Anime Class Trying To Get Better Scores Than Other Classes LotRO Review – From a Gamer Looking For a Home

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LotRO Review – From a Gamer Looking For a Home

I “discovered” MMOs in the Pre-NGE days of Star Wars: Galaxies and fell in love with them. Not just from a gameplay/immersion level, but for some reason I’m fascinated by the inner workings and behind the scenes stuff and have an insatiable curiosity to see what each new MMO has to offer and how different ideas come to fruition. the game

Over the years, I’ve tried everything on store shelves. I’ve been through City of Franchise, Everquest 2, Age of Conan, Warhammer online, Vanguard, and everything that’s been released since mid-2004. I’ve spent most of my time on WoW, not because it’s the best game ever released, but for some reason it’s the only game that offers enough to keep me enthralled more than any other game.

I consider myself a casual gamer, although I spend more time online than most hardcore gamers and thrive on challenges to beat any content a developer throws at me. I’ve spent my days in high level 10/25/40 man raids and also spent a lot of fame and small group content in every game I’ve played. After 5 years, WoW has finally lost its luster, and I’ve been desperately looking for something that offers the depth and complexity I expect from these games until the “next big thing” is released.

In full disclosure, I was first introduced to LotRO when Ten Ton Hammer got me a beta key (thanks guys!), but I quickly wrote it off as another “WoW clone” that was short on content and lacking in content. offer enough new features to pique my interest. The IP was so restricted by licensing, I didn’t have much faith that they could tell a decent story, the classes seemed bland and non-descript, and the graphics didn’t wow me, so I quickly made it using the 3-warning rule. moved on to other adventures in other games.

Fast forward 2 years and for some reason I bought the Mines of Moria expansion when it was released last November, and while I didn’t fire it up right away, it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months now. any other option I reactivated my account about a month ago and I can say that I was impressed to say the least. This review is not meant to be objective and unbiased, but rather my feelings about the game on its own merits and not as I’ve grown to respect another WoW clone. I have decided to divide this review into 5 categories, each with an individual rating:





20 level test


When I originally loaded this game up on release day I wasn’t too impressed with the graphics. The Dwarves starting area is a generic snow covered area and the Men/Hobbits starting area was a generic grass area. It has not changed until today.

What I didn’t understand then was that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe Turbine, as a business decision, decided to tone down the graphics in the early areas to avoid lag for new players, but as soon as I got out of the early areas and saw the world I was pleasantly surprised. What LotRO offers me visually. The landscapes may not be wildly different and I may not see crazy landscapes that don’t exist within middle earth, but they’ve added a lot of detail to each zone and made it not only distinctive, but also very beautiful to look at and look at. pass the time

Whether you’re looking at the Aurora Borealis-type effects of Forochel, the swaying flower fields of the North Downs, or the eerie rock-like structures of Angmar, the scenery blends perfectly with the game and the story you’re engaging in. Added DX10. since the game launched and although I can run it on DX10 I’ve noticed that the graphics are missing even on DX9!

And the open world graphics are second only to the indoor landscapes. All solo/small team/full team/raid dungeons are hand crafted with very little reused art. They are truly a sight to behold! The sad thing about the graphics is…players will never see what Turbine can do unless they go through the starting areas.

Character models seem a little stiff at first, but I’ve never seen a game that was able to deliver a realistic atmosphere without this problem. However, the rigid character models are short lived, once you get some armor it seems to become much less noticeable.

Overall, it’s one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen, right up there with games like Age of Conan (that game was beautiful…full of bugs but beautiful).

Graphics: 4 stars (out of 5).


Combat is the lifeblood of an MMO. After all, we spend most of our time fighting monsters and bad guys, so if we can’t enjoy the combat, we won’t enjoy the game.

Combat in LotRO doesn’t deviate much from the standard MMO… you have hot bars that each have actions with different cooldowns. Between using your special abilities you can auto-attack until the mob is dead.

Where LotRO tweaked the combat is quite subtle. By using longer spells and the ability to queue up your next move, the combat has become a bit more “juicy” as opposed to a cleaner, cleaner combat like you’d find in WoW.

At first this was a blackout; I didn’t feel like my characters were very reactive in combat. As I played the game I appreciated what they did, as the LotRO combat system forces the player to rely more on strategy and less on button mashing. It’s not fast paced, but it’s definitely more strategic than many other games out there. Unfortunately, it’s a very subtle difference from what most players would expect, and anyone who doesn’t make it past the early stages might not realize that this kind of combat was by design and not bad coding.

Combat/Gameplay: 3 stars (out of 5)


This is where LotRO shines. Make no mistake that LotRO is first and foremost a story-driven MMO. They have a story to tell and they’ve done a fantastic job of integrating that story into the world of every player in the form of an epic quest line.

