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Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Fabricated on August 19, 2006, 04:49:30 PM
I'm a level 4 guardian now still poking around the n00b area.

Impressions:

-I'm hoping most of these art assets are still developing because some of this game can be outright hard to look at. Characters models look kinda like mush until you get close, the LOD isn't very good looking even with everything cranked. Also, the water effect is um...bad.

-The client however is stable and runs very well. I'm running at 1600x1050 with everything cranked and there isn't a framerate hitch to be seen.

-Combat works, but it's pretty boring.

-Holy shit man, those combat sounds are ANNOYING. HEARRGGH!! URRAARRGHGH!! URRRRAAAHHHH!! HEARRGGHH!!

-Sound cuts out every now and then for me in combat. I switched to using hardware audio though, and I'm running the craptastic on-board audio on my ASUS Mobo (AC'97 or whatever its latest version is).

-Wow, a proper LFG interface. I haven't used it yet but it's certainly better than WoW's provided it works like I think it does.

-I dig the music.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 19, 2006, 06:07:22 PM
I have pretty much the same sound issues as you, and the same hardware, I think.  This is not the computer I listen to music or anything on.   The character models are pretty dreadful.  It's like weeble hair.  I know they're not done with character creation, yet.  They just can't be. 


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Kenrick on August 19, 2006, 09:48:54 PM
-The client however is stable and runs very well. I'm running at 1600x1050 with everything cranked and there isn't a framerate hitch to be seen.

Praytell.. may I be so nosy as to ask what your system specs are?

Because personally, although my rig is 2+ years old, I thought this game would still perform relatively well on it.  I had yet to find a game that brings it to its knees... until this one.  Even when I lower the settings to 1024x768 and VERY LOW QUALITY, I still find that the framerate is borderline unacceptable.  And when the quality is set that low it's not much to look at, anyway.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Fabricated on August 19, 2006, 11:41:20 PM
-The client however is stable and runs very well. I'm running at 1600x1050 with everything cranked and there isn't a framerate hitch to be seen.

Praytell.. may I be so nosy as to ask what your system specs are?

Because personally, although my rig is 2+ years old, I thought this game would still perform relatively well on it.  I had yet to find a game that brings it to its knees... until this one.  Even when I lower the settings to 1024x768 and VERY LOW QUALITY, I still find that the framerate is borderline unacceptable.  And when the quality is set that low it's not much to look at, anyway.
Well, my rig is very new to be honest.

Athlon X2 4400+, 10%OC
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Mobo
1GB PC3200 DDR RAM
GeForce 7800GT, OC'd a bit.
2x SATA HDDs, 160GB and 200GB

That's all the important stuff anyway.

Also, in the n00b zone, are there actually bandit corpses to bury for that damn quest? I looked all over and there are none to be found, so I decided to go beat my head against the spider journal page thing. I can only find pages one and three.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Trippy on August 20, 2006, 12:04:50 AM
Also, in the n00b zone, are there actually bandit corpses to bury for that damn quest? I looked all over and there are none to be found, so I decided to go beat my head against the spider journal page thing. I can only find pages one and three.
Go to Blackwold's Roost -- the ruins now taken over by bears.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Llava on August 20, 2006, 12:16:56 AM
Likes:

The titles.  It's similar to badges in CoH, but requires less farming and offers better names and even bonuses.

Champion skills.  Much more interesting than Burglar.  How come a Champion starts with 3 attacks right off the bat, and the Burglar just starts with Backstab and Stealth?  Kinda boring, eh?  That veered off into something I didn't like.

Some of the quests are nice.  I like the berry picking ones, for some reason.  I shouldn't, but I do.

I like having four quests displayed on my screen, and it's done in a way that doesn't clutter the screen.  Handy.

The Black Rider.  Hell yeah, let me play one of those!  I don't care if there are only 9, it can just be me and 8 other f13 people.

Dislikes:

Wolf and spider whacking is boring.  I think there's an anti-wolf-and-spider Illuminati running the show for all fantasy MMGs.  And boars, too.  Let me smack around Blackwold spies more, that's a threat.  Wolf cubs are not a threat.

Combat is slow and boring.  Especially for Burglars.  I don't know about classes who aren't Burglars or Champions, though.

