Posted in Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO: The wilds of Wildermore

132px-NonaI’m in a weird spot when it comes to Lord of the Rings Online these days.  My desire to alt it up has simmered down, leaving me to focus on my Captain’s journey through Wildermore.  I don’t know whether it’s the game’s long, long loading times or the zone itself, but I haven’t been too on fire for what I’ve seen.

Wildermore is a nice addition.  A solid addition.  A straight-B student who does the AV club and has a plain but funny date to the prom.  But it’s not blowing my skirt up, gentlemen.  I think that this is partially due to the fact that going into the zone I’m at the level cap and have little to gain other than a little LI and steed XP.  It’s something to *do*, all right, but every time I log in I’ll spend a half-hour going through the motions and then logging out feeling as though I ate a bag of rice cakes.  I remember chewing, but my stomach doesn’t feel full at all.

It feels lonely in the zone, for some reason.  Enedwaith and the Great River — the last couple “intermission” zones released between expansions — were hotbeds of player activity in the past.  Yet I hardly see or hear other players in my journey.

The storyline is neat, I suppose.  It’s got a big foe — this ice giant guy who’s causing it to be forever winter and never Christmas — and a mystery surrounding the whole thing.  Then there’s the intertwining elements of your personal story, where your fellowship is starting to come back together after being somewhat fractured at the end of the previous book.  I am starting to roll my eyes a lot at the will-they-or-won’t-they romance of Horn and Nona.  Either kiss or shut up, is my opinion.  Stop these moony eyes and flowery words and passive-aggressive moves.

It’s stranger because my mom insists that her grandkids all call her “Nona”, so I keep thinking of this character as an elderly grandmother.

To continue my somewhat negative tone here, I’m starting to get worried for Helm’s Deep.  Apart from the initial announcement, Turbine’s been pretty mum on the next expansion.  This is very strange considering that in the past two years, by July we’re hip-deep in pre-orders, previews, and beta testing.  My guess is that it’s taking longer than normal to develop and we’ll probably see it pushed to late winter or early 2014.

Anyway, I know that this is how it goes with LOTRO and me.  Sometimes I’m on fire for it, sometimes I’m cooling my heels on the whole thing.  I just hope that the class revamp, housing revamp, and expansion do a lot to reignite my passion.

3 thoughts on “LOTRO: The wilds of Wildermore

  1. In a way, I’m sort of hoping they push back the expansion. While I did love Riders of Rohan(from a questing point of view), the staggering of release for the various parts did not turn out as well as I think they were hoping it would do. The original announcement when they delayed RoR to Oct 15th was met with almost unanimous praise. Perhaps the memory of that will encourage them to take more time on what they put out(taking into account the limits that WB sets down of course).

    As far as Wildermore goes, a solid B is pretty much my thoughts on it too. It was good orverall, the landscaping and art design team did a *superb* job, as usual, but it didn’t feel quite as good to me as the Great River did when they released that.

    I don’t even know exactly why either. Something feels slightly.. off about it. Not massively, just a little.

  2. Played through the Epic on one character, then levelled another character from 81-85 doing the complete quest series in Wildermore. Not too enamored with the decision that to see the whole story you had to do both, and I felt the normal questline overshadowed the Epic, because the questlines were more involving and told more of the foe and his origin and eventual demise.

    There seemed to be missed opportunities too. When I read the dev diaries I thought Nurzum would be a warband that would turn up from time to time and go on a rampage. The fact that Wildermore is left unchanged after the destruction of Nurzum too really hammers home the static nature of the game. It would be difficult to handle but not outside the realms of possibility, for example set a date when a climax event would happen for all players, then change the zone for everyone who has worked through the questlines, players late to the party could play through a historical retelling and get to the new version of the zone when they complete the last quest. The way the story was set-up and all the NPCs that go on about how green Wildermore used to be, then to defeat the foe and not have anything change was a complete letdown.

  3. I think the reason you’re not seeing many players is because it wasn’t a solid addition. It offers no reason to see it again. The other areas you mentioned actually had good rewards to keep people coming back, plus one of them group content. Honestly, it would seem Wildermore has bombed (though yes I agree, it is very pretty.)

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