I’m determined to make good on my goals stated earlier this week, so for the first time in at least eight months or so, I booted up Lord of the Rings Online to resume my journey through the epic story. My Captain was patiently waiting for me in the bustling Gondorian city of Pelargir, probably wondering where the heck I went and if I even cared about the fate of the Free People of Middle-earth.
Part of the reason that I had dropped out of the game a while back was that Gondor was getting, frankly, kind of depressing. Environmentally, that is. Lots of pretty buildings, to be sure, but the constantly gloomy skies, the Men-only population, and the progression toward Mordor sapped my interest. As lore- and narrative-appropriate as this all is, it doesn’t feel anything like the LOTRO I fell in love with back in Eriador. It’s certainly a long way from the Shire, from the mixed races, and from the sense of magic and wonder. It’s now a grim march through a country under siege and streaming with refugees.
Nothing is quite as surreal as being followed by an enemy rider right into a giant camp of the Grey Company — and seeing not a single one of these armed allies rise to your defense. I could well be murdered right in front of Aragorn and not an NPC would care.
Gloomy even so, I kind of do want to see what happens next. I gamely took up the thread of the epic story and started heading east. That’s when I noticed that the sky stopped being a wall of grey clouds and started showing an eerie red glow on the horizon. With lightning. Also, ash started falling like snowflakes all around. I’m not lying here — it was quite an improvement.
So far, nothing astounding has happened in the tale, other than bumping into more of the dead battling some bad guys. Unfortunately, LOTRO is one of the many games that my cruddy computer doesn’t want to run well at all. Seriously, this is how bad it is — this game, which will run silky-smooth on my five-year-old laptop, stutters and staggers around like I’m on a 486 with dial-up.
I am looking into finding a computer tech in the area who can hopefully help me troubleshoot all of this, because the number of games that I can’t play these days far outstrips those I can because of whatever’s not working in my machine. I mean, how weird is it that The Secret World plays better than LOTRO? I swear, I am never building a computer again. Not worth this headache.