Concerning LOTRO…

Yup. Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (a title designed to compete with Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazhakstan)

Of all that’s coming down the pipe, I guess this is the one that caught my eye and I’m really looking forward to. Graphically, of course, it’s quite pretty. It’s got a few more things going for it. Most importantly, it will be based strictly on Tolkien’s books, and from what I’ve seen and gathered here and there, the team seems to be taking Middle Earth lore and attention to detail very seriously. Second, if you take a look at some of the (old, E3 build) videos around, you realize how it’s really-really similar to WoW, at least in spirit. Looks like WoW with the graphics kicked up a notch.

As cool as it might be to make fun of WoW for being MMO-lite (and a host of other things, most of them true), I don’t think LOTRO’s similarities have to be a bad thing necessarily. We’ll see how it pans out. LOTRO has the visuals, it has the story and the environment. So its success will come down to one thing: execution. Hopefully Turbine can pull it off.

And no, it’s not cool to bring up AC2.

But it’s not all roses. I have my concerns. What ‘worries’ me the most right now about LOTRO is its scale. How big is it really going to be? At launch it will come out only with the lands of Eriador, which lore-wise is good chunk of land, but we’ll see how that translates in game. I would hate to feel shoeboxed, which was the feeling I got from Oblivion from start to ‘end’. Yeah, you have this good chunk of land, full of things to do… but I never felt the expanse of it. I couldn’t help to be drawn time and time again to the limits of Cyrodiil, rather than to all the things inside it. I never got past the feeling of “This is a province. It’s nice, but I want to go elsewhere. See other things”. Of course I realize that is my problem, not the game’s. But then again, I’m also the player, and to a degree if the player has a problem, the game has a problem.

The rest are little things, mostly related to execution and how it’s gonna feel when the rubber meets the road and the code meets the street. We’ll see. I’m Jack’s memory of games past, so I’m wary, but also a bit hopeful.

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3 Responses to “Concerning LOTRO…”


  1. 1 Ethic November 10, 2006 at 9:22 am

    My wife is slowly warming over to playing MMO’s with me, but nothing has really hooked her in much. She is, however, a big LotR fan, so this just might be the one. I’m not getting overly excited, because I have been disappointed by Turbine one too many times.

    Good start to the site, keep it up.

  2. 2 Julian November 10, 2006 at 9:53 am

    Tenky much, Ethic.

    I introduced my wife to WoW around the middle of 2005, and she’s been playing since. She’s become a very good player and now she’s looking forward to LOTRO as well.

    My God… what have I done…. /wrists.

  3. 3 Ethic November 10, 2006 at 11:52 am

    My wife actually likes WoW enough, but I’m of a different opinion. lol

    That video clip you linked to above, nice. Never seen it before but it really looks good. Color me impressed. I have already commited to buying LotRO, but then again, what MMO have I not purchased? I even bought Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, and Asheron’s Call 2. All three are gone.

    Some might call me a sucker, I call it research. heh


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