Firstly I’d like to wish the LOTRO community a very happy 2012! With another new year, comes more new year resolutions, and I’ll share my LOTRO ones at the end of the post. This post is solely dedicated to looking back at the year that was, for my LOTRO experiences.
I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings Online in late September of 2009, back when Turbine were giving out free 14 day trials per account. Being a fan of the books and movies, I jumped right in. 2011 was the year when I finally put my foot down and seriously got into it, partly due to LOTRO going free to play. So here are my highs and lows in game of 2011.
Yeah, this one squeezed a wide grin out of me. Adhrean all young and looking defenseless in some hand-me-down rags. Level 4 too! This screenshot brings back the emotions of what lies ahead in the game. The entire Middle Earth awaits and I’m only just beginning my adventure. It felt epic. And it was.
A pretty significant moment in LOTRO for me, as I stepped out of the shadows of my former Kinship, Protectors of Middle Earth, to take up the responsibility to found a kinship of my own. At this point in time, my high school friends had already heed my call to join LOTRO, thus forming the foundations upon which Black Veil Mercenaries were built on. Yea, Good times. In the picture above, you see my 3rd alt, Captain Haffleheim Black, and Officer Kevarandr Black who are among the founders of the Kinship.
A couple of months later, the Mercenaries became an established Kinship on the Riddermark. Complete with a beautiful Kin House, wonderful members(no sarcasm intended. ok maybe just a little), and a strong hierarchy. Together, we administrated the Mercenaries to glory, bringing peace and joy to all in some parts of Middle Earth. My sincere thanks to my second in command, Pinchakko(a really bizarre name for an elf, you have no idea about LoTR’s lore don’t ya =p), my officers Kev, Aldref, Bella, Sierah, Runa, and Ielitar. LOTRO has been so much fun with you folks online. More of the same this year please!
This picture means a lot to me. Too often when we think of LOTRO, we think of the competitive aspects of the game. Raiding to be the first Kin to take down Draigoch, to acquire the end game armour sets before anyone else, to gain more Infamy/Glory than your buddies, or just to grind and level up faster than anybody else. The thing about my friends and I is that, sure we do enjoy those aspects too, but there’s just so much more to the game than that. Often a time in between quests, we find ourselves just taking a break to goof about, take screenshots, role-play, you name it, and we’ve done it all. It’s just so much more fun. I still wished I did this more often with some of my close friends who played LOTRO, because most of them have moved on to other things. But the memory through pictures remain. Try it you folks =)
Definitely one of the highlights of 2011. It may not seem LOTRO related but I assure you it is; I bought the graphic card specifically for LOTRO, so I could enjoy Middle Earth in all it’s glory. Post crappy graphics era, my game play was so much more enjoyable. I no longer had to play on low graphic settings, I was raiding with ease on ultra settings. The difference? Light years away I tell ya! The screenshot above was taken in Evendim with my Warden Dagenath Black.
Once a week, the Mercenaries would patrol the streets of Bree(part of our lore for RP). And some of the RP sessions we had there were great. By pure random luck, random players that happen to be in the area would also join in the fun, which is sort of rare for the Riddermark server, as it is not known for RP. But we try to do our part in keeping the torch alight in the hopes of RP becoming something of the norm over here. More great times, remembering them only makes me want to log in and create more random fun!
I will remember this one for a very long time. The servers were about to be brought down for the last time pre Rise of Isengard. It was the last time we would have all been level 65. The veterans of the server gathered at Nar’s peak in Enedwaith an hour before downtime. Anticipation for the new expansion was high. After all, it was dubbed as the best selling expansion to date based on pre-order statistics. I pre-ordered it too. I couldn’t wait to begin my journey into Dunland. So what did we do in that hour you ask? Well there was plenty of pictures taken, words/opinions/expectations exchanged, and finally when we were all bored, we decided to jump of the cliff. They say a picture tells a thousand words. Well, how about some videos?
