I’ve already clearly explained my point of view from the commercial perspective, so I’m not going to comment more about it.

I continue to read in forums and blog posts how LOTRO is a respectable mmorpg worth playing but I still see no trace of actual reasons or explanations about what this game does different or better.

Imho LOTRO isn’t just a game within a genre, borrowing many standardized mechanics. LOTRO is a rip-off, a plagiarism that doesn’t offer anything neither new nor improved. And if you play the game and enjoy it don’t just tell me I’m wrong. Tell me *why*, describe me what LOTRO does better, where are the fun points, what is different. And maybe you’ll even write a blog post that is interesting to read.

The real difference between LOTRO and WoW is this one: WoW is a game that fits in a well-defined genre. It is strongly influenced by other mmorpgs, replicates most of their features. But what is relevant is that WoW HUGELY IMPROVED what it borrowed. From the UI, to strict mechanics, accessibility, polish and flow. Every tiniest aspect in WoW was analyzed throughly, improved and refined. WoW took a model and improved it like no one else, set a new standard of quality and opened up a genre that was a market niche mostly inaccessible to the larger public because of consolidated bad habits that plagued it.

Turbine instead took a successful game and shamefully ripped it off in every aspect, hoping that the powerful license they purchased will compensate the complete lack of ideas, competence and ambition.

The difference is that LOTRO doesn’t bring any kind of worthwhile contribute to this genre, it just hopes to leech it.

People often talk about first, second, third generations of mmorpgs. I wonder which generation I have to wait to see dialog trees for NPCs or monsters stalking players instead of sitting while waiting to be pulled.

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50 thoughts on “LOTRO Vs WoW

  1. LOTRO is a rip-off, a plagiarism that doesn’t offer anything neither new nor improved.

    Well I almost agree but to start first I have to say that the only 2 mmorpgs I’ve played are WoW and LOTRO, WoW for over 19 months including fairly hardcore raiding and massive theorycrafting, plus some addon programming.

    Lotro is in many ways a bad copy of WoW when one looks at a number of things. Of course for that one first has to accept the premise that’s it’s a basic copy.

    UI customization is reduced to plain texture replacement and frame movement. The default layout is a very close conceptual copy of WoW that just looks worse.

    Animations look worse.

    Some user guiding things are just less polished. Quest texts come to mind but also tooltips, which often are note as carefully worded to be clear.

    Also fine detail in motion control. If one jumps and turns, one will change inertia, something that WoW does right.

    Basically the first view feel is that LOTRO is a rather poor knockoff of WoW. LOTRO lacks a lot of love for detail and polish that is all over the place in WoW.

    But after a while of playing I’d say that some, maybe sometimes just minor changes make LOTRO interesting over WoW. I.e. it contains stuff that you haven’t seen in WoW. Here a few things of the top of my head:

    *) Chain-dependent abilities. Classes abilities rely more on prerequisites than in WoW. In WoW you do get the occasional reactive ability (do this after a block or a parry). LOTRO takes this further and has multiple levels of abilities, first you need a parry that you can encourage with one ability, then you can follow with another ability and if that succeeded you get a third (from a guardian parry and retaliate type skill action progression). Similar for Minstrel where the songs have tiers and higher tiers require lower tiers to be active.

    This makes LOTRO much more of a multiple button affair than WoW is and at least has the potential for interesting things. I enjoy the added tactical component that this skill design brings.

    *) Group combat choices. LOTRO has a join ability thing which can activate during combat and where the whole group can decide which aspect of the combat to amplify. Explicit group decisions of this sort don’t appear in WoW and is certainly interesting as a concept.

    *) NPCs/Drama and instancing. A lot of instanced content has NPCs participating, often taking a guiding and leading role and additionally providing a good dose of instance motivation and lore. In WoW this exists but at a bare minimum and nowhere close to what you see in LOTRO.

    *) Pickup quest items are instanced to each player. I.e. if you have to pick flowers you can alway pick the one in front of you even if someone else just picked it. This removes quest item competition and related frustration, and a lot of (not all) respawn waiting. Some quest mobs are still camped but it’s markedly less so than in WoW.

    *) Quest design. I have yet to see a quest design with noticeably low drop rates. WoWs low drop rate quests are notorious and LOTRO has definitely learned to not let people grind 30+ mobs for 1 or 4 drops. Drop rates are almost always 100% (every wolf has a pelt) or if it was lower it never felt bad because one needed to kill those mobs anyway for some reason. I never had to wait for a quest drop for any amount of time. LOTRO contains carry quests, which, while simple are a fun difference. The postman quests have a dodge-the-spy feel which is a refreshing difference from endless mob slaughters.

    These are all gameplay relevant differences and I think they matter. I’m not sure if they existed in earlier engines outside WoW/Lotro. If not I’d credit them as innovations to Turbine and I actually think they are successful.

    Minor things like the lock/sell mechanism isn’t really worth mentioning given that other UI elements are just poorer design as WoWs default that additionally is often patched up and fixed by lua addons.

    A few more things away from core gameplay:

    *) The music instrument playing idea is a great one though. It allows people to socialize around an activity where in WoW things are limited to emotes, chat and jumping around.

