Lord of the Rings Online: An Online MMORPG That You MUST Play!
This is a review about Lord of the Rings online game. Normally, I don’t tell you if I liked the game or not; I let you decide for yourself if you like the games. I enjoyed playing this game so much that I am deviating from my rule to say . . . I love this game!
Ok, I admit it. I am not a LOTR book or movie fan. I’m not saying that either are bad because many people think they are brilliant. It’s just not what I’m into. Having said that, let me continue with the game. A friend recommended that I try LOTR online, and I did, but I didn’t have high hopes. Let’s face it, free-to-play games are usually free because, well, they are limited. The pay-to-play games cost money because they usually bring a higher level of graphics, content, and gameplay. The keyword here is *usually*. Anyhow, before trying LOTR, I was expecting subpar graphics and cheesy gameplay. Not so.
Before I continue, I must tell you that this game is rated “T” for teen. The Teen rating is for “blood & gore, the use of alcohol & tobacco, and violence.”
How to Begin
The first thing you need to do is download the game client. Go to http://www.lotro.com/en? and click on
You have the choice of downloading the game client for Mac or PC. It will take a while for the game to download and install, but you can play after a minimal install and the game will continue to download in the background while you play. You need to have 20GB free on your hard drive and you can choose an express or custom install.
You get to choose a character that is either female or male. There are four different races to choose from: Man, Dwarf, Hobbit, and Elf. Frankly, they should have named “Man” as “Human” because it’s confusing to choose a female “Man.” Also, females cannot be dwarves, and I think that should be changed—imho.
Your next step is to choose a class from: Warden, Rune-Keeper, Minstrel, Lore-Master, Hunter, Guardian, Champion, Captain, and Burglar. Each class has its own abilities and special traits. The class available varies for each race. For example, an Elf is not able to be a Burglar or a Captain. Your next step is to choose a name and to customize your toon’s features. Finally, you choose one of several “origin” points from where your toon will begin.
The game begins in the origin area that you chose. There is a short cinematic to introduce you to the story and then gameplay commences. I have to say, the graphics are really good. In the beginning of the game, you are walked through the various game and interface elements, tutorial style. The interface is sophisticated, but not confusing. I have played games where the interface is so crowded that I lost trying to figure out where things were located. LOTR has a nice clean interface.
After the tutorials are finished, you begin to quest. The quests are pretty standard. You speak to a quest giver, accept the quest, complete the quest, and hand in the quest to receive a reward and experience. Quests can be simple, such as finding another npc, to difficult, such as finding and killing a monster/npc. As you complete quests and gain experience, your level increase. With each new level, new abilities for your character open up. You can visit your class trainer to see what abilities are ready to be learned:
Money and Non-Combat Items
At level 15, you can buy a house and even decorate it. There are mounts available to ride, as well. The higher level your toon, the better equipment you can wear. Weapons and armor can be looted from kills, rewarded for completing quests, or purchased from a vendor:
Just a side note—I love how you can “try on” an item before you buy it. Great idea!
You earn money in the game by looting, questing, and selling items. Each toon will pick one of seven vocations out of: Armourer, Tinker, Armsman, Explorer, Woodsman, Historian, and Yeoman. These vocations are actually the result of three professions bundled together. Professions are either gathering or crafting: Cook, Jeweller, Metalsmith Tailor, Weaponsmith, and/or Woodworker are crafting while Farmer, Forester, Prospector, and Scholar are gathering. You can sell and purchase items and supplies either in the auction house or through face-to-face trades.
Yes, there are social aspects to this game. You can form a 5-person group, a fellowship, with other players to complete objectives. LOTR also supports guilds and has in-game chat. There are instances, or raids, that you can venture in and one-on-one PVP combat.
I know I have already said it, but I’ll say it again . . . I love this game. You all probably know that I am addicted to World of Warcraft. I have played many games, but I never found anything on WoW’s level—until now. LOTR and WoW are very similar with some of the same game elements—multiple classes, professions, mounts, questing, pvp, instances, guilds, etc. WoW’s graphics are better than LOTRs, but they should be; after all, you have to pay a monthly fee to play. LOTR has more to offer in other areas, such as player housing (a soon-to-be addition to WoW) and a delayed auto-loot. What’s that, you ask? You know how, in some other games, your bags constantly fill up and you have to stop what you are doing to either bank or sell items? LOTR features a delayed loot which means that you don’t have to bag your loot immediately. Your loot is kind of held in a temporary cloud. You then have an hour to “claim” your loot before losing it. All you have to do is click on the “claim loot” icon. Basically, I can kill a bunch of mobs and have an hour before I need to claim it and sell it. Pretty cool. Oh, I almost forgot . . . I don’t have to kill EVERYTHING. You can run by mobs and they won’t attack you unless you attack them first. How annoying is it when you are questing and all of these mobs attack you and slow you down? Not with LOTR.
I think this is a great game and it is free! If you haven’t tried it, you should. You have mo idea what you are missing.