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Author Topic: Alpha 2 First Impressions  (Read 10751 times)
WayAbvPar
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on: August 10, 2006, 11:09:28 AM

So, I finally had the time to play a bit last night. Started with Liryk, a Human Minstrel and got nearly to level 5 (still in the n00b area).

Liked-
The opening sequence- a fun, fast paced, interesting encounter with the jailbreak/Black Rider etc.

The colors- everything ISN'T a shade of brown.

Combat music and animations.

Pop up hints (especially since the 'do not show this hint again' box is pre-checked- very good idea.

Overall graphics (ground cover could use a bit of help, but the characters and buildings and whatnot look pretty good).

Disliked-
Character generation/advancement- I don't feel like my character is ANY different than every other character of his class. Some more customization/choices early on would be really nice. For advancement, would like to see some sort of skill tree or something to differentiate playstyles within a single class.

Performance- stutters and stops and the like. Not a big deal, since this is obviously non-optimized code.

Combat- There is very little for a player to actively do once combat is initiated other than wait for the special attacks to regenerate. Feels very stagnant.

"Explorability" (put THAT in the spell checker! heh)- Even as a n00b, I want the ability to go ANYWHERE to see what is out there. I fully expect to be killed while this occurs, but that is part of the fun- seeing just how dangerous the world is. That is one thing I really didn't like about WoW- all the zones felt like they had 'Must be THIS tall to enter' signs on them.  I want a mix of low, medium, and even the occasional high (like the roving griffin in WC or the Sand Giant/banshees in Oasis- both from EQ1). It is cool to see high level characters doing their thing near the n00bs, and it is cool as a high level character to be able to go in and help out the n00bs when something shows up that they can't handle.


All in all, I find myself interested enough to see what else is out there in the game. So far, so good.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2006, 07:18:21 AM by Trippy »

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Calandryll
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Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 11:23:37 AM

A quick question. Did you get out of the newbie area? The low level area of Archet is an instance, but once you complete the final quest you are in an open world. You can very much go exploring and get yourself killed by higher level creatures. ;)
WayAbvPar
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Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 11:32:24 AM

Quote
(still in the n00b area).

 :-D

I was just peeved that I walked to the gate to Bree or whereever and they wouldn't let me out. I prefer to have the right to go out into the real world completely unprepared if I see fit. It reminds me of Shadowbane a bit- being stuck on n00b island until I am ready for the real world. I would vastly prefer to have the real world be attached to the n00b area directly, so I can wander out, get pounded into a small red smear, and then realize that I am not quite ready yet =)

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Libertarians make fun of everyone because they can't see beyond the event horizons of their own assholes Surlyboi
Rasix
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Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 11:43:09 AM

A quick question. Did you get out of the newbie area? The low level area of Archet is an instance, but once you complete the final quest you are in an open world. You can very much go exploring and get yourself killed by higher level creatures. ;)

Just one observation based on this (on finding stuff that can kick your ass): it's a little hard to run away from stuff that's pounding on you.  I had umm.. over-estimated my abililties and attempted to take on an almost equal level elite mob.  After realizing I was going to get droppped, I tried to run, but I didn't manage to escape as the mob was pretty much superglued to my ass. 

Mobs seem to pursue from overly long distances and you're not faster than any of them. This may be by design, but it's not one that I particularly care for. 

-Rasix
Signe
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Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 12:17:31 PM

Yes, spiders are bad.  They can immobilise you for ages.  Also, is it made so that once the world changes (which I did by accident), there are quests you can never do again?  If so, are they defunct according to level or some other criteria?  There are some stuff that I completed after and others that I couldn't because the area or mob I needed either poofed! or changed.  It's kind of hard to figure out.  Maybe it would be good if quests you can never do again were marked so you know to zap them... or perhaps they should just be auto-zapped?

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Yegolev
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Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 12:31:22 PM

Are you talking about the ones that say "must be completed before Introduction"?  So they stay in your quest tree even after you leave Pre-Searing Middle Earth?

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Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 01:31:04 PM

I 'accidentally' entered the Sear It All instance before turning a whole bunch of those in. It locked off those 'must be completed before Introduction' quests and they disappeared from my journal.

Then a while later, while exiting a cave dungeon, they all came back, although there was nowhere for me to turn them in, so I just cancelled them and threw out the stacks of quest stuff.
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Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 01:46:51 PM

Are you talking about the ones that say "must be completed before Introduction"?  So they stay in your quest tree even after you leave Pre-Searing Middle Earth?

I don't know.

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Righ
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Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 03:04:17 PM

Just one observation based on this (on finding stuff that can kick your ass): it's a little hard to run away from stuff that's pounding on you.

Run into somebody else. The agro code is grieftastic.

