I’ve almost lost count of all of the times that Lord of the Rings Online has made me clean up vomit. I suspect that one of the devs has a very disturbing fetish going on, because by now I’m like, oh, it’s another vomit quest. Cleanup on aisle Gondor! Send in the fully armored Captain with her trusty mop!
Compared to the next house, which was packed full of rotting meat and unhappy corpses, this was a cakewalk. All of this was courtesy of a band of corsairs who decided that taking over a town within a stone’s throw of a major Gondor city was a good idea.
This quest line is actually a little strange. I mean, clearing out a town of bad guys, we’ve done that before and it’s pretty mindless while still making you feel somewhat heroic. But this town does things a little different, because after you sweep three houses, you’re urged to go confront the leader of the corsairs at the local tavern.
Instead of allowing you to slaughter everyone inside — and I’m a Captain, I could have done that easily — the quest enters me into negotiations with the corsairs to pack up and leave. Of course, first I have to win a drinking contest because drinking is Middle-earth’s shortcut to diplomacy.
The leader of this band of corsairs, Jajax, agrees to vacate the town as long as I give him and his men safe passage. At this point I’m yelling at my computer screen, because there is no way that I should be letting this guy go. While LOTRO is trying to portray him as an honorable man, I can’t help but remember how I was just stepping over corpses of the townspeople a few minutes ago — nevermind the kidnapped and displaced refugees who demand justice. But okay, I’ll let him go.
It gets even more bizarre when Jajax later asks me to help him avenge his fallen men, who were slaughtered by the other corsairs for not being corsairy enough. When the game asks me to (seriously) /mourn the dead on Jajax’s behalf, I’m doing the same facepalm in real life but for an entirely different reason.
While this quest chain is certainly memorable, it’s such a writing misstep that I really want to find the dev at Turbine who made this up. You can’t have a killer of innocents become a pseudo good guy in the space of two quests. And you certainly can’t expect me to care about him.
Apart from that, I’ve really been rocking with the new Gondor content. I created a new build for my Captain that’s mostly yellow with some red thrown in, and it’s proving to be much more durable and enjoyable to use. There’s one rapid heal-over-time skill that I’ve never used before that’s tickling me pink.
I also spurged on a level 95 second ager greatsword from the auction hall to tide me over for the time being. With that and my new Gondor armor set, I finally look like a death-dealing metal crusader the way I always envisioned my Cappy of being. I also have one of the new slottable shoulderpieces that I’ve finally fully decked out with essences.
There was a weird bug going on during Hobnanigans that kept delivering the quest to everyone when we instanced or logged in and out of the game. It became a running joke in our kin, because we all ended up with scores of these Hobnanigan maps in our inventory. I had little luck trying to sell a map for 20 gold, but I made a good effort at my presentation.
One thing I’ve observed is that there seems to be a lot more desire for people to group up, especially within my kin, following Update 14. Between the new group landscape area and some of the instances that are rewarding essences and other goodies, there’s good motivation to doing stuff together. I’m kind of eager to get to 100 (I’m currently 98) so I can join in.