I’ve been playing Lord of the Rings Online, or LOTRO, as it named by its fan, for over four years now, and Turbine is pretty good at fixing things for the better, especially since they gave Codemasters the boot for causing an exodus of many of its players two years ago when they made it free to play. This year, Clisair and I used some tax refund money to purchase VIP status, and it has been worth every penny.
When the Mines of Moria expansion was offered, we snatched it right up, and went to exploring with our duo team of an elven hunter and human lore-master right away. The place was very dark, very dangerous, and we were far to low in levels to even consider being in there, but being the curious cats we are, we just needed to know what was in there. The place was massive, and it was filled with so much more than the movies or the books can show you. My lore-master even accidentally traveled down the well that Pippin ran into that alerted the orcs to the Fellowship’s presence. How lucky she was that it led to the Waterworks, Moria main plumbing facility. The water landing was great, but getting past those things that lived in the water, not so much. Read more...(516 words, 71 images, estimated 2:04 mins reading time)
May 8, 2011 C.E., 4th Age
After a hiatus from this game, it turned out that Turbine is still using the point system, but it has become more group friendly. The storytellers that made this game nearly impossible for couples and families to play in groups without stiff penalties are gone. Perhaps their system was causing LOTRO to lose much of its earlier customer base. I do not know the full story, but the game is better than ever now, with the exception that what I once had to earn through gameplay can simply be bought with Turbine points. The new area of Enedwaith is now open, and it seems the enemies are not as blind as they once were. Lothlorien and Southern Mirkwood are filled with repeatable quests, and who knew there were so many orcs and trolls in Mirkwood? The old system is slowly coming back into play which made me like it before, but enough of the newer stuff is still there to make it easier to do, like map locators. The nightmare that I had experienced in the Free to Play Beta is gone. Even though parts of the game are still Free to Play, actually earning those Turbine points through deeds and actions makes the game much better now. Sure, entering the digits of your credit or debit card can earn you points, too, but to unlock certain places in Middle Earth, it’s not such a bad thing. Somehow, seeing all this stuff again, it was like it was all new again, but I still remembered it clearly, and went back to some old quests and deeds that we left untouched from before, and found that I could rack up the Turbine points rather quickly. Thanks, Turbine, for setting things to rights again.
When I first logged into LOTRO a few years ago, it was stunningly beautiful in many ways, and true to the Tolkien books. The maps were accurate, even though some places were hard to find when questing. There was no real guide to tell you where quests where, so you had to hunt them down, sometimes going out of the game and using player made coordinate maps of the areas. They were broken down accordingly, from West to East, at the time. The first chapters of the game was Shadows of Angmar, which was the home of the Witch King. You started off playing as one of the Free Peoples of Middle Earth. Human, dwarven, elvin, or hobbit. Elves and dwarves started the game in Ered Luin, the westernmost region, with the Elvin area in the very west, and the Dwarven area in the north in Thorin’s Hall. There were many quests to take on just in Ered Luin alone, dealing with factions of Dourhand dwarves, goblins, some undead, and some fiercely territorial wildlife. The hobbits started in the Shire, where their enemies were few, but some Dourhands and Greybeard influence had come in from the West. There were some goblins and many wolves, bears, and giant spiders to fight, plus some human outlaw bands that were scattered in remote parts of the Shire. The Shire’s influence can be seen also in the northern region of Evendim. Human’s started in a small town north of Bree called Archet. To the south of Archet was a section of ruins that had been taken over by a band of outlaws called the Balckwolds. The Blackwolds and the Southerns where the main human bandits in the Bree-lands. Also, the Bree-lands is where we first find giants, and orcs, plus the many undead of the Barrow-Downs and the angry trees of the Old Forest where we also found the world’s oldest, and merriest creature, Tom Bombadil. Read more...(992 words, 1 image, estimated 3:58 mins reading time)