Let me tell you, the view from level 50 is much better than that of level 120.
I can say this with absolute authority, having dinged 50 on LOTRO’s progression server roughly two months after all of the world firsts. This rate actually pleases me, as I made decent progression and have two months left with only two zones and four epic books to complete before the next server unlock. And that’s with throttling back in the game a bit.
I was thinking about this in the shower this morning, that I have learned to regulate my gaming pace somewhat depending on my interest level. The ultimate goal is always to avoid burnout and to sustain interest so that I’m enjoying what I’m playing rather than feeling obligated to play. So when I feel like I’ve been going full burn on a title for a while — which I have been in LOTRO ever since October — I’ll ease back somewhat. And now that I have some breathing room to get the rest of Shadows of Angmar done before Moria, I know I can put in about a half-hour a day and still make it with time to spare.
I think that the last time I talked about LOTRO, I had just started in on the hell that was Angmar, so let me catch you up on my adventures since then. I knew Angmar was going to be tough in terms of interest, and true enough, it was. Some of these higher-level SoA zones didn’t have the best flow or the most accessible content, and you can tell that with how they’re designed.
Therefore I gave myself permission to do what was only necessary to complete the zone and nothing further. That meant only doing regular quests until I had the quest deed done, and then only a handful of deeds and the epic story after that. I even ditched four or so Angmar virtue deeds because I determined that they’d be far too great of a headache to accomplish, and I don’t regret doing that.
With only Forochel and Eregion to go, I switched over to concentrating on the epic book until I had Volume 1 completely wrapped up. After all, it’s the most important bit of content right now, and I enjoy playing through the story without the narrative being interrupted with fetch quests. Plus, I’m enjoying being a Middle-earth tourist. Volume 1 has players bouncing all over the place — there’s a scad-ton of travel involved — and yet with all of my milestone skills and the 5 minute cooldown on them, I’m able to scoot without having to worry about taking long horse trips. I even bought my fifth milestone when it went on sale the other day.
After doing a good deal of Volume 1, I can say that it really helps to have milestones in Rivendell, Esteldin, and Evendim at the bare minimum. From those locations you can branch out to pretty much anywhere that’s needed, and the game keeps sending you back to Elf Country more times than I can count.
Other than that, I’ve been amusing myself by working on costumes now that I have enough pieces to experiment with mix-and-matching. Coming out of a half-hour fashion session with an outfit that I’ll gladly wear for months to come is a win for any night’s gaming in my book.