It's not as big an issue here as it is in CoH, but the misses are irritating me.  Should I expect roughly the same accuracy rate throughout the game or does it get better?  If it does get better, do we really need it to be lower for the newbie levels?

Armor skins, at least at low levels, are ugly and look silly.  Too reminiscent of Neverwinter Nights.

Suggestions:

Give Burglars some other attack power to start.

Speed up combat, please.

Let me decide which four quests are displayed on my screen.  That part of the UI is useful, but seems a bit buggy.  Like if I have 7 quests, and one's on my screen, and I complete it and clear it, I now only have 3 quests displayed on my screen even though I have 3 more quests that could be displayed.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Trippy on August 20, 2006, 12:24:58 AM
Let me decide which four quests are displayed on my screen.
You can on the Quests screen.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Fabricated on August 20, 2006, 12:30:50 AM
Oh yeah, I got high enough level to notice the titles and rewards for exploration, killing, etc. That's a really cool touch IMO.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Llava on August 20, 2006, 01:18:56 AM
Let me decide which four quests are displayed on my screen.
You can on the Quests screen.


Okay, well, I didn't notice it, so make that button big and put flashing lights around it.

Or make a Tip for it.


Title: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Righ on August 20, 2006, 01:23:29 AM
Let me decide which four quests are displayed on my screen.  That part of the UI is useful, but seems a bit buggy.  Like if I have 7 quests, and one's on my screen, and I complete it and clear it, I now only have 3 quests displayed on my screen even though I have 3 more quests that could be displayed.

Let me decide not to decide, or something. In other words, when I complete a quest and "open a space" in the quest tracker, put the first incomplete quest not currently on the tracker in there. Give me a tick-box on quests marked "don't add to tracker" that prevents quests from being automatically added.

I also got the whole champion > burglar thing from A2. My limited A3 play suggests that at low levels minstrel > champion though. In fact, imba.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on August 20, 2006, 12:02:44 PM
Agreed about the quest display. Also agree about the titles- very nice touch. Either I am just paying more attention (was testing software all week at work), or I am running into a lot more bugs this time around. I have filed 5 or 6 already, compared to 0 in A2. This is actually a good thing, since now I feel like I am contributing SOMETHING  :-D


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Lt.Dan on August 20, 2006, 05:54:43 PM
Guardian's level 10 ability Overpower is second skill in a parry chain.  However, you get the first skill in the chain, Retaliation, at level 12.  I'm sure this has been noted a bazillion times.

Can't train traits until level 11.  Would be nice to know this as part of the first pop-up about traits in Archet. I spent 15 mins running around looking for the frikkin' Bard.

Echo comments about combat being uninspired.  Guardian is button-mashing, Loremaster combat is queuing a single offensive spell on its timer.  Maybe it gets more interesting in groups.

I like that quest directions aren't spoon fed to me as a player.  Sure it's frustrating at times but I'd much rather have that (or have to ask in /ooc <shudder>) than just be running from A to B to collect a mobile bags of experience.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: JoeTF on August 20, 2006, 06:51:14 PM
First imperssion - can we scale that UI on default pretty, pretty, please? At LCD resolution those skill icons are smaller than small:(


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on August 21, 2006, 11:50:04 AM
I like the addition of the Lore book (or whatever it is called), as well as the ability to choose various titles to 'wear'.

Placeholder art in my inventory is driving me nuts, but I know that will change.

I can't see my cloak, even though it is equipped. I earned that cloak, dammit!  :-D

As in A2. Loot is very boring.

As in A2- level-based equipment is the devil. Who really cares if people twink? If we are FORCED to use level-based equipment, please please please please give it different names (I saw a bit more of this in A3, but still not enough variety).

Let me dye my armor/clothes.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Rasix on August 21, 2006, 12:31:20 PM

As in A2- level-based equipment is the devil. Who really cares if people twink? If we are FORCED to use level-based equipment, please please please please give it different names (I saw a bit more of this in A3, but still not enough variety).


They'd have to introduce some other cockblock to wearing what you want to wear.  I've got so much cash on my character now at 15 that I could equip myself fully in mid 20s gear.  That would make the game quite a bit easier than it is right now for item centric classes, and right now.. it's pretty damn easy. Difficulty does at least ramp up some as you get higher up.  At least I have to work to kill 3 even con spawns at the same time.  Some screwups/stuns/bad misses and I'm toast.

