Looking back over my LOTRO blog posts, I made my return to the game in mid-December 2016 after a lengthy absence. I spent the first couple of weeks playing my Captain and going through the first part of the post-Battle of Pelennor Fields content before deciding that I would much rather have my Lore-master be my main endgame character instead.
In early January, I made the switch to my long-abandoned (two-plus years) Lore-master and began the process of catching her up. She started out at level 76 and was at the very beginning of the Riders of Rohan, so I figured that I could plow her through the epic story without much else on the side (which I think I had been doing with her way back when anyway).
I got up to level 96 before realizing that I probably was doing myself a disservice by ignoring the Rohan and Gondor quests, since I probably would want the class trait points that can be gained from doing those (in my defense, it HAD been a very long time since I’d been in this game and fully aware of all of its ins and outs). So in early February, I stopped the epic and went back to do all of the Rohan and Gondor quest chains that gave out those points. At about one chain a night, that didn’t take as long as I thought.
By last weekend, I was already back up to the Battle of Pelennor Fields. My son had become very interested in the game and its story and made me promise that I wouldn’t play through the whole battle story without him there. So I did slow down a bit to stretch the battle over three days so that he could witness it all.
And with that complete, I found my Lore-master finally to the point that I was two months ago with my Captain: fresh off of the big battle and going into the new zone and epic book. She has 76 class trait points (out of 82 I think?), two first age imbued legendary items, and high enough virtues that I’m not fretting. It’s a good place to be in.
By my reckoning, we have about a month to go before the anniversary and Update 20 start rolling out, so that gives me a few weeks to work my way through the new (to me!) content so that I can get caught up. I know that to get the two additional class trait points I’m going to need to complete some meta deeds for this zone, so I expect some grinding ahead. Not really interested in more flower picking, however. The devs and flowers, man, where to even begin. It’s beyond a joke at this point yet they still won’t let it go.
I do appreciate that North Ithilien, the “Garden of Gondor,” is a visually attractive zone. I think we very much need that before starting our journey into the hellish landscape that is sure to be Mordor.
I think that most of us in LOTRO are waiting breathlessly for two pieces of information: the special activity coming in the 10th anniversary and the remainder of the details for the Mordor expansion (including the name, the High Elf class roster, the number of zones, and the pre-order details).
As for now, I’m shifting out of high gear and back into a somewhat more measured pace with my Lore-master. No sense rushing to the end but no reason to dawdle, either. The Wastes await!