A while back, I made a loremaster in Lord of the Rings Online. I loved a lot about the game. It had fun questing, beautiful scenery, and an open community. I wound up losing touch with it though. I’d approached it with my WoW goggles on and I think that it ultimately lead to our falling out.


I had made it to level nine before I stopped. The game began to feel like a grind and I was only getting 40xp a mob kill with 14k xp needed to level. As you can imagine, that got old fast. I was killing all of the spiders I was told, and gathering all the right pieces of wood, so what was I doing wrong?


I think I know the answer to that now. Back then, I entered Eriador with the intent of doing everything as efficiently as possible. If I was on my way to an npc to move my epic questline forward and I stop and kill that pack of wolves first so I could complete a lesser quest. And if there was another little one I could do at the same time, I’d take care of that right after pushing the main narrative to the bottom of my priority list. Therein lies my problem.


The main appeal of LotRO, for me at least, is the story behind it all. The game is known for being one of the best to quest in. That’s where it shines. By focusing on killing wolves before seeing “what happens next” I lost the hook of the main narrative in the noise.


So this time around, I’m doing things differently. I’m putting story first and progress second. My ultimate goal is to have as much fun as I can and not worry about getting to the end as fast as possible. And so far, it’s worked out great. I’m enjoying my game time much more and feeling more involved in the game than ever before.


I’ll go back and do all of the side quests, though. Otherwise I’ll have to catch up in levels before I can continue the story and possibly find myself where I wound up the first time. My focus though is to enjoy the journey before enjoying the destination. It’s something oft forgot in a game world where the fun “begins” once you’re done leveling. In LotRO, I don’t think it’s quite like that.


And that’s fine by me.