It could have gone so wrong. So badly, horribly, terribly wrong. From the very outset - from the first announcement of a Lord of the Rings massively multiplayer title, nine years ago - we had terrifying visions. The much loved world of Middle Earth, mutilated beyond recognition by the clumsy hand of a developer who needed to bludgeon Tolkien's narrative into a levelling grind. Hobbit warriors slaying dragons. Elves throwing fireballs. Bunny-hopping humans called 4rag0rn-LoL bouncing through Rivendell shouting "rofl elfs r gay".