Tobold's Blog
Monday, June 11, 2007
LotRO Journal - 11-June-2007

Besides playing golf, as mentioned in the previous post, I spent some hours in Lord of the Rings Online this weekend. My guardian reached level 23, questing in the Lone Lands. I finished most quests from the Forsaken Inn, but then found a lot more quests in Ost Guruth. And I was busy collecting rich iron ore. After about 300 of those I reached proficiency in expert metalsmith, which has to be unlocked with the next crafting quest. But it turned out that this quest was easy, just talking to a dwarf, and even the second quest he gives you to open up access to the superior forges was easy enough to do at level 23 without fighting.

The only problem is that I still need another 600+ rich iron to reach mastery in expert metalsmith. Without mastery I can't make the "purple" critical success armor for level 24, which is much better than the regular one. In fact the regular level 24 armor isn't better than my mastery level 21 one. Reaching mastery gets harder from level to level, because making an item always gives 6 to 10 points, but you need more and more points from level to level. I shudder to think how much mining is needed to reach grandmaster metalsmith.

I still like Lord of the Rings Online, but I'm not quite that enthusiastic any more. The Shire was definitely the best zone, and the Lone Lands don't grip me that much. There is a curious internal feedback thing going on in my head, where the fact that I have a lifetime subscription makes me think that I have all the time in the world and I'm not in a hurry to reach my goals, so I play less. The big advantage of that is that this gives me time for other games, like HOMM5 or Shot Online. That might be not such a bad thing. There was something of an unhealthy obsession about exclusively playing World of Warcraft for so long. Switching frequently between several games of different genres seems more natural to me.
I still like LotRO myself, but I too have been coping with relatively low enthusiasm to play. At least when compared to the frantic consumption of WoW for 1.5 years.

I think it's healthier, at the same time there's some worrying developments. I noticed many players that started out playing LotRO frantically have since quit the game or are playing a lot less. The game beyond level 30 is allegedly too thin in terms of content to interest folks. Already after level 20 (I'm level 27 now) I got a bit of a taste for that, as both Lone Lands and North Down are mainly large, empty and bleak zones. Perhaps game design, but it doesn't make them very interesting.

I'm concerned subscription numbers are dropping already, prompting Turbine to do a runner rather than putting the ton more effort into this game it deserves to flesh out the 30+ content. Along with Mbp I noticed too that the MMORPG subscription numbers on the link you provided, all appear to be heading south except for WoW... Kind of bleak.

Could it be the WoW burn-outs are increasingly MMO burn-out in general? I'm feeling some of that myself and don't appear to be alone.

Cheers - Sveral
Turbine games are generally designed with rich starting areas. Months afterwards, they start to release patches with new content for later zones.

I remember the first new content for DD0 - there was a huge customer backlash over the announcement of new content - that the word "free" was curiously omitted, thereby implying that all future downloadable content would have to be paid.
I really enjoyed LOTRO at first during the beta, but for whatever reason it quickly went sour for me. I tried it again during release and had the same exact experience. It seems like you start in the coolest areas with the coolest quests and are on a basically downhill track from there on. I did really enjoy the Burglar which I think is a cleverly done class, but in the end I ended up back in Everquest 2.
Have to agree here, my minstrel is lvl 27 and I also have 2 lvl 15 alts. Was very enthusiastic at first, but I log on less and less. The running around, no too interesting quests etc. and gameplay that pretty much stays the same, no matter what lvl you are, are the main reasons I think.
"There was something of an unhealthy obsession about exclusively playing World of Warcraft for so long."

Tell me about it :) I've been playing WoW for about a year and a half and lately, have almost completely stopped playing. It's hard to grind out 5k gold for you epic mount when you only play about 6-8hrs a week.

Maybe when my work schedule slows down I'll get back into it again, then again, maybe I'll be switching to LoTRO :)
Same is true for me: low enthusiasm to continue my level 35 hunter in Lord of the Rings Online. Tried a second character (burglar) and played it to 20...

In my opinion the advantage of Lotro is that you do not get as much "into" the game as in WoW - but thats also the biggest disadvantage. I never started to like my hobbit as much as I used to like my night-elf druid. It's just not the same 'feverish' roleplaying that fascinated my in WoW.

My conclusion was to more or less quit Lord of the Rings again and play WoW as little as I played Lotro - hope it works :-)
Could it be the WoW burn-outs are increasingly MMO burn-out in general? I'm feeling some of that myself and don't appear to be alone.

We old timers suffered burnout from UO or EQ, so we tended not to get sucked into WoW the way mmo newbs did.

LOTRO was on sale for 35 bucks, and I passed on it. Ultimately, it will take more than just being "good" to draw me back into the mmo genre.

Since, I'm mostly into pve, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan don't hold much interest to me.

That leaves Rome Rising as the only real alternative until Blizzard's next mmo comes out.
Have to resist the temptation to forge an insulting "I told you so comment" signed by Anonymous Wow Fanboy.

Lotro had an excellent start but the honeymoon is over and Turbine must continue to deliver the goods if they want to game to keep growing. The expansions are key for me. Shores of Evendim is due out next week and Jeff Anderson (Turbines CEO) has heralded two further expansions before the end of the year.
The solution to the usual mad rush to burn out: Find new game and play harder faster and burn out quicker. Do same darn thing more and more and faster and faster ad nauseam ennui. "I will be God among Farmers! Now! All else be damned. Right now!" Or, roll your twentieth Priest and wonder why the sense of deja vu plagues you. "What's this? Same ol' same ol? Rats. Not Again!" Maybe a quick trip to the Auction House to purchase all the mats to level your jewelcrafting from 1-375 will make you feel better. Hmm. Maybe you should now be a Blacksmith 1-375 instead. Immediately and right now.

