As you might know, I have played LotRO since fall 2007. I was there for the first expansion (Mines of Moria), during the Codemasters – Turbine change, for the introduction of Free to Play (f2p), Skirmishes, some new classes, and a new race. I have seen the game evolve.
Some things I liked a lot, some a little, some I couldn’t care about.
The first thing I really didn’t like was the f2p. I think Codemasters thought people would try LotRO, like it, and spend a lot of money in the game. I believe it mainly brought people who tried the game, and left. So more people on the servers, and no money.
They also made the game much easier. I suppose to get more players. There are now items like the Gift of the Valar, or the mount trait before you reach level 20 (from starter packs). Why? Can’t people wait anymore?
Also, crafting got much easier over the years.
The game became more and more a WoW-clone. Based on fighting, raiding, skirmishing. But if I wanted to play WoW, I wouldn’t play LotRO.
LotRO has a unique combination of role-playing and action – you can play however you want. But the last few years they’ve done everything for the raiding/fighting kind of players, and very little for the role-players. Nobody that I know of wanted Epic Battles. Maybe some like it, and you get nice rewards, but if they weren’t there, I don’t think anybody would miss them.
And we house owners are waiting for the promised housing update for years now.
Another thing — Turbine, PLEASE update the site.
I think not!
The downloadable Quickstart Guide has Siege of Mirkwood on the front, and is from 2009. In the guide they tell how to install the game on XP and Vista. Basics didn’t change, but why not update?
All these things give the impression that the people at Turbine don’t really give a shit about the game. And these are just a few examples, I know there is a lot of outdated information on the site.
And now… who in their right mind merges 29(!) servers into 10, and updates those remaining servers after the merging? And what about the ‘cultural differences’? The players on, for example, Snowbourne are different from the players in my world Evernight. It isn’t just a matter of another name. The world may look exactly the same, it isn’t.
After the server “upgrade” on September 11th, we are now facing day after day of troubles. Days during which many players quit the game. I have a lot of old LotRO players in my friends list, most of them were very often online. It’s been silent last week. I hope they will return.
Secretly I hope some players turn their backs on LotRO, so we end up with a group of players that love the game for what it is. A Tolkien fantasy world. The world of the Books (and Movies) come to life. Pay to Play, so there won’t be so many people that just try and leave, but clutter the servers.
But… in the end it all comes down to money. So I fear LotRO will become even more an easy to play WoW clone.
I still love the game, I really do, but the fact that I have been looking at other games the past week says enough…