    *) In terms of short-term motivation, the Deed system works better than the rep grind of WoW because immediate (though silly) tangible rewards are possible through titles. I’m not yet sure how much I like the trait system versus talent trees but it’s a different concept altogether.

    *) There is more RP related support with the ability to designate kin, titles with RP flavor. WoW distinctly lacks RP related game features.

    That’s all I can think of right now though there are possibly a few more things noteworthy to mention that escaped me.

    I can’t speak to LOTRO endgame yet (for one I hear it isn’t really in the game yet) as I’m at lvl 20, so all my comments really are on the first 30% of the game including instanced group play.

    Anyway I think that LOTRO is a poorer knock-off of WoW in terms of many basic UI decisions and in terms of base concepts of play. But in terms of actual play LOTRO does do things differently and I found it noteworthy enough and working that it keeps me interested as a seasoned WoW player. The game does feel like it’s designed by a company with markedly less resources than Blizzard. That’s probably true.

    To call it plagiarism is to ignore that there are this different features in there I think, though the UI and basic feel might suggest otherwise.

    Main reason for me to play LOTRO though is that Blizz hasn’t solved the sustainable single and small group play at endgame. Desirable WoW endgame is dominated by time-consumable and difficult raiding content. The new patch 2.1 tries to address this by daily repeatable quests but from the test realm I can’t say I find this motivating. Solving continued and exploratory PVE play comparable to leveling is probably the most difficult riddle as I see it and neither WoW nor LOTRO seems to solve it, except that LOTRO has a lot of explorable content where WoW has me stuck at level cap.

  2. Just a simple but obvious point. If a game had to be ‘new’ to be fun, then why are players logging thousands of hours in any one game when there is at best a few hundred hours of actual ‘new’ content. You can’t honestly say that you are experincing anything new in WoW at this point. So why berate anyone else who decides something else if more to their liking, whether it is new or not. In fact, please answer your own question for me…..why, after thousands of hours of play, doing the same thing day after day, is WoW still fun to you. And don’t just simply say “it is”….by your own foolish standards, I want to know what its doing for you now that is new…what does it bring you that you didn’t already see yesterday….until you do, I’ll be busy having indescribable fun, without a care or thought in the world as to why or how its fun…I’ll simply be content that it is.

  3. it’s obvious you’ve only played 2 mmo’s.

    to say Lotro is a ripped off version of Wow, is too ignore every game that came before Wow that it ripped off.

    MMO’s didn’t start with Wow, and thank god they wont end with Wow; Wow is the most basic, kiddy mmo that could exist, that’s why it is so popular.

  4. I played the LoTRO beta and I’m a subscriber to World of Warcraft right now as well.

    My impression was that while I recalled several common mechanics between WoW & EQ2, the game definitely has its own LoTR characteristics, which is obviously important. Unlike EQ2, where I had no familiarity of where I was compared to EQ1, in LoTR, there was no question that I appeared on Middle Earth. Perhaps not important to some people, but it was for me.

    True, the mechanics are similar to WoW, but the design objectives are similar in a good way, too. The characters are well-formed. You enter the world having a clear purpose with the aid of the world and its inhabitants. Non-aggressive creatures are your first objectives as were found in WoW. My preliminary impressions were that the game was easily introduced, laid back and the music was spirited.

    Very soon you are introduced to your first instanced dungeon. This happens a bit earlier than WoW. I expected to find a mine. I didn’t, I was thankful and I told them so! The mini-dungeons were well laid out, especially how they interspersed those in with the beginning storylines, skill building techniques and UI education early on.

    Creatures were strategically placed. There was no sloppy design there at all. Each area had a purpose, theme, objective, reward (maybe a rare spawn or elite quest mob to be found, too) and led you to the next segment quite efficiently. The ability to reset your home points made travel even more convenient. You also have the ability to acquire a mount quite early. Solo’ing is always a possibility.

    Despite the ease of progression, I did find myself logging back in. The game was captivating in both design and graphics as well as entertaining. It was just a nice place to be and it was alive with all the feeling, animations and characteristics of Middle Earth. I enjoyed it and to tell the truth, I didn’t expect to enjoy that much being a seasoned MMOG player. This was definitely an easy game for me and something aimed more for the younger or younger at heart folk, at least up to what I saw of it. This was the game that was going to break in the new crowd of gamers, those bored with WoW or those just looking for something similar to WoW, but a little different. If you can’t find friends without prejudice in this game, go back to Xbox because there’s no excuse here. That in itself is covering what I think they wanted to achieve. I don’t think they designed the game with innovation in mind.

    While I could be wrong, I got the sense that they concentrated on making a beginning and making it well, holding fast to the MMOG “tried and true” while succeeding in paying attention to LoTR detail. It’s a cautious attempt at step #1 that seems to be accepted. They took no chances here but they still managed to draw a crowd. I believe that’s because it didn’t fail to entertain.

    What they will do with step #2 and thereafter is where the true test of their abilities may come in. Will they opt for a WoW-style end game only achievable for more determined folks, or will they remain easy-going in their play-style techniques, or will they introduce something completely new?

