LOTRO: Red Dawn


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.

5 thoughts on “LOTRO: Red Dawn

  1. spagomat April 8, 2016 / 10:50 am

    Keep going! I too wasn’t thrilled with old Gondor stuff, but when I came back to it after 9 months, running through Osgiliath and Minas Tirith, I was happy to see some of the old beauty coming back. First the beauty of some of the landscape treatment, then the gorgeous, inky interiors (I have screenshots that look straight out of the Dutch masters) and finally the amazing, technically audacious Minas Tirith. I will say, the gameplay gets a bit tiresome if you’re a completist like me, but the story beats and the world building are still great.

    As for the new computer, I had several friends build their own, and unless they’re IT types who really enjoy the process, they almost always voice frustration with the computer for months afterward. I’ve been buying off the shelf since 1990, ended up with comparable machines, and the things are still running fine 9-10 years later (not as my main computer, of course, but as capable secondaries). Out of curiosity, what made you want to build your own?

  2. ChaosConstant April 8, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    Man, what did you do to that poor computer?
    What DirectX version are you using in LotRO? My old graphics card had problems running LotRO in DX10, but ran fine in DX9.

  3. Syp April 8, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    Because everyone and their mother scoffed at me buying a premade PC, telling me that it wasn’t hard at all to build a new one and I could save money. Well, some of that’s true, but it also isn’t.

  4. Telwyn April 8, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    I’m loving LOTRO again, the landscapes are just breath-taking in their scale and gradual variety; there’s a realism here that is lacking in the patchwork zones of other MMOs. I guess you’re a bit ahead of me, I’ll have to do some catching up so I can read these posts without any spoilers 😉

    I worked in IT for over a decade but I don’t consider building a home PC anymore. It takes a lot of research to ensure components will play well together and perform at peak. I’d rather pay a bit more money for a pre-built gaming machine where someone else has done the spadework – time is money and all that.

  5. baldwinp April 11, 2016 / 8:52 am

    Although I am glad to see you back in Lotro, you are definitely going to want to get that computer issue resolved before getting to MT- you’d probably be looking at single digit frame rates.

    As far as the computer issues. If the new video card never gave you the performance you expected, then you probably have a bad card. (which should likely still be covered by your warranty on the card). If the new card was great at first and then went bad, then either the card crapped out, something on your MB is going funky, or your CPU got fried and can no longer handle taxing loads.

    You’re right though. A pre-built system may make the most sense for someone with kids who just wants to relax during their downtime and not fight with their computer.

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