I Suppose That is Role Playing of a Sort…

The other day Potshot and I each had a character lined up to finish the main quest line in Annuminas.  This was the ranger banner quest, and there are two areas that are covered by signature level mobs which make a solo approach very challenging.

Too challenging for me, anyway.

But as a pair I figured this would result in a series of good, but manageable fights, and we could knock out this quest line.  The new and improved Evendim quests are like that; you want to finish them.

There was another group forming up in Annuminas, and they asked if we would like to join with them.  Knowing that we had very specific goals, and a weekday night time frame, I politely declined.

And, well…


I guess “screw you” is not one of the built-in emotes.

But I certainly took this as a sign that I had made the right choice.  Kohath was awfully quick there on the “/screw you.”

I sometimes forget that there are segments of the LOTRO community that take not being WoW to extremes, which includes an attitude somewhat akin to, “This is LOTRO and we group here and if you refuse to group aren’t playing the game right and should go back to WoW.”

I have run into this problem on a few occasions for failing to group on demand.

Fortunately, it is a reasonably rare occurrence, and has come up even less often since the game went free to play.  Either there are more people with whom to group or there has been an influx of less demanding people.

And, for the record, we did complete the quest line.  While we did face a defeat on one objective, that just made knocking it out at last all the sweeter.

11 thoughts on “I Suppose That is Role Playing of a Sort…

  1. Aufero

    Wow. I’ve run into that attitude a couple of times in LotRO, (I generally prefer to solo in MMOs so I don’t inconvenience other people with AFK after AFK) but never with quite that rude a response. My overall experience with the community has been extremely positive.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Aufero – Oh, yes, the community in general, even post-F2P, is quite good. The fringe groups have their own LOTRO-esque vision of how the game ought to be played, which is true of any similar game.

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  3. bhagpuss

    I was so pleased to see this post. I’ve mentioned a few times in comments here and there that my three-month experience on one of LotRO’s EU roleplaying servers was, in terms of community, one of the worst I have ever had in an MMO. LotRO remains the only MMO I have ever left specifically because of how unpleasant and unfriendly the community was.

    It was not unusual to be badgered relentlessly by individuals demanding that I help them on quests, which would be annoying enough if , like you, I had been at the quest location. I had it happen to me while I was clearly using the bank or crafting in a city. Apparently to say “no thanks, I’m busy at the moment” is the LotRO equivalent of intentionally training someone in Everquest, not just a social faux pas or an un-endearing eccentricity but evidence of such deeply anti-social tendencies that the only reasonable response is a torrent of abuse and threats to report you for “not roleplaying your character properly”.

    If these had been isolated events, I’d put it down to the usual bad apples you get in every MMO, but sadly they were far from rare. It always raises an ironic laugh when I see someone talking up LotRO’s “great community”.

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  4. epic.ben

    @bhagpuss – that’s really funny. Sasso (my silent blog partner) and I tried LOTRO out a few weeks ago, and ran into the same thing. We were very surprised – not sure what the deal is, but it turned us off a bit. We weren’t seriously giving LOTRO a go, but we were trying to give it a shot.

    Oh well!

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  5. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    Huh, I’ve had exactly the opposite experience of bhagpuss and epic.ben. I found the community in LotRO to be really good in general.

    I think the problem with not grouping is that the game isn’t geared toward soloers, so if you’re in the same area you might be competing for the same resources. So, if I need to kill 10 foozles and you need to kill the same 10, then if you won’t group with me you’ve effectively said, “No, I’ll just steal the 10 foozles you need for myself.”

    Obviously, yes, there are extenuating circumstances like people who have only a limited amount of time or who have to frequently go AFK. And, yeah, there’s little call for that level of rudeness. But, I suspect they see the initial rudeness in you essentially saying you’ll be competing for the same quest objectives without the benefit of grouping together.

    As a dev, I’d like to see there be less emphasis put on explicit grouping requirements. There’s little reason not to let people share quest objectives and not be in a group. It’d avoid unpleasantness like this.

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  6. Helistar

    I’ve had varied experiences in LotRO, just like in all other MMOs.

    To be honest, I’ve yet to see a difference among them when it comes to the community. Everywhere you have nice people and complete assholes….

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  7. Dril

    I’m utterly shocked.

    Really, I’m so surprised there are actually other people who don’t think LOTRO’s community is a blistering ray of sunshine and joy. Every time I try telling people “I found LOTRO’s community to be helpful, yeah, but smug, arrogant, cold and sometimes plain rude” I always get, “oh, normally it isn’t like that” “there’s always a few bad apples” or, quite nicely, “your experiences of the community are wrong.”

    It wasn’t just grouping, it was the help and LFF channels as well.

    Sigh.

    I do feel bad about LOTRO. There’s lots to love about it, but the character models, combat and community all drove me away in the end.

    Well, those, and Turbine’s ardent refusal to admit that cancelling a pre-order is a reasonable request. Such hoops I had to jump through to get that done.

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  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Brian – “But, I suspect they see the initial rudeness in you essentially saying you’ll be competing for the same quest objectives without the benefit of grouping together.”

    Which would make them passive-aggressive jerks, rather than just jerks, I guess.

    I might see the competition things as a point if they had either asked what we were after or had said, “Hey, we’re on a foozle hunt, want to come along?” At least look into the whole mutual coincidence of wants aspect. I might be done with the whole quest line.

    If I had said, “No way, we’ll get our own foozles at your expense!” then I would clearly be in the wrong, according to Miss Manners at least. But, instead, I said, “No thanks” to their request to join their group with no destination stated. It isn’t like sharing an elevator on the ground floor, where we’re all going up no matter what. They might be headed where I do not care to travel.

    I’ll grant them that they didn’t just throw an invite… though they probably did and found that we were already grouped… so they asked us as we stood in the middle of the quest hub with no indication as to what flavor of foozle, if any, we might be after.

    If somebody throws me an invite when we’re in the field and clearly after the same things, I will almost always take it. (I usually send a tell asking if they want to join forces, but don’t always hold others to that rule if intentions are clear.) I have had some great groups that way.

    If somebody tosses me an invite without any communication when it is not clear what they are up to, I almost always decline. But that goes for any game, as the blind invite is a blight almost everywhere.

    As a whole, I see the LOTRO community as generally better than other games, but when it is bad, it seems to be bad in its own way.

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  9. Telwyn

    You do see every sort of player in LoTRO, like any game. I’ve had people rush in to grab mining nodes while I’m fighting a few steps from one for instance.

    The game is great for non-competitive item quests – if you’re collecting special items (not mob-dropped items such as enemy flags) then the items are unique to you and no player can grab them from you. Of course this doesn’t apply to kill quests or mob-dropped items, in that case it’s just like any other game.

    But compared to the bare-faced vileness and smacktalk I’ve seen in-game and in open channels on WoW and EQ2X, I’d say LoTRO does have a pretty great community, at least on Laurelin (EU-RP).

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