    I get the impression that they may keep it on a more simplistic scale with some optional edge of difficulty to keep it interesting but entertainment is their goal. Time will tell but it’s not a bad game at all and it’s definitely an alternative to WoW for those that need that change.

  5. WoW is PURPOSELY designed to be playable by a varied crowd. That’s right, that means KIDS, too. Is that where you gave up? Sounds like it.

    When you have accomplished all the difficult-mode TBC instances, completed Kharazan and moved on already, come back and talk. Until then, go back to Vanguard, because it’s really transparent where your types ran off to.

    What did you offer to her review other than demonstrate how bitter you are? Oh that’s right, nothing.

  6. True, the combat reactives are similar to those I found in EQ2. I didn’t get into that with my review since you did a great job recapping them here.

    The group reactive is also similar. I admit, this came easier for me due to the experience I received with it in EQ2. But in EQ2, we did a lot of experimentation to get that right. They also made many changes that added to the confusion early on, which did not help the learning process. But once I got the hang of it, it started to come as second nature.

    I never got to push the limits of them in LoTRO since I haven’t subscribed yet, I only did the beta nearer to the end. But in EQ2, a good group reactive team was extremely powerful.

  7. WOW was developed long before there was any revenue at all.
    It was all up front money until the game released, as with all MMO’s.

    But fact is WoW is made by Blizzard (WC3, Diablo, etc…) you can’t exactly say they were poor lol.


    LOTRO is a rip-off, a plagiarism that doesn’t offer anything neither new nor improved.


    A way to think about this is: “If I were to purchase a MMORPG, would I choose WoW or LOTRO?”

    Aside from the selling factor of “living your life as a charactor in Middle Earth”…there isn’t much. I would say it’s made for the LOTR audienceonly.

  8. Credibility (if any) : played MMOs since 1997, computer games since 1981, coinops since 1977.

    The case is that LOTR is a “ripoff”, whilst WoW was a “significant improvement”.

    The biggest innovation in MMOs was UO, things might have got prettier, shinier, smoother, bigger…. but the gameplay stays the same. It is very unlikely anyone will develop a new form of gameplay, so innovation has to come from elsewhere. WoW is the “best” version of something that already existed and LoTr is a “decent” version of something that already existed.

    So the question is, does WoW innovate outside of gameplay? The answer to that is no. WoW is non-existent outside of the grind. The world never changes; the beautiful fortresses and cities are eyecandy nothing more, you have >no< impact on the world. It is a static, unchanging, fixed world. Look at the reaction to Halaa in Nagrand. The one town in all of WoW that can change hands, and the players were 100% behind it. On this one point WOW represents an utter and devastating failure for MMO development. It is a dead, static world, and as such I would say it is NOT a significant improvement. WoW is a deadend. The future of MMOs in my mind lies in the worlds they create, and enabling the players themselves to change them. WoW in my mind is a beautiful, well designed, wallpaper, and I love it for that (MT raid tank and all :). LoTr has scripted world changes, and some NPC interactions, but it is also >not enough<. As such, I see them at the same level, they do the gameplay enough to satisfy me, but they both are in the UO/EQ stable.

  9. Indeed. I would wager it will be the same. Frankly, I am extremely disappointed in Turbine. For a number of reasons I won’t bother going into.

    For me, the only game that has managed to keep me coming back is EVE. No other MMO has kept me coming back for as long.

  10. Heh… no, I wasn’t disapointed because I played for 3 years. Burned out, maybe, old and decrepit, yes, but I was disapointed because of some of the game design decisions Blizzard made.

    That said, your point is valid. I doubt Lotro will keep me interested for 3 years… or any other game for that matter. Wow was a lot of fun getting there… but the raiding game is not for me…

  11. Here in lies the problem. I don’t think the Technology is there for what we expect. MMOrpg almost have to be mostly or somewhat static. It creates goals. There needs to be a massive tech boost to really get a WORLD feel. World of Warcraft is just that. the world of warcraft.

    I played LOTR a bit I keep getting drug back into WOW. I keep rolling new characters on young or new servers.. One thing WOW does well is up until the level cap WOW keeps you moving. after that it’s debatable. But WOW does a great job masking the leveling grind. The first 40 or so levels in wow are still some of the best gaming i’ve ever had.

    I like that LOTRO does away with magic classes in a sense. But I guess it had to.
    I like the branching combat options. But It’s more of a gimmick to keep you paying attention I think than really strategical. (same can be said for WoW). Crafting I found clunky. It was ok but felt like something was missing.

    The thing LOTRO doesn’t have is the shine. After 12 levels I still had no idea what some of the icons did. WoW spent a lot of time getting the little things right. The UI made sense. It was so elegantly intuitive. It almost spoils me compared to the strategy game interface of the old star wars galaxies. I actually find it frustrating to use another ui after wow because I just find myself saying…. “this doesn’t make any sense,, This icon should be a sword not a club.. Why is this phased out?.. where is my backpack.?” etc etc. It’s like going from driving a porsche to driving a camaro sure they both look fast and from a distance both look sporty and stylish but as you get closer and drive the thing you notice the little things.

