Now for something completely different…

So, with the Noblegarden & Children’s Week holidays over, the Argent Tournament not being quite as exciting as I was hoping, and guild raids only being 3 nights a week…

I needed to find something to do, to fill all the “free time” I will have during the summer (mostly, since I’m teaching an online summer course, I need stuff to do in the background between reading e-mails). Last summer, I juggled raiding and Beta testing for WoW – which I don’t have to do this summer (I’m not planning on testing Starcraft 2, I’m giving my Beta key for that to one of my friends who will appreciate it more). I’m still playing WoW, but it’s nice to be able to play with new “toys” from time to time…

So, when I was at Best Buy, I ran across the Lord of the Rings Online collector’s edition for only $30.00. I thought to myself “hey, that could be fun.” I had tried the game once before, and mostly just bought it ’cause the box looked cool and it had a free ring inside. I was a huge LOTR fan (books & movie) before I got hooked on World of Warcraft, so I wanted to give the game another try this summer.

hobbits

I started up the game and made my hobbit (Gloryflower on the Meneldor server).

After a week of playing, here is what I like about LOTRO:

  • In their achievement system, you can either gain titles, or you get things (called traits) that can increase your stats, reduce the cost of abilities, make you do extra damage, et cetra. They don’t have actual talent trees, so their “talent” system is basically tied into their achievement system and the stat boosting rewards you get from it. You don’t just get traits for leveling up, you get them for doing the achievement-type things, which means that there are a LOT of achievements to gain, even at lower levels.
  • Fun graphics (the water graphic is much more impressive in LOTRO than  WoW – it almost looks real!).
  • The lore – I like the LOTR storylines, and they did a pretty good job making it so that everyone isn’t playing the exact same thing. They have the main characters (ie. Aragorn, Frodo, Sam, etc) as NPCs, so we don’t actually get to do exactly what’s in the books, but we do associated storylines.
  • I get to be a hobbit

What I don’t like about LOTRO (& what like better about WoW):

  • I already know everything in WoW, so I don’t have to wander around lost.
  • I don’t like the grouping mechanics in LotRO. There’s a lot of things you can’t really do by yourself, and it’s hard to put groups together to do low level things. Mostly, I just don’t have friends in LotRO to play with me. This means that mostly I plan to do what I told my mom to do when she started playing WoW: Level up until I finish the starting zone, then level up a new character. They do seem to have nerfed the main storyline quests so that not all of them require constant grouping (like how I remember it was when LOTRO first came out). My solution to some of the early group quests was to just out-level them…
  • Only one class can have non-combat pets in LOTRO.
  • I can’t be a shape shifting druid. (/sad)

So, that’s what has been distracting me this weekend, so I don’t have much to report on the WoW-front today. I’m unlikely to ever do end-game stuff there (since WoW raiding is still my main priority), but I’m having a ton of fun just leveling and exploring the lands…

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