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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 1:14PM Germaximus said

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I havent personally read the book series of LOTR but i cant imagine there being absolutely no magic in those stories.

Posted: Nov 16th 2010 1:48PM jealouspirate said

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There's plenty of magic, it's just of a more subtle nature than shooting lightning bolts or fireballs.

It's typically invisible, invoked with written, spoken or sung words. Light also comes into play a certain amount. There are a couple instances of more "flashy" magic spells, but those are the exceptions to the rule.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 3:39PM nomoredroids said

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Actually, there ARE fireballs. You just never see it. When the Hobbits leave Bree with Strider, they go onto Weathertop and find the scorch marks from a battle between Gandalf and Wargs.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 10:15PM DarthDan said

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@ Havoc

Um, Gandalf is not human. He is an Istari, so yes, he has magic, so citing him casting a Fireball doesn't count.
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Posted: Nov 18th 2010 7:17AM jh3141 said

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Back to the original comment: the point is that what magic there is is *very* limited. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of characters who can use it, and the very strong implication is that *they are the only ones in the whole world who can achieve what they do*.

Magic artifacts are more common, but even they are very limited: the rings of power, the Palentirs, the phial Galadriel gives to Frodo, the gates of Moria, a handful of enchanted weapons.

That's it, the totality of magic in Middle-Earth at the time of the Lord of the Rings summed up in two paragraphs.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 1:17PM nomoredroids said

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All my thoughts on the industry, condensed and easy to swallow! Were you reading my diary again?

Posted: Nov 17th 2010 6:05AM DarthDan said

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@ Havoc

Um, Gandalf is not human. He is an Istari, so yes, he has magic, so citing him casting a Fireball doesn't count.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 7:44AM nomoredroids said

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Sure it counts! Why wouldn't it count? Gandalf is just as much a part of the world as Frodo or Sam. Clearly Gandalf was bound by his own memory, as is witnessed when he says "I used to know all the spells of dwarves and elves" (or something like that) at the gates to Moria. Whether or not he was human is irrelevant; he's using the magic of the free peoples, and he still has to remember those spells to use them.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2010 1:10PM Degu said

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There are only seven wizards in Middle-earth, and none of them are a playable class. If they were, that'd be yet another huge lore flub on their part. Sort of like the bazillion Jedi running around SWG.

Probably all the same, though, as LM/RK seem to be Turb's end-run around this problem. 'There's gotta be wizards in a fantasy game, so we'll just call em something else. They ain't wizards unless we call em that!'
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 1:29PM gildhur said

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Naturally titles that aren't even out yet are the good ones, but the ones that have been successfully rolling along for years are "hacktastic". Sorry, but I call BS. Such a gutless piece from start to finish. Pick on the easy target (Rune-keepers) and back it up with an ignorant marketing line from a non-dev (Steefel), and of course you look informed to the uninformed. Pathetic. No, no MMO can adhere strictly to an IP (most would have to be single-player to even start), but LotRO at least does as good a job as they can in the current market. If you need some actual information about the absurd amount of lore adherence in the game, try the 100+ page "Hidden Nuggets" thread on the forums in which players document the hundreds of intricate details from the text that have been included in the game.

Posted: Nov 16th 2010 1:42PM Jef Reahard said

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Lol, someone's fanboy panties are bunched.

The fact is that MMOs can adhere to IPs. Developers simply choose not to because they can't be bothered to move away from the traditional paradigm. That's really the gutless part here.

As far as the 100+ pages of hidden nuggets that they got right, allow me to stifle a yawn since they got very large and very obvious things wrong. Why bother with all the other stuff if you're just going to dook it up with magic users and the like?
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 2:07PM AnotherPint said

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@Jef

Why do games have to adhere to the lore? It's a game and if you put a set restriction on a game most likely it will not be fun. No game is ever going to capture your image of a book or be able to stick to a movie script.

The middle earth RPG of the 80's had spell casters and it was a fun game. it did not stick to the lore 100% percent but so what. I still had a blast.



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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 2:18PM Jef Reahard said

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@AnotherPint: That's a fair question, but one I believe I covered in the article. There are those players, such as yourself, who don't care one way or the other about lore or authenticity. They just want a game and will basically accept whatever is thrown at them.

