Shamus Plays LOTRO: The Final Chapter

By Shamus
on Jul 7, 2010
Filed under:
Column

lulzy_splash.jpg

All good things must come to and end. The same goes for stupid things.

A bit about the story after the jump…

This final entry was massive. I’d grossly underestimated just how much dialog it was going to take, and I completely forgotten just how long that last quest is. I actually expected this final entry to be short, and it ended up 150% the size of a normal chapter. Over 3,000 words. Whew. I’d have split it into two entries, but i didn’t think it would be fair to postpone the end after promising it to you last week. (Note to self: This is why you need more lead time, idiot!)

This was pretty much the ending I had planned from the start. I wanted the story to begin and end with Amdir, as it made a nice arc. The series was originally going to end around entry 15 or so, but then I ended up doing both the Human and the Hobbit epic quest lines, which prolonged the series. It was a good move, I think, and it made the final quest that much more interesting.

I was actually kind of surprised at how sad Lulzy’s ending seemed once I wrote it. The whole “RANGERS ARE ALL MORONS AND I HATE THEM BLARG!” shtick was getting old near the end and I had a sense that joke was going to wear out its welcome before we got there. It’s also a nod to the setup of the original work, where groups are all led by these tall epic noble heroes but populated by losers.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!


A Hundred!8108 comments. Quick! Add another to see if this message changes!

From the Archives:

  1. Daimbert says:

    Is it a bad thing that after reading this, I’m thinking that I might like to play LotRO at some point?

  2. Athan says:

    *sadface* that it’s over now.

    But definite chuckles, guffaws and laughs from me throughout.

    *applause*.

    So, the next ‘Shamus Plays’ is a surprise, right ?

  3. Drexer says:

    OH, it’s over…

    *sheds a single manly tear*

    Well, it was a nice trip. Certainly funny. This ending was quite a bit more depressing than the one one Champions Online though. :P

    I guess that’s what happens when you ahev more respect for the source universe.

    What next? May we start the random speculation?

  4. Meredith says:

    I enjoyed this series, and it’s actually made me want to try the game when it goes free-to-play. Sometime, I’ll have to go back and read it all in one sitting; I kept forgetting who minor characters were from week to week.

    I’m sure whatever you play next will be just as entertaining.

  5. Dante says:

    Shamus, the series was great, always entertaining…and you write women really well

  6. Jarenth says:

    Too bad that this would spell the end of Lulzy’s adventures. Had she kept going, this whole ‘Evil Ring’ business would have been wrapped up before the end of summer.

    I guess all’s well that ends well, though.*

    *For a very strict definition of ‘well’, usually taken to mean ‘the worst possible outcome for everyone involved.

  7. Joe Cool says:

    *clap clap clap*

    That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

    Although, the ending did feel kinda abrupt. Almost like it was “ok, this is a good place to stop. Fin.” Lulzy just says “I think I’m done,” and the next page she goes home. It kinda lacked the arc of Star-On-Chest, where faced with the mounting absurdity of his life, he suffers a breakdown and is forced to hang up his cape. I would have liked to see a little more continuity with her actions, with a build towards her decision to go home.

    Your writing is getting much, much better, Shamus. Character voice is coming through much stronger. At the beginning of the Let’s Play, I heard your voice. Now I hear Lulzy’s.

  8. wtrmute says:

    Shamus, dude!

    You posted Lulzy’s address on The Internet!

    Now 3 Wending Way is probably going to become a pilgrimage site for Aragorn impersonators throughout Middle Earth!

    I hope you’re happy with yourself… ;-P

    • RTBones says:

      Funny, I had a similar thought – though mine was more along the lines of Lulzy’s home would become a LOTRO version of Graceland. Lulzy could charge admittance and then have enough money to buy all the clothes, shoes, handbags, hats, and pimp sticks she could ever want. :)

      Nicely done, Shamus.

    • RTBones says:

      Hmmm…wondering where my first comment went? Tried to respond to this a while ago and my response has buggered off. Oh well.

      Essentially, I had a similar thought — though mine was that Lulzy’s Place would turn into the LOTRO version of Graceland. Charging admission would allow the lass to buy any manner of clothes, shoes, hats, or pimp sticks that she saw fit purchase.

