Earlier in the week Update 23 went live in Lord of the Rings Online, titled Where Dragons Dwell. I’d seen on social media that the update was coming, but as yet my excitement is muted by the lack of progress I’ve managed to make into Mordor – that content is blocking my main Champion from moving onto the content I’ll probably enjoy that much more in later zones.
Having received a single random piece of gear with the new Light of Earendil stat that is required to make progress in the zone, I returned to the first Mordor zone to give it another try. Needless to say that single earring made no appreciable difference to how squishy and ineffective my Champ feels in this expansion’s content. So I returned him to Minas Tirith to carry on with the reputation grind through dailies. Not the most exciting of content but it’s getting him experience as well and at this point leveling high enough to equip the gear that you can trade for “Ash” in the first Mordor camp is my only idea of how to get past this gear block.
It’s a common enough problem in the MMORPG genre, content is designed for the regular and constant player – if you play sporadically or less frequently progression can be blocked or at least seriously slowed down by the lack of other players in a zone. When I’ve looked into gearing (LOTROPlayers has a good-seeming guide here), the usual refrain in the comments is “go find other players”. I’m sure that worked well enough soon after Mordor’s launch, but now there are several zones of newer content available it’s pretty quiet there. The sheer volume of content to get through to catchup with whatever is current is also a potential issue (e.g. FFXIV…).
For now I’ll keep levelling in earlier content, it is almost a standard approach in MMORPGs to outlevel content that’s too hard for you to complete otherwise. Being higher level won’t bypass the Light mechanic, but it will allow me to equip rep-bought gear that hopefully will make all the difference…