Posted by: mrrx | February 12, 2007

NDA Lifted

With the lifting of the NDA, I can finally admit it – I played in the Lord of the Rings Online beta at various points.

First off – my major exposure to the game is through the lens of my old PC.      Not my Core2, but my wheezy XP 1800.       My contribution to the beta, of all things, is just seeing how it ran on this ancient rig.

When I first installed the game, it locked up the PC constantly.   After days of trying to get help, fiddleing around with settings, and begging for assistance on the beta forums, the consensus was it had to be something with my machine.     And they were right, in a sense – after taking some advice, I found a way to make the game play without crashing.    Open up the case, blow fan air inside, and it ran without locking up. 

I did this long enough to be sure of the problem then gave up.     My god, the noise was unbelievably irritating.     A room fan – all the PC fans, without any buffering provided by the case – all the noise just started working on me like an icepick to the brain.

 Over the various beta builds I continued to test, and never did find a way to run the game normally.     Perhaps my video card couldn’t take the strain; or it’s just defective.      I suspect the former, but still plan to check out the release version once I buy the game.     So if you have a Geforce FX 5200 or lower, be forewarned.

But that’s just the negative tech stuff.     The gameplay was very fun.     There are multiple points where, as you progress quests, you enter instances which include great storytelling and scripting.     I saw two of these and thoroughly enjoyed them.     Each race has a starting area with two of these instances, and afterwards you end up in the wider world.

The interface is, as usual, straight out of World of Warcraft, but very serviceable otherwise.      Even on my old PC (when it was working) the graphics were very appealing and beautiful.     On my Core2 they’re beyond amazing.       Graphical immersion is a 10+ here – smooth frame rate and excellent rendering.       With a higher graphics card, the game should run on a 1.5 ghz machine very well for my tastes.   And they did a very good job with the questing.

There are simple quests, chain quests, epic storyline quests – a ton of things to do.      I wish Vanguard had this level of immersion, only the diplomacy quests really reach high-quality status.

Apparently there’s some tie-in with the main Tolkien storyline, and you get an idea as you play how you might fit into that someday.      I was “identified as a person who could influence the fate of Middle-Earth”.      I earned some fun titles – my favorite being “The Cautious” for not getting killed even once !      Even managed to meet Gandalf, Gimli, and other characters from the books.    Caveat to all this, being that I never managed to get above level 12, but the game does go to 50.     

I’m thinking I’ll preorder to get the $10/mo pricing level.      But this brings up a dilemma doesn’t it ?

  • I’m playing Vanguard.    I love it.     Thinking this is my next MMO, and any reader knows how long I tend to play an MMO.
  • I have yet to actually pay for Vanguard.
  • LOTRO is coming up around March 30th; to get the $10/mo order you have to stay continuously subscribed.    Cancel once, and your resubscription goes up to $15.

So am I going to end up paying $25/mo just for MMO subscriptions ?     Plus another $100 for box purchases ?     Time to quit Vanguard and just play the LOTRO beta ?  Or am I buying Vanguard just for a little while ?

Decisions, decisions – I simply don’t know what to do.    I suppose the answer is I’ll hit a brick wall in Vanguard.     I mean, every pre-release thing I heard made me think I’d hate the game.      Could it have been that wrong ?     My experience emphatically says NO, This Game is Great, but I’m still below level 20.      One constant with MMO’s seems to be that gameplay changes as you go through them; I wouldn’t be at all surprised if after 20 I can’t solo any longer.

When and if that brick wall comes, then it’ll be time to try and destroy the One Ring myself !      So I should preorder.     But if I love Vanguard and never play LOTRO I’m wasting my money.      So I shouldn’t preorder.     And on it goes in a circle………….

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Responses

  1. LOL…. Yeah I beta Lotr too, but I didn’t see anything special in it any different than EQ2, but I didn’t play it long. It was actually my hubby beta account and I gave it a whirl just to take a peek. So I will prob try it again.

    I have the same problem. I didn’t care for vanguard so that wasn’t a biggie, but if I did decide to give lotro a shot, well potbs is coming out in june. I know I want to play that! So I guess I know I will have to skip lotro and wait for POTBS because I have been following that game for a long time now!

  2. Id agree its a nightmare ..im cureetly paying for statioon access which gives me vg+eq/eq2/planet/matrix/swg and wow lol.My son who is 8 plays wow and swg which he says is much better since the nge lol My stepson plays eq2 and the matrix…So im a bit stuck about lotr ..i think maybe ill wait but the $10/month which is about £5 here is very tempting …

  3. “I mean, every pre-release thing I heard made me think I’d hate the game. Could it have been that wrong ? My experience emphatically says NO, This Game is Great, but I’m still below level 20.”

    The problem with the critics to VSoH is that they have an axe to grind. See you, VSoH go against the Holy Trynity Sacred Cannon from WoW:
    1- no instances – “All MMO Will Have Instances”
    2- it is group based – “All MMO Will Be a Solo Game”
    3- have a slow grind – “All MMO Will Be Easy Like WoW”

    Everyone that don’t like VSoH because it go against the Sacred Cannon say that who like the game is a fanboy. It is an easy way to discard ANY good opinion about VSoH, anyone that have a good opinion is a fanboy (or worse, a vanboy). Only bad opinions about VSoH are accepted…

    Well, there is an irony if you don’t perceived. The same guys that hate VSoH are loving LOTRO. However, the thing that bring more interest to LOTRO is just the place, Middle Earth, from the Tolkien’s books and the movies.

    What is the name for this phenomenum? Fanboism?

    😉

    Geregor Bedstone
    dwarf
    cleric 13 / armorsmith 17

  4. Joao – that’s funny, “tolkien-boyism” hadn’t occured to me.

    “2- it is group based – “All MMO Will Be a Solo Game””

    If it’s not soloable at some point I’m going to be angry. It totally is right now, with optional grouping points. But that also depends on your tolerance for grinding, which I have a high tolerance on.

  5. VSoH have 60% content for group, 20% content for solo and 20% content for raid.

    There are a lot of 2 dots mobs out the dungeons for farm. There are solo quests you can get as missives.

    But the dugneons mobs are 3 got to above, they are group mobs.

    You can go from level 1 to elvel 50 solo? Yes

    It is faster get from level 1 to level 50 soloing? No.

    For some people that makes a diference. WoW have only two modes: solo to level 60, raiding at level 60. VSoH have 3 modes: grouping, solo and raiding. Aparently to have teh group mode is against the Second Sacred WoW’s Commandement…

    Oh, but I am evidently a vanboy… so discard my comments…

    (I know you will not discard my comments, but see it… other bloggers are prone to name me a “vanboy” and discard my opinion, because the only opinion that they care is an opinion AGAINST VSoH.)

  6. “You can go from level 1 to elvel 50 solo? Yes

    It is faster get from level 1 to level 50 soloing? No.”

    See, now I’m happy. I’m in no hurry to hit level 50. I spent more than a year in EQ2 before hitting it, and never managed in EQ1.

    If the rest of the experience is enjoyable, who cares ? There’s many spheres to the game and many places to progress. These games are journeys, and not destinations.

  7. “These games are journeys, and not destinations.”

    lol

    I saw a lot of people saying at the VSoH Forums that they don’t like the journey. Normally the posts were from people saying that they want fast grind or a game more solable…

    And the posts saying that no instancing was a very bad idea. Fisrt time I entered a VSoH I saw why make that dungeons instanced is the real bad idea…

    These people have an axe to grind. Basically, they want an WoW’s clone. And burn at stakes everyone that say the Earth is not flat…


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