Somewhere mid December, I managed to login to LotRO.
I had been procrastinating logging into the game ever since Helm's Deep has been released because of the prospect of having to:
- realize how few skills my characters have left;
- check out how the new skill trees work and what everything does;
- actually spend points in a skill tree;
- check if any game mechanics/stats have changed;
- figuring out what legacies are available and how useful they are in the new system;
- actually spend my points on my legendary items;
- move my skills to useful places;
- set new keybinds to my skills;
- get rid of the junk in my bags;
- try out some new content;
- realize it sucks.
(If you skipped reading the above list because it looked boring, that's okay. Its content feels very boring to me too, so it's only fitting.)
So when I logged into LotRO, it was the first day for me in the new era of Helm's Deep.
I logged my level 84 captain (I could not bring myself to level that last bit to 85 before the expansion) and tried very much not to stare at the half empty skill bar that was hers. It looked a bit like a mouth with half the teeth rotten and fallen out. (Tiger compares it to gatenkaas, cheese with holes, but I'll go for the horror option.) While she was completing deeds all by herself over a course of five minutes (apparently the deeds were new but got completed retroactively), I discovered the presence of two others online in my kinship, both Star Wars players as well. I'll refer to them here as the Hunter and the Champion. Our characters were level 84, 85 and 86 respectively - not very impressive considering Helm's Deep has been out for several weeks by now. I tore my eyes from the emptiness of that what was supposed to be my skill bar and concentrated on the kinchat instead.
The Champion: "Are we all just here because SWTOR has maintainance?"
I indeed had tried to log into Star Wars earlier, but decided to give LotRO a try since the servers were down.
Me: "Errrr, maybe."
The Hunter (who happened to be on his warden, to make things more confusing): "Haha, perhaps."
We laughed because we had caught each other red-handed. (I'm writing "we" here, because it almost felt as if we were physically in the same space - although I may just as well have been the only one who was smiling.)
The Hunter: "I logged in earlier this morning to see if there was anyone on, but nobody came."
I explained how I had procrastinated logging in for such a long time because of the prospect of all the chores: spending points on my legendary items (LI's), skill trees, trying to find a space for all the items in my inventory... It was met with general agreement.
The Hunter revealed: "I haven't spent my LI points either."
Me: "But you just told me your hunter has reached the dazzling heights of level 89!"
The Hunter: "I mostly leveled by handing in quests that I'd completed before Helm's Deep... I did do some quests of the epic storyline, but couldn't be bothered to do anything with my LI's."
I took a last desperate glance at my half empty skill bar and logged off again. And even though I had not done a single thing in-game, I somehow was smiling like a maniac.