Juggling Zones

One thing that I’ve noticed in LotRO is that encourages you to go partially through a zone, then move to another zone before coming back and finishing the first one. The way that it does this is by not just increasing the level of difficulty by one or two levels halfway through a zone, but making jump a good four levels.

What this means, is that you need to travel a bit more, which doesn’t bother me very much. I enjoy the exploration portion of the game. It is the sort of thing that will drive completists up the wall, though. The only way in which it annoys me is by filling up my quest log. Fortunately, I’m not above dropping a quest simply because it annoys me (I dropped all of my Fornost quests last night, because I haven’t made any progress on them in almost two weeks).

So, what sort of zone juggling would I recommend? Assuming that you start as a non-human, I would clear out your home zone first, then hit the Bree-lands and clear out all quests there, then clear the quests and deed from the other home zones. That gives you a solid foundation. From there:

  1. Do the first half of the Lone Lands.
  2. Do everything around Trestlebridge, the Field of Fornost, and Amon Raith. (first half of the North Downs)
  3. Head back to the Lone Lands and finish everything that you can to the east of Weathertop.
  4. Head back to the North Downs and clear out everything short of Dol Dinen and Fornost.
  5. Clear out the first half of the Trollshaws.
  6. Start on Lake Evendim.
  7. Etc….

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten. I expect this trend to continue throughout the rest of the game, so it will require constant exploration of new zones before committing to taking on the quests, there. It also requires a bit of quest log management – clear out the dead wood every time that you start in a new zone. You can always go back to pick up an old quest if you have a chance to do it with friends.

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