Twinking will be easy as hell for new characters as you can buy yourself a new set of gear every handful of levels.  You're just not going to see the EQ style twinking with newbs running around in a fungal tunic with 80K plat worth of weapons.

Of course, this is all dependent on their stance being anti-twinking.  There's pros and cons to each side of it and each side goes at each other with the ferocity of a PC v. console debate.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 21, 2006, 04:42:30 PM
Anyone know if you can seperate the chat boxes.  I NEED to have a seperate combat box or I'll kill myself with a pointy stick.  I swear I've asked this before but maybe I asked in-game and not here.  I'm sleepy.  I hope I make it to the do tonight. (http://smiley.onegreatguy.net/yawn.gif)


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Rasix on August 21, 2006, 04:44:21 PM
I'll make an attempt at doing that tonight.

I think I did it in alpha 2 by just making a separate chat box and filtering everything out but the combat messages.. seemed to work.  Until I logged out and it forgot my setup.  :-(


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on August 22, 2006, 11:30:28 AM
Just wanted to make another quick note- I really like the sound effects for the most part (probably because I haven't played a melee character yet!). The atmospheric sounds are good, and the individual mob sounds (especially the bears) are outstanding.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Rasix on August 22, 2006, 11:32:56 AM
When you make a melee character, make a dwarf.  Their battle shouts are hilarious.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: sam, an eggplant on August 24, 2006, 05:05:47 PM
Hilarious but very LOUD. I have a dwarf guardian who is appropriately overpowered.

Graphics do hitch on my machine, an a64 2500Mhz with 1GB RAM and an AGP 6800GT at 1600x1200. Due to a bug in the client I can't play at any other resolutions fullscreen, I posted about it on the beta forums.

So far the game is... well, it's really alpha. Character animations are horrible, combat is slow and boring (but I'm playing melee with my first character), many quests are grindy kill X mobsish, the worldbuilding is gorgeous and nicely detailed, and the flavor stuff is great. This title needs a ton of polish, but, well, it's alpha so thats the general idea.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Righ on August 24, 2006, 05:27:24 PM
Wow, welcome back, aubergine stranger.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Bunk on August 24, 2006, 05:57:47 PM
I will add to the request for UI scaling. I love the fact that it will play at my 1680 x 1050 native resolution, but I hate having to lean forward and squint to read everything.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Lt.Dan on August 24, 2006, 06:15:48 PM
Hilarious but very LOUD. I have a dwarf guardian who is appropriately overpowered.

Until you buy a heavy shield: they're bugged so you can't block. :(


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Rasix on August 24, 2006, 06:27:20 PM
Hilarious but very LOUD. I have a dwarf guardian who is appropriately overpowered.

Until you buy a heavy shield: they're bugged so you can't block. :(

I broke 2 regular shields completing the Chapter 11 instance last night.  I was reduced to equipping a heavy shield just for the AR boost. 

More on this later.  I feel the need to write something up on the storyline quests/guardian class.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: sam, an eggplant on August 24, 2006, 07:01:18 PM
Thanks. I've been lurking off and on but mostly posting elsewhere.

Back on topic, there's nothing better than a class with the best defense and the best offense all rolled into one. I feel like a necromancer pre-kunark. Although I hear minstrels are pretty ridiculous too, I associate minstrels with bards, and as we all know bards are gay.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Trippy on August 24, 2006, 07:44:24 PM
Hilarious but very LOUD. I have a dwarf guardian who is appropriately overpowered.
What is your character's name?


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: sam, an eggplant on August 24, 2006, 07:47:53 PM
It's "Sartaq"... I just logged off (trying for that $200) so I'm pretty sure.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on August 25, 2006, 10:26:49 AM
Switched from Loremaster (played to 11 in 3-4 days) to Champion (non-mangina version). Difference is night and day! The champion is actually FUN to play. The Loremaster class has a lot of problems, not the least of which is that the only way to do any decent damage is with a DOT that must be actively cast. That means that all the other neat powers in your skillbar? Not getting used. I also died a good 25 times with the Loremaster; with the champion, I have died MAYBE 5 times. I was also able level the champ from 1-12 in 1 6-7 hour play session.

