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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2014
LOTRO is an incredible game, bogged down by Turbine's trademark ugly characters. Fun game play and some unique features, plus a very authentic Tolkien feel, make the game solid, interesting, and entertaining.

To get the bad out of the way first: Character models. Blocky, ugly, bland, uninspired. It's tragic, too, since the costume features of this game are incredible. Hundreds of clothing items can be worn in a costume tab that has no affect on your questing armor. You can wear a robe and wizard hat, but rock full plate stats! The role-playing potential is great. Besides, most of the Fellowship is wearing traveling clothes in the story. It seem kind of weird to have a set of dwarven-chain mail on 24/7 when you spend your day traveling the Shire.

Another part of the game that irks me is the auto-attack. Yes, you get abilities to fill the myriad hotbars, but even so, you have an auto-attack running at all times. Auto-attack is a relic of MMO's from before broadband internet. Servers often had latency, and responsive combat was a dream for the future. Developers worked around it by offering auto-attack, pre-calculated swings that just...swung. Auto-attack needs to die. It's boring, and takes away from the awesome attacks you get.

The game is a themepark, with all that entails. There are other areas for certain levels to quest, but the main story line takes you around Middle Earth a few steps behind the Fellowship of the Ring. It's not the worst railroad, but it's still a railroad. Some of the questing areas are locked behind the paywall, but if your were completely insane, you could grind through Deeds and earn the Turbine Points to buy them. Seriously, the Deeds earn like...10 Turbine points, and the Questing regions are 1000+. You'd have to be certifiably insane.

Now, the awesome stuff: Middle Earth is GORGEOUS. Yes, your character's face looks like it was carved from cream colored FEMO clay, then photographed by a satellite and pasted onto your blocky body, but the night sky is glorious. Constellations shine and move, the Shire is a beautiful, glowing paradise, often resplendent with rainbows. RAINBOWS! When you play a Hobbit, and you move out from the Shire, you feel sad. You start to miss the simple beauty, the endless pie-run quests, the lazy river. It is incredible.

The game also boasts a music system. You can compose music, you can free-play numerous instruments, there are BANDS; in game bands! People get together, hang out at iconic taverns throughout Middle Earth, and play live music! And the holiday events are amazing. Just awesome. Whenever I hear Canadian Geese, I think of the Yuletide festival in LOTRO, because the faint sound of geese flying over permeates the awesome soundscape of the festival zone. Halloween, mid-summer, spring, fall, TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! are all celebrated with unique mounts and/or costume gear.

This game still has great things going for it. Despite its flaws, it is a fantastic way to explore more of Middle Earth. Even if you've read every scrap of Middle Earth lore, or you've only seen the movies, this place feels familiar, and has a lot of fun, unique features that make it worth playing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2013
Lord of the Rings Online is a great game! The graphics aren't the best out there, but it has a story-line and depth of play that is unparallelled in MMORPGs. After years of playing these kinds of games, this is the one that stands out the most to me. If you enjoy MMOs, you should give this one a chance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2014
Before you download this game, you should definitely just go to the lotro website and get it there. After you start downloading the game, it will give you the opportunity to play before the download is done. I recommend not doing that because it will take even longer to get it downloaded. The game is about 18gb to download. Other games have that option and works well but with this game it doesnt.

I tried the game out back in january and played it for one day making a lvl 10 hunter. It was weird playing it at first because the character graphics weren't very appealing. After spending time with it though, i got use to and enjoyed my time. I noticed when playing the game, nobody chatting and barely saw anyone. The community is really small. You should check out the forums to see which server is pretty active. I went to the elemindir server because my friend had a character on that server. So i played hunter to lvl 10, the game was getting a little bit harder. So after one day i stopped playing and moved on to something else. I've been mmo hoping for awhile now and was anticipating ESO release. When eso released, it was fun at first but i got annoyed with it due to player bots in the dungeons and gold spammers and maintenance every few days. Also, for the price of the game, i didnt feel like i got my moneys worth.

So i decided to give lotro a try again. This time i started over and went with a hobbit burglar and the story appealed to me more. So i spent the weekend playing it and got to lvl 15. The game does a good job on its tutorial and showing you where to go to do certain things. The game really grew on me so i decided to get the vip account plus the quad pack. I was going to wait on the quad pack but i noticed a horse comes with it and its cheaper than the one they sell in the market. So i went ahead and got it. I am a little disappointed though because it didnt give the horse riding skill with the pack and i had to either wait to level 20 or spend TP on it. So i spent the points and got it. Trust me, you'll want the horse early on. The world is huge and its a lot better to have a horse. If you want to skip out on the quad pack, you could just get the sam wise pack which gives you a horse and the skill. I would have figured the quad pack would have given the skill. I havent invested in the helms deep expansion and i wont till i need it. More than likely i will wait for it to go on sale.

