The new LOTRO Festival, the Farmer’s Faire, launched a couple of days ago, and today I managed to sample it a few of its offerings.
I have one primary consideration when judging a LOTRO festival, and I realised it ultimately after the anniversary contest in 2011 which was a funless affair due to the token grind. Essentially, how easy is it to get the necessary tokens to acquire some of the major goodies, in particular the horses. The second consideration after that is the quality of the mini-games and tasks one ends up doing to get those tokens.
The Farmer’s Faire passes the first test with flying colours. Although the number of tokens to get the various items sounds quite high (the horse costs 120), after just one day of not doing everything I find myself with over sixty of the required tokens.
That being so, how about the tasks to get those tokens? Well, these come in several varieties. Goldenstar over at Casual Stroll to Mordor has produced a pretty good guide.
In Bywater itself there are various tasks about the market. One of these – reprimanding drunk and disorderly hobbits – doesn’t seem to be working particularly well at the moment, probably due to too many people in the area. That is annoying. More positively, there are a number of gathering quests of items around the area, and some of the “lists” one is following are actually quite funny – for the first time anyway. My favourite bit of this area though is the quest involving Mayor Will Whitfoot, where depending on what he says after he has eaten you have to bring him a particular item. Quite fun, involves a bit of thought, and multiple people appear to be able to play it at once.
Just nearby Bywater are a series of fishing tasks, that all appear to be luck based. Fun enough as an excuse for fishing, and even if you fail the fish can be exchanged for more tokens, so hardly wasted time. After that there are two mini-games, one is collecting various eggs at Sanderson’s farm and the other involves eating mushrooms in Farmer Maggot’s field. I have to say, I rather enjoyed the mushrooms more, but in part this is because I cannot help but think of the start of Lord of the Rings when we encounter Farmer Maggot and his dogs. In both it is possible to get tokens even if one does not “win” (I didn’t complete either game successfully). Finally there are the ordinary horse races, which are one of my favourite things about any of the festivals.
So fun enough. However not, I think, as fun as the regular Summer Festival. That Festival stole my heart in my first year with the hobbit food-racers. I hope we will see it yet this year too.