Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

April 25, 2012

General

Over this past weekend, Mrs. Vraeden and I went out to dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.1 We frequent this place so often that we don’t really bother to look at the menu. Even the servers there know us pretty much by sight, and a couple of them could probably get us our meal without even speaking to us first.

Oh, look! I just happened to mention her in my article, so I get to post another completely unnecessary cheesecake picture of Kym Johnson!

So why do we keep going back? You could say that we’re in a rut. Mrs. Vraeden likes a margarita on the rocks with salt, the Alice Springs Chicken with the steamed veggies and add a house salad with ranch, but no onions. I like the world’s greatest food to go along with the 12 ounce ribeye (medium rare; more rare than medium) with a baked potato with everything but scallions and a house salad, also with ranch and no onions. Plus, I also hold out the (very) slim chance that the always-lovely Kym Johnson might be there (because she’s Australian and why wouldn’t she go to this restaurant?).

After listening to this past week’s live show and reading our friend Peter’s question about getting the fun back in LOTRO, this got me thinking about why people stick with a game they have played through many times over.

The question is this: After your 500th run through Grand Stairs/Draigoch/Barad Guldur/Watcher/Sword Halls/et al, why do you keep logging into LOTRO?

From Peter’s letter, it seems to me that if you’ve been playing LOTRO for a couple of years, there probably isn’t much content that you haven’t already done. So why do you keep coming back for more? Does the game really become a never-ending grind? Why not branch out to other games and then pop back in when new content is available?

In a previous article, I mentioned that there is a core group of LOTRO players who will only leave when someone at Turbine turns out the lights; they will be dragged kicking and screaming away from the game only because the servers will be shut down.

There are also a group of MMO transients, who bounce around from one game to another as they are released. They may find themselves returning to one or two games for the bulk of their play time, but they’re never around for more than a couple of weeks at a time, or after racing up to the level cap, you never see them again. I think the reality of the situation is that many LOTRO players also play other games. They might be other MMOs, but they could also play console games, single-player PC games, PnP RPGs and a few might actually do stuff outside in the sun (Nerf Humans vs. Zombies comes to mind).

Since December, I have been spending the bulk of my MMO time in a galaxy far, far away. My LOTRO account is now F2P and I really only show up to collect my lottery winnings and for the festivals. Other than that, I haven’t played a lot of LOTRO.

When I have logged in, I sometimes get a “Hey, where have you been?”, “We need a healer” or “When are you coming back?” tell from a kinmate or friend.

To tell the truth, there are many things I miss about LOTRO. I enjoy SWTOR, and as a huge Star Wars nerd, there are lots of parts of that game I still want to see. But I enjoy some of the gameplay and mechanics of LOTRO, and I miss the community and my virtual friends very much. There will come a day when I walk away from SWTOR and only re-activate my account a couple of times a year to play new content as it is released.2

I’ve been logging in to LOTRO with more regularity of late, mostly because I want the Fireworks steed on a couple of my toons and I think the You-In-A-Box is pure awesomeness (especially on a hobbit).

When I cut back on my LOTRO time, it wasn’t because I was bored with the game. Quite the contrary, there is still a lot of content I have not done, and many aspects of the game I have not explored (tanking being first on my list of skillz to learn).

That’s not to say that I didn’t find myself some days wondering why I even bothered to log in. Merric mentioned in the podcast that his days in WoW had come down to a seeming like work and sometimes I’ve felt that way, too: log in, run a set of dailies, bio, swap to an alt, run the same dailies, eat, bio, swap to another alt, run the dailies again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

When I had two “main” toons, a hunter and a minstrel, it seemed that a lot of my time was spent doing the same things over and over. I started playing right after the Mirkwood expansion dropped, and until Enedwaith opened up, there really wasn’t that much new content for about a year. I didn’t dread logging on, but the fact of the matter was that some times, I felt like my LOTRO experience was stagnant.

After grinding up some virtues and deeds, I decided to roll a third toon. The kinship I was in at the time needed captains, so I rolled one, despite my reservations about playing a melee class. Along the way, I was fortunate enough to run into a couple of other players who always seemed to be in the same zones at the same time. From the North Downs on, if we were on together, either in pairs or more, we would knock out some quests or slayer deeds.

