Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunglasses recommended: out of Moria and into Lothlórien

My plans for Moria were simple: to clear as much content as possible. Well, I ended up slacking. Being too curious to visit the Golden Wood, I decided to clear as much of the solo quests plus the epic quests, instead of the whole thing, as I had planned. Maybe on a trip back at some point!

The first adventure to see Lothlórien happened many months before, and it was not a successful mission. Even though I used my super slow, not that great elven invisibility skill to cross Moria at level 50 to see the other side, and even survived such adventure, I was greeted by arrows on my face. The tragic part of it all is that my character was actually from Lórien, you know, that little option you make during character creation. Still, the guards just told me they didn’t like my hair and shot me, and I had to run not to die. 

In short, the elves are a bunch of elitist jerks, who care more about rep then anything.

So I decided to go on with my Moria plan, finished as much as I felt like it, and was then ready to start my adventure to please these elitist jerks. 

There are some quests that will prompt you to leave Moria and explore the immediate outside area, the Nanduhirion. It is still not as eye stingy, super bright as the Golden Wood just yet, but definitely a good break from the darkness of Moria. I waited until my epic quest took me there, and then started doing the quests in that area.

Many of them become repeatable quests, to gain reputation with the Galadhrim, who hate you. The area before you reach the Golden Wood is filled with orcs and many wood nodes. I am not sure if the ore nodes are as generous, but I had no problems at all to finish my woodworking levels while simply picking up the nodes around me.

When you finally get to be tolerated enough with the Galadhrim, they let you into their blinding woods. It is BRIGHT, and GOLD, and very pretty. I felt silly of the huge quantity of screenshots that I took. It also very easy to travel around, with most creatures not attacking you at first sight. At night everything is still very pretty, even with the lights dimmed. There is at least one quest you can do only at night time, by the vineyards.  

I did think that I could finally meet Caras Galadhon. Nah. You need even more rep to get into the “Golden Wood Capital”. 

I must say that the Lothlórien quests met me in a perfect time though. It was during two very busy weeks where I had to pack my entire house to move, and would just sit at the computer for short breaks, which were perfect to make the repeatable quests and build up my reputation. Also, the fact that there are many safe spots to go afk or log out helped a lot. Now if you going into Lothlórien with a lot of time, I imagine it muse be a little frustrating to build up that reputation, given that some quests take 12h to be given again.

All these quests will be also giving you tokens, from the nasty kind that won’t fit into your barter wallet, cluttering your niventory. The lists of things to get with these two kinds of tokens, Silver Branches and Golden Leaves, is huge: crafting recipes, a few cosmetics, consumables, jewelry, and much more. My plan so far is to keep mine stored to maybe get some crafting recipes that might be of use for some alt, far into the future. The jewelry pieces would be a nice upgrade for me, but I do not wish to farm further tokens for them. I might also just get the cosmetics if I find good pieces to go with them, specially the robe and the quiver.

The Epic quest line continues nicely here too, though it made me dislike the “elven attitude”. As i have commented to my husband: “I miss the dwarves already!”. If you are into the books, you’ll also find some quests that are not connected to the epic storyline, but who will show you a bit about Aragorn and Arwen. 

Other then the light and darkness shock when compared to Moria, Lothlórien also clashes a lot when compared due to the “danger” around you: there is very little. I felt safe most of the time, and there were a lot of what I call “hobbit quests” where I had to pick food, or carry stacks, or help this clumsy elf to pick up some lost pages. It is a nice break from Moria, where everything wants to kill you.

The mood is also very different. While you are helping defend the Golden Wood, there are a lot of quests to help local elves with very sad stories. The whole beauty and emptiness of the forest was a bit sad for me, when combined with the immortality drama of the elves.

Overall, I am very happy with the whole Lothlórien experience. It was a nice break between the intense corridors of Moria and the not friendly at all Mirkwood, which is where I am starting right now. Yes, Mirkwood kicked my elven bottom pretty bad in the first days, for I was not used to being THAT ready anymore. I’ll tell more about it when I am done there!

Going into Lothlórien? These links could help:
Guide from MMOrsel
List of items to exchange for Silver Branches
List of items to exchange for Golden Leaves

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