LOTRO: not wanting to rush

I’ve been thinking about the pressure to level to cap over the last few days, I’m not the only one as Wilhelm has an excellent recent post on this topic. MMO developers have for years being pushing players to rush to the level cap so they can become part of the pool of players available to ‘enjoy’ the endgame. Of course its in their best interests to have a large percentage of active players at this stage so that they can enable others to enjoy the activities.

I’ll state here, if you weren’t aware, that I’m not an end-game focused player. The journey is very much more important to me than the destination. In WoW, my first MMO, I played for about five years by being an altoholic – by enjoying the various possible leveling paths on different classes. To date, when I’ve tried to rush to cap to play with others it’s generally left me feeling disconnected from the game and unhappy with the character.

I do make use of the common rested XP bonus in most games, I’m not that stubborn about this. But I’ll avoid XP bonus items and potions, and will even avoid bonus XP weekends if possible. I just dislike having to leave zones and their stories unfinished. Conversely (or perversely?) since I play multiple games I’m not about to spend hours doing quests that give no XP just to finish those stories. I’d rather do it as intended – with some challenge and the rewards that the developer intended.

Taking time for some decorative art...

Taking time for some decorative art…

So in both EQ2 and LOTRO I’m faced with the dilemma of zooming up the levels and not necessarily being happy about it – in both cases this will be my first character to the level cap. All characters in LOTRO are automatically receiving 100% bonus XP in the month prior to the launch of the Helm’s Deep expansion. So I find myself concentrating mostly on the epic ‘book’ quests and the odd extra as I race along. This is actually bad for my character’s development as well, since I’m not managing to complete enough deeds to boost my characters statistics. In the long run I could level a second character at a more relaxed pace to cover story gaps, but there’s always the danger of spoilers if I skip zones that will affect my enjoyment of the content I skipped.

In EQ2 I want to play current content with my guild, so there’s the external pressure to get to the cap regardless of story progression. But in LOTRO I’m in an old, almost defunct guild – LOTRO is my go to game for solo story-heavy immersive gaming.


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6 Responses to LOTRO: not wanting to rush

  1. tsuhelm says:

    Just like you, I find ‘LOTRO is my go to game for solo story-heavy immersive gaming’ but do enjoy when manage to hook up and party …unfortunately due to RW and the weird times I can play I am there all alone…

    I have a go slow, completetionist ‘main’ on Windfola with his small group of alts…

    But I realised that I would probably get to level cap in about 5 years so I started a Captain on Landroval – I have been playing to level as much as possible and as fast as possible which I found was easy while going over old territory but harder when finding new stuff…and like you I feel I need the deeds while progressing…so I go through slow patches.

    I am on target for level cap on my cap[sic] some time next year!

    • Telwyn says:

      If it weren’t that none of my friends really got into LOTRO it could probably be my main game. I actually think the classes are interesting and varied in gameplay. I’d love to level a buffbot, I mean captain, and I fancy giving healing on a minstrel a good go as well. But it takes long enough to level one character so for my sanity it’s best not to think about leveling a whole stable of alts to the cap too…

      • tsuhelm says:

        My slow Windfola: Tsuhelm hunter 44, Dyort: champion 41, Arwynneth: champion 33, Tordy Lore master 20 and Waywyn warden 22(ish…)…and yes it TAKES TOO long to LEVEL going slow but dont want to miss anything either and they craft for each other etc etc…all just more time sinkage!

    • Pasduil says:

      Regarding slayer deeds…. a lot people prefer to leave them until later anyway. A high-level character can kill mobs so much faster that it’s much less tedious doing it that way than doing it on-level. Some people also like to group up for deeds, which speeds things up even more.

      • Telwyn says:

        Yes indeed. I guess I feel the nagging feeling that my character is falling further behind even though it makes perfect sense to go back later…

  2. couillon says:

    Having made the epic journey to level cap on a handful of characters, my experience has been that the early LOTRO content (Shadows of Angmar and Mines of Moria) is the brightest and richest solo story content. That epic story really is epic and distinctive…as opposed to say Volume 3, where you may feel like you are Middle Earth’s merry maid clean up service. I parked one level 50 Minstrel in Angmar with the XP disabler pocket item just so I can always find that sunny side of the LOTRO story when I need that fix. By the way, Isengard bids 5! ;D

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