There and back again

Yep, I’m back in MMOs, back in LoTRO. This was the longest break I’ve taken from MMOs in the 11 years I’ve been playing them. I wasn’t game-free during that time; I played a lot of Team Fortress 2, Dragon Age, League of Legends, and a bunch of other stuff on Gametap, including fairly regular Civ 4 games.

I think I played so many MMOs for so long that I lost my appreciation for the genre. Everything felt like work, and my burnout from one MMO was bleeding over into any new MMO I tried, or old MMOs I reactivated.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be back in an MMO if it wasn’t for Turbine’s  free Welcome Back weekends. The Activity Log on My LoTRO page shows that I was last subscribed to the game in April of last year, and I only played for about a month. Then, last October, I came back for my first free Welcome Back weekend, and returned for free weekends in November, December, and January before resubscribing in February.

Maybe it was playing only occasionally that allowed me to reconnect with the world and with my character without quickly burning out again. Maybe it’s just the depth of LoTRO after a couple years of adding and tweaking and upgrading the game experience. The depth of LoTRO is pretty significant compared to a lot of other MMO’s out there; Turbine hasn’t shied away from crafting, housing, and their skirmish system is pretty damn cool. I like the Deeds/Traits system, the world lore is significant, the Book quests now have solo options (which work pretty well for me as a mostly-solo gamer), and I’m always looking forward to logging in, instead of feeling like it’s a job.

I re-applied to the Old Timer’s Guild, and hopefully I’ll get enough sponsors by the end of the month to become a full member. I’m also hoping that playing an MMO rekindles my desire to blog a bit. No promises – I’m trying to finish up my Master’s degree by the end of June – but playing MMOs seem more blog-worthy than single-layer games. There’s plenty to talk about in LoTRO, and I haven’t felt that way about an MMO in quite a while.

3 Responses

  1. How did you like League of Legends? A friend of mine from a previous job likes to go on about how much he loves that game, and I keep hearing comparisons about how the title I’m assigned to is similar.

    • I really enjoyed it. I’m not a very good RTS player, but LoL strips things down to a pretty basic rock-paper-scissors system, paired with leveling and item purchases to customize your build. It’s simple to learn, tougher to master, and I was pretty much a noob – it seemed like the matching system would put me in a game I’d lose, then put me in a game I’d win, but I don’t think the winning had too much to do with skill :)

      There’s a surprising amount of depth if you want to get good at it – what hero to choose, what order to choose skills, what items to buy, how to level without dying, when to fight, when to run. There’s also some character building options as you gain experience points (forget exactly what they call them), and the store is pretty well-integrated with the overall game.

      What title are you assigned to, can you say? Is it Heroes of Newerth? I’ve heard comparisons betweent the two. LoL is pretty polished, and free to play. I recommend trying it out if you like RTS games, or multiplayer gaming.

  2. […] /random’s back, and he’s trying LOTRO on for size! […]

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