quest to get your horse at level 35.
Unfortunately, with the level 25 mount enabled, the level 35 quest also shows up. For no good reason, I figured that I had to do the quest to get the lower level horse as well, so started on the quest.
The first stage of the quest involved carrying a sack of grain back down to Bree. Talk about accentuating the annoyance of distance in the game.
I delivered the grain then logged off, determined to pick the quest up at a later date. I still wanted the horse, but I wasn’t in the mood for the quest at that time.
Later that night, I ended up talking to Potshot and he told me that I did not have to do the quest, that there is an option available which is essentially “give me the damn horse already” for the level 25 mount. At least I had only done the first stage of the quest. It does seem a bit careless to let the level 35 quest show up for somebody who is only level 28.
A couple days passed by and I decided to get my horse. A new patch was up by then. Mercifully, it was nowhere near the number of files I had just updated.
It introduced another problem however.
Since that update went in, I have not been able to run LOTRO successfully. Within two minutes of getting into the game, the a video fault occurs (judging by the sudden appearance of a red pattern over the display), the game locks up, and I have to reboot my CPU.
No doubt this is somehow related to the relatively new 8800 GT card in my system. And, no doubt, somebody is going to tell me that I need to update the drivers so that it will work with LOTRO. Feel free to supply the appropriate forum thread in the comments.
The problem is that EVERYTHING ELSE is working just fine.
No problems with World of Warcraft, EverQuest, EverQuest II, EVE Online, or any of the other applications I run.
Being old and grumpy, I am not inclined to try to fix a problem with an application I rarely use that might cause issues with applications I regularly use.
So I do not have my level 25 horse yet. But it will be waiting for me when I decide I want it.