I didn’t want to give the impression that my 30 minutes introduction to LOTRO somehow summarized my feeling about the game so I leveled all the way through 9 with it including finishing the intro quest line and a bunch other stuff to give it a chance.
And I can say that the crafting system including the large open world is quite different from DDO, much ringer, more involved and the reason why you really need a mount. With things like finding recipes to create armor, weapons and even ‘food’ it’s clear that unlike DDO LOTRO isn’t just about dungeon running. In fact in a way LOTRO have lore and pretty much what all other games have, which is a kill x number, fetch x number kind of quests.
But the initial feeling about the rest pretty much remains the same. There are ‘monsters’ everywhere and they respawn into the same position quite frequently. Combat is quite disjointed. It’s clicking more than interacting. You can’t move and shoot special weapons (I understand that) and it’s more like click this to attack with ranged, then as they get closer click this to attack with melee. Move an inch, attack next monster since I have to kill X of this and X of that to finish quest.
It would be wrong to compare this to DDO in any sense, considering how fluid combat feels in DDO. The critters sense you (or you can sneak up if you like). You shoot while running backwards, attack, stun, trip, mighty blow etc with much more interaction. Critters try to swarm you or sweep you. Mini bosses stun smack you, trip you, snare you or whatever. The whole combat always feels in motion. Not a ‘I want to use this ability, then this, then this, oh hmm, heal myself. Now this.
LOTRO is for people who want a rich system outside combat. It’s for people who enjoy lore, fellowship, cooking, crafting and all that. People who do other things outside walking into danger and coming out heroes.
Not that there are no heroes in LOTRO, but being able to bolster my hero to level 9 without really a sense of accomplishment or even an idea what I really got from each level, makes me feel like I can do something, but nothing especially.
So what do I really like? Lots of armor choices. And with it different looks. Shoulder pads, pants, jackets and mantles (cloaks) that you can see. Buy something that is for show like my hooded cloak instead of the better I get my abilities from. Equipped weapons that show, instead of just in your hands. Bards that play actual music. I watched a minstrel or something playing a ‘bardified’ song I’ve heard on the radio before. It was kind of cool. All of those things could be implemented. Clearly with the different armor it’s a little harder since DDO’s AC system doesn’t really allow for separate pieces of armor in the same sense, but it would be nice to implement a similar system to LOTRO. Where you have 3 tabs – 2 tabs are alternative costumes that add nothing but look. The regular one is the stuff you get your stats from. So you could have alternative looking shoulder pads without actually ‘doing’ something to the overall AC. But it would allow for different looks. Want different pants or a cooler looking cloak instead of bland looking green steel? Want a cloak with your guild symbol on it? Why not?
DDO isn’t LOTRO and shouldn’t be, but I appreciate what it does differently and can see a definite value by adding a little more depth to the overall ‘dressing’ up. That way people can distinct themselves.