You write the travel guide to burn out, and are surprised to recognize your destination?

"And you may ask yourself-Well...How did I get here?"
I think one of the big differences between the two games is that WoW provides you with a lot of incentives to level up as fast as possible where LotrO doesn't.

Seriously, in WoW every one or two level you get to wear cooler looking armor, you get huge stats improvement and there's always a new place you can now go to or a new mob you can kill. Same with raiding, there's always a little something more just around the corner to keep you playing. And it repeats itself over and over again. You're now attuned to Karazhan! Grats!! but just thing how cool it would be to actually beat it... and then if you keep going you can try Gruul! see what I mean?

LotrO doesn't have any of that. Your armor or stats doesn't look especially cooler when you level up. In fact it can be uglier. My dwarf guardian is running around in brown mail right now. Going up a level won't make an incredible difference in what you can or cannot do and there's no new instance every 4 level to keep you farming items. I think LotrO aimed for a different aproach than WoW and go less heavy with the carrot on a stick approach.

Not here to say wich design is better but so far I do love LotrO more laid back aproach where I don't feel compelled to always run after a new flashy toy. Like everyone already commented here I don't feel the same compulsion to play LotrO as I did playing WoW and I'm thankful for it. Playing WoW exclusively was eating up way too much of my time. Like Tobold said earlier LotrO might be the WoW methadone and I like that.
I think most people playing Lotro did NOT "Find new game and play harder faster and burn out quicker" - to contradict the 2nd comment above. This 'theme' was much more present when TBC hit the's just not the way Lord of the Rings Online is designed imho.
I hate the Lonelands with a passion. And I am having a hard time levelling up to get out of there. I'm going through the same thing, I don't feel like logging in since I know I have to go kill 10 more overcamped boars. And I think "I could play my Brute in CoV and SMASH!" so I end up doing that.

But, except for the aggravating Lonelands quests, as soon as I log in I love it. I am still blown away by the appearance and depth of the world. By the tons of roleplayers making it come alive. etc.

Since you're 23 you should be able to knock out some of the early North Downs quests, especially being a guardian. I found my guardian to be able to pretty easily kill mobs 3 levels above me.
I have to say, I'm feeling quite the same "meh"-ness towards LotRO lately. I'm 25, going on 26 and each day I'm thinking more and more about going back to WoW. It's been months since I played WoW... but perhaps its familiarity and gameplay are just plain more interesting that LotRO's... even if WoW's endgame is way more hardcore, at least there's plenty to do.

I don't know... I just don't think I see LotRO lasting much longer for me. This is also likely due to the fact that I've been playing since August when it was still in alpha. Maybe I just burnt out on it way before it ever came out.
hate the Lonelands with a passion. And I am having a hard time levelling up to get out of there. I'm going through the same thing, I don't feel like logging in since I know I have to go kill 10 more overcamped boars. And I think "I could play my Brute in CoV and SMASH!" so I end up doing that.

That pretty much sums up my feeling about it as well. Although I really like some parts of the zones and environment for their mood setting, the uninspiring quests just kills that.
And I end up playing one of my Dominators in CoV instead. Even though I have done many mission story arcs in CoV numerous times, it is still more enjoyable than doing some LoTRO quests for the first time.
Lone Lands is a tough place to level up in, especially when you hit the group quest wall. North Downs is a lot more quest / solo friendly.

I'm still having fun in LoTRO, but am debating getting another game to divide my time. I still enjoy logging in and just exploring. Most of the LoTRO quests are alright, IHMO. I agree that there is less of a wow-factor (no pun intended) when you do level. It's more like, "neat, a different number over my head."

I'm hesitant to head back to WoW. I've done the CoH thing when it first came out, maybe I'll check out CoV. I'd like something more sci-fi.
How Turbine implements housing will be a big factor in how LOTRO will do long term.

It's the one feature that WoW doesn't have.
I tend to balance two games of different types...I won't go to another MMO after WoW. I bought a PSP instead.
I actually switched back and forth between Lone Lands and North Downs for my Champ. However, I have suffered from a lot of frustration and a feeling of "wasted time." I'm used to COH/V which is a lot faster paced (but more repetitive). Now that my champ is lvl 30, I've been waiting anxiously for Wed's update.
so I play less

For sake of discussion, what type of community (if any) can LotR Online foster if everyone has this attitude?
Well, I hit the exact same wall at the exact same time and wound up quitting. Loved the shire and bree, the barrow downs and the old forest were pretty good (put together, worth the 50 bucks for 50 hours)... then lone lands was totally uninspiring, quests were lots of "go kill mobs x,y, and z at camp a". And the epic questline takes a holiday. North downs didn't look like a particularly exciting place to look forward to, either. LOTRO's engine is mechanically inferior (less immediate combat feedback) and the leveling is less satisfying, so when the quests drop to WoW average there goes the fun of the game.

Tried going back to WoW, and had just had enough of it... so I'm going to play xbox live and RL for the summer. Here's hoping AOC or Tabula Rasa is good.
The lonelands might be a bit on the boring side. The North downs is slightly better. The Trollshaws I really liked, but it was a real shame that there were so few quests there, espescially of course solo ones.
Around 20s to 30s you'll start hitting a wall in Lonelands and best switch to North downs till you are high enough to finish the higher end of lone lands. It's similar to WoW where at some point you can't finish one zone but have to move to another before finishing one.
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