Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This just in: Mirkwood is a lot of fun.

Maybe it's simply a relief to have a normal outdoor questing zone after spending a year in Moria and Lothlorian. Moria was an amazingly well realized dungeon environment, but it was also oppressive and at times stressful to level in. Lothlorian had to be the most anti-climatic final zone I have ever seen in an MMO. You spend weeks struggling through challenges of epic proportions, only to be told that you need to spend a few evenings cleaning up orc filth before you can be trusted to even set foot in Lothlorian. Once in Lothlorian proper, exciting tasks like picking grapes and meditating await. The 1-60 game ended on more of a whimper than a bang for anyone that wasn't a raider.

Mirkwood addresses this issue pretty well. Now, after spending some time recovering from Moria in Lothlorian, you have a new final high level zone to move on to. The quest chains you need to get through to enter Mirkwood are combat heavy and fairly challenging. You'll want to get into a PuG for them if at all possible. There is also a steady stream of NPC elves coming along to help you fight in most spots. This simple device makes you feel like you really are part of an invasion force, rather than some lone chump that does all the work while NPCs laze about in camp and come up with new missions for you. So far, Mirkwood is a much more satisfying cap to LoTRO than Lothlorian was.


  1. I really enjoyed Moria and didn't feel any stress from being underground, but I agree that Lothlorien was a bit of a let down quest-wise. Unfortunately this was a case of Turbine being limited by the IP. If they're released Moria with the southern Mirkwood content, I think players would've been much happier because Lothlorien would've been more of a way-point or break before plunging into Mirkwood.

  2. Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself. I barely made it past Rivendell, so I still have a lot of game ahead of me. Nice to know there is lots of good stuff to look forward to.

  3. I can't wait to get high enough level to get to Moria and Mirkwood, it sounds awesome.

  4. @Blue: I agree %100. If MoM had launched with Mirkwood, Lothlorian would have felt like a welcome respite instead of the the game fizzling out. The final stretch of road to the cap feels a lot better now.

    @Anjin: the game only gets better as you level imo. You have some of my very favorite SoA zones coming up. Be sure to spend some time in Goblin Town if you get a chance. Golem's Island is not to be missed.

    @Jayedub: You may love it or you may hate questing there. But it's hard to disagree with the observation that Moria is a stunning virtual space. It has more "holy crap, look at that" moments than any other underground area I've been experienced in one of these games. I think I'd have to go back to PSO to find "dungeons" that are close to being as compelling visually. Honestly, even that is a pretty distant second.