Lord of the Rings Online has a reputation for having a mature, friendly community. While every game has its fair share of trolls, LOTRO has fewer than most.
However, I’m finding the community almost TOO mature. People are friendly, but very serious. I get the feeling that the whole game is rather… sanitized. It’s enjoyable enough (though I do miss my PvP), but at this point, I feel like I can take it or leave it. According to the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology, I’m a Killer Socializer. “Killer Socializers often seek out PvP in a game, but they are looking to socialize with and form alliances and teams with other players who are interested in doing the same. KS tend to seek out guilds or clans that organize formal PvP events, or work on group strategies and tactics” (from the GamerDNA website.) No wonder I stuck it out in Warhammer for so long. I think I just like to PvP and chat with people while I do it.
Basically, I’m missing the social connection. I like my kin in LOTRO well enough, but they’ve been playing together a long time. Most of them are couples who duo together. And they’re very… serious. I’m not sure it’s the best place for a 30-something woman who still laughs at potty jokes.
My friend, Laurel, and I were talking about it today. She’s a hardcore raider in WoW, and thinking about switching to the Alliance side and applying to the top raid guild there, because she’s already in the top Horde raid guild but she’s tired of their lack of commitment and the fact that they carry a few people just because they’ve been there forever (or are the girlfriend of the raid leader.). While the Pre-Cataclysm activities are calling to the former WoW-junkie in me, I’m really not interested in going back to WoW, mainly because the community sucks. My old server was like a whole village full of idiots at a convention. They still tell anal jokes ALL the time, because apparently, those never get old. And if a new player asks a question, they get an answer ranging from flat-out wrong to DIAF.
But is my alternative something like LOTRO, where people are SO polite and serious and mature that I miss the joking and teasing and “your mom” jokes?
It doesn’t help that I’m getting a bit bored with LOTRO. At almost 60, I’ve solo’d most of my way through, apart from two short runs in Carn Dum. (Hunters are a dime a dozen, so the lack of groups is partly my fault. I could have rolled a less popular class.) My younger daughter has been playing, and thoroughly enjoying herself, and I was hoping that she’d catch up so I’d have someone to duo with, but she’s taking her sweet time, crafting and exploring along the way.
Ultimately, I think what’s missing is the social component. I log in, say a polite hello in kin chat, get polite greetings in return and I’m on my own. Since everyone duos, and many of the couples are RL friends, there’s not much kin grouping. It was similar in EQ2. After some looking, I thought I’d found a great little social group until the guild leader disbanded the guild late one night in a fit of family drama. I haven’t really been motivated to go back to EQ2 since then.
Maybe when a game has such a friendly community on the large scale, there’s less need for tight knit small scale interactions? Maybe what drives the very guild-centric social environment in WoW is the terrible quality of the larger server community? Maybe if my husband ever got into MMOs, then I’d have a permanent duo partner and I could say good-bye to the rest of the community? (Not going to happen… I’ve been trying for YEARS!!! *pout*)
Maybe I need to look for another game (besides WoW) with a reputation for a crappy community, and see if I can find a solid, mature-but-not-too-mature social group there. Hmmm… Darkfall?