And yes, the battle shouts are amusing  :-D


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 25, 2006, 10:58:41 AM
I didn't like Loremaster either.  It really does feel a bit incomplete or something.   Guardian and Champion are more fun, I agree.  I'll try Minstrel next, I think.  Actually, I find several of my skills not usable.  Sometimes I know it's because of the weapon or whatever I'm using... other times, I'm just clueless.  My Guardian is using a two-handed weapon right now, but I can use "shield bash."  (I think that's the one)  However, I can't use any other shieldy skill.  I'm not sure if it's ok to use "shield bash" because I'm using my weapon as a shield or if it's buggy.  If the first is true, then I should think I'd be able to use all my shieldy skills in the same way.

I keep meaning to search their forums to see if anyone has discussed this.  I'll remember today!


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: sam, an eggplant on August 25, 2006, 11:07:01 AM
Shield blow isn't a reactionary but the shield swipe followed by bash chain is, chaining off a block. You're crazy if you don't use a shield as a guardian, that chain is like 80% of my dps. Later on I think the parry chains become more offensive, with block moving to defense, stuns, and heals.

guardian skill list (http://beta.lotro.com/showthread.php?t=1214)


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 25, 2006, 11:16:58 AM
I intend to use a shield but found some purple two handed weapons and haven't found any very good one handed weapons.  I have a shield in my inventory waiting for when I get something nice.  Thanks for the info, btw.  You're a star.  (and it's nice to see you, again!)


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on August 25, 2006, 11:44:42 AM
I got my first purple item last night...very exciting. Also found a couple of yellow items. Did the loot tables get beefed up for the stress test? I wasn't getting ANYTHING with my Loremaster (or Loremistress, actually).


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 25, 2006, 01:12:42 PM
I seem to only get purple stuff from human mobs, like the Brigands.  I'm pretty sure almost all of my purple stuff, maybe 6 - 8 items, came from their headquarters, most about a week ago.  Maybe one or two from some orcs or goblins. 


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on August 25, 2006, 01:14:28 PM
I can't wait to fight an orc. I am getting close to the right level...just a few more quests. I will have to go slake my bloodlust on the dainty goblins first.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 25, 2006, 01:17:38 PM
Good thing you switched from Loremaster, then.  You'd never be able to kill an orc.  You would just flail at it's great orc chest with your dainty loremaster fists.  That just makes them hard.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: OcellotJenkins on August 25, 2006, 01:21:28 PM
I hoping to get some good play time in this Sunday.  People have been visiting from out of town so I've only been able to spend about an hour on my Minstrel so far.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Yoru on August 27, 2006, 05:42:52 PM
Took a minstrel to 9. The marshes east of Bree are way too dark/brown/muddy at night. I got tired of whacking insects and pups at that point and decided I'd go walk to Mordor.

Pity that the only gate exit to the east of Eriador is closed. I did manage to not die to all the purple stuff though. Then I got called into work and hence I'm posting this here.  :oops:

Next step, trying to find a way to bust through the southern border and see what's out that-a-way.

Also my minstrel wears fishnets? Wtf?


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Lt.Dan on August 27, 2006, 06:02:41 PM
There's only a few zones in the game at the moment.  I did the big walkabout through the hobbit lands (all exits blocked - you can even jump from the roof over the zone wall).  South Farthing zone is locked too - you can talk to one NPC but can't cross the boundary.

I was trying to catch up on my epic prologue quest last night, but when I talked to the next NPC in the Inn in Combe my client corrupted.  Sadly, the patcher isn't smart enough to figure out which file is borked.  I'll probably wait for next patch/alpha to reinstall; the gameplay is pretty non-compelling at the moment.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Rasix on August 28, 2006, 05:32:49 PM
Guardian

One of my favorite MMO melee classes in recent memory.  I thought I would not like the reactive nature of the class (I don't like waiting for buttons to ungrey), but in practice it works out quite well.  At lvl 21, there are options depending on whether I block or parry an attack. 

(I don't remember the skill names off hand. Some might not be the actual name of the skill. )
Guardians blocks:

Heal: 221 morale instant heal, very helpful for tanking multiple spawns.
Shield Swipe: A double attack that does decent damage.  Wish this one was a front facing PBAoE. 
Bash (after swipe): A stun + aggro increaser.  The animation for this one takes too long. Helpful for fighting a single enemy.

