Forochel

Going through Forochel a second time, it shares some of the merits of Eregion, combining them with other merits and flaws. The epic quest chain takes you through Forochel in a way that tours the zone well, but it remains an optional area that is out of sync with the leveling path. It makes a better use of the reputation system than any other zone, providing a model for how reputation would work in Moria (less so in Lorien). Having roamed on my first character, I found it a surprisingly tightly built zone on my second pass. Sadly, it is now almost entirely irrelevant to the game.

It is irrelevant because it is more level 45 to 50 content. Unless you go out of your way, you will not arrive there before 50. You will be busy following the epic books, getting your legendary pages, unlocking legendary items, etc. I first entered Forochel at 54 this time, which trivializes much of the content. I hit it at 50 last time, and I have no idea for how long I had been at the level cap.

The epic quests for the zone give you a proper tour. You bounce off the first two quest hubs before heading north to the capital city. You kill a few things, then get bounced off the other two quest hubs. You get a little dungeon delve, kill the requisite trolls, and then end with the big instance. If you were not running it mostly with level 60s, you would want a Loremaster or two for that instance, just for that one fight where the NPC suicides into AE attacks.

The first quest hub is like starting over again, at a higher level. Your faction is “outsider,” not just “neutral.” You get to kill the local wildlife, which is a bit tougher than the old wolves and badgers. Finding things is now much easier with the quest guide.

You pass through some surprisingly large enemies on your way to the second hub, where quests are more scattered. They cover the entire center of the map, brushing against the hotspots you can reclaim to get the daily quests. You will help a courtship ritual, slay more wildlife, and start fighting real enemies.

The capital quests have an unfortunate geographic spread. They cover literally the entire map, sending you around the central bay (don’t swim!) and across the entire north and northeast. This would be more enjoyable without the need to return to the city on the edge of the bay to turn in each quest and sell the loot from the menagerie of monsters. Before you advance the epic book, make sure to pick up The Frozen War (quest).

I pause to note travel at this point. You bought your mount, didn’t you? I remember teaming with a Hunter who decided to skip it until the Moria goat. Waiting on him to run, even with the run buff, was painful. Jerk. Anyway, you will have some mounted time here, unlocking the horse routes and then riding them a ways, or ranging across a quarter-zone for the quests from those two hubs. More painfully, the swift routes into and out of Forochel are gated by faction reputation. Get to ally to unlock the route. If you were already doing that on all your characters, hey, free bonus. If not, you may not visit Forochel much. Or ever again. That Frozen War quest unlocks the swift travel route around the bay, which you will want for the epic chain.

The third hub is small, not much to do but with a bit of glacier wandering. The fourth hub is small and dense: the dwarf camp. There is lots of wildlife to slay there, along with the evil dwarf mine. There is a deed for those evil dwarves, and farming them is considered one of the most boring deeds in the game; no variety, very little progress from quests, just sitting in that mine and killing the same dwarves. I have yet to do it on any character.

A freeing thing about doing this at level 54 is that I can skip anything. It is lousy xp, and I do not need the faction unless I plan to visit for … helping friends with their quests here? You visit for Book 14, but you will be even higher level by then, so you can probably ride blindly through the grays. The target location is off the horse route anyway. If you are a Hunter, please grind that rep so that you can deliver people to the Reflecting Pool for epic quest assistance (I have Guide to Suri-Kyla), but it is very unlikely that Forochel reputation equipment will be useful to you by the time you can get it. It looks pretty, if you want to grind faction for cosmetics.

On the faction front, the zone is tied to it closely. Every quest gives you reputation bonuses, and there are daily quests so you can get even more. Every enemy has a chance to drop reputation items. Anything you do has a good chance of improving your Forochel reputation, unless you play with the dwarves to improve your Dwarf reputation. You can fish to gain faction. On my main, completist that I am, I combined errands: do the daily quests to grind deed monsters, preferably ones that dropped crafting items I needed, while gaining faction and getting faction items for my alts. I had about a tier of reputation waiting when my Minstrel arrived in the zone.

If you do every quest as soon as you get it, there will be a lot of wandering. If you stack quests, you will find great efficiencies. My alt was fighting saber-toothed tigers for three quests at once. You will be able to combine errands, explore an area sufficiently, then move on. The last quests in a chain might have you wandering a bit much, but those freeing levels let you skip anything too inconvenient and move on.

Yes, I am using the quest tracker guide to skip quests that look inconvenient, and I love it. I have been lazing about the zone, doing unnecessary quests, and it is still going very quickly. That huge number of quests at the capital city? I can skip all of them and still finish all three deed tiers for completing quests in the zone. Do what is convenient and interesting, then move along.

The one bit I am going out of my way for is The Lost Fellowship. Before The Lord of the Rings Online™ Volume Two: Mines of Moria™, there were seven classes, and a member of each is somewhere in Forochel, looking for help. The Loremaster lost his raven and needs food for his bear. The Hunter’s lucky arrow is stuck in a monster. The Guardian needs a new shield and the Champion needs a new sword. It is a cute little series, a deed to boot, and an excuse for me to do other quests in the area while I help the poor fellows out. As a bonus, you get little consumable toys for helping, and I want some horns so I can summon people at convenient times.

