The game is visually stunning and uniquly different looking from WoW. We're all enjoying the immersion into Middle-Earth. The sense that events of the Lord of the Rings are unfolding just outside of our vision is great. They did that well. When you play a Hobbit, the tutorial zone has you evading Ring Wraiths at the same time that Frodo is. Win!
The similarities to WoW (and other MMOs) in the UI, quests, and game mechanics are widespread and obvious. The worry here is that it'll feel too much like WoW. It doesn't. The similarities have freed me to enjoy the game while not being too confused about the basic mechanics. I understand basic things like organizing bags, following my map, and drop quests.
Basic fight mechanics are similar: Push buttons in sequence based on your attack options. Combat in LotRO feels, thus far, less hurried. That's a welcome change that I hope remains. WoW combat sometimes felt frantic as I waited to time the GCD & latency to maximize my dps.
Everyone has had a chance to make a few characters & complete the starting zone at least once. We've begun to talk about what roles/characters we plan to use on group activity nights. Just like other MMOs, instances require the trinity of tank, dps, healer. Classes like the Captain also appear to fill "support" roles in groups/fellowships.
I'll probably be our tank. I'm looking hard at the Warder & Guardian. I'll probably end up with 2 or 3 active toons for a while. One for the group, one for just me & the wife and one for pure solo. We'll see. I could never maintain that many active toons in WoW. Expect me to lower that to 1 or 2 after a few months.
More to come...