Recent days in LOTRO have been spent splitting my time between adventuring with Lirwen, learning more about the complexities of the UI & game play system (including buying some clothes so I don’t look like every other noob of my level (1) and trying to find & finish all the wee adventures & quests along the way. In following Lirwen out to Bree I had neglected to complete some tasks in Combe or explore Staddle at all and this had to be rectified 🙂
In Combe, and sporting my nifty new look, I set to gathering ingredients to pass onto the healer so he could make a poison that would kill a terrible half-warg in Chetwood. From there a dog breeder who knew the ruffians breeding the evil beasts promised to get me into their camp so I could poison the vile creatures and thin out the numbers of Blackwold brigands with a few well placed blows of my axe. This was going to be fun!
But in LOTRO you’re never working on one quest at a time, oh no you have a whole swag bag full of the buggers and I fear without the Quest Tracker a mere human brain such as mine would overheat and fry with the holding of so many things. So as I gathered up the honey, berries and roots for the wolf/warg poison I also gathered in skins and hides for the town of Bree, picked flowers for a wee hobbit lass so she would help another hobbit find out why another hobbit was acting so strangely (bloody hobbits – the twee like buggers are always blithering on about all manner of dull rubbish, I blame all that pipe-weed they smoke), I tried (and failed) to find enough bronze so I could make swords for a worried Combeonian and travelled to Bree again to find a Lore master who could teach me how to fish(2).
So, as the moon rises on a my first full week in LOTRO it seems my life has split in two – exciting adventures and laughs with Lirwen followed by chipping away on my own at the bazillion enjoyable quests that await around every corner. Ranhold out 🙂
(1) The clothing thing is worth a mention here. As you go through the game you are given and can find, make or buy clothing that provides levels of armour protection and other stat benefits – as you scale the levels these items become more ornate and more powerful. But there is one downside – they all look the same. In SL terms its kind of like noobs visiting the same freebie store and emerging looking more or less the same. To combat this, and no doubt generate many more KERRRCHING! moments, the clever game designers have added a cosmetic clothing option – you can buy (and I think make but I’m not sure) clothing that visually replaces your hard won armour but retains its properties. That way I can look different from other players at roughly the same stage as me which not only gives me a sense of individuality but means I can tell who I am in a battle. I am a bear of little brains and easily confused. I spent a few quid and bought a rather fetching headband to replace the fugly helmet I had and then a lovely cloak to help me stand out from behind (you can see both in the pictures above).
(2) LOTRO has a hobbies system into the game and whilst there is only currently one hobby (fishing) it does show how the game designers are thinking of ways of adding humour and relaxation into the world – a sort of mini-game in the game. The fish you catch can be sold, eaten or even, with the help of a town’s taxidermist, stuffed for the wall of your house. Oh yeah, that’s another thing it turns out you can do, buy a house. They’re not cheap but they do look like fun and once you have one you not only have extra storage for all your gear, but you can decorate them with things you find, make or buy. Insert comedy micro-payment KERRRRCHING sound here 🙂