I have been speaking of the zone as a resource rather than an experience. I must admit, I am skipping quest text this time. As many bloggers have noted lately, I no longer care why this guy wants me to kill 10 moose. The quest title says they are hungry, he wants 10 moose haunches, off I go. Or maybe not, since there is no moose deed, but one of my characters can surely use the hides.

Again with the “starting over,” many of the quests here are about the basics of survival. You fight off wolves because they are attacking people. You kill wargs because they are using the fat for fires. You kill moose because people are hungry, or they need to repair their sleds and sledges. There are quests about fighting invaders, be they dwarves or savages or Angmarim, but that is the lesser portion. Instead, we need hides for warmth and scales to make shields. The harsh environment itself is the flavor of the zone. To live (on the great glacier) would be an awfully big adventure.

: Zubon

Okay, so I did read some quest text. Sue me.

11 thoughts on “Forochel”

  1. Unless they patched it, those summoning horns had a level cap of 50 on them at Moria’s release. Most of us tossed them, disappointed, so perhaps they did fix that after all?

    Perhaps I hold my favorite blogs to a higher standard than I should, certainly to a higher standard than the average semi-literate OOC or forum poster but seriously… The Quest Tracker has been in the game since launch. It’s the list you can toggle on your UI. The handy new AoC/WAR-esque “blob” is a Quest Guide.

  2. @ Scott: “The Quest Tracker has been in the game since launch.”

    No need to get unduly testy. You’re right, the new feature is called the Quest Guide, and the old Quest Tracker was around since beta, but it’s hardly a major gaffe; he mentioned it only once after all, and it wasn’t central to the post. ;)

  3. I consider it major gaffe because (and again, perhaps I’m holding bloggers up to an unrealistically high standard) we bloggers as a whole collect so much information about our games to write about. We pride ourselves on knowing little tidbits of information. But ever since Book 7 the “general public” in chat has been calling the Quest Guide a Quest Tracker. Why? I have no idea, but there it is. So yeah, I scold bloggers (well, only the ones I give a damn about like the fine writers here at KTR) when they go along with the popular and incorrect rather than standing up for what is correct.

  4. A major gaffe? Really? Wow.

    SCOTT: “We pride ourselves on knowing little tidbits of information.”

    Be prepared to see me refer the Ettenmoors as the “Entmoors”, Forochel as “Forchel” and the first Moria quest-hubs as “That one place, you know, when you first enter Moria.”

    As for the post itself… good job! I think the focus on Forchel as a tool to advancement rather than as an experience is justified, as it’s easily skipped. The zone was merely a place for me to get xp when I first went through it a couple weeks ago.

    My main complaint with the area would have to be the travel time… no, scratch that. It’s the lag from snow-storms! At the end of the day, it was just a way for me to skip Angmar. Right now, my main is just about to enter that one place, you know, when you first enter Moria? So I can power through that and finally experience the Entmoors.

    :)

  5. Forochel is an excellent zone with some great content. It was guilty of some of the worst travels since “Everswim” though, and I’m not sure consolidating quest objectives really made up for that. We sure made a point of getting those swift travel deeds unlocked! The reputation system… started fine but ended as a grind. But then so has the two Moria reputations, which it was compared to. The hoary auroch’s robe that required kindred reputation to buy the recipe was damn near on-par with the Rift robe for casters. Now though, just run to Eregion and casters can likely get a quest reward and not need to bother grinding Lossoth reputation.

  6. the problem for me with Forochel is related to the travel routes – ie, the point of Forochel seems to be to waste my time.

    I came to LOTRO post-Forochel, and each time i’ve gone there it feels like ‘Turbine-released-a-book-designed-to-take-a-long-time-to-complete-to-keep-ppl-playing’ – including travle routes which pointlessly (from a game-perspective; i admit they’re not pointless from a story perspective, but then, why doesn’t Bree require rep to use their routes, given how much the Bree-landers hate outsiders?) require huge amount of rep to use (amounts of rep that *aren’t* achieved thru regular questing there).

    I have an alt that has just hit 44 – the choice is between taking it into Forochel, Angmar, Northern Misty Mountains or Eregion. Eregion gives me a legendary weapon early; MM and Angmar give legendary trait drops; Forochel just gives me a legendary head-ache. and takes the most time (with the excpetion of Garth Forthnir quests, which since the launch of MoM i have never been able to get a party for anyway: another superceded rep-grind).

    Forochel *looks* beautiful – it looks *far* better than MM – but it was rendered pointless by the expansion to 60. about the only thing to say in Forochel’s defence is that Moria itself will be rendered pointless by the expansion to 70, when it comes.

  7. How server, i am in the server of gilrain, me and Fastaxer has mayd a kingship, in a huge skala, but i im level 36 soon level 37. XD

    ;)

    Brisingr de ANDUIN

  8. and now level 46, Eragon, the eldest and Brisingr is the best bock ever ;)

    Brisingr de anduìn

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