      Sad to see Lulzy go. Thanks for sharing her adventures with us, Shamus.

      And now, on with the show.

    • HeadHunter says:

      “Shamus, dude!
      You posted Lulzy’s address on The Internet!”

      Were this a Blizzard game, they’d have required him to do so, anyhow. ;)

  9. Traska says:

    May I suggest, if not Star Trek Online (OR DIE!), that you try your hand at Everquest 2? The land is pretty, there’s tons of quests, and best of all… some of them are fairly stupid. =)

    • Eljacko says:

      Yeah! I second this motion!

    • kmc says:

      Ooh, yeah! Maybe then I’ll finally figure out where I was supposed to go after Kelethin… ^.^ Seriously, I was already playing WoW and LotRO, so I really didn’t have time for another MMO, and EQ2 was definitely pretty, so I was a little disappointed I had such a hard time figuring out what I was supposed to be doing, and my interest kind of faded. I completely approve of a “Let’s Play: Classic” from time to time to get the established favorites in there!

  10. Andrew B says:

    Can I suggest something that isn’t an MMO? While the whole “kill ten things and bring me their vital organs” thing is funny, I can’t help but feel it’s been covered. Something shiney and new please! And fast! The internet demands content!

    (That said, I too am sad to see Lulzy go.)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      How about “Shamus bumbles through alpha protocol”?

      “Who are these guys?Should I kill them or talk with them?What is happening now?Where am I?Who are you?Huh?Wha?Eh?!”

    • Michael says:

      I don’t know. Shamus mentioned Star Trek Online weeks ago, and while the writing is generally sub par, there are a few that are absolutely staggering levels of idiocy.

      There’s a repeatable random mission string called cluster missions, one of these has you infiltrate a (sometimes) abandoned base (and sometimes dispatch four or five squads of enemies in the process), only to learn that the aliens you’ve been fighting had been trying to manipulate the local population through propaganda and the like and simultaneously raising them as a new foe for the Federation.

      The reason I’m being vague as to which alien race is because the game picks which race is involved out of a hat. Now, with Cardassians, Romulans, Klingons or any of the new races the game introduces, this makes sense. But, when it’s Borg everything goes to straight into some kind of stupidity that really deserves to be mocked.

      The biggest mockworthyness is how the whole MMO structure of kill five Xs and bring me their Xs doesn’t work at all when you’re playing a Starfleet captain. Which, of course means that that is EXACTLY what the game does, just without the trophy collecting.

  11. Psithief says:

    Yeah, still don’t do dwarf fortress. It’s not ready.

  12. Pickly says:

    I actually liked this ending better than the Champions one, it fits better with how Lulzy’s been actaing through the entire thing.

    Definitely enjoyed the “12 deaths of the quest giver” bit as well. :)

  13. tremor3258 says:

    Awww, sad to see this go. It did feel kind of sad there at the end, but it’s been a great ride. It’s not a perfect game, I think a lot of it’s good came through (also Ranger = idiot basketcase).

    What’s next on the agenda?

  14. UtopiaV1 says:

    As funny as that was (and it was hilarious!) did anyone else not get weirded out by a guy… role-playing a girl… chatting up a guy? Thank god you’re married with kids Shamus, or I’d worry about you :P

    Can’t wait for the next “Shamus Plays…”!

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      It’s an RPG, not Method acting…

    • Tizzy says:

      No, I can’t say that this weirded me out.
      As a matter of fact, it made the last couple of episodes that much funnier and Lulzy quite endearing.

    • Viktor says:

      I’ve played straight female RPG characters before IRL, and I’m a guy who’s definitely interested in the ladies. Just like I’ve played telepaths even though IRL I think messing with someone’s mind is an unpardonable offense. It’s just a game.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I wasnt weirded out either.I was playing lots of female characters in various rpgs,so its normal for me.

    • Syal says:

      I take it as a sign that he’s had experience with girls trying to chat him up.

    • ehlijen says:

      That’s what roleplaying is all about. You take on a role, which may or not be anything like you at all, and play it out. Sometimes that means pretending to do magic, sometimes it means murdering a cave full of tiny, scaly guys. Sometimes it means pretending to be a female character hitting on the guy who is being pretended by someone else.

