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moosegrinder
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I reinstalled (I have a lifetime sub for buying the CE at launch, which is by the by at this point of course) and walked from The Shire to The Lone Lands. I really like the idea of fulfilling proper nerdy fantasies with the game :)

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How does the free to play thing work on this, then? What does/doesn't it give access to? Do I have to make a brand new account to use it or can I use my old one?

I'm a bit strapped for cash atm so have cancelled all my other MMO subscriptions but still want to play something and I've always wanted to get into this (usually to be put off by the floaty graphics), so now that it is free to play, I'll give it another crack.

I want to play a Champion, a Guardian, a Captain or a Minstrel I think. One of them.

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The free thing is frustrating. If you're just wanting to wander around and see the (admittedly stunning) locations and immerse yourself in a lovely rendition of Tolkien, then it's fine. If you're wanting to play the game, it's utter baw bags. Constant nagging and just enough gimping means you'll either want to treat it as a demo and go ahead and sign up for the sub, or knock it on the head.

To be honest, if I had the time, I'd just subscribe.

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I got it all working after many errors, and I've been playing a mix of guardian, minstrel and captain. Now, I was playing LOTRO during early access and tHe reason I never made it past that was due to the fact I felt the game was too floaty - combat lacked oomph and didnt feel like it was actually connecting or fun and everyone ran like they were ice skating. Playing it again yesterday, they've fixed the ice skating thing, but melee combat still feels off. I press a button and more often than not I have to actually look at the icon to see if it's on cooldown to know I've actually used it. It doesn't feel like I'm actually hitting anything during combat and it all feels disconnected and slow. It's a little better with my Minstrel so I'll stick with her for now.

Also, my graphics are stuttering when I run forward. It's not a performance thing - my computer is well above the recommended specs and I can run the game with everything on ultra no problems, but something isn't quite right. I'll run forward and the landscape seems to kind of judder. Also, the pop up is horrendous! And whilst the landscapes themselves are gorgeous, the character models are shit, poorly animated and lack customisation.

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I press a button and more often than not I have to actually look at the icon to see if it's on cooldown to know I've actually used it. It doesn't feel like I'm actually hitting anything during combat and it all feels disconnected and slow. It's a little better with my Minstrel so I'll stick with her for now.

This is a problem I have in something like Rift, certainly less so in LOTRO, though i've no doubt its something like AOC does very well. Guardians and captains ARE the the most floaty feeling melee classes too, a champion or a burglar will give you much more oomph in your combat, and the warden is just brutal. Minstrels I feel even more detatched from when just playing alone and doing dps, ballads have no weight to them. Perhaps you might prefer the loremaster, which is a mix of tactical and melee combat, though the melee side doesn't pick up til the later levels.

Also I mentioned this before to someone but it didn't seem to make any noticeable difference to them, but worth a try... There are 2 options under 'combat options' at the very bottom called 'play optional combat animations' and 'allow combat animation blending', having these both on may smooth it out somewhat.

There's always been a few areas in LOTRO where performance hasn't seemed great... Bree and 21st Hall the ones that spring to mind, but never had anything as drastic as you describe.

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Thanks lilman. Despite my comments I am kind of enjoying it, but I find I'm not getting stuck into it as I did with Rift, AoC or WoW. It's nice to just log on an potter about the Shire, though. I delivered a load of mail and got a title 'of the quick post', killed some spiders and got 'Spider Slayer' and a couple of others. I love all the customisation in game, even if the character creation is severely lacking. Being able to do little back stories, have a family tree, have cosmetic outfits etc is all wonderful.

The juddery graphics are pissing me off though. As I run forward, the landscape around me will sometimes jut forward. It doesn't slow or anything, it just kind of jumps in a slight but noticeable way.

I made a Warden. I started in bloody Archet again and I had some weird combo bar thing in the middle of the screen that I couldn't move. Can you move stuff?

