About Last NightDecember 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Posted in LotRO, Minstrel, Mirkwood | 1 Comment
Tags: 6-man, being inspected, crappy gear, dol guldur, hawley, instances, LotRO, mirkwood, sammath gul, Siege of Mirkwood
Last night I went into Dol Guldur.
I’m not sure that I really should have been there. I started off the night a quarter of the way into level 63, and I am woefully under-geared.
Yes, I know I keep saying that one of the things I love about Lord of the Rings Online is that it isn’t gear dependant (apart from the radiance gated things that make me look like a farty-poo-pants liar) but I don’t think I suffered *too* much from being woefully under-geared.
Apart from being inspected to death upon joining my lovely kin-mates at the entrance, that is. It was a tad embarrassing being informed that some of the gear I was wearing dated back to level 40s, but in my defence I’d not realised how old some of it was. It was a useful experience though, and I did get the offer of a new set of assorted geegaws and baubles, which is a bonus.
And I do realise that whilst the game may not be as gear dependant as some, good gear does make a difference, and whilst it may not make hard content a nice stroll through a park on a balmy summers’ day, it does make life easier.
So, yet another reminder to improve my gear. This time, it was similar to being told by a doting parent to go and put a warm jumper and scarf on, because it’s cold outside.
Kinships. Sometimes they’re like families.
As to the instance itself?
Well, I don’t want to ruin the sense of discovery for anyone else, so rather than comment on specifics, I’ll try to keep to concepts and themes. I may well put in a more detailed post some point in the future, when I’m less likely to spoiler the ares off someone else’s fun.
Big fun. Admittedly, the rest of the group I was with had faced these bosses previously, and had figured out how to defeat them, so I just had to follow instructions and stand in the right places. But I had big fun.
Visually, Dol Guldur is dark, gloomy and depressing. Sort of like Preston but with orcs. If anyone’s spent any time in Preston, they’d agree with me. The only thing Preston has of note is a really, really big bus station, and Dol Goldur reminds me of that bus station at 6:30 in the morning.
I think what surprised me most is that someone had taken the time to make the Trash fights interesting. I hope that this is a purposeful thing, as opposed to random accident.
As it was, many of the fights seem to have been designed to be more technically interesting. Positioning, even as a healer, was more important. It wasn’t a case of me hiding at the back and spamming the big heal on the tank; there’s a measure of Area Of Effect damage and some fun interrupt abilities being thrown out by the monsties that made life interesting, to put it mildly.
It’s as if Turbine want us to feel like it’s the whole experience of the instance that counts, and that’s more than a little refreshing. With each fight feeling a little like a mini-boss encounter, it makes travelling through the tower feel like a journey, rather than an exercise in time-wasting thanks to a procession of Tank’N’Spank time-fillers.
We faced off against three bosses. I’ve no idea how many bosses there are in the 6-man instance, but they were tough challenges. If I’m completely honest, I’m a little relieved that I wasn’t high enough level to be a part of the learning process, because they are technical fights, where I found myself going through a lot more skills than I did even in The Rift.
It was only at the third Boss that we wiped, and after a second attempt and wipe we called it a night (it was bed-time for Minstrel Hawley), but in that time I’d gained an insight into Dol Goldur.
Maybe it’s the novelty that makes the place seem really cool, and that familiarity will dull that excitement; I’ve been informed that multiple runs will be needed to get armour sets.
But it looks promising. In a way that Preston Bus Station doesn’t.