The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite LOTRO zone?

I’m back in Lord of the Rings Online this week, and though I’m still working my way through western Gondor at the moment, I really looking forward to seeing Turbine’s take on Minas Tirith.

It may not end up being my favorite zone, because it will be pretty hard to top Rivendell and East Rohan, but I’m sure it’ll be up there among my favorites. What about you, LOTRO fans? What’s your favorite zone?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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54 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite LOTRO zone?"

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wanderv15
Guest
wanderv15

Stonedeans (in Westemnet, soooo beuatiful), South Ithilien (oh those bad volcanic Mordor nearby) and Dol Amroth (it’s like fantasy version of Sevastopol and St. Petersburg mixed). All of these of course after Moria and Shire.

Ματθαίος
Guest
Ματθαίος

The Shire, closely followed by the Ered Luin zones, and then, Khazad-dûm!

Sleepery
Guest
Sleepery

I haven’t seen a zone I remotely liked since coming out the far side of Lothlorien. It’s like they lost their most talented zone builders around the time Moria was completed.

FeveredDreamer
Guest
FeveredDreamer

Mirkwood or Lothlorien probably.  So many zones in the game really are amazing though.  The setting for LotRO is brilliant and the game does an amazing job of bringing Middle Earth to life.

libertylion7
Guest
libertylion7

The Shire, hands down.  Its more of an experience of being in a world than it is being in a game.

Draugris
Guest
Draugris

Misty Mountains, Angmar and the Shire for me.But i love all the zones from Shadows of Angmar to be honest. They all have something i miss in modern mmo´s -> Soul.

Cambruin
Guest
Cambruin

I like pretty much every zone in this game. They all feel natural, unlike other MMOs the likes of Rift, Wildstar, … where every inch of the zone needs to serve a purpose, where you can not ride a mount for 5s without bumping into a mob and where there is absolutely no sense on continuity. I really can’t think of any zone I like best. I can only think of 2 zones I’m not that fond of; Forochel and Misty Mountains. I guess I’m just not too fond of snow.

Cambruin
Guest
Cambruin

ashfyn DemonicPossession Liandreth Which is exactly why I don’t understand they let go of ScaryCrow, the person behind the Bree revamp. Then again, there’s quite a lot I don’t understand about Turbine. Like how they could mess up something as basic as an account profile page. The sunforum is rampant with people being either unable to set up subscriptions or those being unable to cancel them. It’s really ludicrous.
Still, miss you ScaryCrow, which you could have done the dwarf quarter.

wontgrowup
Guest
wontgrowup

Osyris Agreed. When I played in beta, I really did not like it but a bunch of friends got way into it during the summer of 07′ so I gave it another spin and could not have had more fun if I tried. I really like the scale of it all, the story was pretty amazing no matter where I was playing and back then the graphics were pretty decent for an MMO.

Reminds me i need to migrate my dudes to a new server.

Osyris
Guest
Osyris

Every single Shadows of Angmar zone. There is something special about those vanilla zones and maybe it’s the fact that the great war is still far away, in contrast to e.g. West Gondor. Maybe I just like to live a happy life in West Middleearth…

wontgrowup
Guest
wontgrowup

The North Downs. It has a great cross section of environments and back in the days before F2P and Moria, it was great area to level in.  Most of my levels wove in and out of this area doing deeds and, just adventuring.

Moria also pretty amazing. I remember my first steps in the long dark of Moria. That palc was intimidating. Still very moody but not as imposing as that first impression.

Picking one is pretty hard actually but I would say that I loved the continuity of the world leading up through Moria. Turbine did a top notch job with it. Post Moria feels more disjointed but each area is still really well crafted.

I think LOTRO is my favorite PvE MMO. I wish the game would get a huge cash infusion so they could do a sequel with updated graphics.

StrumFruit
Guest
StrumFruit

mysecretid Well, he desires something that isn’t the norm, but obviously still has to spend time in a lot of MMOs that have single-player-esque story in them, to experience the aspects of them that he does enjoy. 

I don’t at all think it’s a philistine view to harbor a desire for MMOs to embody the type of game-play that only an MMO can excel at: a virtual world in which players dictate the story and dynamic. To me, that is the pinnacle of what an MMO can be; the closest an MMO comes to ‘art’. 

What I mean by that incredibly pretentious statement is that, even though these games are designed and created by developers with particular visions in mind, the players are the ones to elevate these collections of artwork and systems into their final forms. Which in my opinion, is the function of an MMO that Jef pines for.

This is coming from someone who loves story in MMOs, hehe :).

mosselyn
Guest
mosselyn

Though I never particularly liked questing there, visually I loved Trollshaws because of the autumn colors and Rivendell. After that, probably Lothlorien, and then Great River.