It was me you mentioned that combat smoothing stuff to before when I tried playing it again last year. I clicked then again but I'm buffered if I can see any difference in it!

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Thanks lilman. Despite my comments I am kind of enjoying it, but I find I'm not getting stuck into it as I did with Rift, AoC or WoW. It's nice to just log on an potter about the Shire, though. I delivered a load of mail and got a title 'of the quick post', killed some spiders and got 'Spider Slayer' and a couple of others. I love all the customisation in game, even if the character creation is severely lacking. Being able to do little back stories, have a family tree, have cosmetic outfits etc is all wonderful.

The juddery graphics are pissing me off though. As I run forward, the landscape around me will sometimes jut forward. It doesn't slow or anything, it just kind of jumps in a slight but noticeable way.

I made a Warden. I started in bloody Archet again and I had some weird combo bar thing in the middle of the screen that I couldn't move. Can you move stuff?

It was me you mentioned that combat smoothing stuff to before when I tried playing it again last year. I clicked then again but I'm buffered if I can see any difference in it!

Haha, then don't try it again, it's obviously not as noticeable as I thought :)

Control + # unlocks the UI.

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Hey again!

Enjoying my hobbit warden - currently level 15 and a honorary shiriff of the shire thanks to my diligence! I'm about to start the Brokenborings quests - I imagine I'm pretty much done with the shire then? I've done every quest I've found thus far (apart from the pie ones). Also, where do I get a mount from? And where do I go after the shire?

I found an epic shield on a goblin I killed, but other than that my gear is basically the same as it's been since the prologue - when do I start getting gear from quests? At the moment I'm mostly getting food! Bloody fat hobbits! I've been given a quest by my trainer to go talk to some guy and he will give me an even better epic shield by the looks of it, which will be ace!

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I'd say it's time to head to Bree, and to the Inn of the Prancing Pony :)

There will be a fair few quests to get stuck into in Bree, and you can start flirting with the Lone Lands (east of Bree-land) at 16/17 and the North Downs (north of Bree-land) at 18/19. Those 2 areas will cover you til you're 30, at which point you can move in to (the recently revamped) Evendim.

Regarding the horse... there is an area in northen Bree-land, where you will be able to speak to the riding trainers and horse-baterters. This has also recently been changed so i'm not 100% how it works now, but i'm sure you can get a mount, but maybe a slower one, at your level.

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I've recently returned to this and highly recommend the skirmishes. Its the perfect pick up and play option if you only have 30mins or so spare and want to make some progress. They also seem to be a quick alternate leveling method if you need a change from questing (especially with some rest xp). I'd recommend starting them as soon as you get to level 20 I think it is. The equipment you can purchases with the skirmish currency also seems pretty good and should see you through any levels where you are struggling for equipment.

I'm hoping to keep going with this because as someone who played beta and bought the lifetime subscription from the off, burn out and a terrible case of altitis means I have never taken a character to the level cap.

I've recently taken a couple of characters through the new Evendim and I'd say 30 is just about right although some of the mobs will be +2/3 levels on you. As a Warden it shouldn't be a problem. Maybe hitting Oathbarton at 30 and then Dwaling means by the time you reach the Colossus you should be 32ish.

I'm pretty sure as a Hobbit there should be a quest that links you up with Adso's camp and the Old Forest when you are finished in the Shire.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I first tried out LOTRO a year or two ago while it was subscription-only, and thought it was pretty good but difficult to shift in to from WOW. There were various reasons for this... the graphical style is lovely in the 3D environment, but (in my opinion) the icons and inventory graphics are a garbled mess.. the terminology is a bit confusing to begin with, sometimes seemingly complicated just because it can be.

Once it went F2P I logged in to check my character was all OK, and sort of left it there. However, I recently decided to let my WOW subscription lapse due to a new baby arrival, as I don't like the feeling that I _should_ be something I'm subscribed to when I want to play other games, or just don't have the time. So I thought I'd get back to LOTRO. Bloody glad I did....

