Monday, February 12, 2007

They Put Magic on My Lord of the Rings Online!

Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO) has dropped it's NDA. Tobold has his quick hit review up here. The following quote just destroyed the game for me:
"I created a hobbit minstrel as my character. You can also play humans, dwarves, or elves. And there are 6 more classes: Burglar, Captain, Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-master. If you wonder why there are no "priests" or "mages", this is due to the Tolkien lore. There is no commonly available "magic" in the game. But that is only semantics, the abilities of the character classes in practice work exactly like magic spells in other games. The minstrel I'm playing is a kind of healer / bard, and plays very nicely. Besides a healing spell, an improved melee attack, and a "cry" that works like a direct damage spell, I have a series of ballads to sing. These ballads combine a short-duration buff with some direct damage to the enemy. Thus I can't buff before the combat, I need an enemy target to hit to use them. The ballads exist in several tiers, tier 1, tier 2, etc., and I can only use a tier 2 ballad if I have a tier 1 ballad buff currently on me. So keeping up all the buffs during a longer combat isn't trivial, and makes for some quite interesting gameplay. If there are still enough people remembering the original Everquest, I'm sure that this will be called "twisting" ballads, after the EQ bard gameplay."
LotRO has failed the "something here is not like the others" test. If you lined it up next to WoW or Everquest in terms of gameplay, there would be no discernible differences. What a way to fuck up the most beloved fantasy work of all time. First Dungeons and Dragons and now Lord of the Rings. Someone please stop licensing top notch intellectual properties to Turbine!


  1. maybe so, maybe not. It's not DDO, and it doesn't need fireballs etc. I would hang on a bit. It seems more stable that most new MMO's. At worst it's too thin. But I'd rather a stable and well polished WoW-clone than something too thin like DDO, or buggy and over-ambitious like VG. But I hear ya -- we've all been at new launched for before. Final proof is at GM and a bit.

  2. I have no problem with WoW clones and well polished games. However, I have HUGE problems with companies that fuck over big name IPs. Star Wars got slaughtered. D&D got slaughtered. Now Turbine fucks with the premier fantasy fiction by adding a minstrel who heals?

    There will be a time when MMORPGs start expanding on their ideas a bit... not this tit for tat with big name IP bullshit that Turbine is pulling.

  3. I should have worded that better by saying.

    "Now Turbine fucks with premier fantasy fiction by adding the tank/heal/dps trinity???"

  4. Anonymous7:38 PM

    whoa, someone didn't get their animal tranquilizers this morning.

  5. After playing D&D online, and listening to their stated goals. I thought hell, with DDO they were trying something different. And in many ways it was cool. And in so many ways it wasn't. Because once you got past the cool stage with DDO, you kept wanting more. And well that and Turbine likes to secretly delete posts that are accurate and disparaging instead of addressing them. And because of that, I wasn't going to play an MMO in the world of LORO. There isn't magic, in the standard gaming sense. And yeah, what is there left to do in that world. But heartless you have to know that there will always be a tank/heal/dps concept.

  6. I must agree - think it is / going to be a somewhat shallow game when compared to Vanguard or EQ2.

    However I personally would rather play shallow game that is finished (almost) than a game like Vanguard that, although much more detailed, I feel not finished

    I am also not sure about some of the classes.
    Why couldn't they create a healer - it doesn't have to be "magic" - like the Minstrel...he doesn't use magic.

  7. Look at me... I sing and your battle wounds disapear!

    Look at me... I recant lore and a fireball shoots out of my ass.

    Look at me... I shout and wtf pwn your ass.

    A rose by any other name is still a rose.

  8. Anonymous10:57 AM

    I dont understand why your so negative about everything.

    you poo-pooed the BC release, and never recanted (to the best of my knowledge) when it went off nearly flawlessly.

    now your poo-pooing the tank/dps/heal trinity, or more precisely, the "magic" of healing in LOTR. i dont know about everyone else, but if they were to remain "true" to the "lore", would that mean every time an orc hit me, i would have to have weeks of downtime to recover from the broken bone or whatnot?

    there has to be some form of healing if there is combat. i dont know how you could avoid it. if there is a better way, i wish you would share.

    its a game after all, and recovering in a bed in Rivendell for a week after a ringwraith touches me just doesnt sound like much fun to me. YMMV....

  9. Anonymous12:28 PM

    some people ain't happy unless they're just bitching about everything.

    Calling everything crap does not make you seem cool. It just makes you seem like a real jerk.

    I suppose that's alright though. Some folks take delight in being labeled a jerk.

  10. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Heartless is just giving his opinion in a heartless manner and I have to respect his honesty. To many people tip toe around when it comes to how they feel about something because others will label them as a jerk, and it's good to see that someone is saying fuck that.

    Keep up the good work Heartless.

  11. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Just a minor nerd tangent - isn't Tom Bombardil (and Goldberry, for that matter) a kind of all-singing, all-dancing magical type of character with healing abilities, delivered largely through the medium of tedious poetry-stanzas in the book?

    Still doesn't address the 'Not Everyone Can Be Gandalf' problem, mind you, but bard-based spells aren't such a huge leap from the lore.

    Just sayin :)

  12. still you would have to address the fact that the problem isn't that there IS magic, it's that the game is still the same "gain a button on your bar, click the button, button do something which lets you gain more buttons" I haven't played ALL MMORPGs but from the ones I've played there were only a few departures from this methodology,

    turbines own asheron's call (1) was skill based, where you do something and get better at it and only it. and it had a fun ingredient based "magic" system.

    Guild wars has a system to constantly re-work your character to try to optimize the "8 powers at a time max" not many game companies though have the kind of creativity or leeway with their IP that you might think, the production process (one I'm involved in now) tends to dilute the original idea so much that whatever good it might have had originally just disappears after the 2-3 years of building the product unless it's carefully protected from lawyers marketers and other "suits"

    the only thing you can do is not pay for a game you dont like... perhaps they'll get the idea at some point.


Join the conversation; leave a comment!