Last played: 2014
Experience: Very Extensive
This is my World of Warcraft, the game I played forever. Did all the leveling, all the dungeons, all the raids, up ’til about two years ago, and so on… the whole shebang.
Now, to sum all that up in < 500 words…
LOTRO was the first MMO I ever considered myself an expert at, and a lot of my analysis of other games is focused through its lens. It is basically WoW with a Middle-earth skin (when I played WoW, it felt like a “LOTRO clone”), so I feel like that’s mostly appropriate. And in 2007, that was fine for me.
I still love reminiscing about my early adventures, leveling up my captain in Eriador, making friends and acquaintances along the way. The first time I loaded up the game and the intro music played, meeting Aragorn and Gandalf, the first time I saw Rivendell, that one time in the troll cave… these are great memories I’ll cherish forever.
When I first earned my way into a raid group… well, I didn’t really like it. After being able to mostly derp through leveling content, I suddenly had to time stuff absolutely perfectly or risk wiping the group. I think that’s a harsh lesson for people to learn, and MMOs could probably stand to ramp up that difficulty level a little better. Still, I got better at it and eventually was a valued member of raiding teams (or so they told me!), even if the raids and other content became less and less enjoyable as the game matured.
Hey, Jason! Aren’t those the same rose-colored glasses you apply to everyone who talks about WoW being so much better/tougher/amazinger “back in the day”? I don’t think so. First of all, I think you’d be hard pressed to find any long-time LOTRO player who thinks the game is better today than it was five years ago, an issue WoW fans seem more divided about. There are a number of possible reasons for that, which I won’t go into here, but I quit calling myself a “raider” after the main raid at the time bugged out in the final stage for the umpteenth time, around six months after it had been added to the game. Fix yo shit.
Second, I still think I’d still be playing today if my old kinship (guild) was still active. One of the raids, Barad Guldur, was long, dreary, not at all fun, and was the only raid content in the game for about 16 months. It basically “broke” our kinship and started our decline. We officially called it quits about a year later, and I just didn’t have it in me to try and “re-establish” myself with a new raiding kinship that some of us joined (which also used DKP, which I loathe).
So yeah, I miss the older, maybe better, content, but I also miss the people I played it with just as much. That’s a challenge no game can program against.