Billy No Mates

Slowly levelling up Emeera  (my Guardian) in LOTRO (level 13 currently). Having lots of smack forehead with a mallet moments. For example I ignored all the stable masters  for ages – assuming they were just decorative (if you know what I mean). Then happened to click on one in the crazy hope I could get a mount from them (extremely crazy now that I understand the mount rules for Free Players … the official line is “buy one in the shop you tight wad”) & saw that they operate like Flight Masters. Well sort of. One major difference is the fact you stay on the ground, second major difference is the fact you can only travel to some places with in game money- for others you need – yes you guessed it – LOTRO points (grr – I promised husband I’d save money by going on LOTRO – can hardly now go on a spending spree in the shop).

Another travel difference is that some journeys are swift travel journeys – almost instantaneous; while others show the entire journey & cause a lot of problems on my computer since it seems to be stubbornly refusing to render  graphics that it thinks I’m not going to enjoy properly. So there is some quicker travel, but it’s not particularly straightforward & since my gift horse only lasted 24 hours  (because I looked it in the mouth – yes convoluted nonsensical play on words – I think I’ve had too much sugar today),  I spend most of my time running round. On foot. Yes actually on foot.  It’s virtually very tiring. And often rather fruitless too.

You see there are so many quests on offer in so many different places in The Shire that it all feels rather chaotic.  The problem is I can’t resist a golden ring hovering above a head – it’s a symbol of promise, adventure & reward  (if I ever meet a haloed angel in real life I’m going to be really narked when I stop to chat & they don’t hand me a  quest – sod the salvation, send me to kill some chickens please). So I pick up loads of quests in one place, then before I know it, when I’m only halfway through the first of those quests, I find myself  somewhere else where yet more quests are on offer and I pick up all those as well! They then send me further away from the original area & before I know it I’m all anxious about when I’m going to find my way back to the guys there to do their quests (the poor folk of Michel Delving- I really left them in the lurch).  And then the next thing is I’m miles away approaching Bree (oooh it’s big) being scared of things that are red to me. Side note-  in the good tradition of MMOs & indeed life in general (think blood), red is bad. But I haven’t really got to grips with the mob colour thing in LOTRO yet. I mean what the hell is blue? – animal is cold, mob is depressed? And purple? Saw some lovely purple wolves earlier. Purple to me is a very spiritual colour– third eye chakra & all that – but they did not seem at all interested in a group meditation session or anything similar. In fact they looked at me in a very un-enlightened manner, causing me to run away – into a pack of red bears…sigh.

I don’t think I have it in me to do all the quests in all the areas (and I refuse to do anymore postman quest – I cannot help but stop to talk to nosey & hungry hobbits so the postman life is not for me). But I’ve decided at the very least I must do all the Epic Quests – they seem to be where the all the story happens. But a few of those are now ending with the line “you might want to bring some friends” . And therein lies a  problem – I have no friends in LOTRO.  And I’m not absolutely sure I want any. Not right now anyway. I’m enjoying the solo play.  But I know I’m missing out on the storyline & probably all the good loot. It’s like WoW back in the day before LFD.  And while I‘m the first to say that the instance group system in WoW has its problems  (there are about 70 posts on this blog about the trauma of running instances in WoW!) I do miss that functionality in LOTRO.  But having said that I’m a Guardian – ie  a Tank & we all know I’m not really a “brave” Tank- so I’d probably be too scared to queue anyway. Useless – I know.

So where does that leave me? Well right now it’s enjoying the soloing, “half unfinished storyline” life  – and all on foot too (grr)!

I met Strider!

Oh my little hobbit is so cute. And oh Archet is pretty. And oh I think I’m going to like this Guardian class. Yes I’m getting into LOTRO. I spent a few exploratory days on an Elf Minstrel but have decided to start again with a Hobbit Guardian after getting tired of singing my enemies to death (I’m already torturing husband with my singing in real life…I’ve joined a choir …so it was all a bit too close to home). And boy am I glad I’m now a Hobbit. Within seconds I had run into  Frodo & Sam (I stood to the side, looking on in starstruck silence, resisting the urge to offer Frodo a pedicure), and have now earned my stripes (plus a lustful look …well I think it was lustful) from the delectable Strider for helping him out.

What I love so far (apart from Strider):-

-The opening narration

-NPCs saying stuff- but not too much that you don’t want to read the quest text

-The straight talking description – Walt has been “murdered”. Ooh – chilling. Those evil blackwolds.

-The “collect your loot when you want it” system  – although logically it makes no sense (I don’t play MMOs for logic  – the crazy loot the animals of WoW carry put pay to that)

-The faint/swoony effect when something dramatic is happening

-The  range of classes  on offer – they all feel very different from WoW. Maybe as I level  it will  end up feeling the same but right now it’s different

-The graphics- I ran through some grass that was swaying in the breeze  – beautiful. But then my hobbit’s hayfever kicked in & it got messy.

-The sounds – I splashed in water! Actually splish splashed. Bobby Darin eat your heart out.

-The fact that I don’t know what’s coming next. And it’s this that I love the most. I am excited to log on. I am excited to level. I want to play some more tonight before bed. And it’s a work night. How crazy am I? And I don’t want to rush through anything. I’m not desperate for end game. I am right at the start of discovering a brand new world and it is great. I remember this feeling in WoW. I remember getting up early the first Saturday  after I’d bought the game, so excited to log on I couldn’t sleep. I remember my toon running down the road from Stormwind to Eastvale Logging camp and I remember thinking, “This is going to be great.” And it was.  For a very long time. And now I’m having the exact same feeling in LOTRO.  The same feeling but a new experience. Ooh – exciting.

And there’s Strider of course. And the lustful look. There might be a thing happening here. Let’s see how it goes.  I’ll play it hobbit cool (but I’ll shave my feet … just in case).