Posted in Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO: The impossible architecture of Middle-earth

Minstrel report

You know how there’s “Netflix and chill?” For me, it’s “LOTRO and a movie.” If a day’s been stressful and long, and if I don’t want to spend the evening bouncing between games, I’ll instead put on a movie to review off to the side and get into a nice stretch of LOTRO gameplay. It’s so comfortable and relaxing, and I feel like I’m getting two things done at the same time.

The Haunted Inn quests in Mirkwood may be among the most interesting in the zone, especially the chain where you investigate Murders Most Foul that happened in the nearby town a while back. Once I uncovered the full truth, the final quest turn-in actually dinged me right into 63.

Captain report

Now sitting pretty at 140, my Landroval Captain left the confines of Gundabad for the cul-de-sac zone of Car Bronach. It’s not a particularly pretty zone by any stretch of the imagination — mostly melted glacier paths with lots of scree — but it’s nice to be underneath the sky even so. I’m getting to the point where I’m honestly ready to be done with Gundabad as a whole and move on. The Dwarf vs. Orc storyline is functionally fine but not that exciting, a sentiment I’ve heard a lot over the last couple of years.

I got a small chuckle out of the fact that here I am, hundreds of hours and 140 levels later, and I’m still doing menial work like clearing mold off of rocks. Never change, LOTRO, and I mean that.

But there are still some epic moments. I particularly liked climbing the Dearspire — a “vertical labyrinth” of stairs and twisty paths that kept going up and up and up. It’s pretty linear, even still, and offers some fantastic views of the surrounding area. Of course, the logistics of building something like this are pretty much impossible, but when has that stopped MMOs?

While the whole quest chain was long, it wasn’t frustrating. I actually was engrossed by the interior of the tower, which was divided into three or so thematic levels. The plant one was unexpected but pretty cool.

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