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News & Features Discussion  » Lord of the Rings Online: First Look Preview

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  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

 
OP  9/21/09 10:09:05 AM#1

MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh brings us this first look at the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Siege of Mirkwood.

If there is one thing that players of The Lord of the Rings Online are not surprised by, it is what is coming down the line. That is the pro as well as the con of designing a game based on as famous a piece of literature as Tolkien's epic work. However, now that the story has progressed beyond the Mines of Moria, the anticipation turns to answering the question, "Which area comes next?" Turbine Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel and I chuckled over that as he took me on a run through the upcoming expansion - Siege of Mirkwood. "Black squirrels?" I asked. Indeed. All that is dark and evil lurk in Mirkwood, so tainted that even the squirrels are black.

Read the First Look Preview

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  teuchy

Novice Member

Joined: 11/05/08
Posts: 35

mmmm Llamas....

9/21/09 10:40:13 AM#2

The squirrels are black because they're Canadian, eh :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_squirrel

Slainte Mhath!

  User Deleted
9/21/09 11:28:04 AM#3

You know...LotRO has become exactly what many on the old Middle-earth Online forums and those from the early days of the LotRO forums hoped it would never become. LotRO has become a grind and it's no longer fun to play. Granted, the game is absolutely beautiful. To walk Middle-earth and stand where our favorite hobbits have stood, or to venture into an evil dark place and feel the power of Sauron is exceptional.

But...I've grown weary of going out and killing 10 orcs, then going back and tearing down 10 baracades, then going back and buring 10 totems, then going back and killing more orcs, then going back and killing the orc leader...only to get a weapon for any class other than the one I'm playing. LoTRO is a grind.

In addition, the developers have made LotRO an exclusionary game where everyone except those in raiding kinships are unable to fully experience the game. You need certain armor that is exceptionally difficult to get to even get into some of the instances without dying...and that's without ever seeing the end boss. Crafting has improved, but still is all but useless.

I'm very sad at how LotRO has evolved over the last year. Fortunately, when the player base screams, Turbine has (in the past) listened. They revamped all of the game to make it more solo friendly for which they should be applauded. I only hope that this expansion and future explansions can bring LotRO back to meet its original goal. If not, then I will likely only play LotRO when I'm bored and am not sleepy enough to go to bed.

  brenth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 289

9/21/09 11:46:58 AM#4

This is starting to sound like its traveling down the same tired road and other MMO expansions  more levels and more raiding

well what if you dont like raiding?

I was really looking foward to moria  but I was dissapointed because all it turned out to be was more track at the end of the rail

same mobs, same AI  just "bigger rats" to kill  what happened to creativity and innovation?  moria could have been so much more than just a cave filled with mobs  not all of us like WOW style game play

Im more for depth and immersion  where players actions can make a difference

slippery ice has allways been on my list

moria water slides or  ore cart (roller coaster) taxi 

animal pets  

much better forragables  

I play a hunter  and my level 60 hunter has been in cold storage because  all there is to do Is raid,  I left WOW for the same reason when my paladin maxed out

I dont want to do something that is just gonna reset every 5 minutes  you dont have to make lotro static

where are the boats? (evendim is NOT a boat)   siege weapons? 

LOTRO is going down hill in its quality content  and I think it started with that insult to players, fishing

dont get me wrong  moris wasnt a bad expansion  it just left me bleh 

im also hoping that mirk will add bag space to deal with all the rep items and craft items and legend items ect ect ect

and also revamp the player housing so there more usefull than just another vault  especially the stiff item hooks

make a world, not a game, we dont want another game.

  Sevey13

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 14

9/21/09 11:48:32 AM#5
Originally posted by Jorel

You know...LotRO has become exactly what many on the old Middle-earth Online forums and those from the early days of the LotRO forums hoped it would never become. LotRO has become a grind and it's no longer fun to play. Granted, the game is absolutely beautiful. To walk Middle-earth and stand where our favorite hobbits have stood, or to venture into an evil dark place and feel the power of Sauron is exceptional.

But...I've grown weary of going out and killing 10 orcs, then going back and tearing down 10 baracades, then going back and buring 10 totems, then going back and killing more orcs, then going back and killing the orc leader...only to get a weapon for any class other than the one I'm playing. LoTRO is a grind.

