Ever have one of those nights where your child just won’t sleep without you next to them, and then kicks you in the face/stomach/groin? Yeah, me too.
For some unknown reason, I was up this morning around 2:30, and as I often do when I find myself awake in the quiet hours of the day, I decided to get some time in with my favorite caffeine-substitute, LotRO. (Though I did brew up some tea, so maybe that’s what really got me going…)
After my minor revelation in RIFT‘s Open Beta, I figured I needed to re-evaluate my approach to LotRO if I was going to maintain my love for the game; I’ve put too much focus recently on finishing Deeds and Quests in the older areas. Almost as if I unconsciously decided I was going to “wrap up” Eriador and Moria before moving on. So I decided to finally go to Enedwaith.
Well, I didn’t get there.
But not without good reason. It’s all the “Echad This” and “Echad That” locations for horse travel from Rivendell – I can never remember where I’m supposed to go! And I can see the smirk on that dirty Elf Stable-Master’s face; he’s just dying for me to drop a few hundred silver on him and his friends as I ride from Echad to Echad trying to figure out why I’m not getting any closer to Enedwaith. I think they changed the names on me at one point, because I ended up in Gwingris twice (twice!). How about some “Location: Region” details in the Travel window, Turbine? Help a player out!
Nonetheless, I found myself in Echad Mirobel, staring across the river towards Enedwaith and pointedly ignoring the snickering coming from the direction of the stables behind me. I figured, “Mount up and ride over there! Adventure awaits!”, which I did, until I passed the first Half-Orc outside the outpost. “Hmmm”, I thought, “I think I still have a Deed for those guys in Eregion.”
And so it began. Again. It’s like a sickness…
What I actually found was a great way to grind without grinding. I just wandered the area, from mob to mob, with no particular goal in mind except to kill specific types of creatures. Half-Orcs, Dunlendings, Wolves and Wargs, Lizards and Crawlers, Crebain. I had a lot of Deeds left in Eregion, even some first-tier ones. But despite the fact that I was staring down the barrel of 2000+ kills, just wandering around with no particular destination did wonders for my attitude about the whole thing. I really didn’t mind. And to make it even more enjoyable, I found some really nice nooks and vistas I’d either missed or glossed over the first time. Such as this campsite out in the middle of nowhere.
Or the western entryway into Pembar.
And I finally got my Ridge-Racer title for running the Hollin Ridge!
The big difference was my attitude going into the whole thing (either that, or sheer exhaustion clouding my brain). Usually I approach grinding Slayer deeds as a task to be tackled, like housework. I Google for the best location to quickly grind through Mob X in Region Y. Which makes it barely palatable. But by just wandering, following the trail of mobs I needed, I actually found a lot of fun in the whole process. It was very relaxing, almost meditative. And it made me feel like I was exploring again, even though I’d been in that area many times; without a set destination and a specific goal of “Kill 400 Crebain” I found I could just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
It almost makes me want to go back and do it again. Almost.