Thursday, June 21, 2007

LOTRO: 3 Months Later

There are so many nice things about this game. Even though my husband and I both started off with a lukewarm feeling about it, I was really hoping that as we leveled the positives would outweigh the negatives. My viewpoints on my experiences so far:

Classes - Even though there are only a few classes available to play, I have found a couple that I have enjoyed. My loremaster and captain are my favorites. At 39, my minstrel is my highest level, however. I had enjoyed her initially and still do to some extent, but getting killed by a few green mobs because you can't channel off a heal when you're being pounded was very aggravating. Although I never play tanks, my husband usually loves them but abandoned his guardian in this game (also 39). On the other hand, he usually doesn't like hunter classes, but is enjoying the LOTRO version.

Setting - The world is beautiful. I'm especially fond of the shire and listening in on all the chatter of the npc hobbits. The world definitely feels alive. Seeing Rivendell for the first time was breathtaking.

Music - I really like what they did with the music system. Instead of the musically-uninclined mashing random buttons in an attempt to play music, they've made it so you can load up a music file and voilla!! you can play! No more long hours studying Esteban tapes.

Money sinks - After an hour of play, I often have this three steps forward, two to four steps back feeling. The armor repairs are more than I can bear sometimes and one of my biggest sources of frustration. In order to stay ahead, I am forced to either take up a harvesting profession and spend a few hours each week looking for nodes to sell or head to a humanoid camp of gray mobs that will minimally damage my armor and kill them for hours for vendor trash. I passionately hate money sinks in a game.

Armor and drops - Armor drops are extremely rare and they really need to up the rate as well as the variety of armor that drops. I am a big fan of the randomly-generated drops where an item can drop off of any mob and the stats are random. Pretty much everyone is wearing the same thing and they are all from quests because the dropped stuff when it does in fact drop is often crap. Which leads me to:

Quests - We're probably in the minority regarding this, but I am not a fan of quest-based leveling. I don't mind doing a few here and there, but it is a requirement here. I'm finding the solo-designated quests are not very soloable at all. Go kill so and so....oh by the way he is surrounded by four friends and a few other buddies who you already killed but are beginning to respawn already. Grrrr. But even worse in my opinion are class quests. At 45 if you want your skills, you better find 5 people to do a very difficult quest to help you. Class skills should not be dependent on gathering forces in my opinion.

Experience - In most games I've played mobs have a set amount of experience they grant. That level 20 mob gives 100 experience whether you are level 19 or 23. Of course, you have to kill more level 20 mobs at 23 than you would at level 20 to level. But in LOTRO, the experience you get depends on what your level is in relation to the mob, or the con color of the mob.

At level 20 in order to gain the optimum experience, I need to kill level 20 mobs. Let's say I get 100 experience killing level 20 mobs. If I kill level 19 mobs, I will get about 65 experience. Now if I kill level 21 mobs, I will only get about 106 experience and maybe 108 for level 22. So there is absolutely no reason to get a bunch of friends together to kill higher level mobs. Also white mobs pack a punch to your armor, and we either lose money or break even killing whites.

Now, that level 20 mob which gave you 100 experience will go down to about 65 when you are level 21. It works this way for quests as well. Depending on what color the quest cons, you will get a certain amount of experience. Traits and deeds also work on this system. Unfortunately, though, they have no level associated with them so your best bet is just to do them as soon as possible to get the most experience points.

So there it is in a nutshell. My husband is logging in just to keep me company at this point. He lost interest after the first week. But we may be here awhile yet since the games coming up aren't promising for our play style, and I still keep hoping it will get better. I'm almost 100% certain Age of Conan is out of the question based on the community I've seen (last post I saw discussed how cool it would be to have prostitution as a profession.....ermm). Warhammer looks pretty neat with a sense of humor, but being pvp-based our stay would likely be short. PotBS and Spellborn are possibilities.


Kittenanne said...

Very good post on LoTRO! I played it in closed beta but decided not to buy the game because for me it just wasn't a new experience. I agree the scenery was great and being a Tolkien fan it was of course wonderful to be in his world. Then that wore off and it was just another game that was far too similar to WoW or EQ.

I haven't seen any game that will give me new and different MMO experience yet. So I'm sticking to WoW for now. But I'm only playing it off and on. My husband is just barely sticking with it.

Side note, it's very nice to see another older woman playing MMORPG's also. :)

Bildo said...

Very nice. :) You've been linked over at VirginWorlds too!

I'm still loving the leveling and story of LotRO, but I'm afraid that when that ends, I'll be finding something else to spend my main game-time on at least until more free updates or expansions come out.

It's a very solid game, and very fun, but as you put it... it's been done before. Thank God for the LotR license or I'd probably have left months back.

Aspendawn said...

Yeah I'm guessing I'll work on an alt when I hit 50. But thinking about redoing all those same quests ugghh.

I love housing in games and was really curious to see how it will be handled here. But this is not planned until autumn and still not sure I'll be lasting that long.

Bildo said...

Oh, lawd yes. About the redoing of quests. I leveled to 15 so many times since August of 2006 (beta) that I can't do it again. I just can't. Add in the fact that I really only like the Champion (though the Captain is nice), and that's why I'll be sticking with Begud my Champ.

By no means will I ever permanently quit the game, but I'm also not sure I'll spend more than 20 months in it, so I skipped the lifetime deal.

Instead I'm content to shell out 9.99 until I cancel, and 15 every time I want to see what's up later on.

It's a great world, with solid mechanics, and I know I'll keep coming back to see new parts of ME. But the lure of a more original game may prove too great.

PotBS, G&H, etc all have my eyes fixed on them.