I can only count on one hand the number of regrets I have for MMO’s, not counting the regrets I have for buying or playing.  I’m talking about regrets I have for stopping or skipping playing a MMO.  It’s that “Ugh, If only I had…” feeling.  Sometimes it’s easier not to think about those games at all, but then what would we learn if we did?  Maybe I’m a masochist, but I find it fascinating to delve into why I have feelings of regret over a game to perhaps discover what it was about that game that I liked.  That leads to discovering finer parts of a game — a game that you may have thought you disliked when you stopped playing; hindsight is 20/20.

My most recent regret is with Lord of the Rings Online.  Why did I stop playing LOTRO?  I can tell you exactly why .  In fact I have written about it several times.  I stopped playing because I ran out of content.  I absolutely loved the game and had multiple characters at the max level without ever taking a break from the game.  Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve accomplished something like that?  Years!  LOTRO was my last MMO that I really got into and spent a lot of time in.  I maxed crafting to the point of making steady profits.  I killed the hardest raid bosses in the game on farm status.  I had gear that was competitive to the best stuff available.  I had done the rep grinds they added.  I was even on the private beta test server — not the public one, but the private one that got to see content months in advance.  I simply ran out of stuff to do and as much as I liked the game I was lured away by the “next big thing” because it was new and I couldn’t see paying to log into a game that was very much about moving forward when there was nowhere to go (a reason why having a lot of social gameplay is important).

In hindsight I regret that decision.  I’ve watched Mines of Moria release, new chapters, and now Mirkwood which is a digital expansion and the conclusion to the MoM, and I can’t help but wish I had kept up with things to experience the content.  LOTRO’s PvE was never anything groundbreaking and the PvP was always “meh”, but they had a way of telling a story in the game and making you enjoy the content.  A big part of what made the game special was indeed the intellectual property (same with SWG) but that’s a topic for another day.  Bottom line is that I wish I had kept up with things to see Mirkwood.  I’ll continue to regret my decision every time a new expansion comes out. I should have just stuck with it a little bit longer.

This latest video really gets me.

I think what will hit me the hardest is when Rohan and Minis Tirith are implemented. Amazing property Turbine has at their disposal. Those of you still playing, I hope you guys enjoy the content! Let me know all about it and please feel free to share your experiences with Mines of Moria and content that has released since. I’d like to at least know what I missed. 🙂

  • I’m an ex DAoC, WoW, FFXx, WAR player & recently took up LoTRO. Its hands down the best story-driven, immersive, best community MMO I’ve played. I recently took up on their $199 lifetime sub, which is great value considering the content to come. It just does a whole lot of things right. Yes PvP needs focus, but its still fun for what it is. The new advanced graphics pack makes the game look stunning, Moria has huge depth & real atmosphere. Hopefully they look to be improving the Legendary Item system in Mirkwood along with introducing Skirmishes which adds yet another game-play option.

    Its not too late to re-sub Keen, I’ve found it’s a game you can truly be casual with (altho its difficult given that’s its so enjoyable) & with the lifetime sub I don’t have a sense of trying to get my monthly sub value.

    So, re-sub, I know you want to!

  • Hey Keen,

    Come back and take a serious look at the $199 Lifetime member. You can come and go as you wish without the pressure of “getting you money’s worth” that a monthly sub has. All that time and gear you have will still be upper level and it won’t take you long to max out again. We are finally starting to see the War out in the open and things are going to get very interesting very soon.

  • It isn’t a competitive game Keen, and with your usual dedication you could easily fully catch up within an expansion cycle. The LotRO ship certainly hasn’t sailed into the west just yet.

    My brother hit the level cap within a couple of months of 2 or 3 hours a day play, and to build up gear and traits won’t take much longer with a good guild to help you out.

    The important thing to remember is that you will run out of content again, and you’ll almost certainly be distracted by other MMO launches. A lifetime sub is perfect for such situations. Just stop playing without guilt and come back later when another chunk of Middle-Earth has been added.

