Our Compliments Classes

After playing LOTRO for the last few days, the only thing that REALLY bugs me is that the classes feel bland. Perhaps it’s the lack of magic that is keeping it down, but they all feel so generic. Warrior, ranger, mage, priest, etc. etc. They have a bit of sugar coating, but really, lore master is just a mage with some careful wordplay and ideas, nothing REALLY is different. The same goes for the Minstrel, change some words and effects, you got a different class that fits with lore.

I guess it isn’t that the classes are bad, just very by-the-book. Nothing too spectacular, I guess I was just hoping for the classes to stand out more. This makes it very hard to pick a class; usually I can pick the class that feels right for me in a few minutes. With LOTRO I just pick something and play, if I like it I like it, If I don’t, I don’t. This was probably the main reason I hesitated on picking up the game, I wasn’t sure what I would play. My most recent exploits do include a Hobbit Burglar and a Human Champion.

I didn’t mind the Hobbit, but stealth classes have never been my strong suit. If anything, it was the Hobbit starting area that drove me to insanity. It was fun at first, with many fun and interesting quests like hide and seek and delivering mail, but…. After awhile it got tedious, and I was begging for something to kill. I know there are quests that require me to kill stuff, but I would have needed the traits. I didn’t really want to do all the quests or move to another area because I didn’t really like the class, so that was the end of that.

Next up was Champion, my new favorite class. It’s basically a berserker, strong, fast and reckless I end up taking more damage from a monster, but I end them so fast it makes up the difference. I find dual wielding swords works best, as they get +hit, which is nice for a fast attacking character when every hit counts.


(NOTE: Our Complements is a generic food brand, I know we have it here in Ontario, I’m not sure about the rest of the world)

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Lost in Translation

May 5, 2007

Lost in Translation

After some careful thought, I’m going to stop doing the “LOTRO Log.” Well, stop calling it that. I’m not doing day-to-day updates on every shit I take, I just feel like talking more about the general feel of things in the game. That’s all really.

*Back to our regular scheduled programming*

After finally warping out of the “Beginner Area” I set off on my valiant journey today. By beginner area I am of course referring to where the game dumps you after the opening instance tutorial. In this area you are pretty much cut-off from the rest of the game world. I’m not sure whether or not I like this system. It’s hard to form an opinion on something so trivial, but I know I have one, DEAP DOWN inside of me.

This is beside the point though; I am still enjoying my Guardian. He dispatches mobs with relative ease, probably faster than my Minstrel at this level (I imagine this wouldn’t change, even if both characters were at 50, I could be wrong though.) Anyways, just walking through the fields (Of snow : /) and enjoying the flurry of snowflakes flying across my screen is a rather impressive experience. Unlike ye-old “White balls” raining down from the sky, these are fully formed, realistic, snowflakes (What a world we live in. And yes, I did just write a paragraph about how awesome the show is in LOTRO keke.)

I did run across a “Riddle quest” I suppose you could call it. I had to go find some gears to open a door for some guy, or something silly like that. Anyways, upon finding the first chest (He told me where this one was) I received the gear, and a piece of paper, with a riddle on it. “Oh fuck,” I thought to myself, “I suck at riddles.” And it’s true, I do, I probably couldn’t riddle my way out of a paper bag (Actually, I usually just don’t give enough of a shit to figure these things out. When I AM in the mood, I am fairly good at “Teh puzzlin’.”

On the other hand, I think puzzles and riddles are great in online games. If they are especially hard, people will band together in a team effort to solve them (I call it the “Myst Effect.”) I guess Myst online is all about that, which is actually a pretty good idea in retrospect. Without combat of some kind, I would probably loose interest fairly fast, I guess that is just the way I roll. Back on topic though, if a game had a lot of “skill testing” (Not REALLY hard, they just require more than a passing glance to solve) quests, if would be fairly easy to find the “sheep” as I call them. The stupid people, that can’t do anyways for themselves and require a website like thottbot or allakhazam to figure it out. They aren’t all bad people, but the people who require these websites to “Find the inn” or some shit usually need to be weeded out.

Another thing I have been thinking about lately are games from overseas. Korea, Japan or really…. Asia as a whole seems to be much different from what I am used to, but all the actual MMOs from Asia are the same, Hrm. Well, before I continue let me tell you have this all came about. I was doing some research on freeservers lately (Servers hosted not by the company that developed the game that are available to be played for free, not a bad idea.) In the process of doing so I thought I would check up on the Lineage ][ freeserver I once played on, and I got to thinking “Lineage ][ really wasn’t for me, it had far too much grinding…. Like most Asian MMORPGs.” Golly, I suppose you learn something every day. I suppose in Asia, people are much easily entertained. I don’t think Americans (or Canadians in my case. Europeans for that matter) are too demanding. We just want a fun MMO, that is all. Hell, people still bitch in masses for SWG to be brought back, which is an old game that has since died (In my eyes at least.) But lets not start bashing SOE now, I need sleep :D.

