The Lord of the Rings Online has been around for 14 years, and in that time players have slain countless orcs, goblins, and the occasional Balrog. Naturally the MMO gravitates toward the more adventurous and violent aspects of Tolkien's universe, but one player has managed to reach level 130 in the most hobbit way possible: baking millions of pies.
His name is Cookingwithsim and he's a hobbit on the Evernight server. Every day for the past eight months, Cookingwithsim has been either in the kitchen or out collecting ingredients to make pies, using the pittance of experience points you get to slowly inch his way toward max level. It's a mission that would have likely required baking at least a million pies.
This remarkable achievement happened about nine days ago, with players gathering in-game to celebrate as Cookingwithsim earned the final bit of the 205,829,281 exp he needed to bake across the finish line. That mini-celebration was then shared on the LotRO subreddit, where other players marvelled at Cookingwithsim's persistence.
"I feel the only way Tolkien would have approved more is if you could level through storytelling," wrote one player. "To the Oven and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale," wrote another.
Cookingwithsim even stopped by to answer a few questions. We don't know exactly how many pies it took to get to 130, but they explain they were frequently baking them in batches of 10,000 to 15,000, which "really tested the limits of bag and vault space." Though the exp per pie will depend on a few factors, players will only typically earn about 50 exp per item crafted. That'd require around 4 million pies. Cookingwithsim also explains that they farmed most of the ingredients themselves, too. And their pie of choice ended up being Nine Star Pies, which require two types of dough, jam, venison, and some goat cheese. Fortunately, Cookingwithsim explains they also made a tidy sum selling all these pies on the in-game marketplace, with a total profit of around 2,000g (which they say they gave away to friends and guildmates, like a true hobbit). "It was always about the challenge of doing it," they wrote. "A lot of grind, but with my kin mates encouraging me I got there in a reasonable timeframe. It certainly helped to fill time during lockdown."
Cookingwithsim's journey echoes other MMO players who have made a big splash by finding alternate routes to max level that don't involve killing. In World of Warcraft, for example, one player has spent years leveling up a pandaren monk to max level by only picking flowers found in their starting zone. Each time a new expansion is released, they jump back in and pick a few million more to reach the new level cap.