The Last Stage

I love LOTRO and Tolkien’s Legendarium. If you know me, you will know that. I have for the most part been a supporter of Turbine as well for good and bad and believe the lore-abiding approach they have shown towards Lord of the Rings is admirable and one of the most important reasons I have enjoyed the game for 7 years.

I have decided to leave LOTRO and cease my LOTRO related projects. I hadn’t imagined this 3 months ago, but different circumstances have made me realise that the community and environment isn’t enough reason for me to keep playing the game, no matter how much I care about both.

Investing time and effort in a game is all or nothing for me, so I will make it a clean break. I also believe that there are enough people out there complaining about a game they no longer play that one more isn’t needed.

There is nothing dramatic about this. You can read my reasons below if you are curious, but in essence it is just time for me to move on.

I should be sad about this, but I’m not. The friendships I have made will continue through other channels and I treasure the experiences I have had through 7 years in Middle-earth. There is nothing to be sad about for me.


So, my reasons for leaving. The main reason is as I said above that it is just time for me. Without wanting to sound like a diva then I have outgrown LOTRO. I have been through every quest, deed, raid, bug, cosmetic, mount, title, instance, etc. - and most of them several times. The prospect of a new class or upgraded inventory no longer excites me for more than half an hour. The past year or so has more or less just been finishing deeds and titles on alts since I completed them on my main minstrel. And when that wasn’t enough, expanding my LOTRO projects such as deed location maps and completionist tracker, and getting more involved in the community. As it turns out, it’s not enough.

Classes & Skills

One of the things I like about characters is skill customization. Being able to build a character’s skills in a way that fits my role and play style. And most importantly where my choices make a difference - through traits and how I use the skills. I no longer feel that they do and I feel that a specific role and style is being forced upon me.


I generally like and enjoy the quests and epic story in LOTRO. I feel that the story lines are for the most part really well done. Any issue I have is that somehow the content (or players) has shifted in a way that people prefer to do most things solo. Most content is so easy that while it might be fun soloing a fellowship skirmish one time, there is not much incentive to do things together anymore or there is no challenge in it. For whatever reason it has become too easy and I feel like deeds and accomplishments are just a grind rather than challenge. I might as well just buy the accomplishment in the store.

I see promise in that developers are looking into improving the kin management system and how they can “make it more rewarding to work together on something” to quote a livestream from yesterday. But I’m not excited enough about it to think it can change my mind now at least.

Community & Communication

Getting involved in the community is both rewarding and frustrating at times. There are so many dedicated individuals, kins, artists, podcasters, bloggers and more that contribute to a wonderful community.

However, these are drowned in what I see more and more of: a tendency to either be or peceive others to be for or against LOTRO/Turbine with very little middle-ground, mature discussions or respect for others’ viewpoints. Unfortunately this is not being handled very well by Turbine either in my opinion. This is extremely frustrating to watch.

Turbine needs to get more involved in the community. They should be promoting player livestreamers (not just their own), websites, blogs, podcasts, events much more than now - and not be so afraid of who or what have criticism for them. Interact more with players and encourage events, put happenings on the front page of Hey, how about popping in as visible GMs in game events just to show you care?

In stead of seeing the community opinions as a threat and actively ignoring/quenching criticism, listen and respond to it when it is genuine and mature. Even when admitting errors/bugs the community is surprisingly understanding when it is done timely and honestly.

Turbine has always held the cards close to their chest and has not been very open about future plans, numbers of any kind, admitted errors or been proactive in anticipating player responses. I feel this has gotten worse - or perhaps I just see it more clearly now. Kudos to Aaron Campbell for bringing more openness to LOTRO lately. I hope it will continue and improve others’ experiences compared to mine.

Also, I sincerely hope that they will slacken the 100% NDA on the poor Player Council members this year. The council is currently an open target of envy, trolling and blame without any chance of proving it wrong. This is actively working against what I assume was the idea of the council.

Customer Care

I have always received excellent service from Turbine’s customer & tech support. I have always had help when I had a problem and felt that the support was genuinely trying to help me and always very swiftly. A big thank you to the teams for that.

