I have finally managed to gain the Undying title in LOTRO. I’ll come to why this is important later, but for those of you not familiar with the whole Undying thing let me quickly explain that it means I have managed to get a character to level 20 without them, oddly enough, dying. For good old Blood & Guts Burro who likes to charge in swinging his swords like twin wings of death and worry about the size & skill of his target later, this is no mean feat.
Ranhold died in my first week or two when a spider killed him where Chetwood meets the Midgewater Marshes (the marsh spiders are, for a low-level beginner and MMO noob such as myself at the time, a considerable step up from the few to be found in Chetwood itself). He also rode his horse off a cliff in a freaky auto-run/chatting with the Kin incident but the less said about that the better. Since then he’s been killed by almost every creature he’s come across at some point but he doesn’t hold grudges. Well, except for the bastard Brishzel whom he hates with all his heart. Anyway, the important thing is that there was no chance this guy was ever going to get any of the non-defeated titles, let alone Undying
Gorfrik was buggered from the moment I logged on and started him in Erid Luin. Apparantly Dwarves aren’t as tough as I imagined and can’t survive a deliberate jump down a cliff. A pity really as I don’t think Gorfrik has died all that much and may have stood a chance of getting to 10 or 14 without dying. Maybe.
Nimlarn died after walking off a waterfall in an event I prefer not to dwell on. Still, not long after that he was jumped and killed by two fekking wights so he would never have made Undying either, but it began to seem that all my characters would be doomed to die the death of a lemming.
Until, that is, I gots me some Hobbitses! First Hocko as a sneaky wee burglar and then his uncle Rolcko the tough as nails guardian. Both sailed through their early levels and teens and headed out to Far Chetwood earlier than I’d sent either of my two tough guys, Ranhold & Gorfrik! True poor Hocko was seconds away from being mauled to death by a Wolverine when I foolishly wandered off and forgot I’d hit the log-in button on him (I just made it back in time to a) run, b) take a potion and c) cut the little furry sod in two!) but he survived. Hocko finally dinged up in the eastern Breeland hills with no more close-shaves and his uncle, suffering no such forgetful log-in accidents, managed it with ease and no small amount of style in the Horsefields. Say what you like about hobbits (and everyone does) but they are tough little buggers.
Why is the Undying title important? Well it isn’t – it’s just a title in a game & doesn’t prove anything. Am I a better player than someone without it? Obviously not so it’s clearly not important. Except… well you see it *is* important. Why, o Burro? Have you gone mad with your double-speak? Shhh little ones and let me explain. When I told my kin I’d managed to get my first undying some congratulated me, others said “Well that doesn’t matter, does it.” and such like. But in my *cough* humble *cough* opinion the nay-sayers are missing the central fact that LOTRO is a game based around rewards. Like toddlers faced with a good behaviour sticker chart (I know whereof I speak in this regard) we players are all just clicking buttons for the endorphin-releasing reward of a pointless, worthless sticker, or in this case a title or level number or new skill, etc. Getting the Undying title is important *precisely* because LOTRO is a game! Gettign the Undying title is FUN! And if a game is not fun, well it’s a pretty crappy game isn’t it. So the nay-sayers can nay-say the Undying title all they like because what they really mean to say is “Well that doesn’t matter to me because I enjoy the game in other ways.” leaving me to reply “That is fine, but it is important to me because I’ve got a sticker from the dentist telling me I’ve been a brave boy in my check up and it’s got a smiling toothbrush and a dog on it so big smelly parps to you!” I encourage you all it use this argument the next time so miserable bar steward urinates on your parade.