Friday, 7 May 2010

Lord of the Rings Online

Been playing this a lot recently and it's pretty good. I don't think it's the greatest game around, but I've certainly enjoyed it thus far. Instead of being based on the films, it's based on the books so you can and will run into familiar characters from it, such as Tom Bombardil & Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. It's also somewhat true to the source material in that female dwarves aren't a playable option. Some places are instantly recognisable, such as Weathertop, but others aren't so. Bag End didn't seem to have the external look that it did in the movie, and I felt that was a bit of a shame.

From a game play perspective, however, I'm a bit underwhelmed. It seems to be more complex for the sake of it (such as renaming Strength to Might and Health to Morale, for example) and I would prefer it if they'd simplified the stats a little. The quests are no different to those of any other MMO; go here and kill X enemies, go here and explore, escort this person to this place. But one major difference it has to something like World of Warcraft is just how friendly it is to solo players. The main quest is divided into chapters, and there are solo instances available but also fellowship ones. I think this is a good design choice as when you get to something that's been going for 3 years (and not to mention the lower population of RP realms), it can be hard to find groups for lower level instances. Many dungeons don't have a solo mode, but the main-quest ones do, so you're never really stopped from progressing if you don't have a kinship. I've had to get help on my Guardian sometimes, but not often.

My main character is a Woman Guardian, who I role play as a Shield-maiden of Rohan. It's been a bit hard with her, because (to me) Guardians suffer from being able to take damage and not being able to really dish it out, so going against medium difficulty monsters can often be more deadly than higher level monsters.
A picture of her is below.

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