Where I am not feeling valued is when I have won three prizes through LOTRO competitions and not once received the prize or not received the promised prize. This is a small thing and something I would normally shrug at if it wasn’t because Turbine completely ignores attempts to get it corrected and only responds when people are pestering them continuously. This is not acceptable to me.

Moreover, I have seen players (myself included) being made responsible both officially and in private messages by Turbine for issues or for raising issues that are clearly Turbine’s problems/faults, sometimes even with more or less open threats. This is not something I say lightly and while others might interpret it differently then it is very clear to me what I have seen and experienced and this, this is something I can not tolerate. It is outrageous to me and is a major contributor to why I am leaving.

Other things

Some might wonder why I don’t mention the monetization, hobbit gifts, Epic Battles, lack of this or that, etc. It is simply because those are things that I could live with or even approve of. These have had little influence on my decision to leave.


I may or may not start playing another MMO. However, I know that LOTRO is unique because of the extensive and incredible lore from Tolkien, so I am not sure I can or will invest as much time in other games as I have in LOTRO.

My website will still be available and everything on it, but I will no longer maintain my projects. That includes:

  • Berry’s Completionist Tracker
  • Slayer & Exploration Deed Maps
  • Cosmetic, Mount and Housing Galleries
  • Fluffy Wish List

I haven’t decided what to do about Twitter yet. I might stay on @toarda or I might make a new account or not at all, depending on whether I start playing another MMO.

In-game I still have TP and Mithril Coins for a year or more, so maybe I’ll log in once in a while to spend those on mounts and cosmetics, but I doubt that I will return unless something significant above changes.

I wish you all well, and may your dreams be full of small furry feet and lots of pies.

Edit: For those who have contacted me having read “interpretative” versions of my reasons other places, I can only say that above is the the truth in its entirety. Picking one or two lines from above and subjectively interpreting that as my reasons alone is not. Also, I am quite content with my decision, I do not regret playing and supporting the game, and I thank everyone who can see and respect that and for all the kind comments. I appreciate it very much.

Please don’t put more into my words or guess that you know some ‘underlying’ reasons or individuals responsible for this. I have written exactly what I mean and Turbine means the company and their strategy, not any individuals. Thank you.


54 comments on "The Last Stage"

  1. Pingback: LOTRO Fan Site “Tales of Arda” Shutting Down | LOTRO Players

  2. It is a sad thing to see you go. I do understand it, though. I wish you a lot of fun with everything else you’re going to do!
    Thank you for all the excellent work you’ve always done and all the tips you’ve given. It has always been highly appreciated :)

  3. It’s a sad day for me now that I have read this. I have come to appreciate all the hard work put into the deed maps that I have been using. I fully understand and wish all the best in the future.

  4. Martinuil on

    Your valuable contributions to the game, to the community and just you as a person will be missed! I understand your reasons to leave and respect them. It gives you big credit that you explain them to us. Not many do that these days…
    I wish you good luck and hope that this site remains open and useable for new players and old alike.
    Take care!

  5. Baranor on

    You left at the right time. Enjoy the memories, and come back to them in a few years… they will make you feel warm and melancholic :)

  6. Lesley Phillips on

    : ( and I just discovered you!

    I hope to see you around some time. And, thanks for the content. It is a marvelous work!


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  8. Rick Moyer on

    I am only just learning of your leaving. I understand having played the game to its entirety, that it can become much less than it was when there were still unexplored places, and quests or instances that are still there to complete.
    : ( I don’t know what to say other than it feels like my experiences in LOTRO won’t have the same feel any more. Every time I take a screen shot, I always think - hmm wonder if Berry would like this one? I switched, as you know, from Gladden to Laurelin, but one of the reason I switched was that I had a chance to be on the same server as you, and to maybe be lucky enough to catch you in game, now and then.

    We will all dearly miss you… not only because of LOTRO related things, but the connectedness I think we all share with one another through this common interest. It’s like one big grand circle of friends and acquaintances, and now, one of the links in the circle is broken, it seems.

    Please know that I dearly hope you will consider keeping your twitter account open and running, and that we could at least share a bite of pie now and then.

