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  1. #1

    Is game appropriate for 10 year old?

    Hi,

    I'm a father of 10 year old boy, who is (as his father) a great fan of J.R.R Tolkien works.
    Since it his birthday soon I thought maybe I could buy him a lot of trubine points as a gift, but since he never played your game, and I'm trying to be so called "responsible" parent I would like to know is this game appropriate for 10 years old. And by appropriate I'm talking about violence, nudity, and general... let's say "friendliness" of fellow players. Also I would like to know whether the game retains the magical atmosphere of the book? Last think I want is to ruin his own vision of Tolkien's world.

    What are your opinions?

    Best Wishes
    William



    Old fan of Tolkien, and elektrozawory fanatic
    Last edited by BillyCrow; Jun 27 2014 at 08:39 AM.

  2. #2
    I wouldn´t recommend it for a ten year old.

    For me drug abuse (pipe weed an alcohol) and nudity are not an issue but violence can be. Of course it depends from child to child but some Orcs or other creatures could frighten a child.

    The main Problem is the chatting, which can´t really be controlled and may be too much.

    And of course: who can tell if his Tolkien world vision would be destroyed? You are the only one who might know what his vision is.

    At least when you decide to let him play you should be there too. Maybe you start playing an let him observe?

  3. #3
    T rating is 13+
    (and Pegi 12 in Europe)

  4. #4
    Would be no problem unless your son is a ##### who is scared of some orcs. And they are not that scary.

  5. #5
    If you are ok with violence, (not fast paced, bloody, stuff like that), and pipe weed (basically Middle Earth equivalent of cigars)/beer, you should be good on the game side. There is no nudity and other groutesque things that would be very bad for a child.

    However, the chats things could be a problem because there are always a few bad apples, even though the community for the most part is very good in game. You can always turn off chat by right clicking on the tab in the chat window, and turning off all of the chat filters so your kid can not see chat. Then mark yourself as anonymous in the fellowship tab to reduce the number of tells (if any) your kid gets.

    As to if it is a good game, yes it is and it tries to fit in with the lore as much as possible. I would suggest giving it a go.
    Withywindle characters-Caesaran (warden), Dernudan (Lore master)
    Brandywine characters- Dernudan (champion), Denthur (guardian), Delphinianic(captain)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bagluk View Post
    Would be no problem unless your son is a ##### who is scared of some orcs. And they are not that scary.
    There are always a few bad apples
    Withywindle characters-Caesaran (warden), Dernudan (Lore master)
    Brandywine characters- Dernudan (champion), Denthur (guardian), Delphinianic(captain)

  7. #7
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    We have a twelve year old who plays in our kin, but he's quite mature for his age. There is no nudity in the game, and smoking/drinking aren't things you see that often. Violence is probably going to be the main issue here, but I wouldn't say it was graphic at all. The animations are quite conservative, but I think that's intended to keep the age rating low. The other thing that may be a problem is the language in the chat channels, some servers have this worse than others in my experience. However you can disable certain chat channels, and there is a profanity filter also for curse words. If your son loves to read and enjoys Tolkien then the story aspect in this game is superb.

    I'd suggest, if you don't do so already, to make an account and play the game a bit for yourself to see what you think. Perhaps try a few different servers to see how the other players vary.

    edit: As you are both Tolkien fan's, you could perhaps play the game with him? You could group together for quests and so on.
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  8. #8
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    Being an old fart, I would say that your son would better spend his time being a kid and not sitting front of a computer screen except for educational purposes. That being said, I know of at least one 7 year old that plays, but, with strict supervision of a parent (s) plus their play time is limited to perhaps an hour or two a week. Turn off the objectionable channels and, if you belong to a liberal kinship that tolerates profanity for example, let them know that its use is not acceptable in front of a 10 year old. They may (sadly) have to be subjected to profanity in real life, but there is no reason for it to be tolerated in a game as well. Good luck

    Edited to also point out that there are many documented cases of parents using tv/gaming as babysitters these days, and I also know of a couple of cases where a parent has admitted to allowing their children to play games as a way of justifying their own need. I am not suggesting or implying that this is the case here because at least you had the good sense to ask.
    Last edited by Octaviane; Jun 16 2014 at 12:27 PM.

