The LotRO Experiment – Part 1: One dagger to stab them all!

It was a chilly night in the shire. Inside my office it wasn’t much better but it didn’t bother me. I had opened it six months ago to offer my services as a private eye. Since then my jobs have been all small ones, nothing too complicated. Bakeries who thought their clients were cheating with pies from rival bakeries, lore-keepers who lost their pets, taking care of 10 rats… All properly taken care of and archived in the quest log for future reference.

While I smoked my pipe, reminiscing about the time past, a woman came into my office. She had the looks that would drive any other hobbit female in the Shire mad with jealous. Her face was elegantly framed with blonde hair, her blue eyes had an exquisite gaze about them. Then there was the woman’s hair foot, carefully trimmed and brushed, like the owner was used to a life of nothing but luxury.

She walked calmly to my desk, dropping a large beige envelope on it and- Ooops! Wrong introduction! Sorry!

*clears throat*

So, the character was created and some stuff happened. That stuff may or may not have involved work as a private investigator and hobbits femme fatales. Read on to find out the details!

Oh, yeah. There might be spoilers about quests and stuff too! So, don’t click on the “Read More” if that bothers you.

Before proceeding, I guess I should explain how this will work out. Right now I am not too sure about how to go at it either. So the format most likely will change as I go along. What I don’t want to do with this is a “Let’s Play”. I love “Let’s Play” blogs and videos but I don’t feel confident enough, right now, to do one.

But just posting a screenshot of a quest/deed with a TP and saying “I played today and got X amount of TPs” would be pretty boring too.

So the plan right now is to make do an abridged account of the events that happened since the last post, with screenshots and annotations of where and how I got some TPs. Some commentaries as well about anything I find interesting about the game.

Alright, with that said, on with the show.

By the end of the last post I was struggling with the character’s name. The race and class was something I had settled already since pretty much the beginning of the idea for this project. It would be a hobbit burglar (for you cynics out there, no, the irony of the class isn’t lost on me) since there is just something appealing to me about the race and the class. My only problem was to find a good name that sounded hobbit-like or at least something that I could live with.

After trying many different names, random name generators I settled with the name Basilio. Not a name I am entirely happy with but it will do. By the way, I will give virtual cookies on the next post to anyone who can figure out where I got the name from. Hint: it is from a book.

Character created, server chosen, time to get stuff done.

One of the neat things about LotRO, and I wish other MMORPGs did it too, is to make the player feels, from the start, that there is a larger storyline going on. This being the Lord of the Rings Online I guess everybody pretty much knows what storyline is going on.

In the particular case of the Hobbits it starts like this: you have decided to go on a stroll in the middle of the night. For some reason you also feel there not everything is right on this particular night. As you walk by you meet with a Bounder called Boffin. The two chat up a bit until a certain trio of hobbits show up…

Meeting certain famous hobbits while on the road
Don’t I know you guys from somewhere?

Scared to hell by that encounter Boffin suggests to go to a farm not too far from there where they should be safe. He also just happens to know a shortcut that goes off the road!

The two hobbits then proceed to said farm, finding some spiders along the way. The spiders doesn’t prove too much of a problem, at least for you. For Boffins not so much as he is scared of the beasts.

At a certain point in the path they end up meeting with other hobbits, Celandine Brandybuck and Mundo Sackville-Baggins. The couple are running away from some bandits called Blackwolds. However the bandits just catch up to them as they explain the situation. They are looking for a hobbit called Baggins and believe Mundo to be him. The four hobbits end being captured and brought to one of the Blackwolds places.

As you wake up in prison, a human ranger shows up, together with Boffins. Apparently he rescued Boffins and is now here to rescue you. In case you are wondering, yes, he is the Strider also known as Aragorn. No screenshots of the fellow this time though!

The trio go out to rescue Celandine and Mundo but instead find out Strider’s fellow ranger, Amdir cornered by a Black Rider and the Blackwold’s place being consumed by flames. Amdir ends up being stabbed by the Black Rider who then ends up fleeing because of the flames. Strider seeing no other choice decides to take Amdir and the hobbits to a human village near there, called Archet.

And that is how the hobbits tutorial ends.

Archet happens to be the first quest hub for hobbits and humans. Both start pretty much with the same situation. Strider knows that the Blackwolds are planning to attack the village but nobody believes him. So it is up to you to convince the local guard’s captain of the threat. He also tasks you to get some herbs to treat Amdir’s wounds.

Of course nothing is that simple and is only accomplished after a few quests, the slaying of some wild life for other quests and so on. During one of these quests it is revealed that Calder Cob, one of the guards, was working with the bandits. Not only that but the bastard wasn’t even afraid of being denounced, he being one of the most trusted guards and all that.

A few more quests later you finally have enough evidence to prove to the captain how bad the situation really is. Once he is convinced though, the Captain sees the error of his ways and asks the player to go talk to the only people who can help, the hunters, whose leader happens to be his son.

As a hobbit or human, this is where we can earn our first Turbine Points. When we meet the captain’s son, Jon Brackenbrook, we are offered a quest that is pretty much to learn about the existence of the LotRO store and how to use it. Dwarves and elves have a similar quest on their first quest hub.

Tutorial quest introducing the concept of Turbine Points
My first Turbine Points!

I am not sure how easy it is to see in the screenshot but this quest can be gotten and completed only once per server. It also gives access to an a special item in the store that just happens to cost the same amount of TPs you just earned… Unnecessary to say you can’t complete the quest until you buy said item.

Quest instructing on how to buy an item from the LotRO store
My first item from the LotRO store! Yay?

I suppose you could just get  the points and leave the quest unfinished. I decided to go the honest route and buy the item. Plus it is not a bad item. It can stun the enemy until you reach level 8. Being a burglar I am sure this will come in handy.

With that settled, it was back to usual business and doing quests. This time for Jon Brackenbrook.

Some more slaughtering and a blackwold plans stolen, later… Jon Brackenwood decides it is time to go to Archet to mount a defense. Only problem is that once they get there the village is already being attacked and on fire. Hm…. I wonder if this is the beginning of a pattern.

More fight ensues as our heroes fight to defend what is left. Soon enough they make their way to the guard captain who has been defending Celidine, Mundo and Amdir all by himself. More Blackwolds are dispatched then the Calder Cob shows up with two Cargûls (no, it is not a typo).

The Cargûls have a strong aura of fear making the heroes to cower in fear. They say that Amdir is now a servant of Mordor and like a man possessed he says he will gladly join them. Amdir and the Cargûls leave while the Calder Cob slays the guard captain.

With the Cargûls out of the picture, the heroes regain their strength and give the Calder Cob what he deserves. Jon Brackenbrook reflects grimly about the loss of his father and the hard task ahead of rebuilding Archet. The hobbits decide to return to the Shire. Thus ends the intro and my gaming session for the night.

Now for the TP count:

Turbine Points Earned This Session: 10 points

Turbine Points Spent This Session : 10 points

Total Turbine Points Earned So Far: 10 points

Total Turbine Points Spent So Far: 10 points

Stuff Bought on the LotRO store so far:

  • Battered Horn of Disruption (for a quest)

P.S.: I made a mistake in the previous post. I wrote that the free accounts get 4 bags. It is actually 3. I corrected it now. This is just for those who already read it.

2 thoughts on “The LotRO Experiment – Part 1: One dagger to stab them all!”

  1. Haha. No, it was not. I just wrote it the wrong way, I guess. I will edit it later as well as a couple other mistakes.

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