LOTRO: Still Learning

July 8, 2010

There’s been a lot of distractions in the last few days, but despite Taurens, Jedi knights and the drama of RealID, I’m still plugging away at my Hobbit Minstrel in Lord of the Rings Online. I realize that kinda makes me sound like I’m not enjoying myself, but I want to assure you that’s not the case…however, I am starting to wonder how long it should take on average to get level 65. Progress is slower than I am used to; though granted, being new to LOTRO I have no doubt I’m behind the curve. It’s hard to be time efficient when you’re in unfamiliar territory, and sometimes it comes down to something as simple as not knowing where to go for quests.

I think I'm beginning to see the light.

Lately, I’ve been torn between looking up a guide or sticking with exploring for myself. I’m always loathe to turn to walkthroughs and the like whenever I play new games, preferring to poke around and discover things on my own instead…but as my readers and their advice in the comments in the past have shown me, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have help. So far, I’ve been relying on following the Book quests to bring me to where I need to be, and while this hasn’t led me astray yet, I’ve also benefited much from taking other people’s suggestions (like getting over the North Downs hump). I’ve also found Syp’s nerdy progression map to be quite helpful, so hopefully he doesn’t mind that I’m following it on and off myself. Resources like this as well as reader advice makes me think I can continue on this way without ever having to refer to a full-blown guide.

Gotta say, though, sometimes looking stuff up isn’t so bad. Hope you’re all ready for another noob story, because last night I finally figured out that the reason why I couldn’t turn in my first-timer Skirmish quest…was because of a bug.

In retrospect, I guess I should have known, seeing as I’ve upgraded my account with all the expansions and somewhere in the back of my mind I was pretty sure you only had to be level 30, but it didn’t hit me that something was wrong until I had the quest turn grey in my log. All this time, I had thought the Skirmish Captain will eventually deign to talk to me and that the quest will go through, and when he didn’t, I started to think that maybe I didn’t meet a certain requirement, or that I didn’t have something…and it turned out to be: a clue!

The last thing that occurred to me while I was playing, is that one day, I would like to participate in some real roleplaying on Landroval. You know, just for fun. I’m not a serious roleplayer by any means, but I’m not closing any doors to such opportunities either.

However, I already know that it’s going to take some time and a lot of observation to bring me to the point where I’ll be comfortable with it. Last night, someone attempted to draw me into some RP, with the following: <Name> looks at Kiskadee and winces suddenly. I thought, “Omigosh, is he going to think I smell bad or something?”, panicked, typed out a quick “/e gasps”, turned around and promptly ran away like a spooked dormouse.

Awkwaaaaard! In any other MMO, I might have tried a little harder to RP back, but LOTRO roleplaying is admittedly still a mystery to me and not something I’m ready to tackle yet. When the day eventually comes where I do participate in it, I’d like to do it right, and not have to RP a bumbling idiot.


  1. seems like it was more his fault for wincing at a total stranger. kind of rude.

    One thing I did notice and have seen mentioned in various places while I was playing, it’s not very clear where you’re supposed to go sometimes. While I was in Bree I picked up a bunch of quests while I was there, but they all turned out to be lower level quests or wastes of time. Following the books is a good way to stay on track but I still felt it could be more directed or clear.

    • Well, I didn’t think it was all that rude, since it was an RP scenario and finding out more about the story could have been interesting. I have a low level blood elf in WoW that I just park in Silvermoon for some casual RP once in a while (yes, I admit I’ve RPed a Belf), there have been lots of great experiences that have all started off in the most unlikely of ways.

      Regarding questing, I’m also not as focused I can be, I know…since everything is new, I try to do as many quests as I can, which leads to a lot of going back and forth between zones, polishing off quests before they turned grey, etc. Oh, and I found that the one time I didn’t follow the books, I actually had to back track ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Next time, if the emotes are like WoW, type somehing like, “/e Kiskadee draws herself up to her full height and stares askance at .”

    Good to see you’re enjoying yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • rowan my comments don’t show up on your blog. it made me cry. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • LOL…have I ever mentioned how much I love the word “askance”? ๐Ÿ˜›

      And @hunter, this has happened to me on his blog too, maybe it’s a Canadian internet thing.

  3. The pace of leveling in LoTRO is definitely slower than WoW. They’ve actually sped it up compared to launch if you can believe it. I think my main hit 50 (the original cap) five or six months after the game launched. And that was on a hunter, which are exceptional solo questers (between tracking and teleports).

    • its boringly slow, my highest character is in her 20s and i get bored for lack of anything to look forward to. I only really like the chapter story quests the rest is dull.

    • I can’t imagine leveling to have been even slower than it is now… But it also means my pace is probably average, seeing as I started back in April and I’m almost level 40 now. I don’t think I’ll hit level cap by fall when this game goes f2p.

