Do you have a review?

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Do you have a review?

Postby Jonathan » Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:52 am

Would anyone like to write a review of LOTRO for TORC? I intend on writing a brief one with my experience in the beta, but I would love to get a more in-depth one from somebody who has additional extensive experience in the game...

... and though I can't pay cash, I'd be willing to give a 2 month premiere membership for a well-written review (for the first one to be published on the front page of TORC).

Email me (jonathanATtheoneringDOTcom) or respond here if you're interested!
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Postby Amphiaraus Bis » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:41 am

I'd be interested, though I couldn't do it for a month or so, because I need to play more (obviously) and I'd need time to write it (obviously). So if GM or anyone else beats me to it, no hard feelings on my part (obviously).
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:17 am

Jonathan, I have been in beta since last August. I know of another TORCer that has been for a long while too. I will see what I can do about writing a review for you. What all would you like to have in the review?

And if someone is already working on one I can still do one. The game is great, so it deserves all of the pub it can get. :)
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Postby Jonathan » Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:16 am

Elladan_Elfhelm wrote:Jonathan, I have been in beta since last August. I know of another TORCer that has been for a long while too. I will see what I can do about writing a review for you. What all would you like to have in the review?

And if someone is already working on one I can still do one. The game is great, so it deserves all of the pub it can get. :)


Thanks! It'd be awesome to have a review of it within the first week or so of it's release... a few of the things that'd be nice to have:

* How well does it pull of the Middle-earth feeling?
* Which is the best race to play?
* What's the quality of the graphics/sound/gameplay?
* Can it be compared to any other MMORPG?
* Does it stray from Tolkien's stories dramatically?
* Does it have more of a book or movie feeling?

Ultimately, I'd like to see the review be from a point of view of somebody who knows the books well and is a fan of Tolkien/LOTR before being a fan of gaming... put succinctly, is it accessible to casual gamers who are long-time Tolkien/LOTR fans?

Thanks! Let me know if I can answer any other questions too!
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:39 pm

Sounds good. Let me see what I can do with that, and I will get back to you. I'll be busy till about middle of next week, but I think I can find some time to set down and write some out.

Again, if someone else wants to write a review, do it! It will probably be better than anything I come up with anyway. :P :roll: :wink:
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:48 pm

Jonathan, how long of a review are you looking for. I have started one, but I didn't know how long you wanted it. If there is a word total or a Word page limit. Thanks.

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Postby Jonathan » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:37 pm

Hmmm...

I'd say 500-600 words is a good minimum... but more is fine... Thanks!
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:18 am

Jonathan wrote:Hmmm...

I'd say 500-600 words is a good minimum... but more is fine... Thanks!


It is definitely more. :P I'll email you shortly. I'm trying to edit it one last time before I send it, and feel free to edit it yourself too. :)
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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:21 am

Jonathan wrote:* How well does it pull of the Middle-earth feeling?
* Which is the best race to play?
* What's the quality of the graphics/sound/gameplay?
* Can it be compared to any other MMORPG?
* Does it stray from Tolkien's stories dramatically?
* Does it have more of a book or movie feeling?

I've been playing in the Open Beta for a week now and can answer a few of those questions:

Can it be compared to any other MMORPG?

I played in the open beta of Dark Age of Camelot and for a few months after it first opened. LOTRO is very similar to DAOC. In fact, I would be surprised if LOTRO didn't borrow a lot in terms of mechanics from DAOC. LOTRO seems very advanced for a game in this stage of its development. I believe that is attributible to its borrowings from DAOC.

Does it stray from Tolkien's stories dramatically?

From what I've seen it doesn't stray at all. Of course the developers have had to exercise some creative license to fill in a lot of spaces that Tolkien did not cover. The time period currently reflected in the Shire is post Black Rider visit. Lobelia and Lotho are living in Bag End and, according to Rosie Cotton, Sam and Mr. Frodo have moved to Crickhollow.

Does it have more of a book or movie feeling?

As you may have gathered from the previous paragraph, the storyline of LOTR is definitely book-oriented. In fact, in the FAQs at the website it states:

Turbine owns the rights to produce massively-multiplayer online games based on the written works, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

That having been said, the Elven architecture in the Ered Luin--the Elven newbie area--is particularly reminiscent of Alan Lee's renderings of Rivendell for Peter Jackson's movie. The background music, again I'm thinking of the Elven areas in Ered Luin where I've ventured, resembles Howard Shore's score for Peter Jackson's movies. The fact that Tom Bombadil is featured also gives LOTRO more of a book flavor. :)
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:46 pm

My brief take (jon, if you want to put up more than one review, feel free):

This game is gorgeous, pure and simple (although I play it on Very High graphics settings). Flower studded meadows and sunsets are so beautifully rendered that it occasionally takes your breath away. Walking along the path outside Bag End at night, with a full moon and clear sky full of stars, is a wonderful experience.

There is something, though, that feels in many respects similar to the Middle Earth described by Tolkien, but with less of, say, a mythic flavour. Despite the hobbit holes and the ghouls and goblins, there is something decidedly realistic about the design that makes it seem like more of a world in our "historic" past than a world of our "mythic and legendary" past. This may have something to do with the fact that, for example, you actually visit portions of the Shire that seem to be far less well-off from a socioeconomic perspective. There is a fullness of detail in the environs that is almost too clear and too sharply focused and too invasive for a world that is meant to be shrouded in mystery. Indeed, a story meant to be read from a big red, dusty book. Not really a criticism, but something I've observed and something that makes it all not quite Middle Earth.

However, there are moments, sometimes long stretches of time, when I feel as close to Middle Earth as I ever have, bar when reading the books. The fact that alot of the background is totally lore-appropriate helps immensely as well. As an experience, I rate this far higher than the films. It is a beautiful and immersive environment that is almost the Middle Earth I remember from childhood.

Highly recommended. But, I think, the graphics have alot to do with it. Plus, as it seems, the Landroval server is full of mature players with Tolkien-based names and Tolkien-informed dialogue. Talking about "curdling Lobelia's milk" with a fellow player in a quest that requires you to confront her is part of the fun. For me, pretending, in game, that my lineage is important because some distant relatives once brushed up against Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took, is great. And its great to be surrounded by others who can both appreciate and participate in that.

So, I must say, this review is really meant for LOTROnline on very high graphics settings and on the Landroval server. I can't speak to how it rates in a different context.


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Postby Jonathan » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:30 am

Thanks GM... I'll be putting up Elladan_Elfhelm's review on the day the game is launched. You don't mind if I post yours in the meantime, do you?
Last edited by Jonathan on Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:24 am

Thanks Jonathan. :) And well done OTB, and yes having Tom in the game is definitely Bookwise. Well done yourself MM. :)
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:33 am

Jon,

Go ahead!

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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:33 pm

About the graphics: I've been playing with the "very low" settings because my computer is underpowered. (I hope to remedy that shortly.) Yesterday I put the setting on "very high" and I audibly gasped. Really, they're quite breathtaking.

After a week of playing I am more than impressed at Turbine's ability to create an MMORPG worth playing that is also very faithful to Tolkien's Middle-earth. I hadn't planned on playing beyond the April 24th "World Tour" but I'm definitely signing up. (And buying a new computer. :shock: ) It's really that good.
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