One of my new virtual friends is a LOTR fan, and it was nice to run around with her because it was her first time through the game, and every now and then she would stop and just take in the sights or smell the roses. I spent about an hour just sitting around while she geeked out in Caras Galadhon. It was like going to Disney World with a child or someone who has never been before, and that was a refreshing way to view LOTRO in a different light.

As I’ve leveled alts, I’ve found myself forgetting how visually stunning LOTRO is. It’s easy to lose the forest for the trees (sometimes literally) when you’ve played through five toons and are running alt #6 through the Old Forest. I took several months to get my hunter up to the level cap because I was doing every quest I ran across and trying to finish all the slayer deeds and virtues in each zone before moving on. There was no nook or cranny of Middle-Earth I didn’t want to see.

That wanderlust has gradually diminished as I’ve leveled alts; I want to race through the zones, skipping the quests I loathe (pie/mail delivery, Laila in the Barrow-Downs, etc.), ignoring some zones unless I absolutely have to be there for class or epic quests (cough . . . Forochel . . . cough), and only doing the deeds if they had a cool title or a virtue I was actually going to slot on that toon.

Besides the top-notch landscapes, the epic quests provide a depth to LOTRO that is missing from a lot of MMOs. Several years ago, a buddy of mine tried to get me to play WoW, so I did the 10 day free trial. While each zone had its own quests, I didn’t feel like there was any purpose to the game other than clear out all the quest rings and then move to the next higher-level zone. The open-ended sandbox approach to WoW just wasn’t the pie filling I was looking for.

What LOTRO and SWTOR have is the underlying story that drives the quests, and for me, that is what keeps the games interesting. Even though there is one epic story in LOTRO (unlike the 8 in SWTOR), the fact that it is set against the backdrop of the War of the Ring and even the instances and raids are tied into the story make it feel like more than just grind for tokens and gear.

I will also state right now that I am not a hardcore raider. I know people who are, and they get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of mustering every night at 8:00 PM (eastern time, US) to run through the newest raids, or heading out to the Moors to cruise around and crush creeps.  That’s just not me.

If this sounds like rambling, let me draw this back to the root question: How do you keep a MMO from getting stale?

First of all, let me echo what Merric said on the live show: If it seems like work, stop playing. You’ll only end up hating yourself. I don’t know about you, but I have one full-time job, and I don’t need another. I swore an oath years ago that if I ever dreaded getting up every day and going in to work, I would find some other way to support myself.3  I would apply the same principle to LOTRO: If the game isn’t any fun any more, then you need to find something else to do.  Your leisure time is too valuable to spend it doing something that you despise.

Second, what parts of the game have you not experienced? In the live chat, there were many good suggestions on how to keep enjoying LOTRO: join a band, roll on another server, level up an alt (or five), move to an RP server, join a different kinship, etc. For me, melee combat and tanking are things I have not done very often. When I return to LOTRO, leveling up my champion and guardian are high on my “to do” list.

Maybe you should try out some of the more advanced classes, such as the lore-master or warden. Try healing if you’ve never done that. Head out to the Moors—either as a Freep or a creep—and take in some PVP action.

One other thing I’ve tried to do is go back to the zones I usually skip. It’s easy to race through areas from one to the next just to get to Moria at level 50, and then beyond at level 56, until you get to the level cap and start running the daily/weekly instances and raids.  The re-vamped Evendim zone is amazing, and some of the other zones I speed through (Trollshaws, Forochel) also have a lot of content that turned out to be a lot of fun when I actually got around to doing it.4

Crafting is another area where you can find new aspects to the game. Now that I’ve got toons with all of the crafting professions, I can make pretty much the best crafted gear for all of my new toons. It’s a far cry from when I first started playing and thought that having 500 silver was a lot of money! Of course, if you’re like me, you probably loathe farming (it’s literally watching grass grow), but leveling alts through the guilds and getting full sets of recipes is something not everyone has in the game.

You could also try and level a toon without sending him/her any money or gear from your other characters just for the challenge of it.

