Sunday, 12 November 2017

Character-boosted Minstrel in Mordor Level 105: Udun

I decided to boost another character to level 105 so they could enter Mordor. It was a close competition between my champion and my minstrel. Both have their crafting professions up to Doomfold level and can make level 100 legendary items (my champ is a weaponsmith and my minstrel is a tailor). Both are enjoyable to play and can manage most content with ease. In the end, I chose my minstrel because my champ was having fun questing in Moria while my minstrel was parked in Enedwaith feeling a little bored. She needs more action!

Cantara the minstrel

Time to compose Cantara's new chant "Misadventures in Mordor".

Character boost package
Cantara opened the Aria of the Valar upgrade package, looked at all the new goodies then clicked on the Aria of the Valar. There was a loud ringing of the gong then she was whisked away to the Camp of the Host in The Wastes and found herself standing before Aragorn and Gandalf as a level 105 minstrel. She quickly equipped her new armour, weapons and skills.

Cantara's stats after being boosted to level 105

Aragorn had an epic quest for her, Volume IV, Book 8: The Black Gate. She got a glimpse of what was happening with Frodo, Sam and Gollum sneaking into Mordor by a secret path, while Aragorn and his host prepared for a more direct approach.

Playing the wardrums at the Battle of the Morannon

Since I'm playing a minstrel, I have to mention how awesome the background music for the Battle of the Morannon quest instance is. It feels so momentous, with the sense of frenzy and the direness of the situation - sometimes it sounds so ominous like disaster is imminent and other times it soars as though heroic deeds taking place across the battlefield are beacons of light and hope bursting out of the darkness. It sends chills down my spine and has me on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next bar of dramatic music to unfold. Brilliant.

Finally, the epic quest was over and the victors celebrated and recovered at the Fields of Cormallen. Two out of the three legendary items Cantara got in the upgrade pack are due for reforging and her bags are almost full, but Cantara has been sent back to the Black Gate and a new adventure begins - The Black Book of Mordor.

At Cirith Gorgor, just inside the Black Gate, Cantara met some NPC adventurers who will also be heading into Mordor, for knowledge, treasure, memories and the desire for proof that Sauron is truly gone. At the Udûn Foothold, she hears that Captain Lachír is missing and rumours that the forgeworkers have a secret way of communicating via signal flags. So she has some missions to prepare for. Narthavron, the Master Smith at the Foothold, introduces the Ashes of Gorgoroth mechanic for deconstructing unwanted Mordor equipment into ashes which can be bartered for useful equipment.

Cantara called on my other characters to get some second age legendaries crafted. The symbols for a First Age were a bit too expensive (hopefully by the time she reaches level 115 she can obtain them) and she will need to level several legendaries to get the right legacies and enhancements. She also needed a new pocket item because that didn't come in the equipment pack with the upgrade.

The mobs in Udûn are at least level 106 and were certainly a lot more difficult to defeat than the mobs at the Battle of the Morannon. While Cantara was still level 105, I tried to mainly fight the swarm ones with the green portrait frame border, such as the gore-crows, slag-slugs and frenzied nurnhoth as they were much easier and had a smaller health pool. A lot of the quests are picked up from the landscape rather than from a quest-giver so you really have to look around and check everything to see if it is useful or interactive.

Gorgoroth wood and skarn were fairly common, especially along the road near Anglach, but hides are rather rare due to the lack of beasts around. I guess I will be relying on the crafting chests found in ruins and strongholds (although level 106 is required to open the Gorgoroth Crafting Bundles in the chests).

Rusty Small Chests contain Gorgoroth Crafting Bundles
with random Doomfold crafting materials
 
I got my first piece of Mordor gear from a quest, a ring with +2 Light of Earendil which will help counter the debuffs from the Shadow of Mordor which reduce your damage and healing. My quests took me into Anglach, where Captain Lachír was last seen, but most of the mobs there are level 107 and they do a lot more damage to me than I do to them. Buff food and consumables will come in handy in Mordor.

I also found several Gorgoroth Steel-bound Lootboxes. These require a special Black Steel Key which can be earned from max-level dailies (doesn't help me) or from the LOTRO Store (grrrr). They could contain some really good gear, but since I can't open them and they're not worth much on the auction house or in trade (because most other people can't open them either), I'll be throwing them away so they don't clog up my bags. Seems like a waste but oh well.

Cantara reached level 106 and has picked up quite a few quests. Hopefully she will get some more Mordor gear soon and can delve further into Udûn.

First verse:
The gloom, the gloom, the gloom of Udûn
Forges and slaves abandoned to doom
Shadows of Mordor drain all power
Till nothing can live, not even a flower.

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