Guardian Parries:

Retaliation: a decent damage attack.  Seems faster than the default attack.
After retaliation:
Knockdown: a good damage knockdown attack.  Seems to kind of work.  Knockdown seems very similar to a stun.  Animation is a bit slow on this one too.
AE: a decent damage 360 degree PBAoE.
DoT: I don't know why I'd use this one.  Seems pretty damn weak.

Currently attacks after retaliation aren't just one and done after a retaliation.  This is unlike block and I've been told it's a bug.  Right now after a retaliation you can get off 3 AoEs if you're using a fast weapon. This makes parry a very good chain to use if fighting multiple monsters.

Now, what makes this interesting is that you have stances in which you can be +15% to block or +15% to parry.  Blocking is great for tanking as the heal can become invaluable to avoid overstressing your minstrel and stunning a mob can help a lot. Blocking is also good for taking down a single tougher target.  You can also switch to blocking if you feel like a fight is going a bit awry and you need to heal some damage. 

Parry, partially due to the bug is great for multiple enemies.  Guardians already have an AoE, but it's on a rather long timer.  AoEs also help to keep the attention of what you're fighting on you, since I don't think there's an AoE taunt yet in game (at least not at my level).  Healing can generate a decent chunk of aggro and minstrels go down pretty fast if they have a lot of stuff beating on them.  I'm not sure how knockdown is different than stun and it doesn't seem to work very often.  Of course, parry is your only option if you're using a 2-handed weapon. 

Now, for using a 1-hander/shield v. a 2-hander.. there's just no comparison right now.  Without a 2-hander you lose the only in combat heal a guardian can have.  You lose a the anytime shield attack which does good damage.  You lose an entire layer of defense.  You lose a reliable stun attack.  And really, due to the fact that weapon attacks are not instant and only add +damage and not a percentage, it doesn't appear that you gain any damage output even with the higher DPS.  I'm sure some mathematical analysis could prove me wrong, but I didn't see a big jump in DPS (enemies seemed to die in a similar amount of time) over the traditional sword/board.  In addition, 2-handers are just soooo slow right now.  It's really boring using one and reminds me of WoW paladin combat. 

On the subject of armor.. it does get better looking around lvl 19/20.  But.. it's really glossy.  You look like a shiny tin can.  It's an improvement over the "wtf-is-this-looks-horrible" medium armor and introductory heavy armor.  But damn, there's just too much gloss on it; you just shine like justice. It makes you look a lot less tough/rugged and a lot more like some sort of stunted power ranger.

Well, there's my feedback on the Guardian. It's a class than fills the tanking need in your standard Diku very well while also being able to dish out some damage.  The best aspect of the class is it's ability to adjust to situations on the fly through stances and reactionary chains.  There are some improvements that could be made, but it's one of the more complete class I've tried in this alpha.  I'd like to see more in the way of ranged and multi-target taunts and some more readily accessible crowd control.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: sam, an eggplant on August 29, 2006, 05:39:27 PM
So alpha 3 is over in 2 days. Is anyone still actively testing? The experience is just too unfinished for me to feel any attachment to my character. I don't have that urge to login and play, and it isn't because my characters will be wiped in 2 days, it's because the gameplay isn't particularly engaging. I just did a quest in hobbitland to get a hermit farmer and widow farmer together, and it was cute, and turbine really "got" the feel of the shire, so the atmosphere is there, but I wasn't engaged by the actual tasks the NPCs asked me to do. And lets not even discuss the other quests, the "kill 10 diseased boars" garbage, the rampant killstealing and spawncamping (in frickin alpha!), etc. Anyway, looking forward to beta in a couple of weeks. Hopefully they cram a lot more story quests in. The prologue and razing of archet instanced quests were excellent, we need more of those cinematic storyline quests and less grinding on mobs. LOTRO is all about unexpressed potential right now. But hey, still alpha right?

