Sunday, 12 August 2012

LotRO - Returning once more.

LotRO has at some point replaced Guild Wars as my 'go to' game when other MMO's let me down (and they always do) by going Free 2 Play in a bad way or just going down hill. Recently The Old Republic let me down in a few ways and now I have strolled back to the familiarity of Middle earth.

One of the things that strikes me about LotRO in its current state is that it has for the most part improved since it has become a Free to Play game. Back when it was a full priced subscription only MMO it had a hardened player base and constant content updates but now it has lots of random oddities available through its store as well as a more even population as you traverse its area's.

there was a point where the game was becoming barren during the levelling process but now there are people wherever I go in the world.

In my opinion Turbine has done an excellent job of catering to new players with a more friendly levelling curve (catch up with your buddies) and a store that for the most part just offers convenience items and cosmetics.

There is however a darker side to the current pricing model. The convenience items in the store that I am so fond of quickly become borderline addictive additions to your characters inventory and the fast travel abilities make the hunters 'taxi' services irrelevant. Prestige horses are now just a few pounds out of reach as are XP enhancers that are blindingly irritating for those of us that struggled up the level's before the quest helper was even implemented.

Turbine can not please every player or create a store that suits everyone but they can, and have made a game that for the most part has forgiveable 'issues' within its store and caters for the widest audience as possible.

The current store is far from perfect but for me at least it's the most honest and least irritating of all the F2P titles I have played. there are no endless cash sinks for things you simply can't live without and the VIP subscription means that if you really want to you could ignore the store all together.

All of these things have been said many times before in far more detailed and eloquent ways than this post but i think its important occasionally to say 'hey, this game is still fun' and be a little unapologetic about it.

1 comment:

couillon in DC said...

It's hard to ignore the store when the store icon pops up after every achievement, reminding you that you've earned points and now can spend them. However, even before the store, LOTRO gravitated towards a heavy grind build that keeps me from consistently logging in.