Game mechanics aside, in my opinion, the best way to keep enjoying LOTRO is to find people you like and hang out with them. In some cases you might want to try a different server or join a different kinship. Maybe not for all of your toons, but for the new one or two you just started.

It’s easy to hang out with the same people all the time. But that doesn’t mean they’re not dragging you down. Remember, before you start thinking that you have depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, surrounded by poo-holes. Same thing with LOTRO:  Maybe it’s not you, maybe it’s the people you hang out with.

I have been very lucky to belong to great, casual kinships in LOTRO, and that fits my play style very well. Even the kin that’s more into raiding (Shoutout: Lost Legion of Dunharrow) is made up of folks who are fun just to hang out with in game. The Osgiliath Guard (Holla!) is the other big kinship I belong to and they are helpful and welcoming and generous.  They have divisions in just about any computer game you can think of; I also belong to their SWTOR division and they are second to none. The people in both groups make my LOTRO time exponentially more enjoyable than just logging in and playing solo.

Some of my friends belong to kinships where the people aren’t always so nice or they have problems. Maybe there’s drama. Maybe the leadership is weak. Maybe you want to role-play and they don’t.  Maybe there are 80 members, but it seems like you’re the only one who’s ever on.  Maybe they are all, in fact, poo-holes.

After the kinship I was in a couple of years ago dissolved, a few of the officers and main members bounced around trying to find another “home”. I know a guy who is in one of the hardcore raiding kins and after running around with them for a while, I knew that wasn’t for me.

Why?

It’s not that they were bad people or didn’t know what the hell they were doing. Quite the opposite: they were a lot of fun and regularly beat the endgame content. My problem with them was that they were too good. And not only that, some of them were all too willing to tell me how to play my class, even when I didn’t ask.

I appreciate that some people believe the game starts when you get to the level cap. That’s just not me, nor is that what I enjoy about LOTRO.

If you find yourself always with the same people, all the time, and you aren’t enjoying their company, find new friends. That’s not to say that you have to leave your old friends, but if you like to RP and the people you currently hang out with don’t, find a group for role-playing. Or find a causal kinship that does non-raid events like concerts, chicken play, festivals, craft fairs or has a help-a-lowbie-out night once a week.

There are many good reasons to quit playing an MMO: you’re not sleeping regularly, you forget your anniversary because it was on a scheduled raid night (again), you get fired from your job, you went outside for 5 minutes on an overcast day and got sunburned, the crease in your chair is a little too perfect, et al.

But if you’re thinking about quitting your game of choice because you’re bored, maybe you should spice things up and try something new in the game.5

Who knows what might happen?

Maybe next time I’ll get a Bloomin’ Onion and the filet.


  1. Not to name names, but it rhymes with “trout rack”.
  2. Or I will suck it up and start paying two subscription fees. ::cringe:: If this happens, please roll a toon on Elendilmir and fishslap me until I see the light.
  3. And so I became a high school teacher at two-thirds the pay.
  4. I usually skip Forochel because I’m from Florida and I hate the cold.  Maybe it’s a testament to the prowess of the game devs because I try to speed through Forochel and the Misty Mountains because I want to get as far away from the snow as I can.
  5. Or roll some toons over on The Jekk’Jekk Tarr and help me smack some Imps around.
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Avatar of Vræden

About Vræden

I was suckered into playing an MMO by some friends and have been stuck around ever since. My "main" is a minstrel on the Elendilmir server, but I'm a pretty casual player who likes a good raid every now and then. My healing skills are spectacularly average, and I am known as the Elf Queen of Lousy Healing to my friends. I like long walks on the beach, puppies and mowing down orcs by the dozen. If you see me in-game, say hi or send me a tell. You can also email me or follow me on the Twitter.

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29 Responses to “Wash. Rinse. Repeat.”

  1. Aethalwuld of Landroval Says:

    I’ve been playing LoTRO since it released. I’ve got a founders account, so the whole P2P/F2P thing has never been an issue. I play when and for how long I feel like. When the game first started I’d never played an MMO before and I played a LOT. Lots of raid in (CD, Rift, etc.). Round about the release of Moria I started my decline. I’ve run all the content up and including Moria. After Moria, my first daughter was born. Since then, I play some nights, weekends for a bit and that’s about it.

