Monday, December 22, 2008

There And Back Again

With Station Access canceled, and EQ1, Vanguard and SWG removed from our computers, we did decide to reactivate LotRO for the time being. They had advertised this deal where if you got their recent Moria expansion for $29.99, the monthly subscription would be $9.99. But it turned out that was an error that founding members were viewing this pricing. But after talking to a rep on the phone, they did honor the $9.99 deal. Anyone who was a founding member at the $9.99 rate will have to call Turbine to reactivate. There is some bug in the system when you try to reactivate your account online. But no big deal. After being on hold for a few minutes, they were pretty quick at resolving the issue.

I have heard a lot of good things regarding the Mines of Moria and would really like to experience it, but the expansion is for 50+ and our alts we left behind were 39. While we could grind them out some levels to catch up, neither one of us liked our classes nor the server we were on. The tank and healer combo served us well in other games, but not here. His guardian and my minstrel were very ineffective. We killed slowly, his taunts never worked well, and once I was getting hit, I couldn't channel off heals. So we died often.

But the expansion brought with it a new version of the tank and healer, the warden and runemaster. The wardens use this new gambit system where using combinations of attacks opens up new attacks. It's a bit more complicated than their previous classes and involves some memorization regarding knowing what combos activate what. The runekeeper can play the role of healer or damage dealer, or do both less effectively. The more you heal, the more powerful your heals become. The more you hurl damage spells, the more powerful they become. If you go back and forth between the two in a fight, neither are very powerful. There is an attunement bar that shows your current effectiveness for both abilities.

So we started fresh on the Landroval server. The community seems very nice and the general chat channel is usually pleasant, more so than EQ2 general chat. Low level areas are still very active and I see people everywhere. The early level money frustrations are still there. When you only have 25 silver, 5-15 silver horse travel, 6 silver repairs, and several silver to train is really steep. So we'll be hoofing it for awhile and just letting our armor decay. I'm trying to avoid the things that annoyed me previously. I'm not going to grind mobs for traits and no pie delivery quests while trying to avoid hungry hobbits.

I took a jog over to the various housing zones. I won't be able to afford even the small home for awhile, but the neighborhoods were very nice. There are four housing areas, each racially themed (dwarves, elves, hobbits and humans). You are not restricted to your own race's community, but can only have one home per account. Supposedly it's cheaper to repair in neighborhoods and you receive a direct gate there. It seemed similar in some ways to DAoC housing. Your items you place in the home are limited to certain hook spots, and you can place trees and such outside your home.

I don't know if we'll last long enough to hit 50 and see Moria, but at the moment it's a nice occasional diversion. Here are some shots from the housing instances:


adingworld said...

Intersting - I have been thinking of giving LOTRO another go with the new classes, they both seem interesting. Also to see how much the game has changed since I played it. I left 2 months after release mainly due to that I found most quests quite uninspiring at that point and parts of the combat sucked IMHO.

I have not seen any special rates through Codemasters, so I guess that special monthly deal is US side only.

Scott said...

I hear good things about Landroval, but then it's the unofficial RP server for the US so I guess it should be more friendly. Arkenstone is very friendly as well, I've really enjoyed my time there.

Not sure when it was that you played but minstrels do have War Speech now (I forget what level they get it) which is basically dps mode at the cost of -50% on heals. It's a toggle though so in a pinch you can switch out of it to cast a 100% heal but there's a short cooldown before you can go back to war speech. Plus the new trait sets make a difference now. Same with Guardian (which I still don't have one of my own) apparently some of the trait sets make it very beneficial to solo/duo now with 1H+Shield where before they'd use 2H for more dps and only do the sword & board thing for group content.

Shire quests are funny... everyone always complains for a different style of quest, and the Shire quests certainly fall into that category with the pie and postal deliveries while avoiding hobbits who wanted the packages, but some people don't enjoy that either. I'm in the middle, I guess. I enjoy them because it's not Kill 10 Rats and it kinda fits in with the overall hobbit style, but I wouldn't do them all at once back to back. I'll do one or two then go off and do some other quests (it's not like there's a shortage) then come back to one or two later.

Aspendawn said...

I've been trying out both new classes and they are interesting. But if you didn't like the quests back then, it's pretty much the same, at the lower levels anyway.

The Shire quests definitely do have a different style to them than other areas. I started a hobbit warden to tinker with when my husband is doing his own thing. There's just so much long distance running back and forth there that drives me a bit batty. And those pie quests I never could complete last time around; I kept failing. So I spent some time questing outside outside of Bree where the quests don't seem such long distance. So I'll do some alternating between the two areas.

I heard about the new trait sets but not really sure yet what that is all about. I've been ignoring traits for the time being to avoid grinds and getting myself frustrated early on.

Green Armadillo said...

Huh, it never occurred to me to actually try and get my founder rate back, though it's a sensible enough request - if it wasn't worth $10 a month to me when I cancelled, the bar is that much higher if it costs $15 a month to renew. Did you have to lock into a multi-month subscription to get that rate?

Overall, I think I'm definitely going to visit Moria at some point, I just feel like it won't hurt to let Turbine have some more time to add in content/polish.

Aspendawn said...

No, I didn't have to lock into a certain number of months. But when I purchased and downloaded the expansion, I received an email confirming the $9.99 rate. Apparently, that wasn't intended but they did honor it when I complained that it was $14.99. If they're sending me an email telling me it's a certain rate and I resubscribe based on that, they really do need to stick with that rate.

But they did tell me if I canceled again and resubscribed, it would definitely go up next time.