[LOTRO] Moria updated, the five minute quest/s

lotro_drunkmoria

I may be drunk in this screenshot, but I can see where my next tankard of beer is!

Arb and I were excited to get to Moria with our current LOTRO alts. We had heard a lot about how what is possibly one of the greatest expansions in MMO history had been updated and since we had both adventured through the area before, we figured that we would notice what had changed.

And for our first few levels we puzzled over whether  we had noticed any changes at all! Oh, it was fun to revisit old quests and areas we hadn’t seen for literally years – The Bat Cave! The Library! The Chamber of the Crossroads! But it wasn’t clear that any of them really seemed changed per se. I think many of the quests have been streamlined, there are fewer mobstacles in the main highways, and it also helped a lot that both Arb and I used some of our store credit to buy goats (ie. mounts which you can use in Moria as well as above ground). We also found some new extra horse (goat?) routes in Moria, taking you swiftly to minor questgivers from the major settlements. If I hadn’t mentioned this before by the way, Moria is big. Really big. Also very three dimensional, those dwarves loved their stairs and bridges.

But it was only the other day that we encountered some of the new content. We were on our way to Orc Watch (read: getting lost) when a window popped up with a quest in it. When we accepted it, it turned out that this was a local area based quest with a five minute timer. That’s like a red flag from the game saying, “Hey! Stop meandering and getting lost in Moria and do THIS THING, it will only take five minutes.”  So we did! “That was unexpected and a bit of extra fun”, we thought. “Not to mention a bit of extra xp.”

Further down the route, we saw a glowing orc corpse with a quest ring above it. Again, this kicked off a set of brief and very local quests which were new to us.

Then later on, we ran into the quest shown in the screenshot above. I’m pretty sure this one, which sends you off to drink to the memory of a dead dwarf with dwarves in lots of the Moria settlements, used to exist before. But now, after having a drink, the screen goes white and you just appear in the next settlement – conveniently able to pick up the horse route before having your next drink and continuing. Evidently the idea is that you are too drunk to really remember how you got there. We loved this. It’s a bit bonkers but still in theme, but does mean you can get the more far lying horse routes really easily.

Funny thing about the pop up area quests is that they kind of filled the same function for us as dynamic quests in GW2. But it didn’t matter that they actually weren’t dynamic because we were never really planning to go back that way again, and if we did it would be on the way to somewhere else and we wouldn’t really plan to divert to do a quest we’d probably done before anyway.

Short form: Quick popup quests are good, especially when they are unexpected. Moria is still pretty cool, and the revamp kept all the cool stuff.

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3 thoughts on “[LOTRO] Moria updated, the five minute quest/s

  1. I’ve played the first half of the Moria revamp, it was a big improvement to quest flow, making use of areas that had being previously underutilised like the ‘harpy’ area in the far north east, additional hubs in the Waterworks when there had only been one main hub before, remodelling of the terrain and increasing the lighting in Silverlode mines to make navigation easier. In the second half of the revamp, the place with lurid pink walls where hardly anyone goes (the name escapes me) was left untouched except for thinning some of the mobstacles, if you are looking for a compare and contrast then I can’t think of a worse example of the hub-based questing system. I’ll probably be playing through the second half revamp sometime, but just about to start into Rohan, where pop-up quests seem to be used more extensively from what I’ve seen.

    Plenty of themepark games (Rift is another example) seem to be changing up their quest delivery system, giving players more agency on where they want to go and do. Even just marking quests as ‘main story’ and ‘optional’ can be freeing to some extent, because making the player do busywork before the story progresses is just not fun for me anymore. I really think Arenanet has the quest delivery system cracked, sure many of the events have the player doing tasks that are common to other MMOs, but the way the content is delivered and the flow is second to none (the Forsaken Halls event chain is one of the best examples). Pop-up quests can come close, but they are based on a backbone of hubs that can feel really restrictive, linear and take away much agency from the player.

  2. Pingback: Revolution, Evolution, Variation, RecombinationKill Ten Rats | Kill Ten Rats

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