I’ve been so negligent on this particular post, because I’ve been meaning to write about heading back to Rohan on the progression servers for, um, weeks now. So I might have given the impression that I’m not playing at all when the reality is that I at least log in a decent play session once a day.
Riders of Rohan is, after all, one of the game’s biggest expansions. It starts what I mentally think of as the “southern” realms — Rohan, Gondor, Mordor — and the end of the northern parts that we spent a long time going through. But yeah, it’s HUGE. And it’s not even all of Rohan, just half of it, but that half is more than enough to keep me busy for a few months. I knew that I didn’t want to dawdle, because trying to blitzkrieg through RoR would be a fool’s errand.
Riders of Rohan was a massive effort at the time to pull off the kind of expansion that Mines of Moria was. Turbine really went all-out, and it shows. The whole realm of Rohan is so well thought-out, especially in its architecture and people, and it’s light-years different than the rather bland area of Bree-land when you compare it. I’ve always loved the Rohan houses and taverns in particular (and I can’t wait to get my own Rohan house later this year!).
The most common criticism I’ve heard — after how janky the mounted combat system is, which I agree — is that Rohan may be TOO big. There are tons of quest hubs and a loooot of open space to traverse (a necessity due to the mounted combat). I like the space and the visuals, but yeah, some of these hubs could be a little less involved. Too many of them are variations on “we don’t trust you, do these 10 tasks, now we trust you, now leave and go somewhere else.” There are some pretty well-written stories, but not enough to make up the landscape here.
I have completely eschewed mounted combat, by the way. The epic book forced me to get the mount, but the second I got it, I ignored it. I’ll stick with my trusty goat, thank you very much, and if I have to fight mounted mobs, I’ll stand in a spot and yell at them at a safe distance.
As with WoW Classic, this is pretty relaxed questing and fighting. Nothing that really demands my full attention, so I’m free to screenshot, check out details, and watch TV on the side. I’ve been making progress through the levels, hitting 81 and powering up my Echoes of Battle skill to something approaching usability.
And if I ever get irked with the repetition, I think to myself, “At least this is far easier on the eyes than Mordor!” Then I try very hard not to think about the fact that we have to go through Mordor again because I DO NOT WANT TO DO MORDOR AGAIN. But that’s in a few years and maybe an asteroid will hit me before then.
So for now, I’m trying to keep the pace going. Log in, power quest for a half-hour or so, and log out. Chew through this content so that I’m ready for the next live update or progression unlock.