In what way re: D&D? Do you mean the encounters are different?
I mean the whole rules system is fundamentally different. Here's a quick list of differences that I see, and like, because they help it match Middle Earth better:
- No levels. Instead you advance by improving skills and gaining virtues and rewards.
- There are classes, but they are much less important. Your Culture is much more important.
- Endurance (similar to Hit Points) are intimately linked to Fatigue (Encumbarance). Your carried Armour and Weapons set the base fatigue levels.
- Your Endurance (HP) almost never go up, even as you get better.
- Your Parry (AC) almost never goes up, even as you get better.
- No alignment, but you can turn to a unique "dark side" / Shadow like Dragon Sickness (greed).
- Apart from Weapons and Armour gear and treasure is really abstract. Even for Weapons there is no price list or even a separate line item for arrows or a place to keep track of them.
- You expect to do only a handful of adventures each year.
- There are no "powers" or "spell" lists (apart from the handful of Cultural virtues and rewards) but choosing Stance makes combat tactical, but in a very different way.
- There is no mechanism to determine how many monsters will be a "balanced" fight for the party. I particularly like this, although I can see how it could drive some GMs crazy.
- You have a Hope score, which works like Fate in other game, and is linked to your Shadow score which is a type of madness / sanity measure.
There are some similarities, like that if you rest after combat ypu get Endurance (HP) back, but these are more the exceptions that prove the rule.
I can tell you are super excited, which is awesome. But you may find it hard to engage others with rules suggestions until you can get a copy to read through.