Yes, so, all of you who predicted that MMO gaming would become a tad more difficult after having a child can pat yourselves on the back and go back to snickering wildly at the newbie over here. It’s not been easy. Part of this is that my main MMO gaming time is from 9-midnight, which is now the “let my wife sleep and I’ll watch the kid” time as well. Does he magically know that this would be a good time to settle down and doze off? Oh, no. The second mom goes to bed, it’s spitting up, shrieking, diaper changes and an inability to be anywhere except in my arms.
This means that LOTRO’s Syp is often left without a cruise director and in the middle of dangerous waters. I’ll unintentionally be cruel by guiding her into the midst of an Orc camp on a special mission, only to be abruptly called away by a caterwalling child, leaving her standing paralyzed as the enemy pulverizes her and perhaps adds choice bits to the stew they’re preparing. This also makes grouping next-to-impossible — I badly need GA right now (for quests and a virtue deed), but I won’t be That Guy who keeps going AFK and leaving all in the lurch.
This means that I’ve had to downshift my progress in LOTRO to purely solo tasks. For the most part, it’s okay. I’ve booted myself out of Lone-Lands (finally) and forged into the heart of North Downs, the final zone I played in 2007 before leaving the game. Solo quests are my bread and butter, yet not that exciting, of course. My eyes are set on the Moria content — legendary weapons, please — and this slow plodding is excruciating. I’ve yet to hit the level 30 barrier either, which comes with a new pet (lynx), but hopefully within a week or two I’ll see that happen.
This all has given me more sympathy to family gamers who are often pressed for time and subject to many more interruptions than other gamers, a demographic which is growing in titles like LOTRO. I know it’s massively multiplayer and all, but I’d really kill for a solo dungeon that I could put a “bookmark” in to save my progress, coming back for little bits at a time until it’s done.
One nice thing is that a lot of my hard work toward virtues and class deeds are starting to pay off, to the point where I have a lot of options for builds. My main goal with Syp is to get at least 5 “pet” class traits (I’m 4/5 right now) so that by the time I’m 41ish, I can get a bog-walker (?) pet. I hear they’re ugly as sin, but terrific pets to have at your side.
I also have a laundry list of things to do if I ever found the time to do them, including:
- Leveling up fishing
- Adding a ton more songs to my music list
- Doing all of the quests to get my LM non-combat pets
So, nothing terribly exciting, but if I’m going to stick with LOTRO for a while, I’d like to at least get one character to max level for kinship grouping, as well as being able to move into the next expansion when it comes (later this year, perhaps?).
P.S. – Since writing this, I decided to shelve my LM for a bit and work on a captain… there’s just something that’s not clicking for me with the LM, even though I can’t put my finger on it. Captain Crunch (yes, I reserved that name waaaay back when) is level 11 and kicking all manner of Tolkein butt, along with her faithful servant Poppins.