    I really don’t understand why I have grown so attached to you,Berry - we’ve never met, yet, I count you among my dearest friends for some reason. It’s all very strange to me, how social media makes me feel so connected to people hundreds or thousand of miles away, and whom I’ve never met, nor will likely meet in my lifetime…

    : O (

    I am a sad hobbit today….

  9. Thank you for holding your lantern aloft and helping us find the path-in so many ways. Thank you for making Middle Earth a more vibrant place. Thank you making my first MMO more easily understood. Thank you for this post.

    and have a wonderful journey down the road that goes ever on………..
    you’ll need many pies ;)

  10. michael on

    hey berry, this all comes as a bit of a surprise, and not one of the best. i wish you luck in the future, in whatever game is lucky to get your attention, if any…
    i will miss your works, and little competitions, but most of all, the lotro-pedia in your head, always could i ask you a question of anything ingame, and always did you try and help…
    what about your part in extra life, is that a different matter or is it so lotro related that it also ends..

    hope to see you ingame again sometime..

    kyranduil/belkyrolith/forseth etc…

    ps: takker for alt du gav, håber lyset vil skinne på din vej (thanx for all you did, may light shine your path)

  11. This seems to be the season of sad goodbyes for many good friends and it makes my heart sad, yet what can one do but wish you the very best in whatever course you take for the future. Thanks for everything and may your adventures be,….adventurous :)

  12. Urwendil (Kibilturg) on

    Thank you very much for all you have done for the LOTRO community. You will be missed.

    Please do keep your Twitter at least and pop out a tweet once in a while. It’s good to be reminded the pie way of life :)

  13. Whiteberry,
    Thanks for your grace.

    Read this and take heed. If you can dim a Silmaril of this radiance, you are indeed losing your way. Take heed.

  14. Sorry to see you go Whiteberry! I really enjoyed your perspectives and a lot of your projects, especially the Comics (often hilarious) and the Deed Maps (extremely helpful). Best of luck in whatever your future endeavors are.

  15. Many thanks for sharing all your efforts, enthusiasm and creativity with the LOTRO community. Here’s hoping this will be a wake-up call for Turbine. They’ve lost some other major bloggers/pod-casters in the past year as well so one would hope they’d be scrambling to fix what’s broken. Ah well. Best wishes to you. I will bake a yummy pie in your honor today. <3

  16. This is very sad but I respect your decision. I really hope this is not permanent. Thanks for everything!!

  17. Floradine on

    Phew. I wanted to write something here. This is my third try but there is nothing more to say what others already have said. And we talked about this already. I think sometime we should skype maybe when the times are getting better and brighter and things that are developed elsewhere reveal their true fun-factor for us.

    What makes me sad for Lotro makes me happy at the same time in Landmark. Because I have seen your contributions on their forums (of course). You remain who you are and that is a good thing. Meanwhile I will try to make things better here at least for one or two more topics. One being the stupid plaques done right and the other thing is keep challenging Turbine to better their relationship with their most dedicated players. All else -content and difficulty of the game- is already being worked on as we all know. If not: keep watching the Hobbit-to-Isengard events by Sapience. It seems like the devs are finally starting to be more visible and responsive. At least some are. And it can even be improved. I hope Aaron Campbell listens to what I will tell him.

  18. Draculetta on

    Thank you for all you that you have done over the years..

    The community lost a wonderful and great person…

    3 pie salute!

  19. Thank you for all your contributions to help strengthen community, and all of your excellent resources. I understand - you gotta do what you gotta do to enjoy life. I remember the first time I came to this site - I saw a link to one of your “Life of a Hobbit” comics. I can’t remember exactly which one it was, but it kinda made me lol-in real life. I went back and read ‘em all, then noticed on the left how many resources you had on the site. It was pretty awesome sauce - perhaps even an awesome pie filling!

