The Lord of the Rings Online is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this April, and the festivities are already underway. Last Thursday, the anniversary event went live and players were able to participate in the new episodic Scavenger Hunt quests.
These “quests” are intended to be a trip down memory lane in-game. Standing Stone Games designed them so that players will travel the length and breadth of the game, re-experiencing all regions that was released in the last ten years.
A few days later, the community was in uproar and took their frustrations to the forums. So what exactly is wrong with the new event? Having gone through the preliminary activities myself, I’ll try and piece this together.
The Scavenger Hunt Favors Level Cap Players
Perhaps the most obvious frustrations for the playerbase is that the Scavenger Hunt is restrictive. In one of the quests, players need to travel to the Dead Marshes and Henneth Annun, in Gondor – way beyond the reach of players below level 85. Not only will they be attacked on sight by mobs, some of these areas are level-gated as well.
This somewhat cuts off players who have been taking their time leveling up. They must rely on PUG groups and other players to port them around, on top of finding exploits to get to these places.
Rewards Feel Underwhelming For A 10 Year Milestone
When it comes to the rewards, it’s safe to say that they are disappointing. Players get exclusive free reward boxes based on how long their accounts have been live. The 10 year account players only received a permanent dragon-themed firework. I know it seems ungrateful to rant about a freebie in the first place, but for a 10 year milestone gift, it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed.
I hate to compare, but other MMORPGs celebrated and rewarded their most devoted and loyal players better. The Lord of the Rings Online is among the classier of the MMO games out there, so it’s surprising to see that a lot of the little things like rewards seem like an afterthought.
On the other hand, the normal rewards from vendors and barters are actually really good. The Unflagging Dragon steed and armor set is beautiful, magnificent even. So why not put more effort into other rewards too?
Missed Opportunity To Hype The Game Further
And last but not least, if there was ever a time to hype the game and release exclusive details about the new expansion, it would be now. Smack in the middle of the 10th anniversary, to give returning players joining the festivities a reason to stay. Instead, it now feels like a missed opportunity.
The Scavenger Hunt will go on for 2 months, as new year quests are released every week until it reaches the 10th year. But besides the cool title and reward players get for completing the Hunt, there is nothing there to keep them invested once the festival ends.
Overall for a 10th anniversary, it pains me to say it but the entire celebration feels underwhelming. A time sink, to buy the developers more time to work on the expansion. On the offset, I am alright with that as quality should always be a priority, but alas for the anniversary itself, it will be hard to justify a subscription after it ends in June.