Voices of LOTRO: Arondumir of Imladris

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 prefers the road less traveled.

Arondumir prefers the road less traveled.

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 enjoys a peaceful night in Duillond. This area is a busy quest hub for new players on other servers.

On Imladris, it’s a peaceful night in Duillond, a busy quest hub for players on other servers.

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!

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4 thoughts on “Voices of LOTRO: Arondumir of Imladris

  1. Love this series you’re putting together. Very journalistic.

    Imladris being my first server, I’m familiar with the sentiments Arondumir expressed – particularly regarding server population. Ironically, that was what ultimately broke it for me – ‘small town’ began feeling like ‘ghost town’, and I wanted RP, so that was that.

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    • I originally intended for the series to be more casual, intimate conversations, but it quickly became emotionally overwhelming to hear these players’ stories. I had to take a step back and approach it from a more detached perspective, lest I find myself shouting, “TURBINE! HOW DARE YOU BREAK UP THESE FAMILIES?!” at the end of every post.

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      • That sounds like it would have made for wonderful, if moving, reading. You should consider releasing them in some form!

        As for breaking up families, well, it’s more a diaspora than anything, albeit one where the diasporans can choose to stick together.

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  2. Nice chat. As someone from a quiet server as well, I know what Arondumir is talkin’ about. It is nice to have that cushion of space in the world, and it will be interesting to see what happens to it when the transfers go down. At least they implemented the open tagging, which would otherwise cause one heck of a nuisance for many.

    I’m not sure our kin exactly has our plans ironed out, but a poll does show a preference leaning toward Landroval. With five servers on our side of the pond down the line, I have a feeling that current “moods” of each remaining server will see some swings in multiple directions.

    Like Arondumir, I might send some characters off at different times (possibly in different server directions), and possibly leave at least one on Ridder until it is closed. It helps when you have an alt that was never in a kin, and so I have no social obligation to move him off quickly.

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