If you’ve ever played LOTRO, even for the first few levels, you’ve probably encountered a neeker of some kind. These are rather over-grown bugs that are a staple baddie in the game. You fight small ones at low levels, and bigger ones at higher levels.
Thing is, those little bastards are *creepy* when they get bigger. I never realized how creepy until the other day.
Aethgar was riding north out of the Shire, headed for the lake in Evendim. He was roaming along the banks of the river where there’s a broad sandy beach. It’d be a lovely spot, if not for the native wildlife. Salamanders roam the area, and he was collecting teeth and scales from them, and at the same time cutting down on the neeker population (in Evendim the locals call neekers ‘norbogs’ but trust me, they’re just big fat neekers).
It wasn’t too bad until he came upon a spot called, descriptively enough, the Sand-Mounds. This is where the neekers breed, and the place was *crawling* with the wretched things. To the point where I started feeling all itchy and creeped out. The hairs on the back of my neck actually stood up as I watched all these insectile appendages waving back and forth at me.
I took some screenshots (click to enlarge), but when the things aren’t moving they don’t look like much (plus Aethgar was killing them right and left before I thought to take screen shots. I wasn’t even controlling him, it seemed. He’d totally taken control away from me while I just averted my eyes and shuddered). Huge kudos to the animators at Turbine who managed to so expertly capture that… insectness… of their movements that people tend to have a very instinctual aversion to.
I was nothing but relieved when Aethgar had finished killing enough neekers to placate the healer up at Evendim lake. He rode away from the Sand Mounds as quickly as his horse would carry him, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I really do love LOTRO. I love that I have a lifetime subscription so I never feel the slightest bit pressure to play it. I play it when I want to experience Middle Earth, which for me happens fairly often. I love the art-style…the same one that so many people hate. IMO people who hate the art in LOTRO are…well, crazy. OK, the avatars aren’t the best, but the world is lush and beautiful and I never get tired of gazing up at the sky.
I joined a Kinship the other day. I’m still not sure it was the right move. I kind of hate the intrusion of Kinship chat. I tend to just lose myself in idle wanderings through the world; I don’t often use fast travel, preferring to ride hither and yon, seeing what’s over the next rise, gathering cabbages and taters for dinner, mining a bit of ore, helping the odd adventurer out. It’s a total escape for me — a place to decompress. I always come away smiling.