Soloing and Grouping

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Turbine has put up a feature article talking about soloing from level 1 to 20. A majority of the article talks about basic strategy that's good to heed in both solo and fellowship situations, as well as brief overviews of game mechanics. The experienced player will undoubtedly know everything in this article already but for the first time player, it's definitely a boon to keep these things in mind. I'd refer a new player to this guide myself.

I'd like to take a moment and talk a bit about the soloing game in general. I primarily solo. However, I've done most of the group quests up to my level as well. That's just the nature of someone who plays for completing all the quests (aside from raids, at this point). LOTRO definitely has a wealth of solo content which is really the best play style for me. There's been many a time where I found myself unmotivated to try and find a group for a certain quest. The only time I found a lack of solo content was when I was at the previous level cap of 50 and had completed all the solo quests in the game. But playing at the level cap is a post for another day.

This of course opens the Pandora's Box of solo versus group play. I think that dead horse has been beaten enough in game forums over the years. For LOTRO, I think the ratio of group to solo quests is satisfactory. I'm not going to say perfect because I don't know if I'd like more group quests or not. But I am happy with the state of soloing in this game. Angmar, my least favorite region is probably the king of group quests. I'd say half of that region's quests are group quests. Do I dislike Angmar because of the group quests? Well, it's not so much group quests as the type and time commitment of those group quests. Many of them, particularly the quests to go out into Carn Dum and Urugarth, take a considerable amount of time to complete.

I think the final quest in the Book 15 quest line - the culmination of the Shadows of Angmar story - epitomizes group quests I don't like. In this case, it's a difficulty that doesn't only challenge your skill as a player. That I have no problem with. I like a challenge, especially overcoming a challenge with other people. But throwing in random luck and a mechanic that is so touchy you can do everything right and still fail really grates at me. I don't think there is much group content like this. The quest for killing Heart-Rot, the wood troll in Evendim, approaches this. Overcoming that, however, gave me a great deal of satisfaction in my accomplishment. Maybe I just need to stick with it when it comes to group content like this. I might just be a little pansyish about the whole thing.

In anycase, LOTRO is built with the idea that you can solo the game and still get as much reward out of it as any other playstyle or activity. I think they've achieved this on the solo and group content. There's still PvMP, raiding, crafting, and the social part of the game that I have yet to evaluate. Mostly because I haven't delved into that content nearly as much. Perhaps in the future, once I complete the Mines of Moria content.

0 Responses to "Soloing and Grouping"