Once upon a time, the people at Turbine Inc. thought they’d create an epic MMORPG based on J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-earth writings. Their dream finally became a reality when they finally released The Lord of The Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar in April 2007. At first, the game was pay to play, but soon they had to change to the free to play business model. Since then the game has had many big updates, expansions, and has even won many awards. The people at Turbine Inc. have cited that it’s all thanks to their free to play business model.
There are 2 different versions of game client available. The low graphics version, which is about 7GB in size and the high graphics version which is over 10GB. The high graphics version doesn’t only require more hard drive space but also a better computer. The game installation can take up a long time so you might want to keep a book nearby for the installation.
If you’ve ever played World of Warcraft or any other famous MMORPG, the controls will feel very intuitive. Like most great MMO’s, LOTRO has taken what’s good in other RPG’s and improved the things that are not that great.
Like most MMORPG’s that have been released in the last 10 years, LOTRO is very quest-driven. You might even say that grinding in a hard-core way as many gamers prefer is discouraged, the evidence of that can be seen in the ridiculous amounts of experience you gain while killing monsters.
Players can form parties which are called “fellowships” and guilds which are called “kinships”. However most players don’t really play in fellowships before they reach high level instances that they just can’t beat alone.
LOTRO has some shortcomings though- one of them would be the lack of massive player versus player battles. That’s due to every character in this game being on the same side. There is no WoW like alliance vs. horde rivalry.
There are 4 playable races in LOTRO– Man, Elf, Dwarf and Hobbit. Races aren’t genderlocked with the exception of dwarves, which you can only play as male characters. Choosing a race determines which classes you can play.
There are 7 different classes that can be played in LOTRO: Guardian, Captain, Lore-master, Minstrel, Burglar, Champion and Hunter. There 2 additional classes available in the Mines of Moria expansion: Rune-keeper and Warden
|Guardian||All||Guardian is the tank class in LOTRO, wielding heavy armor and heavy shields, they’re one of the classes that’s welcome in any party. Any race can become a guardian.|
|Captain||Man||Captain is the only race-locked class. The only race who can become captain’s is Man. Captains wear a heavy armor- their main role in parties is to bull and heal allies.|
|Lore-master||Man Elf||Lore-Master is the mage class in LOTRO. Wielding light armor and staves, their main role in combat is debuffing and crowd control.|
|Minstrel||All||Minstrels is one of the support classes in LOTRO. They use light armor, one handed weapons and light shields. Their main role in combat is buffing and healing.|
|Burglar||Man Hobbit||Burglar is the rogue class in LOTRO. They use sneaky attacks to crowd control the enemies and many burglar attacks have debuff properties.|
|Champion||Man Elf Dwarf||Champions is one of the warrior classes in the game. They use heavy armor and can opt. for either two 1 handed weapons or one 2handed heavy weapon. Their main role is dealing Area of Effect and melee Damage.|
|Hunter||All||Hunters use ranged attacks to fight their enemies. They use medium armor and ranged weapons. Their main role in parties is to deal ranged dps and to utilize everyone else.|
|Rune-keeper||Elf Dwarf||Runekeeper is one of the 2 additional expansion classes. They use light armors and deal damage using rune stones. Their main role in parties is dealing DPS and healing allies.|
|Warden||Man Elf Hobbit||Warden is the other additional expansion class in the game. Wardens use medium armor and warden shields. Their main role in parties is tanking.|
Lord of the Rings online offers a very story-driven experience full of excitement and adventure. Turbine offers 2 game clients with different system requirements so that pretty much anyone can enjoy the game. The game feels very natural and everyone who’s a fan of the Middle-Earth writings should definitely give the game a try.