lord of the rings online

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Official Site: Lord of the Rings Online
Studio: Standing Stone Games, formerly Turbine/WB Interactive Entertainment; published by Daybreak Game Company
Launch Date: April 24, 2007
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

LOTRO Legendarium: My LOTRO wish list for 2018

Ever since I’ve been writing this Lord of the Rings Online column — which spans back to 2010, if you can believe it — I’ve started out every year with a little tradition of making a wish list that I’d like to see happen for the game. This year, I actually debated whether or not to do it, because Standing Stone Games has already sort of laid out its big plans for 2018 (or at least some of them) and I know that the studio’s smaller stature means that we probably can’t expect as much as we once did.

But then I thought, hey, it’s tradition. And why is it a bad thing to aspire to greater things and encourage the studio to reach for those? Should we just roll over and give up on this title that we love? Far be it! So I’m dusting off some old ideas and tossing in a few new ones to give to you my list of 11 things (for 11 years) I want to see happen in 2018 for LOTRO. Let me know what some of your wish list items in the comments too!

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO offers the best sky views?

I know it’s a simple and basic thing, but I absolutely adore a great skybox in my MMORPGs. There’s something about looking up at a majestic and vibrant sky in-game that puts me right in the middle of the world and immerses me in the environment.

Fallen Earth will always be remembered fondly by me for its gorgeous sunsets, and World of Warcraft definitely brought it with some of its painterly clouds and patterns in the latest expansion. Lord of the Rings Online and Final Fantasy XIV both have crystal clear nights full of twinkling stars that make one feel small and awed.

Which MMO offers the best sky views and which zone makes for the best gazing? Bonus points if you include pictures!

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Perfect Ten: 10 tips for crafting a unique MMO character name

Tell me if you’ve ever been here: You just finished spending way too much time pouring over options in the character creation screen and have finally settled on a race, class, and visuals for your upcoming hero. But then you draw a blank on the character name field — or worse, your usual nomer has already been taken and you’re in the 98% of MMORPGs that don’t allow for duplicates.

What do you do?

Because I’m not one of those players who is content to slam my head on the keyboard and accept the letter soup as an acceptable name for the next 200 hours of my gaming career, crafting the perfect name is very important to me. I have roster of names that I typically use, but those aren’t always available, especially in older games that have witness the passage of thousands of players before me.

So I’ve come up with several tips and techniques to create a fun names that exude personality, charm, and style without falling into stale tactics. And because I am your oldest and dearest friend, I’m going to share these tips with you today.

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Here’s how one high school teacher uses Lord of the Rings Online in her English class

What do you say that we all go and enroll at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics?

Hear me out here: It’s at this school that Dr. Helana E. Brigman, an English instructor, is using Lord of the Rings Online to help teach Tolkien to her class. She intends to take players on a two-week intensive journey into the game: “Each morning we will create our own fellowship and work our way through the game’s epic book quests on low-level starting characters (all Hobbits). In the afternoon, we will roam Middle-earth on our choice of characters, and I will introduce you to deeds, crafting, and hobbies.”

Best class ever? We think so!

And while we’re on the subject of this gaming community, Winterstock V is happening this weekend and will be broadcast over LOTRO’s official Twitch stream. The four-day player event involves a schedule of dozens of bands performing concerts on the Landroval server.

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Perfect Ten: The best MMO updates and expansions of 2017

Last year was positively stuffed with updates, expansions, and cool stuff. A lot of years I struggle to remember which major updates happened in the past year, due partly to my own faulty memory but due largely to the simple fact that not a lot of them really stuck out for me. This year? We were awash in updates. Some games literally gave me multiple choices about which update I thought was “the best” just because, well, there were so many.

So the list that follows is, honestly, a fragment of what could be chosen. At least one of them is something you will probably disagree with. And that’s fine, because thankfully, last year (as mentioned) contained tons of great updates for people to enjoy. So without further ado, let’s delve into the best updates of 2017 and gush for a bit about how many cool things got added to games last year.

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MMO Year in Review: Lockboxes, CCP, and Destiny 2 (October 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

The lockbox debate exploded in October, propelled in the mainstream by EA but closer to home by games like LOTRO. Meanwhile, Destiny 2 launched on PC, and the MMO world was shocked by the sudden closures of two of CCP Games’ substudios following EVE Vegas, which initially was not supposed to affect EVE Online (though by November we found out it most certainly did).

We also saw a number of updates to major MMOs, including Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City, Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon, SWTOR’s pre-merge United Forces Foundation, EVE’s Lifeblood, and LOTRO’s Update 21. And Star Citizen dampened delay criticism by demoing its procedural cities.

Read on for the whole list!

