I’ve been playing LOTRO for a couple of years now, and over time I’ve found some excellent sites. But as it did take me some time to find them, newer players might benefit from some recommendations. And even if you’re an old timer who’s lost count of how many level-cap chars you have, there might be one or two here that you haven’t come across.
Plus, these guys deserve a shout out and a round of applause.
If you’ve been playing for any length of time, you will know the treasure trove of information that is lotro-wiki.com. But I often see new players asking all kinds of questions in chat that they could easily find the answer to from the wiki. (“Where is such and such NPC?”, “What can I do with a sapphire shard?” and so on.)
When I first discovered it, I was wowed by the depth of information available. Everything from walkthroughs of puzzle quests that otherwise had me tearing my hair out in frustration to explanations of the most basic LOTRO and MMO jargon.
Casual Stroll to Mordor
This is now officially called Casually Strolling Through MMOs (CSTM), because it now covers more than just LOTRO. I just haven’t quite changed my mental name for it yet, and probably I’m not the only one.
I guess this is the most popular LOTRO blog there is, and it’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in LOTRO and what players are thinking. It’s updated almost daily, so anything of note usually gets mentioned, and there is lively discussion in the comments to the posts. If there’s a change to some game mechanic or if there’s a great one-day-only sale for LOTRO stuff on Steam, you’ll most likely learn about it here.
Contains Moderate Peril
Contains Moderate Peril (CMP) is the site I enjoy most right now. There’s a great podcast that is a lovely mix of fun, gaming news, and thoughtful discussion. Sometimes I get impatient waiting for the next episode to come out, that’s how good it is!
I also think Turbine would do well to listen to this every week to find out how their players are feeling. Roger and Brian are level-headed folks who enjoy the game, but they’ll discuss the not-so-good aspects as well, all the time keeping a sense of perspective and having an appreciation of the real-world constraints that companies have to deal with.
They also discuss Guild Wars 2 (GW2) a lot. I don’t currently play it, but it’s interesting to hear about other MMOs from CMP because I have a good idea of where these guys are coming from. I know what their tastes are, and I know they’ll give an honest and balanced account of their experiences. It’s this kind of coverage that helps me decide it I want to give something a try, and if I do start playing GW2 at some point, it will be in no small part due to Roger and Brian.
LOTRO Combo Blog
LOTRO Combo Blog isn’t really a blog in its own right, it’s a compilation of stories from other sites. It’s a good way of keeping track of what’s new in the world of LOTRO, keeping up with what people are saying, and finding new sites that you might like.
Now that CSTM is broadening its scope and reducing the frequency of LOTRO-specific posts, LOTRO Players might become the new go-to site for all things LOTRO. It’s strong on news and guides to the game, and has picked up some things that CSTM used to do before, like a detailed guide to the weekly store sales that tells you what’s on offer and whether it’s worth getting.
Brrokk’s Lord of the Rings Links
Brrokk’s Links page is a great resource. It points to Brrokk’s own writings and to a nice collection of other sites. It has plenty of useful game playing info, but even more than that it is a treat for people who love Tolkien and his lore. Lots to discover via all the links.
Golden Treasure Inside is Hid
The tag line for Golden Treasure is: “A fan site dedicated to compiling Easter eggs, Middle Earth Lore, and other fun facts about the Lord of the Rings Online game.” This is a very accurate description of what the site has to offer, and it is another treat for lovers of lore.
The author is taking a break from LOTRO and so not adding new material right now. But the backlist has plenty to enjoy, and lots of nuggets that will surprise and delight even veteran players who thought they knew it all.
mmorsel for Lord of the Rings Online
This site is gone now, but it was my first and best resource for learning the game. It helped me pick class and race and server for my very first characters. If you knew and loved it, visit the archived version at the Wayback Machine and indulge in some nostalgia.
It might be eccentric to list a site that doesn’t exist any more, but it was so good it’s worth celebrating as a benchmark for just how good and how useful a site can be. Without it, how long would it have been before I even knew to subscribe to glff? Where would I have turned when deciding what quest pack to get next? How would I have figured out what those cryptic acronym-heavy LFF messages meant?
Wherever you are, thanks for that site guys!
And thanks to all of you that are keeping those other fantastic sites up and running. Whether you run a weekly podcast, or just add a few notes to the wiki now and then, or simply contribute to discussions in comment threads on other people’s blogs, you add a great deal to the pleasures of playing LOTRO. For that I thank and salute you.