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Standing Stone Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/24/07)  | Pub:Daybreak Games
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:$14.99
System Req: PC Mac | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

Beta Journal

Posted by Jon Wood on Dec 20, 2006  | Comments

Beta Journal -

Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has released a new beta journal. The company-published journals give those people not in the Beta a peek into the world of Middle-Earth.

After the recent patch, along with the accompanying server-wipe, I decided to try my luck as a "tank", something I hadn't done before, not in this MMO at any rate. So, I went ahead and made my Dwarf Guardian.

Before I talk about my Dwarf, though, I would like to mention just how blown away I was with this game. Graphics-wise - I've been following MEO/LotRO for nearly, well, I think 4 years, and never in my best hopes was Middle-earth this beautiful. When you're running through a field, say, west of Bree, the flowers blowing in the wind that people talk about? They are actually there, swaying back and forth along the side of the road. And when you're on top of Weathertop, looking out over the Lone-Lands, you can see the Midgewater Marshes to the west, and can just barely make out the Bridge over the River Hoarwell int the Trollshaws...well, this is what I, for one, came here for.

At any rate, on to the Guardian. All dwarves start at the north end of the Ered Luin area, right around the Halls of Thorin - which, by the way, puts a certain other Dwarf city from a certain other MMO utterly to shame. The starting instance for the Dwarves is very nice, with you following in Gimli's footsteps as he prepares to see his father off to the Lonely Mountain - to fight Smaug.

Once out in the valley below the Halls, I was a bit disappointed with the Guardians DPS-ability. I thought I would be a solo machine. Not so much. I went through the majority of Ered Luin with this opinion. Then I was sent to Bree, as part of my Epic Quest sequence, to speak with a Ranger by the name of Strider. This was where my whole outlook flipped. The majority of the Epic Quest line necessitates being in a fellowship, so I got some guys together and formed one. With the combination of my shield and high-damage-capacity, I could defend all 3 of my fellows. At once! Needless to say, I was thrilled. Things just kept getting better from there, when I hit level 18, for example, I trained a skill that let my "pull" enemies off of my comrades, to make them attack me. Incredibly useful when I was working with low-health classes like Lore-masters.

I wasn't sure how this game was going to turn out, but after playing as a Guardian, I have come to realize that, yes, this game is great fun when played mainly solo, but, unlike many other MMO's I've played, the classes develop so many more uses when played as a part of a group.

As a last note: When I play a game, and the combination of the lore, graphics, and wonderful playable classes make me feel like I have to get the heck off the road when some crazy hobbit riding a horse is barreling towards me, then I know that you (Turbine) have, regardless of whatever bugs I/we think still needs to be fixed, done an amazing job. My hat's off to you - thanks for Middle-earth!

Read more here.

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