My Introduction to Lotro

 

 I’ll never play any of those MMOs

Almost two years ago Beloved started playing the Free to Play Lotro.  He thought I might be interested; he thought it was something we could play together; he thought it was a good introduction to MMOs.  Now I feel that I must say this:

  • I had managed to read ‘The Hobbit’ and not really enjoyed it
  • I started to read the Lord of the Rings and had not been able to complete the first part
  • I found ‘questy’ books boring
  • I thought that the female characters in Tolkein were ridiculous
  • If I was going to be a geeky gamer it would be in a science fiction setting

But I thought I would give it a try and ‘rolled’ a minstrel.  It sounded a nice idea – something that I could relate to, but it is not the best choice for a newbie gamer, so after another try at something else (can’t remember what) I settled on a hunter and actually made it out of the starter area.

I soon found myself really getting into the game, but no way were we going to start paying for a game. Hunters are a good class for starting out with. I found the combat weird at first, and whilst it was spiders and wolves I had not problem but then we started killing humans, but they were baddies, so it didn’t matter? No what was really important is that it is a game. In teaching I surprised myself with being able to role-play really nasty people, and the same applies here.

I’ll never pay subscriptions for a game

Beloved and I did the epic quests together and some of the side quests and pretty soon we were able to get out first horses. Oh the pure joy of riding across the Lone-lands on a pony – because my hunter was a hobbit. Suddenly I realised that we were playing every night of the week, so when it was tentatively suggested that I might want to get VIP status (pay for the game) and that way I would get extra storage space, which I already realised I needed, I am afraid that I said yes.

 

Over Christmas my son came over and we introduced him to the game – like pushers encouraging everyone we knew to take our drug of choice. He rolled a Lore-master and with Beloved’s cappy (and yes we were learning the lingo) and my hunter on DPS (see!) we had a useful fellowship. We played a few times remotely and then he stopped playing. He went on to other things (RL stuff mainly). My mother was interested and started playing and soon she was fellowing with us. Our birthday present to her was a subscription for a couple of months: she now pays her own and has been playing for a year.

I’ll never play a game with a total stranger

One of the things I soon realised was that there were these things called kins. Apparently on other MMOs they are referred to as guilds but I have never played any other MMO so they are and will remain Kins to me. We were on snowbourne server by now – a European server and were looking for a good mature kin and found The Last Alliance. They ae a great kin and we played a few raids and instances with them. They were not th most active kin around and I cannot say that they were the friendliest, merely because they were the only one I tried but they were lovely. A friendly supportive group who were willing to share their experience.

I’ll never consider online friends as real friends

They taught us a lot about fellowships and about using our classes to best effect. I started to see these people in my kin chat every night and chatting with them became part of my routine. I started to think of them as friends. Most were not UK players and I had no idea if they were millionaires or paupers but we got on well. I now saw another huge benefit of gaming, you get to see other nationalities and people and interact with them in a way totally divorced from issues of race, ethnic background, sexuality or gender and disability. We had parties and events and, I know this sounds sad, but we even went to Weatherop together to set off some fireworks at New Year, even though we were all in different time zones. It was with great sadness that we left that kin and only a move to another server would have made us do it.

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