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 announces its 10 surviving servers

Lord of the Rings Online has begun the process of closing down some of its servers and encouraging players to migrate to one of 10 remaining worlds in order to boost population density.

Today Turbine announced which servers will be surviving, five in each region. In the US, Arkenstone, Crickhollow, Landroval, Gladden, and Brandywine have made it, while in the EU, Belegaer, Gwaihir, Sirannon, Laurelin, and Evernight will continue to endure. The studio said that starting now, no one will be able to make new characters on servers closing down, although existing characters there will be saved and able to transfer to free to another world in their region.

On a happier note, the EU community will be hosting its annual Harnkegger Games later this month on the Laurelin Server. The event, which sees a week of player-run games, will take place August 31st through September 6th.

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Turbine to announce LotRO server closures on August 3

Turbine has published a blog post detailing Lord of the Rings Online’s upcoming server transfers, server consolidation, and data center move. The company hasn’t announced which servers will be affected yet; that information will be released on August 3rd. If you happen to be on one of the shards scheduled to close, you’ll get a title, a housing banner, and a cloak as remembrance gifts.

The whole process will basically take the rest of 2015, as it is “a monumental effort and we want to do it as correctly and painlessly as possible,” Turbine says. Impacted servers will officially be unavailable as of January 2016. Click through the link below to read the fine print as well as details about the new transfer features coming to the game launcher.

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The Daily Grind: Do you get other stuff done while playing MMOs?

I listened to an audiobook while playing MMOs this weekend, and frankly I wish I’d thought of this before. Most of the MMOs I play are filled with repetitive activties that only occasionally require brain engagement, so what better way to simultaneously cross a couple of things off my entertainment to-do list, right?

Plus, there’s something oddly appealing about playing Lord of the Rings Online while listening to some British chap read The Fellowship of the Ring to me with great gusto.

What about you, MOP readers? Do you get other stuff done while playing MMOs?

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Leaderboard: How many MMOs have you played this week?

I guess my MMO habit is back in full swing, because after a few weeks of vacationing in the realm of single-player titles (and a few weeks of vacationing from gaming altogether), I’m back to hitting this hobby hard. So far this week I’ve logged significant time in Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and EverQuest II. I’ve also dabbled in MMOlikes ARK: Survival Evolved, Guns of Icarus, and GTA Online, for what it’s worth.

What about you, MOP readers? Have you played more than one MMO this week? How many? Vote after the cut!

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LotRO’s Weatherstock and summer festival return this week

Lord of the Rings Online fans are in for a busy weekend. Turbine has dusted off the game’s summer festival, which is ongoing through August 5th. The usual hobbit, dwarf, and horse-racing events return, as well as daily quests and fishing quests that reward summer tokens which may be exchanged for rare items at festival vendors. And don’t forget to work on your Inn League or Ale Association rep while you’re at it!

On the Landroval server, long-running player music festival Weatherstock is back for an encore on Friday, July 24th at the new festival stage in Bree.

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Perfect Ten: MMO fan fashion scenes

For some of us, having the best gear — stat-wise — isn’t a driving force for playing MMOs. Now, the best-looking gear? That’s a whole different story.

It’s incredibly rare these days for an MMO not to offer players the option to create a cosmetic outfit from their favorite virtual articles of clothing. Ever since games started to do this, there’s been a community devoted to looking absolutely fabulous. For players in that community, finding gear that has a unique or complementary look is the real name of the game.

Today we’re going to look at 10 fan projects to celebrate and show off MMO fashion across the realm. Know a site or blog that isn’t on this list but should be? Give it a link salute in the comments!

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO plugin?

When I went back to Lord of the Rings Online a couple of weeks ago, I spent a decent amount of time searching the internet for my favorite plugin. Initially I couldn’t remember its name, and as I had built a new computer since I last played LotRO, it wasn’t installed or archived on a local drive.

It’s called TonicBars, and even though it hasn’t been updated since 2012, it still works and it’s a godsend if you want to de-clutter the game’s busy UI while maintaining easy access to a ton of hotbars that only appear when certain customizable conditions are met.

