Having hit 70 in WoW, and with Kara raiding being a once a week event currently, some gaming time has opened up for the gf and I. Since we had to stop playing LoTRO due to a technical issue and not anything gameplay related, we figured it was as good a time as any to return to Middle Earth.
Much has changed since we left with all the big ‘book’ updates. It’s amazing how much content and improvements Turbine has cranked out since the release of LoTRO. We started new characters (Man Captain and Elf Minstrel) and are currently only level 11, but already a few things jump out. Some are minor, like the ability to toggle the visibility of your gear on/off right from your character window rather than an options menu like in WoW. Having a one-click method allows for much quicker and easier character customization in terms of what you choose to display. Another rather noticeable change is the pace of combat, which is a bit slower than WoW. Some view this as a negative, but for me it’s a nice change, as WoW (especially in PvP) ends up being a mad clickfest of skills rather than a tactical situation. The slower pace also helps those with slower fingers keep up and remain effective, while not reducing the need to pay attention and select skills wisely.
Going directly from WoW also reminded me of just how gorgeous LoTRO is, especially at high settings with DirectX10 enabled (thanks Alienware). From the smooth animations to the amazing detail in the textures, the overall look of LoTRO really adds to the experience, doing a great job of visualizing an entire world and not just randomly placed zones. Also in direct contrast to WoW, LoTRO has a more traditional fantasy look and feel to it, which is something I appreciate, especially after looking at Power Rangers for the past few months.
Since the best content in LoTRO (imo of course) is the book and group stuff, we decided to seek out a large, casual Kinship to join right away, both to answer our newbie questions and to have a quality pool of people to call upon when it was time to get something a bit difficult done. We found “Easy Company” on the Windfola server, and so far so good. We have yet to group with kin members (no need yet), but kin chat has been both active and helpful.
Hopefully I’ll remember to take and post a few screen shots later tonight, but so far, our return to LoTRO has been very satisfying, and we are looking forward to the coming adventures.