The Sociable

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of being a guest on the LOTRO Players News podcast. I’ve never been on a podcast before and I’ve only had two previous experiences doing any kind of collaborative audio/voice recording (one of which never came to light), so it was a really interesting experience. I was quite nervous before-hand, like with most any social situation. Would I talk too much? Would I not talk enough? Those kinds of questions.

Fortunately the people at LOTRO Players are all really fun, interesting, welcoming people so my anxiety was gone pretty quickly. In fact I had so much fun doing the live podcast and chatting with them all afterwards that I’m left with a bit of a problem. It took me awhile to figure out what my feelings were exactly afterwards, but I’ve finally realized what my problem is: I miss being social in LOTRO.

 

If you’ve watched the early episodes of my LOTRO Lore-master series (or listened to the LOTRO Players News podcast) you’ll know that when I started out playing LOTRO I was kind of terrified of talking to people in-game or having to interact with them. I was mortified when I was invited to a fellowship at level 7 or 8 because (not understanding LOTRO mechanics or even MMO mechanics in general) I thought I would have to be in this fellowship forever and that all my hardwork to get to level 7 was ruined!

Fast forward about two years and I’m a LOTRO social butterfly. I’ve joined a small, close-knit kin with alliances and friendships to other kins. We do instances nearly every night, or at least every other day. When we aren’t doing Moria or Mirkwood instances we’re leveling low-level characters, running old instances for deeds, showing off outfits, and parading our horses around Bree. It’s great fun and I can’t see myself ever not doing this.

Fast forward about four years to the present and I am no longer doing that. Most of my already small kin has drifted to other games or has become too busy with real life responsibilities to play LOTRO. Those that do still play have either drastically reduced their play time or have transferred their main character to another server to play with their raiding friends. I myself took a year and a half long break where I didn’t log in once, and even when I did start logging in again it was sporadic at best. My husband claims that he “still plays” and has made a new character to play with me, but we rarely play together and when we do it’s for short bursts. Gone are the days of goofing off with friends in instances, deeding with friends, hosting role-playing events in Bree. For awhile this didn’t bother me too much. I was focused on trying to re-learn the game and my characters and come to grips with new updates. I started my Lore-master video series to help get me back into LOTRO more and it seems it has worked too well. I’m fully invested in LOTRO again, which means I want to be social in LOTRO for the first time in years.

I want to have fun hanging out with friends in-game again. I want characters that I only level with certain people because we are leveling together. I want to use my crafters to help kit out my friends’ new alts. I want to fill the kin house with food and supplies for my kinmates to use freely. I want to help my friends work on their deeds while we complain about how tedious deeds are. I want to host impromptu concerts on the streets of Bree (in matching outfits of course). Going on LOTRO Players and talking to them, even just for the two hours or whatever it was, reminded me of how fun it is to talk and joke about LOTRO with people. Sure, I talk about LOTRO all the time – in my videos [alone] or in my blog posts [alone] or on the forums/comments/twitter [text doesn’t quite deliver that same fun, social feeling of talking to people on Vent or Team Speak or Skype].

So what am I going to do? I don’t really know yet. I don’t want to transfer servers because I’d lose everything in my wardrobe – such a travesty! I have two level 1 characters on Landroval – Cithryth the captain and Cithrith the hunter. I am planning to use them for some video ideas and I may use them to start being social on other servers. I love Windfola and all, but sometimes you just need to try something new to get what you’re looking for.

1 Comment

  1. Zyngor   •  

    Nice work on the previous episode of LPN, and congrats on being welcomed to come on as a regular co-host!

    Like yourself (and I’m sure many others), my kin activity in LOTRO has seen different levels in group activity. I play the role as a mostly-solo player, with the social bonus that playing an online game allows for social interaction with others (mostly just via the in-game chat). Though my first kin eventually had a spot of drama that caused a rift between some members (I was not involved, merely watched it from the sidelines), I was happy to join my current kinship that included some of my old kinship mates.

    I’ve seen the player drift to other games. Fortunately, there are many out-of-game communication tools that let me keep in touch with all sorts of individuals, so I’m not too bothered when someone decides to take a vacation from a certain title.

    I’ve always had issues leveling with others in game, as real-life schedule can make it difficult when I’m currently in a state of random timeframes. This means I’m usually behind the ball (or ahead, if I feel like playing that character and others are unable).

    Have a blast with the new alts – always plenty to see and do, and ways to be social with the general LOTRO populace. :)

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