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Lost in LOTRO

I logged in to LOTRO for the first time in about two years and I am so completely dumbfounded by my three+ hotbars of abilities.   The only one that I could remember was the one that looked like a picture of a horse because it summoned my horse.  Other than that, I’m at a loss.  My character is on the Meneldor server and Iwent to Bree and the Shire and really could not find anymore.  My Minstrel is level 50 and I think I’m stuck at level 50 until I buy the Mines of Moria expansion.  It’s not like I could really level all that quickly right now anyway since I’m so lost.

Starting a new character is sorta out of the question.  I want to play my Minstrel… I just have no clue how.  In order to even consider buying MoM, I’d have to make sure I can still enjoy the game.  To do that I need to do some content, but the content I can do is 2 years old.  Weird conundrum that I’m in that can probably only be solved by spending money.  Am I ready to do that?  I’m just not sure.

Tomorrow I’ll try to figure out the hotkeys and decide if the magic is still there for me, or if it’s just the idea of being back in middle earth and adventuring once again as a Hobbit Minstrel in a game that I enjoyed enough to max out — something I haven’t done since LOTRO — that attracts me.

If I were on Landroval or Brandywine I think I could message a few of you out there who play and get some advice.  Since I’m off on some obscure server, maybe we can strike up some discussion here.  If you’re active in LOTRO let me know!  I have some questions.  Oh, and if you’re a minstrel I have a LOT of questions.

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Warden - November 15, 2009

Well it’s not like you’d be dropping a huge amount of money on MoM Keen.. I was just looking at it and it’s still about only $10 US(for the complete box. Hell the CE is supposedly the same price as well if you can find one near you).

Or if you can find that magic again in the next two days you’ll be able to get the expansion for $10. Just not sure if it includes MoM as well.

Warden - November 15, 2009

Sorry got ahead of myself.. subscribe for 3 months and get the expansion for free..

Now if I only get my account details tomorrow..

Salbos - November 16, 2009

I maxed my minstrel to 50 as well but its been so long since I played I couldn’t remember anything that would help you. Sorry but good luck.

Zubon - November 16, 2009

My Minstrel is 58.

You’ll have the problem that most of the Minstrel icons were changed at least once. The abilities still do more or less the same things, but you’ll need to learn what they look like now.

Kram1563 - November 16, 2009

I was away from the game a few months before Moria came out, and i actually found it pretty tough to get in to the Moria quest line. I know you don’t have the expansion yet, but i presume you will get it – so what you need to do is get over to Rivendell and you should find some quests that take you in to Eregion (You can find the entrance to Eregion by heading up the path towards Rivendell and turning right – heading down towards Gollums’cave. Im pretty sure you can go to Eregion without the expansion, be warned though – if you are already 50 you can make a couple of levels easily in Eregion alone – the quests are fantastic there, very quick paced and nicely clustered together.

Knqui - November 16, 2009

It’s not much of a different situation to any MMO that’s been out for some time. Somebody who came back to WoW having a level 60/70 character and not owning WoTLK would be forced to buy it to get to play with people.

Solo MMO’s that begin at max level have always had this trouble, you’re probably going to have to bite the bullet or stop playing.

Bhagpuss - November 16, 2009

I had a similar experience a few months back. I logged back in on one of the free comeback weekends and was stunned by row after row of tiny hotbar icons. I’d forgotten how hard it had been to learn them the first time roud and I’d completely forgotten them.

I just pottered around for a couple of hours, did a bit of crafting and decided it just wasn’t worth re-habituating myself to what has to be one of the most needlessly complicated, eye-straining, RSI inducing UIs out there.

I enjoyed LotRO for the two or three months I played, but I think it’s a game I won’t be going back to, even for free.

Steeldragoon - November 16, 2009

Sounds like you’ve put Aion behind yourself Keen. What level did you stop at out of curiosity?

Gustavef - November 16, 2009

I would recommend first creating a new minstrel and play him to about level 10 or so. Should only take a few hours if that. It is really quick now. That way you can sort of get back in to the groove. And now you can even “start” at level 5 and bypass the intro areas.

After you get your feet wet again, you will need to read:

http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/A_guide_to_good_Minstreling

This gives you a good idea of what all your abilities can do and how they can be used.

Thallian - November 16, 2009

You can access some new content without paying any money, go to Eregion, there’s quests and two new three man dungeons there you can do without paying. Or do the books from wherever you at on volume 1. Volume 2 requires Mines of Moria of course.

Keen
Keen - November 16, 2009

Thanks guys! I’ll give Eregion a try tonight. I’m reading the guide to good minstreling and it’s extremely informative.

