Tag Archives: Nimrodel

Because I CLEARLY Do Not Have Characters on Enough LOTRO Servers

As I mentioned in the February month in review post, which I am sure you all read from start to finish, long time gaming friend Gaff (with whom I was playing Toril MUD back in 1994), was talking about a return to Middle-earth.

This is, of course, an easy option for me to digest.

I am enchanted with Middle-earth and have been for something like 35 years.

I have a lifetime subscription to LOTRO (now, five years in, truly an investment that has paid off).

I have all the expansions, which includes two whose content I have yet to reach, having last peaked in Moria. (But hey, I made it to Moria!)

And I have clusters of character with complementary trade skills and such on three different servers, Windfola, Nimrodel, and Firefoot.  Gaff does as well, as I think he rolled up with various groups over the last five or so years as well.

So with all this, the choice was obvious!

We rolled up new characters on the Silverlode server!

Back with the Apple Dumpling Rangers

New characters on a new server.  Again.

You may ask, “Why?” to that one, and rightly so.

New characters are always fun, at least for me.  I rolled up a dwarf rune keeper, a class I had tried before, but only halfheartedly, never really learning anything beyond how many clicks I had to do to use that great lightning spell.  I love that lightning spell, it lights up the whole area and can be a shock when other people use it close by, as the flash can be similar to what you get before the dread of the enemy hits you.

And it is a chance to see the starting areas again and how they have changed.  The initial starter zone has had its quests trimmed back quite a bit, though you level up so quickly it is easy to see why.

I was kind of annoyed that there was a quest in that segment that was not available to me, a lifetime subscriber, unless I three down some Turbine Points.

But a lot of it brought back memories.  I hit the “Avert a War” quest in the epic prolog quest line and could remember back to launch when that was the first group-only quest in the chain.  People were standing around that cabin and trying to find groups.  Now, of course, the quest is solo.  And while I saw one or two people in the area, the crowds are long gone.

But I could have started a new character on any one of three servers and had that experience plus had a network of trade skill support to fill in the gaps in equipment, since the auction house is pretty much a bust at levels below 50.  Why the new server?

Gaff’s plan was to go somewhere that we could join a kinship (guild) that was active so that we would have people to talk to and play with.  The solo journey isn’t bad.  And as a duo it would be okay.  But having the flexibility of more people can enhance the experience greatly.

Which sounded fine to me.  And maybe I could, this time, make just one character rather than feel the need to roll up my own little crafting commune.

And that is how we came to be in The Nazgun, the Goon kinship in Middle-earth.

Manteca the Goon

After playing in null sec in EVE Online with the Goons, a new and eye opening experience at least for me, and I mean that in a good way, Gaff went looking for what other games they play in.  And they have guilds and such in nearly every MMO.  The Something Awful forums have threads for every one I could think of.  Gaff had already looked into their SWTOR guild, Starfleet Dental (which came over from STO), during the short time he played that game.

So with that, and thinking about LOTRO, he went and found the Something Awful kinship in Middle-earth and asked to join.  And they let him in.

Getting into the Goonswarm in EVE Online is difficult and you have to meet some very select criteria.  For LOTRO, it was more a matter of wanting in and demonstrating the ability to post in the right thread without crapping all over yourself.

And I didn’t even have to do that, thus maintaining my streak of one post in four years on the forums there.  They just let me in because I was with Gaff.

Which, honestly, is how I have ended up in a lot of guilds over the years.

And so, there we were.

A couple of other people in the kinship, including one of the officers who let us in, rolled up new characters with the idea of having something of a regular group to do some of the lower level content.  So we were on the team immediately.  Most of the kinship that I have seen online is at the upper end of the level range, but alts are legion I am sure.

I went and read through the LOTRO thread on the forums and, being a Goon organization, it has done things that have attracted the notice and ire of the GMs from time to time.  There are a couple of posts on how to troll the public channels, which generally amounts to saying on channel that the movies were better than the books and waiting for somebody to explode. (Something I have seen on every server I’ve been on at one time or another.)