  12. I played vanguard a bit I can forgive bugs. I actually like a lot of the systems.. But it needed more time. I understand publishers are sensitive to time constraints. Vanguard felt unfinished… and honestly. pretty barren. Maybe it was the colors or the graphic design but it just feels cold.

  13. I played Wow from Beta until a month ago. I had a lot of fun. In the end, however, I left the game disapointed and pretty disillusioned with Blizzard. Why? Because of what another person mentioned earlier. Wow is a Dead World. Nothing ever changes. Getting to 70 is fun, partly because it’s pretty easy compared to other MMO’s and so doesn’t require the time sink that the other games do. The expansion added a lot of fun to do quests and some interesting areas and other frills. But upon reaching level 70, making endless forays in KZ, mastering heroic instances, I was left empty and bored.

    Now I’m playing Lotro. I’m having a great deal of fun. But no more than I did when I started playing Wow. The world is much more breath-taking, to these old eyes, your mileage may vary. I don’t have any issues with performance at all. The UI is weak compared to Wow and inventory management is tedious (but so was Wow). The story-driven instances are why I play games like this, and I think Lotro’s suit my tastes much more than the dungeon crawls in Wow. So far, at level 20, I haven’t experienced any of the annoying arbitrary “game balance” fixes Blizzard resorted to, the most hated part of that game for me (like every boss is immune to taunt and crowd control, just one example). Like Wow, each class can do a bit of healing or crowd control, has different tools to make their spot in a group unique and to solo well. Exploration feels like you are really wandering through Middle Earth, so if you loved the books or movies, this is a big part of why you love Lotro. Wow was like exploring a high quality comic book, not a knock on it, I loved comic books when i was younger.

    Lotro is obviously modeled on Wow. They took a lot of the good ideas and implemented them well. The trait system is just different enough from the talent system in Wow to make it interesting. Instead of spending a point every other level, you get Traits by the way you play, quests you do, and where you do them. Just a matter of preference, but I like that added tactical decision making, as minor as it is, in how I build my character, rather than just spending a point no matter what I do in the game. The titles are kind of cool, but don’t matter much to me (and I don’t use them, though if I got something like “Sauron-bane” I might be forced to equip it).

    My point is, there are reasons unique to me why I currently prefer Lotro to Wow. I think it’s a better game, a better use of my time. There are millions of people out there who prefer Wow and they all have their reasons. All their reasons are valid. For them, not me.

    Which brings my to my point. The original poster seems to me to be trying to tell everybody who disagrees with him why their point of view is wrong. Why are all the rest of you responding to such nonsense? Discuss the games, not peoples opinions.

    Uh… except for the original posters opinions. It’s okay to knock them…


  14. I played Wow from Beta until a month ago. I had a lot of fun. In the end, however, I left the game disapointed and pretty disillusioned with Blizzard. Why?

    Because you obviously played for three years.

    We’ll see how you’ll feel about Lotro in three years.

  15. People aren’t “supposed” to play MMOs for 3 years anyway…I don’t think any game could ever be designed in such a way that someone would be able to play for that long and not eventually be disappointed or burnt out. We’re human beings and eventually most (if not all) humans need variety when it comes to entertainment.

    In my mind, MMOs are an alternative to PC and Console games that provide a sense of community in addition to a storyline. They are meant to entertain as well as provide a sensation of an “alternate” life from the one you live now. The only requirement they have, with this definition, is that they be subjectively captivating to the player.

  16. I’ve played both WoW (since the day it came out) and LotrO (same), with the only other MMO i played being FFXI. However, since this is just about LotrO and WoW I feel like I can comment on the comparison of the two since that is supposed to be the topic at hand.

    From what I have seen so far you can split up LotrO and WoW into the areas that one succeeds over the other, and where one succeeds in the other one falls on it’s face quite clearly. First off is pvp, in which I feel WoW is far better. True, I love playing a spider (i’m arachnophobic o.O) and it feels nice to actually be BAD. However, the process of gaining ranks and earning destiny points to actually get yourself to a high enough strength to be ALMOST as strong as a regular freep is arduous and often boring, and as a spider (told other classes are easier) it is very hard to earn the infamy to gain a rank. WoW, on the other hand, offers far more even classes (not perfect, i admit, but better) and is both more fluid and enjoyable. PvP can happen anywheres, not just in this one small zone, and you NEVER have to play as a person of mob-like strength. I don’t know how many times in LotrO I’ve ran after an enemy player smashing my special attack keys just to find you can’t move if you want to use them… this is both pvp and pve mind you, i’d use a special sword swing to bring down a fleeing enemy running for help and get one of those error messages that make you want to throw your keyboard out the window. Seems the only thing you can do while chasing something is use your regular attack, unless your a hunter in which case you just stand there shooting arrows anyways.

    One thing I feel LotrO does far better than WoW, however, is that it has a far more community based feeling to it, namely the use of titles, houses, being able to adopt, last names, and many other touches. My favorite among all these is the ability to play instruments, an aspect I find myself fascinated with. Also, RP’ing seems more relevent since you are living in one of the greatest fantasies ever written. In WoW they seperate the people who want to RP instead of PVP (though there are very few rp-pvp servers), which is nice in that it groups people together, but also not so nice in that if you join one server you are missing out on something else. I love being able to own and decorate a house too, it’s just so much fun. WoW cant really say it has much community outside of guilds, and that’s always made me sad.

