As I stepped into the land of Eregion, I got the fiercest sense of deja vu. As if… as if I had blogged about this before. Perhaps many times. In fact, here is vintage Syp from 2013 going through the same place:
Eregion used to be a welcome alternative to the grossness of Angmar, pleasant and open to explore. However, now I’m seeing it as a lot of nothing. Apart from the instanced area that leads up to the gates of Moria, it’s such a bland region with so little to define it. A few ruins, hills, scattered trees. It’s kind of interesting to meet the Dundlanders, but that’s not enough to set my underpants on fire.
And that hasn’t changed. Eregion is the most vanilla of all of the “vanilla” zones. It’s not bad, it’s not great, it’s just… there. The best thing I can say about it is that traversing it is pretty easy, which is not something I can testify about many of LOTRO’s zones. But when you see Eregion for what it is — a time sink for players about to head into Moria — then it’s kind of sad. Just a few quest hubs, a lot of very bland missions, and too many mopey Elves for my taste.
It’s as good a place as any to end the first phase of the progression server. At least it’s not as annoying as Angmar and getting through it is a breezy, “switch off your brain and watch Netflix to the side” experience. I’m saving the last epic book of Volume 1 for when Moria unlocks, since I’d rather the XP be going to that than being wasted.
I guess it’s hitting me this week how long — how incredibly long — I’ve been playing Lord of the Rings Online. I spent 20 minutes scrolling back through years and years of blog posts here on Bio Break, de-leveling my characters down from Northern Mirkwood all the way back to the newbie lands.
It’s that realization that sometimes strikes us just how long we’ve been playing certain games. On one hand, it makes me worry that I’ve already chewed out all of the flavor from LOTRO years ago and should’ve retired it for more fertile adventuring grounds. On the other hand, I’m quite grateful I’ve HAD that many fun years of adventuring and making friends all over Middle-earth.
For the progression server, it’s probably best for my frame of mind not to be thinking about what’s to come and to exist in the moment. It’s still a relaxing, joyful experience for the most part, and I am not nearly as worried about Moria as others. Mordor? Yes. I really don’t know how I’ll ever go through that hellhole again, but it’s not something I have to worry about right now.