Barely Readable Diary has moved! New posts will now appear over at Cheeky Goblin. There's also a new RSS feed for subscribers. Existing posts here will remain here to preserve permalinks. Thanks!

Things I'm liking about LOTRO

My MMO resolution to reach the level cap in LOTRO is going well -- I'm still having a great time with my hobbit guardian, Merrygrim.

Some things I really like about Lord of the Rings Online, in no particular order:

The Deeds System
I'm a somewhat unusual MMO player, in that I really enjoying grinding and farming. The Deeds system -- which pops up as you're questing and asks, hey, why not kill 100 orcs for a cosmetic title, then another 200 for a tiny boost to your stats -- suits me perfectly. And with the rather deep crafting system (I guess some might say grind-focused) on top, I find myself spending more time grinding Deeds and farming materials than actively questing. Which is fine by me: the XP reward for completing deeds is reasonable, and crafting is a means to itself.

The Outfitting System
In LOTRO, if you are allowed to equip an item, you can instead equip it to a outfit slot instead of your armour slot, and choose to have it displayed instead of what you're really wearing. You get two full outfit sets to choose from, and once an item is equipped to a outfit slot, you don't even need to keep it in your bags or bank.

I love this system. As a guardian, I'm supposed to wear heavy armour, which is all plate mail and metal helmets. As a super-stylish and very dapper hobbit, I want a big floppy hat and something comfy around my not inconsiderable belly. The outfitting system lets me have the best of both worlds.

My Kinship
I've been in the same kinship (The Knights of Iluvatar) since I started playing LOTRO, and they're a great bunch of people. They've answered my beginner's questions, helped with group quests, and sent me equipment and supplies. They're always friendly and cheerful in the kinship chat channel, and there's often a brisk trade in items and crafting services for no charge.

My one concern is that so far in the give-and-take of kinship supplies and services, I have been much more of a taker than a giver. I hope once I have a few levels under my belt, I'll be more effectively able to redress the balance! As a tank, I should be of genuine use to kinshop groups, and as an armourer I can help keep beginners and alts in gear. I'm still hoping to get fairly rich, too, which should enable me to help others in a variety of ways.

The Lore
My other MMO love, WoW, has lore, but not like LOTRO. The trashy fantasy novels associated with WoW can't really compete with JRR Tolkien, now can they? There's enough content in the One Wiki to Rule Them All to keep me happy for a very long time -- not to mention the original source material!