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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:18PM (Unverified) said

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Ebbing Ire on the RK

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:20PM Wisdomandlore said

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The debate around the lore-breaking/appropriateness of the Runekeeper was always one of those silly things, starting way back in the MoM beta. Turbine was not selling out, otherwise they would have introduced flying mounts.

The RK we have today is actually much different from that one. The skill descriptions were changed, effects were toned down, and quests were added to explain how the RK worked. Yet the anti-RK crowd would never be satisfied. They always cried that they wanted a compromise, but what they actually wanted was for Turbine to apologize and remove or completely change the RK.

In any case, the Runekeeper is far less lore-breaking than the Loremaster. LMs summon eagles, ancient and noble creatures, to be their pets. They call Ents from nowhere to smash their enemies. And they bring down Lightning on their foes. At least you can explain away the RK's graphic effects as graphical representations of the metaphorical assaults being tossed around. But the LM skills are actually physical. They even break the lore. Heck, even Minstrels call down laser beams from space.




Posted: May 28th 2010 12:21PM Tom in VA said

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A good discussion, Justin. Thanks for posting it.

I love, love, love the original books, and yet Turbine's Rune-Keeper seems like a pretty neat class. I don't mind at all that Turbine bent the "rules" somewhat, just as Peter Jackson enlarged, changed, and adjusted the roles of certain characters (Arwen and Sam come to mind) in his movies to help the story fit the medium he was working in.

I have heard that RKs are in for a harder time on the more RP-ish LotRO servers, since "lore purists" tend to shun them.

Well, whatever. The past few weeks, I have been playing an RK up to level 31 on Brandywine and have been having great fun with him.

If you think about it, Tolkein was a Word Master himself and created an entire and awesome world and story using the power of words, so I have no problem with Turbine taking that ball and running with it a bit.

My chief complaint with the RK class is more the sound and light effects, which I wish could be toned down a bit but, other than that, it's a great class. The lore-snobs can all go jump in Lake Evendim, as far as I'm concerned. ;)

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:30PM pcgneurotic said

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As Wisdom and Tom say above, it really boils down to the graphical effects used. Wis has it right when s/he says that the RK's fx are a visual metaphor for the power of the words they're speaking. And the point about LMs' and Minstrels' 'spell' fx also rings true. It also makes me wonder why there isn't a more audible component to the RK's fx.

Anyway, I don't mind RKs; I tried playing one for a while but she kept dying every ten feet. Not my cup of tea (or loaf of Lembas) class-wise.

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:31PM Greeen said

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doesn't Turbine have collaboration with the Tolkien family? Perhaps I am wrong, but I thought that Christoffer Tolkien sort of gives his "amen" to such things? At least it is so with anything else in connection to Tolkien "copyright".

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:54PM Wisdomandlore said

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Turbine leases the rights to the books from Tolkien Estate, AKA Saul Zaentz Company, which has nothing to do with Christopher Tolkien. SZ owns the rights to the Hobbit and the trilogy, but none of the ancillary material like the Silmarillion. Theoretically SZ has to ok everything Turbine does; however, I doubt Turbine pushes the lore all that much, and I doubly doubt SZ cares how much they do.

IIRC, Christopher has said he's never played or seen the game. If he's anything like his father he would probably hate it, and doubly hate the idea that so many people play it and instead of going outside or reading.
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Posted: May 28th 2010 1:59PM Greeen said

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thanks wisdomandlore.
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Posted: May 28th 2010 1:58PM Tanek said

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@Wisdomandlore: The way I look at the gaming vs. reading (in this case, anyway) is that at least two of my friends who were introduced to LotRO were so interested in learning more about the world and the lore that they went and read the books. I'm sure many others have had the same experience.

Are there people who play the game and could not care less about the lore, Tolkien, and/or books in general? Sure. But that is ok, too. They get out of it what they want and maybe even accidentally pick up some bits of information along the way that they would not have otherwise had. Not to say the game is in any way a substitute for the books, but if someone really is not interested, it is unlikely he or she would have read the books anyway.
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Posted: May 28th 2010 12:55PM AlamoeJones said

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Is using metaphors like, "molest the corpse of good ol' J.R.R." really necessary?

He is one of greatest writers of all time. I find that pretty disrespectful. Surely, there was another phrase you could have used.

Posted: May 28th 2010 1:28PM karnisov said

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yeah that was kind of a bad choice of words.
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Posted: May 28th 2010 11:21PM wjowski said

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Given his so-called 'hardcore fans' love dragging out similar metaphors every chance they get maybe you should take it up with them?
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Posted: May 28th 2010 1:04PM (Unverified) said

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you cannot make a MMORPG without a magic class, on the other hand RKs are truly lore-breaking. Middle ground was not possible so this is going to be a neverending debate

Posted: May 28th 2010 1:46PM Djinn said

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While that is patently untrue (plenty of non-fantasy MMOs out there), I will concede the point that unfortunately the fantasy MMO audience can't seem to live without a magic user that throws fireballs and lightning bolts. LotRO already had the Loremaster which pushed the envelope of the mileau, but the magic wasn't flashy enough for the average fantasy MMO player so they added the Runekeeper.

I am sad that people weren't able to enjoy an MMO that's closer to the actual Middle Earth, but I'm glad that Turbine added the Runekeeper if that's something that will keep players and allow the game to continue thriving.
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Posted: May 28th 2010 1:13PM Liltawen said

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When they came out it seemed obvious to me that Rune Keepers were a call back to the Noldor of the Silmarillion with their Jewels and to 2nd Age with the many lesser Magic Rings that could actually be used.
It seemed to me that lore-purists who say RKs don't appear in the Lore don't know much about the Lore.
I think bringing in the 1st and 2nd Ages is great for RP. The LOTR characters are so pallid next to Silmarillion and the Akallabeth ones.

Posted: May 28th 2010 1:32PM Ryukan said

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Why does this even need discussing? The Runekeeper and the associated "discussion" are 2 YEARS OLD. Is it a slow day for coming up with article topics? Why not write about the current state of LotRO and/or upcoming development plans or even hoped for new content or something, not write about a 2 year old, half-assed controversy over a friggin' class in the game...or why not write about how poor the character development is at higher levels or anything. Seems pretty pointless to write about this now, brainstorm some new story topics people.

Posted: May 28th 2010 1:25PM karnisov said

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I like the RK, its fun to play. Thats really what matters in a game, right?

Posted: May 28th 2010 2:05PM (Unverified) said

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a lot of people who are still bothering to play aren't doing so with the expectation of being in a Tolkien-sim. The days of worrying about lore in LotRO are long over. A more topical issue would have bern the lore breaking of radiance and Legendary Items. I mean, what's worse: playing a single WoW-style class or enforcing all classes to adopt a WoW-badge model of disposable epic tokens?

Posted: May 28th 2010 6:56PM Kitsune23 said

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If you watch the animations closely, the effects originate from the rune stones where the rune-keeper is carving their words of power. I always thought that was a nice little touch to try and show that the effects are coming from the scribed (well, chiseled) runes rather than innately from the RK.

There are so many things that could be seen as lore-breaking in this game if you interpret things strictly enough. Too many elves, more than a handful of hobbits outside of the shire, effects for just about every class, etc. A game that strictly adhered to the lore probably wouldn't be much fun.

Turbine does a good job of staying within bounds and making an enjoyable experience.

Posted: May 28th 2010 4:56PM Deadalon said

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How can a game stick to the lore when they have mounts without reins ? Magic mounts ? Or just crappy developer job ? Go figure.

Posted: May 28th 2010 7:19PM (Unverified) said

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Um, I think I will go create a RK now.

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