  9. #9
    You should try it yourself for a bit and see if you would enjoy playing together. Do you play mmos yourself? In my experience, if you play a game yourself, it's going to be twice more fun to play that same game with a kid, and the kid will enjoy it too. You don't have to do it at the same time, you can have your character, your kid can have his character, and play when you can. You'd at least be part of the same game, same communities, have a topic for conversations. It can be a nice experience for both of you.

    Personally, I wouldn't want a kid to be in some community that I know nothing about and that I'm not part of in any way. After all, an mmo like Lotro is mostly about community and spending time with other people, that's what sets mmos apart from simple single player games. I would want to supervise or preferably be part of that community myself in some way, at least play the game occasionally.

    Now, comparing it to Tolkien. Well, it was certainly very different from my vision of Tolkien's world. Creatures popping up everywhere, towns a few minutes ride away from each other, not to mention various weird quests like chasing chickens in a maze or playing chicken hockey. My vision of Tolkien's world would be lots and lots of wilderness, huge distances, occasional adventures. I wouldn't expect to go to a farm in the Shire and see 10 wolves just walking around in the fields. But it wouldn't be realistic to expect my vision of Middle Earth in a game, people would get bored. People expect much more action from a game if they are going to play it regularly, and so you have an orc or a warg or some other creature behind every other tree.

    It's a game based on books, it has its flaws, but it's a fine game. You shouldn't expect it to be quite like Tolkien's world. Still, it's a fine game and you can find characters and places from the books in the game world, which can be fun.

    Is it suitable for a kid? Well, I suppose there's all the killing of orcs and bandits and such. But 10 year olds have seen all that on TV a million times already.
    My only concern would be chat and people he talks to. You should check it occasionally, see if your boy is in a friendly kinship (in-game community). As every online game, Lotro has a lot of very different people. Some people can be rude, some can be explicit or just plain immature. Still, this game has mostly very mature family friendly community compared to other online games that I've tried. You will meet a lot of families playing together. My main character is in a kinship that's led by a woman in her late 50s whose daughter and grandchildren also play Lotro. That kinship is awesome, mature, friendly and I would have no reason to worry about a child chatting with them. And there are plenty of other great communities like that. But there are also some immature people, so you may want to supervise his chat windows time to time.
    Last edited by Geldeger; Jun 16 2014 at 12:39 PM.

  10. #10
    If you would like to allow your kid to join a kin and get the second m in the mmorpg world at this age, thee are many child friendly kins out there like Geldeger said. You could always ask her for a kinship suggestion if you want to do that, but I would not suggest finding a kin in game with a ten year old because there are also the more loose kins.
    Withywindle characters-Caesaran (warden), Dernudan (Lore master)
    Brandywine characters- Dernudan (champion), Denthur (guardian), Delphinianic(captain)

  11. #11
    Lotro like most MMORPGs have an addictive element.
    You need to me very careful that he does not get too hooked and spend all his free time on it.
    Personally I would play the game with him for a few weeks and see how it goes

    M

  12. #12
    As others have said, I think the greatest potential issue is chat channels. Apart from that, I think others with more experience with children should answer that part of the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCrow View Post
    Also I would like to know whether the game retains the magical atmosphere of the book? Last think I want is to ruin his own vision of Tolkien's world.
    For me, the game has a very nice way of letting us experience Tolkien's Middle-Earth whithout messing up the original story too much. There is more magic in Turbine's version of Middle-Earth (Rune-Keepers, anyone?) and a lot more female heroes and adventuring Hobbits than the books would suggest, but I can live with that. Some liberties of this nature have to be taken to make an enjoyable game.

