Since the beta I have been off and on playing Lord of the Rings. Having bought myself a Lifetime account, this was an easy thing to do, flitting in and out. Given the game's success and failures, I had reasons to drop it and come back. Of course, I loved the model here, as not subscribing led me to my first experience where I did not feel I needed to play.
This blog that I have started also was of the purpose of pointing out what is wrong with MMO's today, as well as inspirational ideas of what is already present, and what could be present, or at the very least developed in the future. For a long time, I have stopped writing, but I want to come back and show this site people other than Teala can write. This particular post will be about Lord of the Rings online and where it succeeds, as well as where it falls short.
Firstly, I would like to point out some of the high points of the series, things that keep me and likely many others coming back. However, LOTRO also has a good amount of failures, and this is where I offer thoughts of where it could get better. These ideas also follow my philosophy of MMO's in general.
LOTRO places your character within the setting of Middle-Earth during the time of the War of the Ring. It starts near to when Frodo and companions left the Shire, and in a way your character journeys with them. Over time, you reach branching story lines where you are indirectly helping decide the fate of Middle-Earth.
The characters you meet along the way vary between familiar and new. You will run into the 9 companions and other historical figures such as Glorfindel the Elf or many of the Rangers, like Halbarad. The dialogue is excellent, and you will find the best quests are part of the epic storyline. This storyline, as of March, 2012, takes you from the lands of Ered Luin up to Angmar, through the Misty Mountains and later into the depths of Moria and finally to Isengard as of this time.
Eventually, the lands of Mordor will likely be open to players within some alternate quest lines that follow the Companions in their quest to destroy the One Ring.
As of now, quests will open up much of Middle-Earth's lore to players and show them many diverse characters that are mentioned by Tolkien.