For the last year and a half, I’ve been into playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). The first I played was City of Heroes. In CoH, you create a superhero, choosing from numerous powersets, origins, and costume designs/combinations. Then you sally forth into the game world to right all wrongs and arrest bad guys. I liked this game and played for over a year. I was part of a small group of friends that had met in-game and we always found each other to team with.

But after a time, frictions within (and the subsequent disolution of) this group as well as the limits of the game itself caused me to move on to World of Warcraft. WoW is set in a fantasy genre with dwarves, gnomes, elves, and so forth. Character creation is similar to CoH but one is far more limited in the choice of how a character looks. But WoW has more dimensions of gameplay than City of Heroes. While CoH is pretty straight forward, in WoW, there are numerous things that a player can be working on at once, e.g. questing, crafting, reputation, earning money. These are all valuable pursuits in WoW.

Some of what I don’t like about WoW is that is looks somewhat cartoonish, and the game is full of pop-culture references like an engineer named Scooty and another character named Haris Pilton. Things like this really hamper the sense of immersion that I am looking for.

A few months ago, my cousin, Danny, suggested I check out a new game, Lord of the Rings: Online. I was a bit reluctant but agreed to try it out. LOTRO is also in a fantasy genre; the land of Middle Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien. As such, it has an incredibly rich back story and anyone familiar with the movies or better yet, the books, already has a sense of what this world is like. Game play is much like WoW, with things like crafting, combat, questing, and so forth but the world has more of a photorealistic look to it. The graphics are just beautiful.

WoW has been around for years and is highly successful. It is still fun for me. LOTRO is new. While I enjoy both games, I am enjoying LOTRO more these days.

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