    What you should not expect is for your character (and your son's) to travel with the Fellowship of the Ring. We do meet Gandalf, Legolas, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, the sons of Elrond and many other characters from Tolkien's writing, but mostly those meetings serve to remind of the greater purpose of our endeavours and to hand us another bundle of quests. Much of the time you will help the Free Peoples with other problems, though. There is lots of NPCs who never were mentioned in the books and they have you do all kinds of things from herding a stray swine in the Shire to rescuing an Elvish scout from the depths of Goblin Town. Sometimes your path will take you quite far away from the path of the Fellowship, but you will always find opportunities to protect and support the Free Peoples.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCrow View Post
    Since it his birthday soon I thought maybe I could buy him a lot of trubine points as a gift
    A batch of Turbine Points is a nice gift, but I think it is a bit... impersonal? One thing you could consider as a gift for somebody who's just starting out is the Samwise Gamgee Starter Pack http://store.lotro.com/en/special-of...erpack-bundle/ which would save your son a lot of hassle in the early stages of the game. Among other things, it includes a horse/pony and the ability to ride it for any character your son may ever create. (Note that the link I provided requires you to log into your son's account while making the purchase.)
    German, female, migrated from CodeMasters in 2011, Premium member, slow-leveller, pure PvEer and opposed to Forced Emotes - wherever I fit into the statistic, it's not in its middle.

  13. #13
    I'd agree that the main problem is going to be the chat channels, but they can all be turned off. I don't usually see much that's too inappropriate in the regional chat channels, but when the new world channel comes online with Update 14, you'll probably want to turn that off. LOTRO does have a built-in profanity filter (it can be turned on and off in the options), but it won't catch everything. Kin-wise, there are family-friendly kins out there - I'm in a kin with a family-friendly policy, in fact - although there have been rare occasions where someone forgot the rules. If you do want your son to play with other people, I think being in a family-friendly kin is probably a good idea.

    As for the violence - there is violence in the game, but it is not really gory or gross. I have a younger sister (7) who does not play LOTRO, but sees other family members playing it fairly often, so she's seen battles with brigands, wights, orcs, bears, etc. It's never bothered her. She also understands that there's a reason behind it - e.g., we're killing orcs to protect the people in the town, or killing bears for meat or hides - not just for the sake of killing. (That's the other aspect of violence that my parents find problematic, but in this game it's fairly tame.)

    Nudity-wise, LOTRO is very tame. Characters wear a sort of undergarment by default, so being completely naked is not possible. Most outfits are very covering; dresses might reveal a little cleavage but I don't think it's at all problematic.

    About the world itself, in my opinion it is beautiful. Half of what keeps me playing this game is the fact that it's Middle Earth. Since LOTRO is free-to-play, I'd definitely recommend trying it out. You'll be able to explore the Shire, Ered Luin and Bree-land pretty early on when you start playing. (You do have to finish the intro quests before you can explore wherever you want, but it doesn't take long to do that.) Just as a general hint, there is inexpensive swift-travel between Michel Delving in the Shire, Bree in Bree-land, and Thorin's Gate and Celondim in Ered Luin, so it's easy to get between those three areas if you can get to one of those hubs. (To travel, find a stable-master, who'll have a horse symbol above his head, and right click him to see where you can travel to.) If you quest in those areas, you should get a general feel for the game. (Although the Shire's quests are a little different than some areas of the game - there is more delivering of pies and retrieving lost pipe-weed, and less killing of orcs.) Later on, in the higher level areas, I found the Rohan area to be a bit more somber.

  14. #14
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    In regards to the chat channels, keep in mind that it's very easy to reactivate them. My lil bro was reinstalling games that he wasn't allowed to play before he could even read (~4-5 yrs). If your son is savvy enough with computers to find his way around, then turning off chat channels may make no difference in the long run.

    Personally, I love this game and would recommend it to just about anyone. That said, no I don't think it's appropriate for any child. MMOs in general, really. They say T+ for a reason, and often due to the multiplayer aspect more than the actual content of the game. And while I understand the reasoning behind asking kinmates to watch their language (outright profanity is, in fact, against the rules anyway), I feel it is unfair towards other players. I heard of one person being told by their kin officer(s) to not use a certain word. That word was not profanity at all, but they didn't want it used around little children. In my book, so long as it isn't profanity (or otherwise violates official Turbine rules), anything is fine.