  • I am a long time LOTRO player since beta and a life time member. I have one character, that character is kindred with everyone. I have all virtues, regardless if I use them or not, maxed out. I have just about all the deeds completed with the exception of the PvP deeds. I am rank 9 in PvP. The only thing I really did not get involved with are the various festivals.

    I take breaks from LOTRO when I finish all the content. I treat LOTRO like a book on the night stand. It is there for me when I want to get into the next chapter.

    Taking breaks while waiting for new content allows me to beta test and experience some of the better new games. When I return to LOTRO my kinship asks me how was this and that game, should they try it etc…. In the end I always return to LOTRO. So should you.

  • I played Mines of Moria it was fun like Shadows of Angmar but it got to the same problem again. When you got to Level 60 the content dried up and grinding the raids was fun the first few times but got old after awhile. And even though I had fun in it I decided not to continue and not get any expansions because I thought it would be the same thing over and over again, get into love the content but get bored and then go into it in the next expansion.

  • I just resubbed to LOTRO when I realized Aion wasn’t going to do it for me- so far I’m really happy I did. They’ve really nerfed the starting areas, but that doesn’t exactly hurt my feelings.

  • I know that one of your main gripes was the “laggy” interface, especially in combat: They promised to change this to direct response (cancel/skip animation and execute skill immediately) for Mirkwood!

    I am playing LOTRO a lot at the moment, as you can see here…

    It is not all fine and dandy, of course: The char animations are as ghoulish as the world’s landscape is beautiful. Female elves apparently have broken hips… compared to Aion, this is quite the opposite take on game graphics (supreme animations, and supreme landscapes despite low res textures).

    The “Legendary Weapon” system of Moria is anything else, but for sure not legendary. They have taken some content gating and dungeon crawling sins from WoW in Moria, too, including the often discussed “radiance” gear contant gating.

    The early game is still a bit lacking compared to WoW, but they are revamping it and, after all… I still play LOTRO, so it must have had some merits, too. 🙂

    Another issue is that they are experimenting with payment schemes in LOTRO like in DDO, but I think DDO is much more fair in this regard. But they are still not gone WoW and sell minipets… 😛

    And as unwize said: It is never too late to return.

    Start a new char and return to Middle Earth. And take it easy and slow, no need to hurry. I was also not totally enticed after my 14 day trial, but I decided to play it while waiting for Aion and grew to like it a lot more.

  • I still don’t like the game after having tried it several times. Outside of the fact it breaks with Tolkien’s lore, I just can’t stand the sluggish combat and UI :/

  • I recently had the chance to sit down with Aaron Campbell of Turbine and be walked through a lot of the new Mirkwood content… and I’ll just say I bought MoM for $10 and will be resubbing next week in anticipation of Mirkwood. For what it’s worth some of the content (Skirmishes specifically) will be doable before the level 60-65 bracket that Mirkwood adds. As soon as level 30 even. And all the Skirmishes are scalable, repeatable, randomized encounters. Out of all the stuff Turbine showed me, it’s Skirmishes that made me smile the most.

  • I’m completely baffled by this post? What is stopping you from resubscribing and catching up? Do you really think the content comes out so quickly that you’d never catch up? Seems impossible to me. Are you just trying to be melodramatic for no reason?

  • This is what I’m playing currently. I gave up on the new release MMO’s and have decided the best place to spend my online time is within the older games that have already been fleshed out and a great community supporting them.

    So far it’s been an wonderful experience that I’m surprised I didn’t pick up earlier. The Book quest lines are excellent and is how questing should be done.

    I’m only 28 atm, but I’m excited to see Moria later and the Mirkwood expansion when I catch up, but I’m playing at a slow pace soaking up all the content. I don’t feel rushed at all.

    My only gripe about this game so far is the lackluster character creation.

  • Also baffled…buy MoM for $9.99, go multi-month and Mirkwood is free. Tons of content for less than $10 a month = best bargain out there.

