Seeing as I’m still living at university, post-exams, I have a lot of time on my hands, so an MMO seems a good place to start.
I’m not an MMO person, in general (although I can understand the companies needing money to maintain the servers, etc, I don’t like subscriptions. I’m poor.), but I that’s where “free to play” games are a blessing. No subscriptions, woop woop! There are lots of free to play MMOs out there, but I’m playing LotRO because why not? And I love Lord of the Rings.
Having said all that, LotRO isn’t quite a free to play game, in that you will be constantly hounded to make in-game purchases using their Turbine Points system. VIP members of the game (who DO play a subscription fee monthly) get free Turbine Points every month, plus they don’t have to buy as lot of the things that the free to play people do (such as a skill from the LotRO store to let you ride horses, extra backpack space, additional slots for your character to improve his/her stats, etc), so they really are nudging you towards either (a) buying more of their points, or (b) going VIP subscription. However, you can get by without spending a penny on this game, so we’ll take that as a positive.
As far as gameplay goes, it’s standard MMO from start to finish. Questing, looting, side-questing, killing wolves, looting, skirmishing, auto-attack, classes, and more looting (hence why they charge you for extra backpack space, sneaky buggers). If you’re familiar with any MMO, and let’s be honest, they all more or less play in the same kind of fashion, you’ll pick this up pretty quick. If not, it’s simplistic, with standard WASD-movement, right click to attack/loot, you’ll be all over it in no time.
With the community, in a few words: not too bad. I suppose it’s dependent on the server you’re on and the people you meet (I’m on Withywindle, by the way, name: Fendeviper), but in my experience the people are usually friendly and not too weird, unlike most of the people I met on WoW… And this definitely helps when finding fellowships (groups) for questing, kinships (guilds), or to do skirmishes or instances. The latter two are great ways, when you get access to them at lvl 20, to level up quickly and earn currency to buy unique items/weapons/armour, or to upgrade and customise an AI ally to use in skirmishes.
That’s about all I have to say about it. If you have Steam, it’s easy to install and entirely free. If you have an excess of time on your hands, and a tolerance for MMO grinding, this is a good one.
Anyone out there playing LotRO at the moment, or used to play it? If so, how did you find it?
First released: April 2004 ; Published by Turbine and Midway Games ; Developed by Turbine