@Steeldragoon: Nah, not behind me. I’m just not in a position worth talking about. I’m level 32 and stuck in a rut of not having the time necessary to grind out of it. I could devote more time to grinding out of it, but the content I have to grind out of isn’t any fun. So I’m faced with that decision of having to choose what to do with my play-time — grinding on boring content isn’t on the top of my list, so I’m progressing very slowly.

Qpon - November 16, 2009

If Aion is a grind to you @ 32 I recommend either dropping it or holding off for an update… I love Aion and hope for the best, but I’ve really gotten on the grind-hating train since lvl 39. I didn’t have a problem with the grind aspect all through the 30s and thought that everyone was making too big a deal out of it… until I reached 39/40/41/42 and it was taking literally 20-25 hours of pure grinding to level and the only new quests offered gave a total of maybe 10% of a level.

@ 42 most of my guild has simply stopped logging on without leaving any message why… its a sad state for Aion; a game with a lot to offer but too much grinding required.

shawnola - November 16, 2009

Keen,

I’ve read the blog for ages and have a level 60 minstrel on Meneldor named Liza (as well as a fair few other alts). I’ll be on this evening for a bit most likely levelling my 46 runekeeper (Celirestil) and would happily answer any questions or help out if I can. My hotbar really is 4 bars of madness, and I have that same feeling anytime I switch to an alt I haven’t played in a while.

Snodin - November 16, 2009

I was listening to the Casual Stroll to Mordor podcast and they said the game will be removing the annoying inability to move while using certain mini skills. Good news for minis who bought Mirkwood.

We Fly Spitfires - November 16, 2009

I’d probably recommend starting a new character even just so you could get to grips with the controls and hotbars again. Sometimes it’s best if you’ve been away from a game for so long…

Keen
Keen - November 16, 2009

I may do that whole new character thing if I struggle to figure out my current Minstrel.

@Shawnola: Awesome! I’ll definitely be asking you some questions. If you don’t mind answering a few of them here though…

How is Meneldor as a server? It used to be in the middle of the pack back in 2007.

How are Minstrels in general? Leveling 50-60 pretty rough? Took me forever to kill anything back in the day.

Gustavef - November 16, 2009

I can talk to Minstrels in the upper 30’s. With the new “Warcry” toggle you can put your minstrel in to a DPS mode at a severe cost of your healing ability. But since you are solo-ing this isn’t a big deal. I can still deal with normal yellows and signature whites, though normally I am hitting blues because that where my quests are.

With some smart traiting you can do quite well solo. However you would need to retrait for group mode. So that could eat in to your coin if you are switching frequently.

They did a good revamp of the Minstrel and I have been enjoying my leisurely stroll tough the lands.

Keen
Keen - November 16, 2009

That’s another thing that totally confuses the heck out of me… this new trait slotting system. What the heck did they do to it?

Dismantled - November 16, 2009

I’m having a great time on my Captain on Landroval and I’m excited to see alot more interest of the game with Turbine pushing some ads and getting people excited for the next expansion.

That’s gone a long way for me deciding between this and VG. I love VG, but they just don’t have the resources to make the game strive.

Anyways, not to jack the topic of the Minstrel or anything, but I have almost hit 29 and have kind of hit a wall with advancing. I’ve done all the solo quests in Evendim, Lone- Lands and North Downs, so I’m not sure where I can go from here other then waiting for some grouping for my book quests.

If anyone knows a great place I can go for 29+ , I’d appreciate any info.

Keen
Keen - November 16, 2009

Have you done the Trollshaws yet? Several quest hubs there. North Downs also has many quests on the eastern side as well that are 30+.

shawnola - November 16, 2009

Meneldor is hard to call. One of the best raiding guilds I know of (Maelstrom) calls Meneldor home, and I think we used to have a really thriving medium to small kin community with lots of kin alliances doing good stuff. Frankly, 2009 has killed off a lot of smaller kins because Moria was a bit rough on people, then it got way easier, then it got into a long holding pattern with radiance gating and a general lack of things to do. I don’t know much about the other servers other than all the hype for Big E (jingle jangle?) and Brandywine being super high pop, but I suspect a lot of the servers are good places to be, just struggling because of the radiance issue and waiting for The Next Big Thing.

