Mines of Moria™ Day 2: Travel Agent of the Realm

Volume 1, Book 15 is horrible. Absolutely terrible. I am still not even close to Moria itself.

Taking Andrew’s advice, I started toward The Lord of the Rings Online™ Volume 2: Mines of Moria™ epic quest. The best way to approach this, I thought, would be finishing The Lord of the Rings Online™ Volume 1: Shadows of Angmar™. Volume 1 has 15 Books, of which I had completed 14, so I looked up where to start 15 (Elrond) and headed out. Book 15 is another epic travel quest. I spent more than two hours getting through the first ten chapters. Almost all of this time was spent traveling back and forth between two points.

Searching our archives, I am shocked that I have not said before how much I hate the Trollshaws. It is the worst zone in The Lord of the Rings Online™ Volume 1: Shadows of Angmar™. It is just a huge mass of inconvenient travel. With the release of Moria and Book 15, it became slightly less inconvenient with the addition of a horse route to Echad Candelleth (“EC”), which I wish I would have noticed earlier in the quest chain. Sadly, the stable horses are not that much faster than your own, you lose them if you jump off to grab a shiny object, and the path from Rivendell to EC is still half a zone including a mountain path with many switchbacks. On the other hand, you can alt-tab during the ride.

It is a bad sign if your players want to alt-tab during your epic quests.

In terms of gameplay, the Volume 1, Book 15, Chapters 1-10 are: start in Rivendell, go to Delossad (1) (near EC), go to Esteldin (North Downs), wander around Esteldin, go to the North Downs-Angmar border to trigger an ambush (fight one enemy), go to Esteldin, go to Delossad (2) (probably go to Rivendell and ride down), follow Narmeleth around a brief session play instance (it looked like she could solo everything, but feel free to help), go to Rivendell, watch Glorfindel and and Narmeleth talk in an instance of Delossad, go to Delossad (3), go to Rivendell to get the particular horse Narmeleth wants, ride it to EC, go to Delossad (4), go to Garth Forthnir (Angmar) and ask them to prepare a room for Narmeleth, go to Delossad (5), and end with a free teleport back to Garth Forthnir. The horse to or from EC costs 25 silver; each quest awards 25 silver and 20 copper, so you are only losing a little money by following the quest chain. Yes, it is a negative-sum game. I recommend being/having a Hunter, because otherwise travel will be a lot more expensive and time consuming.

If you want to be surprised by the story, skip this paragraph, but there is not much story. Narmaleth feels bad about what she did. She sent a spy to find Esteldin; you kill the spy. She gets trusted to help attack Angmar. You get her a horse and a room. Chapter 11 is being sent to Golodir’s broken sword back (looks like “click ground object and run back”), and Chapter 12 is the final assault (fellowship encounter).

Until the instance at the end, Book 15 is five minutes of gameplay, five minutes of reading, and several hours of travel. An entire quest is “go back to where you just came from and ride here on a different horse.” Epic!

: Zubon

18 thoughts on “Mines of Moria™ Day 2: Travel Agent of the Realm”

  1. Sounds like it really captures the spirit of Lord of the Rings. Days of travel; short period of story advancement; days of travel. :P

  2. Travel has been a complaint of mine with the ‘epic’ quests even at lower levels, because it isn’t even just a matter of how much time you spend running back and forth– if you’re trying to do the quests with friends, it’s an interruption.

    While I really appreciate the storyline and motivation with these Book quests in LOTRO, I do think they would have been better off being shorter and to the point. Long isn’t necessarily epic, great events are.

  3. Hmm… perhaps I should have mentioned that there is no continuity between the Volumes, and you can start Vol2 (Moria) without having completed Vol1.

    I think part of your problem with Bk15 might be due to the fact that you, and many others have been 50 for a while. Were you approaching this from the lower levels, you might still have some non-epic quests available to you in the areas you are sent. These side quests would help off set the cost of travel, and also help break up the seeming mundane nature progression of Bk15.

  4. For the most part I am finding that the travel time put into the game helps put a sense of place. Sometimes it is a pain but in general I like that it takes a little bit of time to get somewhere. It feels more like a real world than other games out and I like that.

    Also, the Trollshaws are one of my favorite zones. It looks amazing there.