      And it’s not just rolelpayers who do it. Actors do it, authors do it. Otherwise every book would have to have at least two authors, one male one female, to be able to have characters of each gender and there’d probably no such thing as romance in movies (not that I’d complain too much about the loss of romantic comedies though…).

      • Syal says:

        I think the issue wasn’t so much that he did it, but that he pulled it off.

        …Actors? Could you give an example?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Any romeo and juliet play,for example.Whatever the actors are feeling,wheter any of them are married,they have to be a couple in love during the play.

          I would give here an example of a movie as well,but there arent any good movies coming to my mind this early in the morning.

          • Syal says:

            Oh. I thought you were talking about actors pretending to be the opposite sex.

            • Irridium says:

              Well I remember reading that during plays in Old England it was illegal for women to be on stage, so all characters, male and female, were male actors.

              Can’t remember where I’ve read that though, so if anyone could confirm/deny this, go ahead.

              • krellen says:

                I was informed such (that all roles were played by men, not necessarily that it was illegal for women to be on stage) in the acting class I took in college, as well as several English classes throughout high school.

                Cursory web searching backs up the claim.

                • Syal says:

                  I heard the same thing, but I don’t think actors were known for their realistic portrayals at the time, especially not in romantic scenes.

                • Tizzy says:

                  Being an actor back then was already being the lowest of the low. So being an actor *and* a woman… I’m not even sure that you would need a law against it, the impossibility would be a given.

    • Gandaug says:

      This made me laugh. Really. I can perfectly picture in my mind the age and level of insecurity it takes to make a post like that. Either that or this is a troll attempt.

    • HeadHunter says:

      I got some sad news for you, Utopia…

      Shamus isn’t really a Hobbit, either.

  15. krellen says:

    Wow, Shamus. You caught the cadence and tune of “The Road Goes Ever On” perfectly. Bravo. Very impressive.

  16. Dev Null says:

    Well played; well played. The die you stupid rangers die thing was maybe getting a tad stretched towards the end, but mixing it up with the fawning after Arragorn bit gave it some fresh life; I laughed right up to the end.

  17. Marlowe says:

    Aragorn only lusts after upper class Elf older women.

  18. Jep jep says:

    And so it ends. Been a fun ride, thanks for the many laughs.

    I’ve always thought that the main reason they make so many of the NPCs so squishy (and idiotic) is to give you the impression that your own role and participation in the mission was vital and thus give a sense of satisfaction and make the player feel like more engaged with the story. I mean for the lack of better and more creative mechanics, it wouldn’t be much fun either if they were all buffed up like that one annoying white wizard in that one D&D Campaign.. It obviously doesn’t hit the mark all the time, but it gets better further down the road. The latter parts of the volume are nowhere nearly as bad when the NPCs often have around 2-5 times more morale then your character(s) and even contribute to the battle a bit, while they’re still not there to steal the show either.

    If it was “The Book-Reality”, you’d think the Book-Rangers would rather make you stay behind anyway while they mop up the bandits and other scum, what with them being the protectors of Eriador and what not. Especially if you happen to be a weird little hobbit girl with a rather obvious crush on their Chieftain.

    For all the occasional headaches along the way, I still enjoyed the Volume 1 story for the most parts. It keeps you playing it, at any rate.

  19. SteveDJ says:

    Just like when I’ve finished reading the books, or watching the LOTR movies (marathon style), having now finished this series is kinda sad… what am I going to do next?

    Well done, I look forward to whatever you choose next. Thanks for the great series!

    P.S. The comment counter briefly said “2^4 comments. (That’s 10 in Hexidecimal.)” HexIdecimal? Shamus, of all the typos you’ve made in the past, I am VERY disappointed in you for this one…

  20. Eljacko says:

    It’s been good Shamus, it’s been good. Here’s hoping that everything works out for Lulzy when all is said and done, Strider or no Strider.

    However, as much as I enjoyed the grand finale, I could not help but notice that you forgot something Shamus.

    You forgot the song.

  21. Amarsir says:

    As I was reading, I was thinking “I bet he didn’t budget enough space for this ending.” Not that there was anything wrong with it, I just know these things usually exceed the expectations.

    Also I absolutely didn’t get tired of the Ranger-bashing. “He’s killed Rangers, I don’t think he’s ready for regular people yet,” was such a great line.