    How do I keep it fresh?

    Well, I started out playing on Nimrodel. I got bored of the community there and started a new alt on Landroval (before it was open to transfers). Once transfers opened up, I transferred my main (the same guard I’d been playing since day 1) over and that’s who I play. I play through the epic story lines and the surrounding quests. I tend to stay away from the group content not because I’m anti social but, with two little girls (yep, had another one) I never know when I’ll be pulled away and that’s just not fair to a group.

    Once I’ve exhausted the new solo able content and maxed out the new crafting tier, I turn to my alts and my guard becomes a crafter for them.

    I tried SWTOR and, frankly the grind factor there is WAY worse than LoTRO IMO. Go to planet, beat up imperials, wash, rinse, repeat. For someone who is basically a solo player it got old fast. I paid for six months of play time up front and I doubt I’ll pay anything more. If it goes F2P, I may come back after my paid time is up.

    I love LoTRO because of the lore and I have no problem just wandering around exploring. There are so many interesting ruins scattered around and places that quests never take you. I sincerely hope that now the WB owns the movie right to the Hobbit that we’ll eventually see the Lonely Mountain and Iron Hills and Northern Mirkwood and Laketown in addition to all the places covered in the LoTR.

    Basically, I keep it fun by taking it easy. No need to get the latest raid gear cuz don’t raid. Adventure and explore and enjoy. Wash, rinse, repeat. :)

    Reply

  2. Tony Says:

    I think it’s natural to move on and find other things in general. We do it with everything else, so I’m not surprised when it happens with video games.

    I don’t think it needs to be explained or justified, either. Things happen. New things get our attention. Sometimes years with something is enough for some people entirely and sometimes others just need a “break” (for lack of a better word.

    I think about other games I really love, most of which are probably on consoles. I move on from one game to another regularly — in some ways MMOs seem like an anomaly in that sense. There is no non-MMO I will play every week for years on end, no matter how much I like that game.

    If SWTOR grabbed me (it didn’t) then I’d be playing it. I certainly have put a lot of time and money into LOTRO, but in the end it’s a game and I owe no true loyalty to it. Maybe I’ll lose track of some friends, but some will come with and I will form new friendships.

    I don’t see it as a problem. Eventually I am going to leave LOTRO, it’s inevitible. I think we’re all looking for totally new things to do and for some that time comes sooner than it does for others.

    So who knows, maybe a year from now people who ran to SWTOR or TERA will come back to LOTRO and see new things and will want to play it all over again. I think that’s fine — I often leave these games for months on end only to return and have fun.

    Reply

  3. royalbob of dwarrowdelf Says:

    When Leveling up alts, I like to quest in different areas than I did the first time. Works pretty good until you get to Moria.

    Reply

    • Tony Says:

      I like Moria, but in some ways it is definitely a bottle neck. But there are some decent ways around it… I spent a lot of time in Eregion and was able to get to about Level 54/55. Around that point, if you can get to Lothlorien you can do most of the quests there.

      I found that way I could avoid Moria almost entirely if I truly wished to. But that said, I’d not mind another area totally focused on that range.

      Reply

  4. bob Says:

    I created two free accounts and tried my hand at multi-boxing. It lets me do some content I couldn’t solo and can do it at my own pace instead of needing to group with real life people.

    Reply

  5. eaowyn Says:

    I too have been playing swtor. I already unsubbed and started to join little by little in the 5th anniversary festival. It felt like I was back home. It was wonderful to post in our united chat to hear other people who feel like lotro is their home. Its a nice feeling to be gone then return to where you feel at home. That is the way lotro is.

    Sometimes we all need breaks or vacations. If anyone ever loved lotro and left, they will be back. No one has the richness and depth of Tolkiens world to fall back on like lotro.

    I loved how the last book finally onnected us with the fellowship. I hope turbine keeps going in this direction and in the direction of the main story line of the books.

