A week of adventuring in Middle-Earth…
The leveling experience in an MMO is really only new and exciting that very first time. With that in mind, I’m really relishing my leveling experience in Lord of the Rings Online! I’ve taken loads of screenshots, gone way out of my comfort zone to pug the newbie instance (The Great Barrow) and join others in group quests. It’s been a GREAT week, and more fun than I’ve had in an MMO in a very long time.
I definitely get a sense that Turbine really cares about their game. The new Siege of Mirkwood trailer has the tagline, “Turbine: Powered by Our Fans” accompanied by the Turbine logo (a fan) which cracks me up and makes me groan at the same time. A couple of times, GMs jumped into the global “Looking for Fellowship” channel to say hello and ask how things were going. They had great rapport with the players, acknowledging several by name and joking around. Customer service has been improved considerably.
And they’ve really enhanced the new user experience! The quest hubs have been reorganized so that quests are grouped together logically. For someone like me, who prefers to group quests by area, complete them all together and do my turn-ins in batches, this is brilliantly satisfying. On the other hand, I spent a half hour yesterday running around trying to find the two Great Barrows quests that used to be offered in Bree only to finally give up and accept a summons to the instance… where the quest givers now wait right outside!
Leveling is much faster. There’s less exp required per level, and so far, the pace feels just about right, though I’ve heard it slows down soon. Many of the low level group quests have been made a tad easier so it is possible to solo them though still better to do them in a group. Playing Aion, with its grindy leveling, got me in the habit of killing everything along the way as I run, and that’s enhanced my leveling speed as well. I’m also mindful of completing my deeds at the lower levels and have two racial traits, two class traits, and about a dozen virtues completed. Attempting to be more sociable and less introverted has been working well too, since I’ve now completed all the Great Barrows quests and half of my gear is gorgeous purples! (Maybe it’s the WoW player in me that still gets giddy when I see purple…hehe). I have a handful of people on my friends list and have yet to add a single person to my ignore list. I also received the Undying title, for not dying during my adventures prior to level 20, but shortly after earning it, I was ganked by a couple of walking trees in the Old Forest… Oh well!
The best part is that I haven’t even quested in the Lone-Lands yet, other than to kill one poor crazy fellow for the expert Woodworker quest! It’s now completely possible to bypass Lone-Lands almost entirely. (Someone told me that they were planning on skipping it completely on their newest alt.) Lone-Lands was a tough slog when I was leveling my captain. There are definitely more choices now in where to go to level and the progression feels less linear than it did before.
My daughter has fallen behind on her leveling, but that’s okay. She’s been working hard on NaNoWriMo (this is her third year), and I’m proud of her for having her priorities in order. I do enjoy playing with her though!
One of the best experiences I had this week was going through the Epic Book 1, Chapter 11 quest, “Othrongroth” where I was accompanied by a dwarven rune-keeper from a dwarf-only heavy-RP guild. He put up with my (probably woefully awkward) attempts to RP and really made the whole thing a blast. Unfortunately, I was having so much fun that I didn’t get any screenshots. I also failed to get screenshots of my first Great Barrows group, which was made up of all level 21 and 22s.
So now my little hunter is midway through 24. Yes… She’s an elf. SORRY!!!! My daughter made me do it!! And Tolkien elves are okay, right? Right?!
Next Saturday, the server is having a kinship recruitment fair, and if I haven’t found one by then, I’m planning on attending and chatting with some of the kins. I’ve visited loads of recruitment links in the forums, and see a couple that look like they might be a good fit for me. Finding a kin is the next major item on my gaming agenda.