Contracting Out Work in LOTRO
I recently decided to focus upon crafting on my new Hunter. I’ve opted for the explorer professions on this character as refining raw material is always a good way of making in-game gold. However, over recent weeks I’ve focused on levelling and have not processed any wood or ore from the various zones that I worked through. Thus, last week I found myself in Eregion and I couldn’t mine any of the ore nodes or gather timber. If I wanted to progress, I had to consider the following options. I could return to the starter zones and farm the resources I needed then process them, unlocking the next levels. Or I could buy what stocks of wood and ore that I required from the auction house and again work through the crafting tiers. The first option didn’t really appeal to me and the second was dependent on stock levels of various resources on Auction House. So, after some thought I decided the best alternative was to contract out the gathering work.
Laurelin is a busy role-play server with a lot of new players. Many of whom are time rich and gold poor. The hyperinflation you’ll find in a decade old MMO, put’s new players at a disadvantage. As a longtime LOTRO player the one thing I do have is substantial gold reserves. Let it suffice to say that after a quick conversation in the trade channel, I secure three eager players who were happy to go to the various zones and farm ore, wood and hides for me. Within an evening, I had sufficient materials to unlock all processing tiers I required. The cost was 300 gold and a few class specific items that I had been stock piling for exactly such an occasion. The players I contracted went away content as they felt that they had been adequately rewarded and had gained XP while farming for me. All round, it was a “win, win” situation.
Having played LOTRO for years, although I still find a lot of the game’s arbitrary tasks enjoyable, some can be a little tedious. However, I must admit I had a lot of fun arranging this recent outsourcing of work. It reminded me of the halcyon days of LOTRO when raiding was still a big thing. I used to buy morale and power potions when they were cheap and then sell them high over the weekend when people would play through group content. I always found auction house speculation an amusing mini game and suspect that regular contracting out of gathering tasks may serve a similar purpose. Furthermore, isn’t this a classic example of so-called “emergent content” that stems from player interaction in MMOs? Although there may be a few purists who frown on such activities, I think you have to take your pleasures, where you find them, be it in LOTRO or any other MMO.