A grand old MMO tradition

I don’t know about the rest of you young whippersnappers, but there’s something Mort and I seem to do in every MMO we play.

At least once, we take a couple of ridiculously under-levelled characters and run them from SafeLands01 through StupidDangerousZones 03, 04 and 08 to end up at Place-You-Don’t-Really-Need-To-Visit-Yet.

In LOTRO, we ran a level 15 (Mort’s RK and scholar) and a level 19 (my hunter) from the warm comforts of the Shire and Bree all the way to Rivendell. For one thing, we’d never done it before nor ever seen Imladris in game – which made it worth doing in and of itself. For another, Mort needed to join the Scholar’s Guild and that’s where it is.

Before you wonder why a center of Elven learning is in BFE-turn-right-past-the-Trollshaws, I should point out that Timbuktu was once a great centre of learning. No, really. But do you know where it is? (No bonus points for smartypants.)

And finally, to quote George Mallory: because it’s there.

The run through the Lone Lands was… eh, a little brown, a little sere, a little jiggy as we avoided the odd crebain-type and orc-type. Nothing much to write home about. Past the Last Bridge and into the Trollshaws, which marked the edge of anything either of us had previously experienced, and we thought we were doing pretty well. That was before we almost ran smack into the wandering elite Stone Troll.

We avoided him, as well as the wolves and worms and bears, oh my! We made it to the ford over the Bruinen basically unscathed, at which point I was thinking “Pfft, what’s the big deal about running to Rivendell anyway?”

That was before we started climbing the far slope.

We — well, mostly Heloyse, who was in the lead and had a bit more health than the weedy Rune-Keeper — spent the next 10 minutes running from one aggro to the next. Sickle-flies, boars, bears, wolves, bats, bees, barracudas — the entire world was about 6 inches away from Helo’s backside, snapping at her heels and wearing her down one bite at a time. This was the point at which I was screaming “Don’t heal! Don’t heal! You’ll get aggro!” to the spousal unit faithfully running along behind, interspersed with Muttley mutterings about how if I’d only waited just a little longer I wouldn’t be putting Helo’s “Undying” title in jeopardy. (You get that by reaching level 20 without dying. During the run, Heloyse was level 19.75 or something.)

Sadly I didn’t have any time to take pictures of the conga-line of drooling, slavering and buzzing monstrosities that chased us all the way up the eastern bank of the Bruinen. Suffice to say that when they finally dropped off — just as we came into view of two burly and oh-so-welcome high-level guards apparently randomly posted on the road — we really felt as though we’d run the gauntlet.

Running to Rivendell: not for the faint of heart, or the low of levels.

Great views though.

7 thoughts on “A grand old MMO tradition

  1. One of my favorite memories from EQOA was running my level 12 Magician halfway across the continent just to get to the next town over. I spent hours dodging dragons, ducking undead. With an invisibility spell that had a random duration. Since it was PS2, there was no such thing as a screenshot, at least not easily, but standing on the side of a mountain watching danger lurk and wondering where the hell I was is a mental picture I will have forever. A watershed moment in my gaming history.

  2. I agree completely, doing insane runs like that are the best. I also was part of a low-level run up to Rivendell to get to the Scholar’s Guild on one of my better half’s characters.

    But, yeah, at least Turbine knows how to reward you after that insane run. πŸ™‚

  3. I don’t remember how many times I ran fresh lvl1 nightelfs from Teldrassil to Elwynn Forest, hehe! And I agree, these undertakings are such a great thrill and lots of fun – even if I ended up leveling none of them afterwards! πŸ˜‰
    I’m an explorer at heart and each time expansions hit, I take my character around the world first, into all the new and too-high-level-places before actually bothering to level up. it’s the best part of it all and makes for some epic deaths, hehe.

  4. @HarbringerZero: actually some of my fondest memories are also of running around in EQOA …terrified… trying to find obscure stable masters. It was such a sense of relief when you finally hailed the stable master on the other side of a zone filled with gnarly reds that could easily one or two shot you. β€œI will have never to do that again, thank goodness.”

    Until the next alt of course.

    @Ysharros: sounds like an adventure πŸ™‚ Nice screenshots.

    [First version of this has typos worse than this one, please delete]

  5. I love trying to go places I’m not supposed to for my level. It makes me happy to break the carefully laid plans of the devs.

  6. Agreed, its the one time I feel like I’m making the game my own, when I’m not following the meticulously planned zone progression. Its actually the only time I tend to feel fear in the game as well, because the threat of dying in normal combat against an even level critter evokes more of a sense of frustration and consequence, while praying that a monster 20 levels higher than you doesn’t catch sight of you oozes with the fear of inevitable doom and the excitement of narrow escapes!

  7. If you feel up to trying that trip at level 1, there are always the chicken runs. I never made the run to Rivendell on my chicken; I have always meant to have someone going in front to keep the aggro off the chicken.

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