Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 13

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Apr 14, 2010

Filed under: Column 31 comments

Here is an account of Lulzy’s adventures in Tuckborough, which is an excellent lesson in why reading the quest text is a bad idea.


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31 thoughts on “Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 13

  1. Burning says:

    An excellent entry. I think my favorite line is “You are wrong, but healthy.”

    1. Ramsus says:

      I was actually surprised by that. I was expecting the answer to be 1,2,3 & 4 considering how these things so often go in games. Seriously it seems like the local experts in food preparation never seem to have ANY ingredients in stock.

  2. Sekundaari says:

    Aren’t bears and boars and squirrels Yavanna’s creatures?

    I looked Old Took up: He died in 2920, so assuming this is taking place in 3018, a hundred years is very accurate.

    Also, what a crazy quest!

  3. Benjamin Orchard says:

    “Amazingly, I only needed to kill three boars to get three sets of ribs. Must have been a bug.”

    Y’know, every now and again, I’ll consider changing my long-standing position on MMOs, but then I read this sort of thing and realize that my initial decision was correct: MMOs are to be avoided. I’ll keep playing Plain Sight and be content with being a Robot Ninja whose real goal in life is to blow myself to smithereens.

    1. Pickly says:

      Guild wars is actually quite good about this, almost all the quests where I have to get some drop of some enemy actually have the item drop off every enemy. (there’s only a couple I can think of that don’t do this.)

      WoW was really bad about this sort of thing, though, one of the many reasons I gave up the game. There were many, many “drop” quests that pretty much boiled down to just straight killing thanks to the amount of monsters that needed to be killed.

      1. Jarenth says:

        If I recall, WAR had a 100% drop rate on all quest items. Makes you wonsder why they bothered to make it an item collection quest at all, but hey.

        1. Pickly says:

          Story reasons for me are enough. (Despite knowing about this MMO issue for awhile, I didn’t think of this equivalence until perhaps a few months ago.)

          Of course, it does help in this case to not have every single quest be some form of “blah blah blah backstory kill 15 great bears”. (which is something that really pulled me out of the WoW world as well.)

    2. Caddune says:

      To be fair the vast majority of quests in LoTRO have a very high drop rate on items, often 100% like the boar quest. Very low drop rates like the bear pelts quest are an exception.

    3. Rick W says:

      City of Heroes is good about this. Sure, there are quests where you need to defeat 100 Crey goons. But at least it’s never “Collect 10 Crey ID cards” and that turns into 100, on average, because the drop rate is 10%.

      It makes up for such a marked display of decency by asking you to, for instance, defeat 50 of an enemy group in a particular neighborhood where they only spawn in one particular location once every game day for 10 seconds before despawning and they’re three levels higher than the highest level you can get the quest at, but that’s why we get to autocomplete missions every three days. (That is a slight exaggeration. There’s nothing that combines all of those annoyance factors. That I know of.)

    4. Amarsir says:

      I don’t know if it’s ever done intentionally (I suspect not) but the difference between a “defeat” quest and a “claim item at 100% drop rate” quest shows up when you form a group. 3 people clearing 5 boars is 5 boars. 3 people collecting ribs from 5 boars is 15 boars, thus providing no benefit in that regard from teaming.

      Edit: Oops, didn’t see Heron’s comment below about multi-looting in LOTRO. Well then just apply this to some game where that isn’t true.)

  4. neothoron says:

    Comment about the age of Old Took deleted for lack of reading comprehension from my part. (But you can find the Old Took’s living dates very easily in Lord of the Rings Appendix C – the Hobbit family trees)

  5. OEP says:

    I remember that quest chain. I thought it was hilarious, although at the time I was jaded enough from playing MMO’s that the full impact did not dawn on me. Thanks for the nostalgiafest.

  6. Zombie Pete says:

    What? No song? What are we not paying you for?

  7. NotYetMeasured says:

    Re: raising pigs, they actually do that in Budgeford, but of course that would be a three-minute walk and far too inconvenient.

  8. Heron says:

    FWIW, I agree that pelt (and meat) drops are sometimes bugged, but I rarely get such a bad ratio as 13 for 3.

    Now, Champions Online had a huge issue with Sherriff stars in that one robotic amusement park, the name of which I can’t seem to remember. Doesn’t matter that you can visibly see the sherriff star on the chest of the robot you just killed, they’d only drop like one in five times, and you had to gather twelve stars… per group member.