The F2P model they've got with both LOTRO and DDO is really quite good. As someone who doesn't want to have a monthly subscription, but who doesn't mind spending a bit of cash occasionally to buy (yes buy, not rent) more content or features, you can do so. As a Premium user of LOTRO, I actually feel that I'm getting good value for money, and in a system where I'm not penalised for not playing regularly. I actually feel like I'm paying to buy parts of a game as I work my way through it, or expand my character or skills to the point where I'll use the features. For me, this is really the best way of playing an MMO.

I left my character around lvl 19 as he got to Bree. I've picked him up and am now up around 27. I've done a few skirmishes, a public dungeon, and a few of the Barrow Downs dungeons with some Kin friends. I've got my mount, and started to better understand the skill rotations and builds for my Rune Keeper.

Overall, the quality of the content, the dungeons, and the idea of skirmishes, is all really really good. As someone who appreciates, but isn't a megafan of the Tolkien stories, it's really nice to walk through the main quest line, and to see the places and relate to the characters involved.

The bits I'm still struggling with a little bit are crafting and the traits/deeds/detailed build stuff, but I'm sure that'll come with time. I've not seen huge benefits to investing much time in crafting as I seem to get good stuff from drops, so don't need too much money and can't craft better stuff myself.

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  • 4 months later...

Anyone else excited for the new expansion next week?

Extremely :)

I've only really read up on the class updates but there's enough there to make me look forward to the update. Captains inparticular have been given a whole lot of love again, can't wait to mess around with the trait changes.

Does this mean we'll see you online Diggler?

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It's not disappointed :)

The new areas are some of the best yet, on par with some of the earlier design found in Breeland and Angmar. The quests and epic story have a nice flow to them, encouraging a certain route to progress but not punishing those who prefer to wander and find there own way. Most classes seem very happy with adjustments to their skills (though I hear hunters are having a hard time, sorry Diggler). I've only played my captain and loremaster so far, the captain has had a great overhaul and feels quite exciting again, the loremaster changes are more about skill consolidation and a few refinements which is all it needed in my opinion.

I've reached 72 and have a feeling I might get a peak at Orthanc tonight, which hopefully will be up there with seeing the likes of Wethertop, Carn Dum, the 2nd Hall, Lothlorien and Dol Guldur for the first time.

Just when I think i'm done with LOTRO, they go and do their best update since, well, ever.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved this when it was subscription based and now that I'm looking for something not subsciption based... I notice it's F2P!

Unfortunately the client downloader doesn't work for me, I need to find a full client download somewhere or patch up from the origional DVD release. :hmm:

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  • 3 months later...

Opened a new account on this last night, and I was really enjoying the game.

What I don't like, so far, is the in-game online store. It's all a bit overwhelming and bewildering, there's just so much stuff one can purchase for real money, and I haven't got a clue what's essential or not.

Does anyone still play?

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Does anyone still play?

Heh, it's that dead, then.

I've been playing for around 10 hours now, and I'm really starting to feel the draw of the game. I've begun those unhealthy routines of meta-gaming where I'm going online to check for weapon stats, boss HP and stuff like that whenever I'm not playing the game.

I rather like it, to be honest, but it's not as slick or polished as WoW.

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Does anyone still play?

I actually went back to it yesterday after a break of a few months. I've been playing Kingdoms of Amalur since Friday and running around the fields of western Dalentarth doing MMOish stuff made me yearn for Middle-earth. I actually started up a new character (a burglar, even though my main is a high level burg) just so I could replay all the cool early game stuff.

What server are you on?

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I've just got to the Lone Lands with my new character. I've always loved this area, bleak and desolate but still beautiful and every Tolkien fan gets a little thrill seeing (and climbing) Weathertop.

What class did you pick Cokezero?

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  • 5 months later...