    Another aspect of WoW that I do like is how you can get lots of rewards for things relatively fast and easy. Yes, its true that things like this could cheapen a game, but this only goes on to a certain extent usually. Now I’m willing to accpet the idea that WoW’s hardest to achieve items are not as hard as other MMO’s, I do not know, but the ones that really matter, such as high-end epics, often require a lot more work to put together, or at least more money. Money solves everything… just like real life! :-D However in WoW it works well, encouraging you to go that one extra step to get a really nice item. Crafting can come easily, and every few skill levels you get another item to make that is really nice. In LotrO you start off with making awesome crafting items, but then there is a long gap before the next set of materials you can get for it (granted you hold onto some very nice items in that time) and it can seem like you havent upgraded or advanced in a long time at points. Also, I don’t really like how you need to master each tier before you get a random chance to make really nice items… i prefer the ideal of farming rare items and materials to get a guaranteed high-quality item.

    LotrO also has the aspect of story, which is a very nice touch. In WoW it’s ‘hey go kill pigs for me stew, kek kek’ but in LotrO you can follow a series of story-line events through quests that open up a full story to immerse you in. Characters from the books will appear and interact with you, and it feels rather epic in its ways. I love some of the moments in the game, as it really feels like you are living out your own epic middle – earth adventure.

    Basically, where I am concerned on this issue, here is the rundown: LotrO has the better atmosphere and feel to it with the community to match, while WoW is just overall more enjoyable to play. It’s more fluid and has a nicer feel to how it handles, but the story and community leave a lot to be desired. I suppose you have to choose gameplay over the feel of the game to make your decision on this, but I’ve gone to LotrO several times and always found myself preferring the feel of WoW.

    Also, I was never too excited about TBC expansion, even before it came out. Mainly I was pissed at the deformation of Warcraft III’s expansion inductees the Drenai (warcraft iii they were small brown and had huge-ass claws on their arms, and could stealth any time…. in WoW they are 7-feet tall glowing blue humanoids with holy powers and worship the light. I died a little inside). However it just seemed very un-wowy in it’s feeling. I still dont’ like outlands, though some of the quests are vastly more fun than their azerothian cousins. I wished they had included a new class instead of new race. Fortunately I AM excited about the next one, which promises to at least have it’s own story (possibly same idea as LotrO’s epic quests) and actual relation to warcraft III. Plus death knights. Any class that hits people with swords while draining their very immortal soul into oblivion is A-okay by me.

  17. I have played both WoW and Lotro…When i got 60 lvl in wow i got bored of the game…that doesnt mean that the game is not good…WoW is an excellent game from every aspect!I just found out that it doesnt suffice for my personal computer entertainment as far as story and “feeling” is concerned. Then one day i got “The Lord Of The Rings” the movies and saw all 3 of them…The next morning i went to a pc store to buy the game…I have been playing for a month now and i must say that i ll be playing for a long time to come…The best thing in Lotro is that you are not actually concerned about what lvl you are or how you are going to distribute talent points to get 8000 critical hits…The game has the best “Performance” graphics i ve seen in an mmorpg ever ( Vanguard had slightly better but was crappy optimized ). So glam graphics in cooperation with a great story from the genious named Tolkien does the job for me. This game is a must play for lotr fans! And one advice: DONT COMPARE MMORPGS! Everytime i read such comparisons its like i am reading the same sh1t all over again. Its very childish to argue about GAMES. They are GAMES…Its like 2 children arguing about who has the better toy.Just pick what works for yourself and enjoy! Have fun all of you guys out there :)
    P.S Comparisons like this one destroyed the Uber game called Vanguard…No one dares to support it because comparisons say that it is full of bugs…Dont forget that wow in beta was a total mess as far as bugs were concerned but blizzard did a great job in marketing the product suberbly so every bad preview ( due to bugs ) was burried.

  18. LOTRO does not a rip-off WoW’s gameplay. LOTRO is clearly a development of the gameplay from Turbine’s Asheron’s Call 2 (which was a development of the basic concepts of DAoC).

    If you’ve played both, this is obvious. LOTRO’s Champion class is just a development of AC2’s Berzerker. The Guardian is a LOTRO themed variant of AC2’s Defender. The Minstrel is a mix of AC2’s two healing classes, the AOEs of the Alchemist combined with the direct heals of the Sage.

    Only the Burglar is a straight rip-off from WoW. But given the fact that WoW stole their talent tree concept from AC2, I don’t think WoW players have anything to complain about.

    Besides that, the only thing that LOTRO really steals from WoW is the User Interface and reputation rewards. But why complain about a game imitating a good interface? You’d rather play with a bad one?

    As for reputation rewards, well, they are pointless and irrelevant. So why complain about that either?

  19. LOTRO: Good game. The subscripts are there, and it will have longevity.

    WoW: Played it, somewhat enjoyable, but I prefer LOTRO. And this is coming from a person who enjoys Eastern MMORPGs rather than Western games such as DDO, WoW, ect.