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Numtini
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Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 07:41:39 AM

On the can't go through the gate, I agree it bothered me on some emotional level. I don't mind the fact that the instance is the instance and limited in size. It's the idea that the gate is open but i bump against it. I think that could be ameliorated if you added some storyline. Make it a gate and have the guard tell you that you need a pass.

(That's assuming it's this way by design and I need to finish a quest, not just because there's nothing on the other side yet.)

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
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Reply #10 on: August 12, 2006, 03:40:42 PM

I have to wonder why they made the model who shows you damage look like Darth Vader. 

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Righ
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Reply #11 on: August 12, 2006, 06:08:13 PM

I understand that this is alpha and everything is subject to change, but I thought I'd share my "gut feeling".

I'm not finding the RPG aspect of the game particularly compelling. I'd liken it to EQ2, which i"ve tried to get into four times, but failed to. Every level I'm unlocking some sort of combat attack or similar, but I'm no different from any other "same class at this level" character, and I have no feeling that I'm progressing or defining my character, so I have no carrot to spur me on.

While far from perfect games by any standards, UO, WoW, Shadowbane and pre-NGE SW:G all gave me something (however infuriatingly minor) every "level" to help define my character by my choices. I looked forward to the point to allocate, and felt compelled to make progress in the game to find out how things turned out. In games like EQ, EQ2, post-NGE SW:G and LotRO Alpha I feel like I'm just another level XX class YY cog. I have no great desire to get XX+1.


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Numtini
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Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 06:30:30 PM

I have to admit, I can't come up with anything bad about the game. In fact, if AC2 had played like this I'd be a devoted fan. But there's nothing particularly compelling about it. A few days before I got my alpha invite I restarted DAOC and well, I have things to do there. Things that I feel like I want to do. And LOTRO isn't giving me that feeling. It feels very sterile in some way.

What's worse is that so far in LOTRO everything i've seen I like. It's stable and it's beautiful. But it's just not grabbing me.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
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Reply #13 on: August 12, 2006, 08:07:25 PM

I very much like the look and stability, too.  I'm a questy sort so the fact that there are so many, even in alpha, pleases me... some of them are clever, even.  I'm putting the fact that it's not very compelling down to it being in early stages and hoping that as it grows, so will my level of interest in it.  I'm motivated to play, even for longer stretches than usual.  With luck, the bits that annoy me, such as the inadequate mapping system, crappy chat system, and really overall lack of general information will diminish with each phase.  I THINK I could like this game a lot if that happens.  In any case, I'll stick with it because I'm ever hopeful (REALLY!  Shuddup!) and I'm not subbed to anything at the moment.  I have a couple of closed Korean betas but they make my head hurt after an hour and that Heavy Grouping Beta That Must Not Be Named, which I just got an invite to and am in the process of downloading, but I'm sure I'll hate it.   smiley

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Big Gulp
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Reply #14 on: August 13, 2006, 06:21:45 PM

I very much like the look and stability, too.  I'm a questy sort so the fact that there are so many, even in alpha, pleases me... some of them are clever, even. 

Agreed.  This is the first game from Turbine since AC that didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out.  Graphics were pretty good, controls felt right, quests are in.  I couldn't help but notice that it's got a distinctly WOW feel, but in this day and age I can't exactly blame them for that.  Of course I haven't done tradeskills yet, or PVP.  However, I do wonder why you guys are focusing on just the light races in this game.  You're already going to be compared to WOW, so you might as well toss in the orcs.
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Reply #15 on: August 13, 2006, 07:06:37 PM

Combat is a bit too slow (ok, a lot too slow) and a lot too boring.

Game sure is pretty looking. And stable.

Wish there was voice acting.

Two out of four ain't too bad I suppose.

(All of these are subject to change of course). We'll see how things shape up.
Numtini
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Reply #16 on: August 13, 2006, 07:37:36 PM

I find the controls squishy. Maybe it's my system or net lag or something.

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Llava
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Reply #17 on: August 13, 2006, 08:02:55 PM

Combat does seem to need some help.

It's boring, to put it plainly.  At higher levels it might be better.  I don't know.  I don't care enough to shell out money to see if it does.  Some more skills at low levels to play with would help, but I really do feel that the system itself needs some sprucing.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Signe
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Reply #18 on: August 13, 2006, 09:27:01 PM

Well, there is, at least, one more stage of alpha so I'm hopeful.  I find the controls a bit slow to repsond, too, but maybe next phase will resolve that.  I seem to zip along at a good rate just running around, with only a bit of stagger in towns.  Controls, however, seem to take their time executing no matter where I am and they seem imprecise. 

Oh and yeah... I want an orc character, too! 

And better dancing to appease my happy feet.

And free stuff.

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Kenrick
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Reply #19 on: August 13, 2006, 09:54:35 PM

Oh and yeah... I want an orc character, too! 

*cough*expansion*cough*
Llava
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Reply #20 on: August 13, 2006, 11:38:36 PM

Oh and yeah... I want an orc character, too! 

