Fell Deeds Awake

It has been many years since I last made an entry in this blog. There are a number of reasons for this, such as work, prioritization of time elsewhere, or a plain old lack of effort. Frankly, I sometimes wonder if writing in this blog wasn’t/isn’t just an act of narcissism; I’m certainly not a recognized video/computer game critic, and the subjective opinions I express here are just that – completely subjective, and probably of little use to anyone else.

Enough introspection.

In my last entry, I wrote about a revamp of the skirmish rewards system in LotRO. It seems appropriate, then, that I write about LotRO now. Update 18.2 was published on 7/5/2016, adding new featured instances, new housing features, and a new raid. If it seems like Turbine is catering to their users, they definitely are; Small instances are great for casual players, the housing additions make the RP crowd smile, and a new raid can be seen as reaching out to more hardcore players. I’ve seen plenty of criticism about all of the features in 18.2, though; just some more proof that you can’t satisfy everyone. It seems to me that just a few days after the release of the new features, it is a bit early to make any final judgments, though. From my own perspective, I like what I have seen.

I’m still playing catch-up in LotRO. I play from time to time, but take long breaks in-between. When I last played Burhhelm, I had arrived at Dol Amroth and done a few of the city quests. I don’t mind going through a grind, if I can play with a few friends on occasion, but grinding out reputation completely solo can be a chore. So, LotRO fell by the wayside in favor of other games for a bit. I was pleasantly, surprised, however, after I made another visit and found that large additional zones had been added. Exploring new areas is something I enjoy, so I decided to jump back into the game. So far, I have not regretted it (note, however, that I am not in any sort of end-game grind mode to try and get better gear).

I do like the epic quest line in Gondor, so far. However, it is noteworthy that we have strayed far from the original Shadows of Angmar concept; we were originally running interference for the Fellowship of the Ring by making a general nuisance of ourselves in Angmar, thus drawing attention away from the Ring-bearer. Things really started to diverge during the Mines of Moria expansion, and went fully off-track during the Siege of Mirkwood. Following in the tracks of the Fellowship seems like a sure fire way to draw more attention to their errand. Joining forces with the Grey Company did get the story back on track, but then Turbine had us hop from one side of the Misty Mountains to the other. As much as I absolutely loved the Riders of Rohan expansion, we really had no reason (story-wise) to visit Stangard, Wildermoor, or Eastern Rohan. While I was not a fan of the “Big Battles” of the Helms Deep expansion, I did like that we got back on track, following Aragorn and the Grey Company, essentially returning to the original concept of running interference for Frodo and Sam. To me, it feels like the game is back on course (plot-wise).

Another part of why I’m enjoying the game again may be due to the server consolidation. I used to play on Vilya, which was never heavily populated. However, it had become more than a little sparse. I understand not running into another player in the wilderness (the size of the LotRO map is huge), but it was becoming rare to even see another player in major towns. My circle of friends and I transferred to Landroval. Not the most densely populated server, but it has a respectable number of players, with an active player base. I haven’t attended any player-run events, yet (I haven’t done that sort of thing since I played UO, back before Y2K). However, I might take a look; we will see. I’m not looking to join a Kinship or anything similar, but it might be nice to make a few friends and acquaintances on this server.

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One Response to “Fell Deeds Awake”

  1. After taking a long break from this game, I’m finally coming back to it as well! Cool to see what you thought about the new updates and such, as I’ll soon be getting into them (hopefully). Thanks!

    Like

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