It’s time to put away the sword for a season in Lord of the Rings Online and break out the bouquets, because Update 27: A Great Wedding arrived last week. I’ve been starving for something other than deed-treading to do, so this will do nicely indeed.
I love that it’s a huge thematic change of pace from what we’ve been doing in the last few updates. Instead of a normal adventure zone with lots of fighting and dark mysteries, we got a redecorated Minas Tirith and a wedding storyline — as well as the new Midsummer Festival.
While it completely makes sense for the game to host the wedding and festival in the city, I think we all saw the problems that it was going to cause. Lag. Confusion. Bugs. The city just isn’t optimized to have a crowd descend on it at once, even if it is an instanced and slightly smaller version. If it was up to me, I would have restricted all of the activities to the top tier of the city and made a zillion instances of that for performance.
I’m also not a fan of going up and down and up and down in this city, but I also don’t feel like there’s a rush to get all this done super quickly. So it’s more of a laid-back experience, concentrating on one of the thousand of daily festival quests at a time and seeing where that takes me.
I really do love that every so often, LOTRO can put aside combat almost entirely and focus on quests and worldbuilding and an element of roleplay. I don’t resent these “mundane” quests because they make me feel much more involved in the life of Middle-earth than killing 300 hopped-up mosquitoes in a swamp.
I decided to do the festival on my main Lore-master rather than my Minstrel just because I wanted to do the new epic alongside of it. The cosmetics are nice, but nothing my Minnie *needs*, so I’ll be content to let her do it in a year or two when she gets here for real.