Two nights ago I get back on for the first time in two weeks (well, 30 minutes doesn't count for much - so I played my alt then). I'm really trying to comlete volume 1 and now I'm doing epic quests all over the place without stopping to pick up new local quests. I'm assuming I'll get back soon enough... or I'll just go back. It's a strange balance. Quests I'd like to do, but if I get back too late, they are gray... so anyway, historically I get to the zone and say hi to some NPC who bestows a quest upon me, which turns into an arc. 10 quests later I'm back on the epic. I believe some changes were made that also make vol 1 epics MORE soloable... a couple still most definitely are not for a burglar.
OK, so last night I hit Forochel. Yep back to the cold-ass north. The actual quests and battles are not too bad... but traveling there is worse than Everswim. I was back
~~ spoiler alert ~~
because frankly, the last half of chapter 14 appears to be created by Amtrak or AAA, because it's all about going from relative extreme location to relative extreme location. Forochel to Rivendell to Micheal Delving to Thorin's Hall to Celodim - often one extreme to another. So, when it's late at night and the player is tired... navigating around bad guys to get to destinations is risky, so it's taking the Middle-Earth taxi service time - good thing I have a remotely decent treasure reserve.
For all of last night it was foggy in Forochel. Snow mounds and risky waters make for interesting navigation when you can't see too much further than your nose. Worse yet, we were playing on the laptop which is set at LOW for graphic settings, meaning low detail, low distance draws and creature creep - where you sometimes are traveling faster than the draws and suddenly you're being attacked. No real complaints... but that much fog took away from the very nice environmental views. Heck, even when it rains (sometimes especially) it just looks amazing.
I'd post a picture, but how about you just go to your shower, turn it on super hot, close the doors and turn the fan off... wait about 20 minutes. :)