#LOTRO: Bump n Grind… especially grind… mainly bloody grind…

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.

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6 comments

  1. awwwwww I feel your pain and seriously know how you feel… swearing is the only way to deal with it 😉

    I might have a useful tip… they’ve seriously reduced the amount of skirmish marks you need to level up your soldier, so if you buy a skirmish refund scroll, you might find you’re sitting on a shed-load more marks than you thought… (this is clearly ignoring the fact that they should have given us a free skirmish mark reset – but hey ho)

    hope all else is ok 🙂

    1. Hi mate – oddly enough that’s how I got the last off the “big four” but I’d be a liar to say that was my plan.

      I still love the game, I just think the grind is… silly. I just moaned to my kin but they all think the game is too easy and “WoW-ified” now anyway, be-moaning the solofication and dreaming of the old days when you could only ever do anything in a raid group and after 16 attempts. I don’t think they have children.

  2. Oh, Oh! My poor blushing ears. Wait, wait…hang on… can ears blush?

    No, actually, I don’t think they can.

    I am such a fucking idiot. But at least I would never swear.

    Aegthil

  3. I was bitterly disappointed in the weapon I finally managed to get with those initial level 39 quests. Not being a raider, I worked my arse off to grind enough to buy the damned rare items in the AH and the skirmish vendors. And at the end got a weapon that was not as good as the one I was carrying at the time. I did get the legendary virtue, but what a load of shite.
    And then to discover that it had NOTHING to do with the legendary weapons we would build starting in Moria. The air turned blue.
    And after all that, my beloved and I got into Moria. After upgrading our original first legendary weapons we finally were able to complete the quests involving the infused gems. And discovered the quest rewards would only work on the weapons we no longer had!!! More swearing.
    A LOT more documentation and explanation would be very helpful.

  4. I don’t mind all of the grind, but when it appears so unnecessary then it grates a little (a lot). The Legendary Book pages are a great example of where they could have put quests in get copies of the books from various exciting locations rather than killing nigh on 1,000 random fucknuts to get pages from the pockets. Slayer deeds are another grind they could do without – put a quest in that gives the trait, not an area where you have to kill x hundred (and where you don’t even know if you want that trait until the second half of the deed is revealed.

    They seem to have got themselves locked on path or trapped in a mindset that says players must suffer through tedium to enjoy small rewards, when it would be much better to just make it all fun.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still love the game because of the world it allows me to inhabit, but I’m unhappy at my time being wasted. More and more I’m looking to guild wars 2 to provide me with a more evenly spread sense of fun & achievements over LOTRO’s peaks & troughs. I can’t see myself renewing my VIP subs in June if I’m honest.

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