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Alternative to LotRO?

asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

Any fairly active MMO's with a similar atmosphere to LotRO?  I'm not concerned about a WoW-level population or anything.  I just like the low-tech traditional fantasy that LotRO has to offer (except I hate the direction it's taken since F2P).  A few things:

 

1.  Not interested in Asian MMO's.

2.  Not overly-concerned about graphics, if the gameplay is complelling.

3.  I like to explore.

4.  I couldn't care less about PvP.

 

 

So, any suggestions?  I've tried Rift, but I just can't get into the lore at all.  I tried Vanguard several years ago and couldn't get over the really crappy animations, but I'm open to try again.  I enjoyed my time with EQ2 quite a bit, but was kind of turned off when they introduced a more anime style to the characters, and then gimped the hell out of it with F2P.

And on that note, I have no problem with a subscription game.  In fact, I'd prefer it if given the choice.

You make me like charity

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Comments

  • maxima29maxima29 iowa, IAPosts: 203Member
    Have you tried Age of Conan ?  
  • MoodsorMoodsor HerningPosts: 650Member Uncommon
    Just out of curiousity, why dont you just play LOTRO?

    image
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by maxima29
    Have you tried Age of Conan ?  

    Yes, although it didn't really grip me the way I had hoped.  I think it was the combat system that bothered me.  It seemed innovative enough, but not really fun.  I actually enjoy standard tab-target hotkey combat for the most part.

    You make me like charity

  • PyukPyuk Eugene, ORPosts: 690Member Uncommon

    I'm kind of with you, OP. I've tried a lot and a lot haven't really fit the overall bill.  Age of Conan was entertaining, but I don't think it really fits the exploration checkbox very well considering the heavy instancing. It might be better if it shared the quest discovery system that The Secret World employs where side quests are found through exploring. Maybe things have changed since I haven't played AoC for almost a year now.

    I recently tried Runescape 3, but I'm having a hard time getting over the horrid graphics (even after the update). I haven't played enough of it to comment on the depth, but the intro tutorial was entertaining. I've heard there's a lot of depth with R3, so your mileage may vary.

    Neverwinter has fairly fun combat (I play a Guardian, and for me tanking in this game is pretty fun). The fantasy setting is D&D, Forgotten Realms, so if you're familiar with that lore, you'll find familiarity here. However, it too is VERY instanced heavy and not really rewarding at all for exploring. It pretty much consists of get quest from hub and go do quest, then come back and turn in. Move on to next hub/instance. I think Cryptic hit the visual fairly decently, but completely missed on the opportunity for players to explore the Forgotten Realms in an open adventure setting. Plus the cash shop is stupidly expensive, which totally killed it for me. I'd rather Cryptic had a subscription model as a choice, like their other games. STO works well fro me for that, though I think their cash shop there is stupidly expensive, too. One day they might realize if they halved the prices, they'd sell more in overall volume. They're still not very market savvy, imo.

    D&D Online is the king of instanced adventuring. Everything is instanced to the point it isn't hard to feel lonely in the game. It's dated, the combat is marginal at best (even the Monk, which was an interesting improvement over the other combat classes), and unless you have key folks you know you can trust to adventure with, PUGs are usually and exercise in frustration. Exploring is non-existent.

    You already know about Vanguard. I'm assuming you know about WoW and it's complete face-roll leveling and combat mechanics (IQ <80 required, imo). I've yet to find a Korean import that isn't anything more than school girls in bunny ears + heavy grind, though FFXIV has been getting more than overall satisfactory reviews from the masses. I haven't tried it myself since I'm leery of anything that looks remotely anime. 

    Rift might be something to look into. Even though the fantasy setting is straight out of Fantasy Settings for Dummies, there are some exploration possibilities, with actual rewards for exploring in the way of treasure chests and quests. The combat is fairly uninspired, resorting to the typical hotbar combat mechanics we all know and complain about. Their housing is pretty robust, but that too is instanced (like EQ2's). Lots of different ways to go about leveling. Personally, I got tired of the generic fantasy setting and mediocre combat mechanics, but if you never tried it before, I suggest giving it a whirl - you may like it. Plus their F2P model is one of the best in the biz. Not very restrictive at all.

