This post is my day 13 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.
Imladris is one of LOTRO’s newer servers. It opened in Sepetember 2010 with the advent of free-to-play, but was available three days prior to that for existing subscribers to create new characters as a head-start. As such, Imladris is a server founded by immigrants, whose players will be faced with another migration when it closes at the end of 2015. I chatted for a while today with Arondumir, who is a bit of a wanderer himself.
Arondumir hails from the southern United States, and although he picked LOTRO up in a store in 2009, he didn’t play frequently until 2011. He created characters on the Evernight server because the name appealed to him. (At the time, the launcher didn’t distinguish between North American and European servers.) Although he enjoyed the time with his kin there, he was looking for a quieter experience. “I came to Imladris because it was the least crowded at the time.”
Since I primarily play on Brandywine, I’m not quite sure what quiet sounds like. I asked Arondumir to explain why Imladris appeals to him.
I prefer being able to get craft resources uncontested, and having quest opponents there when it’s time to fight them, rather than waiting in line. I enjoy the landscape and the music in the game. I’m not in a hurry to run around as fast as I can. I try to enjoy the experience, and having fewer people online helps. I’m very curious how it will be going forward.
We spoke for a bit about how Turbine is handling the server closure and transfer process. We were both surprised how many players we encounter who are still unaware of these upcoming changes. He told me, “Turbine has been very clear and up-front about it—if you know where to look. I’m not sure why they didn’t send an email out to all account holders with the details.” (Although I’ve heard that some players received this information in a newsletter, neither of us has seen it.)
Arondumir shared with me his favorite memory from Imladris so far:
Meeting my kin was the most memorable moment. We are small and our leader is very careful about who gets into it. It’s completely different from other kins I’ve been in where they broadcast recruit. Also, our world chat community is close, like a second kin, and I will miss that a great deal.
Deciding where to go from here wasn’t easy. Although Arondumir admitted he’s curious about the frequent public events he’s heard about on Landroval, his kinship ultimately voted for a different server. He told me, “I’ll be moving with my kin. We all chose Arkenstone in the hope that its lower overall population will be more like Imladris.”
Arondumir is also conflicted about when to make the move. I asked if he’d follow his kinship immediately. He said, “I honestly haven’t decided yet. I think there are pros and cons to both.” As a compromise, he’s considering leaving one character behind to celebrate on the very last day, but transferring the rest with his kin as soon as it’s available.
What do you think, is it better to move on right away? Or is it worth sticking around for the last hurrah on a closing server? Share your plans in the comments below!