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Showing posts from November, 2007

Melee Characters of the world unite. The time has come to end this injustice.

Syncaine's reply to my post about ranged characters has spurred me on to greater resolve. A campaign is needed to restore equity. Too long have hunters, mages, wizards and warlocks enjoyed the benefits of standing back from the action. The time has come to level the playing field! Please do not think I am pushing this agenda merely out of sour grapes. Please do not think me so small minded. Ignore the fact that Throg once had to suffer a run though Donnvail in fellowship with three hunters and FAILED TO LAND A SINGLE BLOW. Do not assume that the humiliation of running like a deranged lunatic after every mob only to discover it dead under a hail of arrows BEFORE I EVEN REACHED IT has made me embittered. No and again No! This is not about jealousy (although you could not begrudge me a little of that). This is about balance. This is about fairness. This is about ensuring that all player enjoy the same game experience. Ultimately this is about making the game better for all of us. Two

Melee Characters vs. Ranged Characters.

One of the main reasons I decided to make Throg a Champion is that prior to Lotro I had mainly played ranged characters and want to try something different. There is a lot of truth in the old saying that "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". I used to envy melee characters the ability to duke it out with enemies toe to toe. My WOW hunter and my guild wars Mesmer were both easy pickings for any mob that got up close and personal. After a few month sof playing Melee only though I have changed my mind. Now I think that ranged characters have a much easier time of it. Consider the relative ease with which players of either type deal with mobs of either type. Ranged player versus ranged mob: Player are stronger than mobs - easy win for the player. Ranged player versus melee mob: If the mob gets within range it can inflict serious damage on the player but as long as the player is sensible enough to pull carefully a ranged player can ensure a melee mob

The Duellist (not!)

Invitations to spar / duel always send me into a panic. I am terrible at pvp and it is almost inevitable that I will lose but there is always the suspicion of cowardice (probably justified) if one declines a challenge. I generally ignore uninvited challenges from passing strangers (thankfully a rarer event in Lotro than I remember from WOW) but it is harder to decline a challenge from a kinsmate. Last night Throg received two such challenges one from a burglar kinsmate of much lower level and one from a slightly higher minstrel. Needless to say Throg beat the first and lost the second but my incompetent panic reaction was almost identical in both cases. First I generally struggle to target my opponent correctly, then I generally fail to position myself correctly (a fatal flaw for a melee character) finally I invariably fumble my skills struggling to employ even the few basic techniques that I know about. I don't know why I am so clueless in a pvp situation. In fact clueless is the

Level Cap Blues

Long time no blog post. I don't know if my writers block is related or not but it coincides with a period of some apprehension in my gaming life. Throg has made it to level 49 and is fast approaching the level cap of 50. I am uneasily aware that the nature of the game changes. Part of me is excited at the possibility of raiding but I have to be realistic - I simply cannot go raiding every night. I need fun things to do that can be completed in short spurts for most of my game playing. It's not that I am running out of things to do. There are lots of things to do but many of them take huge amounts of time in comparison to pre-end game advancement. For example most nights I log on someone in the kinship is organising a Carn Dum run. While I don't know all the details of Carm Dum I do know that it is an instance that must be done many times for most people to get their class quest items and that it takes over three hours for each run through. Most nights I cannot commit to a s

Should I sign up for raiding?

There is a new poll on the forums of Throg's kinship.It asks whether or not the kinship should organise a weekly "serious raid". The Kinship has already undertaken some "easy" raiding eg the slaying of Bogbereth but the poll refers to the more serious raid instances of Helegorod and the Rift of Nurz Ghashu. These instances will require serious commitment and organisation. The raid composition will have to be just right and everyone will have to learn their role through multiple wipes. Of course they will offer those involved the opportunity to participate in the game at the highest level and to equip themselves (through repeated raids) with the best gear in the game. At level 48 Throg is fast approaching the level cap (50). Part of me quite fancies the idea of raiding, honing my character's abilities and personal playing skills. But ... I don't know whether or not I will be able to commit to a raid schedule. Even if it is only once a week my family

a New Look and now with Labels.

The minor scare I had recently when some of my blog seemed to disappear gave me the incentive to do a bit of blog housekeeping. First off, I enabled the label function to make it easier to find posts. I used to have labels but I made a mess of them so I had to go through all my old posts and relabel them. Of course the big news is that I have completely changed the layout. My own design skills are not up to the job of designing a blog layout so I used one of the standard blogger templates. It is called "Scribe" and was created by one Todd Dominey. I like it, I find it easier to read and I hope you do too. Thank you Todd. PS. Blame A.A. Milne again for my inappropriate use of capitals. Seriously though, if you have young kids and haven't read Milne's original Winnie the Pooh stories to them yet, do. You will enjoy it as much as the kids I'll bet.

