Category lord of the rings online

A Horse And An Aquarium – All A Guy Will Ever Need

I has pretty horsie!

I’ve had a really bad day today, which culminated with a long discussion/argument with Openedge over Twitter (no hard feelings though). But instead of being a typical MMO-blogger/player and complaining about something game related on my blog when I’m in a bad mood, I’m going to do the opposite. Instead, I’m going to be all happy! See, I did promise a happy post on DFTM!

You know what, I am happy when it comes to the MMOs I’m in right now. I’m truly to starting to feel at home in Lord of the Rings Online, for example. My rune-keeper has hit level 36, which is way beyond anything I’ve reached in the game before. He’s a ton of fun to play, and getting the horse from the Spring Festival made me even happier about him. There is something about getting a proper mount in a MMO that always makes me feel that my character is more…well, real.

The kinship I’m in has been nothing except great, even though I hardly ever see any of the bloggers that’s in it as well (I’ve seen Syp once, still no sign of Blue Kae or the Casual Stroll-guys – damn your make-believe time zone). I’ve started to dabble a bit in skirmishes, trying to figure out which soldier will work the best together with my rune-keeper. So far, the warrior has been working better than the protector. It’s tricky to try to do both healing and some extra DPS with a rune-keeper…

I also decided to re-sub to Star Wars Galaxies the other day. It was a combination of the producer note for April which details some really cool changes, the neat stuff you get during the 30th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, and a brief discussion about the game with Ark. I was happy to find my house intact and myself still guilded. All I’ve done so far is putting some decorative things on top of the aquarium on the upper floor of my home, but it felt nice seeing Prometheus, our guild city, again.

Aquarium

And a cool aquarium. Beat that, World of Warcraft.

I’m considering respecing my Jedi as well. That’s the nice thing about SWG – you can actually respec over to other classes and retain your combat levels (it comes with an increasing cost, of course). I’m considering a bounty hunter, or a smuggler, but I have yet to decide. I’m also thinking about deleting my level 90 trader and replacing him with an entertainer (don’t want to respec him, he wouldn’t look too good on the dance floor).

To be honest, I’m actually pretty confident that MMOs will come out alright in the end, despite money grabbing F2P-games and sparkly ponies. I’m with Syp, the APB business model gave me back some confidence that it’s all not doom and gloom. Everything will be just fine.

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Late Night Post, Which Way To Rivendell Again?

I got a lot of good feedback after writing about some of my issues with leveling. Even though I have further thoughts on the subject, some of which is probably going to be published on another site in the near future, I decided to be a good boy and give Lord of the Rings Online another chance.

Mr Smirky

Redthir the Rune Keeper, or "Mr Smirky" as I prefer to call him. Such a lovely hat, Mr Smirky!

I can’t get over the fact that I used to be a huge Tolkien fan and I’ve hardly explored Turbine’s version of Middle Earth yet. It’s silly, but the small child in me is always filled with such fuzzy geeky feelings when I run through Bree, or see the rolling hills of the Shire. My biggest problems with LotRO are, and will probably always be, the character models. They don’t do Middle Earth justice in any way or form, so here’s hoping they have to launch the game in some part of the world where alternative models will be needed.

Or something, I don’t care, I just want an Elf female that doesn’t look like she’s kicking her own buttocks when she runs.

I keep nomading from game to game, World of Warcraft showed its true face pretty fast and the bright idea that I was going to try my hand at raiding again flamed for a brief second (or day) and then fizzled out completely. I will treat it like a dungeon parade, doing an instance or two when I feel like it. Until Cataclysm, there really isn’t much else to do – I will just have come to terms with the fact that I will never get to kill Arthas.

I am sad to say it, but sometimes I feel that Blizzard are losing a bit of their touch. They re-invented the MMO, they made end-game raiding the norm, they’ve shown over and over again that they are at the kings of the genre. They do sweeping changes to the core of their game, changing and mutating it over time. But what some of us raised our eyebrows at when Wrath of the Lich King changed the raiding game completely from the hardcore days during The Burning Crusade, keeps mutating. That…”thing” that I can’t put my finger on, keeps growing and twisting.

Not always in that good, innovative way. Over the next couple of months, we will see what the gating of ICC means for the raiding guilds and what the LFD-tool will mean for the larger community. Then Cataclysm will land on top of the situation (said in the most neutral way possible) that Blizzard have created. I’m a bit confused on how the game will develop from here, how open world content will be made interesting again. Exciting times!

But until then, I will once again try to find my way to Rivendell and Moria. It’s taken me quite a long time, and I’m not sure I’m going to make it this time either. But it would be a boyish dream coming true if I do!

