Finished off the last 3 books in volume 1 this weekend, it was a mammoth undertaking, a little bit tortuous in places but such a relief to finally get it done. Yay, got a few nice titles and a horse. Don't think I'd ever do it again though. Once is more than enough for me. My feeling is that the later books are going to be paid content, book 1-8 may be free not 9-15 seeing as they are almost a separate storyline. Anyways only have one more weekend before unsubscribing for the summer and until Lotro goes free to play (need to spread gold across alts, empty some bags and abandon my house).
Having doubts about if I'm going to return to the game. I chose to level a warden, for the instant travel that was so very helpful for the epic books. To my mind the class is iconic, the spear/javelin, shield, ranger. It probably comes from levelling a tank, sure survivability is great, but combat is extremely slow. Have levelled a captain and burglar to 20/30, burglar seems to be alright and is suppose to get better at higher (crit) levels, captain is equally slow with so few abilities to actively use. Have a good idea of the classes and at this stage none are overly appealing. That's a bit of a hurdle, there's no class that's appealing enough to level up in place of the warden, but was considering champion for a faster killing experience.
If Turbine is going to strip out a lot of quests, slow combat is not going to entice many people, couldn't fathom the agony that would be grinding levels in Lotro. DDO had the whole active hack and slash thing that's different enough to tempt people. I would guess they would need to lower skirmishes (and/or PvM) to level 20, that way if the questing is unappealing, then there is something else to potentially interest new players. I could see myself returning if that happened, a champion tearing through skirmishes would be nice to do on occasion. To my mind, the success of this change to free to play depends on expanding skirmishes significantly. Adding a 'dungeon finder' like tool to form groups, and doing some freep v creep skirmishes, that's where I see the success lying. Same old questing just does not cut it anymore, though it was the lore and story that kept me doing the epic quests, the standard fetch and kill quests are going to turn off a lot of people.
A lot of current subscribers fear the influx of WOW kiddies but why would they when cataclysm will be released about the same time. Then again can't understand trolling along the lines, of logging in to say how boring the game is and how much better questing is in WOW, there's only one response to that.
Was a little unnerved at first about the things that I'd be losing (bags, rested xp, trait slots), but now it's more curiosity about how things will change and they must do so because the game needs an USP that's different enough from the competition. Lore and community are sufficient for the current subscribers, but what about the masses? DDO had that in the form of adventure packs (something innately appealing about that concept) and the combat. Where's Lotro's killer hook?