|Party time in Middle-earth|
During that time it's seen Turbine taken over by WB Games, a move from a subscription model to a free to play one, and the EU servers move from Codemasters back to Turbine. Despite all those ups and downs it remains one of the very best old-school MMOs on the market as I detailed in my recent blog post.
Against the odds Turbine have succeeded and the servers seem busier than ever, even in the lowbie zones. They have managed to create an excellent game that feels like a real living world (something most modern MMOs fail to do) and have done so without breaking the integrity of Tolkien's lore.
I first played the game in beta, and was immediately struck by how "right" it felt. It may have helped that my character was a Hobbit, but I was amazed at the interpretation of The Shire in the game. It felt and looked just like I had imagined.
Since then there have been plenty of great memories. The social ones really stand out, like performing in a band, taking part in a community horse race, and attending many roleplay sessions in various taverns across Eriador. The game itself delivered plenty of memorable experiences too. The first time I journeyed through Moria was stunning, and I still think it's the best virtual dungeon I've ever seen.
I'm certainly still really enjoying my time in the game (just joined a great kinship) and I'm looking forward to the next six years. Who knows by then we might even have reached Mordor!
If you're looking for a fun old-school MMO with a thriving community, loads of content and some unique systems and social tools you should try LotRO.