“The Lord of the Rings Online,” a virtual, computer-driven role-playing game set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth during the War of the Ring, debuts on Friday, Sept. 10. Players are invited to join in on the adventure.
“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is the classic fantasy epic, comprising “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King.” The story concerns the attempt by the evil Dark Lord Sauron to conquer Middle Earth, a land of magic and strange creatures, including humans, elves, dwarves, and the diminutive Hobbits. To effect his plan of world domination, Sauron must get his hands on the One Ring, infused with much of his evil power.
To prevent Sauron from getting his hands on the Ring, a motley group called the Fellowship of the Ring must take it to Mount Doom, in the very shadow of Sauron, and toss it into the volcanic fire, thus destroying it. Unfortunately the Ring brings with it the temptation to use it, a trap because the user will become corrupted and twisted over time.
“The Lord of the Rings” is filled with great battles, epic chases, awesome sacrifice, and all the adventure that made the series a favorite for generations. The books were made into a series of films by New Zealand director Peter Jackson, each of which was a box office blockbuster.
“The Lord of the Rings Online” invites the player to create his own persona for Middle Earth, human, elf, dwarf, or hobbit, and send him or her to go adventuring to do their part to help the Fellowship and thwart Sauron’s evil. Players can combine forces and play as a group, journeying through the virtual Middle Earth, having adventurers and facing peril.
“The Lord of the Rings Online” takes place in a virtual Middle Earth that is said to be fully realized. That suggests one can actually visit places like Hobbiton, Rivendale, the Mines of Moria, Minas Tirith, and, of course, Mordor, and perhaps interact with non-playing characters as well as other gamers.
As is typical with role-playing games, as one’s persona gains more skill and more experience, the greater the dangers.
This writer has not tried “The Lord of the Rings Online” yet, since this sort of thing can consume every last minute of one’s time. But he might find himself in the virtual Middle Earth, a ne’er do well con artist and thief caught up in the War of the Ring. After all, if Sauron wins, he will likely ban drinking, gambling, and wenching, and what self-respecting scoundrel is going to put up with that?
Source: The Lord of the Rings Online