Sigh, will I ever get to Moria? I know I make progress in Lord of the Rings Online every time I log in, but I think I’ve only managed to gain a couple levels in the last few weeks. Granted, I have been pretty busy with real life, but I try my best to give this game the attention it deserves. I find that two to three hours every other day isn’t really enough to make any real advancement though, especially since so much of that time is given over to in-game traveling. Those lazy and inconsiderate quest givers sure make you run around a lot.
So this week, I finally caved in to the temptation of quick XP and participated in my very first skirmish, solo. It was a bit rough (okay, really rough), especially since my tenderfoot Warrior soldier was about as useful as a one-armed juggler. But it was worth it because, damn, people weren’t kidding about the XP gain. In about 20-30 minutes (not counting the first couple of failed attempts as I bumbled around trying to find my groove), I managed to rake in enough experience to get me almost a quarter of the way through a level. It almost feels criminal.
I’ve seen this system likened to the World of Warcraft dungeon finder, but it also reminds me of the daily villa quests I used to do in Age of Conan while I was leveling up. These were up to five solo instances in the noble district I could do each day to supplement my XP gain from regular quests, and I usually did them when I was a level or two shy of moving on to the next zone, or when I couldn’t find people to do my group quests. In my opinion, the skirmish dailies in LOTRO are better designed and are much more relevant to the story, but I can see myself doing them for very much the same reasons.
I think I’ve found the answer. If I wanted to, I think I could take the average of 1-1.5 hours that I spend in LOTRO each day, use them to do daily skirmishes, and I’d skyrocket up the ranks in no time…but then I would also be missing a lot from the rest of the game. Since this is the first character I’ve ever played in LOTRO, I don’t want to rely on skirmishes too much, but it’s so nice to know that they are there.