Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

The Lord of the Rings Online

Pingwulf riding past WeathertopWell, a few weeks ago, my friend Mike got me a closed beta key to play The Lord of the Rings Online. I started playing it and was really enjoying it, but was still waffling over whether to pre-order the game (thus gaining nice benefits if I decided to play it when it went live) or to just stop playing when beta ended. Mike kept trying to coerce me into getting it, to no avail, so he finally forced me to commit to playing the game by pre-ordering it for me as a birthday present. FFS!

So now I’m committed to playing it, which isn’t a disappointment because it really is fun and well-done. Two months before launch, it’s more polished and complete than most competing MMORPG’s are after six months from their release dates. The closed beta ends this Monday and the open beta starts for pre-order customers on March 30th. For non pre-order customers, open beta starts a week later. Pre-order customers also get a couple bonus items when the game goes live and they get to keep their characters (up to level 15) from beta, which is really nice for beta players. It means we won’t have to start over AGAIN to create characters.

So… I’m happily playing Lord of the Rings Online now each evening for a bit… about an hour or so a day, give or take. Mike even convinced me (the bastard!) to join a guild of older gamers who are very casual (mostly) about gameplay and have families that are a higher priority… which fits nicely in with my playstyle. Once a game becomes a chore, I’m done, and nothing makes it more of a chore than feeling like you have to play a certain amount, a certain way, or for a certain purpose.

I periodically take some screenshots from the game and post them on my gallery site ( in the Lord of the Rings Online gallery. Mike plays a character named “Arepfoot” (and other characters whose names always start with “Arep”) and I play a character named “Pingwulf” (and other characters whose names always start with “Ping”).


  1. thhptt says:

    You make me out to be quite the master of coercion… Let me tell you folks how it really happened. *cue wavy flashback image* Once I got Dan his beta key I noticed he was logging in A LOT, sometimes even before work in the mornings. Then he insisted on speaking only in Entish… “BAROOOM! BAROOOM!” he would say over and over as if I was supposed to understand. He also kept trying to gather people to go on a quest to drop his wedding band into the toilet.

    By the time I bought him the preorder box he was FIRMLY in the clutches of the precious…er, the game.

  2. Dan says:


    (translation: FFS!!!)

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