LOTRO: Pub crawls and wayward Hobbitses

Rohan pub crawl

For Year Six of the LOTRO anniversary scavenger hunt, I elected to go with the Rhovanion tavern crawl. It seemed to be the most straight-forward of the three options (no, I am not going to hunt down animals across this entire continent to pet), and besides, I always loved the taverns in Rohan the most out of all of the regional inns.

I mean, look at that picture above! So much more detail and atmosphere in these later additions than you’d find back in the Shire or Bree (although those have charm). Maybe I just like the “log cabin” design and decor. Makes me think of summer camps and woodland lodges.

There’s also something amusing about racing my character around Middle-earth for the sole purpose of getting tanked on hearty ale. I don’t usually drink in-game, so I’d forgotten about the screen effects and — for a minute — thought the game was glitching out on me.

It was probably one of the fastest scavenger hunt cards I’ve done to date, thanks to most of the towns being close enough to offer direct horse rides. The only problem I had was in trying to find the taverns in specific towns, since there are no markers on the city maps to indicate where they are (and I don’t have that great of a memory for this region.

Puffy sheep

I’ll tell you what, between the anniversary gifts, the scavenger hunt rewards, the Bingo Boffin barter items, and the Wastes quest lines, I’m swimming in pets. I’ve gone from having one or two to trying to choose which four of a dozen or so in my collection will get a coveted space on my hotbar (I went with puffy sheep, Faroth the dog, Bill the pony, and Ithilien fox).

I kind of wish that LOTRO would add a “pull out random pet” button. I like that a lot when I see it in other MMOs. Saves space, gives me a surprise every time.

Where is Bingo Boffin?

After swimming lessons, treasure hunting, and lynx befriending, I thought I was ready for anything in Bingo Boffin’s storyline. Then the little fool of a Hobbit went and got himself kidnapped by Dwarves, and when I finally came to his rescue, I found that he had escaped and promptly fallen into a crack in the Misty Mountains themselves.

When you’re lacking GPS and a competent search-and-rescue squad, how do you rescue someone who was literally swallowed up by the earth? You start moseying your way toward Moria, that’s how.

I felt like this stretch of the quest line in Eregion largely felt like a pointless intermission. It’s really obvious that I’m going to have to head back into Moria and there’s nothing productive to be done in this zone. Yet the game wants me to romp around with secondary characters in this quest line to kill time. I really don’t like that feeling when a game is obviously treading water and making me do pointless busy work until the real narrative can continue.

Plus, as weird as it is to say, Bingo’s presence was growing on me, and not having him around feels like a TV show that just removed its lead character for several episodes.

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