LOTRO Legendarium: What returning to LOTRO feels like


I don’t think I’ve ever had a tantrum Lord of the Rings Online, but I’ve definitely put it down often enough. That’s pretty typical for any player who’s been into a decade and a half old MMORPG. Sometimes I enjoy a good track record for a year or more games in a row; sometimes my pay is close to a month before needing a break.

I realized a long time ago that when you get into an MMO, you have to listen to your inner concerns and not to outside forces like social pressure, developer encouragement, or even is a feeling of guilt. I’ve never met an MMO that kept my attention on it non-stop because sooner or later we all need a break. I would rather rest on my own peaceful terms than hit a wall of annoying exhaustion and face drama and disgust.

However, one of the best things about leaving an MMO is the day you come back. If you’ve been away long enough to rekindle interest, and if it’s the right time to come back, it can be a thrilling episode. Since I came back LOTRO After many months of absence, I thought today I would share what I always feel when I return to this game.


LOTRO like an old friend I’m happy to see again, knowing it will be there when I’m ready for another visit. Nearly always changing, my first login back was accompanied by warm fluff and good news. I was reminded that, yes, I really like this game and its world. It is not a burden to play or a relic of the past. It’s something interesting here and now.

And like any return to old favorite MMOs, I spent about that week keeping track of all the little details about LOTRO that drew me to this game in the first place. I see how well the (usually) community treats each other. I’m back to the laid-back tabbed-targeted combat system. I have a little fun tinkering with my house and a new outfit or two. And I begin my latest adventure on this never-ending road.

Perhaps the greatest source of rediscovery is the sense of the Middle-earth world that the developers have worked hard to create over the years. I like a lot of MMORPGs for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to setting favorites, Middle-earth tops the list for me.


I’m always amazed by how big this world has become while still maintaining a great sense of cohesion and connection. The different regions of Middle-earth all have their own identities, but they are also part of the same world. I never lost my sense of immersion if I quickly mapped from place to place.

I think this is where the principles in Tolkien’s books have proven to be a great asset to MMOs: They’ve stopped world builders from deviating into some of the more fantastical and ridiculous designs. appear in other games. We don’t get floating islands or anything like that; Middle-earth is our contemporary world, and so almost everything we see in the game is relatable. Perhaps some slightly grander architecture was possible for that civilization to build, but for the most part it brought to mind natural settings, medieval castles and wooden cabins.

Whenever I come back LOTRO, I’m always torn between starting fresh and picking up where I left off last time. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in the game, and either way I’m usually happy.


I think it’s a good testament to the game to note that even when my character is at the top of the levels, I still do side quests to gain experience doing them. I love how they lead me to different corners of the world and give me stories (and sometimes parties) to tell stories.

In the end, I’m always happy to come back because there’s a great sense of comfort when LOTRO. It’s not an MMO that you have to race through (speed servers aside). It’s not a game where you do sixteen missions and two public events at the same time. You simply choose a direction – a mission, a goal, an action – and get on your horse to continue. I play MMO to relax at the end of long days and LOTRO Great stress reliever.

So yeah, I’m happy to be back LOTRO after a long time away. Right now, I’m working my way through the last two content updates, so expect to see my belated thoughts on those in the coming weeks.

For LOTRO honestly, I’ll end this question: How many times do you estimate you’ve left and returned to this MMORPG?

blankTwice a week, LOTRO Legendarium Embark on an adventure (terrible stuff, that stuff) through the fabled online world of the magical, terrifying, awe-inspiring, and, well, Middle-earth Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its debut in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, please send it to him at the address


LOTRO Legendarium: What returning to LOTRO feels like


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