Where do we begin? Where else other than the beginning. Lord of the Rings Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that takes you to the world of Middle-Earth. It originally launched in April of 2007 during a time where you already had games like Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft. Hey though, it is based in the land of J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation and who wouldn’t want to visit and become a Hobbit, or a Dwarf in this kind of a game. The game is based not on the movie trilogy by Peter Jackson, oh no, it is based on the book sources and it gives you a much purer sense of what Tolkien’s stories were about. Turbine took the reins of the game and here we are 12 years later celebrating the world we love to visit.
When the game was launched it featured book quests as the main story, which brought your character up to a level of fifty and marched you into the gates of Angmar, the home of the Witch King and leader of the Ring Wraiths. Fast Forward 12 years and we are now roaming around the land of Mordor, the place where Frodo needs to destroy the one ring. Starting off with the base races, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, and the race of Man, is where Turbine led into the MMORPG. With classes such as Hunters, Burglars, Loremasters, and all of the normal Lord of the Rings character types. As the game evolved and moved from pay to play, to free to play, they added more classes and even a couple more races to play as. So take up your father’s sword and don your armor, as we quest onward.
I have been playing this game since Open Beta, and even have a founder account. One thing I can tell you about this game in the last 12 years is that it has only gotten better in my eyes. The engine is a little old and outdated, and the graphics certainly show their age, however, the storytelling and the expansions have just continued to make the game better. With expansions into Mirkwood, Moria, and Isengard, the open lands that you can roam and the enemies that you will face just scream Tolkien. Once you are a high enough level you can even get a war-steed and fight from horseback. There are so many changes that have made the game based on the books that you could see it evolve from day one to now. Additions like High Elves and Beorn expand the lore beyond what you would’ve expected them to do in a game like this.
Combat mechanics and skills trees have come a long way since the inception of LOTRO as well. Each class has its own separate combat skills and ways to use them. Some classes you have to build up your attack power to use certain skills, and some classes, like the warden, make use of a system where you combine one attack into the next, into the next, and so on for a more powerful attack. Whether you play the game as a tank, a healer, or a support character, each character and race has its own thing to bring to the table to help further your fellowship. Enjoy this short gameplay video that shows off some of the hunter’s skills.
For a game that launched 12 years ago, should you come out and join into the fun? I would have to give this a wholehearted yes. I have been a VIP Lifetime Member since day one and have never once regretted it. If you like Lord of the Rings then you will love this game. If you already play and are a VIP member then you can come to join our MMORPG.com Kinship on Anor Legendary Server. We are the Lonely Mountain Expeditionaries and we are always recruiting. When we play we use the MMORPGCom discord.