*cough*expansion*cough*

I dunno.  Was City of Villains such a huge success that people want to start copying the "PvE only at release, then we release an expansion that we call a second game that adds the evil faction and PvP" model?

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
WayAbvPar
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Reply #21 on: August 14, 2006, 11:33:14 AM

I understand that this is alpha and everything is subject to change, but I thought I'd share my "gut feeling".

I'm not finding the RPG aspect of the game particularly compelling. I'd liken it to EQ2, which i"ve tried to get into four times, but failed to. Every level I'm unlocking some sort of combat attack or similar, but I'm no different from any other "same class at this level" character, and I have no feeling that I'm progressing or defining my character, so I have no carrot to spur me on.

While far from perfect games by any standards, UO, WoW, Shadowbane and pre-NGE SW:G all gave me something (however infuriatingly minor) every "level" to help define my character by my choices. I looked forward to the point to allocate, and felt compelled to make progress in the game to find out how things turned out. In games like EQ, EQ2, post-NGE SW:G and LotRO Alpha I feel like I'm just another level XX class YY cog. I have no great desire to get XX+1.



AMEN. While the accomplishments and traits are interesting, there is not nearly enough individuality.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Libertarians make fun of everyone because they can't see beyond the event horizons of their own assholes Surlyboi
Rasix
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Reply #22 on: August 14, 2006, 06:24:02 PM

*Sigh*.. wrote a huge post and then hit backspace twice and the forum ate it.  Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck.

I'll try to boil things down into the cliff notes version:

Major likes:
-Pretty.  Like a really good looking version of Dark Age. 
-Lots of quests. Good quest diversity.
-Story driven instances. YAY.

Major issues:
-Bad loot. Bad loot textures.  This aspect is very alpha-y. I like that I got some named stuff off random mobs though, that's at least a silver lining.
-Really bad quest descriptions.  Directions are horrible.  Ground spawns are really hard to see. This was most apparent in the main quest.
-2 minute long diseases. Emulating punitive aspects of EQ is bad.. mmmkay?
-Combat is too slow.  Two handed weapons are laughably slow.
-Burglars are really boring early on, especially compared to champions.

Long story short (well, it was long before it got gobbled up by the forum gods), this is a good alpha from Turbine but it's still not a compelling game. Looking forward to alpha 3 and hopefully day 1 isn't a disaster again.  This is better than anything Turbine's put out in beta form and probably better than anything during their first week of launch (stability wise). I hope those in charge continue to place importance on stability and performance; these are areas which have killed Turbine games in the past for me. 

-Rasix
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Reply #23 on: August 14, 2006, 07:52:35 PM

I agree with everything you just said, Ras, and not just because I'm afraid of you.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Samwise
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Reply #24 on: August 15, 2006, 03:01:08 PM

My first impression, after doing 3 quests (the intro, the whack the foozle quest, and the collect the widget quest)  is that there's just not a lot to distinguish this game from "everything else". 

The lore might be a turn-on if there were more to it than seeing familiar place names and seeing the occasional elf saying "Elbereth".   I expect anything really exciting in that department (like discovering lost relics of the Second Age or somesuch) would have to wait till high levels anyway.

The quests aren't all that bad, but they aren't all that memorable either.  The world isn't ugly, but it hasn't made my jaw drop at any point.  I like that I seem to be picking up new skills at a good clip (I'm a minstrel), with each one doing something new and giving me an extra button to push during combat, but with absolutely no character customization available that doesn't really excite me as much as it should.  Really, the character customization thing is probably the biggest disappointment; following a one dimensional level progression just doesn't do a lot for me.  (I nearly subbed to DDO just so I could keep trying out new character builds.)

Basically, it seems like a pretty generic fantasy MMORPG to me.  I understand there's a reasonably good market for that sort of thing, but I don't foresee myself subbing.



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Signe
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Reply #25 on: August 15, 2006, 05:12:31 PM

Well, I resubbed to CoX a few times just to play dress up. 

I did have a bit of excitement in LOTRO when I found myself in Strider's bedroom.  He didn't seem very interested in any hanky panky,  though.

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Llava
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Reply #26 on: August 15, 2006, 05:14:33 PM

Well, I resubbed to CoX a few times just to play dress up. 

I did have a bit of excitement in LOTRO when I found myself in Strider's bedroom.  He didn't seem very interested in any hanky panky,  though.

That's cause Arwen got elfgay all over him.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Signe
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Reply #27 on: August 15, 2006, 05:24:05 PM

Cool.  Another gay hobbit pr0n enthusiast.

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Kenrick
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Reply #28 on: August 17, 2006, 09:16:39 PM

Cool.  Another gay hobbit pr0n enthusiast.

Pretty soon we're going to need our own subforum here.
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