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The Regular, Everyday, Normal Guy

The guy who enjoys computer games but is not hardcore, plays music but not for money, works for a living but isn't rich, reads books but not very often, likes the gym but isn't there enough, and likes the ladies but can't find the right one.

Author: jhazard

Back into the Swing of Things with Lord of the Rings

Posted by jhazard Saturday October 10 2009 at 10:46AM
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So lately I've gotten bitten by the MMO bug again.  This is something that just happens to me from time to time.  My first MMO was Lineage 2, which I started about a week before Closed Beta ended.  I think I got hooked on the first day of Open Beta (which began with a character wipe).  The intensity of jostling with hundreds of Level 1 characters for frogs and wolves, the excitement of what was to come... such elements cannot be matched in any other kind of game.  Ever since then I've been itching to match the amount of fun, excitement, and pure adrenaline that battling in L2 gave me.  It's like cocaine, only legal.

All that being said, my first foray back into the world of MMOs has been Lord of the Rings Online.  I'm now one solid week into it and I've been very impressed by the game world, quests, and storyline.  But here's the deal.  That's all stuff that doesn't even require talking to another player; what's the point?  What am I working towards with all these quests and storylines?  One might say that the goal is simply to "stop and smell the roses" as it were.  But the truth is if I wanted a Lord of the Rings storyline, I'd just read the Lord of the Rings books (again).

So what's missing? Meaningful PvP and territorial conflict.  I know, I know... everybody has a gripe about any given MMO.  The hardcore LOTRO fans will respond by saying, "Hey, there's PvMP!"  Yes, but it has no impact on the actual game world.  LotRO Fan then counters with, "Well LotRO is about PvE and exploration and cool stories and things like that, if you want PvP stop crying and go elsewhere".  Well my friend, that may be my destiny but I want to give LotRO a chance, you see.  I want to like it because it's really a well-made game with some cool classes.

Give me something to fight for.  Something to boast about when I've won it along with my guild compadres.  I don't want to kill the same boss mob that 100,000 other players have killed and then pretend I've accomplished something.  I want to have control of a city or a territorial region which I can defend from some other band of hooligans that is trying to take it from me.  That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. 

"Hey noob", chimes in the now-very irritated LotRO fan, "that sounds like Guild Wars.  So why don't you stop pissing on LotRO for not being something it never wanted to be in the first place."  An excellent point.  But what if you were successful at combining something like LotRO and Guild Wars into one game?  That would be pretty amazing, methinks.

Skooma2 writes:

So, what, exactly was the point of this blog?   You state near the outset that the game is fun except for lack of pvp.  Then you go on to excoriate the game because not only does it not have the kind of pvp that you like, it did not incorporate elements of  Guild Wars.   However, as a blogger for, you must have known that LotRO has limited pvp, and that it is a primarily pve game.   Also, from conception, the devs of LotRO have said that they had no intention of making this a pvp centric game, becaue it would be lore-breaking.  Yet, knowing all this, you waste our time stating that you are getting back into the "swing of things," when your post is little more than a troll post.  

Sun Oct 11 2009 3:48PM Report
jhazard writes:

Don't blame for my nonsense, they don't pay me.  That's the first thing.

This point of this blog as a whole is to convey what I think about stuff. Therefore, the goal of this post in particular has been achieved marvelously.  To sum up my thoughts about LotRO: fun to play, yes; missing something vital, also yes.  One minor correction. I didn't actually suggest that they should rip off Guild Wars.  Guild Wars comes close to what I would like, but it's not exactly what I would like.  Perhaps sometime I will really break down my idea of the best PvP system EVER.

Interestingly, wasn't your comment a waste of your time as well since I practically left it for you already in the last paragraph of my post?  Am I a prophet or what?  I'll answer my own questions: no, and maybe.

Sun Oct 11 2009 3:59PM Report
Skooma2 writes:

I bet you also like to hear yourself talk.  Your post added nothing to an ongoing discussion about LotRO in specific and MMOs in general.   Your response to my post is that your blog is to let people know what you think.  My question to you is, who do you think cares about what you think, especially if is not employing you.  Basically, you played LotRO KNOWING IN ADVANCE that it only had limited pvp, yet you spend the bulk of your blog complaining about it. 

Sun Oct 11 2009 4:24PM Report
jhazard writes:

This assumption you are making that I knew in advance about the LotRO PvP situation is not true.  The only research I did prior to starting my free trial was on the classes and such.  I did of course think to myself, "I hope the PvP is good, I guess we'll see".  And this blog post brings you my findings. 

Another interesting thing that I will note is that you seem to have cared enough about what I think (specifically how poorly you think I think) to leave two comments on the blog already.  That's two comments more than everybody else on the entire website! 

Sun Oct 11 2009 8:10PM Report
nefermor writes:

The problem with PVP is that the opposing dynamics are all human.  That being said you can only create the potential for it to be meaningful and then hope that the humans using the provided environment do something meaningful with it.  You don't have to read a lot of forums to see what kind of mentality your dealing with there. 

I have a free complete copy of LoTR from PAX on the side shelf of my desk unopened.  Not because of the lack of pvp but because the char models are really bad and the interface felt sticky when I tried it before. 

I'm playing Aion at the moment.  The pvp is interesting also , might give it a try.

Mon Oct 12 2009 8:04AM Report
jhazard writes:

I will try to get into Aion before its a month old to see how it feels. I was somewhat burned by my Lineage 2 experience with regard to NCSoft's failures as a developer (of course back in 2003 they were much less familiar with North American operations).

I agree with you as regards the unpredictability of a PvP system, but that's what I love about PVP in general. Things happen that could never have been scripted or dreamed up by any game developer. I call to mind the hugely-dominant EVE Online alliance BoB, which completely dominated the game for years but was wiped out in one evening by the work of enemy spies and a turncoat executive officer.

I believe that the more freedom you give to players to establish their own way through a game the more exciting things will be. Yes, people will get upset and feelings will get hurt and there will be drama... but I dig that kind of stuff.

Mon Oct 12 2009 11:03AM Report writes:
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