A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

LOTRO and Streamlined Joy

Saturday night I played some Lord of the Rings Online with some friends. Recently they performed a couple of streamlining things that really impressed me the other night and that caused me to dive in for most of Sunday… and I’m itching to do more.

Two of these mechanics came courtesy of the recent Rohan expansion: auto loot and open tapping.

Auto loot is just on. There’s no toggle, you don’t have to click on a corpse any more, you just kill the enemy and you automatically get its stuff. I have “Always Loot All” on, so I pick up everything. If your inventory gets full, you have a 50 item overflow bag that allows you time to finish what you’re doing and then run and sell to a vendor. It’s the most streamlined mechanic I’ve seen in a while and I love it. I can just plow through hordes of orcs, stopping only to sell loot. Hands down one of the most enjoyable things ever to the point where a friend sounded pretty amused to hear that I was playing LOTRO mainly because it’s the only MMO on my machine that has auto loot (more than just that reason, but it’s funny nonetheless).

Open tapping is where… well… you can share kills with people (in or out of your group) and get full credit and your own loot drop. No splitting exp or the other guy getting full credit for a mission and not you. No shared loot. You get your own rolled loot drop. Brilliant. If you hit an enemy someone else is fighting, there’s no reason to get angry at all. There’s no kill stealing! SO COOL! It does require a psychological shift though since I’m used to NOT randomly helping people and just cutting through an area. I’m certain most people don’t care, but it’s nice that everyone is essentially in a giant pick-up group for regular enemies. Last night a burglar and I tag teamed a couple of named bad guys in the beginning part of Lothlorien. I’ve got nothing but respect for that fellow.

So, taking advantage of these new mechanics (they also streamlined the quests in the latter half of Moria), I set out and finished questing in Moria (at least what I could find starting from the Twenty-First Hall and going to the Foundations of Stone) and started in on Lothlorien. I stepped out of Moria and immediately went, “OMG WHAT IS THIS LACK OF A CEILING?!” Yeah, I’d been in Moria for a while.

Anyway, yeah, I’m excited over auto loot and the end of kill stealing. You know you’re a gamer when…

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. My reaction to the following quote: WTF? I suppose if you’re waiting for a friend…? “For those wishing to disable experience gain, a new pocket item is available in the LOTRO Store that will disable all XP gain while equipped. Other advancement, such as deeds and reputation, are unaffected.” – Official Notes for Update 9, Against the Shadow

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