LOTRO: Jumping ahead in line to Mordor

I have found that upon returning to an MMO, I go through a multi-week period of evaluation and decisions before I settle down on a course of action. Some of the questions I’m trying to answer for myself include:

  • What character do I want to play?
  • Do I want to start fresh or pick up where I last left off?
  • What goals do I want to be aiming for?
  • Is this game really something I’m in the mood to play for a while, or am I just visiting to satisfy some curiosity?

This evaluation period’s been especially turgid with Lord of the Rings Online since my return at the start of the month. I knew that I was most definitely ready for another long stretch in this game, so at least there was that, but I found myself torn on what to play and what goal to go for.

The problem, as I saw it, is that I have more or less settled on the Minstrel as being my “main” that I’d love to carry forward in future releases and expansion — yet I don’t have a minnie anywhere near the level cap. My choice basically boiled down to two options:

  1. Start a new Minstrel on Landroval and level with a purpose, hopefully to get it ready for Gundabad this fall.
  2. Continue my level 95 Minstrel on the progression server, but face content caps and an unknown future unlock date for expansions.

I did Option #1 for a while, going through the newbie zones and having a lark, but knowing the game as I do, I realized that there’s just no way that I could power level through this mountain of content — including deeding, getting all the class trait points, etc. — and be anywhere near ready for the fall’s expansion. The only benefit that I could see to this character was that Landy has no content locks and its population is much higher than the progression server.

But ultimately I went with Option #2, because it made far more sense in the end. I’ve already invested so much time into this Minstrel — 456 hours and counting — in addition to cash shop unlocks and the purchase of a premium house. I don’t want to toss that all away and redo what I’ve done a million times before. Gondor? Mordor? Dale? I’ve only gone through that once or twice, so it’s less of an intimately known quantity.

So this is what I’m going with now, playing the Minstrel and relying on my Lore-master to handle Day-Of looks at expansions and whatnot until SSG advances this server or allows us to transfer to a regular one. At least I can console myself with all my progress to date, a very packed and active kinship on Anor, and a lot to do for the time being. I’m trying to go for all of the deed unlocks in Gondor, but I also need to make sure that I haven’t missed any class trait points so far on this journey.

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