It’s Not The Size, But The Motion In The Ocean

May 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Posted in Lord of the Rings Online, mmorpg | 9 Comments
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Rotoscope FTW?

Lord of the Rings Online is beautiful and expansive. There are huge amounts of territory to cover much of which, at least early in the game, doesn’t seem to get much use at all. The landscapes are picturesque and one could easily explore for the sake of simply looking around.

The question is do I want to waste minutes at a time traveling several times a play session?

I realize that LOTR as literature is entirely about a long journey. There is constant movement from the Shire all the way to Mordor. As a theme it was reflected in the movies and I guess it’s being reflected in LOTRO as well.

I’m sure players over the years have repeatedly stated their preferences for large, even enormous, settings in their games. Developers can point to GTA, Elder Scrolls, countless MMOs, and other games to say that players want gigantic areas to make their worlds feel more alive.

Perhaps it’s even a cheat in some cases. Designed to lengthen out your leveling curve so you spend more time and more subscription money.

Thus I have to sit on a horse for upwards of 3 or 4 minutes before and after I’ve done a few quests in an area. Or worse, run towards a stable for a few minutes, then ride to where I want to go for another few minutes. Fun.

I’ve actually alt tabbed out at times to go web surf while my automated pony gets me to town. I find it kind of agonizing to sit there for minutes at a time watching the grass hills roll by.

There are short cuts of course, but there’s only so much you can do. Even though I love Bree, it’s a waste to use my map there, or go to a stable. And it’s a pain to just run across town.

I want my worlds to feel large, not be large.


  1. I hate travel times too, but at the same time I dislike loading screens. I think WoW does a good job here where you can get across several zones in minutes without encountering a single loading screen, but at the same time, they use flight points. Not too many other games have the luxury of sticking gryphons and windriders in their IP.

    • I don’t mind loading screens as long as they’re relatively short, like 10 seconds or something. I admit wow’s transport has a wicked lore angle going for it.

      i can’t take this lotro transport though, drives me bonkers. I’ll be going some place to do a quest and by the time I get there I want to log out.

  2. Another win for GW. I hate travel times, it adds time before you can do anything meaningful.
    I hate it even more in things like RPGs which invariably add a random chance of a usually meaningless encounter while your doing your automatic travel.
    If I want to travel then I want to explore I don’t need to do it at the start and end of every quest. WOWs 80 levels seem to have been built around such a device so as to make buying a fast flying mount seem useful. painful.
    WOWs level 70 end area was great, masses of quests all around the quest hub with heaps to do in any direction and any travel had you doing some quests on the way.

    • Gws warps make it almost too easy in some cases, then again, going from some place in cantha to some place inside the realm of torment was painful. loading screen, loading screen, loading, screen, loading scren.

  3. […] a pretty barren zone, if I remember correctly. It’s also quite a ride from Trestlebridge. Hunter noted the other day in a blog post about how expansive the territories are in LOTRO. He’s […]

  4. I actually like the traveling, despite it getting repetative at times. Lotr is about a journey and the game tries to reflect this. I would love it if more travelling options were integrated on a fellowship scale. Perhaps setting up camps and more focus on rations and maybe traveling gear. Just my take. Happy travels.

    • meh. It’s a lot of pointless traveling, back and forth stuff. LOTR is about a journey with epic purpose, LOTRO is about a journey to kill 10 goblins or talk to so and so and turn in countless quests for rewards. but to each his own.

      • My only comment is wow that you make a comment that WoW’s lore > LOTRO’s lore
        This has directed me well away from here ;-).

        • Saying wow’s transport has a good lore angle to explain why it happens isn’t saying Wow’s lore is better than LOTRO’s lore.

          If you’re going to generalize and misinterpret comments like that, feel free to direct yourself well away from here šŸ˜‰

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