Monday, 10 May 2010

More LotRO thoughts.

Eh, really. Just "Eh". It's really just a mediocre game... The music is barely there (and often fades to nothing, leaving you to wonder if your sound has broken) and even when it plays it's somewhat dull and uninspiring.

Visually, I'm torn. There can be some very nice views, but at the same time some very poor views. Objects like trees appear in the background as a 2D image, and then they disappear as you get closer, and then as you get closer still they appear as low-quality 3D models, and then finally render properly as you get closer. There've been times where I known a tree should be in a certain spot, but it doesn't appear until I'm quite close.

From a role play perspective, LotRO has the upper hand because it's got a costume system with 2 available costume slots (so, for example, you could have your hideous armor on but disguise it with the starter set) that don't require your bag slots (so you can keep your costume in your bank or even sell it!). The mood settings are a good idea, but for the most part they're very poor and look somewhat comical, and I didn't feel that they fit in with the atmosphere and mood of the game, not to mention that there were clipping issues with things like eyeballs and eyelids, although they were somewhat minor.

I'm not sold on the textures/models/animations, either. The NPCs and PCs look to be from two different games, bears have really odd models, my character seems to stutter slightly as she runs, and she never wears her shield on her back unless she's firing a bow. I like the idle animations, though, they seem somewhat natural. It's just when you get your character to sit and then talk, sometimes she'll stand up and you have to type /sit again to rectify it.

LotRO just feels unfinished in a way. There's a lot of minor bugs and small things that could be added to make it feel better. The stats could easily be simplified a bit more without losing anything important, too.

I'm not sure, really, what to say. I can see myself not loading it up again and not really regretting it, and that's a shame. LotRO could easily be something better, something more engaging and involving, but instead it's just... mediocre.

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