Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thoughts on Lord of the Rings Online

       I'm on a bit of an MMO exploring binge. Just poking into things here and there as stuff slows down in my main game. This one was an interesting choice for me, one that was largely inspired by people in my blog list. A few years ago when it was newly free to play I had downloaded Lord of the Rings Online and decided to give it a shot. I made an elf hunter (but of course) and did approximately the first five quests of the tutorial before I uninstalled it. I apparently hadn't been impressed though I can't draw to mind now all of the reasons why.
     But I'd seen blog posts of people who loved it and for the longest time the scraps of paper with that first elf's carefully researched name on them hung around my desk taunting me. Until finally a few evenings ago I decided 'what the heck, I've got the drive space' and re installed. There was no indication of what server I'd played on before. I couldn't remember. Then I looked through the list and went 'Arkenstone, that looks like something I'd have picked.' Sure enough, my hunter was still there. But I didn't want to revisit him without having done the tutorial. I didn't remember how to play. So I made a Minstrel to take as far as the hunter had gone before switching back, if I didn't just give up on it at that point.
     Only that isn't what happened. Sadrondir got through as far as Mistelir had... and then just a bit further. This isn't so bad, either they'd changed it or I've grown more adaptable. The characters of course aren't nearly as pretty or customizable as those in Rift or Aion, sadly. But the world is Middle Earth and it's surprisingly lovely. Sadrondir kept going, I kept telling myself I should switch back to Mistelir, but the truth is almost every game has a hunter archetype and that is often what I play but it isn't often that I get to play a well done bard. Sadrondir made his way all the way out of the tutorial last night. And then ran into a lovely person in the first town in Ered Luin who stopped and invited him into her kinship.
    I didn't know what a kinship was. She told me and invited me and spent at least half an hour offering me helpful advice and tips on how to play, where to find things, crafting. Ever so warm and polite and helpful. The other person online chimed up to welcome me... and then just before I logged off I found a mailbox and found that in his silence he'd also made a bunch of food and mailed it to me to help out. I'm a little bit floored.
     My guild in Rift is also really nice if predominantly the other faction. But these were the only two people I'd met in the whole game so far and they stopped and did a bunch to help me out. Is it any surprise that this morning Sadrondir logged on to do more quests to try and earn himself enough store points for riding? And I'm told there are houses. Elf houses, that you can decorate! And Minstrels can actually stop and play their instruments, using number keys a bit like a piano!
And the game is pretty even if the characters aren't as fancy. I'm not sure how far I'll get, but for now it's on the list... and I can't help wondering what it was that I didn't like the last time.

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