I’m up to level 18 in LotRO, and well into Bree-Land, having finished everything I could find in Ered Luin, and completing all but two of the available Deeds. (I’m playing a Dwarf Guardian named Hroar, on Landroval, by the way.) The only ones left in Ered Luin are advanced slayer deeds that I plan to get back to pretty soon.
One of the early areas that you delve into in Bree-Land is Buckland and the adjoining Old Forest, home of Tom Bombadil, Old Man Willow and some other stuff. Those animate trees are both scary and badass, and so far I have avoided getting stomped by them only be running away like a girl.
It took several passes at the game, and the whole thing shifting to a free-to-play model, but LotRO seems to be clicking for me big-time. I’m getting a big thrill out of visiting places and people from the books. Tom Bombadil was a particular treat, and the game treats him very well – bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. And he actually prances around. It’s a perfect treatment of the character.
The Old Forest itself is a pretty freaking dangerous place, crawling with spiders and the aforementioned badass animated trees. No wonder the Hobbits had trouble getting through it. The treatment of Old Man Willow was pretty cool as well – far as I could tell he didn’t animate, but he does put a drowsiness debuff on you, and I got the hell out of there.
I also poked into the Shire, and will likely either go back there to get the Deeds or do them on another character – my understanding is that Deeds unlock Turbine Points on a per-server basis. Should this prove to be incorrect I will likely pause the current character when he finished Bree-Land and take another charater (I’ve made a Minstrel,) and run him up to about the same level.
I’ve got just over 150 Turbine Points right now, which isn’t bad, especially considering that I have a lot of Deeds left to do in Bree-Land, plus those I left incomplete in Ered Luin, plus whatever’s in the Shire. So I think I will be able to get into the Lone Lands (Weathertop!) without either too much trouble or spending any money. I have to say, though, that from where I’m sitting the VIP deal is looking pretty attractive. The money’s not there right now, but I can hope that’ll change in the next month or two, and it looks like what I can play for free will have me busy for weeks yet.