Downshifting in Lord of the Rings Online

I’m hitting a really strange stretch with Lord of the Rings Online lately. I’ve felt my interest flagging for a couple of months now, which is understandable when you consider that I’ve been playing it fairly constantly for years now. No matter how much I like a game and am invested in it, sooner or later comes a need to take a break.

I’m not quite sure if I’m at the point of needing to step away entirely, but I’m certainly not on fire to play it. And as I wrote over at Massively OP, I’m kind of upset with SSG over how it is handling the new update. But honestly? Even if they gave it away for free, it doesn’t seem all that compelling, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all.

I don’t think I’m going to make a hard break away from the game, but rather give myself permission to downshift and just play when the feeling rises rather than on a daily basis. I still haven’t finished Helm’s Deep on the legendary server, since that’s like plowing through a wall hundreds and hundreds of quests, and no matter how much momentum you have going into it, eventually it’s going to slow you down. It would be nice to wrap it up before Gondor arrives, but you know what? Not the end of the world if I don’t.

What’s very strange to consider that if I drop LOTRO from my daily gaming diet, then all I’m left in the MMORPG space at the present is World of Warcraft. That isn’t intentional, but it is the spot on the journey that this year has taken me to. I do have a list that I maintain of other MMOs that I would like to get to if I’m starving for a different play experience, but at the present I’m having more than enough fun and occupied with plenty of goals in WoW that others aren’t as sorely needed.

Hopefully stepping back — but not away — from LOTRO will start refilling that interest meter, especially as the REAL expansion is slated for next spring. I’d love to have some genuine excitement for that, for sure.

3 thoughts on “Downshifting in Lord of the Rings Online

  1. pkudude99 October 29, 2020 / 10:24 am

    I made it to Mirkwood on my Hunter and .. I dunno, maybe after the gloom of Moria I was hoping for more brightness, and while the elven forest filled the bill for a few hours plunging right back into gloomy just kinda made me go “meh” so I just stopped logging in.

    Tried swapping to my captain to see if that would re-kindle a bit of interest, but very quickly lost interest there also as I was simply repeating the leveling content that I’d already done with my hunter and rune-keeper and I honestly didn’t find it terribly compelling the 1st couple of times either.

    As a result, I canceled my VIP sub last night. It runs through Nov 20, so I’ll probably log in a time or 3 before that runs out, but given my current ambivalence (and the fact that this is the 4th or 5th time I’ve tried to get into LotRO and it still can’t seem to hook me) I doubt I’ll really do much more, if anything.

  2. Yeebo October 29, 2020 / 12:02 pm

    LoTRO was my main MMO for something like four or five straight years. Launch to Rohan whataver that represents. About six months ago I tentatively got going with my main again, my intention was to follow the main storyline and whataver normal quests cught my eye along the way at least until Gondor. Made it through all of Rohan and was having a lot of fun. Then I hit Helm’s Deep, and “epic battles.”

    It was one of the most poorly designed frustrating pieces of content I have ever encountered in an MMO. An absolute brick wall of difficulty and a giant glut of new systems that get dumped on you with barely a word of explanation. Even once I began to understand the system, it became clear that days of playtime would need to be spend failing at battles and slowly getting enough points in the “epic battle skill trees” (that you literally never use anywhere else) that I could solo the battles. Completely killed my interest in in progressing further.

    I read now that a spectator mode has been added, and Helm’s deep is much less painful now. However, I still have such a sour taste from my last time playing that I haven’t been back.

    Helms deep did at least crystallize in my mind why I drifted away from the game. Legendary items were annoying, but in the end added enough to the game to be tolerated. Then they stacked horse battles on top of that, another grindy confusing system that wasn’t really much fun in the end. Stacking epic battles on top of that was simply designer hubris. Someone at Turbine in that era had an absolute fetish for character development subsystems, and the game has never fully recovered from it.

  3. DDOCentral October 31, 2020 / 2:00 am

    Come back to DDO for the ‘Fables of the Feywild’ expansion! Kill some elves!

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