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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Mar 25th 2009 12:28PM (Unverified) said

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Very very cool. I’m a big fan of any mainstream outlet reporting on how much depth an MMO has.

I find that lots of people I know who don’t know much about how MMOs work are pretty willing to give it a try (if their PC is up to it) once I give a little insight behind the amount of creativity and depth these types of games have.

Posted: Mar 25th 2009 12:29PM (Unverified) said

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Just an FYI, those animations that you call "machinima style" are actually in game chat animations.

Your character performs those animations every time when chatting in /say.

Posted: Mar 25th 2009 1:25PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Not to get into a giant debate on the subject, but much of the original machinima was made by just using "in-game animations." In fact, that's how the whole thing started.

Take Red vs. Blue for example. All of the originals were done within the Halo engine, using Halo animations. The "boom lift" shot in the opening episode? That's the cameraman player standing on top of the tank's turret as the turret slowly drops.

Sure, new machinima uses techniques to circumvent the game's engine, but machinima was founded on creating your own movie within the confines of the system. Exactly what this has done.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 12:32PM (Unverified) said

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Couldn't they just summarize it as "Just as World of Warcraft but with different backdrops"?

Posted: Mar 25th 2009 12:43PM (Unverified) said

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no, b/c that'd be incorrect.

Is Coke just Pepsi w/ a different label?
Is NBC just CBS w/ different programs?
Is DC Just Marvel w/ different characters?

Simalar? yes. Just the same? no.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 12:58PM (Unverified) said

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Yes, but I found they used rather vague descriptions to explain the concept in the beginning. And the pretty images distract from really listening to what he's saying. But the idea is nice :)
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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 1:49PM Sam not Spam said

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How about "Just as Asheron's Call but with different backdrops"? ;)
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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 1:24PM Gaugamela said

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You know, Harmen i don't know if you are arrogant because you play WoW or if you just made a dumb comment.

There's a LOT of MMOs there is a bunch of differences between WoW and LotRO like there is between WoW and any MMO on the market.
No MMO is or tries to be a "WoW clone" nor all MMOs should be labeled as "WoW with different backdrops". There are more games in the genre and is great to finally see some of them being divulged in mainstream media besides WoW!

Would you say that Mercedes is a BMW with different backdrops?
Or that an F16 is Boeing 747 with different backdrops?

The narrow minds of WoW players that think their game is the only and the best in the genre without knowing from the others just exasperates me.

Posted: Mar 25th 2009 1:55PM (Unverified) said

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Not to mention LOTRO has had 2 years to evolve into something completely different in feel and usage than what WoW is. They've added so many new features that no one near end game would ever confuse the two.

Besides, we all know that WoW is an EQ clone.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 2:04PM (Unverified) said

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Ok, it came out completely wrong. I have nothing against LOTRO, but I found the video rather bad.
Let me try to rephrase it:

Good they give LOTRO attention but if this video is mend as an introduction to non-online gamers and maybe even non-gamers it could have been clearer. They could have used World of Warcraft as example of a similar game, since at least 11.5 million people are familiar with that. Of course it's not the same game, but it might help some people to place what it's about.

They could have left out the mumbled phrase 'massively multiplayer', but maybe give a nice description 'is a video game where you play online with other people in the world of Lord of the Rings'. Leave out the jargon. And earlier in the video.

And either tell me things or show me pretty pictures, but not both at the same time.

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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 9:33PM (Unverified) said

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Harmen is being very nitpicky, yes. I thought it was a very cute interview and it's nice to see a mainstream media outlet do a little bit of reporting about an online game that doesn't have anything to do with how they're trying to steal our souls and barbecue them.

I also do not feel that they should have to preface an introduction to any MMO with "it's like WoW but...". I feel trying to talk about it on its own merits encourages more descriptive reporting, rather than assuming the audience already knows something about the product.

All of this said, your reaction is part of the reason I get... irked with the LotRO community. I love the game, I love how it's put together, and I have a very special place in cold, black heart for it. However, it *is* very similar to WoW in several key respects. The overall leveling structure is the same D&D/EQ archetype WoW uses, as is the Kill Ten Rats style questing.

You and I can both point out our favourite session plays or our favourite stand-out quests. But WoW has unique quests too that also form a relative minority among the 'retrieve x of y' quests that form the bulk of the total quests.

Your presumption that only WoW players or "fanbois" notice this or believe this is a bit like saying I'm biased in favour of the Azurian Conspiracy for believing the sky is blue. While there are no doubt vituperative Blizzard lovers who can see no wrong with WoW and do indeed believe that MMOs begin and end with it, I am not one of them.

LotRO distinguishes itself ably in places. But the overall grind structure, leveling structure and incentive structure are the same as WoW and to a lesser extent EQ. The reputation system is an unreconstructed bit of borrowing from WoW, as another example. I still love the game because it provides a different flavour that's more focused on the small-group, roleplaying player.

But that's what it is, a different flavour of the WoW/EQ archetype. That doesn't make it *bad*- but don't get so defensive when people point it out. I'm not in the business of asserting one is 'objectively' better than the other. Whether one is better depends on the sort of experience you as an individual seek.

For some LotRO is better than WoW, for others the reverse is true. What is more or less objective is that LotRO owes a lot of its skeleton, so to speak, to the WoW archetype. (Just as WoW owes a lot to EQ and AC).
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Posted: Mar 26th 2009 4:34AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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OMG Harmen, are you actually QQ'ing because WoW didn't get the news slot?
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Posted: Mar 25th 2009 5:14PM MrGutts said

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Very cool interview...

Posted: Mar 26th 2009 7:45AM Tipa said

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At least they didn't say, "Lord of the Rings Online" won't make your kids into sunless zombies like "EverQuest", nor into psycho killers like "World of Warcraft". Which would have been two possible ways to take this advertisement for LotRO :/

Posted: Mar 26th 2009 7:48AM (Unverified) said

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Good they give LOTRO attention but if this video is mend as an introduction to non-online gamers and maybe even non-gamers it could have been clearer. They could have used World of Warcraft as example of a similar game, since at least 11.5 million people are familiar with that.

----

They should have used WoW, as the trilogy of Warcraft movies they released a few years ago that won all those oscars, plus the books they were based upon (that pretty much invented the high fantasy genre) make it much more accessible to the non-gamer than some stupid "Lord of the Rings" game based on some earlier single player game.

Posted: Mar 26th 2009 6:53PM (Unverified) said

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Good point.
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