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Noldor members are currently playing LotRO, Smite, DayZ Epoch and SW:TOR. Due to our present lack of commitment to any single game, we are not currently recruiting via this website, but feel free to get in touch with us regarding any of the above games.

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Battle for Erebor Challenge complete!

by W o o t i e, 334 days ago


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The Future of Noldor

by W o o t i e, 355 days ago

To Noldor, with fond regards:

Noldor was created by a character named Amarthane in May 2007 soon after LotRO first launched. It consisted of a small group of real-life friends from Duluth, MN who shared a love for Tolkien and a passion for occupying this new virtual Middle Earth. Of those initial members, only two still remain: Lathron and Maldalon (though we don’t see either of them much these days). As time went on, the kin grew to accommodate more like-minded individuals and countless acquaintances and friendships were forged in the process.

In January of 2008, Noldor absorbed several dozen members from the kin Riders of Rohan who were looking for a more rewarding end-game experience. One of those players was yours truly. Droggo took us all under his wing and showed us a new side of the game through his reckless abandonment-laden play-style and late-night loot runs. Many of us got our first taste of real raiding and a few of us knew that this was the thing that would keep us in this game for the long haul.

In Feb 2009, after a few whimsical hot-potatoes of the Noldor leadership, Droggo decided he had enough of the drama that went along with leading a kin in a game that was in its prime. He wanted to play the game and not the diplomat. After some consideration, it came down to him wanting either Luthur or Wootie to be his successor. One of them would have to step up and take-over leadership for fear that Noldor may meet its maker. Having no previous experience with MMOs and not fashioning myself much of a leader, I wasn’t sure I was up to the task. Luthur said he’d do it if he had to, but encouraged me to go for it. So I did. I would have had to eventually take it from Luthur anyway… tongue out

I now find myself here, 4+ years later, looking back at how this kin was transformed from a large association of smaller cliques into a veritable raiding powerhouse (though sometimes it sure didn’t feel that way!) of the likes none of us long-timers imagined possible back in the day. Noldor has accomplished more than any other kin on the Arkenstone server – and more than any kin on most other servers. Of this, the raiders among us should be proud. But, as the story goes, all good things…

Yes, they must come to an end. The current development philosophy of LotRO has shifted away from the things the officership (and many-a-member) of this kin holds most valuable. Progression raiding and even instances are now an afterthought to the development team. Turbine has essentially taken much of the multiplayer out of their MMO and replaced it with gimmicky distractions. Their financial model seems to be offering as little as possible for as much as possible. I recall the debacle with the last expac pricing and what they were offerring and whatnot and the thought of it rearing its head again makes me shudder.

It has reached a point where the officership no longer feels the time investment necessary to maintain a top-tier raiding kin is worth the available opportunity. With the current raids, the only reward that can separate the best from the rest is a horse. While none of us are really loot-centric, it was nice knowing that beating something gave you exclusive access to certain items. No longer. Opportunities are slim, variety is lacking, challenge is limited, interest and engagement among the kin membership is at an all-time low and the server population does not foster desire to maintain the deeper pool of raiders we need given the kin's overall level of engagement. Many of our best have left the game or retired from raiding, and many more are looking soon to follow.

In a nutshell, we don’t intend to carry a raiding presence forward in any sort of casual or “half-assed” manner. With all we have accomplished, it is time for us to realize our best feet have already been put forward, our indelible mark on the game has been made and it’s time for Noldor, the raiding kin, to sail into the proverbial West.

With that, we still intend to see the remaining challenges through. We are close to Erebor, though Flight to the Lonely Mountain may yet be a ways off as no kin in the game has been able to complete it to date. Intentions aside and honesty to the fore, the level of investment that will be needed to conquer Flight challenge may be beyond us given the mindset of our historical raiding core. Only time will tell whether or not Noldor can go out with one final bang.

Many among us are unsure as to whether they will see the game through to the next expansion. It’s just not our game anymore. Many of us have already started playing Rift and given the raiding reputation of that game (some of the raids have yet to be beaten), we are hoping it will satiate our desire for challenge and offer us more of the same rewards we once found here in LotRO.

I offered leadership of the kin to Adaaon or Ojisan, but after some discussion, I quickly realized we’re in the same boat. The 3 of us have been the rock that Noldor has been tethered to for a few years now. If any one of us left, I find it hard to believe the others would want to carry on. Being that Noldor has the reputation for accomplishment that it does, simply passing leads to another willing party is just not an option. My plan B was going to be to disband the kin entirely. After some wise words from Adaaon, I realized that there was no need for finality of that nature. I still plan to experience what the game has to offer in the future, though it will be from a more casual position and purchased with the accrual of a Lifer’s TP stipend. Happy I no longer care to lead a kin in this game and the hands I would be willing to pass it to have no interest, either.

Anyone currently in the kin is welcome to remain, though by doing so, realize you may be residing in a largely inactive kin once the progression part of our raiding has been completed. The following period of inactivity may last months, it may last years, it may last forever. The only activities that will be scheduled from here on out will be progression Invite runs in order to conquer the remaining raid challenges. Once those are completed, Noldor may resemble a ghost town much of the time. That is my hunch anyway.

Everyone will retain their forum access so that we may have a line of communication for the future. Oji will likely keep his TS server for the foreseeable future as well. And, as already mentioned, if you’re looking for a new game, many of us will be focusing on Rift for a while anyway. They have 10 and 20-man raids, so we're still in need of prospective raiders. I also know many of us have our eye on The Elder Scrolls MMO due out this fall.

So yes, it's fairly bittersweet to realize the inevitable has finally dawned on our fine kinship. I want to thank each of you for helping make Noldor what it became and above all, for making my position as leader more often a pleasure than a burden. But it's just not something I care to do anymore. I hope we have forged a bond that will keep many of us together no matter what we be killin'. Take care of yourselves and...

Mae govannen, mellon

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We loves the Noldor!