LOTRO Legendarium: Six ideas LOTRO totally should steal from other MMOs

    
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It’s only natural for people who play multiple MMOs or are aware of what’s happening in other titles to foster a sense of envy. Sometimes you’ll look across the fence at another MMO’s community and think, “I wish we had what they do,” especially when it comes to gameplay systems and features.

Because this is an idea-incestuous genre, it’s entirely possible that those shiny features could be… “appropriated” and repackaged to use in other games. So today I’m making a list of six features from popular MMOs that I’d love to see imported into Lord of the Rings Online in some way, shape, or form.

Boat.

Skiffs from Guild Wars 2

When I heard that Guild Wars 2 was getting its own type of player boats with the End of Dragons expansion, my first thought was, “I’ve been asking for that in LOTRO for years now!”

Boats, skiffs, canoes, rafts… whatever the form, I think they’d go so well with Middle-earth. Not only would players have a “water mount” to traverse the sometimes large lakes or wide rivers, but they’d be perfect as platforms to do some casual fishing or throw a party on the shore’s edge.

Calendars from World of Warcraft

We’re still waiting to see what LOTRO’s going to do with this year’s kinship update (I get the sense that a whole lot of things are up in the air regarding this), but my top request would be some sort of calendar system.

As WoW uses it, it shows both official in-game activities and guild events. Wouldn’t this be perfect for LOTRO? Imagine if huge player events could be coordinated through the calendar system. Heck, even having an in-game list of upcoming official events would be far more helpful than having to go to the forums all the time.

No, we already made the Cats joke.

LFG incentives from Final Fantasy XIV

I’m more than a little frustrated at the defeatist attitude that SSG’s taken toward its looking for group tools — or lack thereof. The studio’s approach here seems to shrug and say, “We tried it once, nobody used it, so… yeah.” Meanwhile, practically every other significant MMO boasts a usable LFG system, so… yeah.

It might be worth taking notes from what FFXIV has done with its dungeon system. Not only is there the typical LFG assembly, but there are significant incentives for high-level people to run random or lowbie dungeons and thereby keep the instant population hopping. Scaling level tech is also key here, and I know this is something that SSG is currently creating.

Archaeology from Elder Scrolls Online

While a handful of MMOs have attempted some sort of archaeology system, I vouch for ESO as having the best of them all. That system is really interesting, using a blend of strategic minigames and world exploration to solve, and the rewards — often housing items — are incentive enough to participate.

I could see this as a future hobby for LOTRO that gives new life and purpose to older zones as players go on actual treasure hunts through them.

Collectable music from RuneScape

One of the coolest ideas that almost no other MMO seems interested in stealing is RuneScape’s collectable music system. By adventuring into certain areas or completing content, players in that MMO can unlock music tracks to be added to their in-game player. That allows players to customize their own soundtrack as they add to it.

I love it. LOTRO has a germ of that with housing music boxes, but these are obviously limited. If we could have a similar system for when we’re doing landscape content, that’d be amazing. I’d love to pick and choose the best, most immersive pieces of score to play.

Companions from Star Wars The Old Republic

With a massive world, LOTRO often feels lonelier than it ought as you adventure. After all, the books were big on companions and fellowships, and there are some small steps to making you feel less alone when you’re soloing with pets and landscape soldiers.

But SWTOR and other similar MMOs point to more vocal and active companions with personalities, storylines, and benefits, and that could be a terrific addition for the future in Middle-earth.

Are there any other systems you’d like to see swiped for inclusion into this MMORPG? Sound off in the comments!

Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an adventure (horrid things, those) through the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, well, legendary online world of Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, send it to him at justin@massivelyop.com.
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