    That's why I don't think young children should play T+ games -- or at least other players shouldn't have to bring the level of the game down to E, and I would hate to see a young child subjected to the bad apples. A small piece of me dies when that sort of thing happens, and MMOs are a platform for that kind of behavior (despite the fact that it violates the rules). The same thing when parents willingly let their young children watch R rated movies and joke about having to cover their eyes. And the same for allowing children to surf the web unattended (even with filters, because filters are far from foolproof). Things are rated for a reason. And in this case, LOTRO is rated T for blood/gore, tobacco/alcohol, and violence, and the small print says "Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB". Those online interactions include: chat channels, emotes (which are visible even if disabled in the chat channels), and even simple moving. If a bad apple decides to harass your son (highly unlikely but not out of the realm of possibility) by following him around and not leaving him alone, how is that going to affect your son?

    There are many other LOTR video games out there that may be more appropriate. LEGO Lord of the Rings for example. That one is even co-op, so you can play with your son at will, if you want to. And then in a few years, if you are comfortable exposing your son to the internet at large, perhaps reexamine LOTRO.
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  15. #15
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    Probably going to get a lot of flack for what I'm about to say, if your child can handle it, go for it. I started playing this game in Feb of 2007. Not too much later, my youngest also wanted to play. After all, mom and dad did, as well as several of his older siblings. I should mention, that at this point the youngest was 4. Yes. 4. He'd been reading for a year. Had been playing video games since he was 18 months with his sister, and alone since he was 2. He would sit and watch his older siblings play things like Runescape, Neverwinter Nights, as well as a ton of other games.

    When we decided to let him also play, we had some strict rules for all of them. They were never given a password, even to this day 7 years later, we're the only ones who can log them in. So we know when and how long they are playing. Their computer is in the same room with us. The profanity filter is on, and stays on. First one who turns it off gets the computer time taken away. Same went for chat channels other than the kin channel. And even than was only because we'd gotten to really know the folks in our kin. Even after we enabled voice chat he wasn't allowed to speak over the mic. In fact, by the time he was allowed to speak over the mic, no one could believe this little kid was the one controlling this really good Burglar. And they aren't allowed to smoke pipe-weed or do any of the quests that involved drinking. Again, falls into that he's playing in the very same room with us, often in our fellowship so we could keep an eye on him.

    Now, this won't work for a lot of kids. But he's the youngest of 6 siblings with a 4-13 year age difference between him and them, so the games he's already been exposed to, LOTRO is far down the list of games in terms of violence and anything inappropriate. Being able to filter out channels, voice and profanity has really made this game amazing. We were also very lucky to meet up with a great group of friends. At one point all of them had their kids also playing so we all knew to keep it clean in Kin and in any and all chats.

    It also helps that he's far more mature than your average (at that time) 4 year old. He's now 11 and truly an amazing kid. On the *A* Honor Roll, a member of the Duke TIP program, member on the Student Council, in Bridge Club, on the schools News Cast, and a member of the band (which feeds into the high school band and is nationally known going to places like Macey's and the Rose Bowl Parade) And he can still be a goofball, making a billizion toons on LOTRO and building things in Minecraft.

    Someone mentioned about the addiction to this game. I have to admit even *I* struggled with being addicted to this game, especially early on. And he had problems with it as well, but you know what, he doesn't play it near as much as he used to. He'll go through stages of wanting to play it every day, and then may not touch it again for months.

    So, if your kid has been exposed to other video games, especially online games where he will interact with other people. And if you already have a great group of friends that you play with. And he can handle dying that first time, then I say let him play.

    Start off slowly with him, let him only play with you and then let him go off on his own. Especially if you don't want to yet again make a new toon and run the starter areas. Trust me, I think I have several low level characters (minus the hobbits I made for the Hobbit Run) on every server. There's something about testing out new toons and classes that the younger set seems to like.

    Folks complain about this game a lot, but I've been to other games, I've seen the smack talk that goes on, and I'd still make the same choices and let him play. It's a great community compared to a lot out there. (and now I sound like a fan boi :sigh: Oh well!)
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  16. #16
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    Both my boys started playing young - 10 and 8. I kept them in our own family kin. At the time we had 3 pcs so we all played together and gradually, once they understood how mmos worked, they were able to play on their own and group (not so much raiding though). They had a ton of fun. Kid2 still plays occasionally, but hasn't made it past level 45 because most of the time ingame is spent changing cosmetics (outfits, beards, hair) He's now 14 LOL. Kid1 had played some Runescape and SWG already before starting LotRO so schooled me on what mmos were all about. He moved on to PS3 and now PS4 as he got older (now 16). But before he left he was a ranked captain in pvp and level 50 when 50 was cap so he felt he'd had his fun.

