Feature Article: The Lord of the Rings Online™ Solo Play, 40th – 60th Level
As your adventuring career crests at 40th level, your strength and renown reaches epic proportions. You are needed more than ever to help purge the land of the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.
You might think that with the increased strength of Orcs, Goblins, Drakes, and other savage beasts that soloing is no longer an option—quite the contrary! With the addition of the Moria expansion, opportunities for solitary play abound beneath the Misty Mountains in the lands the Dwarves once called Khazad-dûm.
Soloing Quests Before Moria
While you can’t trace the path of the Fellowship of the Ring and begin your exploration of Moria until you’ve completed quests in the western lands of Eriador, you’re not required to follow that same path. You don’t have to complete Volume I quests before you start on Volume II. Access to Moria is gated by the start of Volume II of the epic storyline. This series of solo quests leads up to the gates of Moria itself and prepares you for the challenges that lie ahead.
Below are some quest hubs where you can find solo adventuring.
Men of Bree
The lands of Bree have served as a stronghold of commerce and military might for the Race of Man since the start of the Third Age. Since the tragic fall of the lands of Arnor, the Men of Bree have kept a watchful eye on the evil festering in the hills of the Barrow-downs. With the rise of Lord Saruon, vile things have begun to stir once more.
The Men of Bree is a series of reputation quests that send your hero deep into the heart of the Barrow-downs and the dungeon of Haudh Iarchith. There are other lower level reputation quests, but you cannot access the barrow-wight infested catacombs of Haudh Iarchith by finishing them. The Hunters of Bree need help driving the evil from the dungeon and surrounding area, and the reputation gained from these quests can help your hero with crafting powerful items, gaining travel to neighboring regions, and accessing unique vendors.
To start this series, find Thomas Thistlewool near the Bree Vault who starts you on the quests Tad’s Request and Thistlewool’s Sullied Name. In addition, the Deed quests Brood-hunter and Grave-digger can be accomplished within the tunnels of Haudh Iarchith. Gaining reputation with the Men of Bree can get you swift access to Suri-kylä and the lands of Forochel.
Lossoth of Forochel
Forochel is a large expanse of ice and snow north of Evendim and Angmar, settled by a group of people known as the Lossoth. Solo quests here are for heroes of 44th through 50th level and involve building a rapport with the Lossoth. The primary town is Suri-kylä, located on the northern shores of the Ice Bay of Forochel; this is where most of the solo quests are. Hunters especially will find Forochel an excellent place for challenging adventures.
Within Forochel, you can also find several series of solo quests that can gain your hero reputation points with the Lossoth. There are many quests of every variety here, with the majority being kills and discovery – sending your hero into the frozen wastes in search of items. If your hero can achieve Ally or Kindred reputation level, you can gain access to a Superior Workbench used for crafting, several rare recipes, and even the ability to buy a tundra horse or pony. Other rewards include unique armor and weapons, housing decorations, and a few class-based items. Some of the quest-specific hubs in Forochel are:
- Taur Orthon (44th–45th): Aid a Lore-master- Cenlieg by gathering supplies for him in The Raven, Hungry Bear-friend, and The Choicest Cut. Gather supplies for the NPCs Eija and Mainio in Korkea-Jarvi in Staying Agile, Raw Materials, and Building the Snow-sled. And defeat wolves and Wargs in Daily Defense, Wolves at the Door, The Den Mother, A Minuscule Menace, The Hunt is Afoot, and Driving the Beasts Out.
- Pynti-Peldot (45th–46th): Help the kind folk of Pynti-Peldot stave off incursions by the savage tundra sabre-tooth in Cat-Tusk Scrimshaw . Pynti-Peldot is also rich in ore, which craftsmen can obtain by speaking with Turkka and completing Ore for the Forge. Earn rings as rewards in the solo quest arc A Midwinter’s Thaw, where you help a happy couple get married in these dark times.
- Suri-Kyla (47th–48th): The Guardian Nef has lost his shield and has asked you to recover it in The Finest Shield in the Land and Time for a New Shield. Assist the Lossoth in repairing a beacon that helps travelers from getting lost on the tundra in Beacon in the Snow, Resupplying the Beacon, and Under Attack. The Angmarim of Carn Dûm and their sorcery are encroaching on the Lossoth in Threat From The South, Grievous Cold, and A Chill Wind. Rewards from these quests could include the rare items Sûri-kylä’s Retaliation (crossbow), Sûri-kylä’s Revenge (dagger), and Sûri-kylä’s Vengeance (two-handed sword).
Rivendell and the Misty Mountains
Protected by the legendary House of Elrond, Rivendell and the Misty Mountains to the north are two of the most famous regions of Middle-earth where your hero can venture. Solo quests typically begin in Rivendell and move north and east toward the legendary birthplace of Durin the Deathless, First Father of the Dwarves.
The High Pass, one of the more noted locations from Tolkien lore is also a solo quest hub. It is where Thorin’s party and Bilbo Baggins unlocked a way to Goblin-town. To make your way through the High Pass you’ll need the help of Gloin, a member of Thorin’s company and other NPCs, who’ll start you on the quests Into the High-pass, Goblin Hunt, Against the Pack, and Thorkell has Fallen, as well as other solo opportunities on your way toward Goblin-town.
