This is one of my favorite games.
I feel obligated to post something, but I am still trying to get it to load.
My girl, who now has a high-speed connection, cannot get past the character-select screen, which has the in-game shop, which is filled with nothing she would want to buy...
Well, my first hurdle is the lag. Even when I have a decent connection this game can rubberband me all over, which is no fun in places with bottomlless pits like Moria... My girlfriend cannot play at all. The joys of the rural life.
Now that Turbine has updated the UI I feel even more out of touch. I am not even sure what some of my skills do anymore. I love being able to nodify my UI, but this just lets me rearrange some buttons, kind of...
Hopefully me and my girl will have a "high-speed date" (no, not that -- we'll get together some place that has high-speed internet, guttermind). And then we can play for a few hours. I can help earn reputation to get into Lothlorien at least...
I have a lifetime subscription. I will get back in sometime.
As Cronus pointed out, Siege of Mirkwood has gone live. I finally finished downloading the update this morning and played for a bit.
I played my twenty-fifth guardian long enough for him to make symbols for reputation for the jeweler's guild. Then I ran him around to kill some spiders and wolves to watch the "new" combat-animation. Well, not new animations, but a new pacing for the different attacks. Some attacks will initiate sooner, interrrupting the animation of a previous attack. And the effects of certain attacks occur more consistently. I didn't really notice a difference.
He did explore a Skirmish camp. Lots of barterers for skirmish items: some of it is cool gear; some of it is cosmetic gear, some of it is for soldiers that accompany the skirmisher. I did not find a anyone that handed out skirmishes though. My guardian's level probably wasn't high enough for anyskirmishes around Esteldin.
Before the real world intruded, I had time to sign onto my champion, briefly. Her legacies have been reset on her Legendary Items. I have yet to find a weapon I like, but she has two runes. Glory, her tank stance, and Ardour, her not-so-aggressive-as-Fervour stance, now share some legacies: fervour-pip generation and defensive bonuses. Both of those stances have been modified a bit. I like them both even more.
The stats on characters and weapons have been changed around. There are even more tabs in character windows, quest windows, deed windows, etc. Mounts are now skills and have their own tab in the skills window. It will take some time just to explore the changes to the UI. But there is now shared banking! There is a twenty-slot shared-bank that opens with a press of a button at any vault keeper. This is the coolest thing about the expansion, so far.
It only took a few hours to download.
First thing I did was log on to all my toons. Turbine adjusted the experience curve, so all my toons had leveled. I logged in, killed something, went to their trainer and logged off. My low-level toons went up several levels. My baby minstrel couldn't afford all the new skills he had learned with his jump to eighteenth from fifteenth.
Even my fifty-fourth-level champion went up to fifty-five. This concerns me, because I do NOT want to hit the level cap in an MMO again. At least not feel a rush to.
But if I do hit the level cap, I have all these legendary weapons with which to play and level! I am begining to be really frustrated by them. Each weapon has it's own set of legacies and attributes. Some have three legacies, some have only one. I have bartered for four-different, level-fifty-four greatswords of the third age. Each may have one nice legacy or stat, but then some useless ones, at least for my playstyle. And it's completely random on which has which. It's like a game in itself: Can I find the weapon I really want? And if I do, my toon can still outgrow it...
I am glad weapon investments aren't like that in the real world.
And boy did it take a long time for this "little patch" but it contained some interesting stuff.
First is the self-rez. If your toon is defeated, you don't have to return to the rally point, you have a choice to rez where you are. The cooldown timer on this gets longer as characters get higher in level. This will be nice on those forays into Evendim. How many times have I fought my way all the way into that cursed ruin only to be defeated by some random, wandering add? The rally point is back at the beginning.
There is much debate in MMOs about "death penalties" but my pet peeve is actually just about vocabulary. We're not supposed to die in LotRO. We lose too much MORAL and are DEFEATED and run back to the nearest rally point. Maybe it is just semantics, but I love this. This mirrors the books well, ie: Frodo waking up in Rivendel after the fight with the black riders.
But, designers and players use terms like damage and wounds and killed and rezzed. This game is slipping in to the popular MMO rut and not standing up for itself. Oh well, originality is not for everyone.
What do you do when the game, which consumes up every waking moment, is getting patched?
Yep, LotRO is getting some fixes. Some or the patches are on high-level quests, whose names I don't recognise. Some of the patches are to the new Reputation System, which I haven't fully figured out yet. One, which I will notice, is the return of symbols like dashes and such in Auction Hall searches, so I can look at the over-priced stacks of Dwarf-iron ore and such.
Leyek made her 38th level last night. That means she has over a million experience-points. When I logged her out the night before last she was short over twenty thousand. Last night, she made that, just gathering ore and hides, in under and hour. Now Leyek needs just over 1,124,000 experience points to make 39.
She needs to earn over 100,000 experience points! That's more than all my other characters have, TOTAL!
Everytime I level I am overwhelmed by the amount needed for the next level. The amount needed for the next level always seems exponentially greater than the last, and LotRO doesn't pull any punches. Ever mob slain reveals the experience earned, as with completed quests. I can look at my experience bar and see exactly how many points I have, need and how far along I am. It's definitely daunting to see an empty bar.
So, yesterday Turbine put in the first major patch to LotRO and it seems to have met with mostly favorable response. My little Hobbit Burglar was fairly unaffected, other than the impending new zone to play around in, but I know there is a outcry for the addition to the various "wounds" that monsters can hit you with adding status effects that completely hinder a players ability to block, parry or evade. The main class effected by this is the Guardians whose abilities are directly linked to those effects.
As a burglar I saw a few minor tweaks to a couple abilities and as a Tinkerer (mainly doing Jewelery)I saw some adjustments to the level at which some of my crafted items can be used. Overall I am liking the fixes for the UI and the new variety to the way weapons look.
As I increase from 19, almost 20, into the mid to late 20s I'll be exploring this new zone and doing some of the hundreds of new quests as well as I have plans to check out the new raid instance in the process.
A few nights before the patch the guild got together to hit the Great Barrows and finish off a few quests. It was this Hobbit's first visit to this dusky, dank tomb and I have to admit I enjoyed it immensely. We had a non-ideal group, lacking a guardian, but as a guild we tend to do well enough in these situations. Only a few deaths when things went awry but overall we did fairly well. got the two parts to the key I needed for one quest after having a technical issue with one minor boss and having to wait on a GM to reset the guy and I know there were a few decent drops.