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Road Block

Monday, April 27, 2009

I finally finished all the solo content in Moria the other day. My last zone was the Flaming Deeps. Now I have a handful of small fellowship content and then all the full fellowship instance runs. Notably in that list is my captain class quest for the Hands of Healing trait - probably the only one I really want but ironically the hardest one to get because it requires getting a full fellowship to run one of the least appealing (at least for my kinship) instances in Moria.

So, with the last quest turned in I made my way out to Lothlorien and the first camp, largely comprised of dwarfs, although it seems some elves have show up to keep watch over their off-and-on companions. These quests surprised me. I was expecting a predominantly solo affair however many of them are rated at small fellowship. Now, I did the first set of each of the quest chains without the need for a small fellowship, but I think that was half luck as there were a bunch of other players clearing out the mobs as well - keeping me more safe than I otherwise would be.

This brings me to the point where I have once again all fellowship content. This means that I will need to spend more time before questing finding groups to go questing with. It means a fundamental shift in my playstyle - for I am mostly a soloer who does group content from time to time. I'm at a point where I have to decided do I want to do fellowship content most of the time until I find more solo stuff? And even if there is (and I think there is) solo content further into Lothlorien, it still doesn't clear the fellowship quests I currently have in my log.

I think I need to give a majority fellowship playstyle a fighting chance. I need to see how much actual work it is to find fellowships (PUGs) versus the perception of the amount of work it is. Some people say you can find PUGs easily in this game, some people say otherwise. Can they both be right? All questions I don't have answers to but ones that I will should I choose to continue questing.

The other option is to grind deeds - but to what end? Every trait I use is tier 10 and many others that I might use are as well. The ones that aren't, well, I'll probably never use. Rep grinds fit in the same picture - no reason to get kindred with any of the factions I'm not kindred with because I have no need for any of the "rewards". That's a post for another day, however.

So, here I am, at a turning point in my gameplay. Do I go forward or do I stagnate? For the sake of this blog, at the very least, I ought to move forward - but ultimately a game is only a game if it's fun. If it ceases to be fun, for whatever reason, there's no reason to play.

9 Responses to "Road Block"

Moormur Says:

If you walk down the river a little ways, you'll find another camp that is full of solo quests. These are the rep quests for Lothlorien. All but maybe three Lothlorien quests (that I have experiences) are solo.

Green Armadillo Says:

I do a fair amount of game-hopping to deal with precisely this problem. I'm not entirely objected to group content on principle, but it's very hard to find a group that fits into my schedule (which often is not set in advance). If anything, I sometimes try to save repeatable solo content for peak hours so that I'll have something to do while waiting to see if I can get a group for something more involved.

I definitely felt like I hit the wall you describe in LOTRO in any number of games - maxxed out on the achievements and reputations that are actually worth doing, and otherwise left with time-consuming group content. The sad truth is that developers cannot keep up with the rate at which players use up their content.

In the end, I think you've hit the right conclusion. About 80% of my readers follow WoW, but I won't hesitate to make them read posts about other games. Both gaming and blogging are things that I do for fun, because I enjoy them. Of course, I do have a bit more leeway than you do since I don't have to worry about being thrown off of the LOTRO combo blog (which wouldn't want me in the first place due to my multi-game focus) for off-topic material. Still, it isn't good for you or the blog to force yourself to do stuff you don't want to.

One other tip, if you're having trouble filling the time, might be to set aside a specific chunk of time for a side project of some sort. For example, I was having problems with my EQ2 level outpacing my crafting level, so I decided to take a week or two to work on other games, logging into EQ2 only to burn off my crafting rested exp. When this project wraps up (it conveniently coincides with some world events in WoW that I was going to do anyway), I'll have enough of a headstart on crafting to level without worrying about it for a while. This exact example won't work for you, but perhaps some variation, like an RP-alt (only takes quests from humans, or tries to level without killing anything) could give you something to write about without occupying all of your time on something you're not enjoying.

unwize Says:

If you're planning on hitting instances my advice would be to find an obliging Kinship. I'm not saying all PUGs are bad, but fellowship content is so much more fun with a bunch of friendly regulars.

If PUGs are the only option, I believe most servers have a GlobalLFF/GLFF public channel which tends to be very useful. You'll likely have to put up with some 'Barren's chat' type spam though!

Jaxom92 Says:

Unwize, I do belong to a kinship who runs them from time to time, my schedule just seems to keep interfering, but hopefully I'll be able to join when I can.

Kairos Says:

You appear to regard your options as limited to either soloing or looking for PUGs. This seems to place an enormous limitation on your enjoyment of the game, at least half of which I reckon is designed to be played by Kinships, or at least by regular groups. Are you philosophically opposed to joining a kin? Nothing wrong with that if you are, of course - I'm just curious.

Jaxom92 Says:

No, I do have a kinship I enjoy playing with greatly, we're just very casual and often my schedule doesn't coincide with other's schedules. As such, grouping with them takes place less often than I'd like. We don't do regular runs necessarily; we do whatever it is we feel like playing at the time.

Deburgh Says:

"1/2 of which is designed to be played by kinships"??? Are you serious? I'm lvl 50 and have opted to avoid kinships for the time being. I see too many low level people think they can't do a group quest without having to cry to their kinship and have a lvl 60 come on down from teh clouds and help then with a lvl 18 fellowship quest. I'm sorry but I find the dominance of kinships to make many people in the game damn lazy. I try everything solo...if not once...twice three times...sometimes over a dozen. If I need a fellowship...I wait for one as needed. I like to "earn" my lvls and not have to call upon the uber lords to help me out. When I get to Moria its more than likely I may change my feelings of kinships out of some necessity, but I have no desire to join a kin unless I know I can give back far more than I would take from them.

Leozz Says:

I play through mostly all content, both solo and group. I think that in a way you are playing yourself into a corner by finishing all solo content first. What I've found to be very effective is to get to the major fellowship quests, then play through my solo stuff while looking for PUGs for the fellowship quests.

For example, for a little while I was stuck on a major fellowship quest: 1.8.1. So I continued to do my solo stuff (in Forochel at the moment) while periodically advertising on glff for groups for 1.8.1 / CD. Actually, one of the people I found to go with me to CD was someone who asked on glff where to get their legendary pages - and I said: come with me to CD and have plenty of chances at them - and indeed they picked up the missing pages soon into CD.

Now I'm on 1.8.5 - so I plan to do solo Moria content while looking for group for 1.8.5. I feel like if I didn't have any solo content to do, it'd be frustrating to put all my energies into just looking for group as it does take awhile.

The strategy I used for 1.8.1 as I said was: when the first person replied - he needed it on an alt, I started a fellowship - then every time I'd get a response, I'd add a new person - in an hour or so we had a full 6 and off we went.

It helps that I play on a popular server (Landroval), but sometimes I look for groups at pretty unpopular times of days and still have been very successful. I've had extremely good experiences in PUGs ranging from Tomb of Elendil to Forges HM and the Turtle. I belong to a large kinship but we rarely have planned quest outings because we are a bit too casual :).

Jaxom92 Says:

Perhaps I am backing myself into a corner with my current play style. I think I mainly posted this and my follow up post to figure out what was going on and how to change it. Everybody's suggestions have been very helpful in sparking thought about the subject.

Congratulations for making this my most popular post ever by number of comments!