In addition, the developers have made LotRO an exclusionary game where everyone except those in raiding kinships are unable to fully experience the game. You need certain armor that is exceptionally difficult to get to even get into some of the instances without dying...and that's without ever seeing the end boss. Crafting has improved, but still is all but useless.

I'm very sad at how LotRO has evolved over the last year. Fortunately, when the player base screams, Turbine has (in the past) listened. They revamped all of the game to make it more solo friendly for which they should be applauded. I only hope that this expansion and future explansions can bring LotRO back to meet its original goal. If not, then I will likely only play LotRO when I'm bored and am not sleepy enough to go to bed.


 

I suppose my first question to you is what did you expect out of Lord of theh Rings Online? DId you want a pure exploration game, where perhaps there was some incidental combat but the primary focus on just going out an seeing the world? I guess a game like that would be...okay. For a while. But as with all games I have played where the focus is on seeing all of the content it gets old withing the first few weeks. As gorgeous as Middle Earth is, if there were nothing there for us to do then it would have shut down years ago. I feel like Turbine has struck a very nice balance. Of course, this is all my opinion. If YOU don't enjoy playing it because YOU feel it is a grind, that's not necessarily Turbine's problem. It is that carrot that a game company holds in front of you that motivates you, that feeling that there is something just ahead that will be great to explore. Granted, Turbine may have put that carrot a little too far ahead with Mines of Moria, but multiple developers have come out and said that all the issues players have brought up, be it with radiance or legendary items, are being looked at and solutions are on their way to help ensure more people enjoy as much of the content as possible.

I suppose the ultimate irony is that individuals all feel that they are the only gauge with which companies should measure their products. When I don't like the way the game is going, it is clearly becoming a disaster and throngs of players will leave the game with me in agreement! But when they revamp content to make it the way I like it, the company should be applauded, as the throngs shall returneth.

P.S. - I am a non-raider who plays about 14-20 hours a week and generally does solo content except where required.

  Lobotomist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 4808

I got so much trouble on my mind Refuse to lose.

9/21/09 11:48:52 AM#6

It is true that LOTRO had moved away from being casual. And sadly away from being RPG story rich.

Its maturing more and more into WOW-ish , grind raid oriented game.

 

But it does not undermine that the game is just oozing with atmosphere, and brilliant design.

 

I would purchase Mirkwood expansion, just for the chance to lead my avatar trough that ancient forest

  Finbar

Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/03
Posts: 193

Let them hear my utter and complete lack of a voice. - Waking Life

9/21/09 12:15:17 PM#7

Wish we had a date for release. With so many other games just starting up right now, and my current game subs I'd consider not resubing or not joining the new games if I knew that Mirkwood was coming sooner than later: say in September or Early October and not say December 20th...the last day of fall.

FINBAR
-------------------------------------------

  ITPalg

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/12/08
Posts: 212

9/21/09 1:11:37 PM#8

I am so far behind in this game since I can't afford to play it for a long time.

I still have a character stuck on the books at the lake (eye of angmar) since no one is around doing that section back when I would log in, LFF, then log out for months, log back in again on free play seasons/weeks/weekends they gave, and still dead. 

insert appropriate forum signature here for the terrible signature functions that can't be figured out.

  Papadam

Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/07
Posts: 2127

9/21/09 1:23:43 PM#9

Actually LotrO is less Raid centric than it ever have been. Back in SoA only the 12-man content was worth doing.

Now there is lots of solo, 3-man, 6-man content worth doing at lvl 60 and if you read the article you will notice that they are adding more of that kind of content.

Adding one 12-man raid / year is considered raid centric now?

Just look at the skirmish system, seems like the biggest MMO-innovation of 2009 but that doesnt say much.

If WoW = The Beatles
and WAR = Led Zeppelin
Then LotrO = Pink Floyd

  Lizante

Novice Member

Joined: 12/22/04
Posts: 183

9/21/09 1:23:57 PM#10

As an original closed beta tester and closed beta tester for every expansion since, I started losing my love for LotRO while testing Mines of Moria.