    Anyway, I greatly look forward to the next series.

  22. NotYetMeasured says:

    An excellent series! I’m sad to see it end.

    The road goes ever on and on
    so thank God the game has auto-run.
    The trip might make you nod and yawn
    but getting there is half the “fun”.

    Four times out of five when my wife comes into the room and I am playing LOTRO my character is running somewhere. That’s all she thinks the game is.

  23. Viktor says:

    I suspect Torthann fighting the rat and just the rat was intentional, to keep him from drawing aggro from the wraith, which would likely end with him dead. Not a great fix, but it makes the escorting slightly less annoying.

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Poor lulzy.Rejected because of some elf.And 3000 year old elf even.So sad.And those “heroes” didnt even kill the spider,just mildly scratched her belly.

    Also,”holding down the movement key”,does that mean that not all modern mumorpugers have automatic walking?(you input a point on the map,and your character just walks there while you do anything else)

    • Bit says:

      Comment 22 has the auto-run confirming quote, I believe.

      Also, thanks for the 25 weeks of great reading material Shamus, this series has to have been one of your greatest works. very sad to see it go. I await the next run with great anticipation.

  25. Nasikabatrachus says:

    Thanks for a great series. I will miss Lulzy.

  26. OEP says:

    What level were you at the end?

      • Irridium says:

        What weapons did you have?

        If I recall, the only weapon you mentioned having was something like a butter-knife way at the beginning.

        • Jep jep says:

          Throwing a wild guess, from “normal playing”-point of view, assuming she would probably have been through the class quest that you can get at level 15, she might have the Minstrel’s Friend (a one-handed club, which is stat-wise one of the better ones you can get around the level Lulzy is right now).

          The thing is, Minstrel is a ranged class, and only has one (or two depending how you count) actual melee skill. Most of the damage comes from the various Cry-skills (in that shouting sense), Ballads and Anthems. For the latter ones you need an instrument, which is basically your ranged weapon. (In her case, apparently just a regular lute.)

          The whole idea of the class is to work as a sort of “source of inspiration” for the fellowship in the lore, in practice it’s the main healing class. Instead of hitpoints, you “heal” other people’s morale. It’s a bit silly concept, admittedly, but it works with the lore better than magical healing anyway. The whole thing about singing and screaming orcs and bears and what not to death is a whole another thing up to debate though. I found it hilarious at first, but got used to it eventually. There’s just something very comical about it when you can one-shot mobs to literal death with a “Piercing Cry”, which for all purposes, is exactly just that.

          I mean, it’s not totally out of lore considering Tom Bombadil and various smaller details that you can find in the book (like Frodo invoking the name of Elbereth and it having negative impact on the wraith(s) in one scene), but hell if it doesn’t feel like a bit of a stretch.

  27. I still say the next one should be Shamus Plays Nethack!
    ;)

  28. Fyr says:

    The Frodo postscript and the bit about the non cannon dwarf baddie make me wonder about what happens at endgame.

    Is there a Mt Doom instance where, every week, countless 3 man guilds go and chuck a ring in?

    And what will (did?) they do in the expansion then?

    • Syal says:

      The expansion would probably involve Morgoth breaking free, or maybe even that light-devourer that helped Morgoth steal the Silmarils. (I think it was even a giant spider; its perfect!)

      • Falcon says:

        Yes, just what Lulzy needs, the Ungolliant. Just to make sure the battle is especially heated remind the giant spider that not only has Lulzy been prancing around in silk, but also that she’s killed enough spiders to make a wall around the shire with their carcasses.

        Yeah, that would go well.

      • Joshua says:

        If I understand correctly, Turbine only has rights to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, so they cannot reference the Silmarillion(sp?) or any of Tolkein’s other works. I don’t think Morgoth is referenced in Lord of the Rings.

        • Syal says:

          Well, the Great Enemy is mentioned a few times, so maybe that’s enough.

          • krellen says:

            In Lord of the Rings, “Great Enemy” refers to Sauron.

            • Syal says:

              I thought they referred to the Great Enemy as still being a threat, even though Sauron’s power had been broken.

              • krellen says:

                J_A, below, is correct; the Great Enemy is referenced exactly once in LotR, “of whom Sauron of Mordor was but a servant”.