    That being said, I hate when quests consist of “run there and then come back here and then travel to that far away city and then come back here”. Lame ass quest design.

  5. I actually skipped all the bits of volume 1 that I hadn’t finished and went straight to volume 2/ prelude. It is very cool and only requires some running around Rivendell.

  6. Yup, I plan on hiring a hunter for that Book. I am currently on Book 13, and it is just as bad for traveling. It seems like they do a great book (Book 12, and allegedly Book 14, so I have heard) and then a travel book.

    Good luck getting through the end of Book 15. I hear the boss instance is a doozy.

  7. What Andrew said. Ignore the book one quests you have left, head straight down to the entrance of the mines and get your first two legendaries.

    Also, there are two chains of side quests in the entrance area that are easily missed. They lead to two entire cave complexes that you don’t need to explore for the main book 2 quest chain. However I found running around in them to be pretty fun (though the gob area was quite challenging as a solo hunter). Mileage will vary of course.

  8. You’ve had some more-than-fair criticisms in these posts but I can’t help but boggle at the odd perspective you seem to be emphasizing in re-approaching the game.

  9. I guess I will go pick up those legendaries.

    Is that prelude the one they added back in Book 14: run errands, find a “walking stick,” see the company off? I did that a long time ago.

    Moondog, please, elaborate.

  10. @Ethic: On travel overall, I can really agree with the sense of place argument. I just don’t feel it’s necessary within the Book quests.

    After recent games, I’ve come to the opinion there’s such a thing as too much convenience. Or at least the wrong kind of convenience can mess with the flow and feeling of a virtual setting and story. Kinda like reading the CliffNotes for a novel.

  11. @Zubon: It has nothing to do with the quest where the fellowship leaves Rivendel. Head to Eregion, and follow the road south and then east to the entrance of the Mines of Moria. Ignore any quest hubs in Eregion itself. And the end of the road east, there is an instance entrance. That’s where you want to be. Once inside, be on the lookout for two chains of side quests if being thorough is your thing. Also be on the lookout for a session play quest. Not something you’ll want to miss.

    I’m not really sure what Turbine was thinking with the lead in to the mines. You show up at the north end of a new zone, and it’s not even remotely obvious that the best thing to do is run ahead. I guess they figured everyone would see Moria on the map and head straight there (that’s what I did).

    Hope this is of some help. Happy hunting :-)

  12. I guess I’m just not sure why you’re playing at all if the complaints you’re making are the most notable part of the experience. Your style and subject in these posts seems a departure from your usual musing, like your intention is to be bored and then pass that boredom along, heh. Like I say you make fine points about some things like like the awkward pacing of quests (especially in the so-called Epic line), but you also shrift off plenty of good-as-it-ever-has-been stuff and haven’t even taken a look yet at what is advertised as the new hotness of the expansion.

    BUT…

    Really in the larger scope of the site that’s probably fine and dandy and a balance to Ethic’s new line of fluff-glee posts marking the other end of the spectrum. ;-}

  13. @Yeebo: I think some of their reasoning might be related to the fact that the quests in Eregion start at 48, not 50. If you start the quests then, you’ll be hitting Moria at about the time you reach 50, give or take.

  14. The second half of VOlume 1 (the parts after Book 7) were released after LOTRO was live, and are essentially intended as time sinks, to take a lot of time, to keep ppl in the game.

    Volume II, on the other hand – and indeed, all the quests in Eregion and Moria, as compared to, say, the quests in Northern Angmar, Forochel and Goblin Town – is intended to give lots of fun, fast – just like quests below lvl 40, actually.

    so, like other posters said: SKIP Volume 1 until yr at lvl 60 (my lvl 60 main is now up to Book 12, finally) and get stuck into Volume 2.

  15. BK 14 was far worse than bk 15 Forochel was working on a horse shoe type principle Point A and point B are relatively close together as the crow flies, but to get from one to the other one must traverse the entire shoe, i.e go round the lake every time. What is worse is that the quest line ping pongs you back and forth between these locations, often to go to one quest giver activate a single dialogue then off you go back to the other dude, hideous absolutely hideous. To do it at lvl is even worse no way you can keep a fellowship going and interested in the matter at hand for so long.

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