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This little rogue had to stay at home

Colin over at Massively has written a new Anti-Aliased post about dual-specs in World of Warcraft. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the system, at least not the way Blizzard plan to implement it, but I haven’t really figured out why I don’t like it yet. I’ll get back to that subject at a later point. But there’s one thing he writes, something that I’ve seen written across forums and blogs before, that I’ve always wondered about…

Groups will find that they can do dungeon easier with less people, as players will be able to switch across multiple roles. This means pure classes, such as the mage, priest, and hunter will also have a tougher time finding groups. Why take the hunter when you have a paladin who can do protection and retribution and has the gear to outclass the hunter in both cases? Certainly it’s bad now, but it can get even worse because now the paladin can fulfill both roles while in the dungeon, when the hunter cannot.

Seriously, what kind of people do you guys play with? I’ve played a “pure” class, a rogue, in World of Warcraft for the last three years or so. I do DPS, period. Even when the rogue QQing on the official forums was at its peak, when rogues everywhere were lamenting the fact that there were so many classes that would be chosen before them in raids, have I had to stand on the sidelines because of another player with another class taking my spot.

Really? Rogues might not be the insane DPSers they once were, but if you are playing with people that won’t have you in raids because of your class and the minuscule amount of damage difference between you and someone else, quit your goddamn guild and find a new, more understanding one. And if you don’t get into a PuG because of your class, do you really want to be in that particular PuG to begin with?

People keep whining about other classes making their own obsolete, but does it ever actually happen? Or is it just a typical example of misplaced QQ? The grass is always greener and all that.

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Music at the Prancing Pony

My captain. Fear my purple, high-fantasy moon boots!

My captain. Fear my purple, high-fantasy moon boots!

As my main in World of Warcraft has been a gnome rogue for the last three years, I decided to ditch my halfling burglar in Lord of the Rings Online, instead settling on a warden, one of the new classes from Mines of Moria. On paper the class mechanics of using combos (called “gambits”) seemed like a lot of fun, but in truth it wasn’t really as exiting as I had hoped. In Age of Conan the real-time combat allows for the combos to actually be fun to execute, in a more traditional MMO-system it felt more cumbersome and slow than entertaining.

I was also getting tired of The Shire. The zone looks marvelous, and very Shire-ish, but the constant running around got the better of me in the end. So I ditched my warden in the middle of a field and decided to go against my instincts and re-roll a human, finally settling on a captain. The class mechanics for the captain sounded interesting and it was a  kind of class I’ve never really played in a MMO before – I usually go for the high DPS-classes, loving to theorycraft my own rotations to max out my damage (if I’m successful or not is a different story, better left to my old raid leaders to decide).

I’m glad that I did, because the captain is proving a lot of fun to play. I burned through the introduction in Archet, which went a lot faster and was more fun than I remembered (perhaps something Funcom should take a closer look at), and by now I’ve reached level 12 and is happily helping the dear hobbits of Staddle. My dear standard bearer, Patsy, is tagging along wherever I go, giving me a boost of morale and a helping hand when slaying the enemies of the free people of Middle Earth.

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Back in the Ring

Somewhere along playing World of Warcraft since Wrath of the Lich King was released I started, as I always do, to dream about other games to play and virtual worlds to explore. Then I realised, looking at some reviews of Mines of Moria, that hey, I used to be a big Tolkien-nut back in the day – to the point that I dressed up as a hobbit and went out in the woods smacking people that dressed like orcs with rubber swords. And since waiting for Star Wars: The Old Republic, Jumpgate Evolution and Copernicus (whatever that might be), is getting really old and doing daily cooking quests even older I decided to resub to Lord of the Rings Online. After all, I want to see Moria in a MMO.

Fortic, just another hobbit burglar.

Fortic, just another hobbit burglar.

I was able to take my first steps in the Shire today, which I still remember from the weeks after launch (which is when I played last time), despite starting the patcher early last night. I haven’t picked up Mines of Moria yet, so I couldn’t try out the rune-master, but then again hobbits can’t be rune-masters and I am not sure I would be able to play any other race anyway.

But wow, Lord of the Rings Online is pretty. I had forgotten exactly how beautiful it looks, but seeing it today on my new machine, in all it’s shiny DX10-glory, I was completely blown away. Sadly, just like Age of Conan, the character design does leave a lot to wish for and is not up to par with how the actual world looks. But when it comes to ambiance and feel, Turbine’s vision of Middle-Earth is so far stunning. I love The Shire, I love running around delivering mails and playing hide-and-seek. It’s just silly fun.

Now what remains is to see if it stays fun or if it just turns into nice. Because it really is nice while being fun. I’m on EU-Laurelin, a RP-server, a decision I am not sure I’ll regret or not. Just please don’t tell my raiding guild in World of Warcraft that I’m sleeping with elves and halflings on the side, they’d never forgive me. Now if you excuse me, I got some mail to deliver and some nosey hobbits to punch in the face. If I could, I would.

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Virtual worlds, massive multiplayer games and assorted ramblings

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