It’s what YOU get out of it that matters
When I started playing LotRO it was during a stress test in closed beta almost five years ago. I’d been trying to get in the beta for a few months and figured there were some there who had been fortunate enough to have been in a LOT longer than I had. I was worried about looking stupid if I did the wrong thing, or what if I didn’t fit in with the ‘play-style’, …. silly worries that I soon found to be completely absurd. Why? LotRO offers so incredibly much to so many different folks. The music system came out during closed beta best I recall. I remember sitting on the steps by the Combe and Waffle Inn with tons of other people playing “Mary had a little lamb” and “Twinkle twinkle….”. We thought we were freaking Middle Earth rock stars! Looking at how advanced the music system is now, we may have just been easily excitable or something. Still, it was new and so cool.
I had a farmer maxed out before the official launch of SoA because the kin I was in, The Watch (Windfola), got together, stripped of our clothes and jewelry (why do earrings take damage when farming???) and farmed until we were out of money. Then we ran and killed whatevers until we had enough money and started farming again. It was fun and we enjoyed each others company. We did almost everything together.
There was a time back when the vaults had actual (visual) chests you could buy with gold where my Lore-Master Ranni had a chest or two for nothing but cosmetic hats. I called it my “Hokey Hat Collection”. If a hat wasn’t BoA, I had folks offer me hats to see if I had this one or that one yet. I don’t know why I was so obsessed with collecting different hats but I was and I loved doing it. Even when that meant carrying crafting mats in my bags in the middle of a Rift run, I did it so I wouldn’t have to get rid of any of my beloved hokey hats. I think it was in an instance in Moria when my buddies and I discovered that a certain hat, if on under a hooded cloak on an elf, had an odd affect that made the elf’s ears stick out through the cloak. Fun times!
I used to buy a few beaver statues and run from one housing instance to the next, looking for someone who’d set their decorating permissions to ‘everyone’ so I could gift them with a wooden beaver in their yard. Believe it or not, I found quite a few! One of my most favorite and hilarious memories was with a great guy named Spanktank. A couple of our buddies were doing a raid so we trashed their houses something fierce. We sent the bound deco back to them, replaced their wall papers with pink ones (both were guys), skewed pictures on their walls, …. As one said, it looked as if they’d been robbed. Spank and I literally hid out in the bushes by one of their houses waiting for them to come and find it. We also lost deco privileges for both friends that night, but it was all in fun.
That’s my point for this post. We had fun and we weren’t raiding. We weren’t deeding Carn Dum for the meta-deed. We weren’t trading tokens for uber gear. We had fun doing those things as well but that wasn’t the focus. It didn’t matter to us if we were gathered around a fishing hole trying to see who could catch the most trophies (or trash) in a certain amount of time or if we were kitting the kin out with Moria gear. As long as we were having fun then all was well. Sometimes in game you do things that may not be ‘fun’ for you but you know whoever you’re helping will have a blast. That’s how I came to run V1 Bk2 seventeen times in one weekend. I was helping kin mates (and a few total strangers) who needed and they were so appreciative and had a great time. I wound up taking Monday off … didn’t even want to be near my computer after that many book runs, but I didn’t regret it. I still don’t to be honest. We all pay for the game whether it’s money or time … it’s an investment into an adventurous escape and if we’re not enjoying it, why bother? Play the game, whatever game it is, the way YOU want. It makes me flat flaming furious when I see others demand and try to force a certain play-style on another. If fun for you is collecting all the Indigo and tater plants you find then knock yourself out. And don’t feel ashamed, not even one iota, because you’re not raiding. Or whatever. LotRO has so many different facets and levels of entertainment built into it, so diverse! There’s something for everyone. Go have your fun but remember to let others have their fun as well.