Some time has passed since I left Lord of the Rings Online, but it was a game I really enjoyed. Despite I’m a huge fan of Tolkien and everything related to Middle Earth, I believe Lotro is a very good game, with many interesting features, like the achievement system giving you traits to customize you character, beyond itemization.
Follow me, after the jump, and read my MMOries about the virtual online version of Tolkien’s grand creation.
In April 24th 2007, Lotro launched, for the joy of many fans of the fantasy world that started it all. I bought the game by that year’s summer, as I was truly afraid the game would be disappointing. How could anyone reflect the glorious books J.R.R. Tolkien wrote with such a mastery skill? I was away from the idea of trying it for several months, but finally, I buried all my fears and skepticism and started playing.
At first, I was disappointed:
-“No, this is wrong. That should not be there. I wouldn’t dress a dwarf like that. This is not right, that is not fair enough…”
But slowly, I got used to the game, forgetting about all the details of the books and beginning to enjoy a game. I still think Lotro hasn’t got the Middle Earth style and ambience, but hey, I enjoyed playing it, like mad.
Though I can’t imagine the Lord of the Rings world like the game reflects, I must admit the landscapes are absolutely wonderful, gorgeous and so nice. I explored every single place till the very moment I retired from the game. I’ve seen awesome places where you could just stand there for hours, admiring the sights. MMOries of a Gamer header image, is in fact a treated screenshot taken in Forochel, the frozen north region where Arvedui (the last king) passed away, due to a missfortuned wreckage. So I simply loved to travel the lands, to me, this game was the first one I played “casual”, away from the raiding madness and endless grind (though you can definitely raid and grind in Lotro, as well) I guess, in the end, it’s all about how you decide to play and spend your time gaming. This was the game that took me to the “relaxed” way of playing an MMO.
I started with a dwarf Minstrel. The Blue Mountains region was a good place to learn how to play and get used to the interface, skills, combat tactics and all the usual stuff, we all gamers do. But I tend to pay less attention to these issues, my heart belongs to the wilds, the unknown and, of course, my beloved dungeons. I love dungeons, labyrinths, pyramids, tombs, caves, ruins… I’ll stop now, or I’ll end up playing instead of writing. So, continuing with my story, as aforementioned, I was eager to travel and explore immediately.
The Blue Mountains became short for me, so I decided to do a crazy run from Thorin’s Hall to Bree, crossing The Shire, when I was only level 12. You could think that’s easy, as in Lotro you can just follow the roads of the free peoples regions, quite sure you’ll arrive to your destiny in once piece. The thing is, that was not the plan. I wanted to get myself into the Old Forest and see the walking-trees, the huorns. So there I was, running with a friend, laughing and singing the Seagull Song (a song we composed for role-playing sessions in the 90’s)
We crossed The Shire quite fast, once we payed a visit to Hobbiton and after some ales at the Green Dragon Inn. Till we reached the Brandywine river, we were drowsy, at least, so we payed a visit to Buckland and after getting our breath back, there is where the real fun begun. Crossing The Shire, for the first time, was awesome. All those wonderful places, the beautiful landscapes, the great music Lotro features, everything was fine… but entering the Old Forest was one of the best gaming moments in my whole life.
The idea was just entering the forest for glimpse of it. We were to have a look, just to see how Turbine created it and then go back to the main road, to finish our journey to Bree. Of course, we ended up hunting wolves (yes, I was level 12 and my friend 15) and getting ourselves deep in the forest. Did I mention before that the Old Forest is a maze in Lotro? No? Alright, it is.
-“Errr… hey, we are lost.”
-“Nah. I can perfectly find the path back to the road, master dwarf, I’m an elven hunter. I can see far, I can walk the grass leaving no trace, I can smell the air’s scent. Trust me, beyond that tree over there, there’s a hill where we’ll find a path leading north. Don’t fear, my little and stubborn friend.”
So we headed for the tree and, suddenly, the tree turned to us.
-“Broken axes and shattered helms, a huorn!! Run!!”
We ran like mad, crossing the forest and geting deeper and deeper into it. On every corner, a new huorn, spider, wolf and diseased bear chased us, trying to kill us while we shouted each other through the in-game voice chat. I don’t know exactly for how much time we were running, totally lost, but we managed not to die and found a safe spot, away from all creatures and monsters.
Afterwards, we walked the dangerous paths of the Old Forest, sneaking all the time, trying to find a way out. We had to fight several hard fights, but we managed to survive. The forest was dark, but managed to find the light and finally, we found an open air area, apparently safe.
We rushed for the open air, away from the oppressing trees and roots, making our way difficult. It was a beautiful place, surprisingly clean and bright, with sweet grass, flowers, butterflies and a distance sound of water flowing. There was a little hill, surrounded by gardens, with a beautiful house made of stone and wood on it. We were shocked by the sight, till we heard someone singing.
-“Hey dol, derry dol!”
To be continued…
Have you ever played Lord of the Rings Online? Go ahead and post your stories, remembrances of opinions about this game, on the comments section.
See you all next week on MMOries of a Gamer: Lord of the Rings Online Part 2.