By: Max Mam
In The Fellowship of the Ring, the movie remediation of Tolkien’s epic novel, there are many different races each excelling in different types of combat. Frodo’s fellowship contained four hobbits, three men, an elf, and a dwarf. Just by looking at the characters’ respective weapons, it is apparent that each race has a different fighting style. The short-swords of the hobbits show that they are suited to fighting by hiding and confusing their opponents. The swords wielded by Aragorn and Boromir strike an efficient balance between offense and defense. Gandalf of course uses his ancient magic to obliterate his foes while Gimli relies on his powerful close-combat attacks with his axe. Legolas hangs back releasing a torrent of arrows and also uses his elven agility to perform acrobatic close-combat attacks.This combination of varied fighting styles allows the fellowship to efficiently work together to defeat their many foes.
In LOTRO, players get the chance to create their own fellowships and fight together in a fashion not unlike that of the movie. Though the races are the same, the classes that a player may choose from are quite a bit more varied than in the movie. Race plays a part mainly in how a player’s avatar looks and directly affects which classes a player may choose from. A player wanting to specialize in sneaking around and launching surprise wouldn’t be able to use a bulky dwarf character to do so; instead he would have to use the smaller statures of either the hobbits or men. The fact that certain classes are available to only certain races makes the game more believable and encourages users to seek out players of other races and classes to form varied and powerful fellowships. By including a wide variety of both classes and races the population of each server enriches the narrative experience since the diversity throughout the world creates a more realistic environment and facilitates heightened immersion within the game.