I’m going to try and push through with the last four introductions — once I’m finished with those, LOTRO blogging will be a little less frequent. I also may make a little side page for the characters and any other important information at some point to make things a little easier to remember who is who and what I’m babbling about.
I started with my first character, Th, and now I’ll go in order of creation of my own characters, finishing with (I hate referring to them as “supporting” characters) my husband’s dwarf and a brief mention of my friend’s characters (or at least one or two of them).
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how long my first/main character would last. I had no idea I would even create a second! Necessity turned out to be a driving force in creating her. It wasn’t that I wanted to try another fighter-type or race… it was because I needed her skills.
As I mentioned with Th, one of his “careers” involves making weapons. Some of them are from wood. While he can mine for ore himself, he cannot gather and prepare the wood. There is an Auction House, but even if I had enough “gold” to buy what I needed, I am still at the mercy of waiting for someone to post what I needed, in the amounts I needed. I decided very quickly that wasn’t going to work for me.
Building a character in a different way
I already had a male dwarf, so I thought this time I would create a female character and make her an elf. I’ll admit it: for some reason, I have no interest in playing a human in LOTRO. I spend very little time in human areas, preferring dwarves and elves. And surprisingly, I’m really not interested in hobbits either.
I actually started by looking up the crafting categories, and which ones could gather and process wood. The Forester intrigued me. Not only do they work with wood, but they also can process hides from animal-based kills (I certainly ended up with plenty of those), and from those you can make light and medium armor as a tailor. Also handy, they can mine for ore without having to deal with the weapon making annoyance. This could also be handy to feed my dwarf’s crafting needs.
So, a female elf forester was started — we will call her “L.”
Give that elf a bow and arrows!
As far as fighting style, this character just screamed for the hunter category (think Legolas). Unlike Legolas and his shooting arrows while running around, defying gravity (running up falling stones *coughs*), I decided to go with the red tree trait, Bowmaster. Think more “sniper” than fast Legolas. I wanted a bit of power behind the bow shots. Since her armor would be medium, instead of the heavy I was used to with my dwarf, I was nervous how she would be able to deal with soloing. At this point, I knew she was a gatherer. A backup. I still needed her to advance level-wise, so I could get to the resources I needed.
As far as weapons, I also liked the double-sword look for her along with her main weapon, a bow. There have been times she’s ended up with an axe as well, but I’ve always liked the look of double-swords for her. Sadly, she picked up an axe when she gained access to Moria and since I’m still learning about Legendary Items (things change when you enter Moria), I’ve been too nervous to change it out to a sword or even getting her another LI sword. Perhaps once I feel a little more used to how things work with LIs, and the axe has been fully leveled up, she’ll go back to that look.
Although I do need to use it more often, she has the ability to sneak around. Either hiding while standing still, or “cloaking” and tip-toeing around. The only downside is once you do something, it stops working and the next time you can use it is a little while. It has come in handy though, and can be fun using. 😉
And now for something completely different
Back to the fact her main weapon is a bow — I’ll admit, I was not fond of this “distance-fighting” weirdness. Especially since bad guys always ran up to fight anyway, which was annoying when her powerful bow-attacks took time to power up! I felt awkward, and instead of just running in (at least somewhat) confidently, I would skirt around trouble, picking out weak spots, nervously starting things and hoping she’d pull through the fight.
What I didn’t realize, is part of the problem turned out to be my old laptop.
When L hit level 48 and went into Eregion — because the place is RICH with resources, so of course I pushed her ahead and couldn’t stop questing — I first thought there was just no way I could do this without help. Even the simplest fights with at-level foes made me nervous, and each one felt like I might come close to defeat. How was I supposed to get to those wonderful resources if I was scared to leave the path? I’d always had trouble with Rivendell making my laptop freak out (all those trees, buildings, waterfalls… at least you were safe from being attacked), and the trees in Eregion were doing the same. Except this time, there were plenty of things that wanted to attack.
And then the inevitable happened, my laptop died, and my sweet husband bought me a new desktop. He didn’t want me to be without my favorite entertainment, so we looked for the cheapest gaming system I could afford. LOTRO was the first thing I did when I got it up and running. And when I logged on, I used L and went to Eregion. If anything would tell me if things were better with the new computer, that would be it.
And suddenly, I liked playing L.
What a difference!
While the graphics weren’t lots better than what I’d been stuck with, they were improved. Mostly though, the computer was able to handle the speed needed — fights weren’t as scary or difficult. Quite frankly, they were more fun. Sure, I still needed to consider what I was doing, but it was actually working. I couldn’t stop playing L and questing in Eregion. Next thing I knew, she was staring at the gate to Moria. Eregion had been a blur with quests flying by.
It was a hard decision to make, splitting her pairing with my husband’s dwarf, but it made the most sense. Onward she went, solo again.
Wait, what? She wasn’t solo this whole time?
Oh yes… in all the talk about creating L and what I needed her for, I neglected to mention that shortly after her creation, Th and my husband’s dwarf stopped questing together, and L took that spot instead of soloing on her own all the time (just most of the time).
In a funny turn of events, my husband who was able to play video games far better than I ever could, preferred gaming with me. Somehow, LOTRO ended up making more sense to me and I had more time to figure out what was going on (he is a writer and a podcaster, and his free time is full of all sorts of projects). With L leading the way, he was able to make better progress than if he’d tried gaming on his own. Plus — don’t laugh — it was a bit of a “date night” for us.
A bit of romance?
Yes, as it turned out, L became a bit of “me” in Middle Earth and Christopher’s dwarf is all “him” — so it was only natural that a bit more playful fun and flirting happened with these two. Instead of greeting each other with a simple wave or bow, my elf took to blowing him kisses and giggling at him.
Of course, this doesn’t sit well with Th, his brother. He has become an embarrassment to the family — the shame! Following that pointy-ear around like a lovesick puppy.
When I told Christopher that L was about to break away level-wise and enter Moria, he gave me a bit of a sad look. No, he wouldn’t be questing alone. Instead, he would be working with my third character. Another elf. No silly kisses and flirting. There are some sweet little messages when L sends him gems and precious metals for his crafting, however. And it’s not like he’ll never see her again. In fact, he can’t wait to get into Moria. I’m not sure if it’s because he too likes dwarves and can’t wait to see it… or if he’s hoping to catch up to L again.
While L is working her way through Moria, she is not doing all quests. Just enough to keep her levels going, and mostly focusing on the main epic quest books. She may be about to start heavy questing to lead her out the other door, on her way to Lothlorien — but her main focus still seems to be that of gatherer. There is always plenty that needs to be mined or crafted.
And while she is an elf, she has spent a lot of time around dwarves and appreciates their history. Hearing the stories of Thorin Oakenshield’s quest to reclaim Erebor, and now with Moria, she has come to like them and contemplate them. Their loyalty, drive, passion, strength, and ferocity have inspired her and made her fight harder as well.
She still sometimes sneaks back to the stone trolls in the Trollshaws, where Thorin, Bilbo, and Company were attacked, and just sits and thinks while looking at them.
Up next, my last character. Yet another elf… but a little different!