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Let Horse Be Bridled, Horn Be Sounded! Forth Eorlingas!

March 1, 2013
Um...you're using that bed wrong, buddy.

Um…you’re using that bed wrong, buddy.

Recently, I wandered back into LOTRO, as I have a tendency to do. Riders of Rohan is the newest thing (well, to me anyway), so I got all pumped up about Mounted Combat and was not disappointed! Here are my top five things I noticed about the game having freshly returned to it.

1: I forgot how real it feels

It is so very realistic and beautiful. Somehow, my graphics settings are running on high now really well. In the past, I didn’t have anything on to avoid lag, but I am running better than ever!

As an amusing side note, I rocketed off of an unexpected cliff on my War-Steed had the stomach-in-throat-thing that you get on roller-coasters happen. It was so realistic, I actually had adrenaline pumping.

2: Mounted combat is everything I ever hoped for

I have been looking forward to mounted combat for years. Basically, ever since I started playing LOTRO, I have expected them to produce mounted combat with Rohan. When it finally came out to mixed reviews (surprisingly), I was knee-deep in SWTOR, so I decided to wait on the expansion. After waiting several months, I have finally ponied up the cash (hehe, “ponied” in context of mounted combat). Now I can officially say that I LOVE mounted combat.

Let me be clear. I didn’t say I “liked” mounted combat, or just “thought it was a good idea.” I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Mounted combat makes me want to go and kill things for the sake of killing them (which sounds bad out of context). I literally love just riding around the plains for no other reason than to go really, really fast. Mounted combat, combined with remote looting, is single-handedly the best thing I have ever experienced in an MMO. I am addicted to Warband hunting. I love collecting a bunch of melee mobs and kiting them while ranging them down. It is so freeing and fun. I didn’t honestly expect to like it this much.

The talent system is clever and allows me such ease and freedom with my builds. I wish the Legendary System were more like it honestly. It is so easy to swap back and forth to new specs too. I hope that dual-spec is coming soon, because I would love to have this functionality for my Captain.

3: Taking a break helped a lot with burnout

Before I took a break with LOTRO, I would grind instances non-stop to earn the Draigoch gear so I could do the Draigoch raid that was the only raid released with Rise of Isengard, but it was so buggy that despite having a great team, the raids I was leading could not finish him on Hard Mode because he would bug every single time at a very low percentage of health (like 14%). I literally could not bring myself to even think about doing instances for a long time after I was finished with LOTRO.

Now, the prospect of healing 3-man instances excites me instead of boring me. I get the strangest feeling I will enjoy flexing my Hands of Healing muscles as I conquer the content I haven’t seen since Enedwaith and Mirkwood. The Captain is so much fun in groups, so I am really looking forward to doing group content again when I hit 85.

4: I forgot how good the cosmetic system is

Outfits are so awesome. They really are. There is really nothing like making your character look like you want them to look. SWTOR has such a poor cosmetic system, I forgot how good life can be when you have things like preset outfits, a wardrobe, dyes, and even something as simple as the ability to hide any individual piece of armor (especially shoulders).

5: Focusing on one character is actually quite refreshing

It is freeing to not think about alts at all. I am only working on my Captain, which became my main in Rise of Isengard. My hunter still sounds fun, especially with the whole “firing from horseback” thing, but I am really enjoying not worrying about what alt I will work on, and how my crafting is progressing, or how much money I need to grind. As it turns out, if you don’t have to subsidize alts, you end up with a lot more money. Hmm, go figure.

Ever revisit a game and experience a newer and fresher product than you expected? Share your experience below!

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