OK, I’m still playing, and mostly still mostly around Minas Tirith. I’ve only moved forward a bit. I’ve wandered into Far Anorien for a while, but keep coming back to Pelennor because…
SSG has upped the grind big time. Rep has at least 2 more levels at Minas Tirith (I haven’t look to see if there will be more - and at least they give more points for achieving them). Imbued legendary items add a whole new grind to get scrolls and crystals to increase legacy levels. There’s a Minas Tirith grind to get scrolls, and so far I see there’s a festival grind to get crystals.
I hear there’s more to come in Mordor in terms of grind.
It’s a definite change from the 1st part of the game, and I get why. You can buy shortcuts and SSG needs that. But I don’t. They haven’t made it so bad…I only paid extra money to buy a premium house … 1st time I spent real money other than my $100/year sub in 10 years.
My overall feeling is that I remember the Two Towers and ROTK as 2/3 of the story, but now it’s basically 95% of time I’ve played in LOTRO.
In the meantime, I’ve become a Map Groupie.
Some like mounts, I like maps because I can see them all at one time. I still need to wade through the Spring and Summer festivals to get my last 6.