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Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online 

General Discussion  » So I hear all these people saying...

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101 posts found
  Yamota

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6721

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/16/12 6:47:27 PM#21
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Any other questions? As someone who was in the most well known MEO kinship, and lived 15 minutes from Turbine offices, I have quite a bit of info from that time.

What happened to Asheron's Call? Why did Turbine go from creating one of the best sandbox MMO's to create WoW clone ThemeParkish drivel?

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/16/12 8:25:04 PM#22
Originally posted by Yamota
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Any other questions? As someone who was in the most well known MEO kinship, and lived 15 minutes from Turbine offices, I have quite a bit of info from that time.

What happened to Asheron's Call? Why did Turbine go from creating one of the best sandbox MMO's to create WoW clone ThemeParkish drivel?

Well they were moving in that direction with Asheron's Call 2, which was very themeparky.

Then they saw how big WoW became, and like almost all veteran MMO companies, they tried to copy it. Most of their veteran designers and devs that were working on MEO got shunted to the AC2 or DDO team, and a bunch of young folks came in to convert MEO to LotRO. There must have been some sort of change higher up, because Turbine went from having yearly conventions and being very active with their community, to being very removed/hands off, and never having another Turbine Nation.

  Yamota

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6721

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/17/12 5:19:13 AM#23
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Yamota
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Any other questions? As someone who was in the most well known MEO kinship, and lived 15 minutes from Turbine offices, I have quite a bit of info from that time.

What happened to Asheron's Call? Why did Turbine go from creating one of the best sandbox MMO's to create WoW clone ThemeParkish drivel?

Well they were moving in that direction with Asheron's Call 2, which was very themeparky.

Then they saw how big WoW became, and like almost all veteran MMO companies, they tried to copy it. Most of their veteran designers and devs that were working on MEO got shunted to the AC2 or DDO team, and a bunch of young folks came in to convert MEO to LotRO. There must have been some sort of change higher up, because Turbine went from having yearly conventions and being very active with their community, to being very removed/hands off, and never having another Turbine Nation.

That is so sad man, Asheron's Call was one of the best sandbox MMO's ever created and that was 10 years ago. Imagine how good a sequel would be with current technologies and staying true to the concepts of Asheron's Call, i.e. skill based system, open world, allegience system and so on.

But as you indicate, Turbine is not the same company it was back then. Probably the suits and bean counters took it over and transformed it into a commercial, purely profit based companies instead of people who just want to create good MMORPGs.

As for Asheron's Call 2, I almost forgot about that horrible garbage. Good thing that they got rid of that garbage atleast.

  User Deleted
10/17/12 6:59:59 AM#24

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/middleearthprev.html

http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/06/21/the-game-archaeologist-and-the-what-ifs-middle-earth-online/


Screenshots from 2003 to E3 2006 (beforethe wowification) Newest first:

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearthss051206.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearthss032106.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearthss073005.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/middleeartholdss.html

Most stuff you see is just that, a pretty early alpha missing placeholders like trees and grass. The graphics are mostly on paar with lotro by the middle of 2007.

Most art assets have been reused, some glady didn't. The white tabard was still in bree during beta 2007 and then sadly changed. It even shows why lotro looks so horrible wrong and out of place sometimes, the pilgrim herald is the original going all the way back to 2003 (!), making even vaniall wow humans look modern :)

Some great concepts have been worked on, like dark and light side, funny when you see today URUKs do all the animations and have some armor textures which had been supposed to be "evil" Human Player.

What buzzles me is the armor had more polygons than todays lotro models and was more realistic (patterns, layers) than the skintight body paintings some Armor / leather / "Robes" have till today in lotro. And these cloaks, not flapping "attached" abominations of today.

And look at the hobbit clothing and appearances http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearth075.jpg (Hotlinking disallowed, copy & paste).

Well some things have been just too advanced i guess, but i'm glad we got at least lotro. :P

  Maelwydd

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/26/09
Posts: 1169

10/17/12 7:17:38 AM#25

If tolkien had writted his masterpiece today, and in todays climate of game design....

It is a shame that games developed today do not keep the spirit of the genre in mind when being made. Perhaps then they might have something that is 50/100/1000 years would still be seen as a clasic. Instead we get the equivalent 'clasic' of...

 

Frodo would have bought gold with real cash to allow him to fast travel using the Eagles to mount doom and stop all the other crap from happenning by dropping the ring in Mount Doom while same was botted in the shire to pay for Frodo's trip!

  9ineven

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/09
Posts: 159

10/17/12 7:22:47 AM#26
Originally posted by ZigZags

LOTR would be difficult to turn into a sandbox IMHO. There's too many rules/races/history/classes that fans would demand the developers adhere to to really offer any sort of freedom.

 

I think sandoxes are best when they are NOT based on existing IP.

 

 

Any MMO is best when it is not based on existing IP, I feel...

