When you’re re-running very familiar content — as is happening right now with what is probably my 10th full run through Moria — gaming goes on auto-pilot while your mind goes to weird places. Such as contemplating the daily lives of enemy characters.
I mean, creature and outright monstrous mobs can be assumed to lack an interesting life. It makes sense that they’re wandering around, all surly-like, looking for a hapless adventurer to tackle. But as I’m fighting the Merrevail, the bat-people of this realm, I have to acknowledge that they are a sapient species. They’re at least more than halfway human, so they have to have names, a daily routine, social lives, relationships, really poor fashion, and allegiances. I wish one would stop fighting me long enough to share some of these details. Do they go home after a day of getting slaughtered? Can they fly?
Really feel bad for these Waterworks Orcs, seeing as how they’ve been completely infected by a fungus that spreads over and through their bodies like tumors. Even if they are trying to kill me, my heart goes out for their day-to-day lives. This is all they have: fungus skin, poorly built bunkbeds, no roof over their heads, and random strangers barging into their bedrooms whilst screaming and brandishing axes and knives. That’s no way to live.
I really wasn’t joking about being on auto-pilot. When we get into post-Mirkwood content, we’ll be in regions that I’ve only gone through perhaps twice before. But Moria? Moria I could do in my sleep. There are few surprises left here, and while questing in this region doesn’t grate, it also isn’t a visual or narrative treat.
I do wish that we had more quests in the single forested “garden” area, as we’re out of there all too soon. Our kin keeps joking about not having seen the sunlight for days now, and there’s a collective rush to try to get through Moria quickly to see the other side.
I think I’m making a good clip, with at least four zones done so far, after which I was sitting at level 55. Probably my biggest disappointment with Moria so far is that I haven’t really picked up any new unique cosmetic skins. My memory was hazy as to whether or not Mines of Moria added a bunch of skins, but thus far I’m just seeing a lot of repeats and minor color or design variations.