Tag Archives: North Downs

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.

Diversion to Trestlebridge

There were only three of us available on Saturday night.

Earl had an opportunity to drive in an autocross event, one of his many hobbies, on Sunday morning.  But that meant getting up early, something not exactly compatible with staying up until 3am gaming.  So he bowed out for the night.

Gaff as well was out, though for the longer term.  A high school teacher, the coming onset of classes and coaching one of the sports teams signaled the end of his abundant free time and the need for him to trim back on his gaming subscriptions, which include multiple EVE accounts, WoW, and LOTRO.  LOTRO went on the block, at least until free to play kicks in.

That left three of us to venture out on a Saturday night.

  • Nomu – level 19 dwarf Guardian
  • Fergorin – level 20 dwarf Rune Keeper
  • Enaldie – level 21 elf Rune Keeper

We had three obvious choices in where to head for the evening.

We could continue through and do the second half of the Barrow Downs.

We could head to the Lone Lands and start in there.

Or we could head up to Trestlebridge.

You’ve already see the title of this post, so you can probably guess our choice.

It was felt that we were likely to otherwise bypass Trestlebridge and the beginning quests in the North Downs, so we could knock off quests there while keeping quests we would run with Earl available.

The second half of the Barrow Downs includes at least one lead-in to the Great Barrow while Volume I, Book 2 takes place in the Lone Lands, so we were going to be spending some time there in the future.  It seemed better to leave those until we had everybody along.

So it was off to Trestlebridge.

Rainy day bridge

The Bridge in Question

We rode in on our Bree mounts, none of us having the stable master route for the location yet, and collected up the quests around town, then got ready to  head out and kill some orcs.

Preparing to cross the bridge

The first few quests out of Trestlebridge concentrate on some orc camps on the far side of the span and are, frankly, much easier to deal with in a group despite most of the quests being flagged as solo.  Going in solo means threading carefully through.  Going as a group means taking out camps in a single shot.

And off we went, wiping out orcs in a couple of quest passes.  It is the usual routine of iterative expeditions further and further into the orc camps.  We had done this before.  I even remembered to get a picture at the platform where I took the infamous double shadow screen shot way back when.

Enaldie, Fergorin, and Nomu in the orc camp

From there we decided to attempt one of the fellowship quests which had us seek out the Tarkrîp-defiler and slay him.  We worked our way into the orc camp and found the defiler and started to get stuck into him.  We quickly found though that we did not have quite enough oomph to overcome him and his partner, and ended up stuck in a stable-state battle for several minutes, neither able to defeat not in danger of defeat ourselves.

Fortunately, a level 39 champion name Deusexmachinadude or some such wandered up, saw we were, if not in trouble, at least in danger of dying of old age before we got the upper hand, and helped us smack down the defiler and his assistant.

MMOs can be nice like that some days.  But I still want instanced dungeons.

Then we got the hell out of orc territory.

The various stages of horse summoning

After that there was more running about, talking to various NPCs, stopping every so often to harvest.

Silver node!

Quests were turned in, levels were reached, achievements were achieves, traits were trained, and a serious discussion about pets peeing on the furniture was had.

Another evening in Middle-earth

Double Shadows of Angmar

You think you have come a long way with graphics in gaming, and then something comes along to remind you that 1999 was not all that long ago.

twoshadows.png

Here we are, in the North Downs, casting double shadows.  This is an issue I recall seeing back in EverQuest.  I can reproduce this in EverQuest II as well.

Shadows seem like such easy things to us.  They just “happen” in real life.  In virtual worlds, sometimes the easy is difficult.

This is why I usually turn shadows off.