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Doro

Current State of LotRO

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For those who are almost miraculously still playing, where are we at for LotRO in terms of story, end-game, regions, and the like?

I never got through Helm's Deep, but I've read a few things here and there since and the last thing I knew was that it's post-Ring destruction and Mordor is being run by the pseudo-Nazgul 2.0 led by the Mouth of Sauron. Are they still the big bads? Has the attention shifted to anywhere else? Has there been any new interesting enemies (like how the Ever-seer in the Rift, or the Mistress and Gwathnor in Moria seem to be unique creatures), or mysterious spirits (like the Huntsman in Enedwaith)? There's very little available on 3rd party sites now for obvious reasons.

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At this point, we're basically chasing down the Gúrzyul, the former disciples of Sauron. This mainly includes Dulgabêth, the Mouth of Sauron; Karazgar the Weeping Warrior; and Urudanî Stonemaiden, previously the mistress of Nargroth and currently a fire-wraith. Karazgar is involved most of the Black Book story in the Three Kingdoms (Felegroth, Dale, and Erebor) and The Dwarf-Holds (Iron Hills and Ered Mithrin). He also appears in the Vales of the Anduin. His story is never adequately completed, before you are whisked away to help Isildur (himself now a wraith) find a final peace in the final chapters of the Black Book. 

The other ongoing antagonist is Lhaereth the Stained, the Lady of Blight, a Morroval who is adept at brewing up plagues and poisons.

The new area, Wells of Langflood, has started a whole new epic line. In it, players are headed to Gundabad with the dwarfs - Prince Durin (Son of King Thorin III) has decreed that the dwarfs are destined to reclaim it. This area is relatively easy and has no real endgame - there's an ongoing series of quests to defeat some named goblins in various instances. The epic doesn't really go anywhere, and the main non-epic story involves a Rohirric scholar trying to suss out the history of the people.

End-game instances are still related to Minas Morgul. There is a series of rep tiers - the reclamation quests - that require you to run them endlessly until you max out your rep with this faction. As you unlock each tier, you unlock an associated quest chain that involves destroying a particular artifact so that you can defeat some random baddie named Thargaun.

The state of gear is still bad. The best landscape gear is still obtained from lootboxes, and it's still all about essences. Crafting is still a waste of time.

The new virtue system is just another grind, unless you're willing to buy stuff from the store.

If you've not played since HD, you have a lot of catching up to do. If you intend to imbue your LIs at lvl 100, you'll be grinding scrolls of empowerment for months (unless you're willing to spend MC), as there is no good solution even now. You'll also need starlit crystals for the main LI stat, and the crystals are even rarer (and I've found it's easier just to MC the tiers - it only costs 10 MCs per tier). They have added both the scrolls and crystals to the embers NPC now.

Overall, I feel that the game has become repetitive - it's always kill 10 of these, pick up 10 of that, grind the rep for this faction, and spend the tokens for some cosmetics, housing items, or cosmetic pets.

One note: the Minas Morgul currency is account-wide, and capped at 999 sigils. This is perhaps the stupidest idea ever, especially if you intend to take multiple characters through the region. There is very little to spend the sigils on, and so you end up losing them.

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Thanks for the rundown. There was one bit that was particularly interesting about the LIs. Did they really leave a non-cap grind in the middle of levelling that's required for a decent end-game weapon and can't be avoided without using the Store? I'm amazed they never bothered to look into that, but then I wonder just how many players ever go through a filter like that. You're either keeping up with each cap in real time, or you give up as a new player somewhere around Isengard/Rohan and never have to see it anyway.

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17 minutes ago, Doro said:

Thanks for the rundown. There was one bit that was particularly interesting about the LIs. Did they really leave a non-cap grind in the middle of levelling that's required for a decent end-game weapon and can't be avoided without using the Store? I'm amazed they never bothered to look into that, but then I wonder just how many players ever go through a filter like that. You're either keeping up with each cap in real time, or you give up as a new player somewhere around Isengard/Rohan and never have to see it anyway.

Technically, you don't have to do the store. There are several in-game sources of empowerment scrolls - chiefly, chasing down roving threats and completing dailies in Minas Tirith. And you can get the crystals from the festivals. Per Lotroplayers, it takes about 42 days to get enough SOE to cap your weapon.

 They just introduced the embers route recently. You can deconstruct old gear to get embers.

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I started back up 3-ish months ago when everything became free, after 5 years off. Previously, had given up because of lack of end game - epic battles were it and didn't seem to be much coming during each Gondor area in updates.

The story went to the destruction of the ring and going through Mordor about 3 years ago. Black Book of Mordor started there and went to Elves of Thranduil/Dale/Erebor/Iron Hills/Grey Mountains and finally back to Minas Morgul expansion last November.

End game is Remmorchant raid in Shelob's lair. Reasonably hard raid that I've yet to complete. Still gathering gear.

I just did the the level 120 endgame raid, Anvil of Winterstith, which seemed good fun. Tier 2+ runs is the only way to get the single BiS crafted relic for your LI since Helm's Deep.

Crafting effectively died with Helm's Deep/Dol Amroth. Recipes are mostly locked behind different area's reputation and isn't all that good. They added a new crafter's guild level with Morgul but not really sure (still) what one gets from it.

There's a number of ways to get SoE but a grind nonetheless. The Mordor area/gear gives Motes of Enchantment so can still be fairly useful. Newer areas give Embers of Enchantment that you can trade for better SoE or other end game gear.

They recently opened a 3-man in Moria of all places. I haven't done it yet except at level 50 just to see it.

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Several months ago, I finally made it to the destruction of the ring and started into Mordor. Haven't played since, since Mordor looks like poop, as did almost the whole of Gondor, especially with the awful darkened sky effect (I get the lore reason, but it's still too dark and ugly). I feel like I can never play the game again and have no regrets. I'd like to see the northern zones, but I don't know if I have the patience to get through Mordor, and I'm a zone completionist. 

The gear situation is a nightmare grind. I simply gave up ever hoping to finish my LI or have decent armor or raid. I really wish the Amazon game takes Lotro back behind the shed and puts it out of its long-standing misery. 

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