the_gneech: (Default)
Maedhroc deals with the local spider problem.

So LotRO has a new paid expansion coming out, titled simply Mordor. And I have to decide what, if anything, I'm going to do about it.

Once upon a time, I love love loooooooved LotRO. I wrote stories about Maedhroc Thornhollow, my little hobbitey warden, tromping all over the world.

Then they scrambled wardens and I didn't know how to play him, so I had to re-learn from scratch...

And then they did it again and I gave up on wardens, but champions had become OP so I went back to one of those.

And then MadeOfLions, the Tolkien ubernerd head writer left somewhere in the development of Rohan IIRC.

I choked down Rohan, a vast country made up of the same story over and over and over and over again, mostly on the momentum of happier days. I got stuck on the "battles" system, which threw away everything good about skirmishes and so never got through the battle of Helm's Deep.

You can skip Helm's Deep to a certain extent, so I moved on figuring I'd come back to it... but then I got to northern Gondor, in which there was no story, just infinite endless daily quest grinding...

...and stopped.

Other than logging in every few months to pay the rent on Maedhroc's house, in the forlorn hope that I may one day get back into it, and the occasional lowbie re-running of Ered Luin to remember happier days, I have not played LotRO in something like two, three years.

I miss it. But like so many other things, I miss the LotRO of 2010, not the LotRO of today. And with no income other than what I can scrape up with my writing and art, do I really have any excuse to buy an expansion to a game I don't play?

Now I have to admit, I am impressed LotRO has made it to Mordor. Lots of people didn't think it would happen, especially when subscribers started dwindling somewhere around late Moria/Mirkwood. But it also means that the game is nearing "The End." Even if they do the Scouring of the Shire, there simply comes a time when there is no more Lord of the Rings for them to do online. What then?

But I also find it interesting that where I lost interest in LotRO is also where I tend to lose interest in the books. "The world of men" is the LEAST. INTERESTING. THING. about Middle-earth! I'm all about elves first, hobbits second, dwarves a distant third, and fuck humans. The more the fantastic elements fade away and it just becomes a series of battles, the less I care. Fellowship of the Ring has barrow-wights and ringwraiths and balrogs and and and... Gondor does have an army of the dead, so that's neat. But mostly it has much fighting and killing of the orcs by the knights in general.

Anyway, I dunno. Like I say, I used to love LotRO and I wish I still did. But the idea of forcing myself to learn the game again and having to grind my way through Gondor just to get to Moria...? Oh, honey, I dunno...

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Rastan Kill Monsters)

(To the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire…” by Billy Joel)


Celedras, Arcangalad

Arshan’s always kinda mad

I haven’t played you for a while

Obsidian kills her foes with style


Maedhroc gives his foes the boot

Elsa’s tough but awfully cute

1E rules are dumb and hard

but they made my super-bard


(Singin’)

Referees don’t get to play much

We get all excited, tho we try to hide it

Referees don’t get to play much

But there’ll be no game, if I’m not DM


Playing Lachwen was a blast

but MMO fun doesn’t last

I don’t wanna spend the cash right now

to play my panda monk in WoW


But oh on tabletop to play again

Or just once for my paladin

The 3E rules were quite a cage

for Theran, my poor fighter-mage


My halfling ranger doesn’t have a name

I’d love to play him all the same


My human ranger had a plot device


but tough luck I suck at rolling dice


Natural 1’s all day!

No foes I’ll slay!


What else do I have to say?


(Singin’)

Referees don’t get to play much

We get all excited, tho we try to hide it

Referees don’t get to play much

But there’ll be no game

If I am not

DM…


(fade)


-The Gneech


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the_gneech: (Lachwen Lightning Girl)
Thanks to some tanking from Jamie, I was able to get Lachwen out of that dang swamp, and off to the more interesting parts of Dunland. I'm starting to get (some of) the hang of the class, having found that healing-traited, the runekeeper does a pretty good job of self-heal tanking solo, as long as they don't go up against anything with a really solid one-punch hit. Sadly, where I left Lachwen, puts her in the unhappy position of needing to go up against just such a foe, but I have to learn how to face it sometime, right?

Meanwhile Rufaniel, my mid-50s champion, is still just as crazy OP as the champions have been for a while. I tried her running in tank mode, and in AoE, and both work beautifully. AoE seems to be just a touch more efficient for landscape quests, at least, but switching trait lines on-the-fly is easy enough that I can jump into tank mode if I know a boss fight is coming or some such.

So I expect I'll be bouncing back and forth between these two for a while. Amusingly (at least to me), the two of them use almost the exact same character model and they're both from Mirkwood, so now my headcanon is that the two of them are sisters. I'm thinking of maybe tweaking their skirmish soldier cosmetics so they can run "together" that way; naturally I've come up with personality traits and how they interact in my head. I might even start doing story posts like the old "Life of a Bounder" series with them, although I'm not sure there's enough of interest to me in southeastern Middle-earth to support that. Maybe stuff in Gondor, if the game ever gets there; but Lachwen at least is a very urban sort of character and finds both Dunland and Rohan to be hick country.

I don't know why I'm suddenly interested in LotRO again out of the blue; it may be seasonal. Or maybe I just had a long enough break to be able to come back to it "fresh," I dunno. I do find it telling that I'm just not interested in playing Maedhroc or Galadhalion these days-- particularly considering that mechanically Rufaniel and Galadhalion are practically the same character, just at different leveling stages. But really, Maedhroc's story feels "done" to me-- his spirit was sorta crushed by what happened to him at Dol Guldur and then just ground into the dirt by his capture and imprisonment in Isengard. He has retired to his nice little home in the Shire to recover. As for Galadhalion, I'm sure he's still out there, probably raising heck somewhere with Shamat and Poppy in tales left untold.

It's time for new stories, with Lachwen and Rufaniel, to occupy my time off for a bit.

-The Gneech

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