LOTRO Legendarium: How to walk away from LOTRO (for a while)


Even when you love an MMORPG a whole lot, it’s rarely feasible to play it as steadily and at the same intensity over the long duration of its lifespan. Life happens, burnout creeps in, and sometimes you simply need a break or a change of scenery.

So you make the decision to walk away from Lord of the Rings Online. Not forever, but for a while — maybe months or even years. You’re putting it on the backburner with the hopes that your interest will be revitalized over this absence. It’s something most all long-time players do, including me, and it’s perfectly OK.

But if you want to lay the foundation for the best possible future return, there are a few steps you should take to make your temporary departure from LOTRO as smart as possible. Today I want to share from personal experience the best way to walk away from this game.

Part on good terms

Probably my number one reason that I leave any MMO, this one included, is burnout. Too many days played in the same world reduces wonder and increases over-familiarity. Because of this, it’s typical to log out that last time feeling like you want to push a game as far away from you as possible.

Yet I think it’s absolutely important to part on good terms. First of all, give yourself permission to leave. Nobody’s forcing you to stay or kicking you out; this is something you choose to do. And because you choose it, you can choose your attitude on the way out. Part on good terms with LOTRO, being grateful of the fun experiences you’ve had during this recent stretch in the game, and give it a fond farewell as you part ways.

Make sure to tidy up your quest log and inventory

When I go on vacation in real life, I make sure to clean my house and prepare for my eventual “re-entry.” I know that it makes coming back so much easier, and this is true for MMOs as well. Nobody likes coming back to an MMO feeling overwhelmed and dealing with messy bags and a pile of undecipherable quests.

As much as possible, take a little bit of time to tidy things up. Make sure your quest log is as streamlined as possible, position your character next to the questgiver that they should talk to when they return, and even make a note to yourself about what you were doing when you last played. And yes, clean out those bags!

Log in daily to get Hobbit presents

If there is any possibility that you might come back in the future and you’re not uninstalling LOTRO from your hard drive, then it behooves you — yes, behooves — to take three minutes to log in every day to get those free Hobbit presents.

Again, you’re laying the best foundation for a future return, and those daily presents benefit that goal in two ways. First, you get a small dose of virtue XP that gradually improves your character’s stats over time. Second, you stock up on all sorts of useful goodies that will make your return day a Christmas of sorts.

Set alarms for certain dates

Even if you’re not currently playing this MMO, there will be times that you should log in to do more than grab daily rewards. You’ll want to scan through the yearly public event schedule to see if there are any specific events that you don’t want to miss, including the end of legendary item seasons or the next batch of anniversary rewards.

It’s also not a bad idea to set yourself an alarm for every few months to get into the game and pre-pay as much housing maintenance as possible. After all, it stinks to come back to LOTRO only to find yourself evicted and having to deal with setting up a new abode!

Stay abreast of LOTRO news

Just because you’re not playing doesn’t mean that all development and activities are going to go into cryo-freeze. Life rolls on with or without you, and you don’t want to be confused and overwhelmed with all of the changes that happen in your absence.

I would suggest taking a few minutes every week to catch up on the latest happenings in LOTRO just so that you can be aware of what’s taking place. The official site’s news feed is perfectly adequate, of course, and we here at MassivelyOP will do our best to track all of the major and minor developments. You may also want to occasionally peruse the staff tracker on the forums to see what the devs are saying lately.

Enjoy another game!

With LOTRO on the backburner, you have an opportunity to fill that time with another hobby or game experience if so desired. There are plenty of excellent MMORPGs out there that could serve as a great “palate cleanser” for your abundant time in Middle-earth. There are even multi-game guilds that allow you to keep the same community as you hop between titles.

I shamelessly hop around in MMOs, which not only gives me a broader gaming experience but keeps me from putting too much time and pressure on LOTRO — and subsequently lengthens my stay in the latter. So have fun gaming wherever you go, and know that Middle-earth will be waiting for you when you feel that it’s right to return.

Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an adventure (horrid things, those) through the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, well, legendary online world of Middle-earth. Justin has been playing LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you have a topic for the column, send it to him at justin@massivelyop.com.
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