Thank you for your payment of 75.00 GBP for LOTRO.
Your game time has been extended accordingly, and your next payment is due before 01/01/70."
Codemasters welcome back week hooked me after all despite my misgivings about timing. I logged on last Monday to say hello to my friends in the kinship and here I am a week later with almost 30 hours of playtime under my belt. I have left Lotro twice before and have come back to the game each time after a few months break so I decided that the £75 lifetime subscription was too good a deal to turn down.
I do have some misgivings. I really don't want to get back into playing one game all day every day. However fellow bloggers like Tipa, Van Hemlock and Wilhelm2451 have shown that it is possible to play an mmo and enjoy it on a less than exclusive basis and this is what I hope to do. I know this will require a certain amount of discipline and I also realise that this almost certainly means that I will miss out on certain parts of the game. I probably won't be able to participate in raiding. I will have to accept that my characters will never have uber gear and won't be able to maximise their stats. So be it. I will try to play the parts of the game I enjoy and see how far it takes me.
Since I left Lotro the end game has gotten a lot more serious. The advent of radiance gear as a prerequisite to raiding has created a definite progression path for Raiding. Casual players can no longer sign up for a raid and hope to get a spot. I am lucky enough to be in a well organised casual friendly kinship but it is very noticeable that the more experienced players are now focussed on progression. It can be hard to balance that with a casual friendly ethos but I think the kinship is strong enough and the players mature enough to work through it. As a confirmed casual player I will do my best not to upset things and try not to leech off the more committed players.