This past weekend was rather turbulent for reasons I’m not going to go into; to be honest, the thing I did the most of by far was sleep. This would ordinarily be good, but I slept too much and am feeling leaden because of it.
Nevertheless, there was gaming to be had. I have been spending most of the less-than-ample time budgeted for gaming in The Lord of the Rings Online for the few weeks; I’m within reach of level 48 and splitting my time there between Angmar and Eregion. I’m planning on doing a round of skirmishes to take me to the next level.
I like LotRO’s skirmishes but don’t really play them that often; I find they’re most enjoyable run occasionally. If played constantly, like you’d do if you were using them as a primary avenue for leveling, I think they become tedious fairly quickly. Of course, if you don’t run a lot of skirmishes, you don’t get skirmish marks and thus your skirmish soldier becomes a bum as you get up in levels, and soloing at-level skirmishes becomes fairly difficult. Once you die in one you get a stacking debuff against earning skirmish marks, so a couple of deaths is a disincentive to keep running them. Some skirmishes are noticable much easier to solo than others, and this may vary by your class and build; I have good luck with my Guardian in Trouble in Tuckborough and The Ford of Bruinen, while the final boss encounter in The Icy Crevasse is a fucking terror that I have yet to complete at level.
My goal early in the summer was to get in and out of Moria and up to the level cap in time for Rise of Isengard, which I pre-ordered. Two months playing EQ2 and Vanguard almost exclusively kind of shot that in the foot, so at this point it would be nice to get to Moria in that time. I do plan to play through absolutely as much Moria content as possible, including the skirmishes and group content, so I’ll be taking my time with that. Come the 21st of this month I’ll be restarting classes for the Fall, which will limit my playtime even more than it is already, but that’s okay – I’m willing to play and advance at a leisurely pace.
I also managed to get some play in on Champions Online over the weekend. I’d been checking in periodically to pick neat stuff up with my points stipend and to check out new stuff like Hideouts or play with the character creator, but I hadn’t actually played in some months. I’d been wanting to check out the now-complete Comic Series 1, however, so I logged in to my favorite but not highest-level character, Sunstrike who was a measly level 16, and started the Aftershock missions.
I finished three of the six, and they’re pretty cool. Very story-driven, with cutscenes and even some puzzle-like elements. Aftershock is a follow-up to the Serpent Lantern Adventure Pack, which I haven’t played through, so all this is new to me anyway. The missions automatically tune to your level, so some of the boss encounters can be difficult; the fight against Despair Incarnate at the end of the second episode seemed impossible until I restarted the mission and realized that there’s a way to get help. With NPC companions I found it tough but winnable.
As I get the opportunity I plan to finish these missions up and maybe play through the older Adventure Pack content as well. I have multiple characters at sufficiently high level to do the content (which is repeatable anyway) and they start at the relatively low level 11 anyway. I did kind of expect the XP yield of the missions to be a bit higher than it turns out to be, but I haven’t finished the whole sequence yet either, so the jury’s still out on that. It’d be nice to get Sunstrike to level 20 so I can finally get his Nemesis set up.