For some people, the Great Time-Out of 2020 is a (forced) opportunity to get in a whole bunch more gaming time, and they are taking advantage of it. That might have been me a long time ago, but right now this enormous gift of time is being negated by having to handle and teach four kids at home while also adjusting my job duties at church to minister remotely. So while I kind of wish that I had tons of peaceful time to pour into gaming, the truth is that I actually have less alone time now than I did a couple of weeks ago.
But that’s OK, because when 8:00 pm hits, the kids go to bed, and I still get my quiet time. And these days that means my regular routine of logging into Lord of the Rings Online for at least an hour of adventures.
For the most part, it’s just more questing through Rohan. I’m starting to get into Fangorn Forest, which is one of the most unique wooded landscapes of the game, and as I’ve only really done this a couple of times before, it still feels pretty fresh to me. I’m still stubbornly resisting doing any sort of mounted combat, and let me tell you, when you stand in one place to let the enemies keep coming to you with warg flybys, you start seeing how janky this system is.
The spring festival started up last week, giving the community something additional to do — which is definitely welcome. Of course, I wish it was any festival BUT the spring one; I’m just not a fan of most of the activities with this one. The hedge maze and shrew stomping are annoying and stressful, so mostly I’m just grinding out enough tokens to get a hedgehog pet before calling it a day.
I do want to give Turb… Standing Stone Games serious props for turning on ALL of the content in LOTRO through the end of April. To my knowledge, the studio has never done this, and I saw a lot of people light up in excitement at the announcement. LOTRO’s biggest barrier to entry is the prohibitive cost of getting all of the expansions, so this at least temporarily gets rid of that. I can see dedicated free players speeding through as much content as possible to use up the expansions before they lock up again.
It doesn’t do anything for me personally other than to see a lot of excitement bubble up over an MMO that I love. The servers were definitely popping after the announcement, and I publicly stated that I hoped SSG would decide to make all of its older content permanently free to play. I think that could go a long way to sparking a new renaissance for LOTRO.