Hobbies need to be fun, and have some objective. You can really break hobbies into two main classes:
1) Collecting with the objective of showing.
2) Making with the objective of showing. Making is the same as doing. So Fishing falls into this category to some extent.
Its also possible for a hobby to have the end result of selling, but then its more of a profession (Fisherman).
If The hobby is a making/doing type then their needs to be some level of skill and advancement system. This becomes tricky.
One of the best ideas I've seen posted was gardening. Because the skill is in the arrangement and they success is defined &&& other people coming to look.
Collecting is doable but tends to get destroyed by "How to guides". Although it can still be fun. But as a goal they should be designed so as to make how to guides very difficult to write. For example:
Cloud Watching. Lets say that LOTRO made 50 Cloud shapes. Now lets say they randomly appear in the sky anywhere in Middle Earth. Now lets also say that at any given time there are only 10 visible in the whole world and the moment someone clicks on one they disappear and a new one is spawned randomly somewhere else.
If you see one and click on it then you have collected the shape. Shapes could be dog, cat, dwarf, bow, horse etc.
maybe some are rarer that others.
The same engine works for Bird Watching and almost any other collecting hobby.
You could even have Coin Collecting. Every time you sell something to a vendor there is a chance to get a special coin in return.
The biggest problem for LOTRO is itemization.
Great ideas by the way.
“[I]It will never work, change always makes things worse, and Turbine doesn’t care about us anyway…[/I].” Eeyore
“[I]But maybe it will have honey or even something better[/I]!!” -- Pooh