Feb 16 2009

Home and There Again — A Bounder’s Holiday

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Wow, go away for a month and you suddenly discover that a month has gone by. In the non-LotRO world, I am a cartoonist, so I went off to a convention to sell some comics, and came home with the most vicious case of con-crud this side of the Cardolan plague. It wasn’t until last night that I was caught up enough with both real life and my cartooning that I felt like I had time to play.

I signed on to find Maedhroc in the Trollshaws (at night, of course), looking around for soloable L35 content because most of the kinship was offline and because I was only going to be on for an hour or so anyway. After one bear and three wolves too many I got discouraged there and wandered back to Esteldin, where I decided on a whim to take on an aurochs to see just how much of a nightmare those three group quests in my log were.

Much to my surprise, the aurochs was a pushover. 0.o I mean, I know that wardens are awesome and all that, but after getting my little hobbitey hinder handed to me by three wolves in the Trollshaws, I wasn’t expecting an aurochs to fall over the first time I went “YEAAUUGH!” at him. Within short order I had quickly devastated the North Downs aurochs population and finished off three near-level quests.

After that, so that Maedhroc can have had a little vacation during my own vacation, I headed back to the Shire to test my luck at the various fishing holes there. I did manage to catch a few trophies among the rusty daggers and balls of gunk, so that was fun. But it felt rather strange to have NPCs saying “Hullo, Bounder Maedhroc!” after having been tromping all over Eriador for so long.

I’ve discovered that I miss the Shire, not only because it’s such a nice zone, but also thematically. Maedhroc’s whole character (in my mind) is based on the idea that he became a Bounder to protect the Shire, and then was recruited by the Wardens to help watch the roads and so forth. But once you reach the North Downs and the Trollshaws, you’re not really doing that any more. With the exception of defending Trestlebridge, you’re no longer defending people and their homes, but now being sent on forays into enemy territory, which has a very different feel. And it’s not really Maedhroc’s calling. He’s not a crusader, he’s a defender.

Not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do about it. I have an elf warden and a human warden, either of whom I might start working on for a while; I think a warden would be a mighty fun character to play in the Misty Mountains or Forochel, for instance, although I have a hard time imagining Maedhroc going there of his own free will.

-The Gneech

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