When I first saw the prompt for this weeks post I have to admit that I was at a loss. All I could remember from the LOTRO prologue quests were some dwarves, some elves, and some sort of cave. I clearly wasn’t paying enough attention. To help you understand why I blindly skimmed through the opening quests I will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of my experience with LOTRO thus far.
STEP 1: Installing Bootcamp
On the first day of class I discovered that my brand new MacBook Pro was essentially useless as configured. I would need to run Windows in order to properly run LOTRO. I would have to install Windows Vista using the Bootcamp utility found in Mac OSX. In theory Bootcamp allows a Mac user to boot into a Windows OS installed onto a partitioned section of ones hard drive. I ordered a copy of Vista on Amazon and it arrived without delay. The installation of Vista was a breeze, Bootcamp made everything seem so simple. Sadly, I fired up my machine to find that all of the critical drivers were missing. It took five days of hunting to find the proper drivers; at this point I was about ready to lose my mind. Finally Vista was up and running!
STEP 2: Installing LOTRO
As I previously explained, Bootcamp allows a user to install Windows onto a partitioned section of their hard drive. I chose to devote 32 GB of hard drive space, the maximum recommended by Bootcamp, to my Windows install. Given that Vista will take up somewhere between 10 and 15 GB, one should be left with a decent amount of storage space within the partition, I had around 18 GB of space left over. I purchased my copy of LOTRO online, opting for the digital download. After the game itself was installed it was necessary to download various patches. I was quite surprised when I was told that the patches would take 5 hours to download, but who am I to judge. I powered down my screen and went to sleep, hoping that LOTRO would be playable in the morning. The next day I was greeted with a gut-wrenching error message warning me that there was not enough space within the partition store all of the data needed for the game. For some reason the patch consisted of over 20 GB of information. In an attempt to salvage the situation I reinstalled the game on my external hard drive, ensuring I would have enough space. Going through the entire installation process again was one of the most frustrating experiences of my budding college career. After two days, and countless fits of hysteria, LOTRO was finally ready to play.
STEP 3: Playing LOTRO
Against all odds I was finally in the game and it was time to dive in, I was extremely excited to create my character. I spent quite some time customizing and perfecting my elf hunter, and soon it came time to give him a name. I had previously spent a good deal of time trying to come up with some clever allusion; I wanted a unique and meaningful name. I had a short list of about ten names, all references to the fantasy novels of my childhood. I typed in my first choice only to find that it had already been taken. I was disappointed but surely another name on my shortlist would be available, WRONG WRONG WRONG. They were all taken. I eventually settled on Pennborn, a name I pulled out of thin air. By the time I got into the game itself I have to say that I was a wee bit frustrated. Now I was in the game, I had my character, but I was locked into an extended tutorial. I began to doubt that I would ever actually be able to play LOTRO. At this point I was so frustrated, and so eager to actually get into the main game, that I powered through the introduction and introductory side quests with unprecedented speed. I absorbed next to nothing, the story flew right over my head. Little did I know, I would eventually have to blog about my opinions on the introduction.
In conclusion, if you want to play LOTRO… buy a Windows machine.