Monday, February 16, 2009

Seven least favorite things - LOTRO

Now, of course, I was so nice and positive yesterday, I decided to come back today with my 7 Negatives!
The game of choice will be Lord of the Rings Online.
The simple reason? This proved to be my least favorite MMO game of all time...even moreso than Vanguard, which at least has some redeeming qualities.

Without further ado...

1. Quests - Quests are good...but so many silly little quests to do much of nothing combined with some quite boring kill x quests and fetch quests...and with it being the best way to level, you were stuck or else...Do quests or grind til you die. Then lets not start on the main storyline being forced grouping or else, back to grind.
2. Character models - Even WoW's cartoony visuals have an appeal that the models of LOTRO do not. Matted drawn on hair for beards, oversized hands, homely females, along with their painted on clothing. Then do not start me on the infamous "30FPS animations in a 60FPS world"
3. Animations - Ok...nevermind, I will start. With the various issues of how the characters look to be flailing about when swinging their weapons, run from the hip in an odd fashion, the fluidity of so many other games is not present in these animations.
4. Crafting - So annoying, it forces me to go into downtime to gather so many mats, then once I get the mats, I need more mats to combine with the mats I spent wasting time to get. Then I can stand in front of an object, hit make, and fall asleep. Entertainment.
5. Mob Variety - Never have I seen so many of the same skins used over and over..from human faces for bad guys, to the infamous bears and wolves. I really hate BEARS BTW!
6. UI - Talk about a crappy UI. It may be functional for players needs, but it is NOT friendly with large monitors. The fonts shrink to unreadable status, the toolbar if resized does not have 1 to 1 pixel mapping, and becomes blurry, as it does not have matching resolution sized bars (i.e: the toolbar is a max of 1280x1024, anything larger has to stretch that image, thus making it blurry and ugly).
7. Community - Thats right, the one thing the game is know to be great for, also has an issue of having fervent fans who cannot see past these issues, and still think LOTRO is a good game. It is not, with WoW like conventions, crappy animations, and bad quest design. But, try to suggest changes, and watch the rabid boys go wild with name calling, etc.

But, hey, the game has pretty landscapes. If I could count how many times I read this, I could vomit.
All I can say is at least Turbine is committed to this product, and updates are on a regular basis, and the fans love it..(not what I can say for some other games...*cough* WAR, AOC *cough*)
But, no matter how many times I have returned, the game fails to me on so many levels...so it gets my vote for the 7 worst game conventions...

Cheers

5 comments:

jt1080 said...

You're a bit unnecessarily harsh on LOTRO without much basis of fact, but what seems more like jaded opinion.

I don't play LOTRO actively, but I respect the hell out of it and I can see why people would. BUT before I get onto how you're being a bit biased and unfair, I'll 100% agree with you on the UI. I have a 27" monitor (1920x1200) and everything was borderline unreadable and the scaling just stretches the UI to be an ugly stretched mess. They need to do something about that.

Now that I have agreed on that, here's this:
Quests: LOTRO is all about quests. It's really no different than WoW in the quests department, and no one complains about them, so I don't see why LOTRO should be a target of complaint.

Character Models and Animation: Ok, I agree with you on this actually too. The game lacks any real STYLE to its art design. The character models and animation lack life.

Crafting: It's crafting. Sounds to me like you just don't like in-depth crafting (neither do I). Having all the professions be reliant on the mats from another profession is like "MMO crafting 101" and should be expected in any game that has a deep crafting system. It's working as intended. I just choose to ignore it either way, I'm an adventurer/achiever type player.

Mob variety: Yep, same problems as the character models. Could use some actual style and art design.

Community: The community is fine. You should expect backlash if you go into official forums ANYWHERE and QQ till your eyes bleed. People will take it as trolling and probably troll you back. LOTRO has an excellent community, probably the best thing I noticed it had going for it in the short time I've played LOTRO.



Sorry for the long ass comment, just thought I'd give my .02 as a fellow blogger :)

Hudson said...

LOTRO always seems like the MMO that is screaming in WoW's shadow "HEY LOOK AT US WE ARE COOL TOO AND EASIER!"

Don't forget the crappy game client and the hitching.

Otherwise I think you nailed it. Some of the worst character animations and UI things ever. I won't totally hate on this game because I think it is better than Warhammer. Which isn't saying much

Openedge1 said...

Now that I have agreed on that, here's this:
Quests: LOTRO is all about quests. It's really no different than WoW in the quests department, and no one complains about them, so I don't see why LOTRO should be a target of complaint.


Mainly the issue is if you do NOT do quests, the XP is less than trivial to the point of being pointless, and as well, the quests are less than stellar...it is not doing them that is the issue, it is the quality of a lot of them. And the quality ones hit a dead end where you are forced to find a group or else. Not good quest design is all.

Character Models and Animation: Ok, I agree with you on this actually too. The game lacks any real STYLE to its art design. The character models and animation lack life.

Agree...bad visuals for characters, just overall ugly.

Crafting: It's crafting. Sounds to me like you just don't like in-depth crafting (neither do I). Having all the professions be reliant on the mats from another profession is like "MMO crafting 101" and should be expected in any game that has a deep crafting system. It's working as intended. I just choose to ignore it either way, I'm an adventurer/achiever type player.

Same...yet, if I want some good stuff, crafting is the only way to get it, and I do not mind crafting if it is fun...LOTRO was not is all.

Mob variety: Yep, same problems as the character models. Could use some actual style and art design.

Hmm, you do seem to agree with a lot...isn't that interesting?

Community: The community is fine. You should expect backlash if you go into official forums ANYWHERE and QQ till your eyes bleed. People will take it as trolling and probably troll you back. LOTRO has an excellent community, probably the best thing I noticed it had going for it in the short time I've played LOTRO.

I think the issue of constructive criticism is key..these players feel that the lore is top notch (when it actually detracts from the fun) and that nothing is wrong with the game, when there obviously is (note how many items you agreed with)
That is my problem with the Community..

But, hey thanks for stopping by...I am glad you posted your opinion, as we all like different games for different reasons.
Thanks

(PS: Hudson, yes, awful hitching...which still exists to this day since beta, but so many fanbois point out it is system related...it is not...it is just a crappy client is all.)

Ravious said...

We need this raw smack of reality. The blatant fan-boism over at KTR will not stand, man.

adingworld said...

I think there are a number of games that I would consider worse than LOTRO. However, I do agree on some of you points though.

For UI, character models and animations I pretty much agree.

Quests themselves are not worse than many other games. But I think there are a number of elements that contribute to make a number of them less exciting than in other games, including travel times, spawn rates, mob variation etc.

The same goes for crafting - resources nodes are infrequent and a lot of it is just grinding to get to a higher level, unless you happen to get some neat recipe.

Since I have played Runes of Magic recently in parallel with LOTRO there are a few comparisions there to be made.
For crafting it is quite similar in mechnics involved. But what makes it more ok in RoM I think is that resources nodes are _much_ more frequent. You can collect a decent amount of resources in a short amount of time, or you can just stop and collect some resource pretty much any time you like.
At least initially you can practice as many crafting and gathering skills as you like also.

Similar with quests - they are not better written in RoM in general, but more accessible and fast.

LOTRO has some excellent pieces in there (and no, I do not mean just the landscape), but cherry-picking is not possible, unfortunately.