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Few days without posting: a bit busy in virtual life + Easter + some personal rela life. So, here we go.

Istaria

Our really big plot in Last Stand is almost finished. 34 storage silos done, very few remaining. Our megabuilder, the plot owner, worked day and night there. I aided as much as I could…well, if I was not distracted by other plots. Now there is little where I can help with.

I grinded mithril in huge numbers, targeting motherlodes: harvest, deposit ore to vault, return to motherlode. Later started to grind steel for our Guildhouse in Heather. And finally yesterday – switched to Weaver and made some cotton runs.

We roleplayed a lot about motherlodes, their protection and harvesting. Since yesterday was Easter, someone proposed gathering eggs. Of course, I told to paint motherlodes and get them, then other chat members intervened and we got a very nice, refreshing talk.

In Istaria I feel as at home. I have many schools to finish (after all we are game that allows multiclassing), many buildings to aid, many things to learn, many items to loot (and possibly transfer to an alt). There are no situation like “ok, daily task finished, what to do now?”. There are situations like “ok, one task finished, which one out of 99 I should pick?”. Even if I do grindiest grind – I see  sense in it. Harvest obsidian in the name of harvesting obsidian is not fun at all. Harvest obsidian so that new much needed structure could appear – this really makes sense. Harvest obsidian so that other player could make stuff and increase level – it makes sense too. I feel in  community where I am needed by others and I need others too. I feel reallyu happy there.

Lord of the rings

now almost officially becomes pay to win game. Update 16 is on its way. Introducing 3 new regions and – legendary weapon Imbue system”. System promises an option to “imbue” level 100 weapon so that it grows with the owner. No need to reforge each 10 levels. Weapon would have some 40 levels. 25 of these are free, 15 – purchasable with Mithril coins. It is pay to win, if we talk about sparring: whoever has more mithril coins, wins. Also, new “essence armour” with 5 slots is introduced. Bearing in mind that good essences are super expensive and require too much hard work – this armour makes no sense.

The sense is  – Lotro starts to roll down to pay-to-win model. We are seeing only first step, there would be more and more of these. No one objects using mithril for fluffy items: if you have too much TP or cash, feel free to invest, say, 100$ worth mithril coins to Aragorn’s decorated WC.

People I have talked to were not excited about these news too. One told me like “everyone knows Lotro is going to its end, so they just milk players”. Maybe that’s too radical, but the way game treats players is very unfair.

Which makes me understand I will have less reasons to log in. I have no activity left and no wish to fight losing fight with random number generator. I have no spare thousands of $ to spent on legendary weapon. All I have is my Kinship where I come to talk or occasional people I could help with.

And this is where I got some surprises. A group: lvl.88 Runekeeper, mighty lvl.100 Guardian and my lame lvl.100 “champion”. Warg Dens of Dol Guldur. I run forward, shing-shing, more shing-shing, runekeeper throws Sith-type attacks, Guardian collects a horde of monsters, I shing-shing…and we are almost there. One time something went wrong, probably too many monsters, my shing shings killed some, but group was wiped. We returned, avenged…and repeated with poor wargs. At the end group (including experienced tank) told me that “we went this far because of your dps”. They were…in fact they were impressed with my class, with me and my shing shing. It was the biggest compliment I have ever received in Lotro.  This run aside, managed help other people too.

I could only conclude that Istaria and Lotro makes me feel very, very different. Lotro is pay to winn (or – grind half of your life to win); Istaria is have fun to play. In Istaria I am needed to community; in Lotro questions like “any low lvl players needing any help?” almost always got unanswered. in Lotro, there is almost nothing to do, except fight RNG; in Istaria, there are great many things to do, f rom visiting nice snowy lakes to helping huge plot or learning all battle/crafting schools.

Istaria is in all ways  better.  Lotro is like a dying star: it still shines, it still expands, but anybody could predict that end is near.

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