If you'll remember, earlier this week I made a claim that I needed to stop thinking so much about whatever game I'm playing, try to stop harping on its faults, and instead focus on what it is that made me start playing it and having fun with it in the first place.
I did this last week when I was playing WoW. I know full well that the level cap is boredom incarnate for a player like me, but I love the leveling PvE in that game. So what did I do when I re-subbed, I let go, jumped back onto my Hunter and started questing. You know what? I had fun. I'll probably play quite a bit more before my one month is up.
So last night, with this success in mind, I logged into LotRO and pushed all worries out of my mind. I stopped thinking about the rumored solo-wall that comes later in the game. I stopped thinking of my group quests as a poison. I stopped focusing on the little things that bug me about the game and instead turned my attention to what drew me to Middle-earth in the first place: the world, the quests, and the lore.
It wasn't long before I suddenly exhaled... I was at peace with my gamer self. I was having that fabulous word... what do they call it? Oh yeah - FUN.
I found, in Evendim, just what Turbine said I was supposed to: a butt-load of soloable quests to do. I was having trouble getting them at 34, but at 35 a bunch more seemed to open up. I dropped a lot of lower level group quests I had never done and went on my way. Wanted posters all over the camp of Ost Forod offered me several more quests (these are hard to find, so press delete repeatedly in Ost Forod if you've no idea what I'm talking about). Nex thing I knew, for the 1st time since I was in my mid 20s I had over a dozen quests that weren't intended for groups.
But then something even more unexpected happened. I was in a goblin-infested set of ruins, south of Ost Forod when I met a chap named Flipsyde who was looking to kill a man named Andy and his dog, just as I was. We grouped up, cleared the bloody place of all goblins and boggarts (little swarming bastards that attack in groups but are easy to drop), and took out Andy and his ghastly dog with morale to spare.
On a side note, Hunters in LotRO are GODS of single-target DPS. It was amazing to watch really. Where my Champion is at home among a group of enemies dishing out AOE damage, the Hunter can often kill a single enemy in a few shots before it's even had a chance to reach its attacker. I actually had a viable reason to use my taunt this time to keep creatures off of him. The taunts in LotRO are great by the way, because an audio clip comes along with it. For my dwarf that ranges from a roaring yell, to several different dwarvish sayings, that made me smile each time he uttered them.
Moving on, it turned out that Mr. Flipsyde and I had a great deal of similar quests that needed doing, so we set out to see the country and clear it of all evil... which we did. Nothing could come close to stopping us. We worked from Canadiach crossing, to Rantost ruins, all the way up to the gates of Tirith Rhiw. We strode west to the Eavespires and met an Ent in the process, boom haroom. Before I kew it it was 9:30pm and I was level 36, well on my way to 37.
I. Had. Fun. This whole new outlook on gaming? It's working, by jove. I'm a new man/geek. This weekend my friend who coaxed me a while back into trying EQ2 again is going to use my LotRO buddy key and give it a shot with me. We've got a month or two at least before Pirates or Gods and Heroes come out. Why sit around waiting when there are plenty of good games to play in the meantime, even if they're not so shiny and new?
If I don't write anything else today, I'll see you lot next week. Hope you manage to have some moment of gaming clarvoyance yourselves.