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.

Our concert on the Methel stage

The Traveling Bilberries is the name of the band which I play in.  I am mainly a lyricist and theorbo player.

Tonight we did our first proper concert although we have performed a couple of times so far.  Here is the video of the concert.

I do want to post about making music in Lotro but that can wait – but at the moment I am exhausted and not really ready for a huge discussion on creativity and virtual  music making but I do want to post  his.  I have after-gig exhaustion and the usual high which will mean a crashing low tomorrow.

I was slightly disappointed by the number of attendees at our gig, but pleased about how it went – except that I made two errors; twice as many as anyone else – oh how annoying!  Tomorrow I will be so down about those errors.

My results to the Gaming Questionnaire

This is in response to the gaming questionnaire to which Roger posted a link


  1. When did you start playing video games?

When they first became available in places I visited – motorway service stations were the first place I saw them in the Seventies.

  1. What is the first game you remember playing?

I remember having a go at pong in a service station when they first came out. I lasted seconds. Asterroids and Breakout were similarly hard for me, so I thought that video games were not for me.

The very first proper game I played, I think, was the Hobbit for commodore 64 which Wiki informs me must have been about 1982. It was on a datasette (a cassette tape) and would rarely load first time – you could spend half an hour waiting for it to load correctly. I got stuck at one point and never progressed further (it was soon after the trolls, I believe). The software disappeared mysteriously after we had some people visit.

How strange that now I am playing LOTRO and yet had not read any Tolkein at that time. I did manage reading the Hobbit later but was unimpressed. (Now am enjoying reading LoTR)

I also played Tetris, endlessly, and BRIX (I loved that game)

  1. PC or Console? 
  2. XBox, PlayStation, or Wii? 

For me it has always been PC, though I have recently been given a Wii and also have an old xbox which I must admit only really got used for storing music and videos on.

  1. What’s the best game you’ve ever played? 

It has to be LOTRO, obviously. Though Portal 2 and Transport Tycoon are close runners (I have played Transport Tycoon since it came out as shareware on a floppy, through my first present of a boxed game and even now occasionally as OpenTTD.

  1. What’s the worst game you’ve ever played? 


  1. Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.

Pacman, and I never got on with platform games

  1. Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.

I’m not sure on this, I don’t tend to go by reviews (blushes)

  1. What are your favourite game genres?

I would always have said sims – Transport Tycoon, the Sims, Sim city, Civilisation, CivRome, etc. Now I really like Portal, Bioshock and LOTRO, and… so I guess I would just say games except platform or the really hard-core violent stuff like GTA

  1. Who is your favourite game protagonist?


  1. Describe your perfect video game.

One that brings me cups of tea?

  1. What video game character do have you have a crush on?

Don’t be silly, I am an adult!

  1. What game has the best music? 


  1. Most memorable moment in a game:

In portal when I created the portal on the moon. Tears were streaming down my face. Though the bit in Lotro at the end of Moria also had me in tears. I cry easily.

  1. Scariest moment in a game:

In doom when this enormous head attacked me!

  1. Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:

See 15

  1. What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?

Contains Moderate Peril, the Bramblebury gazette, Lotro Artists, Laurelin Archives. I’m surprised that there is no question about podcasts.

  1. What’s the last game you finished? 

Portal 2 or civ5 (hangs head, I really need to finish BioShock)!

  1. What future releases are you most excited about? 

Portal 3 (I am so predictable)

  1. Do you identify as a gamer?

Reluctantly, yes.

  1. Why do you play video games? 

For fun, obviously, but also as a social activity. At one point both my son and my mother were in the same kin on Lotro and it was great doing group play with family, but it is also great to mix with people from all over the world, and not know if they are penniless or multimillionaires.

Lotro has a pretty good music system, though it could do with some improvements, but it allows an outlet for my creativity and to play with others. I do play threes a lot on my phone, when I am waiting or travelling, and I do casual gaming when I can’t commit to real playing. I play every day, with multiple characters and classes. When I finally get bored of Lotro I will try other MMOs, but right now I don’t have time or the inclination.

The start of my new blog

I have been meaning to do this for a couple of years, I discussed it at Oggcamp 2 years ago and I have been procrastinating ever since.

What prompted me to do this was this post by Roger, and the realisation that I had nowhere to post my answers… except I had this dormant blog from years ago.

So finally I have revived my old blog and I have something to write about.  I will do the questionnaire and post it and then start posting about my Lotro new adventure.