Satanixx
Guest
Satanixx

Everswim

groo the wanderer
Guest
groo the wanderer

Rivendell

Zariarn
Guest
Zariarn

Oh no!  I can’t answer that so I’m going to say…
All of them except Trollshaws.  The only thing I like about that zone is Rivendell.
But I guess I will choose Evendim.  Beautiful architecture.  Huge crystal clear lake.  Massive structures.  Tons of quest and exploration.  Very deep in Lore.

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

Koshelkin it was made with DX10 or DX11 graphics and you can see a difference.  the mists and fogs are better somehow.

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

crackfox they introduced rowboats, it’s like a horse ride now.  you can still swim in real time :)

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

There are a few zones that are kind of bleak and not very interesting, but even those have landmarks that are significant in most cases and you feel glad to have seen it with your own eyes.  As a huge Tolkien nut I stopped and geeked out at just about everything you can imagine.  The Shire is pastoral and lovely and charming, Rivendell is stately and beautiful and looks just like the PJ movies, Moria is every big as huge, dark, scary, and dangerous as described, Lothlorien is that dreamlike mid-Fall season maple tree forest you imagine in your mind, Angmar is a walk through hell (and forebodes Mordor), the Barrow Downs is as scary as it seemed in the book, but other things like seeing the Ice Bay of Forochel was really spectacular to me.   A great frozen northland with polar bears and mammoths and stuff, with semi-eskimo kind of tribes up there living in the deep freeze, just wow.

Will we ever see another game where Middle Earth is recreated in such detail?

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

Wait. After loudly proclaiming that he wished MMO developers would stop polluting his game worlds with story, Jef is now playing Lord of the Rings Online — one of the most story-infused MMOs out there?

The Daily Grind: What feature do you wish MMO devs would stop implementing?

Ooookay.

One can only hope that the embarrassingly philistine thesis (“I don’t like story in MMOs, therefore, it shouldn’t exist”) was written under the influence of adult beverages.

Bannex19
Guest
Bannex19

The Shire.
The fact that it’s a healthy mix of combat and non-combat stuff to do and steeped in Tolkien lore makes it the one I usually think about the most in this game.
The music, views and ambience really was implemented well by a great team.

wanderv15
Guest
wanderv15

Dol Amroth, Nud Melek (Second hall of Moria) and Stonedeans in West Rohan

Michael18
Guest
Michael18

Liandreth 
“I remember walking through it on Brandywine. Some people calling me weird for walking, but others being intrigued.”
In my kin we sometimes met to walk through zones or for longer distances and semi-RPed a voyage similar to that of Frodo and friends. Good times!

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Moria, Annuminas and Lothlorien would be my three favorite if I had to choose just three with a peaceful I just want to sit there and look around nod to Weathertop.

Michael18
Guest
Michael18

DemonicPossession Liandreth 
Great to hear someone starting Lotro these days. Good luck on your journey!!
If you are 45, then you have some great story-telling and fantastic zones to look forward to :)

crackfox
Guest
crackfox

It’s been a long time since I was there, but Evendim was pretty special (although swimming back and forth across the lake got old quickly). There was something about the Lone-Lands too – I don’t know if it was the music or the bleak contrast to the lushness of the Shire and Bree-land but they really captured the essence of the place. I loved the Barrow-Downs/Old Forest too, if only because of Bombadil. I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to go back.

Michael18
Guest
Michael18

I love all the zones. Lotro is one of those MMOs in which you can lose yourself and get completely immersed.

Some of my favorites:
– Trollshaws (was there a “revamp” recently? if so, I’m thinking of the older version)
– Misty Mountains (getting lost in snow storms is a blast)
– Ered Luin (first Lotro zone I played and I still have fond memories of my time there)

JakeDunnegan
Guest
JakeDunnegan

What??? No one went for the original version of the “Old Forest”????
:P 
For a game that I’ve truly loved, I truly hated that zone…even with all the achievements.

alexjwillis
Guest
alexjwillis

Moria. Suck it, haters!

mattaui
Guest
mattaui

Everyone seems to like to hate on Moria (and I know it’s really several zones) but I just love it. Never before or since have I felt so completely lost and overwhelmed in a foreboding, even oppressive, underground environment, and it’s just what I would expect it to feel like.

Yeah as a Hunter I can just teleport around, but it made me ever so grateful of that ability. It’s a little less of a chore to get through since the rework, but it remains my favorite.

