My future in LOTRO
First some background, I have been playing LOTRO since March 2007 and have been a subscriber all but two months of that time. As most of you know I am quite an altoholic. Recently due to schedule and some other outside forces I have reduced my total number from over 60 to around 23. Of these 23 I have 6 at level 59 or higher.
I am one of those players that want to play all of my classes as well as possible. Also I want them to be as helpful as possible to groups. Which requires a lot of work to get those characters to the point of helpfulness I am talking about. This has to a point become less of a monumental undertaking with the removal of radiance. However I still think the overall set up of endgame play and endgame gear is set up for people with only one character. I am not saying that I don’t like a challenge but a grind that turns a game into a job that I don’t like.
I know that Turbine is trying to even this out a little but I still believe some more work is required. With the recent combining of the marks an other barter-able currency is a step in the right direction. I believe that it must go further and here are some of my suggestions.
First off I would really like to see all of the barter items be account (single server) wide not just local to a character. Also a little more consolidation maybe even include the festival rewards into the equation, thus allowing a broader group of players access to some of the rewards. I am not saying that you be able to win a horse race and get endgame raid gear but some of the lower tier armor would be acceptable. Maybe even put a yellow level gear in the mix for marks only maybe but I am rambling. The other thing I feel needs addressed is the number of marks/seals needed for the high end gear. Because doing a dungeon or skirmish a few times is okay but running a t2 instance 10 or more times per character just seems excessive. Like I said I don’t mind a challenge but making it a grind just to make it seem like a challenge is just stupid. Don’t misunderstand I know that a grind is inevitable but with the class deeds, slayer deeds, and reputation grinds do we really need another?
I know it is not possible to take the grind completely out of an mmo because you can’t anticipate every players style. I just feel that it is being used as a series of speed bumps to keep players banging their heads against the endgame wall. I understand that part of it is strictly business because if the content is too short players will blow through it and move on to another game causing a revenue issue. I just have to believe there is a better way to keep people interested than to try and disguise a grind with a barter system. That being said thank you Turbine for your ongoing efforts in the continuation of a great story.
On to another few suggestions I have for LOTRO. I know going forward Turbine has said that they are going to concentrate on expanding the game world. So this suggestion seems unlikely to come about but I really want to explore northern Mirkwood, Dale and The Lonely Mountain to name a few. I just like the opportunity to take my characters to their respective homelands. Another aspect I would like to see possibly is an advantage to a character if they are in there homeland. Something small maybe a vendor discount or a 5% run speed buff while they are “home”. Just seems to me that in a time of war it might just give a skip to your step being near where you grew up. I am not asking for these new areas to be quest centers in general (that would be nice if nothing else some exploration deeds). I would just like to be able to venture into them to make the world seem more complete.
All of this in mind I believe that Turbine as a whole has done a great job with the limitations that they have before them. Creating an MMO from an intellectual property that is so well known and final. Not like a World of Warcraft or Rift type game where the lore can still change to suit the needs of the developers. Although some may saying making a MMO from an established IP like a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings is taking a shortcut. Although with something like Star Wars with the fan created stories and such leaves more room for expansion. Tolkien and his son have tried to get Middle-earth as finished as possible. Which leaves little wiggle room for the folks at Turbine an other developers using the LotR IP. So over all Turbine has done a wonderful job creating an interesting game. I personally am getting a stale taste from LOTRO but that may just be five years talking. I am not quite ready to give up on LOTRO just yet which I hate to say is probably more from a time invested feeling than anything else. I am however canceling my subscription to my main account until further notice. But i will be popping in from time to time to check in on my Friends in Middle-earth. All that being said if you agree, disagree, or have no opinion let me know below. And if you have no opinion go to LOTRO.com and download the game and try it out. Until next time I’ll see you in Middle-earth ~ Bor