    For now I am enjoying being “home” by relaxing and playing in the festival. :)

    Reply

  6. Rinvan Says:

    I thought my time in LOTRO was over for good last summer. Burnout hit me & I was mad about Isengard not shipping with new dungeons. So I quit for 6 months. Turbine finally added the one feature that got me to come back, the instance finder. Things have been great since I returned a few months back.

    Reply

  7. Kaelin Says:

    I started making comics from screenshots, is what I did.

    Reply

  8. GoTiK Says:

    I started playing this game thanks to a group of friends that somehow disappeared one day from the FPS scene and went back to play an old MMO they used to play that had gone F2P: aka. LOTRO. I got addicted on day 1, even thou my “friends” were not helping much because they were all busy leveling up their *old* lvl 50 toons. Also I chose to be a guardian, and OMG how long it took to kill stuff was a pain, nevertheless I was having a blast strolling thru middle earth or as I called it “My never-ending map”. Some time passed and all my friends stopped playing (darn bast3rds) and I was left alone with no friends to play along or even chat (well there was one left but he was in europe and our play times were way off). He was recruited one day he was walking kinless in the 21st hall and dragged me with hime into my first kinship. It was great for a month then the kin leader and her co-lead had a fight and dissolved the darn thing. I was devastated! It was like my parents had divorced (they actually did when I was 9 and I didn’t feel as bad as this). Most people went different ways and again I was left alone. I soloed for a little while but I needed people to chat and do stuff with. So I decided to join another kin that was founded by some of the renegades from the 1st one. It was not working very well because I felt the kinship leader didn’t like me very much and my guardian was neglected sometimes to group in our regular runs (I only had one level cap toon and was leveling an RK on a second sub). One day I had an argument with the kin leader and he kicked me out of the kin, so, there I was, solo again. I started investigation on dual-boxing and as time has passed… Sorry, I have to go back to work. (TBC)

    Reply

  9. Gothnon Says:

    For me I love immersion into the story and/or environment of a game. That’s a real way to enjoy my spare time. So I was really excited about LOTRO when it came out and I’ve played it extensively for nearly 5 years. I enjoy variety when I play so I have lots of alts, and I found the pvmp to be very exciting for a time. But the reality is when you put so much time into any game eventually you feel like you are going no where- that you are spinning your wheels. That’s part of MMO’s frankly- they try to give you things to do for endgame, but I find all of those things break my immersion into the world. Raiding is the worst for that frankly-eg. “oh, time to kill the watcher again? didn’t we just kill it? again and again actually? so we didn’t really kill it or does it have a twin?” Yeah I can’t get into pve raiding for that reason- I enjoy a raid once or twice a month. Frankly that’s why I like swtor’s storymode operations because I can go in, enjoy the experience, but not be overly worried that I don’t know all the strats or that some kid is going to call me a noob because I didn’t know something about an encounter on my 1st trip when he’s on his 100th visit.

    So right now I’m playing TOR. I enjoy the warzones because I got sick of class and faction imbalance in LOTRO and of fights being in one place all the time. Again there’s also the factor that I played there for years and ToR is new, but the dev’s at Turbine have apparently not deemed it important enough to give pvmp more attention so it just limps on I guess.

    I LOVE the stories in ToR. I have 1 50, 4 lvl 45′s and 7 lvl 20′s. But I also feel I have a good variety of content to play in ToR considering how new it is. LOTRO has had years of development and sadly by the time it really had a wide and diverse endgame experience I had already gotten tired of the grind attached to it- I HATE legendary items and relics and shards. All the time I put into crafting feels utterly pointless.

    But I enjoy the vista’s in LOTRO and miss some of them. Frankly I enjoy the dark dreary and scary places. Moria was the ultimate dungeon and I enjoyed it unlike so many. Never felt like a bottleneck to me anymore than any other region in the game.

