I’m still alive over here. I haven’t posted in a bit as real life has reared its non-pixilated head and I’ve been working quite a bit.
On the game front, I’m still playing LotRO but have reduced the amount of time I’ve been playing. Part of my play time reduction has been work-related but part has been due to game play. The current crop of hard mode “end game” instances doesn’t appeal to me at all. I also don’t care for the gated content of the Watcher raid. In Shadows of Angmar, players could play with their friends. Gear seemed less important than trait selections and a little skill so a raid that was short a minstrel could just grab another one without too much concern. Nowadays, I see things like “LF minstrel, must have 50 radiance or better.” 50 radiance can only be gotten by equipping 5 items (+10 radiance each), which in turn means 5 hard mode runs at a minimum. Turbine often flits with a fine line between “epic” and “tedious” and for the MoM end game instances, I’ve found very little epic about them. Some of them I like (Fil Gashan or the Grand Stairs) but most I could do without.
The sad thing is that I can see the strains forming in my kinship. Those who went all-out to get through the six-man instances are chomping at the bit to down the Watcher. Those of us that are taking our time or don’t particularly care about the six-mans are getting left further and further behind. Friends can’t group up with friends anymore without also asking how much radiance gear they have. I’ve seen this before in WoW’s Burning Crusade and have no desire to repeat that kind of loot-centric game play in LotRO. There’s a lot of chatter on the blog-u-sphere lately about community building. While there are a lot of things games can do to foster community, I’m pretty sure one of them isn’t wedging gear requirements in-between friends.
My burglar is level 60, has well-enough armor and weapons and has his talents maxed out. So, other than the occasional rep grind, there’s little else for me to do in LotRO until book 8. I have some alts which I play occasionally but without other people my level to play with, alts don’t interest me that much.
In other news, some friends of mine who left LotRO resurfaced in WoW on a new server so I re-upped my WoW account to play with them there. Together, we rolled a small group (warrior, priest, and hunter) and are having a blast with the small-group stuff WoW has to offer. For giggles, we also all rolled gnome Death Knights. Hilarity ensued.
Now is the time in the Ebon Hold when we dance.
In addition to my warrior and new death knight, I’ve also created a dwarf paladin. My how things have changed! I recall when seals only lasted seconds. Now they’ll last thirty minutes unless you do a judgment on them. They seem to have lengthened the amount of time the blessings last as well.
While I haven’t given up on LotRO and plan on heading back, my game vacation in Azeroth has been a lot of fun.