Today I’m going to list 10 of my favorite foes from the game and rank them from least to most threatening! The author is not responsible for any gaming-related PTSD that may incur from reading this list.
Most MMOs are content to start you out against small fry like pigs and rats, but LOTRO goes even smaller and weaker than that with swarms of teeny tiny insects that don’t really attack you; they merely lay down an annoying debuff. Strangely enough, having these around does add to the atmosphere of marshy regions for me. Plus, I love seeing my character smack down bugs with a giant axe.
Probably the only mobs that I feel guilty killing, shrews are the cutest pests in the game. The spring festival is responsible for their uptick in popularity, and apart from that and — I think — one Hobbit quest, you never do have to attack them. They make great pets, though.
3. Crawling Hand
There’s a lot of undead and spectral enemies in the game, from your standard “how does that work?” walking skeleton to localized storms of frozen shards. However, the occasional crawling hand that populates barrows and other graveyard locations never fails to amuse me as an Evil Dead II fan.
Dragons in MMOs aren’t anything new, of course, but usually they begin and end at “giant endgame bosses.” LOTRO, on the other hand, has lizards that run the entire gamut of a dragon’s lifecycle, from fire-breathing salamanders to ugly waddling worms to fledgling drakes. It’s a detail that makes the world feel less like an arena for stereotypical monsters and more like a believable place.
I’m sure LOTRO has a fancy term for them, but hey, they’re wooly mammoths, and you can kill them. They’re not terribly common, as they exist only in Forochel and a couple other snowy places, but I am always delighted to see one. They’re powerful and fierce and cool all at once.
6. Falcon Clan
No huge spoilers here, but no group of mobs in the game has earned my hatred so much as these guys. I think that is testiment to the great writing and quest design that I dearly want to wipe all of them off of the land. They hurt me personally, and now I want to hurt them back.
I’m fascinated with Foundations of Stone because there isn’t anywhere else in the game that’s quite like it. The mobs there are… terrifying, to be honest. They almost don’t fit in LOTRO, but instead should be in an alien horror movie or something. I feel bad that the devs came up with these great designs and then stuck them in a zone where few players see them these days.
Huorns are the moving, oft-angry trees that live in and near some of the older forests in Middle-earth. I’m sometimes annoyed at having to fight them (since they are so big they can block the camera), but I also can’t stop smiling at my character going mano-a-mano with a huge hunk of animated wood. Honestly, one hit and I should be a thin paste, but artistic hero license and all that.
ALL HAIL THE HYPNO-TOAD. MAY HE FOREVER RULE THE UNDERBELLY OF THE WORLD. BOW TO HIS BLOATED MAGNIFICENCE AND SERVE HIS EVERY NEED.
If just for the single awesome line: “Isengard bids five.”
Honorable Mention: Nazgûl
LOTRO gets huge props for taking one of the most iconic fantasy minions and doing them right. Just about every place a Nazgûl pops up, big trouble is soon to follow. I love their design, but I can’t in good conscience include them in the ranking because the game almost never lets you fight one. If I have to cower in fear one more time, I swear…
So what are your favorite foes in LOTRO?