Links to the Videos:
Simply a magic moment. Up to this point, I had slayed brigands with Strider, Smoked pipe-weed with Gandalf at the Poney, walked with Frodo in Rivendell and went squirrel hunting with Radagast. But I would never have thought that one day I’d be witnessing an auction war in the presence of Saruman, public enemy number one. This is among the high points of the Rise of Isengard, throwing pleasant surprises with it’s main story-line in our direction, which somewhat makes up for all the bugs and glitches post RoI. RoI in my opinion was worth it for the story.
Hands down, the LOTRO community is by far the best gaming community I’ve ever been part of, and I say that with a lot of pride. Scores of players across servers will give you the shirt off their virtual backs to help you the moment you ask for it. But there’s more to the community than just being kind and helpful. Enter A Casual Stroll To Mordor ; where a humble gaming family brings to the LOTRO community tons of news, guides, game-related roundtable discussions etc. Last year they hosted the Fellowship Walk for Child’s Play, a charity event to raise funds. They ended up smashing their goal and the Walk itself was a blast. The convoy started out from the Shire, and weekly we made our way to various checkpoints throughout Middle Earth, stopping at Bree, Weathertop, The Last Bridge, The Trolls, The Last Homely House and finally ending at the Walls of Moria. It has been a ton of fun and a huge shout out goes to Merric and Goldenstar for making it happen. Gratitude also goes out to Chris, Bill and Josh of the LOTRO Reporter for further enhancing the community outside the game with weekly podcasts. Not forgetting the players on the Landroval server, and in fact, players of all servers. Last but not least, thank you, the reader/player because somehow, someway, I’m pretty sure you have contributed regardless in making LOTRO’s community awesome. I hope in future, I can contribute something to the community on some scale, we’ll see what happens. =)Cheers.
Much of my gaming time was spent playing a DPS role with my Champion Adhrean. I love how I was able to burn through waves of mobs with ease, and get through difficult solo quests alone, where other classes might have struggled. I could even off tank when needed, doing an odd job or two in a fellowship gave me some pleasure. I was the handyman and I felt a tinge bit more superior than other players. When I reached my late level 40’s, I began to feel stretched out. Most of the champ’s skills were repetitive and dull. I considered trying another class, just to rejuvenate some excitement into my playing. Hence I made my captain Haffleheim. I did consider other choices too. I saw first hand how well the Rune Keeper could do on it’s own and in a group. My officer Ielitar demonstrated to me the insane damage a critical hit could cause, and how quickly he could change roles to heal when needed. I was sold, until I raided in a fellowship with an ace Warden player. In that hour, I saw the strengths and versatility of the class and I loved it. I loved the way the Warden looked too ; shield in one arm, spear in the other and a quiver of neatly lined, deadly looking javelins on the back. Totally badass. Moreover, I have never played a tanking role before, and I was tempted to give it a go. I knew the challenges, but faced them like a true Warden. Dagenath is now level 69 and I have honestly never felt so good about the class. It’s superb. Never mind that we wear medium armour, or have to remember gambits to be effective, when given a chance to shine, the Warden really shines through. For solo play, I faced no obstacles. I literally didn’t die in game to an npc, until a Filikul raid in Moria that went wrong. As for main-tanking, I still need a lot more practice before I get the best out of Dagenath, but I have been having so much fun that I’m pretty sure 2012 will be the year of the Warden for me. I would recommend the Warden class to players that are either looking for an alternative tanking class, or just want a reliable and strong class for solo play.
Well that sure is a lot of high points for 2011. As for the low points, I have thought about it long and hard but I really couldn’t come up with any personal lows from my LOTRO gaming time. Sure, there are the occasional disappointments such as the discovery of tons of bugs and glitches post RoI, or that one fine week where some gold spammers invaded the GLFF, but honestly those just can’t overshadow the highs. Kudos to Turbine for sucking me into LOTRO big time last year.
And finally to end this dramatically long post, my LOTRO New Year Resolutions for 2012!
– Hit level cap with both Dagenath and Haffleheim
– Be a constant/successful raider for end game content
– Spend more time role-playing
– Level up my alts in Landroval
– Keep this blog active for the benefit of past/present/future Malaysian players, or for players around the globe!
And that just about concludes this post, which took me a full day to compose but I definitely had fun writing it and I hope you’ll have fun reading it. And who knows, we may even have shared the same moments in-game together. Till the next post, cheers and happy hunting!