What? Huh? Eh?

It should be obvious that I enjoy playing LotRO, and I feel that it is a superior game.  Most of my time is spent in solo play, but I have been trying to group up a little more often of late.  This has forced me to use the one feature of LotRO that is done extremely poorly – the voice chat.

When I play online games with my usual circle of friends, we use a Ventrilo server.  The sound is clear and coherent.  My kinship also runs a TeamSpeak server, which works pretty well also, although it is set to use a slightly lower audio quality than our Ventrilo server.  However, the LotRO voice chat is simply abominable.  Even with the voice sound controls cranked up to the maximum settings, I find it to be too quiet for general use.  If you turn up the associated volume control to the point where you can hear other players, you will be deafened by the sound effects.   It is truly infuriating.

Rant over.  Taking a deep breath.

I’ve been playing around with some of the instances to collect Superior Third Marks and Annuminas Marks.  Mostly, I’ve been having a blast.  The PUGs I’ve been in have been about 75% good ones, with the remaining 25% rather dismal.  One of the worst ones I have been in featured a guardian who didn’t really know how to tank, and was afraid of getting all of the agro because he might take damage.  I’ve been guilty of breaking a mez here or there myself, due to my unfamiliarity with grouping in this game, but I usually manage to keep my nose clean.  Overall, it has been fun.

Speaking of instances, I find it to be a brilliant idea that Turbine split up the Great Barrow into multiple encounters.  While I love the Great Barrow, the size of the place was so unwieldy that a full run took huge amounts of time.  The three instances that can be run from the interface are much more focused, and you can budget your time much better.  Kudos for that.

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