The first thing you have to do on your path to becoming a monster is to leave the Free People’s behind and be prepared to fight for the enemy…I mean our great ruler Sauron.
While some might find it easy to just pick up and leave your character on the Freep (Free People’s) side; I decided to try to corrupt my champion instead. I just can’t leave my champion behind even if that means destroying everything I worked so hard to do. I decided to use my sword to find the nearest orc. After looking around for hours my sword finally turned blue and I told the orc to take me to his highest in command so I could become a monster.
After several hours of waiting in Saruman’s tower, I decided that I could not do that to my champion even though that would give me an element of surprise against the Freeps. I decided to leave the tower immediately and find how to become a monster. It turns out that you don’t have to leave your characters behind at all; you just have to hit the huge “Monster Play” button.
While I do recommend that you first try a creep class as close to your main as possible, I found that I do not like the reaver at all, even though my main is a champion. At around eight dollars a pop, if you’re not a subscriber, finding the right class can be expensive. If you find that you do not like your experience in monster play, I recommend trying a new class to see if that fixes the problem. Just because you like a class on Freep side does not mean that it will be your class in monster play. I think this is because your Freep side is usually not in a group as much as Creep characters.
Day 1- A Very Deep Pit
The learning curve for monster play makes a very deep pit. Not only is it a new class, but also a new type of LotRO. While some would argue that there are still quests that give you XP, (called infamy in monster play) it is still a huge pit to get out of. Hopefully, like in the picture above, I can bring you to a ledge and all you have to do is strafe left.
I decided to leave my reaver for good and bought a defiler (whom I named Andang (on Imladris)) out of the store; this is where day one starts. Let me first say that day one was my worst PVP experience ever, out of any game. I just kept dying as my defiler no matter how hard I tried to stay alive. While joining a group made this a little better I still did not know what was going on. If you feel like this in monster play, just know that it is normal at first. I recommend asking someone that is of the same class to help you around and do fun, easy quests with you. However on the first day, that sadly did not happen for me. I was almost ready to quit but I decided I would give it one more day. This easily could have been the best decision in my monster career.
Day 2- Coming Out of the Pit
On day 2, I decided that I would get in a raid to help defend Tol Ascarnen (TA) from the Freeps. TA is the main base in monster play and is essential in order to have an upper hand in the Ettenmoors. I was in a 23-man raid and all was going well until I got kicked out of the group. Later I found out that it was because I did not turn on the ability to listen to voice chat. The leader kicked me from the group because I could not hear his orders. If you are going to be in a raid in LotRO you have to turn on this feature to stay in the group (under options/audio/voice and select voice enabled).
I did not know at the time however what was going on, but another person whom got kicked joined up with me. While I do not plan to do name dropping on this article, Dulzak deserves some credit. He sat down with me and taught me how to play monster play. We did some hobbit killing quests together with some other new players in Hoarhallow (HH). HH is a hobbit village much like the shire but on a much smaller scale. We then proceeded to join up with a warg pack and kill some Freeps. While the wargs were all in stealth me and Dulzak acted as bate. We even started jumping up and down to be more enticing to a Freep group (and because the raid leader told us to). After around ten Freep kills we decided to go and quest some more and then called it a night. After turning in some quests, I did it; I achieved rank one status on my defiler in just two days and was out of the pit. After having someone come down into the pit and bring me out I now understood monster play and was ecstatic for the next day. Hope this helps you out of your pit and into your monster’s career.
Next time I will go in depth on how to have fun in a raid and what do do when you reach rank one by learning from Day 3 and 4. For now though I recommend checking out some of Merric’s posts from early last year on monster play. These are great if you are undecided on your class, don’t understand abbreviations, or you just want the Ettenmoors map explained to you.