LOTRO Legendarium: Update 33.1’s further adventures are more like a light snack


Seeing as how I was somewhat underwhelmed with Lord of the Rings Online’s Further Adventures with Bilbo Baggins, I approached this week’s new mission set with a sense of apprehension. This was, after all, the beginning, middle, and end of this summer’s story content, so a lot was riding on it — and I didn’t want to be disappointed again.

As best I could, I shoved aside any prior bias or unfair expectations and approached Update 33.1’s Further Adventures with Elladan and Elrohir. Before, those crazy kids o’ Elrond created a short-lived PvP server. Now what are they up to? I had to find out.

What’s interesting right off the bat is that this mission series throws us back in time — to Volume I of the epic, in fact. LOTRO’s always had a complex relationship with the timeline of the books, so while this doesn’t bother me, it does remind me once again of how much we “time travel” in this MMO without realizing it.

In any case, this series begins after the Black Riders are swept away in the Ford of Bruinen. Elrond tasks me with babysitting his two boys as they are sent on some sort of secret mission to Lothlorien.

One of my fellow kinship members noted that this series was like following around easily distracted toddlers who find everything fascinating. And… that’s a fair assessment. Elladan and Elrohir’s trip to Lothlorien is sidetracked by numerous oddities, from Black Rider cloaks to angry drakes to mysterious apparitions.

At least I can say that these quests are fairly straightforward and easy, which is actually a desirable trait for repeatable missions. Nothing too tricky or too tedious; just follow the dopey NPC as he throws himself bodily into danger time and again.

Oh hey, we found a bear cub? Let’s chase it, why not! It’s a wonder that any Elves are still alive in this game and not mauled to death by grumpy mama ursines. What are we teaching kids these days?

All too soon, the five missions — yes, there are just five in this series — conclude with a tussle with the local warg population of the Golden Wood. Then it’s over, and as with Bilbo Baggins’ questline, I’m left thinking, “That’s it?”

I mean, there’s no real story here, just two brothers going from Point A to B in as distracted a manner as possible while having a bit of traumatic flashbacks to their dearly departed mother (departed as in “sailed into the west,” of course). The whole thing ends without any sort of revelation or catharsis.

What I would advise is that players going into this patch really ratchet down their expectations. This content in particular is a bite-sized adventure that’s really more there to beef up the Further Adventures mission vendor than probably anything else. And if you view it that way, it can be an asset. There are some great rewards you can get for running Bilbo’s set and these new five missions, and having some more variety is nice. I think you could easily do all five in under a half-hour, if not 20 minutes, depending on how fast the script keeps up with you.

But like any time you get just a bite when you’re hungry, it leaves you craving a full meal. I hope we’ll get to hear about a much more sizable content drop for later this year, whatever that may be.

Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an adventure (horrid things, those) through the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, well, legendary online world of Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, send it to him at justin@massivelyop.com.
Previous articleNightingale answers fan questions about building, combat, and beta
Next articleRaph Koster talks about the ‘mission’ of Playable Worlds, his vision of the metaverse, and player ownership

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments