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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Lord of the Rings Online  |  Topic: Alpha 3 Impressions 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Alpha 3 Impressions  (Read 15887 times)
OcellotJenkins
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Reply #35 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.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2006, 02:47:54 PM by OcellotJenkins »
Yoru
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Reply #36 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.  embarassed

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?
Lt.Dan
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Reply #37 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.
Rasix
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Reply #38 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.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2006, 05:38:24 PM by Rasix »

-Rasix
sam, an eggplant
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Reply #39 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.
Signe
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Reply #40 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.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Yoru
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Reply #41 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.
Fabricated
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Reply #42 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.

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
Rasix
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Reply #43 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.

-Rasix
Llava
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Reply #44 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.

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
Righ
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Reply #45 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.

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Signe
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Reply #46 on: September 06, 2006, 03:32:54 PM

It's turned on again.

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #47 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.

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
Signe
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Reply #48 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.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 03:55:06 PM by Signe »

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #49 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.

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
Trippy
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Reply #50 on: September 06, 2006, 08:14:14 PM

WayAbvPar
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Reply #51 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.

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
Murgos
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Reply #52 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.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Signe
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Reply #53 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.   smiley

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #54 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.

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
Numtini
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Reply #55 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.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Llava
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Reply #56 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.

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
Calandryll
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Reply #57 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.
Llava
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Rrava roves you rong time


Reply #58 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.

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
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