  • I am kind of glad I did the splurge way back when for the lifetime. I just stated up again since I have a handful of friends playing. And it really is a Nice little MMO. Progress though PvE seems to be at a good pace. At no time have I ever felt like I was “grinding” for an extensive period of time. Even hunting in an area for virtues rarely took too long and usually I could be doing some other advancement in the area as well.

    Oh and DX10 is really nice. 🙂

  • I can go back, but I’ve been out of the loop for a very, very long time. I quit shortly after The Rift launched. Having been gone for so long I’m afraid that I just won’t be able to get back into it. It’s the same with any game, although to less of a degree with LOTRO than, for example, SWG or EQ. Time passes and the moment is lost.

  • You have just shy of a month to get in, get up to speed, experience the content added and just when that happens have all the expansion content land.

    I assume all of your stuff is in tact, if you aren’t intending to subscribe to Fallen Earth, and the grind in Aion has held you back to the point where you’re behind in that game anyway, why not invest a month into LoTRO.

    Typically if you go in with an open mind, chill and start doing stuff, you’ll meet people you like, get into a Guild etc, I’ve always held that it’s the people that make the game, I don’t see why it’d be any different here.

    I never got into LoTRO, didn’t even last the trial, but a friend recently went back when his account was reactivated for being a veteran (Perhaps EU only), and he’s loving the changes.

    What have you got to lose?

  • I know what you mean. I’ve always felt like LotRO is one of those games that is really good and I should be playing but for lots of different reasons, I’m not. I feel the same way about EVE Online too.

  • I found LOTRO to be a very polished and beautiful game, and couldnt believe I hadnt heard of it until I left WoW. Ultimately for myself, I am not a Tolkien nerd and dont get THAT big into reading quests and getting with the lore. Excluding that, it is a very slow-paced game with a LOT older audience (which provides a great community). I left LOTRO myself just a month ago to give Aion a shot; the expansion announcement actually ruined it for me. I had 1 60, another in the mid 50s and then a Burg I was working up through 30-40. The expansion changes with endgame gear and the way radiance works was very discouraging for me, and knowing I would just have to sit idly by, waiting, rather than invest hours on rad runs, didnt appease me. Unfortunately Aion was a false idol, so now I’m trying to get a FE trial key, and enjoying my Dragon Age/Torchlight fun!

  • If I recall correctly, LOTRO was originally thought to be the thing that would finally throw out World of Warcraft, of course that never did actually happen, but in my trial, and time that I had a box, I knew there was a lot to like in its story-telling, which I think was ultimately Turbines best goal, as they pushed story interaction and instancing capabilities to the next level. Where am I going with this?

    Right, well, I think one of the great things about LOTRO is the story doesn’t go anywhere you don’t want it to…We know where the books are, but we can pop right into it, you say the moment is gone, but it’s not too different from having writers block, or an awesome idea and saying, “I’ll get around to it later,” And losing the feeling when times are convenient. Can we not force the moment to return?

    Perhaps you just need a little shove to get the mood right again.

  • Know exactly what you mean Keen…that’s why I enjoy reading your blog, it hits home way too many times lol.

  • I always enjoyed Lotro level design. It felt like you were actually in the world and not just running from ride to ride like wow or war. It was also as convienent as those games also.

  • Keen…long time! (I was the dentist you shared info with after your dental surgery earlier this year). I am playing LOTRO and am very happy that I did the lifetime membership. My anniversary has past and I am playing free now. With my work and sports it is nice to come home and log in for an hour or two and not feel any pressure to level. The game is far from perfect, but it is a great game to follow up with the various story lines and quests. They have added a fair amount of new quests and the update to the legendary weapons will be welcome.

    You may remember that earlier this year you did mention you were coming back to LOTRO. You were on my server and after a brief conversation, I mailed you ingame 5 gold to help with your character. Unfortunately you didn’t log back in as the gold was returned. Your character, Morkeen (lvl 10 warden), is still passed out in the local pub in Combe.

