Tag: turbine

The Beornings’ starting area

Well, well, well, Lord of the Rings Online. A game i liked very much- and still do, to some extent, despite there being changes i didn’t like much. I’m not talking about f2p here, but for instance how the old wood changed between 2008 and now. It used to be creepy and difficult. It isn’t, anymore. Still, Lotro has a world that’s really nice to explore, as well as great quest writing.

So i wanted to take some screenshots of the game and started up a new character. Might as well try the new class, the Beorning, since it somehow appeals to me (i always like playing hybrid characters that can do good damage while also being able to heal a little bit) and is the new shiny in the game. Also, i agree with those who say the character models look much better than those of the other races. I’m still dreading Moria and really want to make it as short a stay as possible, but for now, i went back in, this time even really reading quest text.

The other starting areas should be like the Beornings’

The starting area of the beornings looks gorgeous. Since i never went through Moria, i also never really got to see how the game looks nowadays, and i have to say, it really looks great.

Starting a beorning

 

It’s almost a pity that it’s over so quickly, but then again, after going through Archet for 100 times it’s good to see a starting area that focuses on the important things: story, a little bit immersion, getting a first feel of the class and admiring the landscape. This is by far the smallest starting area in the game, and all you really do is talk to some people, kill eight flies and some goblins, then talk some more and you’re done. All in all, maybe 15 minutes, if that. You get to level 2 by playing it and then get boosted to level 5 and sent to Archet (the real Archet, though).

Beornings starting area

 

After 7 years of mainly playing through Archet i think that this is a good way to go- teach the advanced basics- story and class gameplay- and send the player off. I’d like the other starting areas to be as quick (mind you, Archet is shorter than it used to be), although of course i know that this wouldn’t suit a player who’s new to the game.

Starter islands

Generally, i don’t like starter islands or zones. Everybody loves Age of Conan’s Tortage- i don’t like it. The same goes for Archet and the starting zones of Elves/Dwarves, the Isle of Dawn in Vanguard and others. World of Warcraft drops you right into the world and i think this is the way it should be done. All i really want when playing these zones is to leave them as fast as possible. So the Beornings’ starting area was a nice change of pace in this old game.

Tourism

While those who like the game know it, i think Lotro is really a great experience if you take your time while levelling. In this game, you shouldn’t hurry to reach the next level – although i wouldn’t use the XP stopper, either, and i wouldn’t do “grey” quests, but it’s really not a game to “skip quest text” and “reach the endgame”. I’d really like to see the newer landscapes, especially after seeing this starting area. It’s just Moria. Gandalf didn’t want to go through it, and i don’t want to, either. But we’ll see about that.

Lord of the rings Online – producer’s letter 2015

So Lotro has a producer’s letter sharing their plans for the first half of this year. I really don’t have much more to say about that than Wilhelm Arcturus and Roger Edwards already shared and would add my voice in saying that this producer’s letter seems, well, uninspired and not promising. It’s not exactly what it announces, which seem to be changes one would expect to happen to that game. Bug fixes, easier server transfers/closure of low-population servers, legendary items going to 100 and stuff like that seem to be logical additions to the game, and the same goes for growing the world Lotro takes place in and the addition of more small group content.

The surprising elements, for me, are the possibility of adding a new PvMP map and the “episodic content” stuff. I don’t know if there really is a big PvMP population in Lotro- i know there are some people who really care, but i was always under the impression that the PvP in Lotro is not exactly its strong point.

The episodic content seems interesting enough that i’d almost liked to see it. Story is one of Lotro’s strong parts, i think, and the world is another one. But still, there’s that huge dwarven cave in my way- i really can’t see myself playing my minstrel through Moria- maybe another, more solo-friendly class with a much lower time-to-kill, but i guess we’ll never know.

Or will we? I don’t know, but the producer’s letter really leaves me with these impressions:

  • earnings don’t seem to go that well (or they’d sell/plan an expansion like they did in 2013)
  • it’s the second year (maybe) coming without an expansion- but while last year’s updates were quite huge the “vision” for the first half of 2015 seems to be….humble
  • i get the feeling we are hurrying towards Mordor now

All in all, i don’t think Lotro will be with us much longer. I’m not saying it’s closing down, mind you, but to me, that letter doesn’t sound too confident. DDO’s producer’s letter seems more ambitious in comparison, so i don’t think this is a Turbine-was-hit-with-massive-layoffs-thing, but specific to Lotro.

So i guess i’ll close like the other two: if you like the game, live in the moment and play the game now.