Alt-itis: Can get very tiring as well, since there's only two starting areas. (Dwarves/Elves, Hobbits/Men)
At least now it is possible to skip the tutorial and get straight to the introductory zone (Archet for hobbits and men, Thorin's Hall area for dwarves and elves).
Upon completion of the introductory zone, all four races have their own area (Men start in Bree-land, Hobbits in the Shire, Elves in Celondim and Dwarves in Thorin's Hall; Celondim and Thorin's hall are in opposite corners of the same region).
This has been at least partially addressed by the addition of Beornings, with a new starting area and introductory quest.
Broken Base: Good gravy, EVERYTHING. For every person pleased by a change, there is another who will be ticked off by it.
Helm's Deep brought about a complete class overhaul, intended to streamline and modernize a system that's seen nothing but tweaks and balance changes for five years now. Depending on whom you ask, this was either a refreshing and much-needed change that fixes the issue of having 50+ skills to memorize, or the game getting butchered and over-simplified. While many of the changes were implemented in a way to make veteran players not feel like they wasted their time before (such as making the old, grindy class Deeds into pre-requisites for some trait points) one area that frequently gets called out is the "processing" recipes for crafting. Basically Turbine noticed that 99% of item crafting was done improve skill proficiency rather than for use and added recipes that amounted to "Break 2 [X]s down into 4 [Y]s" and "Reform 4 [Y]s into 1 [X]", essentially letting the player just reprocess the same material over and over for skill increases (although the math insures that there will, barring critical successes, be only 50% returns so 100 ash boards whittled and reformed will only make 50). For some players this is a much needed addition that prevents the excessively mulling around areas since-outleveled just to farm extra crafting materials but to others it makes the higher levels of the crafting professions less exclusive and impressive.
Rune-Keepers, full stop, due to their questionable status in the lore. (Actual magic users are extremely rare in the setting; while the game's designers tried as hard as possible to find inspirations for them and there's some characters mentioned as having mystical rune lore used to create magical objects like the rings, the setting manifestly does not contain any hint of normal 'trainable' skills which would regularly let you use elemental DPS powers in combat the way the Runekeeper does.)
Beornings got hit with this too. The Skin-Changers are extremely rare in-universe, and the idea of there now being hundreds of thousands of this 'nearly-extinct' race running around has caused a big rift for those who want the game to adhere more strictly to the lore.
The news that High Elves will be the next playable race isn't stirring up as much of a storm as the above, but has still divided those who care. One camp says that this will open up new gameplay opportunities. The other says that there are few, if any, High Elves left during the War of the Ring, and that the existing elves make this new choice redundant.
Complete Monster: Lheu Brenin from "Volume 3: Allies of the King" is the treacherous chieftain (Brenin; Lheu is his name) of the Falcon Clan of Dunland and the greatest threat faced by the Grey Company in their journey to find Aragorn. Starting out as a reasonable man, the Brenin quickly shows his true colors when sells out the Rangers to Saruman. Keeping most of the Grey Company captive in his own village, he sends the player and Lothrandir to Isengard as trophies and slaves for Saruman. The player eventually escapes and rescues the Rangers and forces Lheu and his clan to retreat beneath the mountains. In order to flee, the Brenin sends his loyal clansmen, including his only daughter, on a suicide mission to distract the Rangers. During their exile, Lheu has anyone that questions his decisions and any he deems weak thrown into pits to be devoured by monsters in the mountains. The player, alongside Gimli, finally face him beneath Helm's Deep where he reveals his plans. As a tribute to Saruman, Lheu Brenin plans on sneaking into the Glittering Caves and murdering the defenseless women and children of Rohan. The Brenin spends the entire battle deriding the last of his loyal followers as being weak as they are cut down, only to beg for his life when he is finally defeated. Unlike most servants of the Enemy who are direct products of Morgoth's corruption, Lheu Brenin is a mere mortal man who proves that even one of Illuvatar's children can be an irredeemable monster.
The music at Tom Bombadil's house, which was also awesome because it's right in the middle of a really difficult and scary (at level 20 or so, anyway) forest.
Most of the songs that play in the Trollshaws are awesome (some play in Ered Luin as well). There's a clip of one of them in the first part of this trailer. And let's not forget Rivendell itself!