I'm a Lifetime Founder.  Shaking my head and with a nagging feeling I'd regret it, I did pay my $20 and downloaded the MoM retail expansion and was dragged, kicking and screaming, through the Mines of Moria content (well, at least most of the quests, most of which can eb done solo and to the closing portion of Vol. 2, Book 5).  I didn't advance my pre-Moria maxed crafters (3).  I didn't do any of the MoM instances for the "cool" gear.  I'm not a raider -- I did schlep my way through Helegrod once and got close to the Balrog in the Rift twice only because friends/kinmates asked -- but I just conuldn't motivate myself to raid anymore -- it feels like slowly pulling out my fingernails with a pair of pliers.

A poster above here dilusionally insinuates (parroting Turbine's latest LotRO development team) that most LotRO players want and expect the WoW-like "old generation" MMO.   The truth is that Turbine, unfortunately, choosing to take that well traveled road will likely lose more of their loyal player base than they attract when peddling that old-style content.

So now, reading this hype about the next retail expansion, South Mirkwood, I'd of very much liked to be excited but while it does touch on some nice additions and improvements (the "Good"), those, unfortunately, are vastly overshadowed by WoW-style theme park design of content we used to brag about LotRO avoiding since launch (the "Bad" and the "Ugly").

Yes, I am underwhelmed.  And I actually never thought I would feel this way about LotRO, but I'm toying with not purchasing the next retail expansion.

  blackhawk432

Novice Member

Joined: 6/20/09
Posts: 135

Where's all the good MMOS?

9/21/09 1:28:49 PM#11

The one thing i'll always give them is the great in-game music system.

I love you .abc

Last MMO: MO
Currently Playing : Call of Duty 2 (since there seems to be no good MMO's lately.)
Waiting for : anything

  brenth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 289

9/21/09 1:35:15 PM#12
Originally posted by itpaladin

I am so far behind in this game since I can't afford to play it for a long time.

I still have a character stuck on the books at the lake (eye of angmar) since no one is around doing that section back when I would log in, LFF, then log out for months, log back in again on free play seasons/weeks/weekends they gave, and still dead. 


 

well its definatly difficult to play that way   it wasnt quite clear  is your problem time or money or both?  

its allways gonna be difficult to log in and think your gonna get a group   together  in 5 minutes 

a standard play sesson is considered 4 hours    and its prety difficult to really get much done in anything less than an hour.

the thing with MMO is that they are by definition a time sinc   so a time comitment is required.

if its a money thing  you might look into  dungeons and dragons online  they just went to free to play  and its at least looking like your play isnt crippled if you dont buy from the store  at least in the short term.

its a markedly different play style than lotr   you may like it,, you may not  but its worth checking out.

make a world, not a game, we dont want another game.

  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

9/21/09 1:35:47 PM#13

i'm a founder as well and have kept my accout active but i dunno the game doesnt grab me. I'm still 30 somthing up in the north downs and rarely play

  brenth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 289

9/21/09 1:37:46 PM#14
Originally posted by blackhawk432

The one thing i'll always give them is the great in-game music system.

I love you .abc


 

dont forget the costume clothing option and clothing toggles,, whoever added that is  definatly a genius  best thing they put into the game,, lets players choose their look,, made lotro much more diverse.  FALLEN EARTH needs this BAD!

make a world, not a game, we dont want another game.

  Fadervor

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/09
Posts: 27

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money.

9/21/09 1:41:12 PM#15

I for one am enjoying it immensely, I can safely say that its the only game where Ive taken the time to actually read the quests.

And as far as quests goes they are immensely good and intreaging, I havent felt such a sense of atmosphere since vanilla wow and the two plague zones. Though I must admit that figureing out the lingo and the gameplay is rather tricky even for an old rat like myself.

out of 10 id give it a solid 8+, and im still looking forward to the rest of my journey.

  Frobner

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/08
Posts: 663

9/21/09 1:45:14 PM#16

There are many reasons why Im not playing LOTRO - but the picture  with this preview reminded me of one of the biggest.  

Why on earth are horses not with saddles and leaders ?   Seriously ... Talking about Lore braking issues of land of no magic....  What the fuck are ppl at Turbine thinking?

Yes... this is gamebreaking for me.  I dont know if any of the nubs playing the game have ever seen a real life horse.. but they should know that horses or ppl in Middle Earth do not have telepathic abilites...

