I must admit, I am finding it hard to get excited by the Sixth Anniversary Festival that is currently taking place in LOTRO. Petty as it may seem there is one aspect of the entire affair which sucks the life out of it for me – the lack of a new horse. Yes, yes, yes, I know this is a very shallow thing. There are two particular reasons why I like collecting the horses.
The first is that I have always enjoyed collecting the new horses at the various festivals. With the exception of the 4-year Grindaversary horse-collecting has always been something that gives me a focus to enjoy the festival without being too much effort. Not me for me grinding out most of the deeds. Plus I think Turbine generally does a good job on the horses, putting some care and effort into making them look good and thematic.
The second is that I have always enjoyed the “horse-races”. These are actually time-trials rather than actual races, but still they have tickled my fancy since I first paid attention to festivals. These have been even more fun playing alongside my wife, right from when I first introduced her to LOTRO shortly after the European servers went free to play. Of course until recently one was required to do the horse-races to get the festival horses, which also necessitated them when collecting the horses.
Without a new horse there is just less impetus to dive in and get things done. Indeed this time around we really found we only had one aim – the Eriador and Moria cartographer deeds achieved by collecting the various maps. We polished that off in just two short play sessions while Melian was taking a nap. Now I am really struggling to find something else festival related of interest to me at all.
On another note, I also find myself a little concerned at this lack of a horse. As far as I remember this is the only festival in over two years not to have an associated mount that could be earned by ways other than a random drop. Turbine’s license on the Lord of the Rings IP is only confirmed until 2014 (with an option until 2017, but to the best of my knowledge we have no idea of what conditions might apply to that). It might be that Turbine is starting to develop fewer resources to LOTRO in the expectation that the game is going to be up. Just by itself it does not mean much, but given things like the delay of the Rohan instance cluster it starts to add up to a picture of things not quite being right. Watch this space, as it were.