A Personal MMO Retrospective.
Part 4 of…. things.
LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE
I had been MMO clean-and-sober for over six months, and I actually only started playing this because my lady and I got free copies in our 2009 PAX goodie bags. It was right after the first expansion launched. I was a bit burnt out from my previous experiences, but I thought I’d try. We played it and found a cool guild of Australians. The LotR community was great! All the players that we ran into were very friendly and helpful. The game wasn’t -and isn’t!- too bad either. I found the look of it a little lackluster, but it was still interesting. I was a Hobbit bard who used music to kill people, and I enjoyed that muchly. There was a lot of weird stuff in the game, both good and bad. For crafting most people had alts that were just used for gathering materials. I never realized that this anti-social loophole happened in MMOs, but later found out it’s common place in WoW too. PVP was… unusual. You’d make a monster character at top level for people to murder in the high level zones. No one really participated, so essentially there was no PVP. LotR‘s strength was its story driven PvE game. It stayed true to the history in Tolkien’s novels, but engaged your character by expanding upon events that were only mentioned in passing. We only stopped playing because my lady’s computer died and I didn’t have enough fun playing it alone to warrant the subscription. When it went free to play, we picked it up again, but strangely the new model charged money to explore quest areas that we were previously playing for free. I was done after that. Exploration is a big deal for me, and having to pay to wander around was a deal breaker.
I tried a week-long trial of this game before it went free to play. My initial reaction was quite positive: the UI is good, the classes are neat, and the random event system is pretty fun. When I played they had these random “Rifts” that would open and spill out bad guys. This zone-wide urgent event rallied everyone together for a common cause. It made you feel like you were actually an important part of a massive multiplayer experience …you know, like an MMO is supposed to. Rift’s only downfall was that the lore didn’t grab me. Maybe I was just bored of fantasy MMOs. Honestly though, Rift is a tight game and if you’re into fantasy with a sci-fi twist, you may want to give it a try. You can’t beat the price.
Next time, what the fuck was I thinking? You’ll find out.