As someone who’s recently returned to LOTRO after a 3 month hiatus, it’s been interesting to see my first impressions of the game again. And on the whole, they’re pretty good. From a COMPLETELY UNBIASED perspective. Ish.
My name is Stephenfry/Lapis/Bobbyo/Hildifast/whatever you want to call me, and I’m a level 75 (dwarf!) huntard residing on the Imladris server, and I have been playing since the advent of free to play.
On my return to the game, I’ve created a new character, and have also been playing my hunter a bit, playing through the Great River region, running instances and re-learning the class, and the game.
The first thing I noticed is that the graphics on this game, when turned up high (which I can do, and my PC really isn’t that great) are excellent. The character/clothing detail is good and the world, especially in areas such as the Shire, Lorien and the Great River, is very nice to just walk around and explore. It has its flaws (some of the detailing, and the foliage), but I think it’s one of the best looking MMOs out there. And I know its just a matter of opinion, but I prefer its style to the more cartoonish games, such as WoW. During my break from the game, I’ve been playing games such as Skyrim, and the fact that it doesn’t look that shabby speaks volumes. Here’s a fancy screenshot of Evendim to prove it:
My second impression, which happened as soon as I logged into my main, level capped character, was that there is a huge amount to learn. Over time, during the long levelling process, you build up a repetoire of skills, and your skill rotation changes. And having to re-learn all of that takes a lot of patience. I’m a hunter, so you might be thinking that it’s easy for me. It’s just mashing a few buttons right, not caring about anything other than Pew Pewing. Well, you’re probably right. But then, I tried a solo skirmish (Tuckborough) yesterday on tier 1 and died 6 times. 6 TIMES. And this is because I had lost the fluency and fluidity of all my skills. You spend 100s of hours levelling, and over that time you are given new skills at a relatively slow rate. Its manageable at least. You learn what each skill does, and when it’s useful in a battle. You build up your skill rotation, adding and removing skills here and there, and it starts to become fluid. And I forgot all that.
Thirdly, a lot changes in just two updates.
Here’s what I missed:
- The Great River region, and a new epic chapter
- A new skirmish
- Skirmish soldiers on landscape
- Instance finder with full capability
- Fornost Updates
- Moria Revamp
- New maps
- Anniversary Festival
- Spring Festival
- Class Changes
- UI changes (new items in inventory marked, for example)
- Oh, and there’s something called Rohan announced. I’ve heard it’s kind of a big thing.
That’s quite a long list, in not a very long time. And even minor UI changes are enough to make me go o.O
But those two updates have been two of the best, the Great River region really is excellent, and beautiful, if a bit of a rep grind.
My final point (for this part at least, I’ll probably remember some stuff I forgot to put in here) is a shout out to Imladris! Yay, best, most underpopulated server ever! And thank you to my kinship, the Forbidden Few. Imladris’s no.1! They’ve all been very (re)welcoming to me. There’s a word for rewelcoming. Please help.
edit: I now realise that my failings were also due to the fact that, due to updates, all the points I had spent on my LIs had reset. So it’s not really my fault, except I did fail to notice. Derp.