Haakon Stormbrow over at A Casual Stroll to Mordor has an interesting retrospective piece up about his time in Lord of the Rings Online's beta.
He takes us back to September 2006, when the game world was still being shaped by Turbine and many of the features and locales that we've come to know and love had yet to be implemented. Apart from old animations and cloak designs, the biggest difference in LotRO from today's version was how rough and unfinished the landscape looked.
Stormbrow recounts his exploration through Bree, Lone-lands, North Downs and even Angmar, noting how empty it was without mobs and how the devs had artificial walls to keep the testers from exploring where they shouldn't. By exploiting a few bugs, he and his friend were able to view the zones from heights that players today are simply unable to see:
Exploring a little further north, we found an area [that] had all sorts of buildings and statues and ruins and a waterplane about 100 feet in the air. When you walked under the water plane, you flew very quickly up to the plane and began swimming. Then when you swam off the edge, you floated back down to the ground.If you're fascinated by the shaping of currently established MMO worlds, then do yourself a favor and give this article a read!