    Hope this helps a bit.

     

    I make spreadsheets at work - I don't want to make them for the games I play.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Moodsor
    Just out of curiousity, why dont you just play LOTRO?

    Well, I have a lifetime sub, and I do enjoy the core game, plus parts of MoM.  But, like WoW, it's feeling a bit long in the tooth for me.  I also think the F2P cash shop conversion is really kind of immersion breaking for me.  Nothing specific, but every time give the game another try, something bugs me.  One time there were mannequins out in the middle of Bree and various other cities and outposts, complete with sparkles and everything (completely out of place in a town).  Clicking on them of course just opened a cash shop of course.  

    Even the cash shop thing I can kind of ignore, even though I still get a popup reminding me to purchase quest packs when I enter new areas, despite not needing to. The real problem is the game is just no longer very fun for me, and the last few expansions have only reinforced my opinion that Turbine doesn't really know what kind of direction they are taking it, aside from making sure they have new quest packs to sell people.  Doesn't feel the same though.

    You make me like charity

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Nadia
    DAOC ?

    lol, I may give that another shot for the pure nostalgic value of reliving my college years.

    You make me like charity

  • StarS0ftStarS0ft BerlinPosts: 91Member
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    Any fairly active MMO's with a similar atmosphere to LotRO?  I'm not concerned about a WoW-level population or anything.  I just like the low-tech traditional fantasy that LotRO has to offer (except I hate the direction it's taken since F2P).  A few things:

     1.  Not interested in Asian MMO's.

    2.  Not overly-concerned about graphics, if the gameplay is complelling.

    3.  I like to explore.

    4.  I couldn't care less about PvP.

     So, any suggestions?  I've tried Rift, but I just can't get into the lore at all.  I tried Vanguard several years ago and couldn't get over the really crappy animations, but I'm open to try again.  I enjoyed my time with EQ2 quite a bit, but was kind of turned off when they introduced a more anime style to the characters, and then gimped the hell out of it with F2P.

    And on that note, I have no problem with a subscription game.  In fact, I'd prefer it if given the choice.

    Easy answer: Guild Wars 2

     

  • VolenibbletsVolenibblets London, LAPosts: 212Member Uncommon
    I've tried pretty much every game in the English language in a vain attempt to find something akin to what you're looking for OP (as, I gather, half the gaming refugees currently floating about from game to game are too) and I haven't found anything that fits in the last few years. Though I do keep my eye out for something good and new, I've gone back to paper and dice roleplaying with Warhammer Fantasy with some mates over google hangouts after about a 17 year break and we're having a hoot. I figured if no one is making anything fun then the only solution is to make your own.
  • marcustmarcust AdelaidePosts: 467Member Uncommon
    Play Path of Exile until you return to Lotro on November 18th.

    Playing: ESO, Submerged
    Favourite games have been: UO, Lineage2, WoW, Darkfall, Lotro, GW2

  • CalkrowCalkrow WokinghamPosts: 79Member Uncommon
    Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn.
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by StarS0ft
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    Any fairly active MMO's with a similar atmosphere to LotRO?  I'm not concerned about a WoW-level population or anything.  I just like the low-tech traditional fantasy that LotRO has to offer (except I hate the direction it's taken since F2P).  A few things:

     1.  Not interested in Asian MMO's.

    2.  Not overly-concerned about graphics, if the gameplay is complelling.

    3.  I like to explore.

    4.  I couldn't care less about PvP.

     So, any suggestions?  I've tried Rift, but I just can't get into the lore at all.  I tried Vanguard several years ago and couldn't get over the really crappy animations, but I'm open to try again.  I enjoyed my time with EQ2 quite a bit, but was kind of turned off when they introduced a more anime style to the characters, and then gimped the hell out of it with F2P.

    And on that note, I have no problem with a subscription game.  In fact, I'd prefer it if given the choice.

