Saturday, 5 August 2017

Walked into Mordor

The Black Gate is open!

Hooray! The Mordor expansion is here!

I bought the Collector's Edition - I wanted a special mount and the high elf, and the extras in the Ultimate Fan Bundle would be nice, but too expensive.

Steed of the Alliance of the Third Age
Alliance of the Third Age cosmetic armour

So far, Myndariel my Lore-master, Tyravorth my Beorning and Letycia my Captain (who used the Aria of the Valar to get boosted to 105) have entered Gorgoroth and are questing in Udûn. I've also created a new High Elf champion.

Mordor First Impressions

Session play was used quite well to show us key moments in the final stage of Frodo's journey, especially Gollum with Shelob and the battle between Gollum and Frodo for the ring. The Field of Cormallen looked stunning in glorious colours. Radanir was funny with his speech about an important to decision to make (which inn will the Rangers meet at for drinks?).

Gollum and the Ring
Field of Cormallen

Walking into Mordor (yes I did originally try walking into Mordor from The Wastes - not recommended - you'll die!) by taking the horse from the Field of Cormallen to the Black Gate, it's dark, but not as bad as I expected. I like the purple shadows around the player when they leave the beaten track; they emphasise the sense of potential danger. The soot-smudged pages to find and audio lore excerpts are nice - if I could be patient enough to stand still and listen to them fully. I read them though. Briefly. Then rush off to explore some more. So much to see and do.

The introduction of new NPCs with their own goals in Mordor is interesting and I look forward to journeying alongside them and seeing what mischief they get up to. I love crafting so I'm happy to see new resources and recipes and less reliance on essences. I'll have to wait and see whether the disenchantment system (breaking down unwanted gear into Ash of Gorgoroth) is good - will we get enough excess gear drops? Other than quest rewards, I've only had one piece of gear drop in the wild and I can't wait to use it (it's for level 107). I've found lots of chests that apparently contain Gorgoroth Crafting Bundles - but you need level 106 to open them. I hope they will be worthwhile.


The mobs have been difficult because my characters aren't that well geared. Myndariel has had the easiest time so far, but the mobs still take a while to defeat. I feel like I'm hitting them with wet noodles and they avoid so many of my attacks. Once I get new gear with the stats balanced appropriate for the zone I'm sure it will get better.

So far I'm enjoying it. It's tough but it should be. I'm looking forward to new gear and exploring new regions and learning more about the allegiance system and the Black Book of Mordor.

High Elf

Taurileth in the Second Age

I created a High Elf champion and played through the starting area. After having just been through the finale of the War of the Ring on Myndariel and Tyravorth, it gave me goosebumps and that déjà-vu feeling playing through the High Elf intro set in the Second Age during the last battle against Sauron. It was awesome!

High Elf Intro - Second Age

And Elrond's house! Oh my! It looked amazing compared to the version we are familiar with, and that was pretty good to start with.

Tham Send in Elrond's Last Homely House
Taurileth in Tham Send

I'm so glad we get the beautiful armour to keep. I love how you get sent to Celondim in Ered Luin with Elrond's sons - and a pile of books to catch up on a couple thousand years of history that occurred while you were sleeping! It's hard to imagine what that would be like. I've decided to make her a scholar as a result. Imagine poking around ruins and remembering them as beautiful buildings like it was yesterday - maybe she'll find "ancient" artifacts that were created by her friends or family, or even by her!

I almost wish I had used the character boost on her, but from reading the Patch Notes, it looks like there are quite a few quests that have minor variations for High Elves, and it might be fun to experience those.

Aria of the Valar

When I logged in after the expansion launched, I was missing my Aria of the Valar package. There was an announcement that it was a known issue, and would be fixed soon. I transferred crafting materials to my bank to make room in my bags for Mordor stuff, and my bank was nearly full, so I bought some more shared storage, and then my Aria of the Valar Package arrived. So I used the Aria of the Valar character boost to take my level 18 Captain to level 105 so she could head into Mordor. I'll have to level her crafting skills later.

It included (all character-bound):
  • Aria of the Valar (instantly boosts character to level 105 and transports you to Camp of the Host in The Wastes so you can pick up the Epic Quest Volume IV, Book 8 from Aragorn that leads you into Mordor; you also get 12 tiers of each virtue, trait points, promotion points, over 300 marks, a Westemnet Iron Coin, at least 10 LOTRO points from auto-completed deeds, an Anórien lootbox and a sturdy key).
  • Aria of the Valar Armour Pack (contains a full set of item level 294 armour and jewellery appropriate for your class, but no pocket item).
  • Aria of the Valar Weapon Pack (contains a item level 294 weapon set appropriate for your class (e.g. a sword and shield), plus 3 Unidentified Third Age Legendary Item Boxes so you can choose a weapon, a class item and a war-steed bridle).
  • Aria of the Valar Item Pack (contains 25 Dale-men's Crams, 25 Rejuvenation Potions, 25 Mithril Coins, Map to Eastfold - Aldburg, Map to the Sutcrofts - Snowbourne, an Anfalas Star-lit Crystal, Trait: Riding Characteristic (gain riding skill), Steed of the Citadel and war-steed appearances). 
  • 3 Giant Piles of Silver Scraps (worth 5 gold 400 silver).
  • 5 Tomes of Extraordinary Experience (XP boosters).
  • Map to Rivendell.
  • War-steed.
  • Trait: Mounted Combat (can use war-steeds).
  • Trait: Legendary items (can use legendary items).

Camp of the Host, The Wastes
Steed of the Citadel
Captain boosted to level 105 wearing equipment from Aria of the Valar Package

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