LOTRO: Dusting off my Warden

wardenI’ll admit it: I’ve had a few moments of pause in the past day or so where I’m wondering just how foolish I’m being in abandoning my Captain in LOTRO to (more or less) start over with a Warden.  With RIFT, it’s no big deal: I just need to zip through 50 levels to get back to where I was, and that will take a couple weeks.  With LOTRO, I’m probably looking at months.  I was trying to stay on top of the game’s new (usually endgame) content as it rolled out, so if I’m going to do this, I have to pour all my LOTRO time into this one character and storm through the core game and four expansions before Turbine decides to come out with a new one.  Since that could be this fall, I have little time to dilly-dally and can’t really straddle two characters at the same time.

So I’m using those paused moments to reconsider.  Is the attraction of a new class and playstyle really worth the effort and time it’s going to take?  Can I do it?  Will I find myself drifting back to my Captain in mid-summer, frustrated with myself for losing all that time I could have just spent in Riders of Rohan?

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Resolutions are great to make, but I have no illusions that I’m going to finish out all 10.

So let’s look at where I’m at.  My Hobbit Warden was actually in a great spot when I put her into mothballs a year or so ago.  She hit level 20 without dying, cleared out all of the virtues in the first three zones, has good gear, has eight great outfits assembled, and is the proud owner of a +68% speed horse (Steed of Night).

Not only is that a good head start into this project, but I have three other aces up my sleeve.  The first is that +25% XP for monster kills pocket item that will help with XP gain, especially while grinding out virtues.  The second is Turbine’s changes to Moria and remote looting, both of which will save time.  The third is my personal experience in the game, which will help me stick to what I need to do and cut out the fat.

If I stick with the Warden, the plan is to exclusively focus on virtues (and legendary trait pages) up to the start of Moria.    I’m not worried about XP or leveling speed — heck, I got three levels from working on a single slayer trait the other night — and I won’t be slowed by the normal questing or Volume 1 of the epic storyline.  That’s right: I’m going to totally ignore volume 1.  In my opinion, it’s just not needed at all these days.  You can and should do it if it’s your first time through the game, but there’s no great benefit you’re going to get from it that you can’t get elsewhere.  It’s almost easier to jump onto the epic storyline with volume 2 (netting legendary items) and proceed from there.

From Moria on, it’ll be the epic storyline plus virtues until I get back to Riders of Rohan.  For variety’s sake, I’ll queue up for group skirmishes and the occasional dungeon run just to see what pops (I’ve already run one skirmish duo last night, which was a lot more enjoyable than doing them solo).

Even with the path streamlined, this feels like a tall order.  It might even be completely foolish, considering that I juggle several MMOs and children (not literally, but… you understand).  Then again, it’s a new year and what better time for a new experience?  It’s been a while since I’ve leveled up through the core game, and I have to admit that the Warden looks and plays like an awesome mini-Spartan of yore.  Plus, I’ve just wanted a Hobbit main after being shoehorned into playing a Man with the Captain and Lore-master.

So we’ll see how it goes.  I’m going to give myself a week to decide whether or not I’m sticking with this.  If not, I’ll shut up about this little experiment and go back to my Captain, and that’ll be fine too.


7 thoughts on “LOTRO: Dusting off my Warden

  1. michael January 2, 2013 / 4:27 pm

    Sounds like an interesting project, hope you’ll go for it. I enjoyed your reports of your leveling project in Rift before Storm Legion came out (in the massively podcast).

  2. couillon January 2, 2013 / 4:40 pm

    Muscle memory is your friend with a warden. Your plans looks good on paper, I hope it works out. My experience has been that wardens are a difficult ALT class to master. The Isenguard expansion introduced some major changes to the class but that shouldn’t be an issue for you at level 20. Wardens are very forgiving early on, the complexity is at endgame tanking, regular pve should be fun and no stress. Good Luck!

  3. Kazren January 2, 2013 / 6:38 pm

    Why abadon the Captain? I have had a great time with mine. I’m an altaholic and have at least one character in each class. I must admit, the mini is my current favorite, but then again, I love my champ and captain. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

  4. thekhazadguard January 3, 2013 / 5:11 am

    Your legendary pages also drop *In* Moria too now, don’t forget that, no need to delay going in if you haven’t got them, as you certainly will in there, and it is all 8 that drop in there too, not just four from Misties/Forochel and Four from Angmar/Eregion as it is ouside!

    Good Luck!

  5. Scott January 3, 2013 / 9:21 am

    Every alt I’ve ever made in LOTRO is lower than level 10. I respect that Turbine has not made leveling in LOTRO a quick joke like some other MMOs, and that leveling 1-60 is almost as labor intensive now as it was originally, but a downside to that is finding time for alts. I love my hobbit minstrel but he will probably spend the rest of his days in the Shire since I can’t bring myself to do the slayer deeds, intense travel time, and epic story all over again.

  6. Syp January 3, 2013 / 9:26 am

    Did not know that about the legendary pages, thanks!

  7. johndietl January 4, 2013 / 5:57 pm

    Wardens are really fun, but I’m not sure it is the best choice for a guy who bounces between so many games and characters. When you reach the end-game levels, and you want to run group content, you will be asked to tank, which requires not only great character skill–warden is probably the most difficult class to play well–but also rote understanding of the strategies and layouts for the instance. Additionally, you will need some pretty good gear to even start tanking. Some groups will be patient with newer tanks, but some will not.

    On the other hand, the captain is also sought for almost every instance, and the captain’s role isn’t very difficult at a rudimentary level.

    Didn’t you mention a champion on “Too Long; Didn’t Listen”? That’s a fun class to level, and its role in end-game instances is also pretty simple.

    But if you are mainly planning on sticking to solo stuff, the warden should be a blast.

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