Checking In With LOTROMay 27, 2010
On Tuesday, Turbine kicked off yet another Welcome Back Week for Lord of the Rings Online. I gotta say, it’s stuff like this that makes me realize how much I *heart* Turbine.
It also made me feel a little guilty for neglecting my Hobbit Minstrel for so long. My better half came back from work today and immediately crashed, so it was the perfect opportunity to spend a quiet evening with LOTRO. I wanted to take advantage of the +5% XP boost to get Kiskadee a few levels.
I think the last time I logged in was about three weeks ago. I had left myself in Bree. What the hell was I doing in Bree? For the life of me, I couldn’t remember. But it didn’t matter at the time, because the first thing I checked on was my house. I wasn’t sure if I prepaid my upkeep fees in advance, and I was a little worried. I don’t have a clue what happens if you don’t keep up with the payments, but I have no desire to find out. Luckily, everything was still there according to the Housing tab.
I realized something as I played today — LOTRO is my escape. Playing Khitans or Taurens with my husband is fun, but sometimes I just feel like playing at my own pace, without ever feeling rushed or pressured to rein in my leveling. So far, he hasn’t followed me to this game yet, so I can still do whatever I want, whenever I want in it. The world of LOTRO provides the perfect atmosphere for that too. It’s calm, it’s mature, it’s relaxing. In other words, this MMO is my virtual spa.
While questing in the North Downs, I noticed an adventurer in the LFF channel looking for more to do some of the region’s fellowship quests, which I also had in my log. I’d never been in a real fellowship before this (now that so much of the content is solo friendly), but I felt confident enough with my skills by then that I figured I should give it a shot. I got invited and was immediately cheered at for being a Minstrel. Guess it really pays to be a healer.
For the most part, I was very impressed by the group. One player did leave the fellowship without a word after an accidental wipe though. I seriously hate it when people do that. So the wipe was caused by our Rune-keeper, who ran into a bunch of mobs. But it was a genuine mistake and she apologized for it, there was really no need to drop the group in such a haste. Oh well, I guess there are jerks in every MMO, even in LOTRO.
Even with one member down, I think we fared pretty well. Plus I got my first taste of healing in a LOTRO fellowship…and I didn’t totally suck ass! I did my job and managed to keep the group alive; however, I had to keep reminding myself to use certain abilities that would be beneficial to my companions, but that I would never normally touch if I was playing solo.
It was a good experience overall. With the exception of the idiot who dropped group earlier, everyone else was very nice and patient. Case in point — much to her mortification, that Rune-keeper nodded off while auto-running and stumbled into yet another group of elite orcs and managed to wipe us again! But this time, everyone just laughed it off. Not bad for my first fellowship. Did I get lucky? Or is the server Landroval just that cool? In any case, I got to add a handful of new names to my friends list, and that always puts me in a good mood.
Before I knew it, I’d been playing for almost five hours. My eyes felt like they were going to bleed…and the same went for my ears. Like, holy cochlea, Batman, LOTRO groups are loud! With myself being a Minstrel and two other Champions and a Captain in the group, all I could hear in combat were snippets of lute music and gruff yelling. If Nickelback ever played at a Renaissance fair, I’d imagine it would sound much like that.
My next stop will be the Lone-lands. It’s a pretty barren zone, if I remember correctly. It’s also quite a ride from Trestlebridge. Hunter noted the other day in a blog post how expansive the territories are in LOTRO. He’s also right about the lengthy travel times. But you know what? I just look at it as a chance to stretch my legs, make a cup of tea, and put on the Bree-land Jig. Is that like the best travel music ever or what?