What about you, MOP readers? What’s your favorite MMO plugin?

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The Soapbox: An ode to MMO positivity

I had a strange thought the other day, at least as regards the MMO genre. I’m kinda having fun here. I know, it surprised me too because it’s been an eternity since I found MMOs fun. Don’t get me wrong because free-to-play still sucks, people still love lockboxes, and you can’t click on a news article these days without reading about monetization or raving lunatics.

But funk all that! I’m in a good MMO mood. Join me past the cut and I’ll show you the games responsible.

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The Daily Grind: What keeps you from crafting in MMOs?

To this day, I’ve really only been a “crafter” in a small handful of MMOs: Fallen Earth, World of Warcraft, and Lord of the Rings Online. However, almost every time I start a new game, I have the best of intentions to take advantage of the crafting system. Those plans just never seems to coalesce.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to admin the reason that I bail on crafting usually has a lot to do with time. Time spent gathering and crafting is time not spent on (in my opinion) much more interesting activities such as questing and fighting. Plus crafting can be a huge moneysink and doesn’t always offer exclusive rewards that can’t be purchased or won elsewhere.

Some of you are crafters. But for those who aren’t, what keeps you from crafting in MMOs?

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Global Chat: Are fellowship maneuvers due for a comeback?

Lord of the Rings Online hasn’t been en vogue in MMO circles recently, but that doesn’t mean that the game and its systems are all dried up. Kill Ten Rats argues that one of the title’s 2007 innovations, the fellowship maneuver, should be copied and improved by the current generation of online games.

“It is a great mechanic that raises the skill ceiling and rewards group play without punishing soloers,” Zubon posts. “This is a great way to support group play. It takes nothing away from solo players, but it provides a bonus to being in a group, and the bonus scales up with the group size.”

While you’re chewing on that thought, here are some more blog posts for your literary appetite. This week we’ll see how Villagers and Heroes is an undiscovered gem, tackle video game addiction (again), see more World of Warcraft flying drama, and even return to the pixelated world of Anarchy Online!

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Check out Lord of the Rings Online’s new PvP map

After eight years of being confined to a single zone, Lord of the Rings Online’s PvP population will soon get a new map upon which to fight.

The Battle of Osgiliath is coming with this summer’s update, pitting the Freeps (Free Peoples of Middle-earth) against the Creeps (monster play characters) against the backdrop of the iconic war-torn city. The patch will also contain quality-of-life improvements for PvP, including Creep mail and the ability to retrait anywhere in the world.

The map is currently on the test server, and LOTRO Players took advantage of this to create a lengthy video tour of the city and its objectives. Check out Osgiliath in action after the jump!

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LOTRO bringing cosmetic weapons, Hobbit adventures, and a PvMP map this summer

One of the long-running wish list items for Lord of the Rings Online players has been a cosmetic item system — something that Turbine previously said was too difficult to implement. However, it looks as though the studio has had a breakthrough on the tech, as it has announced that it will be introducing such a system this summer.

Executive Producer Athena Peters confirmed the details of the next patch on the forums: “But seriously, [Update] 16.2 will enter open beta this weekend so please go check it out on Bullroarer if you have the chance. This will include the new PvMP zone, Adventures of Bingo Boffin, and cosmetic weapons! Live release will be mid-summer.”

Peters went on to say that Update 17 will be coming in the fall, but she declined to provide more details on it.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the prettiest MMO?

Judging video game eye candy is one of the most subjective activities in our hobby, is it not? Everyone has a different standard (and tolerance) for beauty, which can extend to art style, palettes, locales, animation, and lens flares. We know which way J.J. Abrams will vote whenever he sees that last one.

There are a lot of good-looking MMOs on the market right now. I enjoy the colorful zaniness of WildStar, the gorgeous “painterly aesthetic” of Guild Wars 2, and even the old-school talent behind Lord of the Rings Online. But I think that there’s beauty in most online games if you look for it.

So in your opinion, what is the prettiest MMO on the market? Bonus points to your position if you post a screenshot to back it up!

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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