Before we get started with Syp’s Amazing Adventures of Catching Up, let’s talk about perhaps my greatest trivial pet peeve of the game, which is what I privately call the “Turbine Stance.”
You can see it in this accursed Elf’s stance above. It’s this absolutely bizarre way that the game makes many characters stand: Butt out, knees bent, arms flexing out, hunged a little forward. They all look like they got to poop, if you examine them at the right angle, and I cannot for the life of me understand why their center of gravity is not thrown off so that they just topple over. I really wish that they’d go back and give a lot of these characters different stances, because it’s always noticeable and weird.
Anyway, let’s get going!
Ooh! Giant spider about to eat annoying Elf, this is a very good start to this week’s adventures. It’s not Shelob, but one of her larger children who is going through a growth spurt.
I wrapped up Lhingris recently, and so far this zone is my favorite of all of Mordor. It’s well-paced, has a more varied landscape, and the quests and themes are pretty interesting. Seeing the loose alliance of spider and orc unravel put me in the rare situation of observing enemies turning on each other. It’s a slow burn to the final climax where spiders take over a sole orc fortress, resulting in a last-ditch effort to kick them out because… reasons.
AHH! SUNLIGHT! IT BURNSSSS
After Lhingris, I dinged 115 (finally) and took a break to run an alliance quest for the Dwarves. The new king under the mountain wanted me to establish contact with some of the other Dwarf bigshots around Middle-earth, so another tour was called for and off I went. It even took me back to Angmar, which continues to be a problem for this character because I never did the quests (epic ones?) to nullify the one-shot-kill power of the watcher statues there.
That done, I returned to Talath Úrui a few levels higher and a week or two smarter. I decided to ditch the annoying and somewhat unnecessary busy work quests and move on with the main storyline. This promptly threw me into the middle of a nest of Orcs, only I had the advantage of a flimsy disguise that kept Syp from being Syppressed. Thank you, I’ll be here forever. This is my blog, after all.
So when we talk about weirdly specific MMORPG quests that seem to pop up in every game, here’s one that we should mention: the gladiator chain. So many MMOs have, at some point or another, a series of quests where you enter an arena and fight a series of bad guys as a gladiator in the Roman coliseum of old. I guess it’s an easy chain to program and keep players busy for a while, and here I worked my way up as a “Master Mangler” over the series of three days of hard fighting on a bridge.
My only problem here was when two flimsy orc spawns fell into the fiery chasm below the bridge and wouldn’t die. I had to kill them to get the quest to proceed, so the only way I could even target them was by inching out onto abutments and flinging some embers their way.
I really should take a break at some point to trade all of these ashes and tokens for actual useful gear. Should research that as well.