You know what makes combat in an MMO really satsifying? Yes, a deep combat system is important. But right now, I want to talk about the sounds.
A lot of the classes that swing their weapons in Lotro make a “swish” sound no matter if they hit a target or not. It’s not something you notice the first time you fight, or even the millionth, but at some point you play a character in Lotro or another mmo and you whack something and go, “Ouch, I think I heard some bone breaking!!”
As an example of the swish effect, I’d like to direct your attention to some bloody penguins.
Then the more satisfying smashy one:
Notice how when you smash the penguins in the second link, it just feels more gratifying. You get to hear a “splat” sound when you actually hit the penguin to begin with, plus the penguin makes “ouch” sounds whenever it bounces, and finally there are sweet “boom” sounds whenever the penguin hits a mine.
FFXI is great at having very satisfying sound effects. Other games like SWG really drop the ball in this department. With Lotro, it depends on which class you play and which skills you use. One of the reasons I like playing my new Warden alt in Lotro is how satisfying the stabbing sounds are. I really feel like I’m inflicting some virtual pain.