    At least in LotRO, if the boar drops meat, everyone in your party can pick it up from the same corpse.

  9. Viktor says:

    Raising pigs wouldn’t work. Have you ever had wild boar? Do so and you’ll never go back to domestic pig.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I agree.Wild animals are always so much better than domestic ones.

  10. cavalier says:

    Possibly the most unintentionally odd quest chain ever made.

  11. Aaron says:

    I don’t think it was unintentionally odd. The Shire quests are, by and large, kind of goofy in a quaint hobbity way.

  12. Nathan says:

    This one had a much more bitter tone to it than usual that made it a lot less fun to read. It read more like an angry rant than a fun comic in a few places.

    Also, in many cultures the offering of food to the spirits of the dead is a perfectly normal practice, so seeing you mock it here like it is inherently absurd doesn’t make a lot of sense and makes for a terrible joke.

    I have really been enjoying the Let’s Play series, in both of its incarnations, but this one seemed like a strange downturn. Maybe the LotRO series has been going on too long…

  13. Blackbird71 says:

    Once again, quite an amusing read, thanks Shamus. This one had me thinking of the scene at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition) in which Bilbo, while writing his book, describes the nature of hobbits. In particular, it reminds me of the line that states something to the effect of “[hobbits] are not counted among the very wise,” while we are treated to a view of one particular hobbit attempting to use his large hobbit fingers to dig wax or something out of his ear…

    Straying slightly from the main subject, but on the topic of ghosts and spoiled food, there was a chapter in one of the Harry Potter books (I believe it was the first, but may have been the second) in which the boys attend a party for ghosts. All the food at the party was completely rotten and spoiled – it had something to do with the pungent aroma being easier for the ghosts to smell and therefore enjoy the memories of being alive and eating.

  14. ___ says:

    God’s creature’s? I think you were killing Illuvatar’s creatures.

    But a great entry. Quite funny all around.

  15. Traska says:

    Re: Not getting an item drop from every kill.

    That’s actually explainable, and believably so. Let’s say that you need ten goblin heads for a quest. You kill a goblin… oops, you cut his face up pretty bad. Not in good enough shape anymore, so try again. The next one cracks the goblin’s skull open, leaking what should be brain matter all over the place. Also not good enough. The next kill avoids the head entirely, so you have a head good enough to turn in.

    This has been my theory ever since the days when Ruins of Kunark first came out.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      And that kind of works,but not always.You really have to customize every creature in order for this to be feasible.For example,skinning an animal properly is tough,but it should depend on your skill(or level,if there is no skinning skill)and on the type of animal.Collecting the animals innards for cooking,on the other hand,is easy,and you should always succeed.Otherwise,you end up with having to kill 20 wolves in order to collect 5 wolf teeth.And unless you are using a mace,youll never ever destroy all the teeth of the wolf you kill.

  16. Brian says:

    And just think!

    Someone got paid to write that quest line.

  17. Dev Null says:

    Hey! Thats not just _any_ squirrel – its got some kind of glowing runic circle around it! Maybe its a ghost squirrel, or a possessed squirrel or something.

    So now that you know its a squirrel, I want you to climb to the top of the tallest tree in Buckland, collect the recipe for Aunt Fannie’s nutbread from the nest of the raven who dwells there…

  18. LOLdependent says:

    I keep hearing people complaining about bears not dropping fur, or wolves not dropping fangs…the deal is, that the fanks get broken and the fur gets destroyed during the fight.The drop is actually an item that possesses the standard quality.

    1. Aaron says:

      Explain how fangs get broken and fur gets destroyed when my minstrel shouts and flutes the bears and wolves to death.

      1. LOLdependent says:

        I will, as soon as you explain to me how he kills the wolves by shouting and singing.

        1. Aaron says:

          I’m just going with the lore of the game. My minstrel kills things by shouting and fluting at them. You claimed that somehow fur and fangs are destroyed by this. I asked you to explain. You don’t seem to be able to, instead dodging the question. It sounds to me like your “explanation” is a rationalization that doesn’t actually fit the actual game conditions.

  19. LOLdependent says:

    The lore doesn’t way anithing about earth’s gravity, but I suppose it exists.It’s just commonsense.When you learn a fire spell, does the game explain that “fire hurts” and does it explain in detail why?When there is dark outside in the game does it explain the phenomenon?

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