#LOTRO: There are many levels to climb…

It’s been a funny old week really. I put my plan for Ranhold into action, ran around Chetwood with Keltorn, skirmished with Rolcko and crafted with the others but even though many levels were progressed, it really hasn’t felt like I’ve moved on at all. Not that I’m complaining. It’s more like I’ve hit a smooth groove and everything is running well, which is nice 🙂

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 42
So there I was in Rivendell and Elrond was all like “Man, git you’re sorry butt up the Misty Mountains before I whoop it!” and I’m like “No way fella, I’m off to see my mates over in Evendim first!” and he’s like all “Whatever”.

Evendim. At long, long last I’ve got there. Like a shining beacon on the horizon the promise of the revamped Annuminas has beckoned only for me to be pulled away by questing in other areas or following the Epic Storyline. But now I am there and my Historian’s soul both sings with joy and weeps with sorrow at the vast treasures of the past that lay there slowly vanishing from memory. It is every bit as beautiful as the Trollshaws but in a very different way.
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The questing has been great fun there too – far more so than in the Trollshaws and this reflects one of the benefits of revamping a region. Single NPCs acts as quest hubs for several NPCs nearby and when all the quests they give you are done they give another tier. In this way you get quests that are related in tone, topic and, most importantly, geographical area at once and therefore don’t waste endless hours travelling between places like the three main areas in the Trollshaws. As a completeist I like to mine areas of their quests and the system in Evendim allows me to do that in a far more enjoyable fashion. I’ve been there for a week and I doubt I’ve done half the avaiable quests yet and I still haven’t actually reached the city itself – instead I’ve been having great fun battling giants and talking to an Ent (insert fanboy SQUEEEE! here)
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The next time I log on to Ran he will be entering a quest where he travels with Longbough to fight a nasty Wood-Troll called Heart Rot! *faints with geeky excitement*

Apart from that there’s been a fair bit of crafting going on but until I can find some materials for the next tier I’m stuck and unable to level that skill. I have heard they are to be found in the Misty Mountains so it looks like that will be my next destination after Evendim when I rejoin the Epic Storyline and go to see Gloin to help him with a wee Goblin problem he has…

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 24
Gorfrik has been crafting. That and slowly upping his Guild reputation. He’s been kept busy-ish making for Rolcko, Keltorn & Everwyn. He’s happy enough.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Poor Nimlarn, aside from making the odd spear for Keltorn he’s been ignored. I don’t really want to skirmish with him as Rolcko’s so much fun and I would rather take Ranhold through the Epic Story so Nimlarn is an Elf Without Portfolio right now. I did manage to up his woodworking skill to Expert and get him to Esteldin to join the guild (boy, what a fun ride that was all the way from Bree…) but as I have one (count it) log of Lebethron wood I can’t actually do anything with the next set of skills this unlocked. To be honest, I won’t be playing this guy for a while – I want to see how the Isengard changes pan out and then I might start running him in skirmishes for a bit, or through the Barrow Downs.

Hocko – Hobbit, Burglar, Tinkerer & Master Jeweller. Level 20

Nothing, nada & nowt. Not even an earring. At some point this will be a good character for taking through the Epic Story but until then he’s going to be a jeweller pure and simple – all he needs is the ores and gems from the other guys 🙂

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 30

What a guy! He’s made the last ten levels from 20 to 30 just in skirmishes! Gorfrik & Ranhold made him some snazzy new armour and weapons and he’s a delight to play. I can seriously see this guy reaching level cap way before Ranhold simply because the monster kill XP he’s getting in skirmishes, boosted by the RoI +25% item, are just powering him up the ladder. My only regret is not making him an explorer because that way he could be now going out to and collect ore and wood in places no-one (bar Ranhold who can’t collect either) else can. When there is ever another character slot sale I might well make a Rolcko V2 just for collecting.

Oh, he has a kick-ass crossbow now too 😉
Rolcko and his crossbow

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 14

Keltorn had a great week both with Everwyn and on his own. With Everwyn he dinged up two levels and cleared out a lot of the Combe/Chetwood quests and I’m really enjoying how well me & Eve get on in game – it bodes well for when we come to skirmish 🙂 On his own I took Keltorn out to collect Yew from the southern-most areas of Evendim and despite a few chases and near misses he collected enough to get both his forestery up and Nimlarn’s woodworking up a level. Why Evendim you may ask? Well both he and Everwyn had gone there earlier as part of the “Pirate Day” mini-quest that netted us these great eye-patches and noticed loads of materials going uncollected:)
Keltorn & Everwyn's Eye-patches

Keltorn & Everwyn's Eye-patches

Both Everture and I have been writing about Keltorn & Everwyn’s adventures and you can read our accounts here and here.

Elsewhere…

I think that about covers it really. The big thing hanging over all of us is the Rise of Isengard expansion that goes live today – I’m really looking forward to it, not in terms of its content as I won’t reach that for a while, but more because of the changes it will bring to the gameplay for all classes. I can see I will have a few nights where all I’ll be doing is re-learning my characters’ skills and re-organising their toolbars. Happy Days 🙂

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