Middle Earth is serious business…

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.

I doubt Elrond would laugh if one of his kids called the other a Dodo Poo Poo Head.

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?

Invader Zim GIR

I wants me two barrels of glue to be my friends! (Invader Zim, anyone?)

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?

4 Responses to “Middle Earth is serious business…”

  1. RevMrBlack says:

    Yeah, that was my biggest disappointment with LotRO. I only played in a duo with my RL friend, and while it was really fun, it was sporatic at best. When I did try to solo on another character, I’d find little to no general chat, and no one to group with that didn’t just want help doing only one quest.

    In FFXIV our linkshell is pretty tight knit. We almost never group with other people outside the linkshell. There have been some good people, but sometimes we get terribad players, or ones that just don’t speak english. Plus, it makes it hard when we always use Vent, and the outsider doesn’t. Biggest difficulty with FFXIV right now is that it seems everyone is waiting on the Nov 25th update, so there’s less people to chat with. Hopefully, the update turns it around.

    Not 100% sure where you’re going to find a small, solid community to join though. Pretty much, it should be any MMO where grouping is beneficial, moreso than soloing, IMO. Guilds become your social group, not the entire community. Find a good one, and you’re set.

  2. SlothBear says:

    Darkfall doesn’t have much of a community. Although it is a fun game. :)

  3. Daria says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I know this post is over a month old now, but maybe you’ll check for comments if you are still updating this. It is a wierd thing about LotRO, I’ve been playing it myself since this summer. I think the game just caters heavily to the older and more casual gamers, because there is no big emphasis on end game raiding or gear grinding treadmills. It is actually pretty easy to obtain a good set of gear once you get to Moria, even though that expansion is now old. People also don’t judge you over your gear or your DPS, so I think the achiever types get bored pretty quickly and leave. There are also still lots of PUG groups forming once you get into Moria.

    Your experience would drastically be colored by your kinship. I’ve seen many very casual kins in the game and know exactly what you mean by people just doing their own thing. What is the point really of being in a kin like that? There are ones out there that actually do raid and group together. The PvP in the game is limited, and there isn’t any point in going to the Moors until you hit 65 which is a shame. I’ll stay in LotRO for a while longer, at least until Rift comes out. :)

  4. Sharon says:

    Thank you so much for the comment! Even though the post is old, it’s something I still think about. I think you’re right… and I think I’m just a little bit of an achiever type, so without the social aspect, I get bored. When people are quietly doing their own thing, I get a bit lonely. :) I was in the first two RIFT betas (which I can say, since that NDA was dropped), and it reminds me a lot of what Warhammer should have been. I’m looking forward to when it comes out also!

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