At The Threshold Of Moria

Finally.

That’s all I can think.  Finally.

With Volume 1 in LOTRO under my belt and several virtue grinds on hold, the path was clear to head into the next phase of the game: The Mines of Moria.  It’s interesting how a lot of people get that itch just to move on around the 50’s, and I’m glad I persevered.  I went through a bit of frustration with my Captain the other day — I think everyone does now and then when they’ve been playing a class for a long time — but I got over it with the help of an uplifting Casual Stroll to Mordor podcast and a few changes to how I was doing things.

For one, I’ve decided to take up a shield and weapon instead of a two-hander.  It not only ups my survivability, but I just like how it looks in combat better than the slow two-handed swings, and sometimes aesthetics matter more than cold, hard stats.  Right now I have a pretty spiffy axe with +2 damage against orc-kind, which is pretty much 90% of Moria from what I can tell.

Anyway — Moria!  I know not everyone’s big on this place, but I love caves and dungeons, and so far am just vibing with it all.  The looks are immediately impressive, and it certainly is a huge tonal shift from Eregion, Forochel and Angmar.  Dwarves are everywhere, you always have the sense that thousands of tons of rock is over your head, and it’s going to be a long time until  you see sunlight again.

And although I love the epic storyline, it’s relaxing to get back into the questing groove, particularly now that it awards item XP.

I had an epic little moment yesterday, too.  I was trying to cross a large cavern and feeling it out for the first time, when I saw a hunter below me come under attack by multiple mobs.  Hunters in LOTRO are a lot like hunters in WoW in that they’re numerous beyond belief and overly cocky with their damage to the point of suicide.  Anyway, this guy was going down fast, so I jumped off a ledge and used my threatening shout while in the air to pull off one signature mob onto me.  I landed, threw a heal on him, and tanked until he could get on his feet again.  I was wondering how it looked from his perspective, but from mine I felt like a superhero or something.

So I expect I’ll be in Moria for a while to come, and there’s still Lothlorian, Mirkwood and the upcoming Enedwaith to plow through just to catch up with the level capped crowd.  It’s all good, though.  I’m still having a blast!

10 thoughts on “At The Threshold Of Moria

  1. Ethic July 23, 2010 / 10:27 am

    I love Moria. I may never leave.

  2. darkeye July 23, 2010 / 11:20 am

    I decided to do the same on my warden, he’s my highest level, and probably the only one I’ll work through the complete epic books on. Haven’t quested in Moria yet, except stepping foot inside the entrance and goggling at that staircase, it’s just such an inviting picture for exploration. I lie, I did use the moria keg to get a few more snapshots of the place, which only serves to be even more tempting. But yeah looking forward to it when I get back to Lotro after it goes free to play.

  3. Azz July 23, 2010 / 11:47 am

    I love Moria, you are in for a real treat going in for the first time. They did an excellent job with it. The mood is spot on. When it comes time to leave you will realize exactly how much you missed the sunlight, and you also get the same feeling while in Mirkwood.

  4. Rindan July 23, 2010 / 12:13 pm

    Yeah getting to Moria is one of the highlights of the game. Some zones in there are better than others. (I still get lost in the dark of the Silvertime Lodes)

  5. Padyndas July 23, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    Moria is indeed very well done. The mood there is perfect. I love it and hate it at the same time. Also, there are areas there (Foundations of Stone, anyone?)that are still in my opinion the hardest areas of the game even though Mirkwood has creatures at a higher level. Parts of Moria are really, really creepy and other parts are actually quite unexpectedly beautiful. It truly is an amazing place.

  6. Chris July 23, 2010 / 4:35 pm

    Hey Syp,

    Congrats on beating SoA! I know you went for quite a while just doing the book quests. How many levels were you able to pull doing that? I’m thinking just trying to finish Volume One from 43-50. I’m on book six or seven, so there should be a lot of quests if they keep up in consistency. Whatcha think now that you’re a vet? 🙂

    Chris

  7. Brian 'Psychochild' Green July 23, 2010 / 9:02 pm

    I think the “problem” with Moria was that most people were stuck in there for so long. Until Lothlorien came out, you pretty much lived and breathed in Moria. And, really, it wasn’t until Mirkwood came out that people started leaving 21st Hall as their main base. Even now, 21st is probably a bit busier most evenings than Ost Galadh in Emyn Lum at this point.

    It’s also quite a bit different than the other areas of the game up until that point. The 3D nature of some areas threw my GF and myself as we tried to head toward the quest completion area, only to realize we were several feet above or below where we needed to be. Especially in some places, it can be quite the trek to get to the proper level without lots of flaming death.

    That said, it is still awesome, and Turbine captured the feel of the area almost perfectly. Just there are some reasons for people to be less than thrilled with the area.

  8. Syp July 24, 2010 / 9:50 am

    @ Chris – Thanks! I started in on the book quests in all seriousness around level 48 and got to 53.5 before all was said and done.

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