Pros:

  • Captures Middle Earth spirit
  • Great exploration
  • Player housing and music brings the world to life
  • Heavy story driven MMO
  • Title and deeds system adds unique distinction vs. other MMORPGs

Cons:

  • Combat feels dated
  • Populations unevenly spread
  • Requires a subscription to get 100% of content
tl;dr – Properly licensed LoTR MMO that truly emphasizes plot, narrative, and a living world.

Lord of the Rings Online was initially released as pay-to-play MMO with a great story that is now currently a complete free-to-play MMO. Lord of the Rings differentiates itself by placing a heavy emphasis on lore and story.

Concept

From the initial stages of the game, players are thrown in the heat of combat via several different interactive quests and are given the option of being able to choose 1 of 5 different races, which are the: Humans, Elves, Hobbits, Beorning and Dwarves. Additionally, each race contains 10 different classes, giving the player the option of being able to use 50 different character types.

Gameplay

Similarly to the quest system of World Of Warcraft, players can partake in up to 40 different quests at the same time via the game’s quest log. However, unlike the typical MMORPG, grinding or fighting enemies back to back for experience is heavily discouraged as players stand to gain the most experience points from completing quests. By completing several different quests, players accomplish deeds which rewards them with title and special trait bonuses. The quests themselves range from completing simple tasks which require minimal effort, to quests that literally takes hours to complete.

This MMO with a great story is all about lore, questing and PVE. The game features a title and deeds system. Deeds are similar to the achievement systems that you would see in other games and are divided into 4 distinctive categories: lore, reputation, slayer and exploration. Various deeds can be completed in several different ways. For instance, while some deeds involve destroying large mobs of enemies, some deeds involve exploring certain areas. Deeds also rewards players with Turbine Points, which can be used in the Cash Shop.

Titles are earned by completing deeds or by mastering a profession. It’s worth noting that deeds are entirely cosmetic and appears next to the character’s name. For instance, if players are able to reach level 5 without dying, they would earn the title “The Wary” which would appear next to their character’s name.

This MMO with a great story also features a housing system which is unlocked once a player reaches level 15. The housing system allows players to own houses in various neighborhoods that correlates with their specific race. There are 3 different types of house to choose from. Two of which are personal houses with the third being available to guilds only.

PVE

When it comes to PVE, players can partake in public dungeons, skirmishes, raids and quest/world instances. Quest and world instances are designed for individual players and small groups, while raids are for 2-3 fellowships which contains 12-18 players each and involve defeating powerful enemies for high value items. Public dungeons are similar to quest and world instance, but anyone can join said dungeon without an invitation, unlike quest/world instances. Players can also partake in skirmishes with special skirmish NPCs and last anywhere from 45 – 90 minutes to complete.

PVP

What’s so interesting about this game is that players can play as specialized monsters in customized PVP battles. As far as PVP combat itself goes, players fight in large battles as their normal available characters or as a specialized monster.

Video And Audio

As far as the technical specs go, players are given the option of two different clients: high resolution and standard, as well as several customizable graphical options. What this all means is that the game can be enjoyed on several different types of machines, in the sense that it can look quite beautiful or ugly, depending on the computing power that’s available to the player. Lord Of The Ring Online’s soundtrack has been praised for being a masterpiece, so much so that the developers released a 61 track OST as a free optional download to players form the game’s main site. The soundtrack can also be streamed from rpgmusic.org as well.

One thought on “Lord of the Rings Online Review

  1. Albodr

    After mergers, populations are evenly spread as much as that is possible. For example, populations are not evenly spread on most WoW servers, like with all older games. Also, you don’t need a sub to access all content, you can buy what you like or sub 10 bucks a month (best option is 30 bucks every 3 months, which comes to 10 per month) which also gives you tons of other boosts and points to spend on the store (good for role players and musicians). Also, greatest feature of the game: no other mmo has the music system lotro has. I spend 90 percent of the time creating new songs and lyrics (as I’m a musician) for lotro. You can have whole orchestras, theatrical plays, special music events which do not and cannot exist in any other MMO, bringing a social immersion in the game that is simply unparalleled. Add Tolkien’s world to it (not just any crappy squish squash fantasy) with people actually producing dictionaries of neo-Khuzdul, and setting big role playing raid events, add to that better graphics than WoW and a solid game which is as big and one realises that the only problem is that a Turbine hasn’t advertised the game in the right direction. Oh, and did I mention you can also learn literature and take part in courses and seminars from good universities while gaming? Yep, Coursera uses Lotro for one of its literature courses while the Tolkien professor (Carey Olson) has given many talks at the Bird and Baby, organised by guilds such as the Lonely Mountain Band (formed by real musicians who have an actual band with that name that plays music inspired by Tolkien). Literature, gaming, role playing, real music with lyrics, theatre, all come together in lotro.

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