LOTRO: Alternative Ways to Reach Level Cap
I managed to gain a level and a half in LOTRO today, bringing my primary alt to 108. It was a somewhat protracted task as many of the quests that I was undertaking were between level 102 and 105. Despite several attempts and a concerted effort to persevere, I have concluded that I don’t care for the Mordor expansion for LOTRO. Levelling up in that region is a chore, due to the difficulty and density of the mobs. So, I have decided to work my way towards the current level cap elsewhere in the game and then return to the region to clear the Epic Story. I may, or may not work through the regional quest hubs, depending on my attitude towards the game at that point. I will make do with any gear that drops via the Epic Story and will not concern myself with the current endgame content and rewards. By the time I’ve worked through my plan, they’ll be a new update on the horizon with new gear anyway.
Because LOTRO has been streamlined and updated over the years to accommodate the various increases to the level cap, it is quite easy in the early stages of the game to pursue multiple levelling paths. New players will often find that they out level a zone long before they finish all the content it offers. Hence there are options when it comes to progressing. You can pursue the Epic Story or remain in a region and follow a completest approach to the game. As soon as skirmishes become available they can significantly contribute to your level progression. Crafting also offers XP and can be used as a supplement. We should not forget the Destiny Points perk system that can be used to boost XP as well. However, some of these benefits reduce as you progress through the game. At present, there are no alternative locations available in the game that offers quests at a comparable level of XP to those found in Mordor. So, for the present, I am working through lower level, residual regional quests in Taur Drúadan, The Beacon Hills, Minis Tirith, North Ithilien and Dagorlad.
The upside of this approach is that I’ve focused on several quest lines that have proven most enjoyable. Although there are always a percentage of arbitrary quests in any new content that comes to LOTRO, there are often some interesting, well-conceived quests with lore based stories. One such quest chain had my Lore-master running errands for Ioreth in the Houses of Healing. This culminated in Aragorn healing Éowyn, Faramir and Peregrin Took. I frequently find that when Standing Stone Games offers a perspective upon iconic scenes from the source text, they do so in a very creative fashion. Another quest chain that I completed was to retake Cair Andros. It is something only referenced in the book and it was agreeable to see the idea fleshed out into a slightly more substantive narrative. Another positive aspect of pursuing regional quests is that they sometimes offer interesting rewards, such as unique housing items or alternative gear to that provided by the primary Epic Story.
My Lore-master is an Explorer by profession, although I have never really pursued any of the associated skills to any degree. Within the disciplines of Forester and Prospector, I simply gather resources then refine them to a sufficient level to unlock the next tier. Farming and refining is mainly done to generate gold via the auction house. I have neglected this process for several updates, so can certainly gain some XP by crafting resources from older regions. As for the Tailor skill, I have never really used this. Perhaps, now is the time to do so as an additional means to levelling, although the actual process of crafting in LOTRO is somewhat dull. I shall at least look into the process in the next few days and see what it has to offer. Perhaps I should consider my dislike for Mordor to be a positive thing, as it is at least encouraging me to revisit aspects of LOTRO that I have previously ignored. Certainly, todays time spent in-game was both fun and rewarding. Overall it has left me in a good humour and currently well disposed towards the MMO for the present.