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

Lord of the Rings Online’s next update will allow you to level to 95 instantly

It’s indisputable that there is a lot of content in Lord of the Rings Online. There’s a huge pile of zones and quests for everyone to undertake, regardless of level. So why not skip all of it with a quick level 95 boost to get you into the highest-level content immediately? The next major update to the game is adding just that.

While skipping everything in the lower levels isn’t for everyone, the idea makes sense when you’re leveling yet another alt. Or maybe you just hate leveling; we’re not here to judge. You can see a quick video of using the Blessing of the Valar just below; don’t worry, your character will have appropriate gear and mounts waiting at the other side of the boost tunnel.

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The Game Archaeologist: Ultima X Odyssey

I think any MMO veteran has a private list of prematurely canceled games that he or she deeply wishes had been completed and launched. I wish we lived in a world where Project Copernicus was a joyous fantasy world rather than a sour news story or where Interplay had free reign to make Fallout Online.

But perhaps one of the greatest “could have been’s” is also rarely discussed these days due to the passage of time: Ultima X Odyssey. The second proposed sequel to Ultima Online showed true promise, an intriguing morality system, and an art style that still holds up today. The more I’ve learned about it over the years, the more I mourn the fact that it died before it was ever born.

So what made this game so special? What are we missing today by not having it? Let’s take a trip back to the early part of the 2000s to discover this Ultima successor.

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The Stream Team: Spending Thanksgiving as a Hobbit in LOTRO

What’s more appropriate on Thanksgiving than being a Hobbit? Nothing! Food and our furry-footed friends go together like cheese and crackers, like peanut butter and jelly, like… well, you get the idea. After a filling holiday feast, MassivelyOP’s MJ can’t think of a better place to lounge off her turkey coma than the Shire, so she’s kicking back in LOTRO on her Burglar. Who knows, there might even be pie to steal there! Join us live at 7:00 p.m. as as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…

What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 26th, 2015

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LOTRO players host Friendship France gathering this weekend to show solidarity after attacks

Communities around the globe are still coping with the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, and in MMOs, it’s no different. Similar to how players in several games held vigils after the incident, Lord of the Rings Online’s community is preparing for a “Friendship France” gathering on the Sirannon [FR] server this Sunday.

According to event organizers, the gathering will take place on the Prancing Pony stage in Bree: “We show our friendship to the French community of LOTRO after the attacks on Paris which happened on Friday, November 13th. Notenzauber will open the event with a 30-minute concert, and after that it’s an open stage event.”

Players are encouraged to dye their outfits the colors of the French flag, and English-speaking players can /joinchannel Friendship to talk amongst themselves.

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One Shots: Slice ‘n’ dice

New expansions across the MMO sphere are prompting many of us to take up a part-time job as in-game photographers. And why not? Eye candy is part of the fun of this genre!

Reader Brooks sent in this cool action shot of Star Wars: The Old Republic: “Neither Skytroopers or the Knights of Zakuul can stop a Jedi Master from reaching her new friends as they wait aboard the Gravestone.”

There is no Dana, there is only Zakuul. What? I can’t be the first one to make that joke!

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Leaderboard: What’s your favorite LOTRO class?

Yesterday I asked about your favorite zone in Lord of the Rings Online, but today I’d like to narrow the choices a bit and ask another question related to Turbine’s fantasy MMO.

I’ve played the game off and on since launch, and I’ve got one of every class at this point. Most of my time is spent on my Hunter, though, both because I like ranged DPS and because I like being able to port around the vast world when I’m not roleplaying.

What about you, LOTRO fans? What’s your favorite class and why? Vote after the cut!

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Why I keep returning to Lord of the Rings Online

I got sucked into Lord of the Rings Online last weekend and I’m not sure why. There’s no new Hobbit movie forthcoming (thank funk). I haven’t reread Tolkien’s books lately, either, so that’s not the reason. I guess it’s just that time of year when I look around at the MMO space, see a mass of uninspired grindparks, and think to myself, “Well, at least I can wander through Middle-earth!”

This pilgrimage happens once, if not twice annually, and while I don’t know how long my current sojourn will last, ultimately all that matters is that I’m having a great time with it.

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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?

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO have you played the most?

I updated Lord of the Rings Online over the weekend, and as I was looking at the game in my Steam list, I was surprised that it showed over 400 hours logged. That’s just on Steam, too, and I’m sure I have three or four times that in total because I played heavily at launch and throughout 2007, well before I even started using Steam.

I doubt LOTRO is my most-played MMO, though, simply because of the crazy amount of life I wasted on Star Wars Galaxies back in the day!

What about you, MOP readers? Which MMO have you played the most? Can you estimate your total hours?

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Perfect Ten: Why making an Old West MMO would be challenging (but worth it)

The western has been limping along for decades now, occasionally rearing its head to produce a well-loved movie or game smash hit before disappearing once more. It’s certainly one of the most-cited genres when it comes to speculating about largely unexplored spaces for MMOs, but how feasible is doing an online western RPG really?

We’ve seen some titles tap into the western feel without being a true period game, such as WildStar and Fallen Earth, but no major attempt has been made to create an MMO in the wild, wild west of legend. Still, you look at how gamers flocked to Red Dead Redemption and you have to wonder if there’s potential there for something more persistent and massively multiplayer.

Today I’m going to mull over the finer points as to why making a western MMO would be an incredibly challenging feat — and why it would be totally worth it if done right. Giddyup, cowpokes!

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO starter zone?

A lot of love and attention is poured into beginning zones by developers. After all, these are players’ first steps into your world, so you want to make the absolute best impression possible. Plus, if an MMO ends up becoming a player’s favorite stomping ground, these early zones become nostalgia fuel for the start of a wonderful journey.

Today I’d love to hear about your favorite beginning zones. I have so many of them, from Northshire Abbey in World of Warcraft to the Shire in Lord of the Rings Online. Even WildStar has a pair of terrific newbie areas with Everstar Grove and Northern Wilds that are brimming with personality and views.

What are yours?

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Global Chat: The frustrations and joys of Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns

The player debate and analysis over the virtues and vices of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns has — unsurprisingly — evoked strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.

Blogger Bhagpuss at Inventory Full said that he’s a satisfied customer: “For once I’m getting what I want. It feels these maps have been made with my playstyle squarely in mind. Instead of achiever maps with a nominal nod to exploring these are real, explorable maps with a few lifebelts scattered around for drowning achievers to cling to.”

Alternatively, Creeping had an epic-sized rant about how the expansion felt like a bait-and-switch from the beta. “I really, really, don’t understand why they had to add the hero point grind, on top of the masteries grind on top of a story arc grind,” she wrote.

Agree? Disagree? We’re only getting started with a look at the opinions across the MMO blogosphere today!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 36: Team Sparkles

Bree is the world’s biggest vampire and Star Trek fan! This and other dubious “facts” are what you’ll discover on this week’s show, as the podcast crew talks about CCP’s White Wolf sale, several major game updates, and something called “post-purchase rationalization.”

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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