LOTRO, to buy or not to buy?

Posted by Jason Triplett Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Before I start, let me say that I know this game is not out yet. I know that it is unfair to do a review for an MMO this early in it's life. That being said, This game has hardly changd much at all since Alpha, which is a BAD thing. Plus, it does not stop other publications from voicing their opinions, so I don't care. I think people DESERVE to know what they are getting themselves into.

First of all, the graphics are hardly better than Guild Wars. This game runs on a modified DDO engine. In fact, in Alpha, the engine was so similar it was immediately obvious the direction they were taking this game.

Secondly, the game world is very small. Unmounted you can practically cross the entire landscape in less than an hour. In Vanguard for example, it would take you 30 mins just to reach the next town. Another problem is the frequent and long load times. After about 20 minutes of playing it is painfully obvious that this game is a load hog.

Third, don't expect any variety from the classes what-so-ever. Just a glance at the official site's descriptions of them will show you just that. Due to this, the group mechanic is HORRIBLE. The way fights play out in a group fashion are barely similar to the standard MMO type (tank, DPS, healer). However the classes all feel the same in the end, and in group roles, people will often NOT know their role at all, because they are not comfortable with the class-types in comparison to a real MMO.

Combat, just like the graphics, borrows heavily from the DDO infrastructure. The combat skills are weak, and often times this alone is what makes the classes seem boring and non-descript. When fighting, there is no uniqueness to any of the classes, even the most "unique" class in the game.

Crafting is boring and simple, with no real reward for dedicating to it. PVP is almost non-existant except for a poorly constructed "good vs. evil" PVP set-up where one team will temporarily play as monsters and baddies. Not saying PVP is important to me, but if it was, I'd be sick with disgust.

My biggest qualm. The lore. How can someone presume to alter what Tolkien had perfected? Quest and story lines in this game not only alter Tolkien's story, they drastically change certain aspects of it at a certain point in the game.

The day Turbine announced the bargain bin monthly fee, I knew they had no faith in their MMO. They feel like they need to lower themselves to the standards of Guild Wars, Phantasy Star, etc by placing that price point. While they hoped it may turn some heads in their direction, it is only obvious that LOTRO will just be a source of income while they develop something better...if Turbine can even DO that anymore.

When will developers learn that MMO's based on popular movies/books just don't do well? SWG, MxO, and now this? LOTRO gets the biggest PASS of them all. You'd be better off playing a free MMO called Flyff. It's free and muh better produced than this game. As for me, I'll stick with Vanguard until the next big thing comes out...cause one this is for sure...LOTRO is NOT that big thing.

OUR VERDICT: PASS

3 comments
  1. Ilmari Said,

    I don't understand why everyone complains about the world size. At least I don't want to use 30 mins just to get to next town.

    Posted on 7:47 AM

     
  2. Anonymous Said,

    Ok.. few things need to be said. This is only my oppinion after 2 months beta testing.

    -Comparing graphics to Guildwars is just lame since GW isn´t really a MMO. It is fully instanced RPG. Graphics are better than in Vanguard/Wow and game runs smoothly even with full high settings with mediocore PC. Like Vanguard... is total laghell.

    -Loading times? I have loading screens 3-4 sec max between different zones. Loadings happens once or twice in 4h playing sessions and 3-4sec isn´t that much. Again game runs smoothly with almost no lag at all, even in towns. If you think about Vanguad (which is really annoying before superfast mount) they made world so huge that it is missing huge amount of content + you cant play it lag free even with top end system.
    - Combat moves are about same level than in other mmos, like wow for example.
    - PvP system as monster play is brilliant. You can actually create Orc or Urukhai character and make it better and better like your main character. Only bad thing is that it is available only in high level areas.. but at lvl 10 you can play lvl 50 orc. + I have had Huge battles between orcs and "good" guys. Best ones have had over 100 players fighting in one big battle.. again no big lag to make things go bad.
    --- there is also bad thing in LOTRO, but I think you failed to mention the REAL ones. Like bad armor models, hunter at lvl 1 looks same than hunter at lvl 50.. Baaaaaaad. Also no mounts before expansion, which is already planned, but anyway. Last and the worst thing is all the Germanise ppl spamming germany in all general channels 24/7.

    Posted on 2:04 PM

     
  3. Anonymous Said,

    Ok.. few things need to be said. This is only my oppinion after 2 months beta testing.

    -Comparing graphics to Guildwars is just lame since GW isn´t really a MMO. It is fully instanced RPG. Graphics are better than in Vanguard/Wow and game runs smoothly even with full high settings with mediocore PC. Like Vanguard... is total laghell.

    -Loading times? I have loading screens 3-4 sec max between different zones. Loadings happens once or twice in 4h playing sessions and 3-4sec isn´t that much. Again game runs smoothly with almost no lag at all, even in towns. If you think about Vanguad (which is really annoying before superfast mount) they made world so huge that it is missing huge amount of content + you cant play it lag free even with top end system.
    - Combat moves are about same level than in other mmos, like wow for example.
    - PvP system as monster play is brilliant. You can actually create Orc or Urukhai character and make it better and better like your main character. Only bad thing is that it is available only in high level areas.. but at lvl 10 you can play lvl 50 orc. + I have had Huge battles between orcs and "good" guys. Best ones have had over 100 players fighting in one big battle.. again no big lag to make things go bad.
    --- there is also bad thing in LOTRO, but I think you failed to mention the REAL ones. Like bad armor models, hunter at lvl 1 looks same than hunter at lvl 50.. Baaaaaaad. Also no mounts before expansion, which is already planned, but anyway. Last and the worst thing is all the Germanise ppl spamming germany in all general channels 24/7.

    Posted on 2:05 PM

     

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