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LOTRO Legendarium: Looking back at the road we traveled in 2017

“The road goes ever on” is one of the most well-known phrases from Lord of the Rings, alluding to the ongoing journey of the characters, life in general, and even the fandom that poured out of this franchise. That road took us through 2017 and one of the most interesting years for Lord of the Rings Online since the MMO’s debut in 2007.

After all, this was the first year that saw Standing Stone Games handling the title since the studio’s formation in 2016. We lived through the 10th anniversary, went to Mordor, and lived to tell the tale. It was a year of ups and downs, of mistakes and successes, and one of continued life for LOTRO.

As we walk down the road and get ready to cross the border from 2017 into 2018, I felt it would be appropriate to look back at the year that was and the road we traveled. What great memories did you make in the game — or the game made for you — this year?

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The Daily Grind: What were your best MMORPG gaming achievements in 2017?

Before we jump into 2018, let’s take a moment to ruminate on our personal accomplishments in MMO gaming this year.

While I didn’t get around to all of the games that I wanted to play or had enough time to enjoy the ones I did, I feel like it was a pretty solid year all around for me. I went through the Bingo Boffin storyline and Mordor in Lord of the Rings Online, got my fourth level 110 in World of Warcraft, and brought my Secret World Legends character all the way through the game (again). I even got reacquainted with an old favorite MMO — Dungeons and Dragons Online — and collected tons of great stories.

What were your best MMORPG gaming achievements in 2017? Looking back, what are you most proud of doing? What made you the happiest? What game worlds did you visit and what did you do in them?

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MMO Year in Review: July was the high mark of the year for MMORPGs (July 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

July was a month of MMORPG launches, as Riders of IcarusAlbion Online, and Gigantic formally launched; Dark and Light hit early access; and other MMOs, including SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, and Neverwinter, rolled out major updates.

But it was also a period of delays, as Star Citizen collected thousands of comments over its repeated delays of its 3.0 alpha and both ARK: Survival Evolved and Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor rescheduled launches for August. We also said farewell to Firefall after its long limbo, and don’t forget the Pokemon Go live event trainwreck!

Read on for the whole list!

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The Stream Team: The MOP MMO Christmas album live

Did you enjoy the MOP MMO Christmas Album? DO you wish there was a live version you could sing along with?  What if we told you massively OP’s MJ created one just for you? Would you give a listen? Well then, sit back with a warm drink and tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…

What: The MOP MMO Christmas Album
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

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The most popular Massively OP MMO articles of 2017

One of my favorite things to do every year is drill down the top articles on the site for our readers. I don’t mean the most controversial, the most fun, the most important, or the most commented-on; I mean the single articles that actually brought in the most hits. And what I find most interesting is that most “popular” aren’t always the ones we expect! As we’ve noted before, a well-timed link from a major website – Reddit, Fark, or a game dev – can elevate an entire month. (That’s why we’re so grateful when our fans share our work across social networks!)

Just remember that the list favors posts made early in the year (and in some cases, evergreen articles from earlier years) as later pieces haven’t had as much time to percolate, so when you do see big articles from December on a list like this, that means a popular post indeed!

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MMO Year in Review: Ship of Heroes abandons Kickstarter (April 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

In April, City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG Ship of Heroes launched a $400,000 Kickstarter but canceled it soon after, believing it would not fund. Work on the game continued with an abbreviated scope.

Speaking of abbreviated scopes: Star Citizen began promising a trimmed-down alpha 3.0 by summer as of this month as devs talked up the game anyway. (Spoilers: Summer didn’t happen.)

Meanwhile, LOTRO turned 10 years old, SWTOR launched War for Iokath, Guild Wars 2 rolled out controversial raid armor, and Marvel Heroes finally announced a console version, sending the PC playerbase into turmoil.

Read on for the whole list!

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The 2017 MOP MMO Christmas album

Do you like to sing carols? That’s one of my favorite things about this time of year! Christmas time is the best time for music to permeate everything. There’s not a moment that goes by that I’m not thinking of or singing a song. Instead of sugarplums dancing in my head, I usually have lyrics. You may have heard a tune or two while watching The Stream Team adventures on OPTV (and you just might hear more again sooner than you think!).

Of course, my songs aren’t always of the traditional sort; they tend to have a twist or three. It’s inevitable that two things I love — gaming and music — are intertwined in interesting and/or strange ways. My first Christmas carol concoctions came back in 2011 in my Solorius medly album. The next year, a second batch was born, and I was pretty much totally hooked. Chaos Theory got in on the action in both 2013 and in 2014. But I play so many more games now that the tunes aren’t contained to any one title. Here is a smattering of holiday music from Warframe, The Secret World, The Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest II, ARK, and Aion that you can sing along to this season. Go ahead, no one’s listening!

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