LOTRO: The aftermath of Isengard

entWhen last I left my adventures in LOTRO, we were returning to Isengard to see what became of the place after Saruman lost big-time.  The Grey Company finally found Aragorn and had an explosion of hugs as a result.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been logging into LOTRO much lately is because Isengard isn’t my favorite place in the game.  While technically spot-on to the books and all that, it is visually wearing on me and slightly annoying to navigate.  Well, it’s only gotten uglier and less accessible in my absence, as the Ents have flooded the place and killed pretty much everyone there.

Don’t get me wrong: It’s cool that the progressing story is shown in such a dramatic change to an iconic landmark.  I think I’m just a little tired of the whole Isengard storyline.  I did find one spot pretty impressive, as you swim over a huge gap in the earth and can look down into the former underground works:

floodToo bad we can’t swim down!

There are a lot of “mopping up” quests, the most annoying of which are the ones that send me to the non-flooded underground portions to fight the remaining mobs.   They’re all signature mobs and the first mobs that I’ve fought post-Update 13’s “mob toughening” programme.  Let me tell you, I was in for a shock — I got creamed when I went in there, swinging away with my usual rotation.  A Captain dying?  Seriously?  Such a thing has not happened since the First Age!  I had to switch to my healing spec and put in some effort for these fights, which I guess isn’t a bad thing, but it makes me worry about what the squishier classes have to deal with.

While Turbine’s devs were going on and on about how “Ent play” was going to be just the cat’s meow of this update, I had a feeling — later confirmed — that it isn’t anything truly special.  For one thing, haven’t we already stepped into the shoes of an Ent before in one of the Fangorn storylines?  I’m pretty sure we have.  For another thing, walking slow with a character that obstructs a good portion of the screen and only has three skills is not the fast lane to excitement.  Maybe those really into the lore can grab some giddy thrills here, but it’s just another day in Middle-earth to me.

However, I did get a few laughs out of the initial Ent quest, especially how the game portrayed the enormous length of the Ent moot by speeding up the Hobbits and the passage of day while you talked and moved in normal time.

I was hoping that Update 13 would have really reinvigorated my interest in LOTRO, but as it is, I feel like my attention tanks are a little on the empty side.  That’s OK, it happens and I’ll certainly keep plugging away at this storyline, but I don’t feel pressed to log in on a daily basis right now.

6 thoughts on “LOTRO: The aftermath of Isengard

  1. Jake W. (@Ethelros) April 28, 2014 / 9:09 am

    This is the first time we’ve had a session play as an Ent, for definite.

  2. othnieltcs April 28, 2014 / 9:29 am

    The waning attention point touches on a major disappointment in this game, at least for me. Perhaps you disagree, but I would find it less than fascinating just because I’ve been through this story in book and movie format. Although I am clearly in the minority among Middle-Earth fans on this subject, I LOVED the ideas behind Shadows of Angmar and the Mirkwood area. The fact that you could encounter other fronts in the War of the Ring and explore other places in Middle-Earth besides the same old stuff in Tolkien’s classics was the game’s biggest draw for me. This decision to essentially make players a 10th fellowship member has me doubting whether I will ever even want to level a character past Mirkwood.

  3. tsuhelm April 28, 2014 / 9:56 am

    u13 new content was not a factor as I am no where near that content yet…but the changes have increased the difficulty somewhat and I am enjoying that…more casual LOTRO players where given a huge slap in the face… and there is a lot of chatter about that.

    Difficulty needed increasing but unsure if TURBINE are doing it the best way…

    Re Ent play and pets huorns …buzz beforehand has quickly blown away and most I have talked too are quite underwhelmed. (in fact from kinship chat yesterday the pet can quickly get irritating!)

    Now if they were to sort out pet for all and get that housing remodelled I think a lot of players would be happier…or I will be anyway!

  4. Syp April 28, 2014 / 10:00 am

    Maybe I’m thinking that we took on the role of a Huorn in Fangorn then? I definitely recall walking around as a slow tree-thing in a camp and beating the crud out of Orcs. I thought that was as an Ent, tho.

  5. darkeye April 28, 2014 / 6:40 pm

    I think the ent-play you are thinking of was one of the final quests for Wildermore storyline, in the snowy forest to the north-west of the zone, that’s the one I can remember anyways.

  6. Triski May 6, 2014 / 11:47 am

    There was a quest chain in Fangorn that had you find out about a bird that an Ent was concerned about. When you do find the bird and bring back word to the Ent, it goes off on a revenge-fest of orc-smashing. Maybe that is the one you were thinking of?

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