Monday, April 2, 2007

1st Weekend in LotRO Has Come and Gone

Oh my... what a great weekend. It's not often that one gets to start a new MMO, have the 1st party in their new house, and enjoy freakin' awesome March/April weather (in Ohio).

Friday I left work early, around 2:30pm, using some Authorized Absence I had accrued from my boss at the day job. The servers for LotRO were up, my wife understood that I would be a vegetable for the rest of the night, and with due reason: Friday night was LotRO's 1st day of Pre-Order Open Beta.

Unlike other Open Beta's, with LotRO if you pre-order, Open Beta is essentially the same as launch. You get to keep your characters you make, up to level 15, and carry them over into the official retail release on April 24th. So I was a little more than excited.

I spent all this time in Beta, since Alpha back in August, and the one thing I always made sure to do was to not delve into the epic quests because I wanted them fresh for release. I started doing them last night with Begud... and I am amazed at just how fun and interesting, heart-pounding, they really are.

A guy in Ered Luin (the Dwarf and Elf starting Area) was looking for help for the quest "Vow of Vengeance." We did that, and he asked if I wanted to help him with one of the epic quests. I figured why not? It was finally for rizzle in the game, and I might as well take advantage of a completely competent player while I had him. :)

We got 4 more to help on the quest chain: 2 Minstrels (healers), a Guardian (Tank), and another Hunter (single-target DPS). I was a Champion (melee/AE DPS), and my new friend was a hunter.

Talk about steam-rolling. We ploughed through those quests, all the way up until we were sent to a new area for the next part of the Epic Prologue. You see, unlike so many other MMORPGs, there's actually a continual and overaching story in LotRO. There should be, I mean, it's Lord of the Freakin' Rings. I won't spoil the quests and their story for you, but suffice to say, they're exciting and brisquely paced. No 3 hour treks through trash-mobs here (at least, not yet). And so, after last night's quests, I'm off to Bree tonight to seek out Barliman Butterbur at the Prancing Pony and inquire about Strider's whereabouts.

I haven't had that much fun in one of these games since I 1st started playing WoW and did Van Cleef back in 2004. If this same sense of awe rides with me all through the epic quest line, I'm going to be one happy camper.

What about you guys? Did anyone here play LotRO over the weekend? If so, how'd it go?

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