Daily Archives: April 21, 2008

Return to Middle-earth

Friday night marked the return of at least some of the WoW instance group to Lord of the Rings Online.

It was unplanned, but after my wife went to bed early (she stretched out on the bed for a minute and then the sandman crept up and mugged her… it was a long week for her) I decided to just log into LOTRO for a few minutes, just to look around.

But once in I was hailed by Skronk and Ula who were also getting reacquainted with the game. They were in the North Downs around Nan Amlug. Since I was near Trestlebridge, I hopped on my new mount and headed out to play with them. Our group consisted of Skronk’s captain, Ula’s minstrel, and my guardian, Nomu.

We picked up some quests from the area and went out hunting.

High points of being in LOTRO again.

Graphics – Wow, I had forgotten how beautiful Middle-earth can be in LOTRO

Appearance Tab – There is not one, but two appearance tabs in LOTRO, so you can have two outfits on hand. You can see in the picture above Nomu is wearing a bucket hat in his appearance tab in anticipation of the upcoming fishing hobby.

Ambient Sound – Out in the fields the ambient sounds were quite amazing, some of the best I recall hearing in an MMO.

The Founder’s Horse – While not as swift as the mounts that can be purchase at level 35, they are both free and faster than walking, which makes travel in the game much easier. All three of us are founders, so we were all able to ride.

General – Skills seem to have been tweaked since we last played together. While still very rusty, we were able to work as a team fairly effectively.

All in all we had a good time. I think we all need some warming up in the game, both to get used to some of its quirks (the UI just is not as responsive as WoW’s) and to come up to speed with all the changes that have come into the game since we last played in the fall of 2007.

I will have to keep an eye on a couple things though.

The first is money. Theoretically Nomu should be able to buy a better horse at level 35. However the price, 4 gold and a couple hundred silver, seems way beyond what he will have been able to save by that point. Quest rewards and vendor items off of mobs seem to be barely keeping ahead of the repair bill after an evening in the field. I hope I don’t have to start working the auction house just to start making money.

And the other is my video card. I would like to avoid any further video card issues, so I have been turning the fans up and watching the temperature on the 8800GT.

Still, the green fields of Middle-earth seemed very welcoming.