    Anyway, for me I realized that endgame is NOT where it’s at, and that’s because of how dev’s have to design it. MMO’s can never ‘end’ so the difficulty of progressing grows exponentially, and all that progression is washed away when an expansion releases, and it has to be that way for the MMO to survive. I personally am an efficient player- I have to be with all the alts I have. The only activity I enjoy in the ‘endgame’ is pvp, and I hate what turbine has done, or rather hasn’t done. When ToR’s pvp gets old I’ll be done with that game, but I know I won’t be able to go back to ‘zerg or be zerged’ open pvmp. I’ll likely just go to another game entirely and visit LOTRO only when major features come out so I can see the cool locations and maybe experience some of the story if they make it more exciting and less idiot carrying boxes of crap around for people. It’s absolutely true in my eyes that some of what I really like in ToR has spoiled me and made it impossible for me to get excited about LOTRO’s story.

    Reply

    • Gothnon Says:

      **Note: I’ll be done with ToR when the pvp there goes stale AFTER I’ve enjoyed all the stories in it. For me pvp is the only good endgame there is, raiding day after day or week after week just isn’t as interesting to me as the constant variety provided by playing against a wide array of opponents with different teammates match after match even if there are currently only 4 warzones to play in atm.**

      Reply

  10. Avatar of Carica
    Carica Says:

    I started reading this because I was lured in by the thumbnail of steak, and was sorely disappointed when there was no steak in the article. Where’s my steak? :(

    On a more serious note, I admit the reason I stay on LotRO is the lore immersion, social events and the community rather than the gameplay.

    Reply

  11. CJ Says:

    I, too, drifted away when SWTOR came out. I was frustrated with Turbine’s indifference to the player base. End game was a grind and I didn’t have any friends around to make it easier. Housing was still a mess after years of players begging for a revival. And the ramp-up of Pay-to-Win didn’t help.

    But I popped in to check out the Anniversary festival. I wish other games had the casual sight-seeing aspect LOTRO has, that’s the one thing that SWTOR really lacks. I like a lot of the changes regarding marks and shards and quest tracking. While I’m not feeling questing on my 7 mains, I’ll still continue to check in.

    Reply

  12. susan Says:

    I think what did me in for playing LoTR full time is all the ‘poke ya in the eye’ moments, from obnoxious virtue grinds for the 4th or 5th char, to every new town just being a whole bunch of “kill 10 of this” or “gather 20 of that” quests, to crafting that finds every way to clog your inv and too many blocks to just getting your own gear crafted in time before you out level it, to broken fishing (unstackable trophies? why? and inv clogging trash) and ignored housing, the flipping store, the way they bind everything to a char or acct then charge you money to open up a universal inventory system… .the list goes on. I havent finished the game and will one day.

    like you i log on for lottos and events,to hang with my family, to decorate and to play music and roleplay. Very rarely to play my toons. My lotr game time has become hours of just ‘housekeeping’ tasks, like shuffling AH gear from toon to toon, from acct to acct.

    Why dont i leave it forever? the art, the graphics, the lore, the players etc. I love the game but cant stand all the irritations to play it like i used to.

    Reply

  13. Jestrosneak Sneak Says:

    I have very similar experiences (date night with Mrs Jestro included) and with 9 alts have plenty of variety when boredom kicks in.
    I recently rolled a guard, the only class I had never aged and focussed on the epic story, something I avoided after my main completed vol 1.
    I had also previously avoided Trollshaws in the same way you do with Forochel (incidentally my favourite zone,but I am European!) and I decided to spend time there on my guard. I found a bunch of hubs I’d forgotten existed and have been thoroughly enjoying the zone!

    Reply

  14. Isilwren Says:

    I love LOTRO and plan on continuing to play it until the story line ends, however I’ve found I don’t like sitting in my chair for hours on end. I started taking cello lessons and have now been blogging about work I’m doing in my garden in The Hobbit Gardener every week.

    The cool of Spring draws me outside to lounge about on picnic blankets with my children.

    Reply

  15. Ciara Says:

    Sometimes things don’t have to be explained, they just ‘happen’. But this is a rather interesting article Vraeden because I’ve been asking this myself. What draws us into LOTRO. What keeps us logging in?

    For me LOTRO became a true hobby of mine. I’ve put lots of time and money in it. I invest in this game because I think it’s worth it. The general gaming experience, stunning scenery (my weakness), battles, social aspect,…are all very important to me. I guess this game fulfills my need/daily dose of entertainment.

