I’ve been picking away at the Anniversary quests in Lord of the Rings Online the last week or so and it’s reminded me just how enormous and complicated Middle Earth is. The quests named after individual heroes of the Fellowship are particularly far-ranging – the Boromir one for instance had me going to a few obscure locales that I may not even have ridden past before.
Taken at a leisurely pace it’s a rather fun way to explore little corners of this virtual world, but I do find it hard to remember what places are where. Doing these quests without some help from a wiki would be impossible.
Perhaps it’s in part the deep linguistic underpinnings of the setting, Tolkien invested a lot of time and effort in creating languages for his fantasy world so place names have common patterns and roots. This makes the setting more believable, but also makes it easy to confuse places – just how many places are there starting with ‘Echad‘ for instance?
I was left wondering if I could do a similar style of quest in other virtual worlds without needing any help? Certainly I could make a good try of it in Azeroth, I’ve played more hours of World of Warcraft than any other MMO. Sections of Norrath (EQ2 version) I do know well but then there’s the upper middle zones that I skipped over and haven’t yet played on any character (~50-85). Back when we were playing FFXIV, I could probably have done such a grand tour in Eorzea from memory because the main story quests basically had you doing repeated trips to all corners of the world as a matter of course.
How well do you know your favourite virtual world (or universe)?