JakeDunnegan
Guest
JakeDunnegan

Brazokie anatheod Yep have to agree. SO many amazing zones in this game to choose from, but I have to say, something as distinctive as Moria was brought to life for me (as a fan of 35 years) that I had never envisioned in such a way. They thought of things that I had never imagined – how did the Dwarves eat, and drink? Plumbing, day to day life? It was just amazing. 
There’s a reason that, in the year it came out, and in the true heyday of MMORPGs, Moria’s expansion won many expansion of the year awards. 
LOL. I went googling for some info about it. Found this old article: 
http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/16/massivelys-best-of-favorite-expansion-of-2008/
Course, they named WotLK the top spot – but only because “more people play WoW.” /eyeroll.. if that isn’t an ringing endorsement. :P
In any case, yep, Moria was amazing – and as the article says, it was an expansion worthy of an entire game.

DJjazzy
Guest
DJjazzy

The Shire

Koshelkin
Guest
Koshelkin

Mirkwood, no seriously, that’s really my favourite. The Shire will keep a special place in my heart, too.(obviously?).

Veldan
Guest
Veldan

Ettenmoors!

TaeranC
Guest
TaeranC

I love Annúminas for all the lore there. So much history and I can finally see it up close. I liked Forochel and The Lone-lands.

Robert80
Guest
Robert80

There’s a lot of well designed places, but most definitely Moria: Durin’s Way (Probably East, given the stone trees.)
Given the updates to graphics it just feels epic looking down from the entry, and that is what a dwarf delving like that should be!

ashfyn
Guest
ashfyn

Amorey This 1000 times.  No other game is as scenically beautiful.

ashfyn
Guest
ashfyn

DemonicPossession Liandreth  My kin was asking me, “Why are you in Bree so much?”  rather than Dol Amroth or one of the other high level hubs.  My answer was simple.  Bree is what it’s at.  So much happening there.  So many people.  Music, emotes, costumes. 

I go to Bree to reforge, vendor, AH, etc.  I’ll port to West Bree and then ride through town to the South Gate, just to see everything that’s going on.

The redo Bree got a couple of years ago just made it a superior locale.

kailindart
Guest
kailindart

The Shire, Oakbarton (?), the Trollshaws.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

schlag sweetleaf 
…its only one of the places that actually feels close to the books, from my limited experience with the game some years ago.

nameistake12
Guest
nameistake12

tobascodagama Hmm.  Those were my two favorite zones.  Different strokes :D

Liandreth
Guest
Liandreth

I love all of the game. It’s so pretty. Of course, the Shire is my absolute favourite zone. I remember coming to Lake Evendim for the first time and just being blown away by the beauty of it. Hung out on the shore, taking it all in.
I love Bree too. That’s where I got my first taste of in game RP. I remember walking through it on Brandywine. Some people calling me weird for walking, but others being intrigued. Good times.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

All of them except Angmar and Mirkwood.

Sigbjorn
Guest
Sigbjorn

I was going to say Rohan, because it looks so lovely. Gondor, by extension, is fairly bland. But then I remembered Moria, and Eregion. Oh, also Forochel. Also the Trollshaws.

MesaSage
Guest
MesaSage

The Shire, including the Bullroarer’s Sward areas of Oatbarton and Northcotton farms.  By extension, the rest of Evendim.  There are only a few parts of Eriador that I don’t like (mainly Angmar).
After that, I’d say getting out on the plains of Rohan on a Warsteed is one of the more satisfying experiences in the game.

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

The Shire.

Amorey
Guest
Amorey

There are many beautiful places in LOTRO so it is not easy to say which one I like most , I love all of this game 

Special mention should be given to Rohan and Gondor, especially  the brand new zone of Palenor and Minas Tirith. Minas  which is absolutely stunning – the attention to details, the many little surprises, the atmosphere , the sounds, the music.

Words cannot describe it, you have to experience it. I know some people did grumble about the questing and about having to run around, but as far as I am concern, I am enjoying every little chore and story line – questing will take you to every little place, every corner of this majestic city that you would otherwise easily miss. The House of the Lore, The House of Healing, The Forges of Cirion, these are just a few incredible places you will visit and that will take your breath away.  

LOTRO is unique i because  of the Middle-earth settings – an excellent  virtual version of Tolkien’s world  :)

Brazokie
Guest
Brazokie

anatheod Moria here also. Most immersive MMO experience I ever had. The scale and ambiance are perfect.

Slaphammer
Guest
Slaphammer

I always liked Annuminas.  The half-submerged ruins and the white stone architecture were just really cool.  However, I haven’t been there in years–not since before they revamped Evendim, actually, so I don’t know exactly how the city might have changed since I last wandered through it.  That architecture used to be fairly unique to Evendim, but in Gondor you see the same style all over the place.  So maybe returning to Annuminas now would be a little anti-climactic.

Rohirrim
Guest
Rohirrim

Evendim is my favorite too..

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