5 features I’m glad we no longer suffer in LOTRO

old1Time marches on, and with it, progress.  Sure, we can get cynical in MMOs and say that everything’s gone downhill since “the good ol’ days,” but past that sophmoric statement is the truth that these games do improve and we become accustomed to these improvements to the point where we don’t even remember how it used to be.

The other day I was thinking of how far Lord of the Rings Online has come and how I’m really glad that we’ve gotten rid of some of the older systems and features to make gameplay more enjoyable.  So here are five featues that I’m glad we no longer suffer in LOTRO!

1. Manual looting

One of the best and most recent changes to the game (well, recent as of a year ago?) is that all defeated mob loot goes straight into our backpack without needing to manually loot it.  It wasn’t that this was a huge pain to do, but sometimes the subtle sparkles of a lootable corpse got lost amid the clutter, not to mention that you would always have to go to that corpse if you were a long-range DPS class.

I love this now; it’s better than even AOE looting, which is the norm in most MMOs now.  I love it so much that playing other MMOs annoys me when it comes time to loot, because I keep thinking of how LOTRO does it and realizing how little manually clicking for loot adds to the experience.

2. Radiance gear

How quickly we forget the travesty of radiance gear, one of Turbine’s most ill-thought-out notions.  Having to gun for specific gear just to allow us to enjoy dungeons was remarkably dumb and not popular in the least, and there was much rejoicing when that whole system was trashed.

3. No cosmetic outfits

For about a year following the launch of the game, players did not have any choice regarding their appearance.  And because LOTRO’s gear could look — how do I put this? — super-duper goofy, it made for a lot of super-duper goofy people running around Middle-earth.

That all changed on February 13th, 2008, with the addition of the cosmetic system, which was subsequently expanded with a wardrobe later on.  I truly believe we take for granted now the ability to not look like some court jester reject unless we choose to be that.

old24. Group-mandatory epic quests

Some day we will tell our astounded children of an era where we couldn’t actually get through the entire epic storyline without hitting hard walls requiring a group of other players to overcome.  While it may have been social and befitting the genre to have such moments in the game, in practice it made it nearly impossible to progress unless you could find a bunch of other people who were at the exact same stage of the quest chain — or who took pity on you.  So glad that this was revamped to make the epic story soloable.

5. A mapless Old Forest

Getting completely lost in the maze of the mapless Old Forest was a genuine LOTRO rite of passage, and the only entry on this list that makes me a little sad to see gone.  Oh, I’m glad it’s gone nonetheless, because that area was stupid hard without printing off a map to use (and you’d have to go in the Old Forest for several deeds).  But… yeah, it made for one of those memories that’s fun to talk about how much we hated it years later.

16 thoughts on “5 features I’m glad we no longer suffer in LOTRO

  1. ethuiliel nimelloth January 27, 2015 / 9:16 am

    Well, if I recall correctly, when I started playing there was no quest tracker. That’s the one thing I’m truly grateful for. 😛

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus January 27, 2015 / 9:54 am

    I think I still have a print out of the Old Forest map that Brasse had on her old site with landmark notations to help me find my way around. The Old Forest is hard enough with the in-game map because even spotting the various paths through or around obstacles can be a chore.

  3. bhagpuss January 27, 2015 / 10:37 am

    I hate auto-looting and especially AOE looting. I have it toggled off in any MMO I play that includes it.

    Opening the bodies, chests or bags after a fight is one of THE key, defining tropes of MMO gameplay for me. I can scarcely imagine how anyone would willingly give it up. Even when I play WvW in GW2 and I’m lying there dead in a keep surrounded by the dropped bags of all those I took down with me, bags I will never get to open, I get more pleasure just from seeing them than I lose from not getting my hands on their contents.

    To have loot go straight into my bags without passing through my hands first is about as attractive as having a “personal shopper”. It’s MY loot. I pick it up!

  4. ethuiliel nimelloth January 27, 2015 / 11:01 am

    I don’t like it either. Tried it in ESO and switched it back after like three minutes.

  5. tsuhelm January 27, 2015 / 11:49 am

    Agree with all but think 4 didn’t go far enough as there are enough group content quests (non EPIC) which are game stoppers (in the sense you can come back later when all is grey or call in help which is generally way too OP)…maybe a busier server will ease this issue, time will tell.

    With regards to Auto loot I love it, indeed the artificial nature of loot bags and even that most of the loot is junk makes this a little more useful. I do agree for the ‘pure’ MMO flavour sans quest tracker (no red dots on radar please!) that stopping to pick up your bounty does make sense…but I hope you don’t use teleportation skills (swift travel!) or even LI’s because the lore does not support them either…just joking…we are all free to play the game how we like 🙂

  6. Aywren January 27, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Ah, yes. I remember all these old elements of LOTRO. I haven’t played much in the recent days to experience the auto looting, but FFXIV also uses auto looting and I like it a lot there.

  7. Pasduil January 27, 2015 / 11:55 am

    Who knew people were so possessive about doing their own looting? 🙂

    Glad to see the back of it, it was a pointless time-wasting chore as far as I was concerned. Esp tedious for ranged DPS as you say, doubly so in an instance run. Oh the “fun” of gathering up umpteen rep items and clicking them. (Or remember when you couldn’t turn in by clicking and you had to actually go someplace to interact with an NPC? Another improvement!)

    I think the whole idea of looting bodies is a historical hangover. I prefer the TSW approach where mobs seldom drop anything, and when they do it is never junk but something potentially useful.

  8. Ravanel Griffon January 27, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    I loved the Old Forest! Yes, even when it was without a map. I loved how it made perfect sense lorewise that everyone would get lost all the time, and general chat was just fun. I actually made an effort remembering recognizable points so I could travel most parts without getting lost. I always tried to help out others who were lost. Aww, those days… *wipes away a tear*

  9. John January 29, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Oh don’t forget mounts that take bag space! I remember looking at my sister’s house to see all of the mounts she had. Her inventory items were full of these things! I also like that they have the combined wallet so people can choose to have all festival and other such trinkets not take up the valuable inventory bags or vault slots.

  10. Jason January 29, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    How about the old 3 step whistle and wait process your character used to go through when calling your mount? I was glad to see that shortened.

  11. AmAvocet January 29, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    I used to hate having to dismount every time I interacted with an NPC. Mounts 2.0 was one of the biggest QOL improvements for me.

  12. Ana January 29, 2015 / 6:01 pm

    Don’t forget how the wallet system made everyone’s life better!! A lot more of space in our bags/vault!

  13. Bess Chilver (myladyswardrobe) January 31, 2015 / 9:02 am

    Wow! I’ve been out of LOTRO for over a year (laptop issues! Had to take laptop back to factory settings 3 times in the past 18 months!). Have certainly missed stuff…must come back and play again.

    Love the fact that we don’t HAVE to be in a group any longer. I think I joined one once but I really wasn’t at the right level to make it worth while for either side and it was just a frustating exercise. As of the last time I was there, I still hadn’t managed to get through the last of the Old Forest tasks for Tom Bombadil…So went off elsewhere instead.

  14. kaiodan February 1, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    Now if they could just get rid of the forced solo quests or at least make them so you don’t have to break group to do them.

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