    I wish you the best for the road ahead, and please don’t be a stranger! I see you’ve been enjoying quite a bit of Landmark - keep that hobbit house cozy! *throws pies all about*

  20. This is really sad day for LOTRO community and the game itself.
    I always thought Whiteberry will be in game to the very end, I can’t believe you are leaving…
    I thank you very much for all your hard work, this page and especially completionist tracker!
    Wish you all the best in your bright future and still hope you’ll come back one day…

  21. Wanted to officially add my “thanks” to the thread. I think you hold the record for the most featured on my LPN “pick of the week”! So, at least you hold that dubious distinction. In all seriousness, though, completely understand your reasoning and am so glad I’ve been able to get to know you through this silly little game. Let’s do it again, sometime. Seriously. You know how to get a hold of me :)

  22. When I ran a kinship and noticed folks not having fun with the group I’d always tell them it was ok to leave, that it was about THEM having fun, that our friendship bonds wouldn’t suffer. And you have to. We play games to have fun and when it’s not, you have to move on. I love your site and the work you’ve put into it, holy wow! I can’t even imagine! Tipping my mug your way and hope you do stick around on Twitter. Love reading your posts. Thanks for everything you’ve done for the community! I don’t read the forums and instead read blogs and sites like yours to feel connected. It’s a very powerful thing and I appreciate you for that. (hugs)

  23. Lilikate on

    Oh I am sad now! :(


  24. Tomeoric on

    A true loss for the community. I wish you all the best and as much joy and success with your next project as you’ve had with your Tale here…

  25. Hobbitmeister on

    Thanks for all your contributions to the LOTRO community. I can completely respect and understand your reasons for calling it a day, as it were. Many of the reasons you cite for your departure and similar to reasons why my LOTRO gameplay has slowed to a bare trickle. Hopefully you can find a new game that can bring you some renewed enjoyment.
    Good luck in any and all your endeavors.

  26. Aegrion on

    A really Sad day endeed… THANK YOU for all your work and efforts to make middle earth a better place.

    May Ilúvatar light your path my little hobbit.

  27. Pingback: Community - Why Do We Do It? | Braxwolf Stormchaser

  28. It’s always hard leaving a MMO but I guess everything has a natural ending and on the bright side (generally) it is still there to go back to, even if just for a ‘MMO holiday’ :)

    So this is just quick note to say thank you for the completionist tracker (and the other useful things on your site) and for being a cheerful presence on twitter :) Hope you keep in touch *hugs*

  29. Pearlie on

    Aw this is a shame, especially since I only discovered your website a few months ago. I wish you well, and hope you find another place that you enjoy. Will you be continuing with EQNL? I am waiting for EQN myself as EQ was my very first MMO and it holds a special place in my heart. Thanks for this awesome site, which even without future updates is a valuable trove of information.

  30. Sorry to see you go but I totally understand. It’s a shame that it seems Turbine hasn’t taken their heads out of the clouds and seen any of the problems as clearly as you have described it in detail. There self-centered egos keeps them believing their own press clippings to the point of total ignorance and they usually come across as very know-it-all like and arrogant and that they are the baby sitters tolerating us “little kids”. However to be fair I think they have been taking some steps in the right direction the last few months with revamping old regions and other positive changes. Although I was never into raiding why they chose to ignore that part of their player base makes my scratch my head. Why alienate a large portion of your player base? Thank you for everything, you WILL be missed.

  31. Sigh, just so sad now. Another light goes out and the darkness grows a little more.

  32. Brigo Broadbelt of Goatbottle on

    Godspeed, my dear. After all, the purpose of entertainment is to relax and refresh one’s self to better tackle the real issues of the day. Thank you for sharing bits of your joy with us! Until next time! *bows fondly with deep respect*

  33. Pingback: LOTRO Fan Site "Tales of Arda" Shutting Down | LOTRO Players

  34. Sorry to hear this, but I understand. Thank you for all the hard work on this great website!

  35. Dear Whiteberry, You have written a very well thought out goodbye. I can relate to everything you have said, and experience the same issues you refer to. “Outgrowing it all” then becomes the drop that tips the scales. I have enjoyed your contributions immensely. You have created one of the most comprehensive fansites for Lotro and I am glad you are keeping it available for future reference. I wish you all that is good and hope you find many new projects to immerse yourself in and enjoy. Perhaps some day the fire will re-ignite and you will once again join us for some pie and ale. Much love, ~Hymne

  36. Thank you for all you have done. You have added a great deal of value to this game and will be greatly missed.

  37. Grunior on

    Safe travels, wherever you’ll go! :)

  38. Going to miss you. Thank you for giving so much to the community and for the huge help for my site. Hugs and pies to you!!

