So, Lord of the Rings Online, Volume 1, Book 11? Pretty much the same as before.
In particular I’m impressed with my prescience with regards to the Hunt For The Key.
The sad thing is that, as mentioned by Van Hemlock in his post lambasting chapter ten, the only real problem with books ten and eleven is that so few parts of them are marked for a fellowship or small fellowship; if the one or two chapters that required any sort of group were adjusted to be soloable, these would be perfectly pleasant preambles before the meaty main thrust of the remaining few books.
As it stands, several members of this long standing kinship – of which I have only recently become a part – are swearing off of the rest of volume one, and seem utterly demoralised when considering the tasks that we’re currently being asked to undertake as compared to the glory days of books past. My own theory is that this is a more pronounced issue for those of us coming to the content a long time after its initial release; back when there wasn’t much else to do, I imagine most LotRO players were at least moderately content to have something, anything, to do that advanced the story a little more. Following on immediately from the epic conclusion to the original set of book content, and with the delectable depths of Moria’s domain easily within our capability and calling to us, it’s that much more disheartening to be asked to run Fed Ex mission number five.
For myself, I’m not so fussed. I enjoy the company of the others too much to worry overly about what I’m doing, and although I gripe with the best of them, it’s only because I know how great Lord of the Rings can be, and it’s a shame to see Turbine fall short of the high bar that they set in the previous books.
Ultimately I’m still happy with the overall image of an epic journey that has been imprinted on my mind; the image of a horse’s rump that’s now burned indelibly on my retina – not so much.