Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Due to the timing of Mirkwood's release, Allarond ended up with a fair chunk of unfinished content from the Moria expansion. Between this backlog and the new skirmish feature, I had already advanced from level 60 to level 64 - out of the new cap of 65 - before I made a serious attempt at the expansion content.
Now that I'm going through the new content to experience the new areas and storylines, I've noticed two things. First, the content is surprisingly hard given that I have 2-3 levels over most of the quests/mobs I've been completing. Secondly I feel that some of this content is slightly wasted on me because I'm already level capped.
I would easily have gained another level or more by now if there were more levels to gain. I'm occasionally finding a gear upgrade, but a single minor upgrade every few hours does not add up to an impressive feeling of progression. My legendary items are progressing at a decent clip, but I haven't found one that really replaces the ones I entered Mirkwood with, and I'm not going to put a lot of effort into looking until I figure out where to get the level 65 items. Even the quest deeds inexplicably cap out at 30 quests in the entirety of Mirkwood (which I had finished before I left the expansion's first subzone).
There is still progress to be had - I'm gaining reputation with the new expansion faction, and have a ton of their more common currency for whenever I find all of the reward vendors. (I want to know all of the choices before I start spending, to make sure I don't regret my purchases later. Doc Holiday posted the best list I've seen so far.) I'm also advancing the epic book plot, which may very well be the most impressive storyline ever crafted for solo players in an MMORPG. Even so, it feels like a part of the paradigm - complete quests, gain levels - is missing.
Next month's Volume 3 launch patch promises new content, and many players are expecting some new landmass as well. I wonder what Turbine can/will do with this new content, which clearly is not needed for leveling to the game's current cap, to make it feel like characters are advancing.