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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 10:32AM (Unverified) said

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I think this will suck as well. Here's to massive server outages and lag lag lag

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 10:43AM Dlangar said

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Just from my strictly casual gameplay observations, I would say the statement holds true. Newbie zones are still quite busy, and even remote locations like Estelden and Evondim I see a pretty continuous stream of people. Compare this to my server in WoW, where remote low level areas like Darkshore and Astranaar seem empty and desolate by comparison.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 10:48AM Deryk said

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LotRO still going very strong after two years. Brandywine is always busy and it's very easy to get a pick-up fellowship for those "hard-to-do" quests. Well generally speaking that is.

There last patch seems to have fixed alot of the lag and server issues, at least for me.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 10:50AM (Unverified) said

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I've picked up LotRo on two different occasions; the first time was last summer, and the second time was about four months ago. Both times I have been highly impressed by the game, and only cancelled because my guild-mates and real-life friends all play World of Warcraft... which despite what many people will say, is a very good game, and has 11+ million subscribers for a good reason.

It's good to hear that LotRo is still successful and growing. I personally would recommend it to anyone who wants a "deeper" RP/PvE experience than WoW, but who isn't concerned about the near total lack of PvP combat. LotRo is just as polished as WoW, but emphasizes loot and raiding far less - if anything, I'd argue the game is even more "casual friendly" than WoW is. I will probably return to LotRo myself, at least for the summer months when I (as a teacher) have a good amount of time off!

Props to Turbine for making a great game.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:01PM LaughingTarget said

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There isn't a lack of PvP, it's almost a whole different game. Lack as in lack of funky battlegrounds for tiered levels, ya, but you can jump into PvP after level 10 with one of those monster accounts.
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Posted: Jun 21st 2009 10:53AM Lateris said

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Turbine listened to the community as we communicated about the lag. They even hosted a stress test to look into the issues. It is great community. I play on Brandywine and I love the fact that it is a populated server.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 10:59AM Myria said

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No MMO is going to close servers if they can at all avoid it, but personally I think LoTRO could seriously benefit from it.

The server I've played on, Elendilmir, was much better populated this last time I played then it was last September, but that's not really saying much. I could easily go a day's play without seeing another player, finding groups for anything other then endgame was nearly impossible, and even the one-and-only "crowded" city in the game, Brill, rarely had more then a dozen players in it, and often quite a lot less. Even the global LFG and OOC channels rarely got out of the double digits and were often stuck in the low thirties (granted, a lot of people might not know about those, keeping the numbers lower then they might otherwise be, but still). In fact the only time I've seen LoTRO populated the way I'm used to in an MMO was during the Bullroarer stress test, which is really kind of sad.

Despite the over-abundance of group quests, both times I've tried it I've found LoTRO to be a depressingly single-player experience. I'm not sure server mergers would fix that, but they sure wouldn't hurt.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:19PM Wisdomandlore said

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I've played regularly on Elendilmir since launch. Global LFF and OOC are always in the triple digits, and regularly reach 500+ in the evenings. Not being able to find a group for low level stuff is not an indicator that the population is slipping. Finding groups for group quests pre-50 (or now 60) has been a problem since the original beta. It's just not an efficient use of time compared to solo quests.

The biggest problem with the population is the wild swings any MMO of this age has. After an update, there's a huge surge and there's often TOO many people on. It's that way for about a month or two. Then until the next update (usually another month or two), there's a lull where the population goes downhill for awhile.
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Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:30PM (Unverified) said

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"and even the one-and-only "crowded" city in the game, Brill, rarely had more then a dozen players in it"

*giggle*
The Horde have arrived in Middle-earth?
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Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:43PM Myria said

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When did I say the population was slipping? As far as I could tell the game's population, at least on the one server I've played on, went up from September of last year to current. However, going from ultra-low to low is still not that impressive a jump.

As for the LFG/OOC numbers you quote, apparently they mysteriously drop whenever I sub and go through the roof afterward. Must be my deodorant or something.

And as for the group quest thing, I wouldn't mind the lack of people (not to mention abysmally bad LFG tool) to group with quite so much if there weren't so bloody many group quests and if the Book quests weren't, or didn't inevitably lead to, group quests. Having to just skip the book quests -- ostensibly a big honkin' part of what's unique and interesting about the game -- is annoying at best.

