Meanwhile, Back in LOTRO
The recent news regarding Standing Stone Games’ acquisition of LOTRO has certainly re-invigorated the fan community and led to some renewed wider interest in the game. I’ve kept my own subscription going mostly out of curiosity for LOTROs future, rather than a burning passion for the MMO. In fact, on Laurelin server, it’s pretty much business as usual. My kinship has a core group of players who logon regularly as do most others. Key regional hubs such as Bree and the Twenty-first Hall are relatively busy, usually with role players and music groups running events. Beyond this there doesn’t appear to have been a major change at present to the game’s overall population. Perhaps something tangible needs to be added to LOTRO first before we see such a shift.
In the meantime, I continue to work my way through various regional quests in The Beacon Hills, Taur Drúadan and North Ithilien, in a leisurely fashion. My primary character is a Lore-master at level cap that I’ve had since I first started LOTRO back in Winter 2008. Yet despite numerous in-game achievements over the last eight years, I still find outstanding deeds to do and activities to pursue. LOTRO has an inordinately large amount of content and landmass to explore. At present, I’m spending some time on my Explorer vocation that I’ve neglected of late. The tenth tier was not unlocked, so I focused on that today. Crafting ingots is still a trying affair. Plus, I only just noticed that an auctioneer had been added to the Bree Crafting Hall, which shows how infrequently I visit.
Another more recent addition to Bree is the Scholar’s Hall (opposite the Cat Lady’s House). This has apparently been added to LOTRO to accommodate the Mythgard Institute's academic lectures with the Tolkien Professor, as well as concerts and other community events. Although I welcome such a venue being added to the game, its distinctly Gondorian style of architecture (and not Anorian) does seem a little incongruous, considering its location. I suppose it’s easier to use existing in-game assets than create new ones. The interior is suitably sumptuous and reflects the various regions of Middle-earth. Let us hope that the faithful find it useful and to their liking.
I recently found some use for my LOTRO points (formerly Turbine points), spending several thousand of them on Relics for my Legendary Items. Although the store Settings, Gems, and Runes may not be the best, they certainly offer both convenience and a leg up on those I had already. Their addition to my weapons has had a tangible impact upon my stats. I have also finally grasped the nettle and started equipping slotted armour and adding appropriate essences. In the past, I have eschewed this game mechanic because it adds another layer of complexity that lazy players such as I eschew. However, I found that I had sufficient funds to buy suitable essences and have started grinding for the latest armour set.
Having no significant alts, means that I have a lot of time to spend on my primary character. Therefore, at present, my time in LOTRO is spent at a sedate pace. I set straightforward goals and pursue them in a manner that still allows me to enjoy my surroundings. The ambient music in North Ithilien is of a high quality and I suspect that some material that was recorded earlier on in the games life, was kept back for key locations. My recent tinkering with my build means that even an indifferent player such as I, doesn’t have to worry about survivability. All in all, I go where I please and face no major challenges, which is how I like to play. I dislike being underpowered and at a disadvantage. Let us not forget what Conan said about what is best in life.
Such is my personal status quo in LOTRO at present. I must admit it’s an advantageous position to be in. It certainly allows me to reflect upon what may be coming next in 2017. Will the Daybreak Gaming Company offer a new tier of subscription? There are occasions when I do regret not buying a lifetime sub but I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets replaced by something else. A new broom always likes top sweep clean and all that. Then of course, there is the small matter of getting to Mordor and may be beyond? LOTRO in the Fourth Age is an interesting proposition. Over to you Standing Stone Games. We await new content.