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Default Lord of the Rings Online - Re-review @ Eurogamer

March 27th, 2008, 22:36
The new Eurogamer MMO channel has published a re-review of Lord of the Rings Online. The score amounts to the same as last time, 9/10. They ask (and answer) why they haven't given it a 10/10:
After all the piles of praise we've heaped on it, why does LOTRO still not get the coveted 10/10? Blizzard even like the game so much, it seems to have named their art director after Samwise Gamgee - so why do we have qualms? Firstly, because, despite all its advances, despite the Deeds achievement system, and the believable world Turbine has crafted (where it's very careful to avoid Blizzard's occasional frame-breaking humour, so that you're encouraged to take the plot more seriously), this is still very similar to WOW and its predecessors. And, because of that, it shares the genre's flaws: there's still a lot of needless, tedious running about; the gaps between the excellent story quests stretch wide, no matter how good the scripting of the other quests is; and there are still irritating "kill a billion slugs" quests (some deeds literally ask you to perform an action 1000 times). Monster Play, though promising, isn't quite there, and many of the updates (e.g. faction reputations and collectible armour sets) make the game more like WOW, not less.
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March 27th, 2008, 22:36
… this is still very similar to WOW and its predecessors. And, because of that, it shares the genre's flaws: there's still a lot of needless, tedious running about; the gaps between the excellent story quests stretch wide, no matter how good the scripting of the other quests is; and there are still irritating "kill a billion slugs" quests (some deeds literally ask you to perform an action 1000 times).
That didn't really keep them from giving WoW a 10/10. Eurogamer is becoming more and more the village idiot among the gaming magazines.

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March 27th, 2008, 23:51
The best thing about lotr is the story - it actually has one (unlike wow).
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March 28th, 2008, 08:50
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
The best thing about lotr is the story - it actually has one (unlike wow).
I have never played a MMORPG, so can you explain to me how an MMORPG can have a story? It's a serious question. Is every player going through the same quests, so basically everyone is subsequently seeing the same story, much like a SP RPG? Or is the world at a whole going through a story arc (so only regulars really see it)?
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March 28th, 2008, 10:07
Most of the quests in LOTRO work pretty much in the same way the quests in WOW work: Kill ten of that, gather ten of this, protect this guy, etc. Although one has to say that Turbine (surprisingly) put quite some effort into making these quests authentic. What Zakhal means with a story is probably the epic quest line which is in fact something that comes pretty close to story. It begins when you enter the game - depending on your race the game will have a different beginning. But in all of them you'll encounter Sauron's forces and you'll get a very basic idea of what's going on in middle earth. Over the course of this epic quest line (which goes like a red line through the whole game from low level to high level) you'll meet persons we all know from the novels (Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, etc.), you'll learn of Frodo's mission and indirectly support him (to give you an example - you'll help Aragorn to reforge Narsil). When you finish certain stages of the quest line you'll get short rendered movies which explain a bit of the story as well.

Is every player going through the same quests, so basically everyone is subsequently seeing the same story, much like a SP RPG? Or is the world at a whole going through a story arc (so only regulars really see it)?
Everyone is seeing subsequently the same story pretty much like in a SP RPG. Unlike in a SP RPG players will need to group up to accomplish certain stages of the quest line. Most of the epic quests take place in instanced portions of the game, which means you'll be alone in a zone or dungeon (or alone with your group), so other players cannot interfere.
The world itself is static, not dynamic. At the moment it is not going through some kind of story arc. Frodo and the rest of the hobbits are in Rivendell - that's where you can actually encounter them in a non-instanced part fo the game. I would expect that this will change with the coming expansion - the name already implies that they'll continue their voyage into the mines of Moria.

One has to say however that the epic quest line is just a very small portion of the game. It is not possible to simply follow that quest line and disregard everything else. You simply will have to take part in the MMO threadmill at some point since you need to level up so you can actually do certain stages of that epic quest. Nonetheless I'd say that Turbine is on the right track here really. Turbine in general is working more with quest lines than single fragmented quests which I think makes questing more interesting.

There are certainly other things as well that keep you going - for example the authenticity of the game world. It's actually quite exciting to visit places you know from the books. But at the very core LOTRO is a MMO, and if you don't enjoy certain features that are crucial to a MMO (like character building, interacting with others, etc.) you won't like the game.

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Last edited by Ionstormsucks; March 28th, 2008 at 10:19.
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