Things were better in the old days, you’ll have heard if you were born within the past four millennia. Children were more respectful, rulers were more divine, gods were more merciful, and expansions hadn’t changed your favourite MMORPG. Reader, you can go back. You don’t even need to hop in a DeLorean and drive to a Hot Tub Time Machine, as more MMOs are now resurrecting vintages versions (psst read our new impressions of WoW Classic). The latest is The Lord Of The Rings Online, which today launched a ‘Legendary’ server calling back to 2007. You’ll need to pay for access, just like the old days.
The Legendary server has rolled a lot of LOTRO back to how it was in olden times. Only the first chapter of the story, Shadows Of Angmar, is here. The level cap is 50, not 120. The world is a lot smaller. And then, Daybreak Games say, “gradually the level cap and story content unlocks over time, allowing players to relive the early Lord Of The Rings story anew, together!”
But this isn’t the 2007 game resurrected. The Legendary server runs on the modern version of LOTRO, playing in its modern way with its modern classes and its modern races and its modern skills and its modern UI and its modern bug fixes. That’s why they call it Legendary, not LOTRO Classic. It’s like a Halloween costume, or the ongoing 90s revival.
“By most descriptions, a ‘Classic’ server is an attempt to recreate LOTRO exactly as it was at launch, using only assets and content that was available in 2007,” Daybreak say.
“A Legendary server runs alongside existing servers, and therefore contains many of the changes that have been made to the game over the years, such as UI improvements, bug fixes, changes to game systems, etc. In cases where we have updated or changed the layout of regions, the Legendary server uses the updated version of the regions. In cases where we have changed items or player abilities, the Legendary server uses those updated abilities. Some content or gameplay that isn’t appropriate to the Legendary server’s current level cap may be restricted, until that portion of the story unlocks with level cap increases (one does not simply walk into Mordor on Legendary until the time comes).”
Reader, I lied. You can’t go back. You can never go back. You will never be the same person living the same life playing the same game with the same people.
If going through LOTRO again in an old-ish way sounds good enough for you, you’ll need to pay for the $15/month optional ‘VIP’ subscription. Ah, subscription fees! LOTRO has been free-to-play since 2010 but this is a perk only for serious lifestylers.