LOTRO: Pack my underwear, slave!

One of the crown jewels of LotRO is its epic storyline — a giant string of quests that propel players on a great journey of their own through Middle-earth, often crossing paths with or influencing the Fellowship’s own journey.  The epic storyline is divided up into volumes (1 and 2 are complete, the third is currently underway), books and chapters, and feature memorable characters, unique instances and sparkly rewards.

People, myself included, love to gush about these quests because they have the affect of drawing us into the game on a deeper level than the rest of the fetch-FedEx-kill quests that populate this and other games.  In the epic storyline, the tale is king, and we can get caught up in a movie-like experience.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been focusing on finishing Volume 1 before entering Moria, a task that’s gone on longer than I’d anticipated.  For one thing, these books can be really long and/or tough to solo; although the devs claim that you can solo your way through Volume 1 right now, to do so at level presents many difficult challenges.  For another, I’m starting to experience what veteran players are well aware of — that Turbine, for whatever reason, really likes stretching out these books by making you do a heapload of traveling.

At times, it gets downright silly: talk to guy one, who tells you to talk to guy two on the opposite end of the zone/continent, and when you get there, guy two says a couple things and then sends you packing back to guy one.  When you’re spending more time traveling than talking or fighting or questing, something’s gone a bit off the rails.

I’ve also started to get a bit peeved at quests that are the result of NPCs being extremely lazy.  You see this a lot, where a NPC fully has the ability to do a medicre task, but hey, you’re there and willing to debase yourself for a few coppers.  A specific example of this is at the beginning of book 14, where grumpy Ranger dude — who made you go off by yourself to fetch him one of the rings of power in book 13 — decides to saddle up for a trip down south.  This is all well and peachy, except that he tells you that he can’t leave until you get him food, a horse and his chestplate, all from three wildly different parts of Middle-earth.  It’s kind of like living in Michigan and preparing to go on a  trip to Florida, but you ask your mom go to Maine, Utah and Puerto Rico to pack your suitcase.  So not only am I fetching his underwear from Mordor, but I’m doing it simply because he’s too much of a lazy butt to do it himself.

Really, this is not “epic”, at least, not in a positive way.  As always, I’d rather have shorter quests that are full of quality than padded-out ones that are blatant time sinks.

10 thoughts on “LOTRO: Pack my underwear, slave!

  1. Sanj July 15, 2010 / 12:21 pm

    I know what you mean. When I’ve completed Vol 1 book 15 I was so disgusted that I’ve quit the game for 6 months.

  2. darkeye July 15, 2010 / 1:18 pm

    Yeah what happens after those fetch quests is a real expletive inducing moment, but it gets better and that book finishes off with a great climactic instance. But then you’ve book 15 to look forward to for the worst example of back and forth travel. Enjoy! 🙂

  3. Brian 'Psychochild' Green July 15, 2010 / 1:43 pm

    One of my friends is experiencing the grandeur that is the epic quest now, and I’m hearing the same complaints.

    When I did it on my main, we had a Hunter from our kinship help us on some of them, and my GF plays a Captain who can summon. Not quite so arduous to travel around, but yeah, that story is pretty frickin’ lame right at that point.

  4. Padyndas July 15, 2010 / 2:14 pm

    I forget what book this is, I think book 13, but the one in Forochel, was very much of a go from one side of the map to the other several times on a 10 minute horse ride. This is what I did and later on found out that you only have to do 1 quest in order to open up swift travel from one side to the other. There is an NPC in Suri Kyla (sp?) that offers up a quest called something like Ice War, where you have to go and find 6 boundary markers (They are all near each other and not difficult to find) and voila, you have swift travel. I highly recommend, if you have not completed this book already, doing this one quest before doing the Forochel epic quests, in order to speed things up.

  5. Stabs July 15, 2010 / 3:10 pm

    I’ve gone back to Lotro for a welcome back week and I decided to start afresh.

    I’m reading every quest and taking my time. It feels very immersive and very enjoyable. The story really is excellent.

  6. Yeebo July 15, 2010 / 4:12 pm

    Heh, I remember the quest you are talking about. I wanted to slap that guy. Not one of Turbine’s finest moments.

  7. We Fly Spitfires July 16, 2010 / 3:44 am

    Hehe yeah it’s actually quite funny when you end up being someone’s serving boy 😛 Doesn’t feel very epic at all!

  8. Pingback: 14 | Kill Ten Rats
  9. Vatec July 18, 2010 / 10:29 pm

    It gets worse once you get to Moria.

    Sure, you get to be a hero at the start, but then you get sent off to kill bugs, find a couple of books, beat up some goblins, and fetch an assortment of building materials.

    All this is directed toward supporting the brilliant dwarven tacticians who have set up their “fort” in the middle of a vast hall with only three entrances (none of them guarded), with their command post outside the perimeter of the “fort.” Oh, and did I mention that the “fort” is actually just some scaffolding that the average goblin (or even orc) can just walk through? Maybe the dwarves are planning on filling the gaps in their defenses with corpses? (Their own, most likely….)

    Don’t get me wrong, Turbine has done a great job of constructing a Middle-Earth that “feels” right. But the quests are generally below average. And the industry average is pretty weak :^P

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