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Reader Comments (8)

Posted: Apr 15th 2011 4:06PM (Unverified) said

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I find the art in LotRO so hit-or-miss, speaking personally, that it drives me a little crazy. Sometimes this is because of genuine aesthetic failures in the game (I'm sorry, but thecharacters' facial modeling is absolutely horrible, as are several of the color palettes in general), but more often than not it's because my notion of what Middle-earth looks like is just fundamentally different from Turbine's.

And that's not a dig, by any means; there are probably many people for whom LotRO perfectly corresponds to their image of Endor, and still more who don't really care all that much as long as the graphics are pretty. But if you're like me, and your relationship to the original novel is nigh-sacred, you probably have very strong and particular notions of what its setting looks like that don't match up with the designers'. And that, along with other mood-breakers like players with stupid names and no desire to respect lore or roleplay, has kept me from playing the game very much at all.

It's funny; I'm enjoying the heck out of Star Trek Online, in part for the opposite reason: it *feels* like Star Trek to me -- the visuals and sounds, among other aspects of the game, are just right. Of course, it's easier to create that congruence for a larger number of players when your game is based on visual media like TV and movies than on a strictly literary one like the novel. I wish the happy LotRO players much joy (live long and prosper, hobbits!), but I'll never be one of them, I'm afraid.

Posted: Apr 15th 2011 5:25PM Stormwaltz said

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The blue lady in 34 is Gwindeth from Evendim. She is, in fact, titled The Blue Lady in the game.

I always thought she was a river-woman, like Goldberry, Willowsong, and Naruhel, but a dev post on the forum suggested she's intended to be a Maiar.

Posted: Apr 15th 2011 5:40PM Shazzie said

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The Blue Lady is Gwindeth (the quest to first meet her is 'A Meeting with the Blue Lady'). She was friend to the ancient kings of Men, and flooded AnnĂºminas at the request of Elendil to keep its treasures safe. She lowers the waters so that you may enter Elendil's tomb and recover the Silithar for Aragorn, so that Narsil can be reforged.

I just finished that questline on an alt yesterday. :)

Posted: Apr 15th 2011 5:43PM Ryn said

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LOTRO is a contradiction in graphics. Beautiful, stunning world. Horrible character models. I don't know why this hasn't been addressed. I know it is probably not an easy thing to change. But like WOW, for LOTRO to step firmly into the future, the character models need a rework. Otherwise their competition will pass them by. I find myself playing LOTRO and absolutely loving the scenery. But the character models are another thing.

Thanks for sharing these screenshots! They really show what LOTRO has to offer graphically. And kudos for the sunset shot!

Posted: Apr 15th 2011 6:27PM aurickle said

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@Ryn
I have just never been able to understand the point of view you express here. I put LotRO's character models side by side with those from WoW and EQ2 -- the other main MMO's to launch during that time period and to me LotRO looks way better.

I know that some people hate the armor and clothing in LotRO, but that's a matter of style and aesthetics rather than models.
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Posted: Apr 15th 2011 6:50PM Ryn said

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@aurickle The point I am trying to make is if you take the character models from more recent games, LOTRO and WOW lag behind. The only thing IMO that is holding them back in the graphics department is the character models. I don't hate them or anything like that , I just think that to stay relevant going into the future, LOTRO and WOW will need to revisit their character design. Both have made great improvements to their environment graphics, now they need to pay attention to the characters and they are all set.

I'm not comparing them to past games, I'm comparing them to games that are coming out now and will come out soon. And while they are at it, they need to think of how players are going to be able to customize their characters appearance more than they do now.
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Posted: Apr 15th 2011 8:01PM Tom in VA said

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@Aurickle

Hah. And here I almost ALWAYS agree with you but I agree with Ryn here. The landscapes and set details (and armors, too) in LotRO are absolutely gorgeous and beautifully detailed.

The character models, however, are butt-ugly. Sorry, they just are. (They're bad in DDO, too. This must be a Turbine thing.)

The PC characters are a little better than many of the NPCs you encounter, but we're talking expressionless plastic mannequins for the most part. LotRO is a gorgeously crafted world populated by department store dress dummies.

STO's character models are much better; Guild Wars (an older game than LotRO) had better faces. Turbine's character models are just ... second-rate and fugly.
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Posted: Apr 15th 2011 8:08PM Tom in VA said

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Justin --

Thanks for the screenshots, bud. Very nice to see them. Few games I have ever played can match LotRO for sheer epic gorgeousness and grandeur when it comes to the various regions.

I can remember just sitting in the Shire in a high place to watch the sunsets. And I loved Forochel and the Lone Lands. (I tend to favor the less claustrophobic "wide open spaces".)

And the starlit nights were also very very nice.

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