                The mention is in Fellowship of the Ring, in a tale Strider tells the Hobbits explaining the song he just sang while camping on Weathertop. The song was the Lay of Beren and Luthien, the tale of the Silmarils.

                The Great Enemy is never referenced as a still-extant and looming threat (and well he shouldn’t be; the Valar cast Morgoth into the Void. He’s nothing but a vague Satan to Eru’s God.)

                • Syal says:

                  He wasn’t a looming threat, but I thought Gandalf had a throwaway line at the end about remaining vigilant where he referenced the Great Enemy. I can’t confirm it because my books are seven hours away, and the Internet apparently doesn’t care, but I could have sworn I’d seen it.

                • krellen says:

                  The only entry in the Appendix for “Great Enemy” was the one I referenced. I’ll look tonight to see if there’s anything at the Grey Havens from Gandalf.

            • thebigJ_A says:

              No. Sauron is “the Enemy”. the “Great Enemy” is Morgoth.

    • Joshua says:

      Well, there is no “endgame” that coincides with the end of the books yet. Right now, I believe the fellowship is still at Lothlorien. Although only referenced in the books(and probably occurring later), the main plotlines for the PCs are the reclaiming of Moria and attack on Dol Goldur in Mirkwood.

      The Skorgrim and Dourhands dwarven plotline always came off as a rip off of Duergar from D&D to me, but you eventually get to fight and defeat him. This occurs MUCH later than after you defeat Eogan. However, I did think it was an interesting little end to the story when*

      *Spoiler*

      You find out that Skorgrim, who the Dourhands perceive as their revered monarch come back from the dead, is actually just a foul spirit in the service of the Witch-King who’s been animating Skorgrim’s body in order to motivate the Dourhands to ally themselves with Angmar.

    • Eljacko says:

      When they finally DO add Mordor to the game I’m going to make a level 1 Hobbit burglar and take him along the same path that Frodo went on and see if that’s actually possible.

  29. Hitch says:

    I have to say a couple weeks ago I was finding this series a bit wearying. I was glad to read that it was wrapping up soon. But the ending was really strong and now it will be missed.

    Until the next “Shamus Plays.”

  30. Clint Olson says:

    Typo: “He was my fried and kinsman”, page 6. Although fried Amdir does sound amusing.

  31. Josh R says:

    These were good, even if towards the end they started dragging.
    Hope you find something new to play that is good… and that the escapist are paying you extra for all those extra words!

  32. Corran says:

    Found another typo:

    “My servants will deal with you!” be bellows.

    Should be ‘he’ obviously.

    Edit: lol, I typo’ed typo…

  33. thebigJ_A says:

    I would totally have jumped into that bed with Lulzy…

    Should I feel weird about that??

  34. thebigJ_A says:

    Oh, to anyone who is a serious Tolkien fan, check out the Tolkien Professor’s website. He’s this tenured english professor who is an authority on all things Tolkien (amongst other things, like the Middle Ages and Chaucer). He does these awesome podcast where he talks about everything, from whether Balrogs have wings (they don’t) to the effect of linguistics in J.R.R.T.’s works. He also records his class lectures. I’ve been transfixed since discovering it a month ago.

    Anyway, link inbound: http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/index.html

    Be sure to listen to the Introductory Lecture.

  35. X2-Eliah says:

    So, seeing your latest twitter posts, the next series is in the Wow universe?

  36. Khizan says:

    If it is, I’d suggest either the Draenei or the Blood Elf starting lines. The blood elf one especially is a somewhat well contained story arc when compared to the Barrens and such.

    The Death Knight quests are also pretty cool, if you can start one of them, and then they get to go to Outlands with gear sufficient to make the leveling pretty much painless.

  37. NotYetMeasured says:

    Shamus, I do hope you will be doing WoW. I’ve never played, but after the two Flintlocke series by Kosak I have significant interest in the humor potential.

  38. NotYetMeasured says:

    It’s too bad Lulzy didn’t continue on. My hobbit hunter LilRed Ridinhood just hit the cap last night and began the epic quest line known as Book III (book numbers in-game have no relation to the actual Tolkien books). My first task: assemble every Ranger in Eriador to assist Aragorn in the South. All of them that are still alive, that is…

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>