Big night for me, in game, last night. Not only did I manage to knock out the level 58 class quest for my Burglar, I grabbed my fourth piece of Moria Radiance armor and managed to snag a nice 2nd Age mace. Also finished up all the quests I had (and could find) in the 16th Hall, bringing the number of Moria instances I’ve fully completed up to two!
None of this, of course, would have been possible without the help of my kin. Every time I log in, I’m reminded of how much I was missing by ignoring the social side to LotRO. Sure, I may have eventually gotten the class quest done, and eventually would have found a nice 2nd Age weapon (this is my second, but the first was bought in the Auction Hall). But my last run through 16th Hall, with a random group, was nearly a complete debacle, and the group decided to skip the Burglar class quest, despite the presence of not one, but three Burglars in the group. (One could argue that three Burglars led to the “debacle” part of the run, but that’s beside the point.)
And in six months of playing solo, that one run through 16th Hall was the only time I could pull a full group together. Barely anyone runs the Radiance instances except for Grand Staircase, for the fact that it’s the quickest and easiest way to accumulate Moria Tokens. A few runs in a row and you can pick up a good number of pieces in the armor set. That’s how I did it, despite my need for something specific in the 16th Hall. And the kicker is that I had far more fun in the 16th Hall. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve run Grand Staircase so many times, or that I was with kinmates. But then again…
The classiest part is this: the group last night formed up almost purely for my benefit. Our Captain accepted the invitation to group up immediately upon logging in, before he knew what we were doing. And when he found out, not a moment’s hesitation. Sure, everyone grabbed a few Tokens and knocked out a few quests and/or deeds. But they could have been anywhere, and chose to help me. That’s warm and fuzzy.
Though I don’t necessarily (fully) agree with Turbine’s decision to place class quests in the Radiance instances, I do understand it. It presents a nice level of challenge, and by spreading the class quests across the various instances (16th Hall is for Burglars and Rune-Keepers), it encourages players to return to those areas. For whatever reason. And I also understand the idea behind Moria Tokens – accessibility to high-level gear for a greater number of players. But the Token system also means that players will follow to path of least resistance and greatest reward. For those of us with class quests not in Grand Staircase, it’s a cold, cold world.