    I can only echo what others have said here, but one thing I like very much is that the player base is older. The advice channel is full of friendly replies, and in game there is more respect than I ever saw in three years in WOW.

    You may want to email Turbine and ask when the next “welcome back” event is.

    Moria is as huge and gritty as I could have ever imagined. Sometimes I would go into areas and just look around. The attention to detail makes the game fun to explore. I am sitting on a lvl 60 burgler, 60 champion, and working on my lvl 58 hunter to have them ready for the expansion in three weeks.

    I still play about four other games, but I come back to LOTRO several times a week. Still fun and interactive for me.

  • There is only one reason I don’t play Lotro anymore and that was the lag. It isnt my system either as I can run most every other game out ther lag free, but Lotro gives me nothing but constant stutters.

    I love the game and hate not being in there to witness Rohan and Dale and all the other places I really wanted to go to come out, but having the kind of lag I was having just makes the game not fun.

  • Last time i played Lotro was in the beta. I remember the PvE to be fun.

    This article may just make me cancel Aion and try Lotro for real.

    What server ?

    Getting Free Trial tonight.


  • I am on Landroval server as was Keen. It is the unofficial RP server, but there is a nice mix of regular players also.
    Most roleplaying events such as concerts (yes, you can play your own instrument) and such happen on the weekends at the Prancing Pony. RP can be turned on and off. Landroval is the second busiest server.

    If you are looking more for lots of folks and like to find groups within seconds, then Brandywine is the server. Grouping is easy, but sometimes the solo areas get a little crowded. Many times the solo players will group up just to save time to take an elite down rather than wait it out.

    If you do come back, s l o w d o w n . Enjoy the atmosphere and take in things that you would not normally pay much attention to in a level driven game. They have added hundreds of new quests since launch and I am reaching lvl 60 (top for now) with lots of zones and quests I ahve not touched.

    First craft? Be an ‘explorer’ until you reach about lvl 20, then re-spec to something more to your liking. It is easy to catch up and being an explorer up front you already have a ton of stuff to work through the low levels of crafting.

    Good Luck!

  • I can’t remember where my level 50’s are at. Is there any kind of transfer service available?

    Edit: Just figured out that they are on Meledor. 🙁

  • my biggest gripe with lotro is that when i played i was awestruck with the level of immersion in the game. the lore the environment, etc. Running through hobbiton and the surrouondings was like a dream.

    then i got irked by something, and finally i could put my thumb on it. They are doing what WOW did — make everything a theme park MMO:

    Why is there a Runewarden (or whatever that expansion class is called) trainer in hobbiton? Why are there elves running around everywhere?

    I dunno if anyone agrees with me here, but it felt extremely lore breaking to have a xenophobic/homogenous people like the hobbits have elves and dwarves running around like they’re in Dalaran.

    Oh, and when i entered the old forest i was really disappointed too, it looked like a maze with those cheesy 80s woodland scenics wallpapers plastered all over it.

  • Keen….if you tell me your toon character names, I can create an avatar on Meledor and add them as friends. From there I will be able tell you what zone your characters are in, and what lvl they are…..or did you just want the server (which you figured out).

  • Just needed to know the server and i figured it out by looking for them on the My Lotro page.

    Are there transfers available?

  • Yes….

    However as usual, there is a fee. ($25). You may want to just play your character on the server you are in to see if you like Moria, Mirkwood, or just the oeverall changes before investing the $$.

    Or just pick up in Landroval where you left off and level from there. There is enough new content to make it interesting and some older content you can buzz through. They have allowed the lower levels to go faster if you wish.

    The upcoming skirmish system is here:

    It is divided into parts, but on this page you can click the link to all of them.

  • Dang, that’s looking really fun.

    Do you know if I come back to play during the “Welcome back” events if I can experience some of Moria’s expansion or will I be restricted to the Angmar stuff?

  • Hmmm…that I don’t know. It seems to me that without the content downloaded, I don’t know how you could get “in”.
    As to whether they would let you have it for free in a “welcome back” event, someone else who knows more about that would have to answer that.