    Like I said. Social interaction is really important to me. When I started playing, I was quite an active kin member and soon I became officer and eventually leader. I still felt like a noob though but my kinmates were really friendly and mature, which helped me a lot. In the end the kin got disbanded and I joined a different kin. I promised myself not to take any leadership position because I just wanted to enjoy the game without ‘pressure’. Anyway, I can’t imagine not being part of a kin, it’s one of those things that keeps me coming back for more. A chat, a friendly /salute or just having a good laugh.

    At some point I got myself into SWTOR beta and I actually played it for a while. But it didn’t appeal to me like LOTRO did. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Star Wars. When I was playing SWTOR, I neglected LOTRO for a while. I took a LOTRO break for a few months but when update 6 got released I had to check it out. New content = always something to look forward to. When I came back I thought I got kicked out of my kin (for being inactive). Much to my suprise, I was still a member. Those few months were my only and longest break from the game.

    I’m 75 btw and don’t have any alts. But…I manage to keep myself busy! Let’s say I’m polishing up some incompleted deeds, refining my skills or raiding when I feel like it. I also enjoy Bron’s dailies and some great river repeatables. Not because I have to, but because I actually like grinding and doing the same instances over and over again (I’m sure I’m not the only one). When I’m not doing any of the above, I’m helping others/kinmates. This game can keep you busy as long as you want. It’s what you make of it. For now I don’t get bored and find myself having ‘fun’. But who knows, next year I might be saying: well it was fun while it lasted.

    Reply

  16. Black Llama Says:

    There are enough low level quests that you can have a few alts and really not have to do many of the same areas (I skilled Evendim completely on my Warden). Also, when I start getting bored with grinding I’ll find a few folks for a Skirmish, maybe do some mid level runs, anything different. Also, hanging out in the “popular” areas and interacting with other folks keeps things fresh. Hell, even just having someone to go out and grind with you breaks up the monotony some days :D

    I will say the festival timing was just right for the 5 year event….

    Reply

  17. Zide Zwipe Says:

    The more and more I play SWTOR, the more I realize that it really isn’t that good of a game. Sure, it’s shiny. And it’s neat that all the conversations are dubbed. But past that it’s an extremely bland MMO.

    The classes are very boring and not engaging and not well thought out. And that’s not mentioning that they are identical for Republic / Imperial.

    Call me a purist, but KOTOR and KOTOR2 were way better games. Even after all this time I can go back and play them through becoming totally engrossed in the story, the classes, and the infinite ways to play it. Not so with TOR. With each class, with each AC, with each tree there is only one way to play it. And branching out into multi-tree disciplines are not worth it. The power you lose isn’t worth the versatility you gain.

    Plus the deviation from the source classes into the simplified classes we have now just drives me up a wall.

    Reply

    • Tony Says:

      I agree with you on SWTOR. And honestly, this might sound weird/stupid — but the increased focus on presenting every single quest as a voiced cinematic, at least for me, heavily highlights how bland the quests truly are. They’ve pushed that aspect of the game ahead, yet the meat of it all — the things you actually DO — are as tired as ever. I almost feel like the experience suffers because of it. Even though they’re no worse than in other MMOs, really, it just seems a lot more evident.

      Reply

  18. Andy Says:

    At times I seem to be in a minority of those that quite like the look of swtor and the way the AC split actually affect how you go about questing. I levelled a smuggler as gunslinger and until the end of hoth I was finding I had to pick and choose fights much more tactically as I only had a medpac and coolhead to heal myself with, heroic moment saved for the real “oh bother” stuff. I also quite like how you find your playstyle shift as you move from one companion to the next.

    Most quests in mmo’s do boil down to kill or gather 10-15 things come back and I’ll send you off to do the same thing again and the cutscenes might be longwinded but at least you can kind of take a more active role in things. PVPwise I prefer the inquisitor however thats plagued by far too much huttball for my liking so I’m mainly questing away.

    Up until the end of last year I’d been raiding 3-4nights a week in wow, starting back in vanilla, and a combination of burnout and boredom made me decide to stop. Since then I’ve found myself not really missing the raiding, the people yes but the raids themselves no. I’ve been asked if I’ll come back for the next one but to me it’s been promoted too much as pandas (former april fools) and minipet combat (pokemon), maybe I’m getting old or they’re trying to make the game appeal to an even younger audience but neither seem like a great addition.

