Istaria went under massive update for "most of the day". Developers are introducing Summer festival with new quests, emblems, locations and even festival foods, giving some boons for 1 hour. Also, there are a lot of updates, previously tested on Blight shard - so I was unable to log untill I went to sleep.
Decided to take a second look at Lord of the rings online (LOTRO). My impressions:
Client: downloads quickly, auto-updates. 10/10
Registration: everything is almost perfect. A pity they do not have "check-as-you-type" username checking. So, if I enter "John", I would be returned with remark "This username is already taken". Too much guessing. 9/10
Intro: that's what gives the most immersion: all known heroes, dramatic maps, voices: everything almost perfect. 10/10
Character customization: it does remind me Clone wars. I chose Elf and was unable to change anything about how will I look. One figure, one eye and hair colour for any elf. Maybe it is for free-to-play only. Got really upset by this as I soon noticed my own clones running around: I was not unique. The only thing I could change was outfit: from one green to another green. Schools can be selected, but without many information (I chose Champion, don't know why, maybe due to lack of info). As of positive moments - as F2P I am allowed to have 2 characters. Call me unfair, but - 3/10
Graphic: superb. Almost 10/10
COntrols: UI is very good and customizable. Camera controls are less good than Istaria (mouse click) and I had instant problems with character - he looked in onje side, walked in another. WASD movement is the worst for me: I do prefer to move with arrows. 5/10
Music: I usually turn it off, but there I didn't. And was satisfied: superb. 9/10
Gameplay: improved many, many times since my first visit. I could choose a world. Arrived in some town (LOTRO fans, please forgive me for forgetting those hard to pronounce names and locations), greeted m,y trainer who gave me some instructions. Tips appear when they are usefull and I cna choose to turn them off (which I didn't since they are usefull for noob). Characters does not speak, instead telling some phrases in Elven tongue. First trainer was original one: instead of giving some stuff told me to loot some bag on the floor. Then - I had to fight another trainer. In order to fight I need to face enemy. Wait a second - why not attack him, from side? I had some special attacks (3 of them) and defeated trainer.
Then - up to defense of some library from some trolls and evil guys. Received first quest: to kill 5 evil guys which I did quite easily. Fight with troll was weird - I got stunned and had just to watch how some hero deals with evil troll alone. Then, things went out of control, one of my trainers got killed and I had to choose about quest "Finish later" or "Finish now". CHose "Finish now".
I appeared in snow land, full of Dwarves and some Elves and received a quest to do something about riddle. This is where everything started to go wrong for me. Once again: it is my first time of real play in LOTRO, so maybe I missed something important.
First of all, I did not know where to go to (as riddle was very unclear + English is not my native language). I went,l trying to kill stuff, but xp was growing slowly. Monsters were killed easily, but I could not loot any corpse. I saw some golden sign on the map, tried to go there. Of course, i went wrong way, killed some monsters, advanced to level 2 (and gain zero new active abilities), then finally went in right direction...only to find huge closed gates and 2 unfriendly NPCs, guarding them.
Tried to find another entrance, but there was none. Accidentaly went to soe dungeons, killing stuff, but killing was without sense. Noticed some lvl.3-4 players with their pets, but where did they get ravens and alike, remains a mystery for me.
I felt lost and decided to ask other players. I found no General chat, so had to use a "Send tell". First tells went without any answer. I changed tone a bit to something like "Excuse me, could you help me with one quest?", but received no answer, although player could answer my question. In Istaria, we do like to arrive in starting areas and help newbies. This LOTRO experience made me feel a bit abandoned a lost in a cold world: no talks about any immersion.
I saw trainers, decided that maybe I needed to take some crafting school, but people claimed as "Weaponsmith" or "Armorer" only sold items (weapons, armor) I had no idea about. Weapons are small and no idea if they are usefull for me and alike.
After finall asking of some Gnome (without answering) I decided to delete my account, but found no option...so just uninstalled LOTRO.
I felt better in Istaria, even with Istaria's graphic being outperformed by almost any MMORPG in the market. No, I do not miss exclamation signs over NPCs, but I wanted some more player-friendly, starting with community ending with quests. "Find elves who could solve riddle" - found one and he told some words of no use. And I could not find another, there were just too many players and NPCs.
Overall, LOTRO has improved a lot since my first visit - kudos to developers who made such wonderfull world. Fans of LOTR would immerse, I think, since you gain titles (I got one - some place I come from), there are options for your friends or even in-game children and family. I do trust people would play and immerse...just this game was not for me. I felt no temptation to buy anything (pay cash for red or yellow outfit? No, thanks), become VIP or even try another race.
I found more customization in Istaria than in LOTRO, also more user-friendly ingame situation. In Istaria, Armorer ius for joining Armorer school, not just selling Armor. And quests were a bit easier. Of course, graphic and creatures, locations - all are superb in LOTRO.
And thus the day ended. Today I will continue to play Istaria, my favourite MMORPG.