As everyone levels up they will meet specific NPCs who will offer epic quests. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the quests are more difficult than normal quests, but it does mean that it’s part of the main story. It gives you a sense of belonging in the world of Middle Earth, it gives you a reason to do the things you do.

For those of you familiar with the books and movies, you are NOT part of the fellowship, but the supporting cast. You are always 2 steps behind Frodo and his friends as they head towards Mount Doom and your job is to gather the forces of the free people to prepare for war. Through the very clever use of the Epic questline and scene, you can keep track of companionship (as well as where you are within the timeline of the books), but this gives the developers enough freedom to ship locations. the college did not participate and fought the monsters that the college could not see.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of “Kill XXX bears/boars/birds/cats” quests, but that’s a staple of every MMO. Another crutch that Turbine has relied on is using travel as a time sink. Too many times you’re given a quest in a city that requires you to go get materials from an NPC in another city (forcing you to run long distances), only to have to go back and deliver the materials to the original NPC. make an item you need to go outside and kill some mobs on the opposite side of the zone. There have been over an hour of running non-stop to complete a single quest chain, and that can get old very quickly.

LotRO offers a wide variety of content for different playstyles. Whether you prefer to go solo, participate in small group content with 1-2 friends, or even run full group content and raids, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in the levels. I’ve pretty much single-handedly searched the last 10 levels to group up as required for epic, but I’ve come across many others who prefer grouping over soloing. As for endgame raids, if you want that, they have that too. They may not have as much as other games, but one of the fallacies I’ve had to overcome is that Small Quantity doesn’t mean poor quality. From all accounts (even though I’ve never participated in one) the raids are as challenging as you’d expect from other games…including a new 6 boss level progression raid dungeon added next time. content patch.

Quest/Leveling: 4 stars* (out of 5)

* The quest system is pretty standard, but the Epic Questline adds a new dynamic and gives you a purpose to be in Middle Earth, hence the reason I gave it 4 stars out of 3.


This is another subtle part of the game, but for me, it’s become one of the best things about it. Too many times in other MMOs people seem oddly situated in the world and not doing much besides waiting for a quest to be given. You go to them, get the quest and move on with your life, but the rest of the time they can be furniture.

The problem rarely happens in LotRO. When you come across town people are doing things! The guy who asked you to go collect wood for him… because he’s chopping wood when you meet him. That girl who needs wolf meat or boar sides…well she’s over a pot and cooking! Most of the time the town seems “alive” with NPC activity and gives you the impression that they aren’t there just to give you daily tasks and help you level up. Getting to the towns isn’t always easy, but that’s because Middle-earth is a dangerous place and they’re locked inside a cave for safety.

It doesn’t stop at the open world, either. You’ll see cats and wolves chasing rabbits as you pass them, and the sentient NPCs seem intent on staying where they are, as opposed to waiting to stumble upon and kill unlucky travelers.

One of the best things that has made me smile time and time again is the death animations. Turbine has added “death animation” to all mob types, and it’s well done. Mobs don’t just drop dead and give you their loot when you kill them…they usually have a short, well-designed death animation that adds a little joy to the kill. The bears will get on their feet and let out a final roar as you drive the dagger into their chest for the killing blow… the orcs will actually grab their chest and fall to the ground instead of flipping over. More than once I’ve caught myself saying “ooh, there’s a new type of mob, let’s kill it and see how it dies!”

Not all NPCs fit the description above, but a large majority do, and add a lot to the immersion of the game.

Atmosphere/Atmosphere: 5 stars (out of 5).

20 level test:

Most games use beginner levels or beginner areas to “hook” players. To throw in the best and convince wary gamers to give up their credit cards for a subscription when the rest of the game is first-rate (I’m looking at Age of Conan!). Often the first 20 levels of an MMO are a completely different game than the last 20 levels. LotRO is no different, but they have the formula backwards.

The early areas of LotRO seem dull and bland and the game doesn’t really come into its own until the later levels. Plastic landscapes and dull tutorials give way to well-designed areas and tough solo/small group/group content that can challenge even the most skilled players. If I stopped playing LotRO at level 20, I’d probably write it off as “another WoW Clone”, but now that I’ve invested my time in it and gotten through it, I’ve found it to be one overall. a very solid game that offers more than the box suggests and a fantasy setting and MMO genre that has very little in common with that other MMO.

Last Word:

In my circle LotRO is known as “the ultimate MMO for casual gamers”, and I’ve found that to be a huge mistake. While LotRO offers many ways to enjoy the game, for casual players and role-players alike, it also offers plenty of challenging and occasional content (reputations, traits, and feats) for those of us who have other ambitions than smoking a pipe. -grass all day long while we display the decorations of our homes.

Overall Game Score: 4 stars (out of 5).

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