There are others who care very much about the lore the game is supposedly based on. If the devs can make the game fun for both, shouldn't they adhere to the lore to please the fan audience over the audience that doesn't care? Otherwise, slapping the IP name on the box is a little dishonest isn't it? Unless you preface it with a big "inspired by," which of course never happens.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 5:10PM AnotherPint said

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@Jeff

I don't agree that it's dishonest. What movie follows a book exactly how it is written. they have to take certain liberties in oreder to make the movie enjoyable. The same goes for games. If we held every director and game designer to lore than mostly likely would not see fun movies nor games.

Elves at helms deep. omg nooooo but it worked for the movie : )

Down side was you did not get the same feeling how desperate and alone man was like in the book.

I care about the lore but only for the books. I know they can not be carried over exactly as written.

Thanks for the article!
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 6:15PM exe973 said

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Panties in a bunch? I know this is the soapbox, but I did hope that the writers would stay professional.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 6:27PM Jef Reahard said

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Aww.

Well, I guess the next time my work is labeled "gutless," "uninformed," "pathetic," and "BS," I'll just smile and nod.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 7:54PM (Unverified) said

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@Jef

Not to be little massively or the game news groups but there are reporters who not about real life events, have themselves or their articles labelled in the same way as you have and take with much more dignity and grace than you have.

As for the majority of your closing argument you are basically pigeon holing everyone that isn't going to agree with you into a group "doesn't care" and then put your own views higher than them by saying "It doesn't hurt no one". That's elitism and a horrible argument.

For the minority: If DCUO is what lore obsessed people have to look forward to it is a sad day for MMO fans. Especially since its in a comic universe that can have as many alternate worlds as writers so creating a "lore" reason for something is as easy as a rune keeper creating fireballs.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 9:19PM Sunaris said

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I'm with gildhur here, to an extent. I think you jumped all over LOTRO then copped out on YOUR game AoC. Sorry jef, but this wasn't your best work. I know this is the "soapbox" but i think you went a little over the top. Besides, don't rune keepers just carve runes into rock, and the effect is only there as a show and not true magic. Dr. Corey Olsen also known as the "tolkien professor" weighed in on it in a CSTM podcast, he doesn't play lotro, but could see where it makes sense in the world. Here is the quote from a massively article actually....

http://www.massively.com/2010/05/28/the-road-to-mordor-rune-keepers-under-siege/

"I can see the point about people saying that it's not really fitting in. Magic in Tolkien's world is so rarely spell-centered, so far from 'I have three 7th-level spells prepared' magic... but I do have to give props to [the Rune-keeper's] description. If there were runes and words like that, it kind of works. The main thing I think of -- and I don't doubt that's what they had in mind, associated with the Mines of Moria expansion -- is when Gandalf is in Moria doing the closest to what sounds like the casting of spells. When he talks about putting a word of command on the door to close the door to keep the enemies out, and he talks about spells of shutting and opening. As Tolkien points out in On Fairy Stories, a 'spell' means 'words', basically... the idea that words have power, that even written words have particular power that way, like with runes, makes sense.

"It's not that I can think of an actual precedent for it in Tolkien's world, because there isn't really -- I guess wizards would be the closest thing. But even though I can't think of a parallel, I think they've done a good job taking this intrinsically alien concept of a magic-user and done it in such a way as to actually make it at least kind of fit within the worldview... From everything I've heard, Turbine's done a good job walking a fine line, being very respectful and careful, and what liberties they've taken are understandable, with a lot of respect toward the world and books."

bottom line is it's a game, not the actual books. i think we can all agree that a fantasy mmo w/out magic doesn't end up well.
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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 9:46PM Jef Reahard said

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No, we certainly can't all agree on that, lol.

I'm also not sure where you got the impression that I copped out on AoC. A re-read of that paragraph might clear it up. I specifically said I'm sure it does bogart the lore quite a bit, and even asked for examples.

The LoTRO fans took this article personally, and that's to be expected, but no one has provided a reasonable counter-argument other than "nuh uh, I like it!!" Which is fine btw, this is all subjective, hence the opinion piece disclaimer.

Finally, the opinion of a random PhD and "Tolkien expert" means exactly nothing (and by your own admission he doesn't even play the game, lol). At the end of the day, it is all subjective. Good for you if you like it, not everyone does.


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Posted: Nov 16th 2010 10:39PM exe973 said

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No one will have an argument good enough for you. You're dismissing the opinion of an expert on the IP based on him not agreeing with you. Frankly, this isn't a discussion, it's just you being a bit of a jerk. I'm quite disappointed with your attitude. I appreciate you sharing your opinion, but not your hostility towards those who disagree with you.
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