Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review of Moria: The depths below

This second part of my Moria review talks about the lower levels. It being the second part doesn't mean the level range is higher, as these areas share the same range.

For clarification, the lower levels to me include:
-Silvertine Lodes (lvl 52-55)
-The Waterworks (lvl 55-56)
-The Redhorn Lodes (lvl 55-56)
-The Flaming Deeps (lvl 56-58)
-The Foundations of Stone (lvl 60+)

Note: Moria is a difficult case. It really is a 'love it'- or 'hate it'-pack so people might not agree with my score.

Pro-tip: alt + f10 turns on your flashlight.

Time to explore the depths of Middle Earth!

The Silvertine Lodes

South from the Dolven-View, you'll find the Deep Descent in the Silvertine Lodes. (It's actually such a short stretch, no one should take a stable route.)
This old mineshaft may seem small, but due to it being very vertical, it's pretty big anyway. I don't like what Turbine did with this zone. It used to be dark and shadowy but now it's way too bright. It's not as bad as I make it out to be but I preferred the old version.

Quests here are still pretty straightforward (except the one where you have to find the missing dwarf) though the map is of not much help. This means you'll run around a lot, trying to find out how to get to a certain point. (One hint I can give you is to prefer the high route to the low route. You can always jump down.)

Mobs here are pretty generic, goblins, bats, worms and gredbyg, though the gredbyg reach a high stage of evolution by now.

The Waterworks

Down from the Silvertine Lodes, you'll enter the watery abyss of the Waterworks. Filled with giant wheels and canals, this zone breathes water. Another way here is down the well in the chamber of  crossroads.

The rotting cellar is where it's all at. The dwarfs here will send you all over so the tactic of picking up all the quests when you can stands strong. Other than that, they're pretty much the same as all other quests.

Mobs here include for the first time the globsnaga, orcs and goblins who have started mutating due to the fungi. Others are hypnotoads, big lizards, turtles and spiders. The more dangerous denizens of the deep are for the instances.

The Redhorn Lodes

South of Zelem-Melek, you'll find this big rusty mine. Filled with wooden buildings, I found this zone to not be all that interesting, though it doesn't look bad.
Quests here are concentrated in orc-watch, which is a guardpost against... orcs. Most mobs you find here are therefore orcs. Other mobs are spiders, gredbyg and deepclaws.

The Flaming Deeps

East of the waterworks, you'll find its exact opposite, the Flaming Deeps. Looking like a depiction of Hell, this region is filled with rivers of boiling hot lava, smoke filling your lungs at the slightest gasp.

Quests start from Anazarmekhem, and are pretty tough at moments, due to the many mobs around. Chains are pretty straightforward.

Mobs here are dragonets, lizards, elementals and orcs dressed like devils.

The Foundations of Stone

The last zone of Moria. Deep beneath the surface, the walls of the caves are so slimy they look fleshy. Quests here start in the Shadowed Refuge and they are tough. Mob density is high and there's big elite trolls walking around, some of which are unavoidable.

There are some nice locations here like the endless stairs or a remnant of the bridge of Khazad-dûm.

Mobs include Globsnaga of everything: orcs, trolls, goblins and spiders. Other mobs are categorized as Nameless. Things that have come crawling out of the depths and have never seen the light of day.

Overall Lower levels:

Price/Value: 4.5/5 (A lot of fellowship content but still no way around, though you might skip the Foundations if you find it too hard.)
Storyline: 3.5/5 (The Foundations have an interesting backstory, but the Silvertine and Redhorn Lodes aren't that interesting. Epic still rules.)
Quest Progression: 3.5/5 (Nothing to complain really, though there are some chains that send you all over. Some fellowship quests.)
Atmosphere: 4/5 (A lot of variation. The Foundations are kinda meh at times but the Flaming Deeps and Waterworks are awesome. The Silvertine Lodes don't look right in certain places.)

Overall: 15.5/20

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