Monday, May 14, 2012

Quest Pack Review: Forochel

For levels 40-50, you'll want more than one quest pack because neither of them covers the range completely. If you like to solo, Forochel is one to get. Frozen wastes and tundra will make you feel alone as you never have before.

The icy zone of Forochel is the home of the Lossoth, the snowmen (Not that kind). They have survived in these cold wastes and have several camps, which you'll gladly visit for some warmth.
Not a person within miles
Entering from Evendim to the south, you'll get to a small closed off frozen lake and the bitter cold doesn't seem that bad. The Lossoth aren't that keen to strangers, so you'll have to do a bit more to befriend them. (Good thing their rep items drop more than others.) Snowy grims and hungry wolves make the place unsafe so there are a lot of opportunities to prove your strength to them.

Once you've done the initial part, it's through a frozen cliff and a windy cave into the real tundra. Players new to this zone will soon find their defenses weakened by the cold and would do best to find the first Lossoth camp and a warm camp-fire. It marks a special feature of Forochel where you'll want to keep close to a fire (or bring a friendly hunter!) to get rid of that debuff.

You'll also get to start on a quest to help out a scattered Fellowship, where each character will grant you some special items that grant you a use of a special class power. For example a trap from the Hunter and a summoning horn from the cappy. All of them get into some funny situations and you get to help them out. (No spoilers tho.)

Another thing you have to take care of here is the water (that which isn't frozen). One step into it usually teaches you to think twice before being tempted again to go on a swim.

Further on, this zone features a dwarf outpost that'll get you some more Thorin's Hall rep and an additional method of farming it. (In the cave where you go get the tome for the epic story.)

The last thing I'll mention is the camp method that is the same as in Annuminas. Only here, instead of a bonus to rep gained, a freed camp will spawn Lossoth that give repeatable quests for a nice chunk of additional rep. Note that even at a high level, this will be tough as the respawn rate of the mobs is ridiculously high and you need to clear them all to take over a camp.
Some small additions to the atmosphere that deserve mentioning are the mammoths, northern lights and what is affectionately known as Forochel pea-soup (the thick fog and storms that make your vision close to nil).

There is no instance here (except the in their absence one that's with Enedwaith) so there's not much grouping time here, but there's a good chunk of xp that's nice to have in what is considered by some to be a tad difficult for leveling. Combined with another quest pack and maybe Eregion, you'll get an experience that's as smooth as possible.

Price/Value: 3.5/5 (There are multiple choices at this point and Forochel certainly ain't the worst of them.)
Storyline: 4/5 (I'll never forget some of the quests here. Helping a man steal a wife never bores.)
Quest Progression: 4.5/5 (Quests here have a nice flow to them. Together with another pack for the early levels, you can easily get to 50.)
Atmosphere: 3.5/5 (Getting lost in an icestorm is always interesting and the barren frost desert has its charm. Also, mammoths!)

Overall: 15.5/20
If you're a solo player, I'd recommend getting this pack. Though it's somewhat out of the way compared to the rest, it has some unique features that add some spice to this otherwise somewhat dull looking zone.

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