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I can only tell you why I feel its the best experiences to be had in an mmo. Of course, this is all my opinion, but some of it is undeniable.
LOTRO has some of the best story lines, they are well written, engaging, and at times read like a series of short stories about the area you are in. They add great flavor to the zone, or town and its peoples you are meeting, and the back story of the place you are in. The progression has many paths to it (not talking about epic quest line at this point) there are quite frankly more quests (Not including Kill X) than you can possibly do before you out level them. This adds to the fun of playing an alt, and going a different way this time. There is always a new path you can take to advance, and meet your personal goals. Crafting has always been more complete and balanced than in any other MMO, as turbine likes to fill in the gaps of various loot drops in the players level range with crafted things, keeping all items viable.Of course raiding gear is the best in the game, but that does not matter, because it in no way means that all other gear from all other sources are junk and worthless (As some extremists that hate fun would have you think), and you can still have a great experiences. Its is absolooty possible to find things to do and advance with out raid gear and you will stall have a good time.
The instance work Turbine does it top notch, from mobs crashing threw walls, to entire scenes acted out in front of you, they do not simply use scripting as a tool, they have very much refined it as an art form. Most instances, those in the epic quest line, or standalone, are very well done in terms of telling a story. Quite the opposite of other games were you realize, this instance is really just here for you to get loot, and the background story they made is just a vain attempt to validate that.
Exploration is very high, and you will be rewarded by the time the world builders have taken to really make the world feel alive and lived in. The details here and there are higher than any other MMO I have played. One of the most compelling features is the games draw distance, i still to this day, see silhouettes of things in the distance, that spurs me onto my own adventure to see what it is up close.
Players are EXTREMELY customizable in this game, especially in the case of visuals, and for the fluff lovers out there, there are a large number of cosmetics and items you can adventure for if you like. I never see any two players that look alike, and as far as builds go, the only players that are clones are raiders... but such is the life of raiding.
Place an extremely well crafted world, beautiful visuals, awesomely scripted instances, and a huge epic quest line (Where most of the games instances are) on top of a HIGHLY refined combat system, and loads of "Quality of life" features. Top it all off with one of the best values for the money, and that the developer puts out more quality content, most times free, than any other developer. And you have one of the best PvE experiences in any MMO title.
That's basically it, it is an extremely solid experience.
"Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me
"No, your wrong.." - Random user #123
"Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.
How are you?" -Me