Last Week in LOTRO: 18 October 2009

Spreading my week across six alts makes for lots of work and low levels. A big help was getting Banhorn to 15; that means H-O-U-S-E and no longer keeping the LOTRO post office in business single-handedly. After getting all six through their starter areas, I dropped and releveled three.

Eohan had a defeat at the hands of the Blackwolds near Combe. For some reason I really want Undying for him, so it was back to the drawing board after dropping off all the outfits, potions, and materials at Chez Banhorn. Yes, I am a completionist AND an altholic. Hmm, I wonder if they correlate.

Camenecium the Minstrel became Camenecium the Captain so Aelenras could become the minstrel. Aelenras was my first original character on the NWN persistent world, Return of Middle Earth (RoME). He was a Cleric/Champion which I originally mapped to a Champion as my first LOTRO character. I didn’t really like the Champion gameplay much, then tried him as a Hunter before going back to basics with Banhorn (my first D&D character EVER) as a rune keeper.

Much to my surprise, the Minstrel felt true to the character given the ability to wield a sword, buffs, and ranged light attack abilities. After some reading about martial builds, I think I could get to like the Minstrel. Part of why I added a minstrel and a captain to the Gang of Four was to have fellowship-centric alts who are also explorers. Historian fits Aelenras’s backstory better though. I almost feel like making him my primary, but maybe leveling everybody to 20 first and taking stock before (crosses fingers) the revised Lone Lands become available.

From ALTholic to ALTastic!

Giving into my Altcessive-Compulsive Disorder (ACD) has allowed me to treat it as a process, not a problem. And I LOVE process. In my limited experience, two things really improve alt-play:

Spreadsheets. Despite potential ridicule from kinmates, the spreadsheet is an essential tool for managing who needs what, who is where, and what needs to get done. Professionally I’ve become a bit of a RDBMS/table hater because most complex, interesting things are better modeled as objects. Not here though. The alt management spreadsheet (yes, there are others, but that’s another topic) should have the character’s basic stats, the last HOME location, any materials or items needed–particularly for crafting quests–and any key shareable items on the alt’s person. I’m guessing as inventory management becomes a bigger issue, I’ll also assign alts to vault particular cross-class goods like dyes or class/craft-specific items based on who is the primary when there’s duplication. Another handful of rows solve that problem nicely.

A House. Port alts back to your house at the end of a session. Dump all the class-appropriate non-gatherables at the homestead merchant and into the vault, then dump all the items for other things in the house chest. Since all of your alts are home, it’s easy enough (despite the annoying logout timer) to shift things around. When starting a session with an alt, port to the home location. I use the cooldown timer and/or the blue XP bonus bar as a way to limit my time on alts. I also only burn destiny points on XP bonus for the main (Banhorn) and secondary (Eohan–for the moment). Still time to play? Port to the house, follow the procedure, and fire up the next alt in the queue.

Good Idea Gone Bust

One thing that isn’t proving to be a good idea is covering all the professions based on the crafter interdependence system. Since producing professions require quests to level, it’s impossible to work crafter levels without also working class levels.  Kudos or raspberries to Turbine for making it so difficult to be a one-account crafting powerhouse without being online and leveling 24/7. Four primaries in a kinship would work, like the article suggests.  Otherwise, expect alt burnout pretty quickly.