I’ve been spending a good amount of time in Lord of the Rings Online of late and it’s so nice to be settled into a familiar game. I still have a huge amount to do on my various characters but I’ve already invested a good amount of time and care into them and that makes coming back all the easier.
Ravanel has a post of returning to LOTRO and I agree with the feelings expressed in this post. The virtual world that Turbine has created out of Tolkien’s novels is pretty stunning. The later content zones seem to be of a particularly high standard which helps to encourage my character ever onwards now the level cap is finally in sight.
One commentor on the linked post (Rakuno) remarked that an MMO needs “good gameplay and good company”. That’s a pretty good summation of my ongoing quest for a new “home” MMO over the years. I often play an MMO with good systems but without the right company and it’s hard not to drift away. It’s the oft mentioned “social ties” that keep us bound to a game; I’ll be trying WoW again when Legion launches, even if it is only for the month or two it’ll take to blow through the levelling content and normal-mode dungeons. But equally gameplay is very important, whether combat or non-combat, so a balanced mix of combat, crafting, activities and compelling story.
Not every game is sticky mind – I’ve returned to other MMOs to give them another try and only played them briefly before quitting again. Defining exactly why is probably difficult to pin down exactly as there are so many potential factors. Perhaps it’s just the amount of time sunk already combined with a much loved virutal world?