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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:10PM ScottishViking said

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Like you, I just finished Vol. 1. And I've been playing since release. So you're not alone!

My attitude towards the Epic Volumes -- particularly Vol 1 -- teetered between jaw-dropped amazement and hair-pulling fury. The former really happens amidst the latter, without warning; one minute, you'll be in a flashback with Amarthiel and Laerdan, and the next minute, you'll be fedexing between Gath Forthnir and Delossad. This annoying runaround really hits a fever-pitch in locations like Forochel and in Book 15 in the Trollshaws: I seriously hated every minute of those run-arounds. They are a dev joke on the playerbase.

** SPOILER ALERT **

But when it's good, it's amazing. I've already mentioned the Amarthiel flashbacks, which are great. Other standouts are the Tom Bombadil epic quests, the Eregion forge-quests in Book 14 (what a conclusion!) and the Mordrambor-escape and Dunedain-burial scenes. All of these are just awesome.

Vol. II is generally much better paced with a lot less fedexing. So yes, there is a lot of progress.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:32PM Scarecrowe said

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I actually couldn't stomach doing the run-arounds in Forochel and dropped it. I was only getting in about 3 hours of play a night and *literally* over half of that was spent running back and forth to the far ends of Forochel. Up til that point, I really thought the zone was pretty cool and had planned to focus adventuring there for my next alt. But after the awful tedium of the epic questing, I would be happy to never enter that zone ever again.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:33PM Wisdomandlore said

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There is a quest that gives you fast travel between the two sides of Forochel. Can't remember the name right now. It makes the books very easy.
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:34PM ScottishViking said

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I think it's The Frozen War.
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:32PM Wisdomandlore said

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"One of the biggest of these was that too much of the story takes place at higher levels (40+). It just isn't spread out that well among the level 1-40 experience."

This was unavoidable. The game launched with 8 Books. The following seven books came as part of updates. Since the story (and our characters) couldn't go backwards exactly, so everything was of course at level 50.

The lows and highs in the books for me were:

Lows:
-Escort quests. From Legolas to Gimli. Some of the dumbest, most frustrating AI ever created.
-The Angmarim session play. Neat idea. Boring quest.
-Radagast abandons me to save some forest critters. Seriously WTF.
-Book 15's Rivendell to Delossad ping pong. The lowest point in the game.

Highs:
-Book 5. The Fire and Ice quest where (SPOILER) Thorog's corpse is brought to (un)life. Epic moment, and so great that they tied the (then unreleased) raid into the main storyline.
-Ranger session play.
-First reveal of the fell beast. So epic.
-First reveal of Sauron.
-Amarthiel vs Mordirith!

Volume II has some great moments too (Dwarf session play FTW). A lot of people complain about 2.5.5 but I loved those quests, and I've helped many players with them. It loses some steam after you exit Moria, but then picks up with the Mirkwood book, which is one of the most well-written and designed books Turbine has ever made.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:57PM Tom in VA said

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"-Radagast abandons me to save some forest critters. Seriously WTF."

I lol'ed at this. Too funny and too true. :)
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:50PM Tom in VA said

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Book 8, I think, is about as far as I've ever gotten. It was dang near impossible to find groups for some of the epic group quests in Misty Mountains and thereafter, and I would give usually up on the game in total frustration at about that point.

The fact that Volume 1 is now soloable is a REALLY good thing, and this has renewed my interest in the game. However, I do find the travel hither, thither, and yon in LotRO to be extremely irritating. If you are on an epic quest, I wish they'd give the quest-giver(s) to ability to port you to your next "appointment."

Loads and loads of sucky, tedious, not-fun, time-consuming travel is my number one complaint with LotRO.

Your article, however, has inspired me to persevere. (I didn't read it *too* closely, however, not wanting to be spoiled.)

I will not touch Volume 2 until it, too, is made soloable (or has that happened already?).

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 4:52PM Tom in VA said

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Hmm, maybe I'm thinking Book 5 -- whatever book that had several quests in the Misty Mountains...
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 5:55PM Wisdomandlore said

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Remember that there are several parts of the Epic Book where you can pick up a the next book even if you didn't complete the previous one. Books 1-5 are all independent, and you can pick up Book 9 without completing Book 8 IIRC.

This isn't a big a deal in SOA anymore, but in MoM/Volume 2 you can pick up Book 7 or 8 even if you didn't finish Book 6. This was to keep solo players who hadn't beat the group quests in 2.5 and 2.6 going.
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 5:26PM Tigress74 said

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I played in beta and at release. Vol 1 was the first and the last volume I completed. This article brings back memories of why I won't complete any subsequent volumes. Though I have to say I did like Sara Oakheart.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 6:19PM Liltawen said

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I gave up on them because BookQuest LFF on Firefoot was such a drag I could never maintain any continuity (especially after having 2 or 3 in various stages of completion). Maybe I'll go back to them.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 7:35PM Graill440 said

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Those that have read the books, seen the movies (artistic story views aside) Must notice the lack of soul this game has. It doesnt lack for content but it is not alive either.

I will support views stating some of the best graphics locations in a game, to include those not yet released, some of the vistas in LOTR are just worth logging in and turning up the volume for the abiance on a big screen monitor and relaxing.

My attaboy ends there, very abruptly i might add. LOTR is based on the fight between good and evil at its core, black and white. The books are graphic in detail when it comes to battles, deceit, behind the scenes betrayal, none of that can happen in LOTR because of dev choices.

The game world is a desolate landscape of pve rote action with (...)esque raiding to try and keep the raiding mentality paying a monthly fee. Granted i am biased when it comes to playing this game as my vision of what it should be and what it is currently dont mesh one bit.

Example. The game should have started with good and evil classes, lore spread evenly throught both sides. Monster players should have the same level of play free people have, and from day one always the two should meet. From the starter towns to the nastiest barrows and darkest forest there should be conflict.

Those stating that it would lead to griefing, i have to say rubbish, there are safeguards that could be put in place easily, devs just do not want to work. Fun, excitement, fear, laughter, challenge, doesnt exist in this game, instead you have pseudo drunkeness that is supposed to make which kid playing a game experiance what? Musical gatherings where players do what? Try and immerse themselves in revelry after a hard day of fighting? NPC's?

The number of books are meaning less in this title as the lore is bent to the devs money model and not the lore as shown in the books and movies. hell, even the the collector vinyl i have of the hobbit has more feeling with just sound than the entire volumes LOTR has.

Developers have taken a title rich in strife, hardship, reward for effort and action, and turned it into a labotomized rote action money model, in a niche market.

Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 7:41PM ScottishViking said

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[Topic related to LOTRO]

Grail: RANT UNRELATED

Do you just, like, wait for someone to post about a game so you can get up on a soapbox?

Gold Five: "Stay on target."
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Posted: Jul 24th 2010 12:50PM (Unverified) said

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"Fun, excitement, fear, laughter, challenge, doesnt [sic] exist in this game"

For you, perhaps. Some of us actually enjoy what we play, so please don't think to tar us all with your jaundiced brush. I'm sorry that the game doesn't fit with what you were looking for from a title (which sounds a bit like how I understand Warhammer Online to be set up) but that's obviously a complete difference in philosophy between you and the devs.
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Posted: Jul 23rd 2010 8:57PM GreenArmadillo said

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I'm legitimately curious if anyone has ever sat down with a pencil and a map of Middle Earth and calculated whether the lore would actually allow for the completion of Books 14 and 15 before the destruction of The Ring.

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