    Bottom line, LOTRO is an innovative, dynamic game with a wonderful backdrop of a world that pretty much spawned the much copied mythos of many a fantasy game. In the end, I believe it will rank up there with the greatest MMORPGs of all time. MMORPG.com ranked #1 on its listing of MMORPGs.

    Also, WoW ain’t gettin’ any younger. The clock is ticking.

  20. I thought I would revisit this post, as I for one, having recently found your site, have been an outspoken opponent of LOTRO.
    I was in Closed Beta, Open Beta, and then stuck around for almost 6 months. I had hopes things would change from beta…they really did not.
    After a year…the game has maybe 300-400k scrips at most based on MMORPGChart, and with new titles coming (AoC, WAR), how can they retain this base?
    The UI is horrible, the game is quite boring, charcters and their models are bland..
    All the game consists of is a pretty shell (the landscape) on top of a WoW clone…with some options not even done as well.

    I read through many of the posts here about scrips…with someone (Dave Rickey I believe previously of Mythic) stating 3 MILLION?…laughable…sorry.

    But, one thing is certainly clear, the fanbois base fervently protects this game, and calls it a hit…
    I call it a wannabe with a famous IP

  21. @Ryuuku

    You gave yourself away with this line
    LOTRO is an innovative, dynamic game
    This is so far from the truth it must have hurt to write this line.
    It has the exact same quest system as every other MMO available, except even more boring. The UI is junk, and hard to work with. The character models and animations are ugly..
    No…I think you need to look up the definition of “innovation”

    Then you add
    it will rank up there with the greatest MMORPGs of all time
    With a piddly 200-300k scrips…no, it will rank up with EQ2 or City of Heroes…but, it will never be a “hit”, and definitely far from the “greatest”


  22. I realize this is an old posting but since someone revived it, I’ll have a go.

    I started LOTRO about a year ago. To be honest, while I liked the game, I found it to be pretty bland and stopped playing. I logged back in not long ago and I really like this game now. With all the update patches, this game has turned out to be a really well rounded game.

    You know what really gets my goat? People always claiming other games ripped off WoW. Absolute rubbish. And the author for this particular post even goes so far to claim that LOTRO leeches off the genre while contributing nothing. All the while, giving us the impresion that WoW is somehow more innovative, which is complete bullox.

    I played WoW for 2 years and even got into the end game a little bit before deciding that it was complete and utter trash. Don’t get me wrong, WoW has great instances and scripted battles. It’s the design direction of the end game that is utterly flawed in my eyes.

    WoW from 1-60 was a blast! Loved it to bits and still do. The real issue has always been their endgame. Pre-BC, there was jack sheet to do once you dinged 60 except to sit in IF like many others before logging out. Well, there was the 60’s instances which were fun..the first 50 times! I personally ran scholo close to 140 times just to get my damn freaking lightforge helm as well as to run my guildies through. For ONE item. That’s not including the other 60 instances I had to run. It was a complete treadmill if ever there was one and in this respect, WoW went completely back to the dark age of MMO’s. Ever since then, their whole design philosophy is based on how long they can keep a player grinding for a pitance of a reward before you get something so-so.

    They eventually designed their whole endgame to make you grind for as long as possible to achieve anything. Been there. Done that. Plays exactly like the korean MMOs I played years ago.

    Let’s get back to LOTRO and what it does do right and what it brings to te genre.

    Firstly, LOTRO is accessible. In some ways more accessible than WoW, especially for newbies. You start your toon in a well thought out and well scripted story that you’re an integral part of. In here, the game teaches you the basics without makiing your tutoriall inconsquential. Meaning the story you’re running through has an impact on the story as you move out onto Middle-Earth proper and will carry through and beyond dinging 50. The ability to weave a tight, original story into the actual world and gameplay is something WoW either isn’t very good at or isn’t interested in doing. Either way, LOTRO does it better. There were some starts for WoW where it could have been “more” in the story telling bit, such as Tirion Fordring story line. But in general, WoW has a bunch of quests that don’t really relate to any epic story or tale that gives their world a sense of purpose and/or meaning. LOTRO has this in spades and they do it well, and from the way they’ve added content, it looks like they will continue to move down this path.

    So 1: Epic story telling. LOTRO is much more committed to it than other MMORPGs, which I’ve always felt, was always an oft neglected element. Whether a person likes it or not is purely preference.

    2. The traits system used, while seemingly simple and minor (and used before), has had a much bigger effect on class customization than I had originally thought. One of my earliest complaints about LOTRO was that classes were kind of bland.

    Yes, your base Champ will be essentially the same as another person’s base Champ. The difference comes from what traits you actually slot for YOUR PLAYSTYLE. Meaning your Champ and Joe’s Champ could have an entirely different focus. Is he an AOE machine? A Single target DPS machine? An out of combat morale/mana specialist? An Offtank? Main tank?

    Your class is viable in his role no matter what traits you slot. It merely gives your class a different playstyle and focus, whereas WoW, for example, forces you into one tree or another to have that effect. Meaning, as a WoW pally, going Holy & sub in Ret will make you weak in other areas such as tanking etc…. In LOTRO, your base class ability never changes no matter what skills or traits you slot. It works to your playstyle. As a “tank” class, you’ll always be a tank class and perform as such but with fine control over HOW.