    Just don't let him sit in his room and play by himself. Find a way to make it a time to do something together, he'll be fine.
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  17. #17
    yes it is just fine

  18. #18
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    My kinship was made so that my friend's children could play the game in a relatively safe environment. The youngest was 10 when we started. He found it a challenge because of "all the reading"... he's a great fan of the movies but has never read the books. (The game is based on the books and NOT the movies.)

    I would recommend that if your son is playing, you need to also be playing. You need to be aware of what the game world is like, chats and all. I don't think it is out of line for a 10 year old... but essentially you're putting him into a social environment with "older kids" who may not be modeling appropriate behavior. You'll know best whether this is something your child can handle.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NynofArk View Post
    Probably going to get a lot of flack for what I'm about to say, if your child can handle it, go for it. I started playing this game in Feb of 2007. Not too much later, my youngest also wanted to play. After all, mom and dad did, as well as several of his older siblings. I should mention, that at this point the youngest was 4. Yes. 4. He'd been reading for a year. Had been playing video games since he was 18 months with his sister, and alone since he was 2. He would sit and watch his older siblings play things like Runescape, Neverwinter Nights, as well as a ton of other games.

    When we decided to let him also play, we had some strict rules for all of them. They were never given a password, even to this day 7 years later, we're the only ones who can log them in. So we know when and how long they are playing. Their computer is in the same room with us. The profanity filter is on, and stays on. First one who turns it off gets the computer time taken away. Same went for chat channels other than the kin channel. And even than was only because we'd gotten to really know the folks in our kin. Even after we enabled voice chat he wasn't allowed to speak over the mic. In fact, by the time he was allowed to speak over the mic, no one could believe this little kid was the one controlling this really good Burglar. And they aren't allowed to smoke pipe-weed or do any of the quests that involved drinking. Again, falls into that he's playing in the very same room with us, often in our fellowship so we could keep an eye on him.

    Now, this won't work for a lot of kids. But he's the youngest of 6 siblings with a 4-13 year age difference between him and them, so the games he's already been exposed to, LOTRO is far down the list of games in terms of violence and anything inappropriate. Being able to filter out channels, voice and profanity has really made this game amazing. We were also very lucky to meet up with a great group of friends. At one point all of them had their kids also playing so we all knew to keep it clean in Kin and in any and all chats.

    It also helps that he's far more mature than your average (at that time) 4 year old. He's now 11 and truly an amazing kid. On the *A* Honor Roll, a member of the Duke TIP program, member on the Student Council, in Bridge Club, on the schools News Cast, and a member of the band (which feeds into the high school band and is nationally known going to places like Macey's and the Rose Bowl Parade) And he can still be a goofball, making a billizion toons on LOTRO and building things in Minecraft.

    Someone mentioned about the addiction to this game. I have to admit even *I* struggled with being addicted to this game, especially early on. And he had problems with it as well, but you know what, he doesn't play it near as much as he used to. He'll go through stages of wanting to play it every day, and then may not touch it again for months.

    So, if your kid has been exposed to other video games, especially online games where he will interact with other people. And if you already have a great group of friends that you play with. And he can handle dying that first time, then I say let him play.

    Start off slowly with him, let him only play with you and then let him go off on his own. Especially if you don't want to yet again make a new toon and run the starter areas. Trust me, I think I have several low level characters (minus the hobbits I made for the Hobbit Run) on every server. There's something about testing out new toons and classes that the younger set seems to like.

    Folks complain about this game a lot, but I've been to other games, I've seen the smack talk that goes on, and I'd still make the same choices and let him play. It's a great community compared to a lot out there. (and now I sound like a fan boi :sigh: Oh well!)
    Wall o' common sense. +1 virtual rep to you.

    For the first year or two, my kinship created a children's kinship officered by the parents of kids who wanted to play. Each night, one of the parents would log in and lead the fellowship of children on the night's adventures. Sometimes on weekends there would be two such fellowships. Eventually the kids lost interest. The kinship is still around, but nowadays it's used for secure storage for the main kinship.

