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A real review of LOTRO

Posted by Perception Wednesday June 27 2007 at 8:14PM
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www.mmo-gamer.com/

 

Good read.  Heres some excerpts:

"The cracks in the game’s polished veneer had begun to show through even as I was wrapping up Part One of this review, when I was still under level 40. Don’t even get me started on how many horrible, horrible quests there are in the North Downs."

 

"LOTRO turns into a Tolkien-themed Asian grinder after level 40."

 

"No, you didn’t read that wrong. In the later levels you are going to have to kill 720 of the same mob to attain a modicum of improvement for your character."

 

"We got him down to 30%… to 20%… then, under 5%, on the very cusp of victory, when we were already discussing loot distribution, and pronouncing a curse on the designers should we get any more Loremaster gloves… he entered into Anti-Exploit Mode and healed to full. He then proceeded to stand there doing nothing for half an hour as we attempted in vain to reset him, whereupon he, too, promptly vanished without a trace.

Most of my guild cancelled their subscriptions the next day."

 

And so it goes.  Its kind of funny when you see something like this from a reviewer who... you know... actually played the game, instead of a reviewer who was given a demo of the game by one of Turbine's suits.

 

 

It runs very deep...

Posted by Perception Wednesday June 27 2007 at 3:46PM
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www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/103/13

 

I honestly wish I could just read a genuine article that isn't heavily seeded with viral marketing.  The author of this article is pretty much Turbine's PR specialist.  Check out the LOTRO section of the Warcry network, and you can see for yourself.  All the "articles" and interviews done with turbine have this author's name on them.

 

Look at the title of the article.  More specifically, look at the subheading of the title where it says "but can they be swayed".  That is clue #1.

 

The first page of the article talks about subscription numbers, and (shock of shocks) the first games to be mentioned are LOTRO and DDO, both Turbine games.  Now heres the clincher though.  While they use these games supposed dual region subscription counts to counter WoW's non-regional subscription counts... *they don't give any subscription numbers for LOTRO or DDO*.  Basically, they are trying to politely discredit WoW by saying "Hey, you may have 8.5m subs, but we count our subs by 2 regions, so nyaa nyaa".   Petty yes, but that is par for the course with the Turbine viral marketing strategy.

 

Page 3.  Oh page 3, you naughty naughty page.  Filled with much Turbine shine jobbing.  "Most recently, Turbine seems to have learned that lesson. Since its launch in late April, The Lord of the Rings Online has dominated NPD sales numbers, and in a recent interview, Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel was quoted as saying their game was the second most popular MMOG ever"

 

Turbine seems to have learned the lesson that WoW "taught".  By that, it means Turbine basically copied WoW.  Now, I'm not saying WoW didn't copy anyone else, but the way its presented, you would think Turbine just buckled down, worked hard to create a great game, and didn't just say "hey, lets copy WoW". 

 

While LOTRO certainly did have the number 1 spot on the NPD sales charts for a brief period, using the descriptor "dominated" is quite misleading, and very poor journalism.  LOTRO could have been outselling WoW and WoW:TBC by a very small margin.  If that was the case, there is no "dominating".  Of course, without real numbers, its merely speculation.  However, with LOTRO now falling continually on all sales charts, I think its safe to say that its no longer "dominating".

 

Ah, and now the holy grail.  The Jeffrey Steefel quote of LOTRO being the second most popular MMOG ever.  The problem here though, is that Jeffrey Steefel never said that.  This is one of the worst spins I have ever seen, and some of the poorest journalism to boot.  Those words, "the second most popular MMOG ever" are downright fabrication.  Yes folks, you just got lied to.

 

What Jeffrey Steefel actually said is this:  "We are probably the second highest volume ever for an MMO," 

Note the key word in there, *probably*.  You can't just take that huge disclaimer out of someones quote and have it retain its original meaning.  You know whats funny though, that quote is from an interview that the author did as well.  Hmmmm...  lotro.warcry.com/news/view/72384-Interview-Steefel-on-Evendim-Features-Subscribers

 

But wait, theres more.  Because even that quote is incorrect.  Lets take a look, shall we?

Edit:  Finally found it!!

interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl

"We're probably now the second-largest MMORPG operating that was built in the US right now, you know, built in North America/Europe. "

Complete and utter hogwash.

Yes, I realize the irony...

Posted by Perception Thursday June 21 2007 at 1:26PM
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... of posting an "anti-blog" article in my blog.

www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/commentary/theluddite/2007/06/luddite_0621

Read it anyway.

This is why I love reading Turbine game forums.

Posted by Perception Friday June 15 2007 at 5:02PM
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vnboards.ign.com/lotr_online_general_board/b5042/103304740/p1/
forums.lotro.com/showthread.php

I check out other forums as well (Horizons was a hoot), but for some reason, the drama and dissolution that happens on Turbine game forums just keeps me coming back for more.

Every thread will degenerate into a WoW bashing extravaganza, to be followed by the "elite" who will jump all over the OP, telling him how great the game is, and to not let the door hit him on his way out.

While this is somewhat similar to any other MMO "I quit" thread, what really makes it stand out for a game like LOTRO, is the sheer amount of press hype about the supposedly amazing community in the game.  The irony is just too thick.

Why Warlocks are so OverPowered in WoW.

Posted by Perception Friday June 15 2007 at 12:33AM
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Aun, why do you still try?

Posted by Perception Friday June 15 2007 at 12:09AM
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Today, while perusing the LOTRO forums over at the VN boards, I came upon this gem.

vnboards.ign.com/lotr_online_general_board/b5042/103294468/p1/

Sure, it appears to be just some typical anti-WoW fanboi prattle at first glance, but then we have something of real value.  My old "rival", Aun_Temanua gives us one of his signature, other worldly, "facts".

"Conservative estimates are that WoW really only has 700k-800k actual subscribers even though they activated 8mil+ keys."

I cannot comprehend how someone can be so completely stupid and out of touch with reality at the same time.  Not only does he pull this 700k-800k number out of his alternate universe, but how could one possibly deduce that a game whose expansion pack sold 3.5 million copies in its first month on the shelf only has 700-800k subscribers? 

Did the other 2.7-2.8 million people just buy it for looks? Perhaps a paperweight?  Or did those 700-800k just buy an extra 3-4 copies in case one of the DVD's got scratched?

I've dealt with Aun many times on the VN boards, and each time he never fails to amaze me with his completely idiotic banter.  From his days of supporting AC2 as the greatest game ever made, to DDO having the potential to sell millions, and now he is back in classic form with the completely mediocre LOTRO. 

I almost want to fill out my unban form on the VN boards just to taunt him again, but I'm sure the 12 or so mods that frequent the LOTRO forums would just delete my post and ban me yet again for something.  Making up ludicrous numbers to slander another game is all hunky dory there, but call out a fan on those numbers, and its hell to pay.