I started playing this back in February at the stress test weekend. It was nothing great at the time, but far from a bad time. It had it's share of bugs and lag, like any early test of a game. Once the Open Beta rolled around the reviews started coming out, I got interested and decided to pre-order. Once I got into that beta, I knew there was something special about it. As a LoTR fan in the first place, I was amazed at how closely the game followed the books. Tons of key locations, events, and characters were on screen along with me, carrying on the story. It was a great feeling.
Then we arrive on April 24th, release day. All I can say is "perfection". The full version of this game definitely rivals the likes of WoW, Guild Wars, and Everquest. Even the low level 1-10 sections of the game are amazing. The main questline is actually very interesting and feels like you're really achieving something, unlike most MMORPGs. Even if you're not a fan of the storyline for some reason, there's tons upon tons of side quests you can do to bring you deeper into the lore. If you're even slightly a LoTR fan, movies or books, you need to play this. It's one of the best games I've ever played, and so far my pick for game of the year.