This post is my day 11 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.
Elendilmir is one of LOTRO’s original North American servers, and its unofficial Oceanic server. Known to many as “the big E,” it was among the top three worlds in terms of player activity for many years. It was a bit of a shock when Turbine announced that it, along with 18 other servers, would be closing at the end of 2015. Tonight I chatted with Sigewolf, whom another player described as “the glue that keeps Elendilmir together. (Made from the hooves of the finest ponies.)”
Sigewolf, from British Columbia, Canada, has been playing LOTRO since the very first beta in October 2006. After launch, he found himself 35th in queue to log in to Brandywine, decided to give Elendilmir a try instead, and has been there ever since. When I asked him to describe Elendilmir in one word, he immediately answered, “Community.”
LOTRO is Sigewolf’s first MMO, and when he was just starting out, he was “worried about being a noob.” Since then, he’s made it his personal mission to share his eight years of experience with other newcomers to ensure they don’t face the same worries. (This was evident to me in World chat from the moment I first logged in.)
I asked Sigewolf if he had an especially fond memory of Elendilmir, and his answer impressed me.
For me it isn’t about listing my best hit ever in my bio. I log each day to help others have an easier time playing the game than I did. I figure the easier it is for new players, the more will stick around. So on that note, the most memorable for me is every time I log in and get mail or a chat message from someone saying, “Thank you so much for your help.”
We talked for a bit about how Turbine is handling the process of server closures and character transfers. Like many other players, Sigewolf felt Turbine could have been more transparent about the criteria it used in selecting which LOTRO servers to close. But now that the decision has been made, he’s been busy researching a new home.
Our kin has popped into each of the four available servers, and none of them is like E. That said, our kin has picked Arkenstone. With luck, we’re excited to try to rebuild the E community there, if enough come with us.
In the few hours I spent on Elendilmir, I noted how welcoming they are to new players, and at the same time, how protective they are of their own community. They don’t tolerate any bullying or harassment. When I asked Sigewolf how he might say goodbye to his home server, he answered, “I don’t have to report trolls. If any trolls bug me, the E community shuts them down. So I guess, thank you E, for showing me all your respect and appreciation.”
Is your LOTRO server shutting down this year? Or are you on one of the remaining servers and expecting immigrants? Share your plans for the migration in the comments below.