Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lord of the Rings Online Welcome Back Weekend


So this weekend since Lord Of The Rings was free for anyone who played once before, I decided I'd jump back in and see if things had changed much. Last time I played I tried a Minstril? And I didn't really have any fun at all.

This time around I wanted to try the RuneKeeper, but since they only restored my account to its old state, I don't get the Moria stuff, so I went with the Hunter. It seems that just like World Of Warcraft, the hunter is overpowered. It's almost impossible to die, and everything is one shotted. No pet though.

My first minute in the game, I walk up to right click on the Introduction NPC in RivenDell, and of course I misclick, which causes my incredible range to shoot an arrow at a swarm of bees in the distance. Being completely lost in how to control my character, and seemingly missing every swing I'm fighting a killer swarm of level 2 bees on the steps next to the intro NPC who is supposed to help me start the game. She's just standing there watching me be swarmed by a killer batch of bees...

Eventually I got the bees down and started the quest lines. I figured I'd practice on the target dummies a bit, and figured out how to use the hunter. After that it was all about one shotting everything, bugs, insects, flies, slugs, rats, goblins, etc. With the extra XP this weekend I was level 5 within minutes. I finished the Introduction quests and set out to Celondim after a brief run thru a cave which seemed to transport me many many miles in a few seconds for no particular reason I seem to be now on an epic quest to get back to where I started?

While in Celondim I picked up cooking, which seemed to be an assinine profession that is very over complicated for the sake of trying to be real. Make some pie crusts, which I can then use to make Mushroom pie, I can buy all the ingredients which makes leveling the profession easy, and I get a SET number of skill points which is nice! Unlike wow's Random point generation for every item made. But I couldn't buy the mushrooms.. You would think that should be the easiest thing to buy, but its just not there!! And why do I have to equip my cookware?

By the end of the night I got to level 10, and now things seem to be getting harder, I die when overpowered by 2 or more mobs at one time. I am completely flat broke after learning how to wear better armor.

Overall, my impressions are that they are trying to be like WoW where ever they can, but then at the same time they are trying to put in way too much realism. The graphics feel very real, which makes it very hard to notice what is a tree, and what is an enemy!! Oh and don't bother using DX10, there is Z - fighting EVERYWHERE, the sky stops working for some reason as well. The profressions are so overcomplicated for no good reason other than to be annoying I guess.

On top of that I've become very used to my mods and addons for WoW, like Carbonite or Quest Helper, which make playing wow a lot easier, I always know where to go. And it feels like I'm using a Google Map for everything. I don't have to stop and read the quest only to find that the directions were completely incorrect. "Go NorthWest of Celondim", which lead me to a dead end, so it turned out to be North-NorthWest. But you had to actually go really far north first because there is a pointless hill placed going directly northwest which prevents you from getting anywhere. I mean why can't the quest giver take a moment to draw a little arrow on my map?! Age of Conan does this just fine! "Excuse me miss, I have a map here, do you think you could draw where exactly these evil insects are?" "Oh no I can't, ink hasn't been invented yet" "Oh its okay, use my blood, I'm a hunter afterall."

And with all this realism, why the hell am I suddenly ALLOWED to jump off cliffs w/ no penality other than being forced to walk super slow for 1 minute? I mean its nice, since dieing in WoW from falling off a cliff on accident is annoying, but it doesn't fit with the rest of their attempts at realism!!

So all in all, its a fun game, but they've still got a lot of changes to make to make it as fun as WoW. Good attempt though!! They definately put a lot of heart into the art and the design.

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