On vacation with the family this week (in the Real World), so little, if any, activity planned for digital realms. The laptop we have with us can handle LotRO at its lower settings, but it gets to be a bit of a slideshow at times. Also, coming from central New York state, the land of overcast and snow, spending several hours in the sun really knocks me out. Sad, really. But true.
Sitting on the beach today, I found myself (still) thinking about LotRO, and I came upon a funny little realization. I’ve been working my way through Lothlorien; with this area, I think Turbine was trying for something different, and, in some ways, has succeeded. But in terms of making an interesting, compelling zone – not so much.
In the lore, Lothlorien is a place of peace, the only conflicts with evil forces is along the borders where the elves hold back any intruders. It’s where the Fellowship finds solace and rest after the trials of Moria. So, too, do the players of LotRO. So far, this has meant almost no combat within the forest proper. This is a refreshing change of pace in many ways (much like a vacation), especially after the rather dreary realms of Moria. With few combat-oriented activities, this translates into mostly fetch quests for the players – fetch X of item Y, fetch a piece of information from NPC Z, etc. While I enjoy the quests where I hunt down pieces of story (the history of Aragorn and Arwen was particularly nice), I think Turbine missed an opportunity here. I like taking a break from combat, but I’d like more than to play errand-boy. There’s a lot of “Go back into Moria, we need you to do some more fighting”. Not optimal.
The lore dictates that there be little to no combat inside Lothlorien, and I like that Turbine stuck with that. I just wish they had come up with more to do. Problem is, I don’t know what I would have done in their place. I’ll have to think on that some. I’ve got the time.