Posted in Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO: A song and a stabbing

At least I can say I got my Minstrel to level 100 before the great minstrel nerf arrived. I’m trying to snarf up as much XP in western Gondor to stay on top of the leveling curve, which I feel is starting to outpace me for some reason. It’s not a great difficulty yet, I just want to make sure I don’t fall behind.

While I am down with smaller outposts and contained quest hubs, my teeth grit when I find the game channeling me into a major city. LOTRO in particular has some amazing cities, and boy does its development team know it, because the quests will conspire to keep you in them forever. Darn it, you’re going to inspect and appreciate every square inch before you’re allowed to move on!

And so my Minstrel came hesitantly to the doors of Dol Amroth, a mid-sized city perched on an island/peninsula poking into a bay. Upon approaching its walls, I was reminded at how amazing the artwork is for this country. Gondor has a very distinct — and not at all subtle — style compared to Rohan and other nations. Also, there are tons of swans. Swany swany swans as far as the eye can see.

And flowers. I guess I never really envisioned Gondor as being the flower capital of Middle-earth when I was reading the books. The capital of stern people full of grit and determination, perhaps, but not lilacs and tulips. But now I know better, thanks to LOTRO.

Stop looking at me, swans!

For fun one night, I felt like taking a STAB at something a little different, even if it’s just a temporary experiment. And so I hopped back on Treebeard after a couple of months away, rolling up a new character: Syprowl the Gentleman Burglar. He shall be the dapperest daredevil this side of the Misty Mountains, I promise you.

I’ve become partial to the Stout-Axe intro, thanks to its brief length, fun setpieces, and tour around the dungeons of Mordor. Say what you will about this country, but Sauron definitely did not skimp on the fashionable red tint for his windows.

Also, the next time someone drags out that tired “but the GRAPHICS” on this game, I’m just going to show them the above screenshot of this Orc and walk away without another word. LOTRO has pretty fantastic visuals in so many ways.

I really like the theming of this character — it prompted me to go in different directions than I normally would, which is a giddy experience. I ended up very much liking the above outfit — lots of black with silver bands to complement the beard ornamentation.

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