Long-time readers have seen several versions of my dissatisfaction with LotRO’s epic chain, in which you mostly provide support for the heroes of the story of Shadows of Angmar™. This is not the main cast of The Lord of the Rings, rather the local cast developed for the game, and you (pay to) play their supporting cast.
This weekend, the kin fielded a group to help someone run the last mission of Volume I. Yes, there is a buff to let you solo everything now, but it is an escort mission. You are familiar with how escort missions translate into suicidal NPCs, and LotRO players realize that Sara Oakheart is the central menace of Shadows of Angmar™ after the second or third time you escort her through certain doom. (You think I’m kidding.) So we fielded a group to support our friend who was supporting the NPC.
Jump to the very end of the quest. There we are, surrounding the redeemed elf as she confronts the Big Bad. It is not quite a cut scene; you lose control of your character and the camera, but it is still happening right there in front of your characters. It is odd to watch your characters just watching it happen. The villain has her at his mercy, taunting her as he lingers over the deathblow. “Wow, guys, think we should do something? She looks like she’s in trouble. If only our characters cared enough to help her out.”
And then, my apologies if this is a shocking spoiler, the good guys win. She pulls out a dagger and stabs the Big Bad through the chest: one-shot on a 150,000 hit point archnemesis. Maybe that was a devastating critical, but if she is carrying around a weapon that can deal 150,000 damage, why are we here? Why didn’t she use that earlier on the 20,000 hit point enemies? She was just sloughing for the entire epic chain!