      • for a first character to have started in april and be almost 40 now is pretty good.

        Especially when you take into account the difficulty curve on entering new zones and the fact that particularly at lower levels there are a lot of quests that are sending you back and forth back and forth over some huges zones, often on foot.

      • So 40 levels in 2-3 months is good then? YAY ๐Ÿ˜€ And yes, traveling takes a huge chunk out of playtime in LOTRO, even when you’re using the stable masters.

  4. I kinda like the fact it takes time to level. I’m in no hurry to reach max level so I’m fine with it taking time. After all you`re supposed to be enjoying yourself all the time, not just at max level ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • That is true enough…LOTRO’s pacing a double edged sword though; on the one hand you want to draw out your experience for as long as possible, on the other you can’t wait to see what else is in store for you on the horizon. The Misty Mountains are so close I can taste them, for instance ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. If you want to observe some RP to try and get a little more comfortable, I recommend going to one of the Ales and Tales events. The Prancing Pony in Bree always seems to have RPers about as well, both inside and in front of the building.

    Try not to sweat the leveling too much. The curve is not anywhere nearly as fast as WoW or STO. The only thing I would worry about is if you fell like you’re stuck or bored with an area.

    • Regarding the leveling, I needed to know that it just wasn’t me ๐Ÿ˜› Sometimes I feel like I waste a lot of time, being in game for hours and just getting a handful of experience bars…I started to wonder if I my own dawdling was the cause, or if it was just naturally a bit slower to level in LOTRO. Well, turns out it’s a bit of both, but at least I feel better now knowing I’m not dreadfully behind the curve ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I can’t wait for this to go F2P so i can play it here and there. maybe i will be able to level a bit if i don’t feel rushed to play it.

    • It’s possible. LOTRO is definitely one of those games best enjoyed at a non-rushing pace ๐Ÿ˜€ Though with me, sometimes I have trouble finding motivation to play F2P games at all, so I’m thinking it can’t hurt to try and get as many levels as I can while I’m still subbing.

  7. It’s not you at all. It took me 3 starts to get going on LotRO. My first character, a Dwarf Guardian named Lanosi, was created on Jan. 27, 2008. He topped out at level 35 on Nov. 6th, 2008. In between there I had canceled for a few months. Grand play time was maybe 2-3 months. I also got a hunter to 20 somewhere in there.

    Then I got into OTG’s RoM chapter, piddled around with Aion, got in a conversation with a regular questing buddy about good PvE games and kept talking up LotRO. Convince them to give LotRO a try and decided to give it one last go with OTG on their server.

    I last played my hunter, Teese, on the 23rd of June. She’s level 61. I created her on Nov. 16th, 2009. So in a little over 6 months I still haven’t hit cap. On the other hand I’m not exactly pushing for it now, either. I rushed to get to Moria, was in my 50s by mid-December. Since then I’ve slowed my playing as other games come and go. I’ll get to cap, eventually, but no real rush. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh geez, that’s a long time. But hey, you’re so close! But I’m at level 39 right now and the rate of experience has been so mind-numbingly slow already, I can’t imagine what it might be like when you’re in your 60s.

      • Honestly I feel it is too fast. I out-levelled two zones in the original game, 2 zones in MoM, skipped almost all the book quests, almost all instances in the same and virtually all group quests. While the numbers might say otherwise LotRO doesn’t feel slow.

        Of course nothing feels as break-neck as Champions Online. Cripes! Level 1 to 25 and Nemesis made in about 4 days. o.O

      • Yeah, it was the same with Star Trek Online, I had to slow myself down.

  8. RPing in an mmo to me has to be one of the coolest things i’ve never really seriously done. I can remember the one time i really delved into rping was during SWG, with my favorite character of all time, ahem. Riley Escobar! You talk about a guy with alot of real stories behind his profile. A man with no memory who just woke up one day in Coronet in Corellia and decided….”I want to make houses!” Heh, and so i set about noobing it up in the fields for hours on end gathering resources and materials, plying his craft until he met his future ex-wife, Boletzi Epo, who just so happened to be an established craftswoman.

    But STUBBORN IMPERIAL! Riley was a simple guy, who jsut thought everyone in the galaxy needed 3 things. Good weapons, a good smuggler to slice em, and a big ole Naboo style house to put em in. It wasn’t long before he was corrupted to the dark side of said things, and became a Rifleman for the “Imperial Taskforce” furthering his ways of combat as a Teras Kasi Master, Swordsman, Fencer, and eventually a bounty hunter, seeing the perils that the Jedi brought amongst the people, he felt it his civic duty to hunt them down mercilessly.

