Talath Úrui continues to cement its status as one of my most-hated zones in the game. Its higher difficulty level and incredibly unfriendly map design makes me pound my head on my desk more often than not. But I’m marching forward, ever forward, and this week I broke into a prison and then broke myself out again.
Let’s start by talking about the zone design. Talath Úrui skirts around the bottom of the exploded Mt. Doom, becoming an incredibly large if linear crescent that takes a long, long, long time to traverse, even on war-horse. To make matters worse, the zone’s sole respawn point, vendor, and stable master is alllll the way in the top left, meaning that if you die — and you will die, make no mistake about that — you get to experience the joy of one of the longest corpse runs in the game.
There IS a second milestone, although I largely suspect that it is a cruel joke on the part of the developers, since it literally sits in the middle of a field of lava way off the road and is surrounded by fire spirits and dragons. I can’t even, it’s so stupid.
Initially I was a little excited to head into Naerband. It’s a cool idea, some large prison fortress deep inside Mordor, and I’ve got a thing for cool MMO prisons. Plus, LOTRO does that thing here where it gives you four quests that can all be completed in the same area, which feels efficient and satisfying.
But once I got into it, I realized that I was in for a very slow slog. Despite being level 115, I am not killing mobs at any fast rate. Not even a medium rate. I see Hunters zipping through the area like manic pixie archers, and I’m slowly tossing fireballs and watching my swamp-thing spit out bees while reminiscing about the good old days when we could actually tear through camps like death machines.
I really think that this is going to have to be another one of those areas that requires some grouping action. What’s this going to be like in the future when players spread out and there aren’t folks running in and out of these zones all of the time? I pity future players trying to solo these places.
One of my small and enduring MMO pet peeves is when there are glitches with terrain. Floating bits of hills, grass that hover two feet off the ground, and this weird sliver-thing above. It always shouts to me “YOU ARE IN A GAME!” and breaks my immersion.
I thought it was highly considerate of all of these dead men to perish in the same exact pose for the sake of aesthetics.
Oh look, I’m dead again and running back! Sure hope those mobs don’t pull me right off of this horse while I’m trying to get by the way they did the last four times!
So unfortunately, I am just not having fun in this zone. Here’s hoping that I can get through it and on to more verdant lands sooner rather than much, much later.