    It took me a long time to stop judeging this system against the way WoW did it. WoW essentially gives you three focus selections for your class but not much fine control on how it plays. The player is made to suit the trees. I’m not saying that LOTRO is better in this sense. I’m merely pointing out how it’s different and what the traits bring to the table (I’m also a big fan of WoW’s trees but also know its problems). LOTRO implemented this system well, but it takes a person having to stop judgeing it by WoW’s spec trees or DAOC’s spec lines, for example.

    In fact, ppl come in and ask advice about how to “spec” and trait and the typical response will be, in short, “You have to figure that out for yourself”. Simply put, your playstyle defines your class. It’s subtle. It works. It has noticable impact.

    Another area of customization is the often underused ability to wear one suit of armor but display another. LOTRO gives us 3 different looks. While this isn’t a new feature, not many games are doing it. As a result, and with the compliment of dyes, there are less carbon copies of other players and visual identification is a reality. Not to mention the RP value this has. To some people RP value is unimportant. To me, anything that calls itself an mmoRPG should ALWAYS have a system in place that promotes RP, even if it’s not done (rp) 24/7.

    3. The LOTRO Burglar is NOT a ripoff of WoW’s Rogue. For one, the burglar is far and away, the highest group utility toon in the game and is a highly sought after and important part of the group. That should make many WoW rogues cry.

    Burglars don’t have massive DPS but they make up for it with their high utility. Long duration Debuffs that can be chained for a HOT, long duration combat stun etc. You can pose intricate questions to your enemies for a long duration mesmerize rather than simply “mez mob”. You have a much more intricate melee combat system than the Rogue with the chain styles, reactionaries, positionals and combined with the debuff chains, makes for a very compelling fight system that improves upon DAOC’s melee complexity (which was always my personal favorite). All that while still keeping it simple and easy to use.

    And most importantly, the burglar’s importance and utility shines even more once he is in a group by the sheer fact that he is the only class in game that can consistently activate group abilities. I played FF and their group chains are fussy compared to the ease, simplicity and accessibility of LOTRO’s activated group abilities. And there are a lot of different combos to access, whether you use it to benefit yourself or to benefit the group or to benefit someone else in your group. Your combos are also recorded in your character page and you can review what does what and in what combo. Great execution.

    4. Fluff. Not the way WoW does fluff. I like WoW’s fluff but it was pointless. LOTRO utilizes fluff in much the same way as WoW but goes one further by making it a part of the gameplay system. Crafted housing items. Crafted dresses and suits that are visually appealing and is actually worn as you’re playing the game. In WoW, you’re not going to be wearing that wedding dress into combat. In LOTRO you can and people do.

    Music system, like it or hate it, that is its own mini game in effect. For people that are obviously trying to play songs and not using the pre-noted “scripts” (and you can tell), you’ll see people gathering around to cheer, listen, smoke, dance…generally wasting time. It’s not all that uncommon and it creates a great gaming atmosphere. All for a few fluff thing implemented and integrated properly.

    .. and many more.

    5. Bang for your buck graphics to performance ratio. This has to be the best performing game that delivers such stunning graphics. It can be played on modest machines and still look great and still manages higher res textures and artwork than WoW.

    The Art Direction is top notch and is comparable with WoW’s art direction. Now before somebody decides to misunderstand what Art Direction means; Art direction is when someone (Art Director) makes sure (and QA) that all the pieces of the artwork fit together in a visually cohesive, relevent and consistent manner with attention to detail according to the Creative Direction. As a result, at any one scene you look at in game, it looks and FEELS complete and natural. Not realistic, but natural. Something that Vanguard fails miserably at despite it’s “great graphics”.

    And it runs great. I have an ageing AMD 4600 and with the simple switch to the newer (and very cheap) 8800 GT graphics card, I’m able to run full settings with DX 10 with great performance (40-60 FPS). Yes LOTRO still requires a slightly higher processing power than WoW, but you get a lot more visually. They’ve done very well in this area and other MMOs can really take a note from Turbine for this.

    6. Everything, with the exception of Raids, is within reach of the “casual” gamer. Grinding is typically much, much less than WoW.

    LOTRO has shown that you can balance time vs reward without having to commit massive amounts of time to accomplishing something. With some effort, everything is within reach and whatever effort you do put in usually gets rewarded. For instance, trait levels, titles, money, items etc… The player is rewarded often and incrementally. No 1 week or 1 month grind before you see anything worthwile.

    This is, imo, a very big plus that LOTRO brings to the genre whereas other games continue down the road of putting obstacles to make the player commit large chunks of time. Yes, it’s all still a big grind, but in LOTRO, their base philosophy is to reward you for the amount of time you do commit. At your own leisure. No pressure.

    If you look at all of their gameplay features as a whole, you’ll see that this is their core direction. Even their reputation is rewarding by the sheer weight of the fact that you’ll get rep items and rep points anyway simply by doing OTHER things ( but you still need to put in extra effort to move beyong a certain point). Everything you do in this game nets you something. It’s one complete system that rewards rather than penalizes.

