Thursday, December 19, 2013

Poking My Head Into Middle-Earth

Sometimes I read something and become inspired to do something.  Last week I read two posts by Wilhelm on The Ancient Gaming Noob about the new offer by Turbine to allow players to purchase a level 50 character in Lord of the Rings Online.  The first took a look at not only that offer but offers by Blizzard and SOE to sell near maximum level character in World of Warcraft and EverQuest 2 respectively.  The next was a response to a post by a blogger taking issue with people criticizing Turbine for offering to sell a level 50 character.  That got me to thinking that maybe I should play LotRO.  If you look at the latest Digital Dozen, I've played most of the games in the top 10.  But for some reason I've never visited the virtual Middle-Earth.

Over the weekend I finished my big Sisters of EVE loyalty point grind.  That's right, I now have 375,000 SoE loyalty points.  That's enough for two Astero, two Stratios, 4 Sisters probe launchers, 40 core probes and 40 combat probes.  Yes!  But I needed a break for a couple of days.  So for the past few days I've played LotRO.

First, let me say that I am not going to try to play the game without paying any money.  I went ahead and bought 600 Turbine points so I could get premium status.  That status is important as I get a third character slot, a raise in the money cap from 2 gold to 5 gold, and limited mail privileges.  The mail is important for transferring items among my characters for crafting.  I'm not sure if I will use the Turbine points for a fourth character slot (595 points) or on something else.

I have created three characters: an Elven Champion, Elven Minstrel, and Human Lore Master.  I fully intended to make my Minstrel my main character, but the other two classes played really nicely also.  I realize I'm only at levels 6 and 7, but they all feel good right now.  I made the Minstrel an Explorer though, so that is probably the class I'll play the most.  The Explorer is able to not only make light and medium armor but can also collect all the crafting materials in the game.  The reason for not creating a Hunter for that role is that the Minstrel is the main healing class and I want to play a healer.

I do want to complement Turbine on creating a game with such a nice beginning.  Based on the elves and humans having different starting areas I'm assuming all four races have their own starting areas.  After all, if the hobbits don't start in The Shire, then something is seriously wrong.  That's a feature that I hope all the upcoming games like EQ Landmark and Wildstar incorporate.

Also, I really appreciate the fact that the female characters are actually clothed.  When I play an MMORPG, I tend to create male characters when I plan on interacting with people a lot and female characters when I don't.  For example, in EVE Online, my female character is the CEO of my personal corp and the two combat characters that could join other corporations are both male.  Of course, I created a female wood elf in EQ2 as my main because I wanted to play a wood elf but the females just looked tougher (in my opinion) than the males.  The newer games I've played put the female characters in skimpy armor.  LotRO, as an older game, actually gives the characters useful looking armor.  At least so far.

I'll probably get serious into EVE again starting tomorrow or Saturday.  I have some vague plans on what I want to do next, which includes starting to sell things on the markets.  I also want to start exploring again, which I spent very little time doing while doing the SoE grind.  I actually miss the hacking mini-game.  But if everything continues going as well as it has the past couple of days I may have found a second game.  Well, at least until Wildstar comes out.


  1. Shared storage makes mailing things back and forth between alts obsolete. Invest in that and laugh at how much easier it is.

    What server are you on? My mains are on Nimrodel, but I also have some on Brandywhine (yew i spelled it that way on purpose), Elendilmir and Imladris and woudl be happy to create a character on any other server if you want someone who has been around since the game launched to give you a helping hand.

  2. Ancient Gaming Noob got me to finally try LOTRO as well :) Thus far, I'm liking it.

    Rather than buying Turbine Points to get elevated to Premium status, though, I think it would have been far better to take advantage of their 14-day VIP trial offer. You get fully unlocked characters, and regardless whether or not you cancel before the trial period is up or actually do pay for the subscription (I'd recommend the 1-month or 3-month), all characters that log on while you're at VIP status get the good perks unlocked (gold cap, increased storage bags, etc) even when you drop back to Premium.

  3. In the long run it probably won't have much effect on the number of players but it almost certainly will have a big effect on the number of alts each player has.

    Alt whores will absolutely love it. Me I miss the old days when you had to work for anything worthwhile in MMOs. Ez-mode features and dumbed down content doesn't do a thing to get me interested in playing a new game but they do a great job of convincing me to quit games I used to like.