Sunday, April 22, 2007

22 April 2007 Throg's continuing adventures in Tolkien land

Another day another level. Throg retired for the night after adventuring his way up to level 10. He has pretty much finished all available quests around Thorin's Gate region and the Vale of Thrain including his first fellowship quest - clearing the Goblins out of a ruined fortress near Nogland (Villains in the Vale). Our aspiring hero soloed the majority of the goblins (level 7 as opposed to Throg's level 9) but thought better than to tackle the elite level 9 chieftain on his own. Luckily a fellow adventurer agreed to join Throg in a fellowship to take the dastard down.

Now circumstances have brought our young champion to the mighty dwarf fortress of Gondamon. This place was originally built by the elves I believe but has long since been refashioned by the dwarves to the needs of a race of smaller stature. The area around Gondamon abounds with villains and monsters of level 10 and higher so I have no doubt Throg will find work for his trusty axe here and indeed his quest log is full again. Unfortunately his plan to focus on gathering at the expense of crafting has hit a hitch. It turns out that he lacks the skill to gather these ores in this region and it seems to only way to learn this skill involves processing the ores he has gathered earlier. Ah well - at least he did not vendor them but it looks like he will soon be spending some hours toiling over a hot forge.

Lotro has a potentially useful feature that allows you to show a list of current quests on the right hand side of the screen. Clinking the ring beside a quest opens the quest log for more details on that quest. Sadly the feature is not as helpful as it sounds as it only shows the last five or so quests you picked up and these are unlikely to be the quests you want to complete first. On the other hand the quest log in lotro is generally excellent with useful directions and the ability to view the complete quest history.
EDIT: I have just figured out that by right clicking on the ring you can lock a quest to this list or remove it. Also in the main quest log you can add quests to the list to be displayed. This makes the feature very useful.

I am still annoyed with the inability to adjust user interface scaling. For the last couple of days I played at 1024 x 768. As this is not native resolution for my LCD display the image was a bit fuzzy but at least the buttons were a better size. Unfortunately the scaling of other on screen objects isn't right even at 1024x768. In a fight the target enemies health bar overlaps Throg's for example making it hard to see how he is doing. Reluctantly I have switched back to 1280x1024 and will have to resign myself to squinting.

At level 10 Throg can learn to use two handed weapons. The choice between dual wielding versus using a big two hander is not obvious. It appears that dual wielding will give more raw dps while a two hander will give more skill based damage but there are hidden compensating factors. The geek in me has come to the fore and I plan to run more tests to ascertain the game mechanics behind each choice.

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