Beta players, tell us. Is it better than the films?

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Beta players, tell us. Is it better than the films?

Postby Gandalf'sMother » Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:20 pm

Well, is it?

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Postby MattyBoy » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:01 am

Hi GM, Myself and Taurie met you in Oxford last year. :)

I will be keeping an eye on this Forum as I will probably try it out on release.


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Postby Jonathan » Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:59 pm

As good as the films...?

No.

Particularly because the story you involve yourself in while playing the game will never be the actually story of the Fellowship--anyone playing will be on the peripheral of those events, but not directly involved.

I think it can be fun, but I don't think the visceral feeling of reading the book or seeing the films can be evoked with this kind of game.
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:16 pm

Hello MattyBoy! Good to hear from you.

I also have permission from my wife to play this game. With time restrictions of course. :)

Jon,

I'm sure its quite different, and the initial post was more of a joke than anything else. However, I am quite interested in some detailed analysis on how this experience, a very unique one in Tolkien fandom, compares and contrasts with both reading the books and watching the films. The advent of the MMORG medium in such a visually immersive form has the capacity to change the habits of those attracted to fantasy, and I find this moment to be a very interesting one. Potentially more interesting than the release of the first LOTR film.

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Postby Jonathan » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:44 pm

Gandalf'sMother wrote:I find this moment to be a very interesting one. Potentially more interesting than the release of the first LOTR film.


You're not saying that tongue-in-cheek too, are you... :-)

While an MMORPG can be visually immersive, the limited visual reality of the "video game-ish-ness" of the medium detracts from it being visceral experience. The unlimited special effects that the film portrays in a very real way lend it credibility, whereas a game like this still feels rather more cartoony.

It's probably my own biases that make me lean toward this not being something will bring change to people's habits. But I just can't see this being more interesting than the reaction that the first film had on those attracted to fantasy (not to mention creating the attraction for milllions of new fans too).
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Postby Amphiaraus Bis » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:25 am

Sorry for the repost (which is also, I guess, a riposte!):

Summary judgment: not better than the films, but obviously different--and probably, as Jonathan said, without prospect of influencing our view of Tolkien so profoundly.

And some first impressions:

I'm now at Level 6 (so obviously it can't be that bad! ), still doing the baby quests in the little valley that comprises both the Elvish and the Dwarven starting areas. I'm going to stick with it through the Beta, and after that my question is going to be whether to go month-by-month or to spring for the lifetime subscription. After an initial period of shock at having the conventions of the genre applied to the Quenta (for example an area in the Elvish camp where you have the trainers for the four classes just standing around, which doesn't seem strange in WoW, but does when placed in a world I know [though it's an argument from silence] isn't supposed to contain such a place), it became more natural, and although the quests are structured in the same maximally episodic way as in other RPG's, the story behind them is more coherent than any I've played before, because, obviously, of the material they're based on.

There are certain moments, visually, that really do capture ME; the only problem at the moment, since everyone just started new characters, is that there's pretty much a cocktail party going on in all those places! That should change very shortly, though. It does lead to some hilarious moments, as characters stand around waiting for a monster to reappear so they can kill it to finish a quest. The problem is that you have to be the first to target it to finish the quest, and I had to run around an obelisk for ten minutes until I got lucky. If I'd been feeling trusting of my fellow players (about 5 percent of whom have names in Tolkien languages, another 60 names that evoke myth [Stormbringer, vel sim.], and the remaining 35 names like "BigPapa" or worse--though I have a feeling Turbine, like Blizzard, will get around to telling them they have to change them) I would have suggested we form a queue!

Nice little things:

You earn titles for deeds--I earned "the Wary" for reaching level 5 without dying (not a hard feat, unlike in WoW, where your early quests pose serious dangers).

You can access a world map, and the signage in the game is very good.

Elladan and Elrohir are integral to the plot of my baby quests. I keep thinking that I'm their other brother (I didn't actually take the title "the Wary", but instead stuck with "of Rivendell," which I earned, I think, for Level 3, so that I'd look more like a son of Elrond).

Not so nice:

I did have a little lag--but that's to be expected when you have what must be a nearly full server, and certainly not the norm.

More later!
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Postby motorwife » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:45 am

Better than the films? Not better. Not worse. Just different. I've been a Tolkien fanatic for thirty years. I loved the films. And so far, I'm loving this game. I think it has a similiar look to the films as opposed the a "Brothers Hildenbrandt" look. I also like that it's not as cartoony looking as other games (World of Warcraft).

I like that it doesn't follow the storyline of the books. It's more like a fleshed out version of the Middle Earth that exists as a background for the epic events in the books. As a player, you are an everyday character living in Middle Earth. All of the names on the Middle Earth map are now real places with towns and encampments and everyday people going about their everyday lives.

I think there will be enough action to keep the younger crowd interested and enough mythology and lore for Tolkien geeks like me.
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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:06 pm

Is LOTR better than the films? Well, in the way that we can interact with our envionment, yes, it's better. It is also better in the way that we can choose (within limits of our character's survivability) to visit. The fact that LOTRO also includes beloved characters that we did not see in Peter Jackson's movie, it's better.

The helms in PJ's movies were pretty cool, though. LOTRO has not yet matched them as far as I've seen. Since my Elf cannot bear to hide his flowing locks under a chapeau this may not be such a big issue for him.

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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:24 pm

Have any of you read the reviews linked at TORN? I found the one entitled "LOTRO: A splended game and nice version of Middle-earth"particularly interesting. It was very well-written, but the author admitted being a complete novice to MMORPGs. Don't you think TORN would have chosen someone knowledgeable on the genre? (Or maybe they wanted a review from a self-professed "n00b"?)

The author made a point of saying that the interior designs didn't live up to the exterior designs. I believe the interiors were just fine, in fact, they're more than fine. Don't the inns in the Shire have pegs with cloaks hanging on them? One quest sends you to inspect the interior of one rat-infested hobbit hole that's been vacant for some time, which is pretty cool, and the interior of Bag End is awesome! I recall some of the caves in the Ered Luin being very well done, as is the Great Barrow in the Barrow-downs.

The author got a couple of other things wrong, like the emotes being a secret to be discovered (there's a gold dot next to the chat text bar that displays them all), but otherwise it was a pretty good synopsis of the game.
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