A Road Through The Dark

May 4, 2010 at 3:14 am | Posted in Lord of the Rings Online, mmorpg | 6 Comments
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The One Ring

Well when I’m not deluding myself about the oncoming revolution and socialist agenda of Guild Wars 2’s future loot system, I’ve been playing Lord of the Rings Online.  The games been out for 3 years, but I picked it up in a sale thanks to MMOGC for about 10 bucks.

It was a painful download. It may be P2P but holy crap was it slow.

Being that it has been out for about 3 years, my usual nickname was taken on both servers I tried. I tend to use the same alias over and over, but sometimes it’s too common or as with Guild Wars, they force you to have two names. Growl.

To start out I went with an Elf, figuring I’d change it up as soon as I knew the game better. I’ve played plenty of elves, so I figured I’d either play a Dwarf or a Hobbit, but if I’m just testing things out, I’d get the Elves out of the way.

The customization is well done I suppose. I like the range of faces, hair, colors, whatever. Plus you can dictate your past to a greater extent, with a wide range of possible areas you can be from. From the Iron Hills to the Blue Mountains. There’s a mini-intro for each race, fairly well done with a nice voice over. The tutorial has back-story and history, which is an improvement on most tutorials.

It does look pretty good too. I like the character graphics and the npcs, the creatures, the landscapes. I don’t think it necessarily has to be such a huge distance between towns, the landscape ends up being a little stretched out. I wrote up about a quarter of this post while traveling between towns.

I did most of the introductory stuff up until about level 7 on the Elf, and it was okay. I can’t say it was spectacular or challenging. In fact I’ve leveled a Dwarf up to level 10 now and nothing has even come close to killing me.

The quests were almost immediately into the kill ten rats territory where I didn’t even read the quest text. It would be nice to feel a little more involved than that, but where are there quests that don’t give you that feeling? I think it’s a trademark problem of just about every MMO.

Some of the quests could be a little more specific. They usually give you a good idea of where to go, but I’m told to look for an NPC just outside Thorin’s Hall, so I look around the proximity for a while only to figure out it’s a bit further than just outside. It’s down by the court, so why didn’t they say court? I don’t know. I’m told to fix the canal inside the hall, I go to the canal I swim in the canal, I walk around the canal, no cracks to fix in the canal. It’s underneath the canal where I have to go. So say that.

One problem I’ve been having is I virtually always feel disorientated. Maybe that’s because I’m new, or maybe there aren’t enough landmarks to go by. Up is down, left is right, I get turned around a lot even with constant use of the map. I don’t think the landscapes are intuitive.

I like how I have a lot of inventory from the very beginning. I think the npc merchants are well done, with fine menu’s. Most of the functional stuff is pretty good. Maybe there’s a few too many menu’s but I’ll get used to it.

Anyway these are just initial impressions. I haven’t even had any real contact with other human beings yet, other than to share my distress with another person who couldn’t find the cracks in the canal. I can’t say anything has particularly impressed me, but in most games I’d be disappointed with something by now. The different classes look impressive, the overall storyline I’m digging. There’s a lot of things going for LOTRO on my first couple days.

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6 Comments

  1. The reason the download takes so long is I think it downloads then unpacks the files as they come…which is nice for stability and you can pick up the download right where it stopped if your connection happens to get interrupted…but man, is it slow!

    I’ll tell you now, LOTRO has its fair share of kill-ten-rats and fed-ex type quests, but I can sort of understand why. There’s one “epic” quest line (the books), which every fan will focus on because it’s the main story, and everything else is sort of filler. At least, that’s sort of the way I see it.

    I don’t want to make it sound like the non-book quests weren’t any less fun though, because some of them were. Too bad you didn’t start from the Shire, because that place is beautiful. A few of the NPCs and quests were annoying (like the pie running and parcel delivery quests — literally fed-ex!) but there’s a certain charm to everything that makes me a lot more forgiving of its flaws.

    • I fully plan on stopping in the shire, if possible. and I don’t so much mind the kill ten rats quests, as much as hope I don’t get bored with them too quickly.

      I mean I will get bored with them, just hoping I can level up a lot first.

  2. Ered Luin is probably the worst starting zone of the tree possible ones. At least until you get to Gondamon a bit lower in the moutain. Shire is the awesome of the awesome and Bree is not bad either.

    As for the questing style its pretty much old school like mmogamerchick said. You like or you don`t I guess

    • well I’m almost to gondamon I guess. I suppose I’ll check out the others at some point. maybe this explains the slight lack of people i’ve seen.

  3. not really, imagine you started playing GW about a year ago and you have about the same time you have started this game in. There are people about but at a higher level, this hitch with starting a mmo late – always seems a little empty. Still I have people that defected to lotro from GW and are happy, never looking back. My this be you – till GW2.

    • Enh, I played the warhammer trial, there were lots of people around. although I admit their trial is unlimited and free.


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