With all of the LOTRO anniversary gifts given out this season — seriously, I still can’t get over how *much* stuff SSG just handed out — perhaps the most significant for me was a trio of Valar boosts. There were two higher level boosts that went to the retail server, probably never to get used (but who knows). However, the level 50 one landed on Treebeard and gave me a intriguing yet agonizing choice. Who to use it on?
I mean, if you’re going to use a 50 boost on Treebeard, now is as perfect a time as any. We’ve got a month-and-a-half until the next expansion unlock, so a level 50 has plenty of time to get through Moria. Since my Minstrel is pretty much all done with content (save for Yondershire, which I’m planning on doing soon), I figured that the boost was best used to establish an alt.
And therein lay the conundrum. By the talk of my kinship, I wasn’t the only one of us who was chewing on nails trying to settle on a decision. It’s a one-and-done item, so if you pick badly, oh well, that’s that. I didn’t want to blow it on a brand-new character, as I wanted to have a connection with that toon. So that left me a trio of options: the Lore-master, the Captain, or the Beorning.
After some consideration, I sent it to my level 35 bear and brought her up to 50 in the blink of an eye. No regrets about this, either. I’d already invested a lot of time into her — not to mention several milestone travel skills. And playing a surly bear felt as good of a change of pace from a Minstrel as any. There wasn’t an awful lot I wanted to do in the 35 to 50 zone anyway, and the boost gave me enough bonus virtue XP to make up for her core five virtues.
But here’s the thing with the Valar boosts — they don’t do everything for you. Probably the biggest gap is with class trait points. You have to earn those, and you only get a (large) fraction from leveling. So before I went into Moria, I spent an evening or two backtracking to pick up trait points from the class quests. It wasn’t too onerous, and it gave me time to pick up the feel of piloting a big bear butt once more.
Now, it’s Moria time for her. As an alt, I don’t feel pressed to power her through like I did with the Minstrel, but it gives me something to do when there’s nothing else on the docket.