Returning to Middle Earth.

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.

7 Responses to Returning to Middle Earth.

  1. Mallika says:

    I loved the lush environments of LotRO, but I did get put off a bit by the animations. My elf minstrel (heh, same as your girl) looked like a bow-legged hobbit when she ran.

  2. syncaine says:

    Book 13 I believe updated a lot of the animations. I think her elf looks good :)

  3. Khan says:

    Welcome back to LotRO! I’m one of the folks that stayed. I’ve been enjoying it a lot. As I understand it, many of the questing gaps have been filled in the Book updates so, hopefully, you’ll find the trip from 1-50 relatively smooth sailing.

    Book 13 did address some of the animation issues and added some more clothing items and housing items to the game. Fishing too! And the new zone, Forochel, is just awesome.

  4. thallian says:

    Hey I’m on Windfola. My char is Rumples, followed by Torkek and Tordekel. If you and your gf want to run the great barrows or Garth Agarwen sometime with one of my lower alts let me know. I have lots of friends that are starting to play again and notice the differences. Whats your char name? I’ll give you a tell if you like.

  5. thallian says:

    excuse me torkek is my bro’s char, my other one is Telanghara :P

  6. syncaine says:

    My character name is Syncaine. Shocker, I know…

    Anyone who wants to chat/group, just send a tell. We will be doing Barrows soon enough, and as I remember it, its a lot of fun.

  7. mikejl says:

    Looks like you and I have been going through the same WoW vs LOTRO. I tried LOTRO open beta last year. however, WoW BC was in full fun mode at that time. I hit 70, started alts, then got burn out. Went back to LOTRO and was very happy. Has that “new MMO smell”.
    I posed my banter on the back and forth on my blog. I have setteled in LOTRO .. just got the lifetime subscription.
    Great post.

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