LOTRO: Chopping down Mirkwood

After a little self-evaluation of the progression server idea, I concluded that, yes, I did want to see this through. This was partially due to my attachment to my Minstrel’s combat style, partially due to a very dedicated guild that’s of a like mind, and partially due to knowledge of past regrets when I have given up on things that I shouldn’t have.

So instead of bailing, I doubled down. I had a good stretch of gaming time this past weekend that I devoted to nothing but finishing up Mirkwood, and lo and behold, I did just that. It wasn’t all fun; some of the final bits of this expansion were pretty dreary and grindy. But I did like powering through some of the epic story content and the feel that came with finishing up the zone and moving on to Enedwaith.

Plus, I finally hit level 65 (I told you I was behind!), and reaching those milestones always help to give a psychological boost. As I’ve said before, I don’t need to be progressing fast in MMOs, but I do need to feel like there’s some momentum toward progression always going on.

I had forgotten that the final parts of Volume II were a string of four or so skirmishes that you do back-to-back. Now, I like skirmishes, but the Mirkwood ones aren’t my favorite, as they can get pretty drawn out in spots. When I have mandatory content to do that I’m not thrilled about, the best course of action for me is to divert my attention elsewhere — podcast, youtube, Netflix — and zone out while my muscle memory gets it done. And so it was here.

I have a strong feeling that Rise of Isengard will unlock in early September, so I’m trying to focus down on getting caught up and ready. This means at the very least I need to get through the Enedwaith epic story content, but I’d like to do the regular quests and perhaps get caught up on Bingo Boffin as well. I’ve fallen behind in virtue deeds, but those are always filler options for the future.

I’m not exactly excited about nor dreading Isengard. It was an OK expansion with a few highlights and a lot of drawn-out stuff. For my money, the game really picks back up in Rohan, and so I will press on, putting one little Hobbit foot in front of the other, until I get there.

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