Goblin-town, a network of caves and tunnels beneath the High Pass, east of Rivendell, is one of the largest gatherings of these vile creatures in all of Middle-earth. It is also the place where Bilbo first confronted the creature Gollum and came into possession of the One-Ring. Quests center on slaying Goblins and Wargs and bringing down the bosses that rule here – including the Great Goblin. The quests are difficult, but possible if your hero is near 50th level. Quests to defeat the Goblin leader include: A Missing Scout; Down, Down to Goblin-town; Memory of the Wargs; Order from the Darkness; The Undiscovered Path; Bilbo’s Buttons; and Leaders of the Deep.
The Quest Hubs of Moria
After completing Volume II, Book 1, your hero can delve into the Mines of Moria. The caverns of Moria are vast and seemingly endless, and throughout the sunless passages are many quests and opportunities to help the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm reclaim their ancestral home.
Once in Moria, your access to solo quests is immediate. In addition to gaining discovery Deeds as you explore these ancient halls, there are
chances to net reputation with the Dwarves (which includes the Iron Garrison Guards) as they struggle against Orcs, Goblins, and other wild and savage creatures that dwell here. Many of these solo quests also offer the chance for Legendary Item experience, as the legendary weapons you gain become more powerful and take on lives of their own. Soloing throughout Moria can be broken down into different regions and levels, as well as including the lands to the east. Beware of the different creatures that inhabit these regions as you move through tunnels and caverns to quest hubs.
As you pass through the Doors of Durin and enter Moria, you’ll find yourself in the western levels of the Great Delving and at the first of two hubs in this region, called Durin’s Threshold. Look for the quests Welcome to Moria and In Pursuit to get you started. Through the tunnels to the east is Dolven-view, the second of the two hubs. Here you can obtain several quests for reputation with the Iron Garrison Guards: A Gleam the Gloom, Cleaning the Slate, and Clear Tunnels. Heroes of at least 51st level are needed to survive in The Great Delving.
Below the Great Delving stretch the western depths of the Silvertine Lodes. The Dwarves of the Iron Garrison ask you to scout and report on Goblin activity here, as well as thinning out their ranks and defeating their leader. Look for the quests The Mark of Loyalty, Know Thine Enemy, and Lawlessness Among Goblins. Heroes of at least 53rd level are needed to fight the Goblins and dangerous insects.
Deep below the Great Delving and the Silvertine Lodes are the flooded levels of the Water-works. These ancient floodgates were once used to cool the fiery forges of Khazad-dûm, but today are filled with deadly spiders, salamanders, and slimes. At the Rotting Cellar at the heart of the Water-works the Dwarves require help with the quests Lying in Wait, Churning Froth, and Dark and Shallow Water. In addition to earning more reputation with the Iron Garrison, these quests offer Item Advancement as well as rare Rune-keeper stones. The Water-works are not for the faint of heart, and heroes below 54th level should beware.
North and east of the Great Delving are the passages of Durin’s Way, where the Dwarves of the Iron Garrison struggle against the Orcs of the White-hand. At the Chamber of the Crossroads, the Dwarves struggle to establish their presence, and your hero can help by completing Drums of War, Stronghold of the Goblins, Shattered, and Likmund’s Companions. To the east in Jazârgund, also known as the Stone Hall, the Dwarves ready themselves for reinforcements; help them with the quests Hope from the East and Crashing Down. These tasks are best completed once your hero has achieved at least 51st level.
As you travel south from Durin’s Way you’ll come upon the halls of Zelem-melek and the chambers of the Twenty-first Hall. The latter is where the Fellowship of the Ring discovered the Chamber of Mazarbul and fled the terror of the Balrog. In the monster’s wake a tribe of Mordor Orcs have established camps outside of the Twenty-first Hall. You can assist the Dwarves of Zelem-melek with the quests A Multitude of Durub, Balin’s Pride, and Lines of Power. Since these involve small mobs of Orc-kind, your hero should be at least 52nd level for these solo quests.
The Shadowy Abyss
Beneath the halls of Nud-melek and the Redhorn Lodes are the blood-stained caverns of the Shadowy Abyss and the deepest outpost of the Dwarves—the Shadowed Refuge. Dwarves and Elves fight a losing battle against the most powerful and vile servants of Dark Lord and Mazog. Your hero can help the Dwarves and Elves by taking on the quests Infestation, Eight-legged Insanity, Lurking in the Shadows, and Infected Samples. These are the most dangerous solo quests within the walls of Moria, and your hero should be 57th level or higher.
The Eastern Gate of Moria is found beyond the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and the First Hall. It leads to Dimrill Dale, Lake Mirrormere and the lands of Lothlórien. Camped in the Nanduhirion is the last bastion of the Dwarves of Moria, trying to hold at bay the Orc-kind sending supplies to their kin beneath the mountains. The Dwarves have several hit-and-run quests here: Digging West and Sappers at the Stone. For those who have earned power within Moria and crested 58th level, the more difficult quests of Fuel for the Fire, Halting the Advance, and Silence of the Wargs present a great challenge.
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