Most of the soundtrack in the Shire is really good, the music (named Hills of the Shire) that plays when crossing the Brandywine Bridge, leaving the Shire for Bree-land is also incredible. It's not rare for players to stop midway on the bridge because the soundtrack is just so good, and fits the Shire so perfectly.
It has a Dark Reprise called Warpipes, which sounds equally awesome and is heard when the Nazgûl comes to the Shire, as well as in the skirmish 'Trouble at Tuckborough,' during which goblins raid the shire.
Mirkwood. Strangely, this music was in the official soundtrack before Mirkwood was added to the game. It is heard during the Ford of Bruinen skirmish, PERFECT music for a moment of Big Damn Heroes.
All of Chance Thomas's soundtrack for Riders of Rohan, which included the rearrangements of several well-known songs. One of these happens to be Tom Bombadil's theme.
Most of these songs, if not all of them, are part of the game's new title theme.
While Thomas is no longer working on the game's soundtrack, the in-house musicians have taken inspiration from him and progressed by leaps and bounds. Hammer of the Underworld, heard during the siege of Minas Tirith, is proof of this.
Demonic Spiders: Mostly averted, but a few mobs can be this to some players.
Volume I of the Epic story has a short Epilogue, tying up some loose ends left after the climax of the story. Volume II that followed it, however, has as many as twelve different Epilogues, enough to form another Book or even two.
The last 5-6 Books of Volume I (containing over 50 quests) can induce Ending Fatigue, as they were designed for players who hit the original level cap at 50 before any expansions were introduced. They involve a lot of traveling across every region and don't offer much in the way of rewards. The main plot points also feel like knockoffs of the main Lord of the Rings story - stop Amarthiel (i.e. Sauron) from getting Narchuil (i.e. the One Ring) and unleashing the forces of Angmar (i.e. Mordor). It's very tempting (and very easy) to drop Volume I after reaching level 50 and go directly into Moria and Volume II.
Genius Bonus: The server names certainly apply, but in addition to that there are also plenty of references in-game that only those familiar with Tolkien's work will recognize.
A questline in Lone Lands deals with spirits of Arthedain, cursed for breaking their oaths by the one called Iarwain Ben-Adar. Nowhere in the game is it explained that this is another name for none other than Tom Bombadil, a fact presented in the original Book.
So merry old Tom Bombadil cursed a legion of Men to roam as restless shades, never knowing the peace of true death until their oath was fulfilled? Beware the Silly Ones indeed.
Goddamn Bats: At least they're mostly low-health mobs so they die fast, right?...right?
Isengard bids five.note At one point in Dunland, the player attends an auction for Dunlending merchants, where Saruman happens to make an appearance. He makes a bid on some of the supplies being sold, and even though one of the Dunlendings keeps bidding higher and higher to outdo him, Saruman just keeps bidding five. Due to the auctioneer not wishing to anger Saruman, he calls out Saruman's bid as the winning one, making it evident just how strong a grip Saruman has on Dunland. The line, "Isengard bids five" ended up a popular quote, often used in chat-channels.
Harry Potter and the [Random Item].
Jewelled Bell goes *jingle, jangle*note One of the oldest LOTRO memes. Originated on the Elendilmir server. Originally the Jewelled Bell, a rare drop from the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu raid, was simply an item with good stats. After the meme took off, a patch added an on-use effect to the item which directly referenced the meme.
Hobbits and pies.
Q: "Where is the bat cave?" A: "Under Wayne Manor."note There is a quest area in Moria named "Bat Cave." Players often ask where it is located, due to Moria being a maze. A meme caught on in which those answering the question will reference Batman.
Moment of Awesome: The session play "We Cannot Get Out", depicting the last stand of the dwarves of Balin's Company inside the Chamber of Mazarbul.
The bone-crunching noise heard when you've fallen from a great height
"Falling has caused an injury, slowing movement and impairing the ability to defend against attacks."
The horn sounds in Skirmishes, intended to either draw your attention to objective updates or alert you that there's another wave of enemies incoming. You hear it a lot, and there is no way to turn off that sound short of muting your speakers entirely.
