LOTRO: when you want to take a different path…

I’m playing through the Mirkwood epic quest content in LOTRO. Somehow my champion was already level 63 by the time I got started on this, and at level 65 he should be getting started on the Isenguard content so I’m skipping a lot of the side-quests now.

The storyline has the usual high level of polish, although I have been feeling increasingly irritated by one major plotline. I always try to avoid spoilers on this blog so I’ll not go into too much detail but this relates to the plot of volume 9 of Book II (full-on spoilerific wiki description) and a very long story arc involving the orc leader, Mazog.

The non-spoiler summary of this is that it involves the player’s character and many elves and dwarves risking life and limb on a pretty suicidal quest, which ends at the gates of a major enemy fortress. The worst part is the expectation that the leaders of the enemy would follow some concept of honour and agree to an exchange of prisoners. Naturally we are betrayed by the enemy at this point. I could have told all the NPCs that this would happen ten chapters and a good number of hours beforehand.

A betrayal, no, I would *never* have guessed!

A betrayal, no, I would *never* have guessed!

I’m glad that plotline is over actually and I can get back to decimating hordes of enemies and being an all-out hero. Babysitting a hostage, whom I would have gladly killed from the offset, on such a fool’s errand was getting tiresome!

There were a few moments in this storyline where choices were discussed with the NPCs. Certainly it would be unlikely for Turbine to give you the option of invalidating all this content by refusing to do the escort as planned. But some occasional choice, like the discussion over possible routes to take, would really help to make the story feel more personal to this character.

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