    Since leaving it behind I’ve found a bit more time for lotro, questing the way I want to and not really succumbing to the lure of the gear grind. As a general rule I hate grinding for pretty much anything and have a lot of deeds that I may go back and kill 10 before getting bored and doing something else. If you don’t do endgame stuff then trait deeds arent vital unless you’re after some TP’s.

    I also dusted off my LTS for startrek online although when compared to lotro there’s a lot thats lacking be that f2p model, player attitudes or whatever, I’ve always liked startrek and flying about in a starship shooting phasers is quite fun.

    Being an altoholic I’ve found my interest in mmo’s now lies more in the alts than having a set main that needs to be up to spec and gear for the latest content.

    The one thing I think lotro has lacked this expansion has been new skirmishes, there’s a fair few instance based moments that could be converted into a skirmish format but weren’t which is a shame and I really hope we do get some in RoR and the dev focus isn’t too heavy on the mounted stuff which could be a sink or swim moment for players.

    GW2 is approaching the whole questing thing in quite an interesting way That I found quite good in what I’ve played on beta’s so far. There’s pretty much one questline, based on your character and race and after that it’s up to you how you level. I just hope the asura work as well as I hope they will.

    If you dont want to give up on lotro entirely consider starting a new f2p account and just take your time, enjoy the journey because end game isnt for everyone.

    Reply

  19. Hobbit and Redhead Says:

    And there’s this thread asking to solofy Angmar, which has many replies against the whole project:

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?435796-Solo-fy-the-Angmar-Landscape-Quests

    Cheers,
    Hobbit

    Reply

  20. Fortinstaff Says:

    Thanks for the great post!
    I seem to be in a minority of people who only have one character and have done since i started almost 2 years ago (I still haven´t reached the lvl cap :-) ).
    I am an extremely casual, solo player and can go without playing for several weeks. I think it is because of this that whenever i do play i enjoy it a lot.
    I enjoy the epic quests most and i have completed all of vols 1 and 2, I have just started vol3 and am looking forward to the journey south.

    Fortinstaff
    Lvl 64 Minstrel of Snowbourn

    Reply

  21. Pesky Dwarf Preservation Society Says:

    Myself and the missus have loads of characters over 3 servers, and have a little spreadsheet that randomises what we do and with whom, for instance which 2 chars we play together (up to 5 levels apart) for how long they play together (before we move on to the next) and whether they are crafting, questing, skirmishing etc. . Helps to keep things fresh for us, particularly as each character has their own ‘personality’

    Reply

  22. Tuiliel Says:

    I’ve been suffering from burnout recently, and I’ve tried changing up the routine, but for me the biggest problem is that while my core group of 3-4 friends is still active, most everyone that I’ve met over the course of my years in the game has moved on to SWTOR or has switched from Nimrodel to other servers, and the community just doesn’t feel the same anymore. I’ve tried to start over on Landroval, but doing all the same quests/deeds over again hasn’t helped my boredom, and even the festival filled me with some amount of dread about grinding for tokens again. It has been especially hard to see the once active MyLOTRO blogging community vanish, because a big source of excitement about the game for me came from the many creative ways that the players used the game to express themselves on that site. My solution will likely have to be GW2, though it will be hard to let go of LOTRO.

    Reply

  23. Knify-Riddermark Says:

    I satrted playing about one year ago with four friends and we would race through the levels so one of of could have bragging rights that we stayed up all night qnd played for one day till someone else passed them at about level 30 when you needed to start to pay 2 of us dropped out but the other three carried on strong we all managed to get to level 75 (I won!!!) then one of us quit playing because he felt there was nothing else left to acheive and then there was two…. We started to get geared up and di some end game content but i would get bored easly and started to level an alt about q monyh ago i got another friend to try the game and he too fell in love with it i leveled my alt up with him most of the time i could now we are both in moria and the adventuers continue!!!

    Reply

  24. swtor Says:

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    Reply

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