Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lord of the Rings Online - And so it came to pass...

Well, my little verse on LOTRO was just posted over at Scaryboosters blog today...a little piece I like to call

"An LOTRO bedtime story…"

Basically since we had our major power outage this past weekend, I really did not get much time to play. But, I made every effort I could to log in on the first day of the free schedule that LOTRO offered, which started on the 17th of December.

And it was dismal. Thus, my little Christmas verse above.

I continue to try and find the love people have for this game, but I just do not grasp it. So many problems pop up (and not "bugs" per se, but concerns over how they decided to make the gameplay, visual quality, etc...), that for me, it is near impossible to even make it through the tutorial.

Is it the lore that people love? Because as an MMO, the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. As to that "lore", it is weak, thanks to a delivery system for quests being encapsulated within small boxes of teeny fonts.

Speaking of fonts, on a 1080p display, it truly is too small for the normal human eye to read comfortably. You had the capability to change the UI size, but all of the fonts stayed at their set small teeny size 8 levels.

Models have made no progress to be better, with molded faces, painted on outfits and strange rubbery movements (looked like playdoh constantly being stretched) causing me to have fits over how ugly I looked.

Speaking of movements, what is with the broken hip running that makes the characters look like small Mechs running around? Jumping looked silly and running animations were terrible. As well, combat animations were stiff and unbelievable.

All of this would have been fine if gameplay held up, but I really got tired of the quests almost immediately. A game really needs to grab you from the beginning and LOTRO just did not cut it. The tutorial was just oh so, and I felt compelled to log within the first ten minutes. Even the music started to lull me to sleep. The same bits of tinny lutes or horn sounds just was so blah.

I came in with an open mind this time, and played for hours...but, when those hours were spent trying to get a decent playable UI, framerate (one of the few things that DID improve some was performance...but, the popping textures issue still exists) and screen size...I lost all interest when I was told to kill some Midges, and after their deaths, I could not even see their bodies to loot them.

I just do not get it.

So, it is with stockings hung by the chimney with care, I tossed my box of LOTRO heartily into the fireplace with a flare...

I bid you, Goodnight, and good luck trying to pretend that this game is even worth the title of MMO.


Jayedub said...

You make some perfectly valid points and your poem was really well done. But, I like LOTRO so I will have to disagree that it's a MMO wannabe.

Openedge1 said...


Ok...hehe. I know not everyone agrees. Thus, why I am so confused.

It makes no sense as it does so much wrong and just half baked, that it truly disappoints. Especially for me ...a Tolkien fanatic, which most people who say they love the game cite as their reasons.

But, I also will not argue the fact you like it either...maybe question it when so many better games exist (including WoW which has so much more going for

Cheers and Merry Christmas

Jayedub said...

Believe me, I have my issues with LOTRO. But for me part of the draw is the setting, lore and history of the content, and I am not even a fan of the books. Out side of that there are times I wonder why I am still playing this game, but I do have fun at times.

Blue Kae said...

Sorry your re-trial didn't work out, although I'm not surprised at the results given your prior opinion of the models and animation (none of which has changed).

I did want to mention on the display issue, that I think it's a problem with screen size, not resolution. I'm playing on a 24" monitor at 1080p and the fonts are fine, but I can imagine that anything past 30" is difficult to read. I guess that's a function of the age of the game, and if 30+ every gets common enough hopefully Turbine will address it.

Jayedub said...

I do like that you can resize various aspects of your UI.

Openedge1 said...


Just, not the font, which renders that feature useless on larger displays.
I had to go to a 720P visual to read ANY font.
And we will not mention it is a bitmap, so any text in the resized UI is stretched and distorted

Truly sad.