There’s something about getting a fresh wind at your back that can really make you enjoy and anticipate jumping into a familiar MMORPG. After a couple of months of apathetic Mirkwood questing, a fire was lit under my butt thanks to the unlocking of the Isengard expansion. Over the course of a couple of days, I blasted through the tedious “ranger roundup” portion of the epic book and started moving south into Enedwaith.
It’s been several years since I was last in Enedwaith, and I have to say that it might be an underrated zone. It’s definitely a prologue zone for Dunland/Isengard, particularly with its story elements, but as a region, it’s quite nice to visit. It’s easy to navigate (a major plus in my book), has several interesting (and oddly color-coded) regions, and boast a few things that tickle my fancy, like demon goats and those hillbilly Stoor Hobbits.
Questing there was just satisfying and relaxing, and I spent more than my normal daily gametime allowance puttering back and forth over the landscape. I like that Enedwaith is giving me a few levels before I hit Dunland so I have that edge on DPS for mobs, and some of the reputation rewards are fairly desirable. I loved getting the “spin” emote for my Hobbit, which amused my kids as I spammed it for any and all situations.
It also has just the right level of difficulty. There are some trickier spots and tougher mobs, but it’s nothing like the landscape slog that LOTRO’s been from Mordor onward. I think I’m making excellent progress chewing through the zone, and I anticipate that I’ll be in Dunland within the week. If Isengard will be a four-month expansion window for the progression server, then that means I have until sometime in January 2020 before Rohan comes calling. That’s more than enough time to catch up (and then get back to my Lore-master and finish Vale of Anduin).
As a nice side note, the other night one of my kinship members was offering to make premium instruments for us Minstrels. I hadn’t even given my lute a second thought after I bought it, but sure enough, I could really use the upgrade for some nice stats. So he made me a level 70 purple lute that I can’t wait to equip. I’m not going to worry about upgrading my level 60 first age Legendary Items until I get to 75, since that feels like a good time to get that jump in power for the longest possible usage.