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I always had a soft spot for this game, as I'm a Tolkien fan - and I always felt the world and story was a decent representation of his work.
The one thing that always kept me from getting properly "hooked" is probably the relatively dull combat system.
Unfortunately, that hasn't changed.
However, I do seem to have changed - and I'm a different MMO player than I once was. I've "been there and done that" in terms of high-level competitive PvE - and I've tried being "the best" in the way that I once felt was important.
So, now, I'm a much MUCH more casual player - and I'm finding LOTRO quite suited to my tastes.
I've always been big on exploration and immersion. This game has those things in spades. I've always been into "serious" lore, rather than pop culture gags and what not, and I don't have to mention the kind of game I'm talking about here.
I love the little things, like how the Burglar isn't a top damage dealer, but a true trickster - and that he can actually get something worthwhile when picking pockets.
I love the music system - and I love the housing system, which is definitely the smartest "instanced" housing solution I've seen.
I also love the amount of content there is for a slow burn player like myself.
I've read the threads about world size and travel times - and I don't feel they accurately reflect the quality of the world. Who cares about travel times and land mass? What matters is CONTENT - and detail.
For instance, if you do everything you can do in Bree-Land - you're looking at something like 100 hours - if not more, if you do stuff like Old Forest completely. For a SINGLE map (ok, there are submaps, but you get it). That's just insane, really. Sure, you don't have to do all the quests and the exploration deeds - but they're there.
While I probably prefer the world of WoW in terms of sheer visual variety - I think Middle Earth in LOTRO is, overall, the best world I've seen in an MMO.
Anyway, I just felt the need to talk a bit about the game.
No, I'm not pretending it's the best game ever - and I know I'll eventually tire of it and look for something new. I have a very powerful dislike of F2P - and the way the cash shop infects the experience is a big problem. Actually, I've left the game several times for that reason as well.
But I'm a lifetimer - so it's not like I need anything I have to pay for. I have more than enough points for everything - but, in principle, I despise their F2P approach.
But that doesn't mean the actual game isn't worth playing.
So, that's that - and I hope I'm not the only one enjoying the game around here. The LOTRO forum has been too quiet, so I just thought I'd contribute a little