Monday, April 16, 2007
Lord of the Rings Online
I bought the pre-order bonus for Lord of the rings Online MMORPG. That allows 10 days of play in advance of the official release. It may seem a bit rich to charge for what is effectively a game demo but I did get some free stickers an exclusive in game items and I can keep my character if I convert to a full subscription later. I have only spent a few short hours in the game - I created a Dwarf Champion (a sort of melee damage dealer) and played him up to level 5 last night. The game has been reviewed (generally favourably) by many better writers than myself so I will give some first impressions rather than attempt a full review. First off I enjoyed my few hours - the game seems fun and the controls were very similar to World of Warcraft so it was easy to get going. Quests are easy to find and the beginners area I am wandering around presents few problems. If anything life is a bit too easy - so far I haven't met any challenge that came close to killing me in my first five levels. The hardest mob I tackled was a level 5 elite Aurox which I soloed easily at level 4. I am not completely hooked yet. I didn't get the same buzz that I got from starting World of Warcraft even though the World of Middle Earth has so much resonance. For me the game suffers somewhat in that I came to it from Guild Wars. Guild Wars makes many things easy for the player. For example it has instant map travelling and a handy quest arrow showing where to go next. It was a shock to realise that in LOTRO I would have to search the mountains for "that cave somewhere in the North". I am happy to say however that reading the detailed quest objective usually gives good directions. The much talked about graphics are certainly no better than Guild Wars but have much higher system requirements. I am running at 1280x1024 in High quality mode and everything looks nice but not spectacular. Movement is certainly clunkier than Guild Wars although this may be due to lag. In GW clicking on a mob causes you to run to it and interact with it - here you must click to select the mob, then walk to the mob, then double click to attack. To be fair I must admit its not a fair comparison because Guild Wars is not a full blown MMORPG. I guess I need to absorb myself in the world of LOTRO for a bit to see if it sucks me in - I'll play a bit more tonight.