Sunday 14 June 2009

A public service announcement.

If you happen to be new to Lord of the Rings Online and have just completed the dwarf starter area quests and are now in the world proper, you will be told to go and see Guard-Captain Unnarr who is just inside in Thorin’s Hall. After running around for a few hours trying to find him, you may well be wondering if you’re cut out for this MMO lark, and that you’re not sure that an online version of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? is really what you were looking for. Luckily for you KiaSA is here to help. There was a recent revamp of starter areas in LotRO, and the developers have cheekily moved Unnarr to Frerin’s Court, the location of which you should know since it was the major quest hub in the tutorial; it’s at the bottom of the large stairway that leads to Thorin’s Hall.

For those of you who refuse to read quest text and instead followed the small unassuming quest location arrow on the mini-map which guides you in the correct direction, well done. It seems that it really does pay to ignore quest text in MMOs these days.

And for those of you, like me, who have completed the starter zones before and are now running around in circles trying to find the NPCs whose locations you once knew off by heart, my sympathies. Suffice it to say that it’s doubly interesting when the quest text lies to you as well.

Interestingly – and when I say ‘interestingly’ I mean ‘bloody frustratingly’ – the quest line The Wisdom of the Thrushes is utterly broken with regards to quest text. I raised a ticket because I couldn’t speak to Nos Grimsong when I was being told that I should. According to the GM one does indeed need to follow the automatic quest tracker (the little arrow on the mini-map) because that shows the right place to go. Once I’d visited the stable master in Frerin’s Court and Rothgar down in Nogland I was finally able to talk to ol’ Grimsong.

Notch one up for the customer service department, if nothing else.

This is curious because a) The automatic quest tracker might not necessarily be turned on for any given player, although I would hope that it is on by default for new players, and b) following that arrow across large distances can be a lesson in frustration, especially when you find yourself on the wrong side of a mountain range and have to run all the way back.

Curiously, the end stages of the quest line seemed to have the correct text, so it’s almost as though they’ve half updated the quest line and then got bored.

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