After a week's holiday from mmorpgs thanks to Far Cry 2 (not great) and Dead Space (great) I logged back into Lotro last night. It was a fairly productive session. I managed to complete all my quests in the Waterworks of Moria getting about half way to level 59 in the process (or rather getting to level 58.5).
The Waterworks is an interesting region at the very bottom of Moria (bottom = South in Moria's curiously non Euclidean world geometry). This is where the dwarven residents of Khazad Doom used to pump their water from and as you might expect the place is full of engineering works and great water wheels. Nothing works properly any more and the expeditionary engineers are struggling to get the stuff back online. Before they can do that they need your help to deal with the not too friendly wildlife who have moved in including giant spiders, salamanders and toads with a few fungus infected Goblins thrown in for good measure. There is a whole bunch of quests in the region and I got about a level and a half out of them. They are mostly of the kill ten toads variety. I didn't mind too much as all the mobs were easy to find with no rare spawns but as Ravious over at Kill Ten Rats points out there is a fair amount of pointless travelling involved too.
Turbine I love your game but when are you going to finally realise that travelling is not content?
Did I say I completed every quest in the Waterworks? Sorry that was a bit of a fib. There is one little quest I haven't done yet. After clearing the various infestations and collecting all the parts needed to repair the great wheel I was sent off to talk to the a dwarf Kaldi who was checking out a spot called the Vile Maw. Kaldi is pretty sure that the creature I frightened away from the gates of Moria has taken refuge in this watery hole. He would like me to go in and finish the tentacled creature off all for the modest reward of 56 silver (A final foray).
Given that the Watcher in the Water is currently the hardest raid boss in the game I think I'll wait a while before trying to kill him :D. In fact the overwhelming 15 dread in the Vile Maw pretty much ensures that anyone without a full set of radiance armour hasn't a chance and that means months of grinding progression dungeons in hard mode to get the set pieces.
Pretty standard mmo end game stuff you might think but there is a difference. End game bosses are usually locked behind attunement quests and gear checks so that casual "Tourists" never even get to see the hardest parts of the game. In Moria however any player can just walk into the Vile Maw and gaze at the watchers watery home. You can even wade out into the pool and spawn the beast. Without a properly equipped raid group you have no chance of killing the monster but you can still go in for a look. Thanks again to Ravious for pointing out that there is a deed you can get in there by finding several corpses. Throg's attempt ended in failure when the Watcher spawned and one shotted him but Ravious has done it solo.