I have been going through stages of my feelings for Lord of the Rings Online’s skirmish system. First, I thought it could completely redefine my MMO game time. After playing them and playing them, I experienced a burnout that I thought would not come from the fun little bites of play. Finally, I think I have found a good middle ground. Zubon is right, in part. Onion Headline Syndrome can definitely be experienced by attributing skirmishes to what they are not. They are not the game. They are a super-dense Lord of the Rings Online experience. In a vanilla MMO where combat is the majority of the game, skirmishes amp it up to the red zone. And the old saying goes “too much of a good thing…” Well, you know.
I really like that without really feeling the grind at all I have completed some Shire deeds through skirmishes. One run through Protectors of Thangulhad nets me a barter star and enough legendary item experience to bring a fresh legendary piece to level 10. Three daily skirmishes, and I can get ever closer to winning the legendary class item lottery. And, my further choice of rewards from skirmish marks from potions to legendary item XP to costumes feels nice. Yet, that is not all there is.
I dutifully pick up The Onion at the train station every Wednesday, and I would likely stop reading it if it were just headlines. Sure, the headlines are the best part and the funniest, but if I just read the headlines there would be no downtime in between the spikes. The spikes would be competing with the spikes. Sandwiches need bread. That’s how I feel about skirmishes after giving them some time to digest in my Lord of the Rings Online gameplay. They are intense, compressed MMO play, and boy, would I get sick of them if they were the only new thing available. For the quick hit I need, though, skirmishes deliver.
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