Warning: this post has spoilers for the Isenguard epic quests, please skip it if you haven’t ever played through the level 65-75 content!
I’ve recently been playing through a rather intriguing storyline in the Isenguard expansion of LOTRO. It’s the antithesis of the usual “you are the hero” story trap that MMOs fall regularly into. In this case the player’s character is overwhelmed and imprisoned in the fortress of Isenguard at the dubious mercy of Saruman and his orcish lieutenants.
The quests revolve initially around being given menial and denigrating jobs to do by various orcs, all the time having an orc guard as a ‘companion’ who will order you about or castigate you for not working hard enough.
The feel of the series is so very fresh compared to the usual NPC given quests, and there’s some clever plays on the usual stereotypical quests as well. It shows of excellently the talented ways in which the Turbine devs wove the games major storylines around the plot from the books without becoming too closely wedded to the fellowships exact movements.
This content is really worth playing through again if you’ve not done it recently, or for at least one full run through if you ignored my warning and have read on despite having never played it. I just finished the quest chain at the end of my session and it really capped the session nicely to escape captivity and find myself back with the rangers to share the secrets of the tower with them.