On the heels of news that a new Middle Earth MMORPG is on the cards, and feeling the need to support other MMORPGs that I have invested a good chunk of time in; I found myself logging back into my trusty Champion in Lord of the Rings Online. I haven’t played much at all since I hit the veritable cliff-face of difficulty that is the newer Mordor zones.
My once proud crowd-destroying ‘yellow’-build champ (the area damage talent tree) can now kill single lower-health mobs 9 times out of 10, but he needs a rest afterward each. It’s quite a come down from his glory days in Gondor or Rohan. Naturally as a casual in the game his gear is average at best (quest drops only) and his traits are forever behind.
I read some ‘gearing up’ guides, none of which really addressed how this content would look to someone who hasn’t spent the months between the last pre-Mordor update and that expansion release farming flowers to trade for upgrades. For my character the entry into the first zone was a brutal wake-up call, hence why I took a break from the game after the expansion came out.
Despite this, and returning now nothing has changed difficulty-wise, I am still happy to be back in Middle Earth. I spent a session like a plate-wearing ninja, carefully jogging or riding between more dangerous mobs, winding my way across the landscape to progress any quest I could that didn’t require me to take on something with over twice my character’s morale. So he can defeat some of the humans, any vermin and some of the weakest orcs. That’s enough to do maybe a half-dozen quests. That might be enough to reach level 106, the level at which a character can start equipping some of the new gear it seems.
My happiest times in LOTRO have always been balanced play sessions between adventuring and gathering/crafting. So I unwound from the tensions of Mordor with a chunk of time spent in the tranquil slopes of North Ithilien gathering ore and wood. I hadn’t progressed his two gathering skills ahead of the Mordor release and while in that region the most stressful thing of all was his inability to gather all the ore nodes he passed by…