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/17/12 11:36:49 AM#27
Originally posted by skydiver12

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/middleearthprev.html

http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/06/21/the-game-archaeologist-and-the-what-ifs-middle-earth-online/


Screenshots from 2003 to E3 2006 (beforethe wowification) Newest first:

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearthss051206.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearthss032106.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearthss073005.html

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/middleeartholdss.html

Most stuff you see is just that, a pretty early alpha missing placeholders like trees and grass. The graphics are mostly on paar with lotro by the middle of 2007.

Most art assets have been reused, some glady didn't. The white tabard was still in bree during beta 2007 and then sadly changed. It even shows why lotro looks so horrible wrong and out of place sometimes, the pilgrim herald is the original going all the way back to 2003 (!), making even vaniall wow humans look modern :)

Some great concepts have been worked on, like dark and light side, funny when you see today URUKs do all the animations and have some armor textures which had been supposed to be "evil" Human Player.

What buzzles me is the armor had more polygons than todays lotro models and was more realistic (patterns, layers) than the skintight body paintings some Armor / leather / "Robes" have till today in lotro. And these cloaks, not flapping "attached" abominations of today.

And look at the hobbit clothing and appearances http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearth075.jpg (Hotlinking disallowed, copy & paste).

Well some things have been just too advanced i guess, but i'm glad we got at least lotro. :P

Man those brought me back.

This was actually the first screenshot they released after the name change to Lord of the Rings Online.

http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/middleearth/screens/middleearth006.jpg

I remember the forum whining about the sword seeming too oversized and cartoony, and how the textures were weird, and other people saying it was the camera angle.

It was also the first red flag that something was rotten with the game.

This was the shift towards stylized low res cartoon graphics that you have in modern LotRO. It was also the shift towards combat, vs Middle Earth. Most of the screenshots until that point had been of Bree, The Shire, exploring mountains and tombs, camp fires, parties, smoking pipes.

After the name change to LotRO, almost all the screenshots were focused on action poses and fighting things, and the tag line changed from "Live in Middle Earth" to "Fight through Middle Earth".

Sadly all our fears were realized when virtually all the good features got cut from the game and they made it a WoW clone.

 

It truly was the unseen NGE.

And just like the SWG NGE, it led to less interest in the game, and made LotRO become the financial burden it is today on Warner Brothers. Biggest IP in the world and its barely holding together according to the investor reports.

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

10/17/12 4:27:19 PM#28
Damn those pictures well of course lower res (normal considering the year) look well familiar but also more realistic and people, even aniimals look so much better.  More realistic style,  Ehh sad :(
  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/17/12 4:33:28 PM#29
Originally posted by fenistil
Damn those pictures well of course lower res (normal considering the year) look well familiar but also more realistic and people, even aniimals look so much better.  More realistic style,  Ehh sad :(

Turbine and whoever their investers were wanted the WoW audience, and they sacrificed a great game to that cause and ended up with no audience.

 

MEO started as a labor of love and ended as one of greed. We see what happens to MMOs that are developed by publishers instead of devs that are fans. WAR, SWTOR, AoC...

It's not how you should make an MMO.

  Silok

Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/06
Posts: 746

10/17/12 4:37:38 PM#30
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by trancejeremy
Yup, that was a completely different game from another company that never materialized.

Wrong.

 

I don't understand why people keep making this mistake.

 

 

Middle Earth Online was in development by Sierra in 1999. It got shut down.

 

Vivendi and Turbine began developing a game called Middle Earth Online in about 2003 , and continued to develop it until it launched as Lord of the Rings Online.

In Alpha, LotRO was a sandbox game being made by veteran Turbine devs. It's tag line was "live in Middle Earth". The game was very community based, sandbox and book accuracy focus. The devs hosted events once a year called Turbine Nation where people came together and got to see the game as it came along, play in various events and raffles, essentially a big party.

 

Well, about a year before LotRO's launch, Vivendi lost the rights to Lord of the Rings, and Turbine gained entire control over the MMO. Turbine changed Middle Earth Online's name to LotRO, shuffled most of the veteran staff to other projects, and put new developers at the helm of LotRO. They quickly scrapped most of the old work and restructured the game to be a quest based WoW clone. There were no more yearly Turbine Nation gathering, the community disintegrated. The game tag line was changed to "Fight through Middle Earth!".

 

It was essentially the NGE, but because it happened in beta, people don't talk about it nearly as much. But for those that were there, we felt betrayed. It splintered the community, kinships fell apart. Then they announced there wouldn't be any international servers, after promising the opposite, and the remaining kinships fractured again.

 

Don't believe that Turbine was working on it? Here's the pre alpha trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk0ogD_HMn0

 

Also, in before "hurp derp that looks like crap, glad they changed it".

 

 

This.

  Freezzo

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/12
Posts: 235

10/17/12 8:15:41 PM#31
Having tried LOTRO (till about lv25) reading this makes me sad... Where are those great games nowadays? :<

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy
And for MMORPGs ever so true...

