Sure I only played to level 30,
I spent much time studying the do and don't of Free, cash shops, expansion's and VIP (subbing). I have to say you HAVE TO DO A LOT OF HOMEWORK if you decide to take this game seriously. I think this is a big turn off for the majority.
It's a very impressive game for being dated, the graphics are amazing and an extremely lot to do. I selected a very popular server (brandy wine) and the population is somewhat healthy. You do see players running around here and their and as you get above 20 not so much. I'm good at using the social panels in mmo to do player counts at different levels and the population is not really their to do group content. I actively tried a few times with no luck using different methods, not to yield anything.
In games like this, You have two choices to embrace the community. Spam players directly asking for help or rely on Guild's, I'll admit the people and Guilds are friendly but I was hesitant to really get involved with asking them because of my unsure desire to stay, and they mostly consist of level 105s, I would hate to ask for charity help. Again spamming players, chat or using the tools yield nothing. However I was able to accomplish everything myself anyway......
I could sum LOTRO like this:
It's lonely, unless you really really try and embrace, and yes, definitely this can be done
I would have continued my semi solo path, but the quest system is what did me in. This is hard to explain.
Only so many quest are displayed on the UI. As you take more quest they sink to the bottom of the list then disappear off the screen. If your actively involved in one and bam it's gone if you except another or worst yet take five then all your active quest are gone of screen. It's then up to you to re-put it back on the UI. This makes the player have to do a lot from memory.
The main play screen has to be used in conjunction with the map to locate your objectives. Now, this is standard in mmos with quest helpers. But in LOTRO it's disjointed. It's very hard to explain this, a player would have to experience it to understand but I'm sure anyone would agree, and it does get somewhat better as you play.......This I think is the kicker for me in quitting.
Overall, Its fun. Do a lot of homework, play to level 20 then decide yourself how much you would like to get involved. If the answer is yes, then this mmo is truly a gem !!