WoWFail and LOTRO Trial…

Okay, not as a clever as Darkfail, but I wasn’t going for clever. I just noticed I haven’t logged in to play WoW since Saturday morning. Is that telling me something? I guess there just isn’t much more for me to achieve in that game that isn’t a shallow achievement (as much as doing something in a video game can be considered an achievement).

There is something to be said for taking a game and playing it at a leisurely pace.

There is probably something wrong with me because I did the unthinkable. I downloaded and tried out LOTRO last night. They have a 10 day free trial. I admit, I gave it the Eurogamer Review and only played for about 2.5 hours (please don’t check the server logs on me… I might not have gone the whole 2 hours).

I have to admit, there was a minimal amount of waiting for the game content to download. It gave me the basics, worked on the Tutorial in the background and then downloaded the whole game content (about 10gbs of it) over night.

I started it up, no crash (unlike DDO) and it noted my OS and card were DX10 capable and asked if I wanted to use it. I said, “sure,” then pressed the Yes button. Once it started up (in really low, non-fullscreen resolution) I was disappointed by what I saw in the character creation screen. Textures were bad, the models were okay, but the graphics weren’t what I was expecting for all the praise they were getting.

Yes, I know, it all comes back to having the minimal download… at least that’s what I’m hoping. In the graphics options I couldn’t really change anything – I could set it to Max, but the drop down would just flip to “Unavailable” which should mean I didn’t download the higher quality textures and what not. I’ll take a peek at it tonight at some point.

I created two characters; a Dwarf Champion (for me) and an Elf Hunter (because my son wanted a Hunter and thought the Elf looked cool).

I ended up playing the Elf Hunter for a bit. You seem to be handed the first few levels, which is fine I guess.

The UI was sort of simple yet ornate at the same time. There is just something about the way they do their UI that irks me. It’s unbalanced in its polish. You have this attempt at being intricate and detailed for the lower bars but then the tool tips and other dialogs that pop up look quite plain. I can remember that being the case with AC2, DDO and no LOTRO. It’s like they took the code and copy/pasted it in each of the game. There is something to be said about reusing code, but can they at least get some art assets to tweak it a little?

One other thing seemed a little off to me, the movement. It didn’t feel as smooth as in other games I played, but I’m wondering if that is due to the minimal graphic settings or something. If you’ve played Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and had ridden a mount, it almost felt that like to a lesser extent. Now that might have been my keyboard setup so I’ll have to take a look again.

Gameplay was about what you would expect for a MMO. I had three attacks to start; Quick Shot, Barbed Shot and some melee attack. Quick Shot seemed fast but if you used it after Barbed Shot, there was actually a casting bar to it? (I seem to remember a certain blogger ranting about casting times in WAR for things like throwing axes or knives – why is there a casting time for Quick Shot? :P)

I was happy to see the starting area was tailored towards being an Elf and not a central starting area like Turbine did in DDO. After working my way through it, I learned another ability, which I can’t remember the name of. It fired a bunch of shots in succession and did lots of damage (it also had a casting time, but that’s okay, because it’s not supposed to be “Quick Shot”). I did a few quests in the area and had to stop because my son was losing interest and wanted to go play Lego Indiana Jones.

It’s probably for the better, when I give it a look the next time, it should be in all its glory since the rest of the game downloaded over night.

I also did a quick search around this morning and noted Mass Effect for the PC was only 19.99$ on Steam. I think I’m going to have to buy that one finally and give it a go though maybe after fiddling with LOTRO for a bit.

NOTE: I started on Arkenstone or something like that… I believe Scott from Pumping Irony actually plays on that server but I could be wrong.


11 thoughts on “WoWFail and LOTRO Trial…

  1. Movement and combat to me in LoTRO just “didn’t feel right”. Kind of like in WAR. There was just a weird delay between pressing buttons and when they happened. I couldn’t ever put my finger on it, but I just didn’t like it.

    I didn’t play much longer than you, though.

  2. I am finally getting the hang of LOTRO at last. Combat is a lot slower but I think what Bits may have noticed is there is a certain lag in targeting time. I have noticed this as well. I get over it after a while but it is there. Fortunately combat is a slower pace in this game and mistakes are easier to recover from. I think there may be a delay in the updating of health bars.

  3. The perceived “delay” is due to the combat queue. My best analogy is that like D&D, I suspect LOTRO behaves on a brief “combat round” mechanic and also allows you to queue another action after the current one finishes. Most MMOs just give you the “Danger Will Robinson! Error! Does not compute!” crap and force you to stare at your hotbars until skills are refreshed, so it’s a tradeoff. Personally, I’ll take being able to queue things so I can watch the full screen instead of staring at cooldowns.

    Also, if you disable the option that starts autoattacking after skill use, that also improves response times since you’re avoiding the whole autoattack being part of the combat round thing.

    Oh and: *does a Fred Sanford “it’s the big one!” impression that Smaken said something positive about the game* :p Not only that, the phrase “it’s Turbine” does not exist in the article!

    Yes, I ranted about progress bars in WAR for stupid shit. I rant about them in LOTRO and every other MMO that gets overly retarded with progress bars for every damned thing. You’ll note, however, that I don’t play a hunter! 🙂

  4. Also, regarding the tooltips… DDO changed their tooltips at some point last year to have this fancy border garbage and, while it might look nice once it’s rendered, DAMN is it laggy! Just give me a box I can read plainly and quickly. But not some DDO (stuff like the patron UI box is downright FUGLY) or EVE style fuglybox.

  5. Yes, that could be part of it – I did notice you could queue abilities, sort of like in DAoC. There is a bit of delay between when the the keypress/animation start and when the effect happens. Seems to be tied more to a point in the animation.

    Speaking of animation, it seems a little rigid, at least for humans so far. My cloak moves nicely like cloth, but my guy runs a little stiff. Jumping? Meh, AoC was far worse hehe.

    Graphics now that it’s completely downloaded look decent. That reminded me to go in and adjust the advance settings because the game likely wouldn’t realize my card could handle tweaks upwards. Just about everything is maxed out now (including shadows). It looks decent (better than WAR) and performs well.

  6. The attack cycle for almost all skill-bar attacks is two seconds in LotRO.

    The ‘delay’ lets you queue up one additional attack at a time, no more. This allows you to click ahead of time rather than it being a twitchy game, and change your next command as needed. It usually is worth allowing an auto-attack to go off between normal attacks for max DPS.

    I dunno, I like it.

  7. Not necessarily. I have done most of what can be done in WoW aside from missing out on the old raids and some of the older instances. I still have fun with the PVP, but there is little else for me there at the moment.

  8. >> What have you been up to lately, Bits?

    Not much. Playing Empire: Total War at the moment. Not much else, game wise. LoTRO is also a possibility, as I’ve never played it much. I miss not playing a MMORPG.

  9. I am playing on the trial accout atm and the game seems fun to me. But I have one issue.. the combar sound seems very delayed and its abit laggy sometimes. It kinda spikes for no reason but I guess the spiking is ok. But the combat sound is really bugging me.

    And no, there is nothing wrong with my computer, it has little programs and the hardware is very good.

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