Translating a game from an Asian market to an American market would be a daunting task. Considering the basic game play of these Asian games in considered boring and inferior by most here, mostly because the games lack depth. Not to mention the actual language translation, oh god. Only the larges of budget Asian games get good translations (You would think, considering most of these games like to boast millions of people already playing the game in Asia they would get better translations. Oh wait, I guess they are free games they couldn’t be making a mint, perhaps I’m just too demanding.)

Asia is just plain different. When I watch dubbed anime, compared to the subbed stuff with Japanese voices, it’s just plain terrible! Urg, it may not even be the fact that the voice actors suck, the lines just sound so much more normal in Japanese, the translated version sounds pretty stupid. With the subs they still speak Japanese you just know what they’re saying. Does it make it any less stupid? Probably not, but it sounds much more natural.

Now then, I need some god damn sleep : /.

Posing (Surig) 2

 “Feeding the Animals is a Bad Idea”

-Radical

LOTRO DAY 2

May 4, 2007

Day 2:
The Movie Experience”

Well, day two and I’m taking it head on. When I got home, I was itching to play some LOTRO but…. When I got to my computer, I remembered that a new patch went live today, boo. I wasn’t looking forward to updating; I wasn’t sure what the wait would be like though I ended up surprised! I had left the LOTRO launch pad on and it had updated for me :D. Anyways, I know WoW required the game to launch for the game to patch, now, if I know a patch is coming, I just leave the launcher on and it will update, quite the nice feature.

Anyways, today I wanted to try a new class on for size, Minstrel wasn’t my cup of tea. So I decided I would roll a more combat-oriented class, namely the Guardian. Then I had to decide what race. I came to the conclusion that Dwarf was the only way. Dwarves have always been really, really badass in my eyes. They’re tough little buggers and grumpy most of the time, expect when they’re drunk/killing shit, then they are jolly and goodhearted. Plus they hold grudges a long time, like, ages (I still have grudges against people from back when I was in Grade 2.) Mind you, I might be mixing lore from different games, but in my eyes what I just described to you is what dwarves should be. Also, they need really pimpin’ beards {This is a must}.

 

Surig (Thursday, May 03, 2007)

 “What a Pimp!”

The dwarves land is covered in snow, but nonetheless still looks amazing, with careful attention to detail. The beginning dwarf instance was especially fun, with Gimli and Gandalf both making appearances. I played through the starting area; there isn’t much to say. The quests are mildly interesting but not enough to hold my interest. When the “epic storyline” quests roll around, the game picks up, and is usually exciting. I could only with the whole game was such an exciting experience. Though I suppose the creators are only human *sigh*. Anyways, so far, I wish the interface was resizable, as some thing are a tad too tiny for me, I’m sure this will roll around eventually.

Combat (Surig) 1

 “If anything I Just Want Larger Buff Icons : /”

Anyways, I can only hope turbine gets a large patch out with many fixes. I know that many things are coming soon in a patch, but will they all come at once. If most of these problems to get fixed asap, Turbine will get a standing ovation from me, for working so hard and getting all this shit fixed, it’s no easy feat.

Posing (Surig) 1

 “Being Productive”

I wish I could post some screenshots but I can’t find where they are stored on my pc :(.

 

EDIT:

Damnit, nevermind….


The following changes will be made in the patch on May 3, 2007:

Guardians can now play some musical instruments at level 5.
Fixed a bug with “Mischievous Glee” (Burglar) and “Sign of Power: Wizardry” (Lore-master) that was causing some enemies to assist the player in combat.
The sky-diving NPC in Bree has been grounded, and will stop dropping from the sky now.
In the “Shield Brothers” quest, players will no longer have to worry if the wight slave is killed by someone else. Using the barrow door again will cause the wight to re-appear so they can complete the quest.
Bosses in instances are no longer scared of the players! They are immune to fear and will not be sent running like little scared hobbitses!
Players can now destroy any and all of their Pre-order items if they so wish. This includes, but is not limited to, the Ring of Agility. Be warned, however, that once you’ve destroyed the item, that character can never get it back!
Removed uncommon & rare loot drops from Tarburz the Wood Troll.
Fixed a problem where some players were unable to enter any private instances.
The problem with Undying titles not being granted to players has been identified and fixed. We’re still looking into whether we can retroactively grant the titles to those who didn’t receive them because they were fellow’d up in an instance with another player who died. This may not be possible, but we’ll try!
Fixed pathing issues with the Rhavameldir encounter in Fornost and the Lagmas encounter in Urugarth.
The Auction UI will now properly enable Kinship Only options when an online player’s Kinship reaches the appropriate Lifespan Rank (6).
Fixed the following bugs on machines running Windows XP. A Windows Vista fix is still being investigated:
Players will no longer see their Overall Graphics Quality as “Custom” when they log in if they had originally set it to Low, Med, High, Very High, etc.
Fixed a bug which caused certain Graphics Options to reset to 0 every time the game was started.

