Monday, March 26, 2007

Preconceived Notions and Expectations

I was browsing the LOTRO forums and came across a heated and ultimately closed post initiated by one of the forum's long-time members.

Basically, the gist of the post had to do with the game not sticking to the lore of the books and many of those who had supported the game for years will not be playing. Being nosy, I followed a link over to the Arda Post where many of the disgrunted veterans have settled in. It seems several have moved on to Vanguard and report it to be so much more "intellectually stimulating."

Oh my goodness.

I was one of those who followed the development of Vanguard for years. I read the official forums regularly and had built up so much anticipation as had others. I was aware of LOTRO and glanced at the forums but otherwise didn't pay much attention to it, since my focus was Vanguard. Performance issues aside, it turned out to be not the game for me. While I thought I really did want to re-experience EQ1 all over again, the reality of it was that other games had spoiled me. I read so much hatred on forums regarding Vanguard, and I can't help but wonder how much of that comes from those who had been long-time followers and had built up so much expectation over the years.

I entered LOTRO with few expectations. I read the books over 20 years ago but had no intention of comparing the two. The movies took some liberties to make them appealing to the masses and I enjoyed them tremendously, so had no issues with the game doing the same as long as I had fun. And I did.

So now reading the posts from the long-time followers of LOTRO I again wonder if those built-up expectations have clouded thinking somewhat. Do you play and look for fun? Or play and look for inconsistencies and what's wrong? If you look for what's wrong, you will always find something no matter what you play.

Or maybe one man's boredom really is another's intellectual stimulation.


darrenl said...

oh dear lord...we still don't have people complaining about magic do we?

Cameron said...

I thought your Vanguard comments were interesting... I had a similar experience when I played in beta 4. I didn't mind the leveling curve, or the bugs, or the performance issues much. But knowing that it was probably too old-school for most of my friends, combined with the fact that I have nowhere near the free time I did in high school, make it unlikely I'll play it for any lengthy period of time. Nostalgia is fun... but not what I want to play a game for (which is what I remember every time I fire up EQ1, as well).