    There is a quest/story line to get into Moria. You have to have an initial battle with the monster serpent that guards the opening, and that is also how you get your first legendary weapon which you need to enter Moria. There is also a “dream sequence” where you go back in time to when the dwarves unearthed the Belrog. Seeing the Belrog for the first time is pretty amazing.

    It leads me to believe that you would have to have it downloaded to experience it during a “welcome back” event.

    Maybe someone with more insight can help here.

  • Keen, you won’t be allowed into Moria during the “Welcome Back” events if you did not buy it yet.

    I also suggest you do not wait for a “Welcome back” event: Moria+Angmar cost 10$.

    IMO: I would head straight to Eregion and do the Level 50 quests there, do the “Thaim Mirdain” instance and then head into Moria asap and do the early Moria intro quests.

    Moria itself is a mixed blessing – it plays VERY differently from the open areas and landscapes one is used to. At times it is annoying and dark, but it has its own grandeur. It is huge, well, it is Tolkien’s Moria. One can get lost in this area, not always a blessing.

    Moria is not only a giant super-dungeon, it also has lots of dungeon instances inside. You will get introduced to radiance gear hunt, not really the coolest thing they introduced.

    The legendary item system is also not optimal – people have tons of ideas how it could have done better. Basically, you scrap thousands of weapons to get upgrades for the very few legendary weapons that have good stats. But they plan to improve this a bit, the system itself still remains of questionable quality.

    Hint: If you should get bored by the darkness of Moria, go to Lothlórien and kill some Orcs there, visit Galadriel’s Garden or the place where Arwen bewitched poor Aragorn.

  • The character that I would want to continue playing is a Minstrel. Do you know if they’re in a good place right now?

  • Thats it. just got the Moria+Angmar for 9.99$

    Higgr the Dwarf Guardian is now lev 7 on Landroval
    Made a bunch of alts already to test out some classes.

    First thought, polished PvE !! just doing the Dwarfs starting area was fun.

    Aion is officially out.

  • Higgs….I just sent ‘Higgr’ 500 silver in game to help get you kick-started. Currency comes slow the first 30 or so levels, but is not much of a problem after lvl. 40. Hope you enjoy your time in Middle Earth. Try to work your way to Bree on a Sunday night one of these weekends, and stop by the Prancy Pony for a cold one.

  • I’m on Landroval as well. I’m fairly new to the game so I tested out alot of classes as well.

    So far Captain is my main choice, though I wish other races could choose be that class (Dwarf Cappy would be awesome with a dwarf pet).

    Name: Kelisto level 14 Captain (jewelcrafting)
    Look me up if you need a Captain, or help with any group stuff 😀

  • You people need to stop tempting me.

    I found out that most of my lag could be fixed by getting a bigger hard drive…which i do not have the funds for…or i would jump ship from WOW in a second to get back to Lotro.

  • LoL great, this doesnt help me either. I left with a very close-knit kin and a 60/56 in the ranks. Hearing all of this is making me what to come back, especially since I had no good reason to quit. The PVE side is super-polished and something NCSoft needs to note, there are MORE quests than what you need to level. Tons more. I skipped a full zone + east Angmar during my leveling. And then Moria itself, I skipped 2 zones in it. It’s fabulous compared to Aion!

  • LOTRO suffers from a serious lack of quality and polish — especially the newbie areas. I realize they have revamped some of the newbie zones but they are still lacking.

    I made it as high as level 20 but then I lost interest. The content and geography seemed very dull — killing boars and goblins continually in nondescript lands.

    Most mobs have horrific A.I. The stand around like statues and barely move or even patrol.

    The main problem as I see (Longasc has noted this as well) is that all of the “good stuff” is in the higher levels. Well, the average MMO player may not have the patience to slug their way through the low to mid levels just to reach those exciting areas.

    Failure to have amazing newbie zones is the reason why this MMO is not doing as well as the competition. I spoke to one of the Turbine producers at PAX this year and told him so. Sadly, he just tried to shrug it off and explain it away.