Also, the sound that plays when your character gets stunned/knocked down. Especially if you're a Melee class, as almost all humanoid enemies will tend to do it to you.
The Champion skill Raging Blade comes with a very distinctive "shing shing"-sound effect. It's a skill that generates much aggro and can lead to the Champion getting killed, if the tank doesn't have aggro under control, but there's plenty of players who admits to using it just for that sound.
Some of the generic sound-effects attributed to NPC's in place of actual voice-overs can come across as this, when used badly. Isildur cursing the hill-men that would become the oath-breakers? Pretty dramatic. Shouting "yaaaah" while doing so? Narm.
Because the game can only illustrate conflict where players are directly involved through actual combat, the confrontation between Frodo and Boromir at Amon Hen (where a player takes turns in controlling the two characters through Session Play, and get to play out both sides of the conflict) has the two actually clash swords with one another.
Narm Charm: In one of the Moria-dungeons, you will encounter and fight an orc cook, who gives us some memorable lines like "Would you like that pan-seared?", "Have you tried... the special?" and "I'll make minced-meat out of you!". Narm-y as it may be, this makes him one of the most memorable boss-fights in the game.
Nightmare Fuel: The Nameless in Moria's Foundations of Stone. Yes, these fungal horrors are LOTRO's take on the "nameless things that gnaw the earth" mentioned in the literature, and they look very otherworldy compared to everything else on Middle-Earth.
After helping the Dunlending village of Lhan Tarren, you are sent to find a White Hand-emissary who is suspected to cause some trouble for the village in the close future. As it turns out, the village is attacked by the White Hand while you are out looking for him, and you return to find it burned to the ground, with the elder and many others that you helped now dead. What makes it even more effective is the fact that it is the first time many players get a chance to experience a subversion (well, visible/invisible NPC:s aside) of Perpetually Static; After already experiencing so much that logically should have affected the game world, yet it never does, having it actually happen packs quite a punch.
The destruction of Langhold, the first town you encounter upon entering the Wold. This comes after the player has spent time getting to know its people, having a game of tag with the local children and working hard to prevent the imminent attack on the village by Orcs and Easterlings. Unfortunately, your suggestion of evacuation is heeded far too late, the defense of the town ultimately fails and the Thane is slain when the Nazgul leading the attack joins the fray. And to make matters even worse, the player's attempts to warn the Thane of Harwick goes badly and leads to them being banished from the town, forcing them to perform a series of grueling tasks to convince the Thane to lift your banishment, whilst ducking around the Harwick town guards to aid the Langhold refugees in secret.
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields is more brutal and despairing in the MMO than in any book, movie, and game that depicts it solely by virtue of the player being right in the middle of the action and many of the characters that are Doomed by Canon are characters that we have come to know and even care about. While the deaths of characters like Theoden and Halbarad are expected and can be prepared for, the fate of Horn is especially saddening. If Halros was not convinced to leave the Shire, then Horn dies as he was foretold to leaving behind Nona as a widow and his child without a father. On the other hand, if Halros was convinced to leave the Shire, he dies Taking the Bullet for Horn. This leaves Horn a broken man who considers himself a coward and no longer worthy to be called Rohirrim. He asks that his name be put on the funeral pyre and leaves to an unknown fate.
Many players complain about monster-inflicted debuffs and some status effects, mainly because they usually last far longer than the combat itself, leaving the player saddled with a (sometimes very powerful) debuff through several combats, over the course of which he'll probably obtain yet more of them . . .
The Legendary Item system. The way it was initially described led many players to believe that they would be able to take one such item, and keep it for the duration of the game. In reality, while Legendary Items do increase in power and allows you to customize them to your liking, equipping one below your level is going to make you less effective than equipping one of the same level. Granted, replacing equipment as you level is the norm for the game, and is to be expected, but the way Legendary Items were marketed, players expected them to be an exception to the rule. That, along with the amount of work some players put in to theirs (customizing Legendary Items takes much more effort than getting a regular piece of equipment as loot does), has led to players expressing a dislike for the way Legendary Items work.
Gloom/Radiance forced players to equip Radiance gear to offset the Gloom from high-level enemy bosses,making it a fundamental requirement for raids, due to the massive amount of Dread they generated. This was such a despised mechanic that the game developers eventually conceded to the negative player opinion and removed it all together, leaving the Hope/Dread system which whilst similar, did not incur such massive penalties.