    There’s plenty more I could list of course, but my posting is severly long enough as it is. But even saying all that, there are flaws as some ppl have already pointed out. But as a whole, this is not a WoW clone at all and is just as polished with exacting attention to detail.

    LOTRO now is a much deeper game than when I left and that was the result of minor additions, fixes and changes. LOTRO most definitely brings something to the table.

    And no, a game does not, nor will it ever have to “innovate” or do something “new” to be a good game. You already know this.

  23. Only the Burglar is a straight rip-off from WoW. But given the fact that WoW stole their talent tree concept from AC2, I don’t think WoW players have anything to complain about.

    Yes, they do, because the talent system in WoW actually came from Diablo II.


    Which was released within a year after AC2. Is it a coincidence that Diablo II and WoW share a ton of commonalities? Of course the point is moot, everything in MMO’s is a shameless rip-off of everything else and somehow they thrive off of claiming originality.

  24. Well after playing LOTRO for about a month now and have played WoW for 2 years (never made it to end game though >.>) I have to say LOTRO has some draws to it and some of them really have nothing to do with the ingame content itself. I have to say I found it weird not feeling like I HAD to get on to do something or else I’d be falling behind…..I actually did real life stuff, but when I did get on LOTRO I had fun. My first char is a hobbit burglar and at first I thought I was getting into the whole racisim against the short people again…..nope. Hobbits are the most lovable things you will meet in a game. I mean a whole level in the game is just you running around as a chicken (sounds retarded but it was a pleasant suprise). Also with hobbits you get into all the social “violations” that go on between them which can take someone who just ran through “killing boars in the forest” for 10 silver into someone reading a quest about how the Sackville-Baginses have been treacherously wronged by the mayor of MIchel Delving (once again, sounds retarded, but don’t say it is until you’ve tried it. That’s what free trials are for). I have found some drawbacks in the game. The combat system can feel very slow at times especially when fighting elites in a group, but that is easily compensated by fellowship spells. Basically these are initiated spells whose outcomes are decided by the group and can heal your group, give you back “mana”, damage the target, put a DoT on the target, or any conceivable combination of those.

    >BEAUTIFUL looking game.
    >Very group oriented game
    >Less “addictiveness”
    >A feeling of the game mattering
    >Spells update themselves
    >Housing System that is prettay cool
    >Outfit system
    >LOTS of room for expansion. ONly 1/4 of middle earth has been used!!!

    >Slow Combat
    >Not a lot of “I’m a BA”
    >Not a lot of damage increasing
    >Bad End Game (from what I’ve heard, but a patch is coming out to add that)
    >Not a lot of differing in battles (like engineering and stuff like that)
    >Unique Items are nonexistent (nothing like engineering or small pets)
    >Sorta a slower pace than WoW
    >PvP is a little “blah” but it follows the lore……I’m thinking faction PvP soon? Dwarves getting tired of the snobby elves eh?

    Summary: if you find WoW losing its edge for you LOTRO is DEFINATELY worth a try, but it’s not one to say “WTF am I doing playing WoW?!? I gotta go buy LOTRO NOW!!!!” It is a new take on MMO’s and if you like the LOTR series and moves etc. you will find LOTRO can be fun and refreshing experience for you.

    Tip: Take 2 days and read The Hobbit. It’s a fun and easy read and gives you a whole new aspect on MIddle Earth. Don’t like reading? Buy an audio tape….>.>

  25. I know I’m responding to a pretty old post but I pretty much feel the same way about lotro as you do about WoW- that they took the wow interface and improved it. I’m pretty new to lotro (long time wow player) but I much prefer turbine’s social panel and quest log. WoW’s quest log is almost unacceptably simple and inconvenient.

  26. all i can say is that lotr offers new stuff. WoW was the first of its kind sort of. And as it was a big succes you would be an idiot not to look into what they did. Lotro has new stuff and old stuff just as WoW and ANY other game out there will. Everyone says the lore is bad for lotro? im lost at that because WoW (while they wont die) will have its downfall. Now lotro is a lore based game and is halfway through the first book. MIllions of people world wide love lord of the rings and while lotro doesnt advertise much people will find out. Because of the lore and the every 3 month free huge update people WILL come back. All because of the lore. People will WANT to see gondor, rohan , mordor, and turbine already said they wish to unlock areas like mirkwood and all of the northeast and south and the rest of eridor. WoW will fall unless they fix the repeative expansions and lotro wont die for a LONG time. Since people will stay for lore and the places by the time they are done there will be a new generation that leanred to love lord of the rings. Therefore they will play lotr for a bit and alas. lotro has a huge future…. wow …. no one can tell till’ the next expansion.

    sorry if im a bit bad at this i dont usualy debate :)

  27. All i can say is that WoW is losing its edge.. its getting boring.. LOTRO isnt a copy of wow.. its new and fresh.. wow is jst an endless grind for crap you dont rly need.. wows story sucks bad compared to lotros.. so do us all a faver and stop saying LOTRO is a ripoff of wow .. your rong jst cause u a little kiddy, leave LOTRO for the mature gamers plz.

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