Last time we spoke I was playing the one and only World of Warcraft. This was a little over two months ago and I have since put WoW back on the shelf and moved on to other things. I did enjoy the new Cataclysm expansion and made my way to the level cap of 85 with my Worgen Rogue. It was fun playing through all the new content and seeing some of the new polish Blizzard has added to the old zones as well as the use of cinematic content, more complete story, and phasing in the old as well as the new areas. However, when I started doing heroics at 85, the fun just wasn’t there anymore. This wasn’t suprising to me because it was the reason I have taken a break from WoW numerous times in the past. And this time, I just wasn’t in it for the long haul, so I decided to call it good and move on to something else. Blizzard has done a good job revamping their game, esspecially for new players coming in, but having played WoW on and off since 2004 when it released, I just decided I wasn’t doing the end game grind this time.
Lord of the Rings Online
What I Like:
- Excellent story telling through volume/book quests
- New player experience has been polished/revamped
- Excellent visuals/graphics, esspecially on environment details
What I Don’t Like:
- PVP is an afterthought (if you can call it PVP)
- Don’t really like some of the character animations
- Combat has always felt sluggish to me
I have played Lord of the Rings Online before a few times, but have never gotten to the level cap before going back to another game. I have been getting a little tired of everything else I have been playing lately and am currently waiting on Star Wars: The Old Republic as well as Guild Wars 2. I wanted something that would at least keep me entertained for the time being. LOTRO recently switched to a free-to-play model which made it an easy choice to try first since there were no fees or anything. I did a little research to figure out which server to roll on and decided to start a new character on ‘Landroval’, which was stated on the forums as the ‘unofficial RP server’. I am not heavily into role playing myself, but enjoy watching, listening and sometimes participating so I figured I’d give it a go. I created a human guardian and logged in to see if LOTRO was going to be my virtual home for the next while. The game was mostly like I remembered, but Turbine has added some nice polish to the starting zones since I played last. There are more voice-over lines that are played when you talk to all the npc’s around the main town and it seemed to me like the design and structure of the beginning quests had changed a little as well. Anyways, I was impressed with the new player experience and the things Turbine has added to their game.
Going through the content in the game has been fun and I have always loved the book quests which are the ones that allow you to participate in the main story of the game following Froto and his journey. I have always loved the visuals of the environments in LOTRO and always stop to look at things or take screenshots. The crafting takes some time and effort, but its a rewarding feeling to actually be using the gear that I make while leveling up instead of just crafting vendor trash constantly. The skirmishes that have been added into the game are a great way to change it up a bit and offer another way to earn xp and have some fun when your tired of questing. I’m not going to go into detail on any major mechanics of the game, but I will just say it is fun and most of the time for me feels very immersive. The only drawbacks I have are ones that I already knew about before trying it again. The combat feels rather slower than some other MMO’s that I have played, but this isn’t a game breaker for me. Also, I love to PVP, and LOTRO’s monster play option is not very fun and not what I would call good PVP. However, I think most if not all of the people that play LOTRO don’t play it for the PVP.
To sum up, I am having a great time playing LOTRO, and I think I will continue to play for awhile. The leveling curve is not the slowest I have experienced, but compared some of the other major themepark MMO’s out there, it is rather slow. This is not something I am going to complain about because it allows me to take my time and just have fun playing the game. The game is technically free-to-play, but you can’t really get much past level 20 without buying some more content unless you want to grind your way through the whole thing. I don’t mind paying a subscription for a good game so I am happily subscribed to LOTRO for the time being. I have never experienced the end game content in LOTRO so if and when I get there, that is another topic for another post, but until then, I will just enjoy my time playing!