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.