“Source”

So, I decided to pick up LOTRO seeing as I have been needing some MMO in my system, anyways, here are my feeling from the first day:

LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE
Shadows of Angmar

Day 1:

Well, it was a long day. Back with the groceries and damn, am I tired (It’s seven floors worth of stairs and elevators are for the weak. Get off my back.) I’ve done some research and I’m planning on rolling a Minstrel on the Gladden server (For a number of reasons, mistrals are apparently of shot supply on this server, and I feel like rolling one, so hey :] ) So it’s time to start, luckily I got the DVD copy of the game (Assuming they do make a CD version) because there is no damn way I would wait around to get that 8 or so disk install done (Takes 2 DVDs for this friggin’ game, sheesh.) Anyways, the installation was clean and the account setup was smooth as silk, probably the best I have ever seen. They had a host of payment options because, much like World of Warcraft, I assume they want people who wouldn’t generally be able to play an MMO (No credit card for instance) play it. Now I wait :[.

And then it was done! So, time to boot it up and then…. God damn…. Stupid updates…. More waiting, Yahoo! ^___^. Anyways, the updater notifies you when it’s done, so go play some flash games to kill a few seconds, but now it’s done!

Anyways, after configuring my firewall (>__>) and updating my GFX card drivers (I always thought they updated themselves, I dunno why, but I did.) Anyways, I had to make a character first off, with a choice of: Man, Elf, Hobbit and Dwarf. I went with Man, it was down to Elf or Man, but I can’t stand elves so Man it is! Yeah, Man has –8 to the mana stat (Or whatever they call it in LOTRO) but it isn’t a big deal for me, even though I am rolling a mana-dependant character.

Anyways, I started off in some form of jail, seems I had been captured! Well, boo. And, of course when I magically escaped from the prison (I was playing with the options so I didn’t see what happened then, I think there was some story behind how the door opens and shit, but meh.) Anyways, I had to go rescue sum Hobbits, perfect, that’s all my day needs! Damn Hobbits need to help themselves! Though, to progress the quest I didn’t have a choice so off I went. The combat is pretty much Warcraft, Everquest or Lineage not much innovation in the respect, I wasn’t expecting much though.

Anyways, after kicking some ass and taking some names I arrived at a gate with my Hobbit friends. The ranger/warrior/whatever guy I met at the beginning of the game was about to get his ass kicked by a Wring Wraith, get the popcorn : ]. Seriously though, the mood this scene set was amazing. With flashes of the Dark Lords Eye-thing on the screen and all the fire/swirling darkness it really set the mood for the game. It set aside my fears of the game being boring. I think turbine is aiming for a very “cinematic” game, and they have succeeded in my eyes.

After this bit of fun I was taken to town, the ranger/warrior guy was injured my the morgul(??) blade and sent me off on some walking quests, the actual fighting and delivery quests were from the other villagers, the side-quests if you will. The main quest line in this starting area was pretty much go to person, develop story and repeat, though I was interested enough in what was happening that it didn’t put me to sleep, a good sign.

Anyways, after I took the main quest line as far as I could I was sent into another instanced mission. This time the bandits that had been ravaging the countryside were attacking the town, and I had to step up in its defense (naturally.) Anywyas, more cool scenes, I won’t share any details, but it was fun and the boss fight was reasonably challenging for a single person, but I was fine.

So far, LOTRO seems like a great alternative to WoW in ever respect. The graphics are a nice change and the combat is sticking to a known formula. The epic feel they were aiming for, in my opinion, was achieved and I wish Turbine the best of luck.

Anyways, that is about all I have to say for now. What will make or break this game is how well Turbine handles the problems people have with the game. If I may use an example: People were bitching about farming being a moneysink, so it gets a review. Seems like good service to me ^__^. Anyways, as long as they don’t let theit heads get too far up their own asses and listed to the players, they’ll be fine!

-Radical