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Role Playing (Games) Lord of the Rings Media Movies

The Call On Lord of the Rings Online 64

The Beta has been going on for some time now, and for all intents and purposes Lord of the Rings Online has launched. Pre-order players will be able to move their characters to the live game when the title officially lights up on April 24th, and commentators on Massively Multiplayer games have weighed in. Their opinion, generally, is unanimous: buy it. Tobold contributes a full-on review, as does CVG. AFK Gamer doesn't go in for such long-form opinions, but he still has a lot to say. Specifically, Foton comments on the good, the okay, and the bad, as well as a few words on the game's (somewhat out of the ordinary) classes. "[The game is] deep and broad. An MMOG, any MMOG, with its premium box price and its premium subscription prices, needs to offer more activities than: you can kill stuff, and, umm, you can kill other players, and umm, you could check the auctions/trade channel. There's many ways to screw around in this MMOG: Deeds, accomplishments, exploration (easy to outrun higher level mobs), titles, player-made music, engaging quest text, a solid start to the crafting system, MONSTER PLAY!!! There's probably more, but that's all I've tried so far."
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The Call On Lord of the Rings Online

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  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @04:48PM (#18816921)

    The third FA puts it best:

    "If you're still playing World of Warcraft and loving it, stick with WoW."
    "If you're looking to add to your online gaming options, this game is a fine choice. Beautiful, engaging, deep, different."
    "Between online games? Without a doubt, buy it."

    That's true. Is it better than WoW? No. Is it worth trying if you're against WoW? Yeah.

    I do also have to disagree about how the Tolkeen-y-ness of it all makes it somehow automatically better. Do I really need a deep backstory for my 'kill ten boars' quest? Not really. And because I skipped reading that, I also skipped some thing important. Now I'm lost, and starting not to care. Likewise, after being dumped out of the newbie levels, I have no idea where I am, why I chose to be there, or where I'm supposed to go next. Sure, sure, I've heard the name Bree before, but am I supposed to go there now or later? What's a 'scholar' and what's 'wood lore'? Oh, that can only be crafted by another player? Nice.

    What WoW offered was a more distilled version of the online game. Doesn't require much thought but certainly can lead to spending lots of time enjoying it. LOTRO falls short of this, probably on purpose, but somewhat to it's detriment.

  • Magic, everywhere! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:35PM (#18818303)
    My biggest concern would be the pervasiveness of magic and other factors that cause the game to depart from its roots. Yeah, I'm one of those purists that still gets annoyed at all the gratuitous changes PJ and Friends made when doing the LotR movies (although I still think those movies were teh bomb).

    Magic was always subtle throughout the trilogy, the Hobbit, and even the Silmarillion. Well, far subtler than D&D magic, anyway, and certainly rarer. The passing of the Elves meant that mundane Men were in charge, and while some of them were very talented at war, and a select few had a divine bloodline, they were still just using natural human ability to do what they did.

    Now, I'm not necessarily opposed to shoving a massive damage spell up the arse of the nearest Balrog, and I realize that it's far, far too late to change the design of this game if they have made magic overt and pervasive. Much as with the movies, it's a game I'd still consider playing. But I'd still cringe every time my loser groupmates Araporn and Legolass started lobbing fireballs around the room.

  • by Endo13 ( 1000782 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:48PM (#18818429)
    I agree with you almost 100%.

    But I do have to pick a nit... there's really not much "Tolkeen-y-ness" in this game. It's based 100% on the movies, which themselves have very little Tolkien in them, save in very broad strokes. They didn't even manage to build BagEnd the way Tolkien describes it, let alone anything else.

    And the game world as a whole feels much much too small after just re-reading the trilogy. Places that took days and weeks to travel between on ponies take... a couple minutes on foot in the game. Yeah I know, you can't make the game-world anywhere near large enough to be anything close to realistic... but please... this to me is just ridiculous.

    That said, if you're bored with what you've been playing and/or are looking for a WoW/EQ clone that's fun to play, this game delivers. But it's not for me.
  • I played in the beta (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tarindel ( 107177 ) on Saturday April 21, 2007 @01:44AM (#18821463)
    and my impressions are that had this game come out a year or two ago, it would have made a much bigger impact than it will now. Why? Because, while it's a solid package, it doesn't really have anything unique to offer outside of theming elements. Sure, it's cool to run around Middle Earth, but outside of that, it's very much WoW-lite, and with a horrid, unresponsive interface to boot.

    Was it fun? Yeah, it was. But after playing for a couple of weeks, I already had the feeling that the game didn't have legs. The landscapes were beautiful and mostly well designed, and the quest writing was fantastic, but ultimately the game doesn't have anything to offer that hasn't been done before in just about every other MMORPG on the market.

    My recommendation: Buy it if you're bored and looking for something to do. It'll hold you over till the next thing that catches your attention. But if you're looking for a deep game that will tie you in for a long time, this probably isn't going to be the one.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan