That’s right, in this round of leveling I’ve gone not 10, but 15 levels. Previously in my alt leveling project I’ve usually only covered 10 level increments, but after the release of Rise of Isengard it felt that Level 65, not 60 was a natural place for a stopping point. And even though I was really dreading these levels they turned out to be fairly quick in their progression and enjoyable. Will I be saying that after 7 more characters take their trip through those lands? Maybe not, but as you can see I’m going to cover some options players can take when going through these levels so they don’t face the same issue of burnout that I did in the previously.
Finishing up Eregion and Volume 1
Eregion is still one of the best zones in the game as far as I’m concerned and begs to be on everyone’s list of zones that must be completed. For the low 50’s though, you may or may not find yourself with things to do depending on what zones you quested in during your 40’s. I know that some of my alts spent a lot of time in Angmar and Forochel than others so they had quite a few quests left in Eregion for them to do. But others, such as my Champion, skipped a lot of the content in those zones and have already blown through 90% of Eregion’s content before reaching 50. If you do find yourself having some quests left here though I highly suggest finishing them off so that you’re 51-53 before heading into Moria. (Although you can just pop into Moria at 50, being a bit over-leveled won’t hurt.)
Another tactic you can follow before heading into Moria is finishing Volume 1. Not only will you get some nice rewards such as a mount, gear, titles, and money; but you’ll also end up with some decent experience as well. Although I personally did not take this route, I wanted to include it because with Volume 2 starting with Moria it is at this point a number of players choose to polish off Volume 1.
Moria and Volume 2
Ah Moria. Deep, dark, dank and epic all describe this zone. I have to say that Moria was a bit overwhelming when I first went through it. But now that I’ve had a couple of characters level through it I don’t think it’s all that bad. Yes, there are some quests that have an abnormal amount of running around, as well as some which can send you into some over-populated rooms of certain death; but again that is why I previously mentioned being a bit over-leveled before coming into this zone. Moria should be experienced by everyone, and if you’re motivated you can blaze through it in several days. Granted, you will probably end up with a number of deeds and quests unfinished if you do, but it’s still possible. Before you leave, I highly suggest you complete the following goals:
- Finish your Level 58 Class Quest to obtain one of your Legendary Class Traits
- Gain Kindred with the Iron Guards to obtain another one of your Legendary Class Traits
- Finish Volume 2, Book 6 to gain enough faction that you have no issues entering Lothlórien
I would also recommend staying in Moria until level 58-60 so that you don’t have too much trouble in Lothlórien or Mirkwood, but just like with Eregion there is no harm in staying until you are well past 60 either, especially if you are working on deeds, completing quests, or you are just having a good ole time.
Volume 2 and Lothlórien
When you finally come out of Moria you’ll find that Volume 2 continues on into Lothlórien and that the zone has a number of its own quests that are worth completing as well. Goldenstar and myself actually have enjoyed the zone quite a bit and found it to offer a really nice chunk of experience. The bright, lush atmosphere also makes for a nice “palate cleanser” for those who have spent some time inside the dark halls of Moria. Be warned though, if you do not finish Volume 2, Book 6 before coming into this zone you will need to complete a number of repeatable quests in the Western half of the zone for reputation before you are allowed to enter the Eastern part. Again, I strongly suggest finishing Book 6 beforehand as earning the reputation needed could take up to several days without it.
There are two modes of thoughts when it comes to this area. First, it can be used as a buffer for Mirkwood; allowing your character to level up to 60+ and making your experience in Mirkwood much easier. Or as a second option it can be skipped entirely. Yes, I know that will make some people cringe, but that is the unfortunate side effect of older content as the game progresses. I will however say that if you do choose to skip this area you will be missing out on some very good storytelling, a beautiful mount, and some deeds. I myself skipped it with my Champion, but as I start leveling other classes through here I may just find myself spending some time here with some of the more “squishy” characters and my crafters.
Volume 2 and Mirkwood
Mirkwood is an interesting choice these days. When it was first released it was the only zone that contained its level range of content. That is not the case at this time. Subsequently Enedwaith was released and it too spans over much of the same level of content so if you feel like skipping Mirkwood you can. This does come at some consequence as there are a number of skirmishes that can only be unlocked by completing parts of Volume 2 and will be otherwise unavailable until you do. That, in my opinion, makes Mirkwood virtually mandatory as I can’t really imagine having a character without all of the available skirmishes. But, I also know that there are people out there that cannot stand this area, don’t give a darn about skirmishes, and would gladly ignore it in favor of going to Enedwaith at around Level 60 instead.
Volume 3 and Enedwaith
Enedwaith is another zone that really has a lot to offer when it comes to questing. Originally this was intended interim content between the release of Mirkwood and Rise of Isengard, but it turned out to be a pretty fun zone to quest in. When I was polling our audience about whether or not I should quest in Enedwaith or go straight into the Rise of Isengard content many people suggested that once I was done with Mirkwood that I should go and level up to at least 67 in Enedwaith; otherwise I might find myself doing skirmishes to reach 75. And while I was really anxious to get into Isengard, I took their advice and refreshed myself with some of the quests in the zone. I have to say that the zone still holds up in my opinion and is not only a great alternative to Mirkwood, but stands as a good zone.
Although there are some “mandatory” zones that you must go through as you level, I think that players do have at least a few choices about where they can go and when. And hopefully as the game progresses we might see some future options open up. However, if you want to follow the path that I did with my last character, I will summarize the last path that I took with a character here:
How about you? Do you have a certain path or paths that you follow when leveling up?