An Unnatural Gamer

Posted on behalf of the author, Pander Bear.

I am not a natural gamer. This is a fact that was brought home to me within days of starting to play Lord of the Rings Online. "What MMOs have you played before?" was the question everyone kept asking, a question to which I had no answer. I didn't even understand the question! LOTRO is not only the first MMO I have ever played, it’s also the first computer game of any description that I have ever even looked at.

So, what attracted me to LOTRO? Perhaps more importantly: why am I still playing two years after it was first released?

Over the years, I've read and re-read the books again and again.Well, what attracted me to the game is easy to answer. My dad used to read "The Lord of the Rings" to me as a bedtime story. It's one of my earliest memories, and I always felt that I got a proper story when he got out one of the three red, hardcover books with their dust jackets showing the big fiery eye on the front. Over the years, I've read and re-read the books again and again. That's the reason why LOTRO attracted me when, years later, my husband (a gamer of many years standing) suggested that I might be interested.

Within weeks of starting the game I had followed in the Fellowship's footsteps and stood looking out over Weathertop. The view was spectacular. I was convinced that no new content could ever beat that view, or that sense of windswept isolation that it so perfectly encapsulated. But with every new update - and there have been 9 free updates so far - the content gets better and better. The scenery is still fantastic and regularly takes my breath away. With the introduction of the first (but soon to be a second, and eagerly awaited) priced update, The Mines of Moria, I found myself contemplating the drop from the Bridge of Kazad-Dum. "What the hell," I thought, "I've died in far less spectacular places".... and I jumped.

But however great the content and however pretty the scenery, what really keeps me in LOTRO is the community.But however great the content and however pretty the scenery, what really keeps me in LOTRO is the community. The EU kinship on Evernight is thriving – in fact, it’s never been in better shape. The kin planner is full with book nights, quest nights, hard mode instances, Filikul and Dar Narbugud raids. The only boss that has managed to elude us so far is the Watcher - and he'd better watch out! We have our sights firmly set on him before the expansion is introduced in December, bringing with it new challenges.

And this local community, of course, is firmly underpinned by the wider TOG community. Unlike other kinships that come and go, with TOG behind us, The Order of Gilthoniel isn't going to just disappear overnight. If LOTRO lost you somewhere along the way, now might be a good time to come back for a look, and if you've never been to Middle Earth before, come on in - the water's usually green and poisonous.... but it's never dull!

8 Comments so far | Post a comment

CARNALDESTRUCT | 05:37 am - 5 January 2010

Great story Pander

This brought back memories from the time I just started my first mmo. I’m also the kind of reader who reads and re-reads the books that I love, and lord of the rings is one of my absolute favorites too !
Thanks for sharing, we should have more articles like this one =)

salvationjane777 | 07:02 am - 18 January 2010

excellent write up - there’s no doubt about it - if you want to enjoy gaming to it’s full - you have to be with the people that make it fun :)

Spot on, especially about the great kin, so much more like friends rather than just fellow players.

I like it when a game-book tie in works - have to say that I gave LOTRO a try but it didn’t do it for me, maybe I should try again.  Also on this ‘bigger story’ theme, I’m looking forward to Star trek online - fingers crossed they’ll do a good job…

After trying many fantasy MMO’s I’ve come back to LotRO because of the story, the visuals and the community.

I can relate to your nicely worded story.  I was never an MMO player.  I did all the FPS stuff like doom, Quake & Unreal.  I picked up Age of Conan and one day in a dungeon a TOG player helped me defeat a boss & later that same person sent me a gold piece for my first horse.  I didn’t join right away but when I decided on a guild TOG was my pick.  Good group of people!  Yes, the content and game play today is light years ahead of when I started.  I played my first “computer game” on a Tektronix computer loaded via TK25 tape cassete aboard a nuclear submarine.  It was two cannons & each player had to set angle & distance & then fire to try & blow up their opponent.  It’s come a loooooooooonng way.  :) I like Lord of the Rings in book & movie form.  I’m not sure I have time for more than one MMO (or that my wife would allow it) with work and all but the time I spend in AOC is fun and relaxing.  See ya out there TOG!

Great read, and a similar tale to my own . Do you still happen to have those red, hardcover books with their dust jackets showing the big fiery eye on the front, that your dad used to read to you from?

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