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5 Great Reasons Why You Should Play Lord Of The Rings Online (LOTRO)

Updated on September 21, 2013

Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO)

The Lord of the Rings Online, often abbreviated LOTRO, is one of the most popular online games to this day.

After Star Wars The Old Republic and DC Universe, LOTRO joins the list of successful MMORPGs to be based on cinematographic universes.

In our case we are talking about the Tolkien/Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings universe, in which you can join the likes of Aragorn and Legolas to defeat Sauron and preserve peace in the Middle Earth.

But is Lord of the Rings Online a mere generic MMORPG stamped with Gandalf and Uruk-Hai warriors rather than unnamed NPCs ?

Absolutely not !

In fact I consider LOTRO one of the very best MMORPG along with SWTOR and Rift, and here are a few reasons why.

Obviously the fact that LOTRO is free-to-play is a huge bonus.

So here a 5 reasons why you should play Lord of the Rings Online.

5. Make your own adventure

What makes LOTRO very different, and in my opinion a lot better, from other online role playing games is the amount of freedom and customization possibilities you are given, which in turn adds to the realism and enjoyment of the game.

Start with the fact that LOTRO has four races and doesn't shy away from offering racial stat bonuses to these races depending on the lore and story behind each one.

For example a dwarf will have more toughness than a hobbit, and an elf will have more agility than a man.

Based on that certain combinations of races and classes (there are nine classes in LOTRO) will be advantageous, while in the beginning others will seem to fight an uphill battle.

But that isn't all when it comes to making your journey in LOTRO a personal experience : you are not bound to follow a linear path and quest chains aren't freedom-restricting as in other games.

For example, I recently deleted my level 20 man Champion to start a man Captain (only men can be captains), and while they both have the same starting area as they are of the same race it didn't feel redundant at all because I chose to level differently, notably by doing some quests instead of others or going in some sub-areas instead of others.

Lord of the Rings Online Trailer

4. Lord of the Rings Lore

The Lord of the Rings has an exceptionally vast and compelling universe, especially since the Peter Jackson movies gave a new breath to the franchise.

The fact that LOTRO is a great game is only highlighted and improved by the universe in which it takes place.

You aren't only gaining a new level for your character, you are doing so in the Mines of Moria or in the Rohan plains.

You aren't simply defeating enemy NPCs for a quest, you are repealing an Uruk-Hai invasion from Isengard.

The nine classes featured in LOTRO also have a particular Lord of the Rings significance, and are generally portrayed by a major character either in the books or in the movies.

The champion is generally represented by Aragorn, the hunter by Legolas, the captain by Boromir and so on.

Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online : The Middle Earth as you have never seen it
Lord of the Rings Online : The Middle Earth as you have never seen it | Source

LOTRO class roles

In most generic MMORPGs there are basically three class roles : Tank, DPS and Healer.

And each class is build specifically to serve one of these roles.

What ends up happening is the classes get boring really fast since from one game to another they are all copies of either the Warcraft warrior, rogue, priest or mage. And we have all played these classes, or their generic counterparts, to death so it offers neither challenge nor novelty.

In LOTRO the class role system is very different, and very enjoyable compared to the monotonous Tank/Heal/DPS you find in other games.

A lot of new LOTRO players roll a Burglar as a first character and end up disappointed as the burglar has nothing to do with the WoW rogue and is in fact a very advanced class.

Since it would be too long to explain how the LOTRO guardian is not a Warcraft warrior and the Rune-keeper has little in common with SWTOR's Sith Sorcerer, I made a quick table of each class and its role in Lord of the Rings Online.

LOTRO Class Roles

Melee DPS
Rang DPS
P = Primary / S = Secondary / Y = Yes

LOTRO Mounted Combat

A lot of MMORPGs now have mounts, either in the form of horses or creatures if the game is set in a fantasy world, or in the form of vehicles if the game is set in a futuristic world (such as SWTOR).

However in the vast majority of those games the mounts are merely a way to speed up the movement of your main character and don't offer any other benefits.

In Lord of the Rings Online you can use your mounts for many things, including mounted combat.

To participate in mounted combat you need first to acquire a war-steed which offers many benefits in addition to combat, such as a higher traveling speed (up to 158% of your regular on foot movement speed). However to acquire such a steed you must already be advanced in the game content.

Mounted combat allows you to fight either mounted or unmounted opponents from your horse. Think of Gandalf charging the Uruk-Hai warriors in Helm's Deep.


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LOTRO Character Stats

In Lord of the Rings Online character stats actually matter.

It has become an unfortunate trend in most games to simplify character stats, to the point where you only have one or two stats to care about. The major downside of this measure is that the games themselves have become oversimplified and have lost their customization potential.

Take Star Wars The Old Republic for example. If you roll an Imperial Agent Operative, you know the only stat that matters is Cunning. If you roll a Jedi Sage instead you know your main stat is Willpower and the rest is useless.

The same trend is observable in the recent versions of World of Warcraft and several other games of this industry.

In Lord of the Rings Online however, while there is often a "main stat" for your class, the other stats are far from useless.

Take the Champion for example. Your main stat will be Might, which serves to enhance your melee damage and physical mitigation.

But unlike in most games, Might alone isn't sufficient. If you want good evasion and more critical hit opportunities you will also need to boost the Agility stat.

Virtually all stats are important in LOTRO, regardless of your character class.

For those reasons you can see a Warden that chooses to stack either Might or Agility, or any other primary stat to suit his purpose.

This system allows you much more freedom and much more customization possibilities than any other game, perhaps excepted Dungeons and Dragons Online (D&D).

Those are the five best reasons why you should start playing Lord of the Rings Online.

Review Lord of the Rings Online

5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Lord of the Rings Online

© 2013 Hakpenguin

What do you think of the game LOTRO ?

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    • hiwaka profile image

      hiwaka 3 years ago

      I'm hooked to the age of empires online, but haven't really given LOTRO a go yet.