First Impressions: LOTR Online

So J and I took a foray into the land of Lord of the Rings Online free trial this past weekend.  And I came in thinking it was going to be horrible.  And it actually wasn’t that bad at all!

The download took four hours so we just took a nap while that happened.  (Benefits of a long download!).  The game has problems with locking up sometimes which can be a pain.  You basically have to shut it all the way down and start it back up.  This typically happens during the game start up or during loading screens.

The customization of your character is very extensive.  It’s so extensive that I generally just choose randomize until I find a combination I like and then I tweak it.  During the weekend, I tried a female elf champion and a female human minstrel.

The graphics are very crisp and with hardly any lag because of it.  That was probably the best part of the game is that little nuances within the graphics (water, fire, etc.) were so well done.  The game starts you off with a skippable tutorial that teaches you about movement and the basics in fighting.

After the tutorial, you are put in a town with the basic kind of RPG quests and at that point you can see other players and group with them.  The beginning quests and mobs are ridiculously easy and with no chance of dying.  There are so many details about the game that take a little bit of getting used to.  Deeds are like achievements and they earn you points  that you can use towards something like talent points.  You throw in professions and things can get kind of complicated if you don’t know what you are doing.

So far, the armor upgrades are straightforward and not a lot drop from mobs like in World of Warcraft.  So far (up to level 12) the armor has been color coded which is nice for people who care about that kind of stuff.

Battle in the game has been interesting.  One thing I don’t like, there is something of an induction period after you press an ability.  It will take a half second to a second to actually go off.  Which can be annoying if you are doing it while you are running towards the mob and then it takes off going towards your party member.  And I’m attributing this to the fact that it was really  easy but I found myself randomly hitting buttons and getting good results.

One cool thing of note:  If you level a minstrel, you can do the /music command and play the C scale by pressing the 1 through 0 keys.  I found that pretty cool.

There is a transportation system between towns similar to flight points in World of Warcraft and a “hearthstone” system also called Milestone.  A downside is the options panel.  There are so many options for this game and I don’t think they did a good job categorizing them.  It would take me close to five minutes to find what I needed.

After everything, I like it so far.  There are far more things than I could talk about in one post.  It’s a rich well-populated environment with lots of details in the system.  It’s something different from what I normally play and it’s a good change of pace.  It’s nothing that I would leave WoW for but I would definitely use it for something different to play.

8 out of 10

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Abovan
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 09:35:40

    As a Lotro vet (my #2 online game behind WoW), I think the game really doesn’t shine till level 30. Then the game picks up and is lots of fun.

    Unfortunately, I think many folks will not give the game that much of a chance. Which is a shame, since it is one of the best online experiences you can get from online gaming out there.

    Reply

  2. Vanilaor
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 11:11:54

    I agree. The lower levels are pretty standard MMO experiences. Even the epic quest line isn’t that “epic” at those levels.

    Once you level up a bit, things do pick up and get pretty fun and interesting.

    I forgot to mention when I was running with you guys, anyone can play music. They are limited to a couple instruments, starting out, Minstrels have access to almost, if not all.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the game.

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Lotro and WoW Friends « Middle-Earth Memoirs

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