Monday, March 22, 2010

A Picture Is Not Worth A Thousand Mob Kills

Above is my deed log for the zone of Forochel in LOTRO. Each of the six kill deeds, in various states of completion, requires 150 kills to unlock the "advanced" followup kill deed, which requires 300 additional kills. I would need to kill over 2,000 mobs - trivial mobs 15 levels below me - to clear out the deed log for this zone alone. I'm mostly done with the grey quests of the zone, so it's not like I can fill in those deeds while working on something less mind-numbing.

Along the bottom of my deed log, you see twelve arrow-head looking things, signifying the dozen pre-Moria zones that have deeds. (The lower level zone kill deeds tend to be more reasonable - newbie zones are generally set at 30+60 - though some of these lower numbers are actually harder to get due to mobs that have placeholders that make them hard to find.) There are relatively few zones other than Forochel that would require 2,000 kills to clear out, but it wouldn't surprise me to hear that emptying the entire deed log would take 8-10K kills.

Of course, all of these deeds are "optional", if you don't care about the stat-boosting "virtues" that often cannot be capped out in any other way. Because I have chosen not to go after these 2,000 mobs, Allarond is running with several equipped virtues that are at rank 4 out of 10. Also, if I ever do level an alt beyond the teens, that alt would start with a completely empty deed log and have to repeat the process or similarly do without.

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword.
They also say that a picture is worth a thousand words.
It's too bad that posting a picture, worth a thousand words, which are produced by an implement that is more powerful than a mob-killing sword, won't get me credit for these pesky deeds.


  1. I love the idea of deeds, which you achieve to unlock traits. It adds zest to an achievement system.

    I love the idea of these traits being something that you select from to put together the right arrangement for your character. It's nicer than just choosing a talent spec where everyone can choose from every talent.

    But killing 2000+ mobs to unlock a set of traits is just epic failure game design.

  2. /signed, and I don't know why more people don't raise a ruckus about this. It casts a pall over elements of LOTRO I genuinely found enjoyable.

  3. Not every zone has rep that's useful, but in Foreschel if you max out your rep there are unique items metal smiths or tailors can learn to make. There are four camps with daily rep quests. The stats on the items won't be useful at 65, obviously (though they would give anyone you know that's level 42 ungodly stats for their level). But I still get requests to make them for appearance slots from time to time, it's some of the most unique looking armor in the game (and among the few helmets that don't look completely dumb).

    The virtue grinds are a bit soul crushing. And heaven forbid you change you mind about what virtues to equip and have to grind out some new ones once you've finished.

    However, all in all I like the system because it gives you a way to advance your character at the cap completely solo. Don't know what else to do when you log? There's almost always a virtue that could use some work.

  4. I agree with Carson above. The concept of deeds is cool. I actually love doing the exploration deeds because I love poking into every corner of the map. And, some kill deeds, like murdering orcs and goblins in Moria, are really simple to do. But, when a deed becomes just pure grind (or worse, hunt the rare creature and kill what few you can find), it becomes tedious and frustrating. Especially in the old high-end zones like Forochel, it's just stupid. I love Forochel, but when you do every quest available and you're still barely done with the first part of the kill deed... blah. And the rep grind is another irritation.

    I suspect these might not have been so bad when people were clustered in the high end zone. Taking over control points, for example, probably wasn't that hard. Now? Good luck.

    But, to be honest, a lot of those grinds are optional. The little boosts you get don't seem to make or break your character. The only trouble you're likely to find is if you try to join up with elitist raiders. I get by without all 10s on my deeds on my mid-range raiding character, at least.

  5. I killed 2000 Medusa Heads in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I did it to get a Medusa Head Shield.

    After that I never grinded for anything in that game again, and I had a lot of fun.

    If they made fighting fun enough to do, in and of itself, despite the level of the mobs, then maybe you'd kill 2000 fubbles without even knowing it.

  6. This shows the difference between older and later areas in LOTRO. Let's compare late Eriador (Forochel), Moria and Mirkwood: Forochel has (un)epic endgame grind telling you to slaughter thousands of mobs of a kind. And there are more than just dourhands up there, Angmarim, Gauradan etc. are just the same.

    In Moria, there are some grindy kill deeds - the worms in two areas for example. But kill thousands of Orcs / Goblins is absolutely no problem in Moria... as these deeds are connected to quests that pit you against thousands of them already.

    In Mirkwood, I just followed the main quest line and got dozens of deeds unlocked for "just being there".

    Sanity checks for achievement systems, please.

    1. If you have no idea what to add, don't add another zero to a number, please!
    2. Not every fucking silly activity on this planet needs to be recognized or part of a deed/achievement.

    Especially worse is that players get the deed system for performing very silly repetitive tasks like "use skill X some 1000 times" shoved right into the face in the early mid levels, Lone Lands for example, who already had a grindy feel and probably still have it somewhat after the revamp.

    My "favorite": Use the 30min CD champion self heal X times. This achievement made me use it right he moment I logged in, so that I could use it 1-2 more times during the play session...

    EXTRA BAD: The Forochel-Rep needed for fast travel or hunter travel there. Takes quite some time to get friendly with the Lossoth.

    The bad? After you got friendly with them, you did almost anything one can possibly do in the area and are so fed up with it, that you actually DON'T want to return there at all.

    Then I grouped up with some players who wanted to finish the late Vol. I books before the solo revamp. Guess what, only me and another player had the fast travel unlocked, and the hunter did not have neither faction nor port.... :(

    Maybe it would be a healthy thing if they add one more designer to their "one man revamp army" alias Allan "Orion" Maki and let them take a look at their deed system. My other gripe would be a revamp of the travelling system. Getting into Moria from outside if you aren't Warden/Hunter is a pain in the butt.


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