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I'm not saying it was a failure or anything, but it just seems like it could have been - maybe could still be - a much bigger success than it is. I've been trying MMO after MMO, and after three years away, I'm giving LOTRO a second look. This game has so much more to it than most other MMOs. Certainly more than WoW. Plus, it's possibly the biggest IP a dev could even hope for.
I know it has its flaws, but I'm wondering which really accounts for the lack of mass appeal. Is it simply poor advertising? They advertise a lot, but is it too low key? Maybe they need to push more new content that gives the impression of it being more developmentally alive, not just a fading MMO no one wants to waste resources on? Or maybe the weak first impression it makes during character creation? Maybe they should focus on adding more detail and customization to character appearance?
I'm thinking it's something very basic like that. Not the sort of details players only notice after getting serious about the game.
When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.