ettenra / Member

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ettenra Blog

Some reasons why LoTRO rocks for me, and might be the next big thing.

Taken from LoTRO officials, about LoTRO.

Good evening gamefans! I know you may not care to read a wall o' text, or even a hedge o' text, but I gotta tell someone, and I think my wife is tired of listening. I'm going to try to divert from the things that everyone is already talking about, so this will leave A LOT of good points out.

So. LoTRO Rocks my socks smooth off. (I really think that's sig-worthy, somebody take that and make me feel special would you?) No place like the start to get started I suppose.

There are more than a few reasons why I (and a ton of other people) think that this game will be a huge hit. Here's some I feel like talking about.

1. Most people who have personally seen the game run have had great things to say about it's graphics. They are stellar, I've not seen a better looking game in some time. However, I don't have the system for those uber pretties, or the cash to upgrade my rig at the moment. Enter first bit of sweetness. This game will run, and be very playable, on ancient rigs. I've seen posts here and on the beta forums heralding the flexibility of this client after running it on old Socket A boxes and laptops with integrated graphics. It's not going to require you as the customer to buy the game and a new system to go with it.

2. This game is a book readers paradise. I'm not talking solely about LoTR readers either. The scripting of quests in this game as well as the quest-linking forbidden storybook world, a la when I'm reading Robert Jordan, or Harry Potter. (Yes Harry Potter. Laugh all you want.) The instanced quests also add to this, although I have a limited experience with them at this point. What I have experienced in the form of the intro instance was a great low level quest that kicked the storyline off well. In other mmo's I've had trouble getting into the game, it's as if you're just dropped in the world, with no idea of what to do or why you're there. If you typically skip the quest dialogue, you're missing out here. Give it a shot, if it's not for you, then it's not, but I love it. Granted, there are always going to be the token "kill x boars to help cut down on the natural fertilizer" type quests, but overall the quest system seems well done. For me, the level of immersion is top notch.

3. Your leveling experience isn't mainly grinding mobs. Now, some people hate this, but those people aren't posting here now are they? From what I can tell, the experience gained from quests is much more than that of mob killage. This is great for me, I don't mind grinding, but why do it if you could be questing? The grind is sometimes disguised as a quest, but even then it's grind with rewards other than a little xp and a trophy drop here and there. For me, this makes the game even more immersive. I don't find myself asking "Why is my character killing thousands of slugs? Is there an overpopulation problem?"

4. The Founder's offer. I know everyone is already talking about this one...but I really like it so I'll detour from my original intent just a smidge. I have been a long time fan of mmorpg's, but have a limited experience with them because of the cost. It's not really a matter of having the money, (Go mow a lawn kid!) but rather justifying the costs vs. the amount of enjoyment my wife and I will get from playing this game. Prior to LoTRO, we thought about WoW, but just couldn't get on board with $460 for the first year, and $360 every year after that. (2 accounts) This game however is different, not only do we both find it more fun, but it's much easier for me to swallow $500 once and then only paying for major expansions. Add to that the fact that we can take a break whenever we want (lifetimers) and the deal is too sweet to pass up. The Founder's offer was a major deal-maker for us, and I think alot of other people as well.

5. Last but not least, another that's been talked about a little. The game is very casual friendly. I'm married, with a job and a full load of college history forbidden get something accomplished in the relatively limited time I have to play every night. This game has so far been great at delivering that for me, I think it will continue to so for a long time.

I think this game is going to be a big hit. I don't think it will dethrone WoW, but I think it will light a small fire under Blizzard. It may also prove to be a major competitor for lesser played but still popular games such as Everquest II and Guild Wars.

Forgot this part: All of the above are my opinions. I'm not a dev or anything like it. I am in the closed beta. If your opinion includes bashing my opinions that's fine, but I strongly doubt you will change my mind. I'm always up for listening regardless.

Will LoTRO beat WoW?

Taken from a forum thread on the officials for LoTRO.  My stuff, just copied and pasted here.

Some things. WoW's graphic style is specific to their previous games, and it is a bit cartoonish. The newest generation of fantasy based MMO's are going for the "Holy S*** Batman!" factor as far as I can tell. These new arrivals are looking better than WoW, and still able to keep the minimum system requirements close to that of Blizzard's cash cow. It may still be a year or two before Blizzard really feels the pressure to take it up a notch, but they will have to create something to keep all the WoW players from going to other better looking and/or less expensive game options, and I don't think another expansion and ten more levels of the same thing will be sufficient. The Guild Wars series helped get this exodus underway 1.5 years ago. It may not have been the final nail in the coffin for WoW, it was surely far from it, but it did rouse the undertaker for sure. Slowly players are being siphoned off by other games that offer different and in some/many cases better experiences than the aging MMO king.

