Here’s something that has been going on for a while but has only just appeared on my radar. I have not personally experienced it as of yet, as I play on one of the lower population LOTRO servers and mercifully it has a smaller percentage of assholes. It would appear that one of the daily Hytbold quests in Snowbourn has the player fishing for an Avanc. If your bags are full when doing the quest you get an envelope that allows you to summon the Avanc, as part of the overflow mechanics. It would appear that there are no restrictions regarding the summoning of the Avanc, thus there have been incidents of it being released in low level public areas. The Avanc is level 85 and has 22K morale. (Picture courtesy of Yirak).
So imagine the scene. You’re quietly perusing through the listing on Auction House in Bree, minding your own business. Then from out of nowhere a level cap beasty appears and the next thing you know death awaits you with nasty big pointy teeth. At first glance it can seem funny and may even raise a wry smile. It’s just a prank some may claim. I’m sure “Where’s you’re sense of humour” will be trotted out at some point in the proceedings. However, if you take a moment to consider wider possibilities it may not be so funny.If some one has purchased from the in-game store a buff or a boost and it is active when Mr. Avanc shows up, then that player dies and ends up out of pocket. The prank has now cost you real cash. A sudden and unexpected death in a safe zone may also cost a player a deed title such as “undying”. There may also be repair costs to consider. Suddenly this starts looking like a case of deliberate griefing.
Now there is a perfect opportunity for people to get bogged down in semantics with this issue. Is it griefing or an exploit? I’m sure you’ll find a legion of forum pedants who will happily debate that point with you. The fun police and the humour liberation front are also currently going head to head with regard to this so called prank. As far as I’m concerned I’d file this activity under miscellaneous assholery. I also think Turbine needs to address it. The key point for me is that this could cause someone to lose money and that is patently unacceptable. Being inconvenienced by an idiot is one thing. Having you pocket indirectly picked is another altogether.