Way back in the day when The Lord of the Rings Online first went free-to-play, before I even started this blog, my very first character was a Hobbit Burglar by the name of Banswin. Technically I think I made a Human Hunter first, but I quickly lost interest in him (thus beginning a long-standing tradition of my first character in an MMO being doomed). For quite a while, he was my main character. He made it all the way to The Last Homely House in Rivendell, till I got distracted by the Captain and then that was my main for a while, followed by a string of others. But this story is not about them, it is about Banswin, who has been chilling with Elrond and Bilbo for ten years now (ten? Really? I am old). Hey, at least I parked him in a pretty zone. He may have thought that he had hung up his daggers for good and was enjoying his retirement, but this hobbit is finally back to his burgling ways.
I’ve been casually logging into LotRO now and then for a few weeks now, making my way slowly through the early Mirkwood series on my Beorning (my current main), and I keep thinking about that new Wildwood zone they added in Bree-land. I’m not sure why Standing Stone randomly decided to add a new zone to the middle of the game like that, but I’m not going to complain. Anything will get me ready for Moria without having to go through Angmar is ok in my book. Is that why they added it? 14 years later they finally figured out that Angmar is the worst? Who knows. I was tempted to level a whole new character from scratch — I don’t have a Guardian, and I’ve got that one Stout-Axe Champion who is still in the starting zone — but I have far too many alts in this game and nobody near level cap, so I managed to talk myself out of that one.
So I flipped through my catalog of alts and took a few for a test drive, ultimately settling on my burglar. For one, he was level 40, meaning that I wouldn’t have much leveling to do before he was ready for Wildwood at 45ish. For another, oh my goodness this class cranks out a lot of DPS now. I remember getting bored of him back in the day because the class was more group support focused and not very fun to play solo. I’m not sure what changed, be it the decade of balance patches, the fact that I likely didn’t build him optimally back then, or the fact that I was a lot newer to MMOs back then and therefore just wasn’t as good (or, most likely, all three combined) but so far every enemy I’ve run into just kind of melts. Sure, I have to be in melee range, and I’m doing almost exclusively single target damage with a couple of cleaves in my crit chain, but still, I feel like this class is overpowered.
I’m sure I’ll have some thoughts on Wildwood, but for now I have just finished LotRO’s other new bit of content, The Further Adventures of Bilbo Baggins, which is giving me a lot of the same feelings as Guild Wars 2’s Dragon Response Missions: I love the idea on paper, but the way they’ve executed it has been bafflingly boring. That said, the title it rewards is perfect for my mood right now:
Until next time, keep a close eye on your gold-pouches, or a sneaky Hobbit may help himself to them!