The final two books of Shadows of Angmar. You go on a mission to keep Narchuil from being reforged, only to be outmaneuvered at every turn. Eventually the ring falls back into Amarthiel's hands, and you have to go after her. You then fight a hopeless battle against her, only for Mordirith and Mordrambor to show up and take it (and her hand) from her. Then Amarthiel turns good and helps you thwart their plans, then decides to go after them herself. You kill Mordrambor, but Mordirith stabs Amarthiel (now known as Narmeleth) with his sword. She gets one last hit in before she dies, resulting in his own death. It can feel incredibly drawn out, to say the least.
And then becomes doubly pointless in The Strength of Sauron when Mordirith comes Back from the Dead. Thanks, Turbine.
For unfamiliar players who have not got the hang of Guardians, "We Cannot Get Out" is not going to be fun.
The Moria Epic quest chain introduces skirmishes to advance the plot of the main storyline. If these are your first skirmishes, expect a looong grind (even if you complete them on the first try).
If you're not at the right level, trying to protect Bill the Pony from waves of Wargs and Wolves becomes this.
Garth Fricking Agarwen. Full of WAY overpowered Creoth soldiers and Wights, whoever thought this was a good idea for a player at level 32 must have been completely bonkers. Garth Argarwen is basically a Wake-Up Call Region. It's explicitly designed for fellowships (not just the quests but the general mobs on the landscape) and it will trounce solo characters who tackle it on-level.
Some of the solo book quests around Isengard can be really annoying if you're low-level, underequipped or a squishy wizard. And you can't even ask your friends to help you with it. It's forced solo.
"Volume IV: Book 1, Chapter 12 - The Shadow in Morthond," to those not at the right level who try it solo. If you do try it under such conditions, count on being mauled to death by bears and crebain in very short order.
Special Effects Failure: Legendary weapons looks like they are almost entirely covered in saran-wrap (it is very similar to how magic items look in Morrowind, in fact). Not only does it look very bad, and covers up some otherwise good weapon designs, it is also in stark contrast to non-legendary weapons, where the glow (if there is one) is handled much more subtly, without calling much attention to itself.
Lalia. Lalia, Lalia, Lalia. Combine the worst elements of Too Dumb to Live with Escort Mission, turn them Up to Eleven, make the object of the quest completely defenseless, and ensure that players practically have to be in a fellowship to complete the quest (in a mostly soloable area), and you have the most hated character in all of Lotro. Some players (who have experienced this quest before and have become fed up with it) have admitted to activating the quest, only to walk off and leave Lalia to herself, leading to her dying at the hands of the Barrow-Wights.
The Rangers are a mix of this and Butt-Monkey depending on who you ask. It doesn't help that they often need their asses saved from some grave threat, pretty much every time.
Bingo Boffin, mostly because the players do all the work in his questline. Some players were actually happy when he fell into an underground river, and were hoping he drowned. He didn't.
The new expansion Helm's Deep revamp all the classes, switching from free-form traiting to a talent tree pretty much like Knights of the Old Republic. Cue people declaring the changes terrible and threatening to quit, just from some really vague developer notes.
There was also much complaining due to a perceived reduction of difficulty with Helm's Deep. The next major update (13) swung the other way, causing equal and opposite complaints from the other side of the player community. While this problem plagues all MMORPGs, Lot RO gets it particularly rough due to the larger-than-normal number of casual players who just want to explore Middle Earth. Power gamers loathe it when the game is nerfed in the casuals' favor, but they really do pay the bills.
A number of the weirder creatures in Middle Earth seem to fall into this category, like the cave-claws and the dragonets.
Even the darklings, which are counted among the Eldritch Abomination Nameless - it's hard for a little blobby thing to be threatening.
What an Idiot!: After his business ventures in the Lone-lands unexpectedly go south, a trader by the name of Pengail comes up with the less-than-brilliant idea of recouping his losses by selling his goods to the goblins. This goes about as well as expected, leading to a rather annoyingEscort Mission (assuming you feel like rescuing him from his own stupidity, anyways).