Down with this sort of thing.

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.

Of fifteen.

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.

Careful now.

2 thoughts on “Down with this sort of thing.

  1. unwize

    While I agree with every harsh word said against Book 10, I did actually enjoy Book 11 quite a lot. Tal Bruinen was all shiny and new when it first arrived, and there was plenty of dungeon bashing to be had in the newly released Rift, so I didn’t miss it in Book 11.

    While there is still plenty of travelling left over in Volume 1, Book 12 is mostly 6-man content, and contains at least 2 proper instances. Book 13 is a mix, but ends with a substantial 6-man instance. Book 14 contains no less than 3 6-man instances, with 2 being fairly meaty. Finally, Book 15 climaxes with a substantial and challenging 6-man instance.

    Saying all that, perhaps you should just horse on to Moria and Volume 2 and come back when you’ve scratched that itch?

  2. Melmoth Post author

    Saying all that, perhaps you should just horse on to Moria and Volume 2 and come back when you’ve scratched that itch?

    I think that might be the plan; either that or attempt to hit a few instances that we have yet to see, or have yet to complete.

    As for book eleven, I think it’s fair to say that it’s probably subjective and very dependant on when and how you approach the content.

    I think the parts around Tal Bruinen are what broke us: we tried to stay optimistic after having immediately had to go to two different locations in Evendim and tell lookouts to… lookout more. Then head back to the quest giver (praise you, Hunter Taxi). We tried to keep our spirits up as we ran to various parts of the world to have a bit of a /look, it wasn’t so bad, we were clearly just building up to the main thrust of the event. We got to Tal Bruinen and had to kill a few Angarim, no problem! Then we had to go and speak to someone else, and they wanted something, and also for us to kill a few Angarim! Ok, fair enough, a bit annoying as we were just there killing them a moment ago, but back we go. We broke at the point where we spoke to the chap who wanted us to go into an area and kill some trolls, which we did; then he wanted us to scout the entrance to a cave, which required us to fight back through the same trolls that we had just killed for him, which we did; then he wanted us to go in to the cave that we had just scouted the entrance to, requiring us to fight our way back through the same mobs to get into the cave, that we had just been to. It’s just dull quest design, and pointless. Is it really so hard to have a “go and scout this area, and if you find a cave, maybe you should have a look inside and see if you can find X”? Playing yo-yo to blatantly drawn-out quest design is frustrating beyond measure.

    After that it was the Benny Hill chase around Tal Bruinen as we were sent between people and locations at the base of the hill and the top; each time you completed something at the bottom, you knew the next location or NPC was going to be at the top and vice versa.

    When you have a rota system where people take it in turns to be the leader and everyone else just sticks themselves on follow and goes and does something more interesting instead, something has got to be wrong with the ‘game’.

    I’m all for telling a story and involving the characters in it, but if the only way to do that and make it any sort of length is to have an interminable number of consecutive Fed Ex and Benny Hill missions, then I’d rather you just showed me a cut scene and let me get back to the game proper.

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