Playing the burglar is a lot of fun. You can stealth your way through mobs and on the advanced skill traits, you can invest in it and make it harder for you to get caught. The game also offers a lot on the crafting system. My friend made me some high quality gear yesterday and it turned out very helpful. With the game game being free to play. The store offers a lot of make things easier for you. For example with the crafting system, you can buy advanced ingredients from the store so you dont have to go collect it. I was curious and tried it out. The developers protected the game with making the items produced being bound to your account. So you cant take advantage of it and sell it on the auction house. Actually, you cant sell anything from the store to the auction house. Makes it a little rough for players who cant spend money on the game. However, the game does offer a way to earn TP points by doing your deeds but it can be very time consuming. On the forums, a lot of people came up with a way on how to collect a lot by doing multiple characters. You can make 2 characters on each server and the tp you earn goes to your account. So thats an alternate way of doing it. Anyway, i'm really enjoying this game and the story line does keep you interested. Just remember, the game has a small community so it may be wise to plan on which server to play on and to find a guild before you get fully started.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2014
First up I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan, and this review is more my personal opinion than anything else - as others suggested the best way to figure out if this game is good for you is to make a free account and play what you can. It's not truly f2p, but enough to where you can probably get a decent idea of what future gameplay will be like.

I played Lotro for about 1-2 years (6 characters lvl +25, 2 characters lvl 85) & pretty much bought everything lvl 25-85, but haven't gone back since the other half of the Rohan expansion or the new Gondor expansion because it seemed as if Turbine was just adding more of the same (more or less) so some of what I say might have been addressed. The game is a technically good game - custom wardrobe that allows for appearance swaps without affecting actual gear stats, inventory search options, individual loot (you will still get loot from most mobs even if you weren't the first to hit it), good environment (mostly), good universe to pull from, etc.

However, it does a number of problems:

1) The grind - yes, there's some degree of grind to most games & especially MMO's, but to a person who has played the game up to 85 twice it's personally quite unbearable. It's not bad levels 1-~60 because of all of the character progression (skills, trait-lines, legendary weapons) & unique environments (i.e. Barrows, Moria), but after that things begin to really drag out because most of what you are doing is relatively the same which alone wouldn't be particularly blameworthy but is exacerbated severely by mob-design, environment, & lack of voice which I will explain further below. At least on my server, there was a clear lack of people in or engaging in levels 20-50 & 65-75, which made the grind all the worse.

Of course, it also suffers from a problem that plagues a lot of MMO's - the grind to get to the grind of end-game content (re-running ~2 raids & ~3 small group dungeons) largely eliminates the relevancy & replayability of all of the earlier levels. It's just a rush to grind out end-game gear which isn't helped by the frequent raising of the level cap (now up to 100 I believe) over the past few years. An example I would point to would be Isengard - an excellent, diverse, & rewarding set of 6 raids that unlocked a final boss raid that has become obsolete & largely unplayed on my server ever since the level cap was raised to 85. This would be more acceptable if the new end-game content was up to par, but in my opinion it hasn't.

2) Armor/Mob/Environment/Voice Design - A big part of a game is looking suitably bad-a** & killing equally bad-a** enemies in a extraordinary environment, and I think this Lotro is severely inhibited in these regards either because of laziness and/or a desire to conform to "lore".

As of the first Rohan expansion, the only good-looking armors in my opinion were Moria sets (60-65), and the Isengard/Draigoch Sets (75) along with some armors you could pay for & some pieces of quest armor. However, the Rohan armors weren't nearly up to par - go look it up. Quilted vest-shirts (Medium armor), caps with neck clothes, etc. Turbine seems to be attempting to adhere to what the warriors of Rohan might wear in lore, but they haven't taken enough license to design armor that seems appropriate a character that's so far in the game. This is alleviated somewhat by the game's wardrobe system, but decent appearance options are still rather limited. Turbine's strict or lazy adherence to the lore of the game also causes similar problems with the game's mob design & environments.

Mobs in Lotro are horrifically repeated - higher stats, different names but otherwise largely if not completely the same. The orcs you slaughter at level 20 will have the virtually the same models as orcs 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 85. You'll still be killing wolves, bears, spiders, giant dragon-flies, crows/birds, etc. no matter where you go. There is some variation, but not nearly enough for my taste. Again, go look it up.

The environments in Lotro are good early to mid game - Shire, Barrows, Evendim, Moria, Mirkwood, the Golden Wood, etc. - but after that it all kind of becomes the same. The area surronding Isengard & the hill area preceding it are mostly just woods/plains. Same thing with Rohan, though I'd imagine the newer areas in the lastest expansion are more lively.

Lotro has a near unparalleled universe to draw its lore from, but unfortunately it isn't emphasized enough either because of the game's age or again Turbine's laziness. If I wanted to read Lotr's story, I would just pull out my copies of the series. The lack of voice in Lotr is something that keeps me from immersion, but this may be more to me being spoiled by other games as opposed to an actual failing of the game.

