I was going to write a post about manastones in Aion. Those annoying, bag filling items that improve your weapon and armour stats, if, that is, you can manage to successfully socket them. But the more I looked into them, the more boring and annoying they became, certainly not worth devoting a whole post to.
Instead, I fired up LOTRO, spent a while patching (it’s been at least 4 months since I played), and jumped on my warden. I’d forgotten how far I’d actually travelled through the LOTRO world, certainly not max level (embarrassingly, I’ve only ever reached max level in Wow), but only 10 levels off. I found myself as a level 65, out of Moria (phew), and close enough to the finish to actually see a light at the end of the levelling tunnel. My /played enquiry told me that I’d been playing my little hobbit for 2 weeks, 1 day and a bit more. Despite the fact that I missed the beautiful colours and scenery of Aion, and that I nearly killed myself more than once by trying to glide off a cliff (I will miss that in every game from now on I think), I played for several hours. Not being a Korean MMO, LOTRO didn’t even warn me about taking breaks :D
So why did I stay playing? And why did I wake up this morning wanting to play more? Simple, the people. Despite the fact that I haven’t played in months, my kinship hadn’t kicked me out (they never do :D), and welcomed me back (for however short this stay will be) with open arms. Food was offered, assistance and advice was forthcoming, and next thing I knew I had someone by my side chatting and running around with me. This is what makes an MMO great. I’m all for being able to solo to the end of an MMO, no matter how hard, but given the length of time you spend playing in your favourite online world, having a wonderful group of people around you makes the journey seem far less overwhelming. This is also why I’m excited about Guild Wars 2, I know lots of people that will be playing (who doesn’t), and that in itself makes the game far more appealing. Yes you still need good gameplay, and fluff and something ‘different’ to want to play, but with a good group of friends you can be a bit more forgiving also.
LOTRO holds a special place in my MMO list. I bought it the day it came out and bought the lifetime sub on the second offering. And … on my second start (new guild, new server about a year after release), I met my husband while playing LOTRO :D The game has great atmosphere so the fun wasn’t just in the questing. As well as questing we’d pick somewhere to visit, like the Bilbo’s stone trolls, and sit and chat for a while talking about life, the universe and everything. I also remember having a lot of fun running around his house rearranging every stick of furniture and fish on the wall. Being the kind of guy he is, he’d spend many a minute putting everything back in it’s place when he found it in such a mess … some things are no different in real life :D.
I also spent a bit of time reading Spinksville this morning and added an RSS feed to my blog. There’s a lot to learn to when you’re starting out!