Blockage

For those of you just joining us, The Lord of the Rings Online™ is the game of unnecessarily long travel times. Epic quests frequently involve spending an hour riding horses. As I type this, I am in windowed mode, riding from Rivendell to Echad Dúnann to complete Volume Two, Book One, which you may remember this from Tweety’s write-up. For those of you who did not click the link, you open the gate to Moria (yay!), get attacked by The Watcher (ooh!), open a trove of legendary items that you will use to fight him back (yay!), and then are sent a zone away and told to level up your weapon ten times before coming back (wut?). Each one-way ride adds 12 minutes onto the quest, which I am spending not looking at the game.

Having horse access is a valuable thing. Later, after I complete 40-ish quests in Eregion, I can take the instant travel horse there, but poor zone ordering means that comes after I really need it.

You can also get your own mount. I hit 35 on a third character today, so I sent him to do the mount quests. You must complete quests to unlock the ability to ride a horse, despite having ridden stable horses for thirty levels. First, walk to the horse farm to start the quest chain. There are no horse routes to the horse farm, because … they don’t have stables there? They give you a horse; take it to the nearest city and run back. They give you a horse; take it to a city at the far end of the next zone and run back. They give you a horse; take it to an outpost across another zone and run back. They give you a horse; ride an obstacle course within the allotted time. You are then allowed to buy a horse.

Because putting the carrot on a string is fun, but the real fun comes from repeatedly tugging it away just as he is about to reach it.

: Zubon

6 thoughts on “Blockage”

  1. Yeah, I read when they mentioned reducing the time it takes to pick up some plants for a quest because that’s “not fun”, but they have all sorts of “not fun” in the form of useless travel time. I like much of the travel in the game as it gives a nice sense of place and distance, but the silly run around they put you through sometimes just doesn’t add up when they brag about taking a 5 second “not fun” and turning it into a 2.5 second “not fun”.

    P.S. Tweety’s write-up seems missing.

  2. The mount quests remind me of the Mustafar expansion in SWG. It’s a lava planet, so you spend an inordinate amount of time go out of your way to cross the lava over bridges. The quest reward for one of the final culminating quests? A skiff that can travel on the lava. Brilliant.

  3. Word. Hopefully, though we can take the Ered Luin revamp as a sign that they’re making a concerted effort to organize quest hubs better to reduce the silly travel. I happen to LOVE traveling through the purdy world, but even I have to admit that big back and forth sections of certain quests are just silly, especially since they get in the way of groups working together.

  4. It’s a thorn in an otherwise great game.

    I’ll mention the Forochel reputation / questing required to unlock quick travel. I suspect by the time I have the reputation there I will have far less need to travel there.

    I do like a sense of place and distance. I don’t think travel should be reduced, but there are some absurdities: Rewards of faster travel obtained by travelling a bunch. Multiple round-trip Fed Ex quests when anyone sane logic would give the multiple tasks on one single trip (“oh while you’re there, pick up some milk”).

    The preamble for Volume II is just silly. I’m trading messages back and forth between Gandalf and Aragorn, for a conversation which takes place directly between them in Tolkien’s books. I don’t enjoy quests where I’m just a go-between.

  5. LotRO’s still one of my favorite traditional MMOs but… I don’t know, sometimes they just make decisions that are just so stupid it just hurts my brain to think about how it happened.

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