Ahhh… Spring is in the air, birds are twittering, and small furry woodland creatures are coming out of their cozy burrows to greet the sun. What better time to write about a couple’s perspective of LOTRO? I promise to keep the gag-inducing comments to that first line… really!

Most MMOs could probably say that they are conducive to couple play, but I really feel that LOTRO is a perfect place for couples to play together. Let me give you a bit of history so you can see what I mean before I write about more general concepts.

A Bit of History

My first steps in the MMO world were taken in the MUD community wayyy back in the day. My husband and I started by playing a LOTR themed MUD, but then found a home for a while at Fires of Heaven, a Wheel of Time themed MUD. Hubby lost interest after a while and moved back to graphical single-player games since the rig we had at the time wasn’t really that great. Years passed, and I kept MUDding, he kept playing other games. We would play the occassional console game together, and we both loved the Final Fantasy series, and we tried out FFXI when it was first released but were turned off after the first few levels. We never really played together though. At the same time. That’s just how it was.

About four years ago, we were able to get a new computer, which my husband built himself, and I got myself a laptop for school work. He started to play EVE Online, and when I upgraded to a better laptop, I started to play with him. It was great being able to play together at last! After a year or so though, we both got tired of EVE for a lot of different reasons. If you’re not familiar with the game, here’s a graphical aid:


A few months before we both quit EVE, hubby was accepted into the LOTRO beta and joined up with our current guild, The Old Timer’s Guild on Gladden server. He was having a blast. I couldn’t play with him though, because my laptop was just not cut out to handle the awesomeness that are the graphics in LOTRO. We went back and tried to play FFXI together, but he lost interest, while I found a home there for a while. Again, we were seperated in the gaming world, and it was a sad thing. Finally, I broke down and let him build me a computer that would be able to handle more than the dated graphics of FFXI and in November of 2007, I was finally able to create my first character on Gladden with him. We’ve been playing together in LOTRO ever since, and as of December/January, I haven’t played FFXI at all (not that I really was at that point anyways… I had lost interest long before then).

For my husband and myself, LOTRO is a wonderland. We are both Tolkien junkies, and love the world. Our wedding rings are copies of the One Ring in silver, except they are etched with a much nicer inscription in Tengwar than the original, of course! Once I was able to play, we had so much fun exploring Middle Earth together, seeing all of the iconic locations from the books, and loving being able to spend time together in such a wonderful world.

Experiencing the Game as a Couple

I chose Minstrel for my main class, and he played with me as a Captain, eventually switching to a Champion as we got to later levels. The Minstrel/Champion duo combination is a lot of fun and allows you to do a lot of small-group content that we might have otherwise had to skip over. The only other combination that I can think of that is as fun is the Warden/Runekeeper combo. We’re working on that now, and having a blast completely destroying mobs. We don’t go out of our way to do quests, but just follow the natural progression that the game has established, usually:

Bree/Erid Luin/Shire»Lone Lands»North Downs»Esteldin»Evendim»Trollshaws/Forochel»Angmar/Eregion»Moria

LOTRO really caters to all kinds of different playstyles, and a duo team really shines in certain content. With our Runekeeper/Warden combo, we can take on groups of mobs with me healing, and him just burning things down as he can. As a couple, we of course have the benefit of playing in the same room, and can communicate effectively with each other. When one of us is in trouble, the response is quick and we can save a situation that otherwise might not have been saveable. With our new duo, we only play those characters with each other, and do not solo them. They are our “us” characters specifically reserved for playing together. We craft items for each other, (twinking out your lowbies is great fun!), and if we run into any problem quests that may need high level help, we either pull on a higher leveled alt, or we can always ask the kin for help.

It should be mentioned that OTG is a very couple friendly guild. This is an important point to make because not all guilds are understanding that two people may just want to spend some play time with each other instead of the rest of the group. If you are looking to play any MMO with your significant other, check out some family friendly guilds and make sure that the fit is right for the both of you.

In general, playing LOTRO together has been a huge plus for us. In nine years of marriage, we never had a problem with communication, but playing together helps us improve what was already great. It helps us develop teamwork skills, and lets us spend time together doing something we truly love. Out of any other MMO we’ve played together, we both agree that LOTRO is the best so far, for our playstyles, enjoyment, and overall experience.