IronWoman LOTRO – the story so far

So. You’d think without quests there wouldn’t be much to tell, but yesterday was actually a really fun day. I even remembered to take quite a few screenshots along the way, which I will — in the way of baby and holiday pictures — happily inflict upon the rest of you.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about “playing with no questing” is the general reaction it seems to elicit. Yesterday’s comments were mostly along the lines of “but you won’t level!” Or level slowly, or with a lot of grinding — whatever. The basic idea was that without questing I wouldn’t progress.

I can’t say I’m immune to that reaction myself, even though I don’t particularly chase the end-game or anything that comes with it (raiding, item progression). Still, having cut my MMO teeth on a game that didn’t really do the quest thing (Asheron’s Call, pay attention at the back there) I didn’t have that crushing dread that I’d have nothing to do or that I’d have to sit in one spot killing eleventy-million wolves just to eke out a level or two.

As it turns out, levelling wasn’t that much of a problem. Ysharros the Captain is now at level 10 and most of the way to 11 and her biggest problem hasn’t been xp but rather gear. At these low levels the measly amounts of cash you get from completing quests do help, but the gear you get helps even more. Fortunately low-level critters aren’t that hard to kill and Captains seem to have absolutely amazing survivability.

It will be interesting to see how the trend continues. I expect that levels will start coming much more slowly now that we’re out of the nursery areas, but hopefully Ysh should be making some cash from resource sales on the AH. I’ve already bought a crafted weapon she’ll be able to use when she hits level 12, and with the Tailoring part of her Explorer profession she’s been able to make herself at least basic medium armour — and anything is better than the stat-less stuff you start off with. Her armour values are pathetically low but they’re not nil, and it just means I have to adjust what and how I fight. There will be some significant expense at level 20 when (I think?) she gets heavy armour use — and that’s probably when the urge to make an Armourer alt will be at its strongest. This stuff ain’t cheap to buy.

Having decided that Deeds aren’t quests, I received Arbitrary’s permission to do the “Restoring the Quick Post” deed in the Shire. It’s a deed but it’s started by speaking to individual postmen and they do have quest icons over their heads (not that I could see them since I have them all turned off). I’ll probably do the pie-carrying one too, not for the xp but because I really enjoyed those quests deeds back in beta and it’s been almost 4 years since I last did them. Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. I also proved the rule that you will never see as many harvesting nodes as when you’re running from A to B with a satchel or a pie in your hands. Grumble.

I also advanced a fair few kill-stuff deeds, notably the Wolves in the Shire one which I finished while running around farming… well, everything but crops. I got metric butt-tons of copper and tin and rowan, all of which went on to the auction house, and a fair bit of hide. I used a bit of the hide for Ysh’s armour and I’m sitting on the rest, not really sure whether I should sell it or not. I could level tailoring with it but Ysh will soon be able to use heavy armour so…

On the other hand, not levelling tailor seems like a gap in my crafting skills (heresy!) and won’t let me make cloaks and… er, whatever else tailors can make that isn’t light or medium armour. With a bit of luck I could also loot some rare tailoring recipes, the product of which might sell for good money — so on balance I probably will level the tailoring. Maybe I’ll keep half the hides and sell the other half. That also depends on AH prices, of course, and hides tend to be cheaper because everyone can get them (even if not everyone can process them into something usable by crafters).

Oh yes — Ysh now has a herald, yay! I can never decide what to name those guys, so if anyone has any suggestions feel free to offer them up.

14 responses to “IronWoman LOTRO – the story so far

  1. “I also proved the rule that you will never see as many harvesting nodes as when you’re running from A to B with a satchel or a pie in your hands.”

    Quoth for ye truthe. As I believe the cool kids say down on the streets of Canterbury.

    And indeed, my thoughts are along the same lines as Longasc: my first herald was called Gerald.


    • “As I believe the cool kids say down on the streets of Canterbury.”

      Now when I was at Uni there! 😛 But that was probably a little before Chaucer’s time.


      • I only live thirty or so minutes away; I could go check, but I reckon those Canterbury kids tell some trippin’ tales, chillin’ Chaucer choons. Franklin rappin’. Word.

        Or words. Possibly whole sentences and paragraphs, even. As I say, I’d have to check.


  2. Tailors can make cloaks and banners that let you either summon various rare herald types or change out your passive group buffs. You won’t be able to use any of that (apart from the cloaks) until at least 20 (if I remember right), but tailor isn’t a total waste on a Captain by any means. You’ll also need a decent tailor to make components for any future metal smith (heavy armor and crafting tools) you decide to start.

    It’s pretty dead easy to grind though tiers I and II. After that, just make tailor’s guild rep items once a day and level that way imo (apart from the odd items you want to make to wear). Not sure how big you are on alting, but being able to twink out of any cloth or leather wearers you start doesn’t suck in the least.


    • I am TERRIBLE for alting! I have a raging case of altoholism and it’s taking every ounce of self-control I have not to make at least 3 other chars on Elendilmir just so I can have every crafting profession covered. 😉

      The thing is, I’m not sure I could stand 4 chars’ worth of no questing — though it’s actually been very fun so far, I don’t know what it would be like if it were multiplied by 4…


      • The 3.5 starting zones have interesting story lines that interlock with each other. Want to find out what happened to that ranger from the hobbit starter instance? You’ll need to go through the man starter areas. And you can see both sides on a narrowly avoided conflict by running up an elf and a dwarf.

        Unfortunately, the game narrows quite a bit after that. I doubt there are more than two solo tracks through the game, and some parts of the Breelands are close to mandatory.

        One thing that helps is that you can max out crafting at any level if you have access to the mats. An explorer can gather wood, jems, and metal, which will help quite a bit for alts that get “stuck” with their leveling. I have a maxed metalsmith, tailor, and scholar. Only the tailor is at the level cap.


  3. Sounds interesting. The days of no questing… makes me think of Everquest. One of the best games for grinding out some xp lol. It’s nice to grind sometimes especially if you get in a group.


  4. Money is an issue in LOTRO even with quests.

    The other day I was trying to remember what my friends and I did in Asheron’s call, as I did not remember a quest system. I mostly remember watching sunsets, randomly dancing, and traveling around. Perhaps we killed some stuff too? Too many virtual worlds have come and gone since then.


    • There *were* no quests as such in Asheron’s Call, though certain NPCs would tell you stuff if you spoke to them, thus pointing you to dungeons and the like. It did develop a rudimentary quest system over the years but nothing very complex — no quest journals or anything. I can’t remember if it had one when I went back for a quick visit at the end of last year. It was odd being back in AC after so many years away, and rather empty. 😦


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  7. “I also proved the rule that you will never see as many harvesting nodes as when you’re running from A to B with a satchel or a pie in your hands.”

    The other variant of this rule is that you will never see as many harvesting nodes as when you are on an automated travel horse between destinations. I had to cross from Thorin’s Gate to the Lone Lands with a horseless character, and I swear I have never seen so many nodes in 10 minutes time as while on horseback.


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