Monday, 19 August 2013

LOTRO: Requiem?

My friend Rakuno spoke some wise words in his latest post:
In the MMORPG side [as compared to single-player games, red.] things are more complicated. You see, to me the fun with a MMORPG is dependent on two factors: the game itself and the people I play it with. If one of the two is lacking I quickly lose my desire to play it. Usually what happens is that the first one will become the problem for me. The game just loses its magic, becoming dull and uninteresting. Then I just keep playing because of the people I met there and eventually even that isn't enough to compensate for the game's faults.
When I read this, it struck me that he had hit the nail on its head, and I realized that this was exactly what happened to me in LotRO. I had always thought that I would stay in Middle-earth forever, so much in love was I with the game, my first MMO, when it was launched in 2007.

Over the last couple of years, I started to become increasingly annoyed by the extreme marketing strategies of Turbine with its Store. Then I started to lose interest in the repetitive nature of the quests and the increased grind needed to gear up your character the best. At this point, I was just logging in to raid with my kinship and didn't do anything else. Eventually, the new raids didn't turn out to be much fun and our raiding group somehow lost the lust to decipher the new challenges. We've now arrived at the end of the quote.

The social factor of MMOs is both amazing and terrible. I love to have fun with friends in-game, but I hate dragging myself into a game I don't enjoy anymore as much as I hate not doing so and feeling bad about not being there for my friends. There is no easy solution. An MMO you used to love is like an ex-boyfriend: its pretty tough to find the right relationship.

I don't want to part with virtual Middle-earth totally, so I log in to the game each Saturday morning, when most MMO players are still in bed. No obligations or anything. Just me, Tiger and our horses in a world to discover.


  1. I've not logged in to Lotro in over a month.. maybe more.. I'm not sure. I still have no desire to do so. And the reason is exactly what is being talked about here. I had fun people to play with and I enjoyed tackling challenges with them. But there's hardly any challenge left (Flight is a challenge.. but one that is so not fun that I don't even care right now.) I got tired of everything being too easy, instances nerfed so that you would just run them over and over and over and over for a slim chance at a yellow drop. Plus I dislike the road Turbine has taken regarding monetisation and the way their community manager behaves. Like you, for some reason I'm not able to call it complete quits.. which is a bit silly in a way since I have no desire to log in at all. I can't even level an alt or something... it's just too sad what the game has become.

    1. It's comforting that someone has the same feelings about the game, in a way. I still hope LotRO will change, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

      I think it's hard to let LotRO go because we both have been so deeply involved with it. For me it feels a bit like a "Home MMO" if something like that exists, because it's the first I ever played. I also haven't found any anything that's as much fun to play as the lore-master. I'll always be able how to play her, no matter how long I've been away. It's just imprinted in my brain somewhere.

  2. That is pretty much what happens to me with most MMOs. The grind starts to be too much, the game starts to fell pointless and before realizing it I am only logging in for friends and even those start to scatter towards other games, eventually. It is a really tough situation to deal with.

    ~ Rakuno

  3. I figure most everyone who plays online games is on the same page in thinking that ultimately we all play to have fun. So if your friends are not somewhere that's fun, best you can do is give 'em your contact information (X-fire/Steam/Skype/other messengers) and check in on them occasionally (Vent/etc).

    Steam's been my main line of communication to a small cadre of Infamy folks who quit LotRO with me. I'll rob some banks or kill some zombies with them often, or swap stories of world domination in our respective single-player strategy games.

    1. Wait... you quit LotRO? Is that why your blog is so quiet nowadays? I guess the zombies don't want a fashion makeover. :(

      Steam is a great help for me as well, together with kin/guild sites. Luckily everyone is grown up enough to understand how MMOs work, but I still feel sad (and at the start a little bit guilty) about 'breaking up' with an MMO nevertheless.

  4. Oh yeah, straight up from like December to U10, I didn't have a lot of inspiration. Plus I figured I'd rather chatter on the forums about itemization or actually running instances for gear. Then the U10 raid gear came out, and while it was cool and I probably could have made some stuff, I was still more into the forums and the game itself to worry about armored outfits. Then I just quit.

    True fact: I made a few outfits in RIFT and darn near made posts about those.

    But then I quit RIFT too. That's what I'm most guilty about for some reason. A buddy and I leveled hard and got to 60, joined a guild, started doing dungeons and then raids. Accepted a few crafted pieces of gear from them, though we mostly crafted our own. Then *poof* we decided we were sick of RIFT too. All in the span of two months. Left that new guild high and dry :/


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