Why do I play MMOs? Because despite years of play, despite having multiple level-capped characters, and despite thinking I’ve done it all, I can still discover an unfamiliar door in a low level town and enter to find this:
LotRO’s own Cataclysm?
And while we’re talking about my not knowing/remembering obvious stuff in Lord of the Rings Online, it was only upon reading Syp’s article at Massively that I found out my Warden can’t kill critter mobs in the game because she’s a tree-hugging hippy elf; I’d never found this out because I’m the sort of tree-hugging hippy who doesn’t go around trying to one-shot critter mobs as I run along, which is perhaps also why I gravitated to playing an elf.
It’s curious though, and I can only imagine that these critters are able to claim diplomatic immunity, because my elf Warden has killed all manner of animals on her travels and not all of them could have been evil. No, there’s been a definite lack of pointy moustaches on many of the boars she’s killed, with nary a sign of high-collared capes or top hats on the bears. Yet those animals were apparently fine to kill because some random stranger demanded it; some spoilt NPC rolling on their back, kicking their legs in the air, pounding their fists on the ground and screaming until my character, sighing and eyes rolling to the heavens, went off and killed a number of innocent pigs. So why have qualms over stabbing a squirrel? (note: not a euphemism). I won’t have it that she’s one of the more hypocritical breed of animal rights sorts, where killing anything cute and that is easily anthropomorphised is a hideous crime, and which they’ll yell angrily about around a mouthful of hamburger to anyone who’ll listen. Thus, assuming she is fair and indiscriminate in her wholesale slaughter of wildlife throughout the lands of Middle Earth, there must be some other reason why she can’t kill critters; diplomatic immunity is my best answer. It seems obvious now that every time she goes to violate a vole (note: not a euphemism), the critter whips out documents outlining its protection under several binding conventions of Middle Earthian law. Where does it find the space to keep such documents? I couldn’t explain it to you, but then I couldn’t explain how a wolf manages to hide a long sword or a boar manages to secrete plate armour on its person either. Squirrels, well okay, I could understand how a squirrel would manage it, because after all squirreling things away is what they do, but when you’re trying to filet a fox (note: not a euphemism) and it suddenly and from nowhere pulls out a large diplomatic wallet it must be both surprising and frustrating.
And after such a long hard day, where her adventuring has lead to nothing but pent up aggression and frustration, I can only imagine that my elf has a routine need to find a secluded spot, settle comfortably down and quietly shank a shrew.
It’s even worse in Lothlorien where there are baby boars that are ‘protected’, had to fight the curiousity to see what would happen if I killed one, having only just gained admittance to the place without being turned into a human pin-cushion.
It’s funny, I never noticed the slaughtering critter thing until running some of the recent quests in Enedwaith. I was playing with an old WoW buddy of mine who likes to murder squirrels (probably an euphemism). My GF, a Man Captain (not an euphemism) joined the fun. Then my Elven Champion went up to a critter and I hit the attack button; my character then turned to the camera and went all Sally Struthers and cried, explaining how my donations could save the lives of underprivileged voles (definitely an euphemism).
@darkeye: Ah yes, the joyous capriciousness of Lothlórien. Even better if you rolled an elf and picked Lothlórien as your place of origin, as Brian points out in the comments of that post.
I can’t remember whether it’s all boars that are protected, or some are open season. Certainly you can slaughter some wildlife there – shrews seem particularly hated – while others are off limits. I don’t know if it’s perhaps just a case of the elves of Lothlórien, knowing of the impending arrival of adventurers and, as you point out, their penchant for wholesale animal slaughter, were just reserving some animals for themselves to kill, a bit like the old cliché of German tourists reserving all the sun loungers by throwing bathing towels on them first thing in the morning.
So have a look next time you’re there for boars in bathing towels. Ignore the elves, they’ll claim it’s because they have quite excellent boar bathing facilities, but we all know that’s just hogwash.
@Brian: “save the lives of underprivileged voles”
Now that’s positively filthy, we’ll have none of that language here, this is a family blog!
Ooh, I remember the Cat Lady House. I discovered that a few weeks ago by accident. Never did see a cat lady. I wonder if there’s a missing cat lady quest somewhere, or if it’s merely one of those little fun things the designers threw in just for kicks.
I recognise the cat ladies house!
I found myself there quite unexpectedly when I logged in after logging off in the magical “Eyes and Guard” tavern, the instant levelling tavern they use on test servers. I did this a few times and ended up in a different random location each time.