    Of course rping his hatred for Jedi and everyone’s general hatred for them was kind of heart wrenching, since people are people and with their xp loss and hard time grinding Jedi up in the first place, it was kind of immoral to impede upon people’s right to fun in the game……Even then, you talk about a charismatic Hitler-esque massacre of Jedi. I can remember just chasing them down me and my IMP buddies, master squad leader, tkm/fencers, Combat Medics, and bounty hunters, oh the gore, the glory! The camping! The Majorly large Ranger Bases set up and the Twi’lek dancer who came along to dance while we partied around his corpse. It was evil evil evil rping, but it was so real, it just blurred the lines of everything, this wasn’t ME, but in character, it was fun times, but at the same time there were too many breaks in character to my liking, mainly griping about Jedi…

    But i digress! /swghermit

    • Haha, by all accounts, SWG was a game rife for great RPing. I wish I could have experienced that game back when it was in its hey day.

      Anyway, I think if only I can find a good community of roleplayers in all my games, I can see myself doing it all the time. But right now, most of my RP happens out-of-game, in my mind or on paper when the inspiration strikes and I decide to write out a character’s backstory or something. This has only happened for a couple of my toons, my main in WoW and my Vulcan in STO.

      • I just could never be satisfied with my characters in STO because…well for one i wanted a damn Worf Sash, and for Two, considering how anti-social everyone was, My Hawaiian born Klingon ‘Kahuna Maui”s personallity, history, and eclectic crew of an android, a ‘Riker’ and a ‘Spock’ just completely went to waste ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The only joy i could take was frequently customizing my Andorian tactical chick…but even that can only get you so much rpg fun ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • OMG, a Worf sash would be amazing now that you mention it. If they existed, I would get a fed klingon just so I can wear that.

        Heh heh, I had a “Spock” too, but he sort of became my Vulcan captain’s boy toy. But that’s a whole different story ๐Ÿ˜› Speaking of STO though, I’m impressed at how Cryptic is improving their game, and I heard some great things about Season 2 now currently on Tribble. I’m going to have to resub very soon.

      • Yesss if ONLY for the Worf Sash, i havent read about the changes or anything, if i learned anything from this blog. Don’t quit….wait and see…go back..is it good? Check iit ouuut! Of course i’d have to level up to the max to fully appreciate the game i suppose. Maybe i’ll do the same and when i do, i’ll actually stick with one character.

  9. I just started playing LotRO again on June 4 and I started over with a Runekeeper. I’m now level 48, so I’m almost at the original level cap in only 6 weeks thereabouts. They did speed up the leveling and there is a little less running about. But I think it is all the running about that makes leveling slower in this game compared to something like WoW. Also the small amount of inventory space, I swear I waste a lot of time clearing stuff out of my bags.

    So far I haven’t had any trouble figuring out where to go, but I’ll pick up every quest from a particular area. I’ve found lots of “bread crumb” quests that simply lead you to a different zone. I’ve had to abandon lots as well and even skipped whole zones (another sign of increased exp).
    I will say that LotRO is pretty enjoyable to me because I’m playing with my husband and we always quest together. It gets me through some of the dullness and I think is a large reason of why I’ve leveled so quickly because there is little downtime when you have your own personal meat shield.

    As far as the RP stuff, it really is what makes this game great. I’m not even on an RP server and I run into it sometimes. The Summer festival is a great example of that. People tend to RP at the races without even realizing it.

    Also I’ve heard skirmishes are a great way to get experience now if you wanted a boost. I haven’t really used them much myself.
    Hope you keep having fun!

    • Yeah, maybe it feels slower too me too because LOTRO is the only game I’m playing right now by myself, when all the others I usually play with my husband. Being a little minstrel, I’m easy to pick on too ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I haven’t had a chance to do skirmishes yet, just the tutorial quests. I know a lot of veteran LOTRO players use skirmishes to speed up leveling and also to avoid repeating some of the grind, but since this is my first character in LOTRO everything is still new to me and I haven’t had a reason to skip any quests.

      And yes, having no chance of increasing my inventory space annoys me to no end! ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. I’ve leveled so many characters that I finally made a leveling guide myself to help people out. The thing I constantly found annoying were the areas that you had to bounce back and forth with (lonelands/north downs or evendim/trollshaws). That really slowed leveling down for me. I personally don’t like wasting time trying to figure out where to go next, but to each their own!

    My guide originally started out as notes for my personal leveling, then moved to the website for helping out some kinnies. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it from quite a few kinships/players, so feel free to use it guilt free… don’t worry I won’t tell anyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Lotro’s emphasis is definately on PvE and exploring vast and rich landscapes, so don’t worry if things are going slower than you’re used to in other games. Leveling in lotro isn’t just a means to an end.

    (not that end game isn’t fun, of course).

    • I don’t even know what to expect at end game, haven’t seen too much about it yet, but I’m already excited and looking forward to it. I still have a looooong way to go, of course! Not even 50 yet ๐Ÿ˜›

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