    Easy answer: Guild Wars 2

     

    Eh, that's pretty much the exact opposite of what I'm looking for, no offense.  Exploration is very structured, in that you just look for stuff on the map and head there.  Yeah, I know there's also "hidden" stuff and jumping puzzles and whatnot, but it's not the type of exploration I'm talking about.  The levels are small and highly-efficient, with no sense of scale.  Even the clouds look artificially low in the sky, creating a weird sense of an enclosed space.

    Graphics are nice, if you like your fantasy world filled with 16-26 year old super models and Disney atmosphere.  Just not my style.  I couldn't actually make a human who looked older than maybe 30, lol.  

    The atmosphere and lore, in general, are both just really kind of bland to me.  Humans are supposed to be on the brink of existence after having lost kingdom after kingdom to the Charr (I think). yet they're city looks like something out of my daughter's Barbie fairy-tale movies; some weird squeaky-clean version.  And the random addition of the plant people and goblin knockoffs?  Again, just not really my style at all.

    Lastly, the core gameplay for GW2 pretty much revolves around PvP zerging, which is not my cup of tea.

    You make me like charity

  • Ezraiel92Ezraiel92 Big Creek, KYPosts: 13Member
    Rift
  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member

    Just having come back to LOTRO after taking a long break from it I feel like no MMO I've seen comes close to its story and atmosphere. You try SWTOR (also has an epic story built in) and you mentioned Vanguard (huge open world) but Turbine has something special with LOTRO I think despite the game's many flaws.

     

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon

    Rift & Vanguard are two options already mentioned. Both are F2P, Rift recently so. I would have mentioned EQ2 here as well, except you already tried it for a bit. Vanguard, despite being an SOE-run game, isn't the same thing as EQ2 and they are completely distinct. I would definitely check out Vanguard if nothing else - it's probably the closest thing, and even in going F2P the core game hasn't really changed (hell, it hasn't changed since it was first released in 2007) and it has a small but very loyal and enthusiastic community.

    Even though it's asian, you may wanna peak at either FFXI or FFXIV - they aren't as "asiany" and the gameplay seems to be up your alley.

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    Rift & Vanguard are two options already mentioned. Both are F2P, Rift recently so. I would have mentioned EQ2 here as well, except you already tried it for a bit. Vanguard, despite being an SOE-run game, isn't the same thing as EQ2 and they are completely distinct. I would definitely check out Vanguard if nothing else - it's probably the closest thing, and even in going F2P the core game hasn't really changed (hell, it hasn't changed since it was first released in 2007) and it has a small but very loyal and enthusiastic community.

    Even though it's asian, you may wanna peak at either FFXI or FFXIV - they aren't as "asiany" and the gameplay seems to be up your alley.

    I appreciate your reply.  As for Rift, I do play it for a 30 minutes every once in a while, but the game seems really bland to me.  The lore and setting just lacks personality.  It's also a bit more "steam punk" than I generally prefer, with various guns and mechanical golems and stuff.  Not a bad game, it just isn't one I can easily get immersed in. 

    I do think I'll be giving Vanguard another try, probably this weekend.  My previous experiences were pretty poor, but maybe I just didn't give it a chance.

    You make me like charity

  • leojreimrocleojreimroc Toronto, ONPosts: 371Member
    It's been said, but have you checked out FFXIV?
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by leojreimroc
    It's been said, but have you checked out FFXIV?

    No I haven't.  I might at some point, especially once the launch smoke sort of clears, but for now I'm just waiting.  I'm not really hardcore about final fantasy normally, mostly because of the heavy anime influences.  

    You make me like charity

  • usuckmmorpgcomusuckmmorpgcom c, KYPosts: 1,348Member
    Originally posted by StarS0ft
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    Any fairly active MMO's with a similar atmosphere to LotRO?  I'm not concerned about a WoW-level population or anything.  I just like the low-tech traditional fantasy that LotRO has to offer (except I hate the direction it's taken since F2P).  A few things:

     1.  Not interested in Asian MMO's.

    2.  Not overly-concerned about graphics, if the gameplay is complelling.

    3.  I like to explore.

    4.  I couldn't care less about PvP.

     So, any suggestions?  I've tried Rift, but I just can't get into the lore at all.  I tried Vanguard several years ago and couldn't get over the really crappy animations, but I'm open to try again.  I enjoyed my time with EQ2 quite a bit, but was kind of turned off when they introduced a more anime style to the characters, and then gimped the hell out of it with F2P.

