With the recent news that Standing Stone Games will be taking over LOTRO and DDO we thought to look into some of the great ideas that came from these two MMOs. Daybreak is now publishing the titles as Turbine has spun them off into their own studio. For the fans this means more content, a solid service team, and a studio now directly dedicated to these two titles. Both MMOs continue to have a solid community and here are some of the reasons why. Keep in mind you can still go and play these games now as they are both alive and well in the MMO universe!
5. Dungeons & Dragons Online – Class System
Mirrored off of the all-time original class system ever created. DDO did a great job capturing the Dungeons & Dragons feel when building your character. The worked to make sure classes played and felt like they should within the scope of the world. Many games often mistake classes or overextend their uses. DDO kept to a solid system and worked to make each character unique. This system combined with grouping made for a very dynamic dungeon and raid road map. It is D&D after all, but in the end, the team definitely got it right from day one.
4. Lord of the Rings Online – Music System
Every single fantasy game has a bard playing somewhere in a tavern. LOTRO took this concept a step further and put that ability into the hands of the players. The game swapped hit points for morale points and when in battle it cost you to fight. Time spent eating, resting, or listening to tales is how you recovered. The music system was an enhancement to that process that allowed players to create their own songs. The theme fit very well within Tolkien’s world and we like the overall role play aspect of sitting by a hearth after an adventure.
3. Lord of the Rings Online – Crafting System
Again, Turbine kept things well within Tolkien’s world. Farming played a major part in the crafting system which was used to make food, which boost your morale, aka hit points. These core systems were pulled right from Middle Earth as you could almost taste the Lembas bread or Dwarven mead. This system helped players prepare for battle and recharge after a fight. It was heavily integrated into the game and loads of players took part in crafting.
2. Dungeons & Dragons Online – Combat System
DDO was one of the first MMOs to play like a console game. It had a targeted combat system which moved at a much faster pace than other MMOs released at the time. You still had the hot bar mechanic, but you could move and dodge while using it. Fighting boss mobs and hordes of NPCs took on much more fast paced action. The game encourage group play so when you worked together it was a lot more than just standing still and blasting DPS. The game made you move in a fight all the time. This element was sadly not copied into LOTRO. If you have not tried the DDO combat system, load the game for free and give it a shot, it remains one of the best in MMOs over the years.
1. Lord of the Rings Online – Monster Play
This idea was fantastic and made for some of the best MMO nights years ago. In LOTRO you could log in as a monster to do battle against the players in an open zone. You could play as an Orc, Spider, or even a Wolf. Players flocked to this idea which was sadly left behind do to more story driven content in the game. However, monster play took what was best in games like Dark Age of Camelot and put them into the player’s hands. It was a great idea to level up a spider who fought for Sauron. Even stalking the wilds as a wolf was loads of fun. Sadly, the players always had the advantage and the system never saw its full potential. However, this one element was great fun for a while, it would have been cool to see where it could have gone over time. New zones and more monsters to play would have been an interesting trend to watch.