I've always been partial to the look of LotRO. The aesthetic is clear and consistent. The towns look and feel like towns. The countryside has a placeness about it. The scenery goes from cosy farmland to spectacular wilderness without any jarring transitions at the borders. And great as Turbine's take on Middle Earth looks in game it looks even better in screenshots.
|And that's one of the better ones|
Maybe the same team that thought those screens made for a good introduction to the game also worked on the UI, because that's dreadful too. Oh, it functions well enough and after a while you get used to its many idiosyncrasies. No, it's what it looks like that's so hard to take.
|I'll have two from the top please Carol...|
Of course, it's not just the inventory that looks like it was designed for pixies. All the hotbars use the same system. And in LotRO I need a lot of hotbars because there seem to be about a million spells, skills, attacks and what-have-you. It might not matter so much if the UI was scaleable. It would still be as nasty as a troll's armpit but at least I could see what I had without squinting. I believe there is now some arcane out-of-game means of skinning the UI, but is it really too much to ask just to be able to grab the corner of a frame and pull?
|One I summoned! Just one!|
Indeed each time I log in all I end up doing is riding around admiring the view because whenever I think of doing something practical I open my bags or glance at my hotbars and lose the will to go on. I made it as far as the bank in Bree last night and that's an experience I won't be repeating in a hurry!
So, I'd quite like to play LotRO again. I enjoyed a lot about it while I was there the last time and I know there's plenty more to see. I'd just made it to that snowy part when I stopped playing regularly and I love snow zones. I'm just not sure I love them enough to learn to deal with that UI a second time.