What is the general leveling experience in LoTRO - mostly solo or teaming? I know in some games you can use a Looking for Group tool and essentially team 100% of the time. In others, you tend to solo and group occasionally. Which is LoTRO?
I ask because I am choosing my class. I traditionally like group oriented classes (tank, healer, support). But if I am only going to be teaming / running instances a small % of the time I might go Hunter or something easy to level.
Thanks! I guess I did not ask correctly - sorry. I know there is group and solo content at all levels but is group content fast/realistic? Can you queue for an Instance and get it quickly enough to just do that for a night? Or does it take 30-60 minutes for lower level instance queses to form?
I know I CAN team. The questions is - is it realistic to expect to team 100% of the time? In another game I was able to do nothing but back to back instances - my sense is you cannot do that here.
No, it is not realistic to do group play 100% of the time. The main reason for this is that 80% of the player base plays their higher level toons more than they do their lower level ones.
So at lower levels how hard it is to get a group depends entirely on who is online at the time. I suggest joining a user channels such as GLFF (of course, being a user channel there can be a lot of drama and garbage being spouted at any time here). This allows you to talk to players that are not in your current group or kinship and that may be located in any zone of the game. Many PUGs form this way and you may find some folks there willing to switch toons to do an instance on an alt because they are bored or want to do it too and were waiting for someone to start something.
The various epic quests were originally designed to be run by 6 man fellowships for the harder stuff, but those have been modified to give a player a couple of buffs that allow him to survive and beat them solo at quest level.
Also, starting at level 20 there are skirmishes. These are special instances where the mobs are upgraded based on the number of players that the instances was started at (1, 2, 3, 6, 12). You could level entirely off these and never do any of the normal quests. But as I mentioned, these can be soloed or done with various sizes of groups.
There is an instance finder function but 98% of players don't use it for various reasons such as they prefer doing stuff only with other players in their kinship or they don't like surprise PUGs where tehy have no idea what the combinination of skills will be and how the others will act. After all, every player is a human with all the good and bad traits that come with membership in that club.
Any class can solo the various quests in this game, some are better and faster than others. A guardian in tank mode kills slows but takes a lot less damage due to the extra defenses. And a guardian in Overpower mode is similiar to a Champion with lower defenses but more offensive skills. Every class can be played in various ways, you just have to find the one that fits your personal play style and what you enjoy doing most of the time.
the short answer is: no, group content is not an efficient way to level, there isn't enough of it and more importantly it does not generate enough XP though you can quest in a group, that said, if you enjoy grouping then the leveling aspect of the game should not discourage you from choosing a group oriented class, there are alway plenty of players who are eager to run various instances, though many are averse to PUGing, so it might be a good idea to join a kinship.
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Also, all the classes are capable of holding their own solo. Minstrels and RKs in particular are quite easy to level (though RKs are somewhat squishier). Guards and captains may be a bit slower, but I do not think they would feel particularly slow unless you have leveled several other toons. Plus, in LOTRO, getting to end game as fast as possible should probably not be your goal. The stories and leveling experience is quite rich and overall it is not a game that 'begins at endgame'.
Thank you all! Very helpful. I think I'll go with the Hunter for easy solo leveling to get the hang of the game. Thanks again
Don't pick hunter JUST to have a solo experience. If you like group oriented classes, go play one. EVERY class can solo easily and effectively. Really, truly. When you are just learning the game, it's not that big a deal to have to spend 15 seconds killing something rather than the 12 seconds it would take a hunter to do it. And when you DO have an opportunity for group content, you'll have a character you like playing in a group.
Pick a class that interests you for grouping. Pick whatever race you like looking at. Everything else is less important. It isn't any harder to level a Minstrel, Guardian, or Captain than it is to level a Hunter. And there isn't any point in zooming through the levels because there isn't anything significantly different at level cap than there is below the cap. Stop and smell the pies.
Don't limit your class selection based on "soloability". All classes can solo effectively, some are margionally better at it than others, but they are all generally near eachother in capability.
For instance, there are classes that are the "weakest" soloers, and those that are the "strongest" but there are always situations when that will change based on the enemy, setting, and other conditions; and the differences are slight enough to be just barely noticable.
If I put it to a chart it might look something like this:
Soloability of Classes:
"Weakest" class solo score 95%
"Typical" class solo score 98%
"Best" class solo score 100 %
Again, this is situational. For instance, my Captain is the weakest at landscape soloing - she's the slowest of all (again 95% instead of 100%) but when I put her in Skirmishes - she tares it up!
So - the real question is going to be, what play style will you enjoy the most? This will have the largest impact on how well you solo with a particular class.
As for me, I like all play styles! (A true jack-of-all) so I play them all...
What? Seriously? Ok summary - All classes solo well; don't limit your choice based on soloability. Some few classes solo just a little better - but not so much better as to invalidate the soloability of all other classes; Your play style will have much more impact on a particular classes' soloability than the class itself - so find a "good fit."