Life in LOTRO ~or~ “BRB 1 min guys, diaper change”

jweek8Yes, 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.

10 thoughts on “Life in LOTRO ~or~ “BRB 1 min guys, diaper change”

  1. mbp May 8, 2009 / 6:52 am

    Even though my kids are well beyond nappies I still find it very difficult to set aside several hours of uninterrupted time to do a major instance run or raid.

    Turbine seem to have recognised this problem with the Moria expansion because most of Moria’s instances are fairly short affairs typically taking less than an hour. There are even a number of solo instances. This is not much use to you of course as you are stuck back in SoA content which has a number of very long instances. Perhaps the book instances will provide you with some relief as they are generally fairly short.

    If its any consolation you don’t need to work hard on your virtues at level 30. Most people wait till the level cap before working on them and by then you will have more choice of how to get them. The thing to focus on now is you class traits – most of these are got through using skills.

  2. Whitebeard May 8, 2009 / 7:49 am

    Which is exactly why I am playing Warhammer Online right now. I WAS in WoW..but my hours are the same as yours. Not only do I have 2 small girls that are gameinteruptus prone, I work a demanding job during the day so I might pass out at the keyboard.

    From WoW I tried Lotro and the solo game is very fun…but like has been mentioned in many places…if your going to play a MMO solo…why not just play an RTS…

    War is giving me much much more for my time. I log on, que up..go do quests..run scenarios at the same time and have a fun time even if I am basically playing solo.

    I know how it goes though with a small kid…hang in there it gets better…some

  3. Scott May 8, 2009 / 7:49 am

    Just saw you parked your Lore-master but I was going to mention that you are not getting the bog lurker pet at 41! It’s a class legendary trait that requires you read “The Book of Nature.” You must have kindred reputation with the Moria Guards to get that book, so you’ll be 60 by that point.

    I’ve been grinding away to complete all the Master of Nature’s Fury stuff. I finally did it all yesterday but to my frustration it didn’t award me with the legendary trait I sought! Come to find out it’s linked to the completion of Vol II Book 6… /sigh

    I also have a captain alt who I’ve actually been putting some time into recently. It’s a great class, and groups love having captains, but I’m so accustomed to my Lore-master that everything else doesn’t hold my attention for as long a span. The downside to the Lore-master is the low dps, which is why I’ve been looking into that MoNF set; it sacrifices a lot of the crowd-control but cranks the dps up into champion territory.

  4. Syp May 8, 2009 / 8:35 am

    @ Scott — Ahh, too bad. Yeah, I think I might actually stick with the Captain then…

  5. Syp May 8, 2009 / 8:36 am

    @ Whitebeard – “If you’re going to play a MMO solo, why not just play a RTS”? Or a single-player RPG? There’s a few reasons for that… perhaps I’ll write an article on it.

  6. Melmoth May 8, 2009 / 9:19 am

    Welcome to Father Club.

    The first rule of Father Clu… AFK baby crying, sorry!

  7. Pete S May 8, 2009 / 9:35 am

    “If you’re going to play a MMO solo, why not just play a RTS”

    That old saw again?

    If you aren’t going to the bar with your friends, why not just sit at home in the dark and drink?

    When people say they play MMO’s solo, they generally mean “I don’t group with people.” They don’t mean “I don’t interact with other players.” because of course we do.

    Single player RPGs (RTS?? that must’ve been a typo) and MMOs (even when playing them solo) have very little in common and offer completely different experiences. One is not ‘better’ than the other, unless its according to your personal preference.

  8. Tesh May 8, 2009 / 11:36 am

    Welcome to the club, Syp! In just a couple of years, you, too, can have a toddler who’s afraid of going to bed (or even in his room) because the game he watched you play is giving him nightmares.

    Kids >>> Games… but sometimes I’d like to go back to my carefree teenage days. Still, life moves on. Best wishes for you and yours!

  9. arbitrary May 10, 2009 / 1:09 am

    Love my captain, so you better love yours ;p

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