My history with MMOs has proven one thing universally across the board. I cannot play a single character. Once I start a game, there is a learning process. An initial character is usually picked based off what I can assume will be “awesome”. This can usually be inferred by the appearance, or with minimal research into the class abilities. I have always enjoyed “pet” classes, but haven’t ever leveled one to end-game status. I enjoy tanks, but the vanilla warriors of many games tend to get boring fast without a dedicated group. Spell casters usually have the most flash of any class, but most times I prefer physical combat. Then there’s the gimmick or hybrid classes, which usually hold the most appeal for me personally.
When I first technically started playing LOTRO, I downloaded the free trial. I rolled a Hunter, which is a ranger for all intents and purposes. This was the only class I played at that time, having only a few days to try the game, and as I explained before, I didn’t actually install the copy of the game I purchased around the same time. So now I have done that, and officially “started” playing the game.
This time around, I had someone with me who had a small head start in the game. I got to ask questions about the various classes, and the game in general. Because EQ2 is the MMO I had spent the most time with, and my brother-in-law had played it as well, we made comparisons between the two games’ classes, and I made my choice from there. I always loved my Paladin in EQ2, and although he made comparisons between a Pally and LOTRO’s Captain, I toyed with the idea of creating one. But from what I have read it’s really not a Paladin at all, not by my standards. I also ended up loving my Brigand in EQ2 far more than any other class, so I wanted to play something more similar to it. The Burglar class stood out as being the most similar, at least as debuffing goes, but from what he told me they didn’t do the same sort of DPS. He told me that if I wanted to doll out physical DPS, my best bet would be a Champion. The game’s description of the class left something to be desired, but after having played the class they are a lot of fun. They have some awesome damage output while dual wielding, and later on get to wear plate mail, making them similar to a Beserker in EQ2, with no magic to speak of. My Dwarven Champ is only level 12 as of now, but I know that I do enjoy the class.
Of course whenever I find one character I’m pleased with, I feel the nagging urge to try out others. I’ve always fancied the Bard class, I played one in EQ and EQ2, although not to end-game. The Minstrel is LOTRO’s Bard, although apparently it was also their initial healer class. I’ve never really cared for playing healers. On the one hand, you will never have trouble finding groups, but on the other, you usually just end up spamming heals and that’s no fun. But, with heals comes survivability, and the Minstrel happens to have heals plus decent damage output, and soloing has been easy so far. Another perk of making alts is being able to see the other starting areas in the game, so my Minstrel is a Hobbit. I can say that I do enjoy the Hobbit’s starting area more so than the Dwarf’s, but all in all the game is beautiful, and from what I’ve seen it’s enjoyable all around.
I made the Hobbit last night, and tonight I decided to see the other areas of the game, plus a couple other classes I was interested in trying. First, I decided to try out a Hunter again, not only to see the Elf starting area, but also to see what the class was like because I couldn’t really remember. Standard Ranger faire, I’m afraid. This character will probably be deleted. Afterwards, I rolled a Lore-master, which is LOTRO’s pet class. Again, I’ve never leveled a pet class too far, but I still need to play it for a while to see what it’s all about. From the game’s description, this class is supposed to be about crowd-control, that has yet to be seen so far. I’ve only seen a pet, some direct damage, a DOT, and a couple debuffs. They supposedly get a mez though, and I know that with what I’ve mentioned it seems to be the best of a couple different classes.
There are a couple of classes I’m completely uninterested in, but there are also two classes that came with the game’s first expansion, the Warden and the Rune-Keeper. The former is a tank class that has heals (maybe will end up being more like a Pally) and the latter is a spell caster, but has the ability to heal as well. Hybrids are definitely a big thing in this game, and I can’t say I’m complaining. These two classes aren’t available to me as of yet because you either have to purchase the expansion or purchase the classes individually from the LOTRO store. Because of my activation of my free month, I got 500 Turbine points (store cash) right off the bat, and through deeds I have 555 currently. The classes cost 795 each, but for the whole month of December there are daily deals, and on the 7th the Warden goes on sale for 3 something. So, I figure I can buy that class then, or wait and see if the Rune-Keeper goes on sale and get that one instead. Either way I would like to see both of them, so maybe I’ll get one and then grind deeds to get the other, depends on my time limit I suppose. If I had some cashflow I would just buy the expansion and get both but alas…
I’m enjoying the game, and I’m happy to have an MMO in my life again. Due to the fact that I have a free month and then can just switch over to F2P I don’t really feel the pressure to “get my money’s worth”. Also because you can grind deeds for Turbine points, I don’t really have to worry about coming up with cash to get some of the things I actually want. So far so good.