Checking In With LOTRO

May 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?


  1. Someone fell asleep while traveling in LOTRO? I’m shocked.

    • What was hilarious about it was that it didn’t even happen while traveling across some wide expanse. We were literally just running from camp to camp within this orc compound. She must have been easily distracted or just really sleepy.

      • i admit, it’s pretty classic. one of those things you can only just laugh at and move on.

  2. I see you are still in the early levels of Eriador. There is much to discover beyond the Lone Lands and North Downs! I quite like the Misty Mountains and Eregion.

    If you are interested U can give you a link to my Picasa album, it shows my early LOTRO 14 day trial and later on my proper account (started from scratch on another server) riding and fighting through all areas from level 1 to 65, including all book quests and most raids except Helegrod (did not get 25 man together for the Dragon).

    • I personally cannot wait to see the Misty Mountains. I’ve seen beautiful screenshots of that area on Massively as well as on other people’s blogs.

      And sure, send me the link when you have the chance!

      • Let me know if you want a hunter-guided tour.

      • Okay I’m a big LOTRO noob here…I know hunters can quick travel and stuff, but what would a guide tour entail? Are you offering to bring me to zones around the game? 😀

  3. Folks are generally nicer and more mature in LoTRO than many MMOs in my experience. LoTRO is just not the kind of game that impatient players tend to enjoy. As a healer you’ll have a much easier time getting PuGs than most characters.

    The Lone Lands isn’t really the best that LoTRO has to offer. Apart from Weathertop, which absolutely will give you a nerdgasm the first time you climb it, it’s easily my least favorite zone. If you are still having fun in the Lone Lands, you are in for a treat. The game only picks up from here on out.

    • Haha, I think I already reached the top of Weathertop on my other character before this…I’m not a hardcore fan of the books or Tolkien lore by any means so I didn’t realize the significance of the landmark!

  4. Lone-lands is pretty barren, but it has Amon Sûl, Weathertop, which is one of my favorite spots in the game.

    As far as community, Landroval is pretty great but I think all of the servers are generally pretty decent based on what I’ve heard from other players.

    • I have a LOT of quests in the lone lands…I have a feeling it’s going to be one of my least favorite zones in the game, but it’s not bad now though since everything is still new to me 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed my time in LotRO, especially the warden since it’s such a unique class. I burned out on it pretty bad, though, right about the time I hit Rivendell. For some reason all the energy to play drained out of me when I got there.

  6. Mmmm….Renfaire music; and all one key…

    I sure do love LOTRO.

  7. I wish I had the time to get into LOTRO. Right now I’m playing WoW, AoC and EVE and I just can’t squeeze another moment out of the days 😦 I think I will definitely give it another shot when I’m tired of WoW… assuming Cataclysm doesn’t come out soon.

  8. I know EXACTLY what you mean about LOTRO being like a spa. I call it my Zen place of gaming. I feel so calm when I’m playing it. None of the petty aggravations or immature commentary that plagues a lot of the other MMOs I play.

    It also has to do with the colors and the voice acting I think. Anyway, I head to LOTRO when I need some peace. I do run solo though b/c I so appreciate the atmosphere.

    • Definitely the voice acting adds to the game. My heart almost breaks sometimes, hearing the women and men say things like “Can you spare a moment?”, “Can I have a moment of your time?” or “I don’t know if you can help me…” 🙂

  9. As I’ve never really liked other MMOs, I didn’t know that LOTRO was so different. I’ve been at it for less than a year and have been enjoying the landscapes, fighting monsters, and questing in general. But there have been those nights when I stay in the Prancing Pony or a house party, chatting up total strangers for the fun of it.

    One night, after listening to proper musicians, two of us pulled out our trusty cowbells and had 10 minute duet that had half the tavern laughing & capering. We got no points for it, no badges of merit, nothing but the fleeting glory of disrupting the tavern.

    Noticed that we’re both on Landroval so I’ll make Kiskadee an offer. I know a well-traveled Hunter who’d be honored to show you the sights of Eriador. Just look for an Explorers of MiddleEarth kin to point out one of Breto’s Buddies.

    Be seeing you!

    • That is so kind of you!

      And yes, I think part of what makes LOTRO so relaxing for me is that its players don’t seem to be in any great hurry to get anywhere, unlike some other MMOs where people are always rush rush rush to get to the next level or zone. LOTRO has a very calm atmosphere, where everyone seems to enjoy doing things for the experience’s sake, and not because it gives you any rewards or perks.

  10. Also I’m on as Syppi (captain)

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