You will find minstrels to be great DPS machines in Warspeech.. All of the tactical classes (Runekeeper, Minstrel, Loremaster) have benefited since a patch back in March, and our DPS is way up. If you trait for Warrior-skald (ie the DPS line) you’ll find yourself doing pretty well. From 50-60 maybe not quite as much, but at 56 you get Call to Fate which really fills a hole in the DPS rotation and lets you go nuts. You’ll find that ballads fire a LOT faster now as well- at the expense of power of course. What general happens for a solo minstrel (and I could be wrong here) is:

Echoes of Battle (the DoT/swords skill, reduces song and cry resist)
Call of Orome (reduces Light resist)

then level dependent

Call to Fate (boom)
Call of the Second Age (aoe)

then ballads- you can fire 4-5 in a chain while you wait for Call of Orome/Fate, throw in a Ballad of War to tier up to Anthem of the Valar or Anthem of the Wizards if you slot it.

Rinse, wash, repeat. Until you get Call to Fate at 56 there’s a bit of a hole, but DPS for tactical classes in general is a lot better now than when we levelled back in the day. Lots of minstrels run the Moors in warspeech and beat folks to death. It’s a bit OP in relation to the melee classes particularly, and Hunters are not quite as feared as they once were, to say the least. Good players are still good players, but there is definitely an imbalance in your favor.

Moria is rough solo- there are a lot of places to run, but mob density can be high when you’re a solo mins. Depends on your patience level for dropping Warspeech and turtling through encounters. Duo? You can run from 50-60 real fast, and Eregion should get you to 52 or 53 before you even step foot in Moria. Then you get to 56 or 57 and run outside to do Lothlorien stuff and it’s not hard to get to 60.

What else? I think that summarizes 50 to 60 these days. I’ve done it on my minnie in the bad old days (right after launch, minstrels were ROUGH to play in Moria), and have a 60 hunter and captain, as well as a 55 warden. I’m not in the upper echelons, but have 3 pieces from the current end game raid so I’ve seen /most/ of the content. Minstrels are fun, solo and in groups now. If you trait for healing, you can pop 2k heal crits and really shine in groups as always. We are still definitely THE healing class in the game, even though good runekeepers can definitely heal well.

Oh. Legendary Items. That’s a whole ‘nother post. 🙂 Think this’ll do for now!

Zederok - November 17, 2009

Keen, what happened to Fallen earth?

Myself I love the game, even though I barely play more then an hour or 2 per night but its meaningful and fun. This while grinding out all the Secotr1 AP missions, I cant fathom how much fun it’ll be for me when i get to S2 and start on PvP quests and Faction Quests.

FE really brought out the old Asherons Call LOVE of MMO’s in me.

LotRO: Back in the Saddle « Im Talkin Games - November 17, 2009

[…] got to start my adventure last night, and while my own experience wasn’t as disorienting as Keen’s, I must admit… I feel a little lost.  So many changes have happened to the game in the time […]

Aspendawn - November 17, 2009

I can sympathize! I just reactivated as well and am completely at a loss how to play my character. I’m staring at all my abilities (and there’s lots of them) and it’s definitely overwhelming.

Hope you have fun with it!

Mr.B - November 17, 2009

I think once you get past your initial frustration. You will be quite happy with the changes, and in two weeks, there will be another expansion worth, including combat changes, coming.

LOTRO is still the best deal in MMO gaming for the price and quality.

Pelkor - November 17, 2009

I’m confused… I thought everyone was hailing Aion as a grinder because “it wasn’t quest based” and “like everquest”. You got what you wanted. What’s the problem?

Knqui - November 17, 2009

Lots of people talk the talk, ironically when it comes to it very few can walk the walk.

Nobs - November 17, 2009

@Pelkor

I’ve slowed down on Aion. It’s not the grindyness of it by any means, I just can’t get into any RPG atm. I picked up Borderlands thinking that would cure me and after 10 hours I’m already tired of leveling.

All of my friends that still play Aion, or have stopped have all liked it. They are just more or less tired of all MMO’s and RPG’s in general.

I’m taking a break now for L4D2 and hope to be back at Aion in another month.

Fleckson - November 17, 2009

Heya Keen,

Read you site for ages, and glad to hear you looking again at lotro. I all but gave up on MMORGs and logged in to check it out a few months ago. I must say, its really been allot of fun. On windfola, and a good portion of my huge kin are players that first started this game recently as well.

Be well!

Pelkor - November 18, 2009

i guess it’s good timing MW2 came out. i love that game (for now).

Warden - November 18, 2009

Could be some issues anyway.. Unless it’s just me. I try to go to the account pages and hand nothing but issues last night and today I’ve got nothing but “Website down for maintainence” on just the page you access your account from (I was getting the same message from the whole site early this morning).

So much so this is starting to remind me of Darkfall’s launch. Is there that much interest in this new expansion?

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