    Holding the password is definitely the key here. No play without parental login and supervision.
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  20. #20

    forums

    If you do decide to let him play, I would suggest one restriction: do not allow him to get involved in forums.

    In many threads, the disrespect players can display regarding others is appalling. If one offers honest polite feedback on, say, a major update, much of any responses will be L2P posts - the minority of those will be polite and sincere suggestions; the majority will be contemptuous and ridiculing. In fact, any possible opportunity to mock a poster with a "Learn to Play" will be irresistible to some people - and this behavior is absolutely ok by forum rules and customs. If one politely protests, this is often followed up with a "leave the game then" set of responses. There are also players who get very butt-hurt on behalf of developers even when there was no lack of politeness and respect in the original post.

    Possible consequences for a 10 year old: heartbreaking. Or worse - he learns to be vile himself.

    Most of my kinship consider the forums to be so troll infested and dominated by people of a particular gaming style that they will no longer read them.

    Whatever you decide, dad of 10 year old - you rock for having concern about your son!

  21. #21
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    My son plays. He's 11. He's in our kin so we don't have to worry about freaks (other than us, of course). My daughter is 5 and she's decided she wants to play. She doesn't do questing, but she has a fantastic version she plays. She's decided Dwalin (The nice man in the chair.) is her character's dad. She has long drawn out conversations with various NPCs. (Essentially, she's turned the game into a virtual doll house. LOL) She's decided her other character lives at the Cat Lady's House in Bree. (How she found that, I have no idea but she did) Plus, she gets to kill bad guys when she feels like it.

    In other words, test out your kids. If they seem to be ok with things, there's no reason to not let them play. This really does have room for everyone. As others have suggested, PW control is key. Also, my daughter is on a F2P account and there is no CC attached to it, so even if she finds the store................

  22. #22
    Just a tiny little comment:

    If you allow your child to play (with you in-game, or supervising), I would suggest starting in the Shire. The Shire is visually appealing, sedate, seldomly aggressive, and the quests are generally comical. It will allow him to try the game without too much of a shock between the game and Tolkien. There are some potentially scary moments (spiders - in quarry and over by Brockenboring), some areas/quests where the sky darkens. But overall, IMO, the best place to start a younger child.

    Oh, and their are no wights in the Shire! In-game wights come in four flavors: these are skeletons, zombies (somewhat decayed), bloated corpses, severed crawling arms. So these might be troublesome depending on how he handles scary things.


    PS: Only Hobbits automatically start in Little Delving, in the Shire. So if he wants to create a Man, Dwarf or Elf, you might have to move the character to the Shire first. Start in Little Delving to begin quests in order.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AccessDenied View Post
    Just a tiny little comment:

    If you allow your child to play (with you in-game, or supervising), I would suggest starting in the Shire. The Shire is visually appealing, sedate, seldomly aggressive, and the quests are generally comical. It will allow him to try the game without too much of a shock between the game and Tolkien. There are some potentially scary moments (spiders - in quarry and over by Brockenboring), some areas/quests where the sky darkens. But overall, IMO, the best place to start a younger child.

    Oh, and their are no wights in the Shire! In-game wights come in four flavors: these are skeletons, zombies (somewhat decayed), bloated corpses, severed crawling arms. So these might be troublesome depending on how he handles scary things.


    PS: Only Hobbits automatically start in Little Delving, in the Shire. So if he wants to create a Man, Dwarf or Elf, you might have to move the character to the Shire first. Start in Little Delving to begin quests in order.
    Hobbits start in The Shire initially, then whisked away to Archet,and, once the intro is completed, they appear in Little Delving.

  24. #24
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    Orcs are not generally scary, but there are some critters that can be pretty visually powerful. Grodbog spitters in your face can give some kids nightmares, for instance, and the blood pools near Ost Guruth and Agamaur are fairly grisly. There are things like that sprinkled through many regions. I think it's safe to say that if the movies didn't give a child nightmares about balrogs or uruk-hai, the game probably won't either.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterGreen View Post
    and the blood pools near Ost Guruth and Agamaur are fairly grisly.
    Tell them the orcs really like Fruit Punch!!!
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