Things perked up a bit when I finally got stuck into a few quests. The server seems quite a bit quieter than it used to be but there were still a few calls for assistance in the "looking for a Fellowship" channel. I have always considered pick up groups to be one of the strong points of Lotro so I joined one to help a lower level player overcome a quest mob.
Grouping is a bit of a dilemma for me. Without a doubt the opportunity to play together with other people is the best thing about mmos. Yet this is the one element I find hardest to reconcile with the rest of my life. It is not the so much the time involved as the exclusivity required when you are playing with others. A single player game can be saved or put on hold whenever real life demands attention. A game involving other people cannot be paused so easily.
Exclusivity is a problem in another sense. Since quitting EVE at the end of August I have been enjoying quite a number of single player games: Two Worlds, Rainbow Six Vegas, Sacrifice, XIII, Crysis Warhead, Praetorians and Spore. If I get sucked back in to an mmo I just won't have time for such a varied gaming experience. I know some folk manage to juggle various mmos but I have never managed it. I tend to find an mmo not only consumes all my gaming time but can intrude on other areas of my life as well. Sometimes I think I spend as much time browsing fan sites as playing.
How to proceed? I am going to try and rejoin the game in a limited way. A big part of this involves saying no to stuff. No I don't need to do every quest from this zone. No I don't need to get a perfect set of traits. No I don't need to complete my raid armour set. Instead I will set a few achievable objectives and pursue those. Completing the book quests seems like a good start.