Good day folks,
I've been around here a while. A long while, actually. In fact, I am the second oldest still active wiki contributor, and have seen my fair share of moments on the wiki, from great collaborations on projects to angry arguments resulting in the ban of multiple users.
Yet I've been playing the mod for even longer, for nearly six years, in fact. Over that time, the mod has also grown greatly, going from a small mod that added a few regions and factions of Middle-earth in a randomly-generated pattern (still accessible if you use Middle-earth Classic world generation) to a mod that adds in the entire continent of Middle-earth, along with almost all of its factions.
Even though all this time has passed, and I've grown considerably older since I first started playing the mod, I still believe it's one of the greatest games of all time, six years after I first started playing it. Even though I'm not super active at the moment, I have many fond memories of being in Middle-earth, and tend to log in at least once every couple weeks for an hour or two just to enjoy the mod.
Which then begs the question; why have I stayed with this mod so long? Well, let's start...
Middle-earth is huge. Have you ever tried travelling from one end of Gondor to the other on foot? In a straight line, it's around 69 km, and if you choose to walk from one end to the other, it will take four and a half hours in real life, which equates to around a week in Middle-earth days. By contrast, the world of RuneScape is tiny; going from one end of Gilenor to the other is only a 1.24 km trip, and the entire continent isn't larger than 2.09 km2 -- about the same size as Himling. With a continent the size of Middle-earth, you can spend hours exploring and finding new locations; even as you head for a location you were planning to visit, it's likely you'll become side-tracked by something else and start a new, unplanned adventure.
It's very detailed. For a Minecraft mod, the world of Middle-earth is extraordinarily detailed. A complete list of details is listed here, but in a nutshell, the world is filled with a vast diversity and number of structures, landforms, factions, foodstuffs, drinks, weapons, armour, and much more; I've barely scratched the surface. With this mod, you could build the base of your dreams, and spend hours upon hours decorating it, even if it's only a moderate size. Build something like Minas Tirith and detailing it could easily take dozens of lazy weekends.
Continuing from the point above, Middle-earth is very beautiful. Take a look at some of the pictures from islands, trollshaws, Lone-lands, Gondor, Dunland, and Angmar, to name but a few. The generated structures of the mod fit into the landscape perfectly, and even the colours of the faction's equipment is a good fit for the region it inhabits.
There are so many ways to play the mod. Are you somebody who likes to accumulate wealth? Cool. Enjoy exploring the world and discovering new regions? Cool. Like fighting off waves of NPC's as they attack your fort? Cool. Killing as many enemies as possible? Cool. Settling down in a peaceful part of the world and building a grand mansion? Cool. Lead an army to attack enemy lands? Cool. Meet new friends on a server? Cool. Play a hardcore survival challenge? Cool. These are just a few of the countless ways that you can have fun with the mod. Even if one particular style of gameplay gets boring after a bit, it's always possible to try another.
This mod doesn't require a super-computer to play. Many modern video games become very slow if played on a computer that's not a high-end gaming PC. This mod can be enjoyed by nearly everyone; the average office computer is plenty powerful enough to handle the mod with the graphics set to fair detail, especially if FastCraft is used alongside it.
The players on the wiki and on Discord are generally nice. Yes, I've banned a few players over the years from the wiki, and there are some of whom I shall not speak here, for they have been extremely annoying, yet not sufficiently so to warrant disciplinary action. But, in general, most of the people here seem to get along just fine, and we've had relatively few arguments as of late.
And finally, I'd like to thank Mevans' dedication. How he managed to spend so much of his time working on the same project for six years I do not know, especially when he's nagged by players requesting this-and-that and complaining this-isn't-good-enough, but his dedication to this mod has been nothing short of amazing. I have no objection to him taking a well-deserved break from modding, and coming back to this at some point in the future.
Thanks to everyone, for being a part of this community, and I hope to keep seeing you around!