I must admit that it is nice to be playing Lord of the Rings Online.
The word “nice” applies to so many aspects of the game. The scenery, the effects, the classes, the skills (both trade and combat), the zones, the quests, and the other players are, generally, nice. That is the word that keeps coming to mind for me. Not great, gigantic, or outstanding, just nice.
Not that you should take that as a slam on the game in anyway. It seems to strive to be nice. It is the well behaved child in the family that doesn’t use bad words, that does what its told, that is polite, and does not get involved in anything unseemly like RMT, or even PvP except in the most round about way. (Okay, go dress up as a monster, then I’ll walk in the room and you jump out and scare me!)
So sure, it isn’t as dynamic, colorful, or fun at parties as some other games, but maybe you’ve grown up some and you want a stable relationship with nice.
I think there is a market for nice.
Even the chat channels are nice.
Over the course of a week I played EVE Online, EverQuest II, World of Warcraft, and Lord of the Rings Online, and LOTRO was certainly the easiest to deal with when it came to random stranger chat. It was nice. It was certainly so compared to WoW where logged on one of my alts on which, for the Lord only knows what reason, I had not yet turned off every single public channel, and it was like a scene where you press a button on somebody’s entertainment system only to have bad heavy metal music blare out at 11 while you try to figure out how to shut it off… only in chat text laced with internet acronyms and WoW slang.
Having all channels on in LOTRO, on the other hand, is a pleasant little stream of questions and people looking for fellowships (groups) for a quest that is easy to follow in a single window. Sure, once in a while somebody seems to think that you must broadcast your request on the looking for fellowship channel every 15 seconds or somebody might miss it, but I have yet to find a game where that sort of over aggressive repetition doesn’t happen once in a while. And they are always nice about it. It is never in, say, all caps or anything.
Granted, people can get their noses a little bent out of shape in protecting this niceness when somebody dares to use the trade channel to actively, you know, sell stuff. But otherwise it is mostly a very pleasant give and take.
LOTRO chat can be so nice that every so often people begin chatting about how nice it is. I’ve run into this a few times.
Such a conversation was going on Sunday evening on OOC. Several people were going on about how nice people were in LOTRO, and how polite, and how mature, and how unlike WoW it was, and on and on. They began to speculate on why that was, doing into the depth and scope of the subject matter and how wonderfully rich and deep the books on which the game was based were.
At which point I just had to type into OOC, “STFU Noob! It wasn’t based on books! It was based on movies! WTF?!1”
Then I began to count slowly in my head.
The channel remained silent until I hit 20, when I then typed, “Sorry, just had to remind you of what you were missing.”
That got a “Heh” or two in response, but I was probably on a few ignore lists by that point. And it killed the discussion, which was fine. It was drifting a bit too close to the shores of sanctimony in any case.
I mean, nice is fine and all, but let’s not go overboard patting ourselves on the back about it.
Maybe I’m not as nice as I thought.