3) PVP - PvP would have been an excellent area to bring to the game the sort of dynamism & freshness that its PVE content lacked. Unfortunately, the game design was flawed from conception - having two deliberately unequal sides. Players can choose to pvp as either their "freeps" from the main PVE game or "creeps" - orcs, spiders, uruks, wargs - that are limited to the PVP world known as the "Moors". It sounds like a very fun prospect at first, but in practice devolves into a lot of frustration. At the last time I was on, freeps held a distinct & at times near insurmountable advantage over creeps, at least on my server. Freeps simply have better overall stats & abilities, especially if a creep hasn't got the bonuses & skills earned from ranks & unlocks. This leads to a lot of creeps grouping together which then leads to a lot of freeps grouping together, which leads to the creeps rage-quitting, which leads to a lot of dead time in the Moors. Creeps certainly can have success, but usually this is only within the context of superior numbers and lots of high ranks.

In sum, Lotro is a good game to try for people that really enjoy the Lord of the Rings universe - to anyone else it's probably going to be a generic MMO. To me, it was good for a time, but has become soul-sapping grind fest. Again, you should personally try the game if you are at all interested.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2014
This used to be a very fun game to play. If you are new to it the early game is still a great representation of Middle Earth which can be played as a sandbox. The Hobbits in the Shire are very amusing, there is a lot of detail and the background conversations are exceptionally funny.

Unfortunately, the game is getting rather old and the overall experience later in the game is tedious and repetitive. There is no end-game to speak of anymore and they no longer design new content for groups. There are many bugs left unattended and the storyline becomes linear to the point of frustrating boredom. There is no official guide for playing the game so learn to search the internet as there are some very good sites which will help you.

The game has lost a lot of players, so try to pick a server which still has activity. How much longer the servers will be open is a concern. It appears it is no longer supported by Turbine except to update a pay-to-play store which they added after the game went free to play.

It is still worth it to play the early free game if you haven't tried it yet.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2014
I have never played a game that wants you to pay for as much stuff as this game wants. Nearly 400 credits to "unlock your gold cap" of around 2 or 3 gold.. . You have to pay to "learn" a skill to allow you to ride horses. You have to pay to unlock the Auction house so you can sell anything..this is ridiculous!...and to get Traits and Virtues..which I am not concerned about that so much. I was starting to enjoy the game but first was the horse(gotta pay to ride)your own horse, then I tried to sell some stuff..nope...gotta pay to sell in the Auction house or sell to a vendor and deprive others of the rare stuff you don't need or more-so cannot use. Now I wanted to save to gold to buy a tier 2 house ...7 gold..stopped me at 3 gold(got to buy off the cap).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2013
Then you'll love the game. There's enough to keep you busy and the game graphics are nice enough as it's one of those games that aimed for realism rather than the cartoon style graphics of say - Guild Wars, which I also like a lot.

It's being in Middle Earth and experiencing the story as a "extra" that's fun.

85% of the content (as far as I can tell) is free to play. You can buy bag and stash extensions - or EARN them doing Deeds.

There is some grind but any game that says "no grind" is lying and we all know it.

Yes there is a Cash Shop - most games have these now so stop crying after the "olden days".

I didn't download it here so can't speak to that, I download off of Steam with FiOS so it was very fast - maybe 3 hours 15 minutes.

Set it to download overnight, leave it be, don't compute and do other downloads while it's going. Common sense.
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on March 8, 2015
My online game experience..(Asheron's Call...Everquest...City of Heroes/Villians...WOW...Star Wars the Old Republic...FF14.....holly cow..Ive played a lot of MMos...and there are probably a few more I am forgetting)
Ok..first of all. Do not download this from Amazon. Im not sure if I should be saying that , but don't. Just download this from the LOTRO site. I downloaded from STEAM and did not recieve a game code, which is required first to actually play. I waited about 24 hours for customer servive to email me a code (not bad). It seams most of the "low star" ratings are from poor downloading alternate sites.
Okay. Now to the actual game. Yes. LOTRO is "free to play". So if you are in doubt about whether to give this a try...DO IT!..It is free for about the first 35 levels. Around late 30 or early 40 you will need the first expansion. You will easily decide if you like the game enough by level 30ish whether or not to support the game and continue playing. In fact...the only reason I tried LOTRO was that I was waiting for Elder Scrolls Unlimited to be released in june (9th) and I wanted to kill some time. I quickly fell in love with this game. It is fun. Very simply fun. The community is great. (landroval in my server) and if you happen to choose a low population server they are announcing server mergers on the web site. To be honest..there is only so much the MMO producers can do that the early pioneers havent already done (everquest and wow). So for me it was the community that finally convinced me to support the game. For the most part they are supportive and friendly..and a little older..There are other things to..I actually love the ingame music they play in the various world settings (im getting old...I know).They advertised a 20% reduction in their subscription price so I have a 12 month sub for $80...thats $7 a month. I pay $20 to $40 for the movies. Cant complain . In the FTP model you get 2 character slots. Just by playing your 2 characters to around level 35 you will have earned the TP (turbine points) needed to purchase the next expansion. There are guides all over the web on how to do this. If you dont want to spend a dime...you dont have to. Its up to you. Im rambling..Im sorry. The point is...its free to try this game. What do you have to lose?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2014
After a month of trying to get this to download from other servers, AMAZON Came through without a hitch. THANK YOU! Enjoying the game!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2014
Its an old school RPG that is more of a kids game then something adult gamers would find entertaining enough.
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