Grumpy Old Mmorpgers

I am an MMORPG blow in. I came in with the millions who were seduced by World of Warcraft. Nevertheless I enjoy reading the thoughts and war stories of those who have lived in online virtual world far longer than my self. One theme that regularly crops up is the notion that mass popularity has led to the dumbing down of MMORPGS and that this is a bad thing. Recently Keen from Keen and Graev wrote eloquently about this in "Dumbing it Down, The Furture of MMOs" and these sentiments were echoed by Tipa from West Karana . In this rapidly changing world it would be easy enough to dismiss these comments as the rambling of old timers, addicted to their rose tinted glasses, who cannot accept the fact that the world has changed. Brad McQuaid's attempt to bring back old school MMOdom in Vanguard was something of a disaster. Ten million World of Warcraft players can't be wrong. However - the old timers do make some solid arguments. Keen points out that without challenge ther

Apologies for the disruption in service...

The Gremlins have eaten large chunks of my blog. The side bar has completely disappeared and posts below "My Favourite Firefox Extension" seem to be corrupted. I have no idea what is going on. I don't think it is something I did. My current Well Thought Out Plan is to do nothing and hope it just goes away. Apologies those on my vanished blogroll - it isn't personal I just don't know how to make it reappear. EDIT: It is fixed now. Just goes to show how sensible my Well Thought Out Plan was in the first place. PS: I am currently reading AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh to my kids at bedtime and erudite readers (aren't you all?) may spot the influence.

Lotro An Encounter with Gollum

While Throg was investigating rumours of a mysterious creature was was killing animals and stealing fish in the Tal Bruinen region he came across this little fellow: Throg gave chase but the creature got away by scampering up a rock face and into a deep cave. To encounter this fellow you need to do the quest chain which starts with "The White Hart" . There is a bit of tedious travel invollved but it is very worth it to get to the solo instance at the end which is very cool.

Lotro: Thoughts on the Chapter 11 patch and Quest Chains

I've been playing quite a bit of Lotro recently although I haven't been blogging about it. In addition to player housing the recent free update (Chapter 11) added a fair amount of new content as well. A new area called the High Pass has opened up East of the Misty Mountains which seems to be aimed at level 45 and up while the new Tal Bruinen region south in the South Eastern Troll Shaw's has plenty of quests for players in the low 40's. One very nice thing about the latest content update is that there are lots of references to Tolkien Lore. The High Pass region contains the Goblin Town from the Hobbit and in Tal Bruinen there is a lovely quest chain where you get to meet a nasty little creature who features very prominently in Tolkien's books. Throg has only spent a small amount of time in The High Pass but he has done almost every quest in the new Tal Bruinen region of the Trollshaws. Its a pretty region with some fun quests which are incredibly solo friendly.

Team Fortress 2

I have been playing shooters since Doom but I never indulged in online multiplayer fragging, until now. No Quake, no Unreal Tournament not even any Counterstrike for me. Apart from the fact that I am not particularly competitive I guess I have always been a bit intimidated by these games. I imagined that my middle aged noob ass would be an easy target for any frag happy teen. Well I bought Valve's Orange Box two weeks ago. Portal was played and finished the day I got it. Half Life Episode 2 was completed last weekend. That left Team Fortress 2 to taunt me. Although TF2 is unashamedly multi-player the reviews I have read indicate that is a somewhat noob friendly game. So I gave it a go. First impressions: For a game that is supposed to be new player friendly I was surprised at the lack of help to get started. There is no manual, no tutorial and not even a single player mode with bots to let new players hone their skills. I have been playing and reading about shooters for years

Portal Reconsidered

A few days ago I wrote about Portal and pointed out that I felt it was OK rather than great. Yet every other gamer seems ecstatic about it. Tipa from West Karana's reaction is fairly typical: "...the best single player gaming experience of the year". This got me thinking. How can I be so at odds with my fellow gamers? I have to admit the game is clever, novel and humorous. I enjoyed it enough to finish the whole game in a single day sitting. The ending is very good and worth finishing the game for. In fact I can't really find a reason to criticise the game and yet something about it bugged me. Something that pulled strings at the back of my head without ever registering fully with my conscious mind (and I am not talking about the headache I got from playing for too long). Do you know what I think got to me: the jumping. To be more precise the precision jumping that was required by so many of the levels. Back in the mid 1990's no self respecting first perso