As many of you are probably thinking reading the title and seeing who the poster is: no, this is not a troll post, but a reflective and positive one.
I was just thinking about how this game has progressed or retrogressed over the years, and reflected on all the positive and negatives that came with the game, but why people play it, even through the worst times.
1.Community: I still to this day say LOTRO, out of the few MMOs I've played, has the best community in an MMO. Other than the forums strict enforcement of rules, some of the greatest rivalries and pvp (unfortunately) have happened on it. It truly exemplifies the interaction that made this game great when actually playing it, having that added spark to the actual pvp. Also, it helped us create bonds of friendship and respect by showing deference to those we appreciated in the Moors. Not just talking about the forums ofc, but throughout the years playing the game, and all the experiences you go through, you made some of the best of friends in game, and the worst of enemies, which made it fun in both regards. I've had relationships in this game flourish, I've had relationships in this game die, and I've had relationships in this game go from good to bad, or bad to good once I understood the people and talked to them. I got to admit: if it wasn't for LOTRO, I wouldn't have met some of the cool people I know today. As many great irl friends I have, there's just something about those from LOTRO that have held a special place in my e-heart. In conclusion, a lot of people stay in this game if their buddies are playing it, regardless of how bad it can be sometimes. Having those that understand the LOTR like you do and having that same interest provides that.
2. It's LOTR: This is probably the clearest example of why people play(ed). To be able to immerse yourself in a world you had an affinity with from the very first book or movie, and to know that you can virtually be apart of it has some sort of impact on why you continue to play the game.
3: Joining the MMO genre in its prime: Really, the only MMO in my mind that had the accolades and attraction that drew people to it was WoW (only played 20 minutes of it, thought it sucked after killing stupid boars). However, due to this, not many MMOs had that zest that got peoples' attention enough to invest a plethora of time and energy into a game, not for me anyway. LOTRO came out in 2007, when I believe the MMO scene was really starting to take off. I believe that due to its time of arrival, it has an effect of why people have a hard time leaving it and trying new games, as it was a MMO that truly captured your imagination and love for MMOs.
4: Was it your first MMO?: For me, this was my first ever actual MMO that I put any time into and truly played. For example, I had no idea at first what a "tank" was or what "dps was. Over time, I understood those concepts. It's essentially like losing your virginity (which I still have boo-yah, and no, it's not from having played this game all the time ), but you'll never forget it and it will always have a profound impact on you. It's hard to leave the first MMO you played that provided that sort of experience though.
5: Overall properly constructed game: This one probably has some controversy due to the current situation of RoR, as for most of its tenure, LOTRO has been a well-constructed game; there, I said it! Although I'm not a really big fan of the PvE in this game (it has its moments and gets you gear for pvp ofc), it has from what people have said been well done and gives them a fun experience. In going into that, the PvP for the most part was enjoyable in this game's tenure. I'll admit, I had some of the fun and fondest memories in a game from LOTRO PvP, whether it be from a raid battle, small group, 1v1s, or just goofing around in my dress. Overall, without the terrible mishap that is RoR, I look forward to how HD can (hopefully) steer LOTRO PvP back on the right track. There's some intriguing things/features that I've heard from HD involving PvP, and that might just rekindle my interest with LOTRO, along with the Hobbit coming out in a month, even if it isn't right at the start of the expac.
6: Eerrybody love the e-biddies: Yes, who doesn't love the good ol hot woman voice over mic that gets our little e-weiners all in a jiffy! I would use another term to describe them, but it wold most likely result in an infraction. There are some cases on Gladden in particular that have been prudent examples of this. Whether it be the promise of promiscuity, or just a plain old "howdy do", the men of LOTRO are easily fixated and desperate for such desires, and some biddies thoroughly enjoy the attention. Luckily, I haven't been able to be swayed by them, as I enjoy RL women too much. If you don't know what a biddy is being an old timer, use this source of knowledge:http://www.urbandictionary.com/
7. Convenience of an in-game mic: This sort of goes hand in hand with the e-biddies one and community indirectly, but I'm fairly sure LOTRO is the first to introduce the addition to being able to talk in-game via voice input without the reliance of outside sources like Ventrilo and Teamspeak. This innovation I think gave way to allowing such bonds to be formed much easier, knowing you were actually talking to another full-fledged, real live human being.
So, these are what I think are the main reasons why LOTRO is still being played by people. What are your thoughts on it? Feel free to troll me if you want, I won't troll back (for once). I thought I'd just make an informative and optimistic post for once .