When 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:
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.