One incident that sticks in my head, because it made me laugh, was a group of them putting up the title “Watcher of Roads,” which you get from doing quests around Bree, and then standing around town telling people to “stop running” as though the title endowed them with traffic enforcement responsibilities.  That sounds almost like role play… though I gather that the GM didn’t seem to see it that way.

But the kinship has been around for a long time (the membership roll is huge) and the current regulars seem mostly interested in enjoying the game, doing group content, and being helpful.  What more can you ask?

And so there we are, back in Middle-earth at the dawn of a new adventure.

Greetings Fellow Nimrods!

The call of Moria is clear.  The route there is a different matter.

After getting back into Lord of the Rings Online with Gaff, where he had to reactivate three accounts while I got to play my lifetime “get into Middle-earth free” card, he got his revenge by mandating a server change.

While we had successfully retaken Weathertop on Windfola, we really did not have anybody else with whom to play on the server.

Sure, Gaff brings three accounts to the table, but that just means he is going to out run me in levels because he plays more.

So we decided to see if we could horn in on some of the action being had by a couple of our EQ2 guild mates (Darren and Michael) on the Nimrodel server.

So we are now Nimrods, right?  I was told that was the term for people who play on the server.

Gaff jumped in, took off, and is already at level with the rest of the main characters in “Podcasters of Bree” kinship. (I got in because I have appeared on podcasts with most of the members of the kinship, while Gaff was covered under the “bring three accounts, get in free” clause in the kinship charter.)

I, on the other hand, was more than a bit dubious about starting over again from scratch.

Starting off in a game like this can be fun, a voyage of discovery and all that, but once you have gotten a few levels, a mount, some trade skills, and have figured out how your character works, throwing off all infrastructure, cash, and whatnot seems like a big jump.

Still, having friends with whom to play is a big draw, so back to square one I went.

On Windofola I had a guardian, a hunter, and a champion, all level 25 or above.  This time I decided to go with a captain.

And so Tistann of Rohan was created.  In probably a bad move, I attempted to make him look as much like me (clean shaven version) as I could, although there was no slider for “dark bags under eyes,” so he looks a little more fresh faced than I ever do.

Tistann and his Ally

Tistann and his Ally

Actually, Tistann’s standard bearer looks a bit more like me at the moment, as I have a full “winter beard” right now.

Things have not gone too badly with my restart.

Turbine toned down the difficulty of the starting area a bit.  Some things that were aggro before are now neutral, making the first dozen quests more about learning how to do quests than learning how to kill a dozen spiders to get to a quest objective.

And once into the “real” world, I was able to do well enough.  I still remember the basics about a lot of the early quests, but not all of the detail.  So I usually know where to go (which is often the hardest part in these games) but I don’t always remember what is awaiting me, so the outcome of the quest is usually something of a surprise.

Turbine also appears to have softened the initial leveling curve a bit.  At least it seems that way to me, but it is a totally subjective feeling.  I just seem to be moving along at a faster rate than before.

I went from rolling up the character to level 8 in one evening.  Then I let him sit for a week, came back and went to level 13 in another evening.  And now I seem to be able to knock out a level in a sitting without too much strain, so he sits at level 17 today.

That still puts me a good ten levels behind the pack and the leveling curve is starting to get a little more steep, so I am going to have to work at it if I want to catch up.  As long as I can avoid the inevitable alts for a while, I might make it.

But all in all, I am enjoying being back in LOTRO.  Turbine has smoothed down a lot of the rough edges.  And while the basic game is generic fantasy MMORPG (quests, experience, levels, skills, buttons, and such) it does have a very mellow feel to it and having a series of quests that are part of a larger narrative is still very cool.  I was worried from day one about how they would handle that, but it is done very well.

And I must admit that I love that the cut scenes for the narrative are done in the game engine with models you see in game.  While the quality isn’t outstanding because of the limitations of the engine, it does feel like you are seeing things happening elsewhere in the game, giving everything a more unified feel.

Still miles to go before Moria, but I am on my way.