    Another problem is that it was rare to feel any fear or the taint of Sauron while I played this MMO. From what I saw, Turbine’s Middle-earth is devoid of the supernatural and that elusive MMO “magic”. It just lacked charm for me. It barely feels like a fantasy MMO.

    There needs to be far more points of interest added to the world instead of the same old art assets that they keep re-purposing. Again, this is my limited opinion based on the newbie lands I saw.

    The tiny icons and graphics for inventory are hard to see and appalling. Many of the graphics windows don’t scale. The user interface and spell graphics are a disgrace and need a complete overhaul.

    The fact that there are no female dwarves really bugged me and make the dwarven lands very unbelievable and one-dimensional. Turbine has made the dwarves feel like a MMO version of the Taliban with females hidden away and locked up from the eyes of the world.

    I really love Tolkien’s Middle-earth. I have been a fan for many years long before the movies. I’m a natural for this MMO. I followed it’s development for years. I should be playing this MMO but I’m not.

    The ball’s in your court Turbine.

  • Keen, for the Minstrel it’s one of the best classes for my taste on the whole game.

    You would lack a bit of dps in the lower levels but after you get a dps mode with the War Speech (lv20) you would have a perfect solo character with outstanding healing, very good ranged dps that only fails in close combat.

    In latter levels you would have one of the most desired characters to make instances (as healer allways) that are allways in need, also one of the best characters for PvMp and a good soloer.

  • @ Wolfshead

    Well, I just recently reupped my LOTRO from a long time ago and decided to start over. I must say I disagree with you about the environments. I was just yesterday commenting to my wife about how I enjoyed the realistic looking environments. It was snowing in the area around Duillond and it reminded me of one of those cool fall afternoons where it was just cold enough to snow, but not cold enough to stick. I also commented about how I appreciated a more “realistic” approach to the fauna in newbie areas. Most games have you killing rats, giant ants, pixies, etc., and while it didn’t differ dramatically from that, I liked the wolves, boars, birds of prey, and occasional goblin or brigand approach that LOTRO took.

    I would agree with you about the AI, but that is pretty much par for the course with most MMOs, especially in newbie areas.

    I would also agree with some of your comments about the UI/icons, but really that is small potatoes in my humble opinion. Yes, it is a bit annoying, but certainly nothing I find worth complaining about, but obviously each to his own.

    And as to the dwarves…are you serious? I don’t know why Turbine chose (or maybe the decision was made for them by the owners of the IP) to not include dwarven females, but I bet it has something to do with sticking to the Tolkien lore of having them extremely rare. From what I understand, Tolkien only ever named one female dwarf in his writings and there were comparatively few females in dwarf society. Given this, and because they physically resembled male dwarfs in almost every way to include beards, mannerisms and attitudes, it lead to the myths surrounding dwarves that there actually were no female dwarves and thus dwarves were not born, but grow from stone.

    I would imagine it would be hard to maintain this bit of lore in the MMO if players were allowed to create female dwarves. In my opinion it certainly doesn’t make it any less believable or one-dimensional, it merely reflects lore of the world the game is based on. Therefore, I am not sure why it would bother anyone who was a fan of the lore, but if it really does, you should complain to the heirs of Tolkien, not blame Turbine. And certainly, you shouldn’t intimate that there are sexist or oppressive undertones fueling it.

  • Just because Tolkien didn’t talk much about female dwarves doesn’t mean that Turbine couldn’t include them. I doubt Tolkien talked about the sky in Middle-earth being blue either.

    Turbine has run roughshod all over the lore when it suits them but then they with the issue of the female dwarves they use it as an example of adherence to it.

    Interesting that there were no female hobbits, humans and elves taking traditional masculine roles such as soldiers, fighters, etc (Eowyn excepted) yet that didn’t stop Turbine from allowing players to create them. Where is the outcry from LOTRO Tolkien purists about this?

    A MMO based in on an intellectual property should be “based on” it not foolishly enslaved to it.