I can't do it alone. And that means, I likely won't do it at all. I'm talking about leveling to 50 in LotRO, and enjoying some Monster Play as a Freep once I get there. I, apparently, am not meant to reach my main goal in this game.
Let me preface this by saying, "I love LotRO." As a game, it's wonderful. The world is intricately detailed. The story is extremely well-written. And many of the game's features are things a lot of MMOs don't have for years after launch. Even Housing is coming later this fall. But with all of the positives, for me, comes one big overwhelming negative.
It's not a solo-friendly game in the later levels. Not really at all.
I have 35 quests in my log right now. Some of which, after last night, are reputation grind quests which don't give XP, but at least they're goals to reach for. Out of the 35 quests, there are I believe 9 which are marked solo. Out of those 9, I am able to complete 6 by my self. The other 3 are very inappropriately marked. 1 of the 3 is gray con to me now, and I still have trouble solo-ing it. If I want to keep dying until I get lucky, I might be able to complete it and get the 500 out of 73,000 xp I need to reach level 38.
What I'm saying, is that the higher you level in LotRO, and the farther you travel from home, the more important it becomes to have a group. This is all well and good for a good number of players out there. But not me. I am AFK a lot. I often play in 20 minute spurts. I also, above all else, prefer to solo my PvE, and group mainly for dungeons and of course PvP. LotRO then, is a great game for me until the mid 30s, but not so much thereafter.
The Evendim patch, and now Book 10 have helped a bit, but I still have this weighing feeling that I'm a black guy at a clan rally. That soloers need not apply. Perhaps if I had more friends and a more active Kinship on my server I'd be fine. Then I'd be able to complete the masses of group quests I have. But that's simply not the case. And so, I feel like my time in Middle-earth is up for now.
I'll be losing my Founder's status and all, but ultimately... and you've no idea how much this pains me to say, World of Warcraft is still the best game on the market for a player like me. Good god, I almost vomited.
I swore back in February when I left WoW to focus on LotRO, that I'd probably never return to WoW. I swore that LotRO was the game for me for a good long while. But ultimately, I decided not to go lifetime membership, and eventually I discovered that there's no real place in Middle-earth for Begud Firestone of the Lonely Mountain. Not yet, anyway. Maybe one day, I'll find it more appealing. I've no doubt I'll return in a fit of boredom like I so often do with EQ2. But I'm sad to say that my main stay in LotRO is done.
I got my money's worth. I played the heck out of the game since release. But now, I'm just left with the feeling that I should have let myself play more in Beta, so I could have seen how rough around the edges the mid-high level game really is. Because I would have saved my money until later on, when I wouldn't have felt like I needed a break after 5 months of playing.
Good luck with the Ring, Frodo. I'll be camping in Evendim with my Ranger homies for a few months at least. If you need anything, just send me a mail with some COD for my services.