I started my LoTRO session in the Redhorn Lodes questing area, I’ve been there twice already on different quest chains. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric area, you can’t see far in the gloomy light. I almost stumbled on to this rare elite spider near the centre of the area, sadly there were no guildmates online to help me tackle it and no other players in sight, so I memorised its location and rode on by.
While exploring the instanced chambers and slaying insects with abandon I found their queen. I’d misread the quest text which mentioned her, so I duly fought a battle with the monster. Of course I didn’t actually have the quest to kill her, and lo and behold when I hand in the quests I was there for, I’m asked to go back and kill her! Very common problem in MMOs in general, it’s a shame I couldn’t take a trophy of her with me to prove I’ve already done it!
After that I considered running an instance, but the looking for group system doesn’t really work in LoTRO, at least not for lower level dungeons – everyone uses a globalLFF (looking for fellowship) chat channel. There wasn’t anything going on in my level range for the 30 mins or so that I was considering it so then I went to Bree to have a look at some skirmishes.
I haven’t done a skirmish in quite some time, my main characters soldier is a herbalist (healbot). But she only had two skills and not much else developed, the skirmish system has a pretty involved customisation system for these mercenary helpers.
I opted almost at random for “Thieves and Mischief”, a battle to free Bree from an invading force of bandits. It’s one of the few skirmishes I’ve done before, but I’d forgotten that fact. Anyway familiarity was perhaps a good thing as my poor soldier still needs a lot of work. You can first get a soldier at level 20 and I’d barely upgraded her since then!
In the end with some rather weak but frequent heals I did well against the waves of opponents. It probably helps that I can tank in Ardour stance and that I have my legendary weapons set for survival (+incoming healing, +parry, -power cost of abilities).
The end boss fell without difficulty and I now have plenty of skirmish marks to spend on upgrades, a good thing too as I last spent time working on my soldier when I first unlocked skirmishes some 20 levels ago!
My main has been sporting a rather hideous green chestplate for some time, silly given that there’s appearance armour slots and dyes in the game! So I finally decided to get it dyed to a decent colour, the preview window lets you experiment with all the available colours in the game and I went with umber as my choice. Thankfully my scholar can make it and even had some raw umber in the bank so a quick crafting session and sorted!
This highlights what I love about LoTRO’s crafting system. I love being able to make armour, class items, buff food and dyes for my set of characters. I have spent an hour or more just trading recipes dropped as loot between my alts. I’ve been playing my minstrel a bit recently and only just realised in this session that my woodworking hunter could probably make him a better lute! The account shared storage makes this whole process much easier though, if (like in WoW) I’d have to mail items back and forth it would take a lot of the enjoyment out of this activity.