Bree, land of lag! Bree, land of Killamastas and N00bpwners! Bree, where every quest sends you to the far corner of the map, only to return and be given another quest to the far corner of the map.
Not to say that Bree doesn't have its moments. The Barrow Downs are certainly well-done, and the Old Forest is spot-on to the Tolkien Lore. laurie_robey can attest to the fact that I occasionally tossed out, "Hey, I just found Tom Bombadil's house!" or "Neat, they put Bonfire Glade in!" My Tolkien-geek is happy about that. My gamer, not so much. The actual quests in and around Bree have become quite the tiresome slog.
The kinship I've joined is not being much help in that regard. There is constant pressure to "Keep up!" with the levelling -- I'm 17th while most of the members are 22+. But the quests in Bree take a long time to do! To get up in level that fast, they must have been simply grinding quests like crazy -- whereas I am much more interested in taking my time and engaging in the setting.
The curious flip-side of this is that I keep getting asked to help other people with their quests, while getting only sporadic help with mine. This is another factor that makes it feel like work. Today, I had someone ask me to help with a mutual quest, so I was happy to do so, only to have the player drop in the middle, then sign on and ask me to not do the quest until some other day. Fortunately, I had others to attend to -- but that was a bit frustrating.
Ah well. There is a famous ~lvl 20 quest basically to assault an enormous barrow full of wights and slay them all, which is supposedly what we're all power-leveling to get to. I want to get to lvl 20 because that's when I'll finally be able to use a bow. (An elf without archery? Sad.) Once a) I've gotten to 20, and b) the kinship has done that quest, I'll probably curtail my kinship involvement.
I don't have the free time to be online several hours a night to keep up with these people!