Seems like turbine is trying to compete with blizzard by walking in their footsteps, obviously that won't work.. We need real innovation. And yeah, DDO was innovative in its own way and failed (in the US at least, I hear it's doing fantastic in China) but that doesn't mean that copying everquest, whoops, I mean WoW will succeed without blizzard's backers, resources, and fanbase. It won't. Turbine is a MMO veteran if there ever was one, they have experience in house from AC, UO, EQ, SWG, every MMO out there really. I hope they know that.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on August 29, 2006, 06:00:10 PM
I haven't played anything in days.  There's something wrong with my sound and, although I keep music off or very low, I don't like totall silence.  Righ is out of town so I'll probably wait until he's back to kick the shit out of my computer.  (I don't know why, but I have very little patience with anything electronic)  Maybe tomorrow.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Yoru on August 29, 2006, 06:01:12 PM
I basically agree. The reason I'm so un-compelled has nothing to do with the writing; there's some fine quests that I've run. But for every interesting one about the lands and the people, there's ten that say 'omg we're under siege! go kill 6 lesser bags of experience!'. And the combat, and I'm loathe to say this since I can't offer a suggestion on how to improve it, is boring. Very very boring.

(Let it be noted that straight up Dikumud/hotkey combat, in any game, ranks as boring in my book. I don't care if I'm swinging a sword or shooting a gun or twiddling my magical big toe.)

I tried a little leatherwork crafting and it's also very uninspired, at the very core of it. Collect 2 light hides to make 1 boiled light leather. Make 2 boiled light leathers to make 1 leather strap. Make 2 boiled light leathers to make 1 leather wad (or something). Combine 2 straps and a wad to make any of these really pitiful pieces of armor that you'll outgrow in an hour. I saw ore nodes while running around, looking like little standing stones poking out of the ground, in true WoW fashion.

The world is breathtakingly pretty; so much so that my favorite part of the alpha has been walking around looking at different locations, as well as the challenge of not getting pasted by mobs 20 levels above me while doing so. I regret not being able to scale Weathertop without getting the shit kicked out of me. It's not quite at the level of Beautiful-World as Oblivion, but it's certainly one of the nicer MMO worlds out there.

And yet the characters and gear and mobs aren't that nice. The dwarves look okay, the hobbits are okay, but the humans and elves are ridiculous (and almost identical, physically). Big floppy clown feet, lanky limbs and ugly faces. Looking at the movies, people's stuff looks interesting, if not fantabulous. We have to pick an origin when we create a character - why doesn't that region's logo show up on my shield or cloak? I'd love to have a big black cloak with the silver tree of Gondor on it, or a forest-green kite shield with a Rohirrim horse insignia prancing across it. It would set me apart from that dude over there who picked Dunland, at least.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Fabricated on September 01, 2006, 03:35:02 PM
My problem is that there really isn't anything in this game that's distinctive. It doesn't really feel like LoTR. It's Generic Fantasy Online the INSTANT I step out of the initial instance with the black rider.

I push buttons, my mushy looking human guy hits stuff and yells. If I block or parry, I have the option of hitting other buttons. I do this until <foozle> dies, I loot it, repeat. The quests and plot stopped being interesting after the first handful of prologue quests, which is bad. Blizzard's awful mish-mash of constantly retconned lore lifted from every source in existence (including LoTR funny enough), with injections of irreverent/internet humor/culture references, managed to keep me reading the quest texts and watching the NPC scripts.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Rasix on September 01, 2006, 04:06:25 PM
Did you make it all of the way through the epic quest?  It had some low points, but there were a few good instances as well as chapter 11 being particularly neat/challenging.

I thought it was particularly cool/LOTR-y and was quite disappointed when there was none left.  I lost interest in playing when I was done.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Llava on September 02, 2006, 06:58:58 PM
Agree with Fabricated.  I feel like it's the Lord of the Rings in the intro instance.  Then I get teleported to generic fantasy land full of wolf cubs and young boars to whack.  I wonder how the movies would've done if the first one was just about Frodo and Sam leveling up on bear cubs.

Call me crazy, but an opening to the game that would be more fun to me and more relevant to the lore would involve starting in a relatively peaceful area and making the journey to one that's not.  Most of the experience gained would be in the journey itself.

But this would, essentially, have to be a completely different game than what's been designed so far.  I'm really not sure what to suggest to make the game stand out, really, since it feels like these games are just coming from pre-existing templates at this point.  The best I can do is help you make the best cookie-cutter game possible, and I think that starts with shaping up the combat to be faster and more involving.  Champion was okay, but slow.  Burglar was, to me, unplayably boring.

