I’ve ventured back in LOTRO’s monster play this past week when I couldn’t log into FFXIV (that issue has been solved!). By the process of elmination and like it or not, LOTRO is still my mmo gaming default…a comfortable game to fall back into when I can’t be bothered by any decisions. There Turbine, brand loyalty.
So in LOTRO, I’m usually in the Ettenmoors (PvP zone) and more times that I care to admit, I find that the situation for my side is bad. When its like that, I like to play a game called “Denied”. That’s me doing my best to deny the freeps (the free people players LOTRO are known as freeps) any points by healing/protecting my fellow creeps. I have a rather inept Rank 4 War Leader that I’ve played in spurts over the last 3 yrs. Suffice it to say i couldn’t hit my way out of a wet paper bag but I do have one skill in my bag of tricks that I’ve grown fond of using. That skill is called Field Promotion and it negates 90% of any damage taken for up to 15 seconds. It’s a life saver on a 2 minute cooldown. It’s also one of my favorite trolling skills and I’ll tell you why. It renders all the OP freeps skills useless for exactly 15 seconds. The satisfaction of saving your fellow creeps is about on par with the taste of a cold beer on a hot summer day.
OK, lets face some realities about LOTRO monster play. Skills taken individually and as a group, LOTRO Monster Play Its incredibly favored towards the freepside. Turbine routinely fails to anticipate and update creep active/passive skills to match all the skills that freeps get upgraded with each expansion. Furthermore, the mechanics of the zone encourages risk averse tactics so that you are in a win-win position when you do decide to PVP. The problem inherent in this is that you play against other players, not NPCs, and those players will not hang around when it’s pointless to play without a reward. The weaker side will log off or stay near their base where they have a safe haven and protection. The stronger side will PVE all the objectives across the map, making them even stronger (buffs) and then camp the weaker side at their base. This leads to a ranged/CC/healing fest that offers little in the way of imagination but has plenty of trolling. These scenarios are where I like to bring out my Warleader and throw bubbles and heals while taking literally no risks to my precious Uruk self. The aim is to deny the enemy points from kills, annoy them, and perhaps encourage them to change tactics…ie, move to different locations around the map, flip to the weaker side, or allow the weaker side to gain some strength so that they can offer some tougher resistance.
Be that as it may, you can still find monster play fun, if not from the pointless pvp, from the act of making friends and acquaintances from players that you play for or against and of course trolling the enemy. Its a small map and small community so you do get to know friends and foes. I’ve come to know many over the course of my stint playing LOTRO on 2 servers. Some move one, some you forget, and some are still around after 3+yrs.