A return to LoTRO


A fair deluge of water has poured under the Last Bridge since I last played LoTRO with any anger. Level 85 was the level cap then; it is now 100. Updates 12, 13 and 14 have all been released, patched, re-patched and conquered – but not by me. Wildermore has been explored, Helms Deep has been saved by a good chunk of the remaining player-base, the Paths of the Dead have been trodden and my hobbit-house has had a ‘For Sale’ sign erected on its lawn.

Many things are certain. One of those is that the golden age of LoTRO has passed, its summer days have departed. I have very fond memories of those years from 2007 through to, perhaps, 2012. This period, for me, would cover the journey as far as Mirkwood and perhaps a little beyond. The certainty of seeing twenty-plus kinnies online most nights of the meek, is now nothing but memory. The Watcher, Dar Narbugud and Barad Guldur raids are nothing but screenshots in an almost forgotten folder (together with a few housing trophies, of course!). LoTRO has now entered its autumn years. Acceptance of this now comes easily to me.

Time for some combat, LoTRO style

Time for some combat, LoTRO style

But what of the other MMO dalliances of my recent past? DDO, Rift, Secret World, EVE, and Wildstar, have all been briefly tried. SWTOR, I went back to a second time, but never got past level 30-odd. GW2 was a standout, and I have two toons at the GW2 cap, but only because the world of Tyria is breath-taking to me, and the toon personalisation isn’t far behind. However, my interest in GW2 waned pretty much when I hit 100% world completion – it took just over six months. I now pretty much accept that I am unlikely to get drawn into another MMO, long term. I can’t imagine that I will ever play another game for 7 or more years, as I have done LoTRO. I no longer believe that the experience of playing, and then being consumed by, your first MMO can ever be repeated. I think I am one of many who have now come to realise this. There’s that acceptance thing again.

Now, the urge is with me to take continue my own personal journey in Middle Earth, to travel the roads of East Rohan to Helms Deep and whatever lies beyond; to catch up with those few old friends that I know still play. And so my LoTRO story is resuming…

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5 Responses to “A return to LoTRO”

  1. I know the feeling. I have seen a sad downward spiral of the game and player spirits in recent years. It breaks my heart. This game was my first MMO, too. I poured so much time (and money) into it for years because I loved so much about this game.

    I won’t pretend to fully understand how the ball was dropped but somewhere along the way I believe even those responsible for rolling out content have lost the passion. You can feel it in the way player outcry for life support is being overlooked. I see no overhaul, no fresh pep in the step of those who are funding and creating new material; it is indeed a bleak Autumn that will eventually turn this game to stone cold ice. I don’t believe it had to turn out this way but the powers that be along the way just lost what used to make this game awesome. In return, it has lost a large chunk of it’s faithful player base and, even more importantly, the glimmer of hope from those remaining on this long journey together seems to be fading even though they don’t want to admit it outwardly.

    I will not lie. I became so depressed with Middle Earth that I have jumped over to “the dark side” of the universe for a spell. I still visit Middle Earth but my heart is too broken to be happy there anymore. It feels like an important part of my life is fading away and there is nothing I can do about it. Only those behind the scenes know why the game cannot reclaim it’s former moment in the sun. As time goes by, more and more of us are abandoning hope and abandoning the game for brighter worlds. SWTOR is not the same .. but I am forcing myself to adjust anyways. Until they have hobbits in space, I will forever carry a sad void in my heart.

    • Your words ring very true, more’s the pity. For me, the mess that is the legendary weapons system sums up how badly the ball was dropped by Turbine. That and the aweful mish mash of end-game activities that have been itoduced since they decided raids were too much trouble to develop. I mean, Hytbolt & Big Battles?? *sigh*

  2. Greetings Corleth,

    It’s been sometime since this post, and just wondering how has your return to Lotro been? =)

  3. My return was short-lived, unfortunately…I got distracted by other activities, and LoTRO is now collecting dust again :/

  4. It is a sad thing that happened to LotRO indeed. I switched to playing SWTOR instead. I don’t love the SWTOR lore as much as I did LotR’s, but at least the gameplay offers a lot.

    I still want to level my lore-master and see the newer regions. Even though the content is not what it was, the landscape always looked great, and I’m sure the newer region look terrific as well. My lore-master is somewhere around level 90 now, but I notice myself progastinating actually logging in. I think that’s just because I get all nostalgic and sad when I do.

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