Too often LoTRO has felt to me like a single-player game, and on that basis it rather fails to engage me. Server mergers, though we all know they wouldn't happen in pretty much any MMO even if there was only one player on the server, might help with that some. That's all I'm saying.
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Posted: Jun 21st 2009 1:16PM JaySpeed said

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E is the unofficial oceanic server and it has a reputation for having alot of people playing at all different times due to the Aussies playing there. E is the second biggest server in terms of population so I'm not sure what you noticed. Bree is no longer the busy town. Go to 21st Hall in Moria and you'll see a busy place. Despite that I still see upwards of 50 people everytime I check /who when visiting Bree. GLFF has upwards of 200 people on during prime time and that's good considering it's a user created channel. Log on tuesday night and you'll see how healthy the server population is.
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Posted: Jun 21st 2009 11:03AM (Unverified) said

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It should be noted that even the vaunted World of Warcraft has servers that can be VERY dead - as in hardly anyone online, ever.

As with any game, people tend to congregate on the oldest and highest populated servers. Frankly, if you didn't do at least a LITTLE research in advance, to discover which servers had a decent population, the fault is your own, not the game's.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 11:04AM Comrade Domovoi said

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I really hate the stigma associated with server merges. It is not a damn death knell for a game, and I really hate that the masses associate it with a sinking ship. Look at AoC, the game had server merges and absolutely everyone is happy about it, and the game continues getting better and improving. As to the LOTRO server merger issue, they could really benefit from server merges. Back when I used to play up until about 5 months ago, on the server Landorval(which was supposed to be the second most populated server next to Brandywine fyi) days would sometimes pass before you could get a group for important storyline book quests in the Trollshaws (the earlier one with the trolls and Legolas, not the late book one with the Angmarim). So, the population may be growing but a server merge would by far not hurt. Do a server merge, and see how happy people will be since it can only lead to good things. And don't get me started on getting groups in Moria on my "second most populous server in LOTRO".

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:21PM GreenArmadillo said

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I absolutely agree that we in the community need to do a better job reacting to server merges.

That said, Turbine's policy on user statistics is very irritating. They won't say what the actual numbers actually are, but they will make a vague statement (in this case, that numbers are either constant or increasing), allow journalists to draw conclusions that may or may not be correct (e.g. population is increasing), and then refuse to comment on the resulting headlines, based on their supposed policy of not releasing stats.
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Posted: Jun 21st 2009 11:22AM Oneiromancer said

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I do wish that they would merge Vilya with another low-pop server. Auction house prices are seriously wacky here, and it's not uncommon for me to be the only person in an area of Angmar or Forochel during prime time (since LOTRO does /who by zone area, not the entire zone, that's all I can poll).

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 11:59AM Triskelion said

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Grats to Turbine, I never got into LotRO but this is good news for them and their fans.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:09PM (Unverified) said

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They haven't had the need to ADD servers either....

Other then that comment, I like LotR, I wish that it had some meaningful PvP though. If any game would have benefited from a solid PvP structure, it would have been that one.

It's main issue is it never does anything to "risky" it sticks to what work works in MMO-land and that's it. Had it gone the "extra step" and went outside the box, who knows....
But i guess 11 or so servers and holding for 2 years in the MMO industry is an accomplishment in todays market.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:28PM TheJackman said

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Lord of the Rings Online is not for me like I do not like the use of IP. But that's not make it a bad game! I hope Lotr will be around many years so they can complete the Fellowship journey and show us what happens next!

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 12:55PM (Unverified) said

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You'd probably be amazed how how different things are when you reach the Mines of Moria expansion pack areas regarding player numbers.

It's the nature of a level based game mechanics to produce low level dead zones after the initial rush of players when a game starts. To compare: try getting a group together on WoW on a weekday for the brilliant Dire Maul and see how easy that is, odds on it will take more than a little effort and patience.

I think the next update includes some moves to make Bree more of an active capital city which is a great move as the game could do with a 'centre' away from the high level expansion pack areas. Personally I'd close down all the other zones class trainers, AH and so on and make everyone head to Bree when not quest grinding but that might be stretching the lore a little for some of the purists.

Weirdly the only game that bases progression on a system of zones for levels that I've played that doesn't have big dead areas is Age of Conan. That always seems to be lively. No idea how they manage it.

Posted: Jun 21st 2009 1:49PM Pingles said

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I enjoyed LOTRO but found the environments all very similar and lost interest in exploration. I gave up when my toon was in his 30's.

One thing about WoW was that they didn't worry too much about spicing up their environments with a little nonsense and strangeness.

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