Heavily inspired by the Lord of the Rings books (obviously) AND by World of Warcraft, this MMO kept me in for many hours.
The beginning is quite interesting with a scripted type of event that I haven’t seen before. Single-player-like but really unique.
Tolkien fans will enjoy this game because the biggest plus is that you can physically visit Lord of the Rings locations and characters though the way they’re implemented is quite un-epic. Boring even and very much lacking in scale. With some better game design, one can see that the potential was there, and it could have been something else entirely, something really good.
LOTR Online got the class identity quite well too. You do feel like you are actually playing your class. Combat is nice and enjoyable but in every direction you look, it seems like there’s something missing. Like it wasn’t taken all the way through. Like somewhere at around 70% of developing something, say the combat, they stopped. Not clunky, not unfinished but, I don’t know how to put it but it kind of lacks the cherry on top and the dressing. It’s good, not that tasteful, satisfying but not really delicious. I especially hated the menus which looked unrefined and ugly.
The aspects which I did like about this game are probably some of the few things that are unique to it. I’m talking about the scripted events and dungeons that happen around the game and the interesting mechanic they added to grinding and farming where say you have to kill 10 boars in a region and you do that but then this region-specific achievement unlocks which asks to kill you 100 of them which will, in turn, reward you with a title in the region and some other rewards but, more importantly, a new talent point for the trait tree. Which is basically one of the 3 talent trees in the game. This makes grinding and farming really rewarding and makes you feel like you are progressing.
But much of this game is heavily inspired by World of Warcraft and that shows. It’s like they copy-pasted the lord of the rings fantasy over WoW’s structure and just filled in the stuff that was missing in WoW, like the Nazgul and removed the things that weren’t in Tolkien's universe.
And then you see how everything is revolved around the real money shop. Want some more bag space? Buy some from the shop. Want a mount? Get one in the shop. Etcetera Etcetera.
So after 30 hours, I got bored of it but it was an enjoyable experience. There’s much more to say about it but, out of all the MMOs listed above, I would suggest this one is the one to check out, even for a few hours.
To sum it up, the LOTR online is the student who gets a 6 or 7 out of 10. Not the brightest in the classroom, nor the idiot. Just the mediocre one.
If Classic WoW wouldn’t come around I would try those vanilla servers. Oh, have I forgot to mention? They, too, have launched Classic servers for this game…
- books oriented, scripted intro, LOTR locations recreated, class identity, decent combat, scripted dungeons, single-player like zones, zone-specific achievements that grant talent points, rewarding grinding
- wow inspired, un-epic, lacking in scale, unused potential, unfinished, menus, GUI, mediocre