So, 25 man's didn't end up happening last night. I couldn't muster up the motivation to level my rogue, and decided to try the 7-day trial of Lord of the Rings Online.
Things I learned from my 25 minutes in middle earth:
1)WoW is an incredibly successful franchise for a reason, and copying parts of what make it so good does not promise success. The interface was almost identical to WoW, and while that made a lot of the learning curve null and void, I would prefer to see an attempt at original interface design. WoW's UI is workable, but just look at some of the UI overhauls on curse, theres a better way out there somewhere.
2)Pretty graphics make for great screenshots, but don't imply smooth animations. While I was standing still in this game, I was stunned, the plant life moved in the wind, and everything looked amazing. Whenever I moved, all that wonder that had built up quickly dissipated. While the background remained amazing, my characters movement would best be described as "awkward." There was no real feel of interaction between myself and the world I was in, it felt like my toon was on a bad "green screen."
3)I am not a very good role-player. Verbose quest text and lengthy videos break up the gameplay, and while they manage to make the game feel more cinematic, I found myself looking for a "skip" of some kind. I would have a terribly hard time pretending I was Gargamel the burglar from Rohan for any length of time.
4)Killing level 1 wolves and looting pelts and bent daggers lost it's charm in WoW, and even with pretty graphics, it kills my motivation to level.
This game is well done, but I guess it's just not for me... Maybe I'll play a little more and see where it goes, but I'd rather spend my time shadow-stepping.