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/17/12 9:26:12 PM#32
Originally posted by Freezzo
Having tried LOTRO (till about lv25) reading this makes me sad... Where are those great games nowadays? :<

Chased away by the publishers so they could shit out dozens of WoW clones for the last 8 years. The winds are finally changing though. There's more interest in indie MMOs, SoE is going full back to sandboxes, and publishers are pulling out after realizing that themeparks do NOT retain subs long at all. Or at least, most devs have learned that (SoE) but some have yet to learn that lesson... (the folks behind Elderscrolls Online)

  comradedoug

Novice Member

Joined: 7/11/08
Posts: 31

10/19/12 4:52:18 PM#33

Wanting a game that never existed. Hm.

And I thought I was helplessy attached to MMOs.

  Galadourn

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/06/08
Posts: 1062

 
OP  10/21/12 3:19:54 AM#34
Originally posted by comradedoug

Wanting a game that never existed. Hm.

And I thought I was helplessy attached to MMOs.

the first company to get Middle Earth done right in an MMO game gets my lifetime subscription. 

http://kck.st/Xo38HT

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/22/12 11:49:17 AM#35
Originally posted by comradedoug

Wanting a game that never existed. Hm.

And I thought I was helplessy attached to MMOs.

It existed for 3 and a half years, and I played it and saw videos of it myself, as well as got to know a lot of the developers who were very passionate about it.

 

 

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/22/12 11:50:05 AM#36
Originally posted by Galadourn
Originally posted by comradedoug

Wanting a game that never existed. Hm.

And I thought I was helplessy attached to MMOs.

the first company to get Middle Earth done right in an MMO game gets my lifetime subscription. 

We can only hope that Turbine continues to bleed money until the point where another company gets a shot at the license, but since Warner Brothers owns Turbine now, it'd probably just go to another big publisher and make an even worse game, like SWTOR.

  dreamsofwar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/04/09
Posts: 471

10/22/12 11:53:15 AM#37
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Galadourn
Originally posted by comradedoug

Wanting a game that never existed. Hm.

And I thought I was helplessy attached to MMOs.

the first company to get Middle Earth done right in an MMO game gets my lifetime subscription. 

We can only hope that Turbine continues to bleed money until the point where another company gets a shot at the license, but since Warner Brothers owns Turbine now, it'd probably just go to another big publisher and make an even worse game, like SWTOR.

It may not be the large open world sandbox that it could have been but I honestly don't think LOTRO is a bad game, I rather enjoy it.

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/22/12 2:56:12 PM#38
Originally posted by dreamsofwar
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Galadourn
Originally posted by comradedoug

Wanting a game that never existed. Hm.

And I thought I was helplessy attached to MMOs.

the first company to get Middle Earth done right in an MMO game gets my lifetime subscription. 

We can only hope that Turbine continues to bleed money until the point where another company gets a shot at the license, but since Warner Brothers owns Turbine now, it'd probably just go to another big publisher and make an even worse game, like SWTOR.

It may not be the large open world sandbox that it could have been but I honestly don't think LOTRO is a bad game, I rather enjoy it.

And I think it's a dreadful game that fails to capture the spirit of Lord of the Rings entirely, and I feel I have to turn my brain off to try to enjoy it. So far the only joy I've gotten is when I pretend its a low budget COOP dungeon crawler, and not an MMO, because it is so linear and anti social. And even then its ruined by the dungeons that are locked to you and how difficult it is to play with other friends due to the quest based leveling system. And how restrictive the exploration is. (I've never had an MMO auto kill me for trying to explore a high level area)

  Papadam

Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/07
Posts: 2127

10/22/12 3:11:50 PM#39

MEO is probably the worst idea for a MMO ever. Only delusional fans still cling on to the dream of "living in middle earth". 

Make a sandbox MMO out of the most restrictive IP seems like great idea... 

 

Turbine was smart when they made a great STORY driven MMO out of a great STORY. 

Rohan is evidence on how much love Turbine puts into LotrO and I feel sorry for the ones living in the past! 

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

  DavisFlight

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

10/22/12 6:28:15 PM#40
Originally posted by Papadam

MEO is probably the worst idea for a MMO ever. Only delusional fans still cling on to the dream of "living in middle earth". 

Make a sandbox MMO out of the most restrictive IP seems like great idea... 

 

Turbine was smart when they made a great STORY driven MMO out of a great STORY. 

Rohan is evidence on how much love Turbine puts into LotrO and I feel sorry for the ones living in the past! 

Rohan? That expansion that has tons of threads talking about how small/disappointing it is?

People made a sandbox out of SWG, a far more restrictive IP, and it turned out great.

Turbine was pretty dumb when they made a poorly shlocked together WoW clone, considering that they haven't been turning a profit in years, despite having the biggest IP in the world. I feel sorry for Warner Brothers!

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