When a ruler begins to age, the younger nobility gets antsy. Typically when a king gives up the ghost, his crown is passed to his designated heir. (Stay with me here.) What has the potential to happen in the case of the king of MMOdom, is that the kings heir (Blizzard's successor to WoW) will either be too young, or non-existent, creating a power vaccuum and leaving the throne of MMOdom prime for the taking by any able member of our young nobility. (Other good MMO's.) What I hope happens, is that Blizzard's heir is in fact too young, and that LoTRO will be able to come in and assume the throne, unsteadily at first, but gaining support as the content of it's character shines through. (I lol at myself... Really.)

*Don't hassle me about inheritance minutia. I know it's not perfect but it makes the point.*

That said, Blizzard is already working on something that will allow the throne of MMOdom to be retained by a member of it's cartoonish family. It's in the works, be it Diablo III or WoW II. I'd bet the Shire on it.

Dungeon Runners

Sooo. I got my referal to get my own dungeon runners account for the closed beta. I loaded it up, registered and dropped into Dew Valley. The music is pretty, it's def a Dungeon Siege inspired game. The combat and camera work the same way. As far as I can see, the level isn't capped below 70, it's bright like WoW. What else....oh it's hilarious. The some npc's will talk to you when you interact with them, and say things like..."Next time you come bring me a woman to sell!" and other oddly funny things. The item descriptions and actions are very funny. The attack speeds are described as everything from "Freakin' Fast" to "Grandma". The game takes shots at the genre in some subtle and not so subtle ways, some Monty Python inspiration is surely there. The dungeons are instanced and the load times were pretty much nil for me. It's got alot of polish left to go, but it's shaping up to be a nice diversion from GW, WoW, or Lineage.

I freakin' heart my Gamecube.

Man, for a shamed system, it sure has given me some good times, and I still have many more games left to buy for it.  I'm half way through Eternal Darkness, my wife and I are loving MK:DD, and I just bought F-Zero GX. (Hard)  There are alot of niche games that never caught on with the mainstream "Have to be rated M or it's not cool" crowd.  I can't wait to pick them up for peanuts since the release of the Wii and PS3

Fanboys and Trolls.

I've been reading alot of stupid threads about the coming downfall of x take.

Many things impact the success of a system, as I'm sure you're all well aware. Recently, what has had the biggest effect is the quality of the games released for a given system. The DS is outselling the PSP because it just gives a better experience, not because it is a graphical powerhouse like the PSP. That experience comes from the library of games, and their ability to take advantage of a system's strong points. The PS2 is a console legend, why? The library is deep and varied, and is (now) inexpensive. On the flipside, the Gamecube had some stellar titles, but they were all first party games, and Nintendo couldn't keep pace with what the third parties were doing on the PS2. So...what's the point? If the games suck, so will the system, relative to the others released in the same generation. If the library of any of the new consoles sucks, the system will be impaired by that and not do as well as it's competitors. A PS3 or a Wii with no good games is an expensive way to impress your nerdy friends.

"Wow Billy! You're awesome! You got a JAGUAR on launch day!!!

Sooooo many good games that I missed.

I missed a royal pantload of great games on the Cube and PS2, and you know what?  I'm glad I did.  Now I can pick those games up three at a time and spend less than one of them cost new.  I love buying used games, saves me a ton of cash.  My wife convinced me that it was the way to go, and she couldn't have been more right.  By staying 6-8 months behind the release curve, I can constantly be getting my hands on great games, at about a third of their retail cost.  My wish list is huge, I'll have lots of games to buy/get for Christmas/Birthday in the future...

Does it have to be new and exciting to be a good game?

Evening.  Tonight I ripped through a few levels of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance with my wife and I must say, that game was worth every bit of the twelve smackers I paid for it a year or so ago.  It was one of the first successful multi-player action rpg's to hit the PS2, spawned a sequel of it's own and had varying levels of influence on later released titles of the same genre.  Why does all that fluff matter?  Well, it matters because there wasn't anything super special about the game when it was shiny new and full price.  In fact, I'd say the most attention grabbing feature for most guys in this game is the super bouncy cleavage.  In spite of it's not exactly causing a paradigm shift in the gaming world, people still loved the game.  It was fun, it is fun.  Even still, I read reviewers opinions more often than not that will discard a title for not being the next big innovation in the ever expanding universe of video games.  Granted, some will give credit where credit is due, but I'm seeing more and more this trend of beating a game into shameful submission because it's not keeping up with the pixelated Jones'.  If this keeps up, will there be any new games worth playing in the hack-n-slash genre in the future?  Is it possible that the opinions of the few could diminish the quality of certain games as development teams strive to evolve their work accordingly?  Might genres disappear and/or become something totally different?  I understand that everything needs a breath of fresh air now and again, else it suffocates, but aren't some facets better left alone?  In a nutshell:  If it ain't broke, why fix it?