I'll just say "hi" as a "fresh author" too
I've read about LOTRO in 2004, but well it was just a few teasing pictures back then. In January 2007 I was offered a small peek into closed beta by a fellow guild/community member and since then I was sold. I've played WoW for 2 months, so was familiar with the MMORPG genre, but found this so much more immersive. Got myself an account too and grabbed the opportunity to test all classes to about lvl 12 and monsterplay. Didn't want to play much more/further, not to spoil any more at launch in 28 April 2007. Got myself pre-order and Collector's Edition and still a happy gamer on the Laurelin server (not so much an RPer, but like it occasionally)!
Being a graphics person I've always been intrigued by "skinning", as it would give a simple solution to change a complicated piece of software to your own liking. I've skinned ICQ and WinAMP very simply back in 2000-2001. Didn't dig into WinAMP or even Windows Media Player a lot, as it would need a lot of study into codes too, and I'm no programmer.
Recently I took the opportunity to make one I felt I was missing on LOTROinterface.com, and so made a Hobbit UI where I could go full throttle on flower, leaves and wood
When I finalized it, I'll maybe make more