This is part of the Blaugust series!
Next to Guild Wars and FFXIV, LOTRO is one of the MMOs I’ve put the most time and money into over the past decade. I was a beta player and purchased the game at launch — I still have the special beta cloak that you got for buying the game from Best Buy (each store had a different cloak design).
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I started out playing with Syn, my sister and other people. But after about the first month, interest was low, so we ended up unsubbing from the game. I don’t remember what got me back into the game, but it wasn’t until a year later, during the first anniversary event, that I came back.
I also don’t remember why I purchased a Lifetime account when I came back, but I did, and I have never regretted it. Eventually, Syn purchased one, too, and between us, we leveled several pairs of characters (and me many, many alts). There was only once that we ever reached the level cap, though, and only on one pair of characters. Even though I have all of the expansions, I never made it past the middle part of The Rise of Isengard.
We were kinda phasing out of LOTRO even before the whole skill tree revamp hit. We did do a little bit of PvP with friends for a while, but ended up moving on to GW2 or something else. The skill tree thing left me confused and I just haven’t messed with the game very much since.
I used to log in to maintain my little house from time to time, but when I lost it by accident, that was kinda the final blow. I’ve logged in a whole lot less since then. I find the updater difficult to work with and the game somewhat clunky. It doesn’t help that Brandywine is subject to nasty lag, too.
Though I enjoyed many years of playing in Middle Earth, I sadly admit that I feel LOTRO is showing its age now days. There’s just something about it that makes it difficult to play now that I’ve moved on to more fluid games like GW2 and FFXIV.
I even tried rolling the new Beorning race/class, but I just didn’t last very long before I put the game down again. That’s not to say that I think it’s a terrible game, it’s just not the game for me anymore.
It makes me sad to see the servers consolidating, but I hope it’s a move that will help the game continue to bring joy to those who do still play it.