 

  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

9/21/09 1:45:16 PM#17
Originally posted by Fadervor

I for one am enjoying it immensely, I can safely say that its the only game where Ive taken the time to actually read the quests.

And as far as quests goes they are immensely good and intreaging, I havent felt such a sense of atmosphere since vanilla wow and the two plague zones. Though I must admit that figureing out the lingo and the gameplay is rather tricky even for an old rat like myself.

out of 10 id give it a solid 8+, and im still looking forward to the rest of my journey.

yeah that's how i feel which makes my lack of DRIVE to actually log in something of a odd ball. I have like 20 alts on City of heroes and a lvl 32 hero (of a max of 40)

 

But i just can't bring myself to log into LoTRO even though i enjoy myself when i do.

  spydermr2

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/05
Posts: 337

"... they were misled by a devil in blue pants. Amen."

9/21/09 1:48:12 PM#18

Personally, I was hoping that they would make Mirkwood a new starter area for Elves, since it is the homeland for Legolas' Elvish folk.  It always seemed like an ideal choice -- and since Elves got the shaft with their "oops, we didn't finish the zone we intended for the Elves first starting area, we'll cram them in a corner of the dwarves's zone", it also seemed even more appropriate. 

That all this digital expansion offers is more of the same Raid-oriented BS is an enormous disappointment.  My wife and I play LOTRO because we enjoy the setting; we enjoy the storytelling; we enjoy the more "casual" approach the game was originally aimed at.  We looked forward to a housing revamp to make it more EQ2-like (housing specifically, that is).  We looked forward to those "we have tons more hobbies after fishing" promises -- which have been ZERO, and fishing not that well implemented in the first place.

We looked forward to the game keeping its launch-attitude -- not to the steep swing to be "just like everyone else", where the whole game becomes focused solely on 'get to the endgame and RAID'.  I never wanted to hear conversations in LOTRO of the ilk:  "you gotta have the new -x- gear, if you want to do anything", nor hear arguments when people who didn't have -x- (in this case, radiance) are denigrated for not playing the way other people want them to. 

It is a profound shame, what they're doing to LOTRO.  My wife let her subscription lapse a few months ago; mine was paid up through mid-October.  I will not be re-upping.  Nor, with Mirkwood being a high-end-only-raid-centric thing, do I have any enticement whatsoever to return.  I will be deleting it from my hard drive -- the final step, as I only delete MMORPGs that I genuinely feel zero interest in, given how long it takes to reinstall and re-patch.  There is nothing in Mirkwood that is interesting, nor is the direction the game is going in compelling.  Scratch two subscriptions, which they could have kept by remembering how they built the game in the first place.

(sigh)  Another one down. 

 

  User Deleted
9/21/09 2:03:58 PM#19

 

I find it absolutely hilarious all of you saying that LOTRO is no longer casual.

You sit there, and look at all the OPTIONAL "HARDCORE" CONTENT and say there is nothing for you left. What a load.

Pro tip: Radiance gear is only useful for one thing. you guessed it, RAIDS. There is alike a grand total of 5-6 raids in the entire game. Everything else is for solo, small groups, or 6 mans, including skirmishes and the rest of the new content in this expansion.

You do not need to do anything, or have any of the radiance gear, EVER unless you are raiding.

For fucks sake, it even says right in the article you will now be able to see where a legendary items is going in its progression before investing time in it AND you will be able to craft 3ed and second age items. Not to mention the horse, and bank changes, zone revamps, recent crafting changes and bag stacking.

Clearly most of you do not know what casual means, or what hardcore is, OR how good you have it with this game. Your just re spouting out the same dribble you read on a forum somewhere.

 

 

 

  User Deleted
9/21/09 2:07:01 PM#20


Originally posted by Papadam

Actually LotrO is less Raid centric than it ever have been. Back in SoA only the 12-man content was worth doing.
Now there is lots of solo, 3-man, 6-man content worth doing at lvl 60 and if you read the article you will notice that they are adding more of that kind of content.
Adding one 12-man raid / year is considered raid centric now?
Just look at the skirmish system, seems like the biggest MMO-innovation of 2009 but that doesnt say much.



 
Thank fucking god someone has a brain around here.

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