I am hard pressed to think of differences between this game and Dark Age of Camelot, except that Dark Age of Camelot offers RvR.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Righ on September 03, 2006, 03:44:45 AM
Comparisons to WoW are misleading, this game looks and feels more like EQ2. Graphically, it has high detail, rich textures and complex lighting, but weak animations and awkward models. WoW is almost diametrically opposed in graphic design. Like EQ2, LotRO simply awards skills with appropriate level gains, whereas WoW at least pays lip service to skill diversity by using talent trees.

It's this latter point that has a significant part to play in how compelling the leveling treadmill is. In a number of other (MMO)RPGs, one of the driving forces keeping me playing has been finding out how particular choices I make will affect the way a character plays. Yes, I'm a bit of a spreadsheet bore, or 'explorer' archetype in that regard. However, its' not uncommon in the RPG world as a motivator. I reckon if you don't want to cater to the sandbox mentality, you may as well do away with levels altogether.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on September 06, 2006, 03:32:54 PM
It's turned on again.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on September 06, 2006, 03:34:55 PM
Is there a patch, or is it just A3 still? I bet I could look in the official beta forums to find out, but Signe is much nicer and more convenient.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on September 06, 2006, 03:46:14 PM
There is a new build, yes. 

Are you insinuating that I'm easy??

(no wipe)

Oh, and only Alpha 2's are invited back.  The group who came after us weren't cute enough.  They have until the 12th to clean up their act and acquire some class.  I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't wiped before allowed back in.  Ugly bastards.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on September 06, 2006, 06:25:55 PM
Easy girls are the most popular!  :-D

Glad there was no wipe. I might have had to find a way to hang myself from an Ent's branches if I had to go through Archet again. Not that it isn't a decent opening, but been there, done that...

I will try to remember to at least patch up tonight when I get home.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Trippy on September 06, 2006, 08:14:14 PM
It's turned on again.
Thanks Signe!


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on September 07, 2006, 11:54:10 AM
Got patched up last night. Logged in, saw that only Signe had logged in during the past week, and decided to wait for reiforcements =) I will probably play some this week.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Murgos on September 07, 2006, 12:37:13 PM
I've been completely uninspired to play.  It's just not fun for me to kill 6x and 7y and then run back to town and repeat.

I'll give it another go this weekend - I think I'll ignore the quests and see how it plays just wandering around.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Signe on September 07, 2006, 02:23:49 PM
I logged in and got a level and a half.  Fiddled around with Trippy doing one of his old quests.  I mostly wandered around places I've not been to and did bits of quests as the occassions would arise.  It was somewhat enjoyable.   :-)


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: WayAbvPar on September 07, 2006, 03:00:26 PM
The ability to share quests makes the concept of grouping 10000x more palatable. I may even be able to stomach a PUG or two.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Numtini on September 08, 2006, 08:22:46 AM
I've been completely uninspired to play.  It's just not fun for me to kill 6x and 7y and then run back to town and repeat.

I'll give it another go this weekend - I think I'll ignore the quests and see how it plays just wandering around.

Since nobody has seen me, I should say that it's pretty much the same thing. I feel a certain responsibility to try to test, but when I've been logged in, mostly I spent the time thinking about some other game that I was going to get to play after I finished the quest or put in 15 minutes or whatever goal I set in testing.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Llava on September 09, 2006, 12:28:37 AM
So apparently feedback for this game has been great.

I don't know.  I'm not feeling it.  But then, WoW wasn't really For Me.  Maybe this isn't either.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Calandryll on September 09, 2006, 09:30:16 AM
I think that's an important distinction. LOTRO doesn't appeal to everyone. We're getting feedback from people who want the game to be more like a "sandbox", others want more "realisim", and others were hoping for a different feel to the game. Most of the feedback we're getting is pretty good though. Way more positive than most Alphas I've worked on in the past. That doesn't mean the game is perfect of course. There are still bugs that need to be addressed, lots of balancing and tweaking, and lots of polish. But most of the Beta players seem to like the core game - the feedback, login numbers, and overall stability have been very encouraging.


Title: Re: Alpha 3 Impressions
Post by: Llava on September 10, 2006, 02:17:58 AM
Another way to say it is that the game does what it does pretty well.  I'm just not terribly interested in what it does.

But I guess it's really no big surprise that most people out there waiting for a Lord of the Rings MMO really just wanted WoW in Middle-Earth.  <shrug>  Most people like WoW, but this one lets them fight Black Riders.