The free thing is frustrating. If you're just wanting to wander around and see the (admittedly stunning) locations and immerse yourself in a lovely rendition of Tolkien, then it's fine. If you're wanting to play the game, it's utter baw bags. Constant nagging and just enough gimping means you'll either want to treat it as a demo and go ahead and sign up for the sub, or knock it on the head.

To be honest, if I had the time, I'd just subscribe.

Installed this over the weekend after watching the first film and pining for some LOTR action, and I'm delighted to announce they've really found a good balance on the pay stuff now. It's not in your face at all, and I'm enjoying it enough to consider putting some money in.

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  • 2 months later...

I realise i'm possibly the only person here still subscribed to LOTRO, but what the hell... impressions from Rohan!

Firstly there's a nice few changes which seem inspired by other games, mainly GW2. Mobs in the new zones are shared, meaning you can help out a stranger and still get credit for kills, and there's no more fighting over spawns. Looting is now automatic, I know a few people that actually liked clicking on corpses to add stuff to their backpacks, but not me, so this is a welcome change. Some quests are handed out upon reaching areas, usually after a main quest has sent you there, it's not quite GW2 fluid but it works really well and does away with a lot of the toing and froing found in early LOTRO zones.

Mounted combat... superb :) It feels really odd at first seeing as war-steeds handle a lot different to regular mounts, and feel a bit sluggish until they are upgraded a bit. The war-steeds have momentum, so you don't need to hold the w key to keep moving, you set a speed, but once the horse is moving you make small adjustments using the directional keys. Terribly described, sorry. Let me try again, holding w for a few seconds will get your mount up to a sprint (and a differing top-speed depending on where you've upgraded it), you can then let go and the horse will keep on going, tapping s will slow the horse 1 level, for example, from 15 mps, to 13 mps, and another tap will take it from 13 to 11. Rough figures but you get the idea. It sounds fiddly but in practice it works really well, being able to slow your speed to a walk for navigating towns and villages is easy, and finding the right speed during battles out in the vast plains of Rohan becomes second nature really quick.

Each class has a unique set of horseback skills, my LM for example has a ranged embers attack and a staff strike for up close, as well as a few debuffs and healing skills for both you and your mount. Hunters are full on damage, and just fire off bow skills from horseback, of all the classes i've seen riding around, hunters look the coolest. There are 3 different horse types, light, medium and heavy, which offer different stats for speed, agility, endurance and armour, and these can be further customised with skill trees. This is the part that has most impressed me, there is loads of customisation and you can really tailor your horse to a specific style. I'm currently using a light horse with lots of boosts to evasion, agility and healing, perfect for when i'm out doing war-bands with friends. You can have multiple war-steed configurations, meaning you can switch from light healy horse to armoured heavy horse whenever you like.

Rohan is huuuuuge, pretty and really well designed, locations and landmarks fit nicely into the landscape and there's a real sense of scale, something that has been missing in the last few updates. Quests are interesting, and the book continues nicely with some great session plays involving the Fellowship. If you don't mind reading a bit of text, LOTRO quests are really interesting and there's some great stories being told in the latest update.

I've only played the Loremaster so far, so I can't speak much about class changes except my own. I have a nice new heal which has added a bit more to the appealing Loremaster off-healing spec, and overall the combat seems a bit more fluid with less delay between animations.

It reminds me a lot of early LOTRO, and to me that's something special. The wonder of exploring is back, the storytelling is slicker, the areas are less 'theme-parky' and everything flows naturally from one area to the next. Mounted combat adds a nice new gameplay mechanic and it's really well implemented and not at all gimmicky as i'd feared when they announced it. Overall i'm hugely impressed and the four guys I normally play with feel the same, we're really looking forward to the new instance cluster to be released soon.

Oh, and a few pics!

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Argonath!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I just started playing this for the first time, and it dumps me in a dungeon with Aragorn telling me to hurry up, the game tells me to search a satchel which is apparently near "my rescuer" (Aragorn presumably) But there is no satchel in sight and I can't see one anywhere in the 3 small rooms I can get to- help!

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