Happy Anniversary, LotRO!
I showed my husband my /played time on original Ranni a week or so ago and his face was pure shock. He said that, to my credit, I stopped gaming when the boys were little and only ever played a game if I was playing with them. And he’s right. As I started to smile, feeling better about my massive amount of /played time, he added,
“But you’re sure making it up for it now, aren’t you?”.
I started playing during the January 22nd stress test in 2007 and although the Old Forest hooked me on this game, that’s not the only reason I became so addicted to Turbine’s Middle Earth. The sense of community blew me away. It wasn’t just the players but the CS team as well. They worked so hard to foster a sense of belonging and importance to the beta testers, and after release, to the player base. It felt like family and I was so happy to be a part of it. Over the last four years I’ve met so many truly awesome people as I’ve wandered around and on several different servers. I’m still proud to be a part of this community and look forward to meeting more folks.
When I think back over my adventures one of the first memories I have is (it’s a little hazy) wolf ears dropping only from bears. (I may have that backwards) Either way, it gave for a gnarly image when you thought about it. I also remember hearing a cow moo as I neared Lenglinn, a Ranger just up the road from Buckland, but could not find the cow. Why? Because it was a craban using the wrong sound file. I remember when the free peoples guards at the bridge just outside of Celondim had blindingly white armour that you could see from a great distance! I remember the very first time (this was during the stress test that brought me into the game) I ever stood beside a captain and minstrel as they screamed, and nearly falling out of my chair at the loudness of it. If I never said thank you for turning that down then let me do so now. Thank you, Turbine, for lowering the volume of the screams!!
I started out on the Melendor server (at the time there was only two servers, the other being Brandywine) and switched to Windfola once they’d added new servers. I was a member of the original The Watch kin, back before we even had kins in game. I then met the Pathfinders and within a few months took over as kin leader. I had no experience with leading a kin and made lots of mistakes! What I’m proudest of is our Craft Fairs.That, as hectic and crazy as they were, we did so right. When I first proposed the idea of gathering all the mats needed to craft anything in the Apprentice, Journeyman and Expert tiers, and then do the crafting and offer it completely free to anyone on the server, they thought I was nuts! We did it, however, and held them quarterly on Windfola. We never promised a crit but kept trying until we had a crit to give. We had giveaways, firework shows, dancing and music … it was a full out party and so much fun!
I carried the Craft Fair tradition over to Elendilmir after transferring and restarting The Pathfinders there. I can’t tell you how awesome and heartwarming it is to see a group of people working so hard to give armour, weapons and jewelery away for free to those who need with no expectations of getting anything back. Nothing but the satisfaction of helping someone else. Originally I’d thought of the Craft Fairs as being a good kin recruiting tool but they didn’t work out that way. They turned into something so much bigger and better. You get to meet so many who are new to the game, or starting new alts and looking for that extra something … it puts you in touch with the community at large. It’s an awesome experience that just makes you feel good.
That’s LotRO summed up for me. An awesome experience that just makes me feel good. I can’t imagine calling another game “home” after having played this game. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next four years brings.
/Hatsoff to you, Turbine. Thanks for such a wonderfully immersive and interactive game!