I’ve had enough. I’ve hit my limit. If I have to collect one more bubbling droplet or hooked warg’s claw I may have to punch my computer so hard I will be in danger of knocking out the internet’s teeth and possibly popping its bollocks.
Bubbling drops? Hooked claws? What the blithering fuckpig are you on about, I hear you ask (albeit without the swearing I suspect*). Well let me tell you, it’s all about becoming a Legend you see…
In LOTRO there comes a time in every character’s development when you get access to skills and weapons that are described as legendary. This starts at level 39 and generally ends somewhere between 45 and 50 and involves looking for missing pages from three books, gathering three lots of obscure items from very dangerous locations and, for the weapon, completing a quest chain near the famous Moria entrance.
Although the quest for the weapon is quite fun (even if some of its component quests aren’t) I can categorically state, after taking two characters through, that the hunt for the pages and obscure items are an absolute soul-crushingly, ball-achingly, dumb, dull, nightmarish grind of minus fun.
The hunt for the pages saw me spending night after night after fucking night in either Forocel or Erigion killing bad guy after bad guy after fucking bad guy just to find the ones carrying the pages I need to complete the books and gather the skills. The skills are lovely, let’s not imagine I’m complaining about the skills, but the method of getting them is a shitting nightmare. Instead of playing the game I have shelled out well over two hundred quid for, I am reduced to a fucking lab rat with an electrode rammed into my brain that jolts me with a pleasure pulse every time I hit a more or less correct sequence of a dozen or so keys.
Where is the skill in that? Where is the game? The pleasure? I get so little time in the game (grumble kids grumble work grumble) that to have that it effectively stolen by the game itself is, frankly, shit.
And then you shift from the boring & brain dead to the nigh on bloody well impossible. After the books and the pages you are given the task of collecting three groups of items that somehow show what a wonderful example of whatever class you are. Typically these are all gathered in the arse-end of Angmar which is the most dangerous place I’ve so far found**. This then becomes yet another kill a bajillion things to get a few occasionally dropped items, only this time you also have to travel halfway across the world four times to turn them all in and claim the final prize. Add to that the fact that these things are hard to get to (you need to complete one of the epic quests in order to cross the watcher statues that divide Angmar) and the last group really need you to run the massive Carn Dum raid to get them which is not something I can do*** and I can feel my arse tightening with dread. There *is* the option to buy all these items from the skirmish traders but they cost a feking metric ton of marks which are not the easiest things to come by as you have to run hours and hours and fucking hours of skirmishes to get enough even for one of these items. More grindy mcgrinding. Jesus.
So after taking two guys through this I can honestly say I really never want to do it again even though I would really like to level up more guys (I’m thinking of Arranborn my Rune-Keeper) but there is no fucking way I’m doing it again.
And that’s a shame, especially as it so bloody unnecessary. Look at how the game handles the way you get your first legendary item – it pulls you into a story that rewards you with the item. Look at how it handles the class skill deeds – after a number of successful uses of as skill, you get an improved version. Now how much better do those sound over hours and hours of mindless grinding? Let me answer that for you – fucking loads better and I’ll nut anyone who says different. You have been warned.
So as much as I love LOTRO, I’ve hit a plateau and from where I’m sitting it’s either a long, hard slog through more of the same grindy grindy mcgrindy grind.
That or the temptations of the lush, green valleys of Guild Wars 2 where the streets are paved with gold and the developers promise I’ll never have to grind again.
I hope they aren’t telling me a big,fat fib…
* After several years of fighting my nature and trying my hardest to keep swearing out of this blog I’ve given up. There’s only about 20 people who read it anyway and if you lot don’t know I swear like a bastard by now then it’s about time we had some honesty between us.
** Mainly because it was the original end game area and was meant to be bloody hard.
*** It’s too long for me to do it – I’m not a 20 year old student who can game for hours on end.