RL being what it can be, I didn’t get a chance to log in yesterday. The day before, however, a few hours’ play saw Ysharros the Scary Captain go from 10 to 14, all without a single quest. Her first foray into AH selling also went well, and I logged in for my second session to discover I’d made almost 450 silver overnight. It may not be much, but considering she had something like 17 silver in her pocket the night before, it was a fortune!
As always, raw materials sell well. Any game that requires grinding resources for levelling will eventually reach a point where raw materials become more valuable than the products they’re used to make; this was true in SWG, EQ2, WoW, and most of the other grind-based crafting games I’ve played. Vanguard remains a bit of an exception because level-grinding is done through work orders, which use “fake” resources, but that system has its own problems (or did last time I played).
It’s been interesting and a lot of fun so far. Not checking my quest log as soon as I log in is something of a novelty, and it’s amazingly refreshing to be able to structure my play around something other than the most productive order in which to do quests. I’m also far more aware of my surroundings as landscape rather than as a location to kill ten rats, and move through them as a genuine traveller rather than simply getting from one quest blob-loc on my map to another. That’s definitely been very enjoyable.
My main aim, initially, was to get Ysh to 12 so she could use her fancy new axe-thingy (2-handed). I also wanted to finish off some of the beast-killing deeds because I knew they’d only nag at the back of my mind if I moved on with too many of them left undone. And last but not least, I wanted to harvest everything that wasn’t nailed down, both to improve Ysh’s gear and to raise her skills in preparation for the next tier of goodies.
Ultimately, I did pretty much the same thing one does even with quests. I killed stuff, I travelled, and I harvested stuff. And like I said, it’s both refreshing yet somehow a little unsettling to not have quest-directed goals, though it’s certainly not the purposeless vacuum some thought it might be.
Oh, and I suffered my first defeat, dammit. I was hoping to get one of those fancy “You’re so leet, you’ve never died!” titles, but it wasn’t to be — even more embarrassingly it wasn’t through any lack of capability on Ysh’s part, but rather through dumb-assed pannicking on mine. I ventured into Scary quarry and the spider den therein, and foolishly (even more so because I remembered what this place was like from beta) pulled the Queen before having killed most of her little arachnid subjects. Said Queen came surrounded by a million (at least!) evil little spider buddies and I had to flee.
Here’s where player dumbassery comes in. Running back to the entrance, I saw a ladder and thought — bluntly — SHIT! A ladder?! WTF?! So I did everything one could do to try to get out — mostly running at the damn thing hoping I would somehow ascend to the ledge above — except actually, you know, CLICK on the ladder. Cue more frantic running around, pursued by chomping spiders, until I eventually fell to their poisoned bites.
I’m not a huge fan of dying to begin with (or retreating, as it’s known in LOTRO), but when I die because of sheer player stupidity it’s even worse. L2P, noob.
Still, I did get a new title out of it.
(I’m lying, but the pic is good anyway.)
I also made it to journeyman tailor and, thanks to a couple of recipe drops, am a little better armoured than I used to be — which still isn’t saying much, but it’s enough to get by. I’m not going to buy better recipes on the AH if I can help it, because at some point Ysh will be able to use heavy armour and since I can’t make that myself, I’m slowly buying up a piece here and a piece there in readiness.
So far, so good! I’m very tempted to just pick this experiment up with some or all of my Landroval characters. Playing alone on Elendilmir — though I did meet and chat with a couple of very nice people — is a little lonely, even for a playing-alone-with-others type like me.
Bah, who am I kidding? I just want access to all my alts. One of the side-challenges of the Elendilmir No Quests is that I haven’t allowed myself to make any alts. For me this is an even bigger challenge than playing without quests, and I’m interested to see how it develops.
And that’s about it. Work willing I’ll be able to play a little today. That said, if these updates are boring everyone silly but me, feel free to let me know. I may or may not listen.
On a completely unrelated note, the screenie below illustrates how to do Dwarven lighting right, in my ever so humble opinion. I always thought dwarven lights should be soft and glowy, not bright and actinic the way they’re portrayed in so many other games. It just makes more sense (underground eyes are much more sensitive to light, for one thing).