More and more these days, I find that the Treebeard server for Lord of the Rings Online is such a good fit for where I am, gaming-wise. The super-slow progression and languid unlock schedule removes that exterior pressure of rapid progress while giving me permission to simply explore, complete, and socialize.
And I have been socializing, believe it or not. I’ve fallen into the orbit of the Better Biscuit Bureau, which I think may be the largest (or one of the largest) kinships on the server. Normally I’m not about “huge guilds” due to being lost in the crowd, but it never feels like it here. Everyone is incredibly friendly to each other, and I’ve even had multiple people send me gear and consumables — unasked for! — out of the kindness of their hearts. That sort of thing makes you want to stick around, you know?
I’ve been approaching this server the way I did on Anor — namely, to complete a zone’s meta-deed, snarf up all of the LOTRO points and virtue XP, and move on to the next. I’m kind of doing the epic storyline if it goes with the zone, but at some point I’m going to just put it on the backburner until I get right up to Moria’s gates, then do it all in one fell swoop.
I estimate that if I do a zone a week, which isn’t too taxing a pace, I’ll be ready for the Moria unlock in December. But even if I’m a little behind, eh, Moria’s going to be here for six months. There’s seriously no rush.
It has taken some getting used to playing a Beorning. Certainly, it’s been a pleasant surprise how great the class is all-around. I feel like it has a very solid toolkit of skills that’s shaping up now that I’m in the 30s. And the survivability factor is incredible! I never get tired of wading into packs of bad guys, activating my self-heal, and then going to town with various attacks (including my favorite, which lets me maul a bunch of guys at once).
I witnessed first-hand how well this class functioned when I charged into that early area in North Downs that’s packed full of elites. I barely slowed down and was in almost no danger of being killed at any point. I did quests there that I’ve always skipped because I usually play more squishy classes (lore-master, minstrel), and it was so much fun. And I *cannot* wait until I upgrade my bees to do AOE damage.
That said, the one thing I do struggle with the Beorning is looks. 98% of the time, I’m in bear mode, so I’m stuck looking at this blobby bear butt that isn’t anywhere near as cool as humanoid characters that I can equip with cosmetics. And the man form of the Beorning… well, I did my best, but she still looks off-putting. Probably should’ve just chosen a guy to start with. Oh well.
For my cosmetics fix, I did roll up a Lore-master to play on the side. The idea of doing a new Lore-master came out of left field for me, but the more I thought about it, the more I loved the notion. I haven’t actually created a brand-new LM for… over a decade now? At least that. And so getting to level one up will feel fresh for a while, and I’ll get my pets and cosmetics and all of that. I did make her the above outfit, which I love, from my Beorning starting gear and some Rohan accessories.