Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why LOTRO? Because It's Middle Earth!

It's finally the weekend. I can hardly wait until work is over tonight and I have a day free. DH and I will have a nice breakfast tomorrow and then settle down to a day of gaming for the final day of the 10th Anniversary Festival on LOTRO. It's been a ton of fun, but I'll be glad to return to a more normal level of mayhem. Of course the scavenger hunt cards will continue until mid-July, but those are a tough thing for my characters anyway. I have one who is high enough to do most of them, but the other two toons I run are mid-level and can't accomplish the task of finishing scavenger hunt cards yet. DH will probably shepherd them through when we have time to play in some of the more advanced areas of Middle Earth.

It's been a ton of fun celebration the 10th Anniversary of Lord of the
Rings On-line over the past week or so. My girls have all gotten their
assorted dragon kites and other goodies and have had fun running
around Middle Earth for the sake of fun instead of achieving quests. 

I started playing LOTRO a long time ago. It's the 10th Anniversary this year, but we were beta players before it was officially launched, so it's been longer than ten years of playing in this universe for us. I got involved in it because I wanted to see the landscape of Middle Earth, and it's the one thing about this game that has always amazed and never disappointed me. The concept was grand and broad, and the digital reality has more than lived up to my dreams and expectations.

DH and I started playing in the on-line universe with
Dungeons & Dragons Online more than fifteen
years ago. The same developers conceived of
LOTRO and developed that game. Since LOTRO
was released, we've been wandering Middle Earth
instead of DDO. 

The designers of Lord of the Rings Online started out in with the lands of Ered Luin and the Shire, branching out east to the Lone Lands (think Weathertop) and the Trollshaws (Rivendell is in the far corner here). The Misty Mountains adjoined the northern end of Rivendell, while north of other areas they developed Angmar which is NOT a nice place at all. Then came the expansions, starting with a huge one - Moria - still the largest area and expansion they ever released. By now they've brought us through Lothlorien to Isenguard, Rohan, and into the experience of the Battle of the Pelennor to stand at the Black Gates themselves. There are blighted lands of great danger and darkness, but also areas of incredible beauty.

The scope of this digital world is as large as the scope of the books. This
isn't a "hop to it" place, it's got serious depth and breadth and can take
weeks to actually traverse. Here are some of the Rangers of Ithilien in
the southern areas of Gondor. So pretty! 

This is the Middle Earth I fell in love with in 1968 when I first read Lord of the Rings. This is the beauty of the land that is reflected in Tolkien's words and in my own imagination. I have continued to play LOTRO for more than ten years because I love this land, the inhabitants and races, and the quests. I love the side quests as well as the Epic quests where players try to help Frodo and the Companions on their quest to destroy the Ring. On my computer monitor, aside from the Peter Jackson movies, Middle Earth still exists and I can be a part of it. That's why I play LOTRO, and why I'll continue to play - because I love Middle Earth.

We celebrate at the Party Tree in the Shire. Everyone on LOTRO can have
a musical instrument and there are many very talented players who put on
impromptu concerts at the various pubs or around stages throughout
middle earth. There are pub crawls, cross-country races, and other
non-storyline activities organized by the players themselves. LOTRO has
become a world unto itself, operating as a world-wide gathering
place for many to meet, socialize and chat. 

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back on Monday.

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