  39. You will be missed. Your contributions to the community have been immeasurable. I hope that you will return someday soon.

  40. Alistair Beswick (@Aeladriel) on

    Take care Berry, I hope you still keep writing blogs at the very least because I love reading them :)

  41. When it finally becomes time to go, it’s often best just to do it rather than defer it. I’m sure all will appreciate and respect your decision.

    Don’t be a stranger, though. Please keep us informed of any new projects or undertaking you embark upon.

    Thanks and best wishes :)

  42. I’m so sad to see you go, and I wish you all the best, wherever you go and whatever you do.

  43. Araewenel on

    Oh no, this made me sad! We’ve never spoken but I follow you on twitter and I love your site. I’m a relatively new player and still in love with the game and the community (on Gladden and on twitter). I appreciate all the thought you’ve put into this post and into your reasons leaving. You’ll be missed by a lot of people, and I will continue to use this site for sure :) All the best! Arae

  44. Stephen on

    Sorry to hear that you are leaving. Your twitter feed has been a great source of info and fun for me. You have expressed your reasons clearly and I must say that I do understand them as well. I wish you much happiness in whatever activities you choose to pursue. So long and thanks for all the pies!

  45. You have created such an amazing website, and despite the fact that I left the game (similar reasons to yours + more :)), I could still come here and just be happy someone was still dedicated. For I too have loved this home in Middle Earth.

    I think you are an admirable hobbit, may the pies keep coming! Best wishes :)

  46. Hi Berry, Bango here. Shocked to see you’re leaving lotro. we’ve both been around in the game since SoA but you’ve added so much. Made EAL such a great kin. Not been online much myself recently but I will be in touch. Will miss you.

  47. Good luck to you, in whatever endeavors you might take up in the future, and thank you for all your past works.

  48. Achazia on

    PS: Not only will you be a loss for the community. But players as you are SO INCREDIBLE important for the game itself. Losing key players that contribute with so many things. Should be praised , awarded , and be SEEN by the game (TURBINE) is mutual respect basically. without the people, a game is NOTHING. Lotro is a old game, and it is quite DEPENDED on players like you! is more or less community driven now, not so much content driven. (if that makes sense)

  49. Dear Berry! Thank you so very much for all you have done for us - Lotro players - casuals, hardcore and fans. You have been the sunny pie and a hobbit Gandalf (in disguise?) always having a smile and an advice: with your galleries, maps, tracker, fun polls and selfless giveaways. I’ll miss you dearly!

  50. HoldumDown on

    You will be sadly missed I am certain. Thanks for your contributions to making the game more enjoyable for many. Your balanced views will be sorely missed on the forums.

  51. Achazia on

    Of all people Berry. You are one of those person that do things for unselfish reasons. You are extremly helpful. and VERY beloved. This is such a great loss for Lotro community.. to be losing a key player as you in Lotro, will be a great loss for the gamers, Roleplayers and everyone that has appreciated your site, presence, help, friendly attitide to everyone.
    I am priviliged to have you as a real friend. (so I might bother you on skype still if you dont mind) and I hope we can still stay in touch!!
    (cause I need someone to correct my grammar in my lyrics haha)

    Seriosuly.. I do understand what you are writing. after 7 years of playing a game, is a natural progression I think:) I know how you feel!!

    HUUUGS and LOVE from your friend Achazia/Gry

  52. TaffyIX on

    Thank you for what you have given us over the years. May your future travels be filled with fun and adventure!

  53. Fredelas on

    I’m going to miss your contributions so much! Thank you for all the time and effort you put into them. They’ve made LOTRO so much more enjoyable for me and my friends over the last few years.

    From now on, I’ll always leave a slice of pie in the pan in your memory. At least for a few minutes, until I eat that slice in your honor. :)

  54. Thank you for all the pies, smiles, informations, support, friendship…I will miss you more that words can say :*(

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