The Lord of the Rings onlineoften called LotRO by fans, first released in 2007. Although LotRO may not be the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of great long-running MMORPGs, it has nevertheless maintained a strong and stable fan base throughout its 15 years. of existence. Between LotRO having had its 15th anniversary celebrations earlier this year and its tenth big expansion pack, Before the shadowcoming in November, LotRO doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.
Yet in those same 15 years, many great MMORPG titles such as Star Wars Galaxies, Lego universe, marvel heroesand even Club Penguin all fell during LotRO persists. Even the very popular Final Fantasy XIV released, failed, remade and re-released during this time. Why LotRO endured so long when so many others have come and gone?
Middle-earth is one of the greatest fantasy settings of all time
First of all, the establishment of LotRO is surely an important factor in its long-term popularity. This is, after all, JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth, one of the most well-known and beloved fantasy settings of all time. Further away, LotRO actually takes place at the same time as the franchise’s main trilogy of books and movies, making it even more accessible to casuals. the Lord of the Rings fan who perhaps only knows cinema. Players can interact with iconic characters such as Aragorn and Gandalf and experience a story that follows that of Frodo. Combine that with the fact that many people think video games are the perfect way to expand Middle-earth lore, and LotRO is already the ideal MMORPG for the Lord of the Rings Fans.
Lord of the Rings Online has very flexible character creation
Players like a good character creation system, and despite being a product of 2007, the character creation system of LotRO was so well made for its time that it still holds up in many ways to this day. Players can create dwarves, elves, hobbits, men, or even the rare shape-shifting Beornings as playable characters.
With the exception of Beornings, who can only choose the Beorning special class, each of the playable races can play as almost any of the remaining ten available classes, with a few exceptions here and there. Combine that with what can be a surprising amount of physical appearance options for a 2007 game, and players will have an incredible amount of freedom for the characters they decide to create. LotRo.
Player freedom creates immersion in Lord of the Rings Online
The freedom players enjoy in LotRO is not limited to the character creation system – the entire game is a vast open-world sandbox. There’s a story to tell here, and a very good one that’s worth any new player’s time, but it’s not forced on anyone. Players can decide to immediately run out into the wilderness and play as the Wandering Ranger, or stay in towns and play as the Traveling Musician. Players can enter the game completely on their own or create a community of up to six players, or even a raid of up to 24 players. With nine major expansions for LotRO already out and a tenth on the way, there is something in this huge world for everyone. The vast amount of content that is never quite the same twice is more than enough to keep an invested audience coming back to their servers.
The Free-to-Play model is very attractive for new and old players
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, The Lord of the Rings online uses a free template. It originally had a subscription service but changed to open its doors to everyone in 2010. Expansion packs still cost serious players money, but the base game is still free, with hours and hours of content all to itself. This means LotRO is one of the best things any MMORPG can be: accessible.
LotRO has something to offer both fans of the the Lord of the Rings franchise looking to spend more time in Middle-earth and people who may have wanted to get into MMORPGs but are limited in time and money. There are so many reasons not to just give The Lord of the Rings online a try at least once but also to come back again and again.