    And on that note, I have no problem with a subscription game.  In fact, I'd prefer it if given the choice.

    Easy answer: Guild Wars 2

    Bad answer: Guild Wars 2

    I think the OP said in one of his/her responses that anime was not a favorite. GW2 is borderline anime. Even the bearded men in GW2 look like women with beards pasted on. Ugh.

  • TakooTakoo dallas, TXPosts: 149Member
    FFXIV ARR has nothing to explore.. Prob one of the smallest worlds I have seen in an MMO. Not to mention everything because instance at level 50.
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by Takoo
    FFXIV ARR has nothing to explore.. Prob one of the smallest worlds I have seen in an MMO. Not to mention everything because instance at level 50.

    Well that's definitely not a selling point for me, lol

    You make me like charity

  • syriinxsyriinx New York, NYPosts: 1,063Member Uncommon

    give eq2 another shot imo.  If you sub you don't really notice that its f2p other than a pop up when you log in.  

  • sethman75sethman75 the gongPosts: 212Member Uncommon

    Your out of luck dude, there is no alternative to LOTRO at the moment.

    It is by far the best MMO of it's kind

     

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,204Member Uncommon

    You can't really replace a game. Not to rain on your parade, but I think it's true. I've played LotRO since beta and I agree that the core is good, but how they've evolved since they went F2P pretty much sucks. They monetize about everything and it's just lame.

    I'm not sure if any of these would work but I would recommend:

    EQ2

    It's old school, has a lot of fun classes that share some design characteristics with LotRO. The classes all have their own unique flavor and play style. You can solo, group, raid, craft, hunt shinies, and explore. The play styles are well integrated. The graphics and world look nice, but are dated in their visual style. I would recommend Everfrost, Antonia Bayle (the Landroval/Brandywine of EQ2), or Freeport. There is a lot to just figure out in the game and the lore is rich and deep. The payment model has dramatically improved since it started. There are some restrictions behind the sub, but you really can play for free. The game unlocks are reasonable in my opinion (silver = premium which is a $5 purchase). The expacs are $40 - $60 and usually include the previous release. You don't have to buy every region just to get through the game.

    TSW

    I know this isn't fantasy, but the game is incredibly immersive. I don't think it's a very exploratory game though so that might not satisfy. However, the quests are some of the best in the genre. If you want something different this game has a lot to offer. The game is buy to play, but it's only $15 - $30 to get started. I think the game still has a free trial and there are buddy keys you can get from others. Even if this doesn't become a main game, it's worth delving into periodically. If only Turbine would have treated LotRO like this. This is how a storytelling mmo should be done.

    I can't think of anything else that has exploration as a focus and has some lore and immersion to it. I like these games too but they don't fit your bill: Firefall (great character progression), Tera (combat), Neverwinter, STO, GW2. I just play games for what they are now. All those games have something fun about them. None of them do it all for me.

    My 2 cents. I hope you find something fun and engaging. If you do find something you really like post back here. I would like to know what you end up with and what you like about it.

     

  • DocBrodyDocBrody EldridgePosts: 1,820Member
    Originally posted by maxima29
    Have you tried Age of Conan ?  

    ^

    this, this and THIS!

     

    Originally posted by Pyuk

     Age of Conan was entertaining, but I don't think it really fits the exploration checkbox very well considering the heavy instancing.

     

    WTH?? Heavy instancing, where? You obviously never left the starter area Tortage, after that the playfields are MASSIVE for exploration and 90% takes place in the open world, apart from dungeons and raids of course.

    You never even finished Tortage, right?

     

     

    4 massive continents you can all travel to and decide where you want to level your character

    Great stories

    Fun mounts

    Best graphics in the MMO industry, really flies today on a current gen graphics card

    ..

    .

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