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!