This post started out as a reply to Knowfere’s post titled Lotro- A Love/Hate Relationship, but it got long and I decided I’d just expand it into a post on my blog instead, lol. This has turned into my longest post yet, and just a small disclaimer, I don’t quite have a photographic memory so some of the details could be slightly wrong or fuzzy. 🙂
How I got started
I started playing the game in 2009, a few months before the Mirkwood expansion. I had never played an MMO before Lotro, and my gaming experience was pretty much limited to the Sims and old NES games, so at first I was just getting used to the really basic stuff, and only played off and on. At the time my husband also played the game, and he would help me when I was having trouble figuring things out (he had played since beta, but doesn’t really play anymore). Truth be told I would have never even started playing the game if he hadn’t introduced it to me and helped me a long while I was figuring it all out, which is funny now considering he doesn’t even play it anymore and I do.
It wasn’t til about a year or so in that I really got hooked, and I would spend hours playing on evenings and weekends (sometimes I still do). When I couldn’t play because I had to be at work or something I would often be reading about the game, listening to podcasts, etc. Unfortunately I didn’t get in on the Lifetime Account deal when I had the chance, but I’ve been a subscriber since I started playing.
I had lots of fun leveling up my first character, my hunter Limmenel and exploring all of the areas in the game. She was at 65 for a while when 65 was the cap, and I got to experience some of the fellowship and raid instances a long the way, and after a while, at some point, I also leveled up my second character to 65, my RK, which then pretty much became my main. At that time my kin did not have a lot of folks interested in endgame raiding, so I didn’t really experience a lot of the content for that expansion, but we still did a lot of fun stuff together. I really began to make some connections and friends with the folks in my kin, planning events and such, and eventually becoming an officer.
Being your typical altoholic, I’ve created a character for each class (so 9 characters!) on my main server and even a couple on Landroval for the RP events. I’ve organized “Ladies Night” events for the girl gamers in my kin to get together and play. I also started an alt leveling group in my kin that played together weekly leveling together and going through some of the old content (an idea I got from Goldenstar of CSTM fame). I love crafting items for new kinnies and helping them as much as I can.
Rise of Isengard
The leveling process from 65-75 was a bit of a challenge for me on my rune-keeper after about level 71. For some reason it was like the mobs got insanely more powerful and I was super squishy, I died all the time on stuff that was my level, when at 65 I felt invincible. It was a frustrating time to be leveling solo, but I somehow managed to pull through it (with some help from my friends and kinnies for sure), which was great because I did a lot of raiding at 75 (although disclaimer, my definition of “a lot” might be laughable to some real raiders, but it was more than I’d ever done).
Basically this all came about because some time around or before when the RoI expansion came out my kin joined an alliance on our server with a few other small kins, and suddenly we had enough players seriously interested in doing end game instances and raids. In my mind that time and endgame content was like the golden age for my kin & alliance as we did a lot of raiding and played together. I’ll never forget the night we beat Saruman for the first time, it was so exciting!
Riders of Rohan
Fast forward to the RoR expansion. I’ve not played as much during this expansion as I had previously, and there are a few reasons for this. One being real life, everyone knows how that goes. Another main reason is that the end game stuff just has not appealed to me much at all. That’s not to say I don’t like the expansion, I do think it’s a beautiful area and there are some interesting story lines, and I have enjoyed the warsteeds, but for what ever reason the raids feel more like a grind than ever before, and I just don’t have the interest or time to do that grind. And don’t even get me started on Hytbold, it was an interesting idea, and I like it in theory, doing quests to help rebuild a town, that is cool, but it was like pulling teeth to get me to grind out all the rep and repeatables. I just didn’t have the drive to do it, in fact it was just this week that I finished kindred with the Sutcrofts to get my final piece of that armour.
Another reason I just don’t play Lotro as much as I used to, is the amount of connection/lag/just plain trouble I’ve experienced since this expansion hit. Before RoR I was able to easily run the game with my graphics at high, and rarely had disconnection problems, but since, I can barely run the game on medium, most of the time I run on low or very low, and currently I am having so many problems even logging into my main character that I just want to scream. I’ve submitted a support ticket and have been trying to get to the bottom of this for almost a month at this point and nothing seems to be working. It’s so frustrating not be able to play your main character, I gotta tell ya. It’s like a cruel joke. Oh, is this is your favorite? Ok, you can’t play it. Now some of these problems could be caused by my computer, or my internet service, or Turbine, but in the end it just means I don’t play as much because of the frustration factor. Sometimes I think, you know, maybe I’ll just go play Swtor, it’s free to play now and I don’t get horrible lag over there or maybe I’ll go play Rift… and those games are fun for a while, but they aren’t Lotro. I like Swtor and Rift, but I love Lotro.
And while I’m airing grievances, I also feel some of the same frustration many others feel about the game- like prices in the turbine store; silly hobbit gifts that just give me more crap than any thing worthwhile to fill up my bags, how grindy some of the stuff feels- I could go on but I won’t.
Ultimately I still love this game, flaws and all. One of the things that is keeping me tethered to Lotro is the friends I have made in my kinship and alliance, some that have even turned into real life friends. And it’s not even about tackling the hardest raids or achieving something amazing (although that is fun), some of the most fun nights I’ve had are just hanging with my friends deed grinding in Moria while chatting in vent.
The other thing that I just love about Lotro is the setting and the stories-Middle Earth. I love being able to walk around in the Shire, to go to Lothlorien and see the golden wood, hang out in Bree and have a pint at the Prancing Pony. I also love the festivals (for a few days before the grind gets boring, ha ha), I love all the pretty horses and making my character a new outfit (I am a girl, after all, lol), decorating my house and being interested in photography in real life I also really enjoy taking screenshots in-game. Basically I just love Tolkien’s works and being able to experience and “live” in that world on this level has been priceless to me and will probably keep me around as long as the game is around.
Well, that’s about it for now. If you’ve made it to the end of this rambling, far-too-many-screenshots post I’d like to thank you for reading and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!