The Melee Experiment

This year is the fifth anniversary of Lord of the Rings Online! Hooray! Admittedly, I’ve only been playing for a year, but it’s still exciting! None of my other MMOs celebrate their birthdays quite like LotRO does, complete with beer battles, fireworks at night (with a show you can actually participate in), shiny new cosmetic gear that you may or may not be interested in, and several other surprises you might not expect. (For example, the other night, I discovered a horse in an envelope while gathering lost festival invitations around Bree.) And, while I don’t know if this is common during the anniversary festivals or not since this is still my first year playing, Turbine has even offered us double the experience points beginning on April 24th and going into the 30th, although I’m unsure if it extends until the new end of the festival (May 9th) as the festivities have been extended. Regardless, this makes it perfect if you have a character that’s been a bit more difficult to level than others. You can level up, go on all the festival quests, and even earn some tokens as you do which you can exchange for gift boxes and even marks which you can put towards pretty much anything.

This being me, however, I was ignoring the marks and the gift boxes and all the other fun things. I instead looked at the double experience bonus and saw it as an opportunity to create a new alt and to see how far I could take her while the bonus was in place. With this in mind, I decided to revisit my original LotRO character (who has gone under multiple class changes while I attempted to figure out who she was): Engeled of Rohan. After looking over every single class that Men could be, I eventually decided I wanted to try something she could be that no other race could. I decided she would be a captain.

I did waffle over the choice quite a bit, though, since, as I’ve stated before, I have issues with melee combat. To me, it isn’t all that fun. However, I was in love with the look of the Captain class. If you were to spend enough time in Bree, you see a handful of them running around at any given time, and all the ones I’ve seen have looked absolutely amazing. Sometimes certain things just look so amazing that you kind of want to have one, regardless of how you feel about the type of class in general. Then again, maybe that’s just me. In any case, I realized this would make an interesting experiment. Was I still completely out of love with melee or could I put that aside for a class I loved? (Well, providing I fell in love with the class at all.)

Engeled pondering her next move.

Once I settled on a design I liked (close enough to her original design where I would feel comfortable), I dove in, and it wasn’t until I was running around Archet after it’s destruction, happily slaughtering a giant spider that a NPC had asked me to kill around level 9 or so at the time that I realized something.

I was still having fun.

In a moment where Engeled was about to die, I quickly switched targets to kill something else just to trigger a defeat response so I could heal her just a bit and land the last few blows on the signature-portrait spider, I realized it was just as challenging as ranged DPS was to me. Sure, it wasn’t perfect. I didn’t like the fact that things could wail on me the second I started wailing on it, but somehow, none of that mattered. Besides which, Engeled could heal! If she lasted long enough and I was brave enough to venture into dungeons, I could heal them! (Paladin healing is still very much a love of mine and I’m always eager to see if I can find something else close to it.)

So far, Engeled has reached Level 16 and has only just gotten through the prologue of the epic storyline. And I’m still having fun. I hear that captains really start getting amazing around level 30 or so, and, as of right now, I’m planning on sticking it out until then, at least. I really haven’t had this much fun with a class in a long time.

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