Sometime in the next 24 hours, the lights will go out on the Lord of the Rings Online beta and the switch will be thrown for the live version of the game.
I played in the closed beta several months ago, when the NDA was in place — I might have mentioned that before, I dunno — and the game then was … ok. Not terrible, but not particularly good either.
From my limited experience and observation, they’ve done a lot of work on this world since then. Looks polished enough to my eyes, but I’m not new to this either — I’ve learned not to expect perfection.
I chuckle when I hear (or read) that LOTRO is a World of Warcraft clone. I chuckle because doesn’t that mean the circle is now complete? LOTRO is a WoW clone, which is an EverQuest clone, which is a Dungeons & Dragons clone, which is a Lord of the Rings clone. Kinda. They’re all different, of course, but it’s still elves and orcs, dragons and swords.
In a few weeks, the first level 50s will appear in LOTRO and we’ll wonder HOW?? HOW?? and more importantly, WHY?? WHY?? There’ll be stories of bad manners and rumors of hacking. There’ll be arguments about which is the WORST server community (Brandywine, I hear), but all of the servers will be both horrible and pleasant. Mediocre comedians will /ooc for a Karazhan group or where to find Mankirk’s wife and we’ll all run to Rivendell to put our fingerprints on Elrond’s windows and highly polished floors, just because he seems the sort who would be really irritated by that.
If tomorrow will be your first exposure to Lord of the Rings Online, but not your first MMOG — fear not. Controls, game play, default bindings, bla bla, same as you’ve seen before.