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.