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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:00PM cowboyhugbees said

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Angmar. Ugh.

I'm currently going through it, and it is the most awfully painful experience I've ever had.

On the bright side, though, you need to know the ins and outs of your class if you want to survive while soloing. Kind of like "class boot camp", in a way.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:02PM cowboyhugbees said

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@cowboyhugbees I take that back. AGAMAUR in the Lone-Lands is where I'm at.

/facepalm
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Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:02PM Faction 3 said

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Jesus, I HATED The Shire so bad...endless delivery of Pies and Mailbags and whatnot made me want to punch Babies...

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:09PM Faction 3 said

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And the North Downs sucked balls too...

I was a Captain, and it killed the fun for me...and I LOVED the Captain Class almost as much as I love the GW Mesmer. But even the fun of playing a Cap was'nt enough to keep me sane. Every new quest had me /facepalm'ing at my desk....

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:33PM Lenn said

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I guess I'm the only one who loves Angmar. The atmosphere is just right, with the perpetual darkness, the moody score and the incredibly creepy sound effects (the sighs, the snarls and the thumps). The zone shows players what Middle-earth will look like if the dark forces manage to take over and it sets the mood extremely well.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:59PM Nerves said

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@Lenn
Nah, I love angmar. It has a sense of dangerousness that simply isn't present in other zones. The fact that a wrong turn can be quite deadly is a fun aspect for me. Now, the quest hubs could sure use some sprucing up - and a bit more direction would be great for newer players, but I wouldn't want to see this zone changed too much. I really love that in some cases you're completing solo quests in areas that overlap with or abut up to group content areas. Keeps you on your toes.

And +1 for forochel, I love that place, even though most of my kin thinks I'm nuts.
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Posted: Feb 25th 2011 6:35PM Haldurson said

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I agree with you on the Shire being the best zone -- it's definitely my favorite, and it does feel really like you are in the story.

Angmar isn't that bad, if you simply understand that it's supposed to be totally evil -- but it is huge, and the later parts of the zone can be really tough to solo.

I also really like Forchel, but when I've told my kin that, almost no one agrees with me. Hmm... That said, I tend to never finish the quests there (there's really too much to do, and if you are like me and itching to get to Moria, you leave before you finish it).

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:04PM DiscoJer said

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I actually agree with the list.

The big trouble with Forochel, is that it's kind of redundant. Because the level cap was at 50 for so long, there's just a lot of content for 48-52. You can easily skip it, as there is really no point in doing it except for fun (the rewards that Eregion, which covers a similar range, gives are much better)

It's also a lot more languid than Eregion. There the questing is somewhat streamlined.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:05PM sirBetamax said

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Pretty much agree with your ratings, although I would rate Evendim a bit higher and North Downs even lower (worst). While the lake was a pain in Evendim something about the zone just clicked with me, love riding around it and and enjoy the general atmosphere it evokes. I do think it could do with an extra epic solo/small group quest towards the end of the content though.

Angmar is a bit of a dirge, but you've gotta love that sky and I havn't found it quite as tricky mob density wise as I've seen some lament. Very fellowship quest heavy, but if any zone suits that...

North Downs for me was almost a game killer as well. In the end I just threw myself into the content with two characters at the same time. Almost ended me but by the end of it I had two toons post ND and enjoying better content for many levels to come. For future characters I aim to try and avoid it almost entirely, just doign the book and a few other quests.

Incidentally it's the only quest pack I havn't purchased.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:10PM BoundingDeer said

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First thing I did when I tried LOTRO a few years back: Find Bag End.
Thumbs up for the Shire

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:10PM Nemarus said

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North Downs is mother to us all! Yes, it can seem slow, but that's because you arrive there just as you are entering your late 20's and 30's, when leveling slows down considerably. But you can't blame the zone for that as much as the leveling curve (also the zone has yet to be revamped).

As for the zone itself though, it is the first peek of the larger game that you get. The North Downs contains almost every enemy type in the game: bears, boars, spiders, orcs, goblins, hill-men, Angmarim, trolls, wargs, ghosts, drakes. It is the first zone to really offer rewards for group quests, and yes some of those quests are very challenging. But that's not a bad thing.

And the scenery! The North Downs has some of the most stunning vistas in the entire game. Trestlebridge. The fields of Fornost. Fornost itself. The sheer black cliffs of Angmar (along with that bitchin' statue of the Witch-king and Amarthiel). And all the country in between is just beautiful.

I think that if you showed pictures of every zone to J.R.R. Tolkien, the one that would remind him most of his vision of Middle-earth would be the North Downs. It's rugged and worn and ancient, but not at all ugly like the Lone Lands.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:24PM cowboyhugbees said

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I would consider dropping the Lone-Lands a bit lower. The environment and the brooding, annoying music made that area feel terribly long.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 8:30PM Khorrax said

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@cowboyhugbees

Annoying music? I love the music there. Except for the zones with wights maybe.
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Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:50PM (Unverified) said

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I feel Breeland is underrated.

This area is vast and varied in many ways. Arguably the best designed town in game can be found here at Bree. There are several other towns here that are very functional and coherent in its quests, including Combe and its near by large forest. Then you have a little taste of the Shire when you go to Staddle. Staddle has a whole series of linked and interesting quests there, its actually my favorite quest hub(Played several years, had finished every raid and had many 1st ages before Mirkwood came out).

You have lakes, rivers, burrows, large forests, haunted forests, magical forests. Bree was everything that North Downs and Lonelands were not, and I think that played a major part in lots of WoW-converts leaving(I had a whole guild quit in the Lonelands/North Downs area that were having fun in Bree).

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:51PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

that was from Skypp... nothing I do gets my Unverified off these days, I've been posting here for years.
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Posted: Feb 26th 2011 11:08AM Brianna Royce said

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@Skypp -- I love Bree-land too, but Bree itself, ug -- if I have to run between the bank and the auction hall and the crafting area one. more. time.!

-Bree (I'm not partial or anything though, I swear :D)
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Posted: Feb 26th 2011 1:43PM sirBetamax said

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@Brianna Royce

Yeah, I've always wondered why they didn't make more use of the scholar's stair area that connects the different parts of town somewhat too. Lots of empty space in parts of Bree that could have been used to better effect.
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Posted: Feb 25th 2011 7:55PM deluxe2000 said

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Agree with Cowboy. Lone-Lands is 'kill ten rats' hell and not much to look at. It goes to the bottom of my list.

But the Shire - so awesome!

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 8:31PM Graill440 said

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Nice article, and your missing zero not having visited the Ettens. LOTR at its core is a pvp game, good verse evil. The developers of this game were weakminded and had no focus, you have the current result, a failed game that went the way of endless trial and a microtransaction store to try and get some revenue going, if only for a brief time.

I dont feel anyone can argue against the great vistas that LOTR has. At one time i would simply login just to view some areas, some being pretty spectacular.

Sadly the devs and nearly everyone associated with LOTR destroyed this title and turned it into a hollow shell of what it could have been. lifeless, devoid of passion, promise...and subscribers.

Niche game because of developer choices. Further proof that great looks cant save a title.

Posted: Feb 25th 2011 11:58PM Birk said

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@Graill440

lol...niche game? Not quite.

-Birk
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