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Old 02-21-2007, 07:55 AM   #1
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Anyone playing Lord of the Rings online beta?

Hi!

Since the ebook front seems to be quiet at the moment I thought I'd ask around and see who else is getting interested in this potentially interesting MMORPG game.
I'm trying to get a beta-key at the moment so I can join, but so far have not been lucky. European beta test is now fully underway, and there is a new CVG (http://www.computerandvideogames.com....php?id=158513) beta-key giveaway due on friday. I'll be working when the giveaway starts, so I probably won't get a chance at snatching akey then, but if anyone esle is still looking for a key and has time that might be worth a try.

I don't know whether the game will be worth it, but I'll give it a chance because Toliens Lord of the Rings Trilogy was one of the first fantasy books I still consider it one of the very best. I hated the movies because they made so many (in my opinion) unneccessary changes to the characters and storyline just to fulfill some Hollywood clichés...

What do you think? Do you/Did you like the books, the movies and do you think the game could turn out to be a winner? Are you already beta-testing or are you, like me, still trying to get into the betatester group?

Tell us all about it!
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:25 AM   #2
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Loved the books, thought the movies were ok (there's too much content in those books to make a reasonable number of movies). I don't play online games much (except for Second Life, occasionally), but my husband plays some of the Playstation games with a friend, because they are cooperative. (He and his friend like to be on the same side.) If they can bring that cooperative element to the LOTR MMORPG, that would be good. But one of the basic problems with making a game from this series is that most of the critical story events take place around the Nine, and you can't let everyone be one. One of the Playstation games deals with this by having you play members of a second team, following after the first team and dealing with the stuff they didn't catch. Certainly there are plenty of big battle scenes that practically anyone could participate in. But I've never figured out how MMORPGs solve the basic game design question: how do you convince the players that what they do really matters, when everyone knows who the stars of the show are and what the final outcome will be?
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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I don't really mind it if they leave things out to shorten the story. but in the LOTR movies they actually added scenes that weren't in the books (bad) and changed/swapped charakters (Faramir, VERY strange character transformation, Legolas instead of Glorfindel (one a simple woodelf, the other a powerful mage...)) in the beginning) (VERY BAD).
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
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Well, and Arwen gets one of Glorfindel's scenes in the first movie, too. The problem is, Glorfindel is not only powerful but historically very important, but you don't have time to explain that in the movie (heck, there wasn't even time to explain it in the trilogy, you have to read the Silmarillion to understand who Glorfindel is). I felt like most of the "added" scenes were meant as ways to compress and introduce concepts they couldn't include in their original forms, due to space, particularly stuff from the appendices, like the fact that Elrond wouldn't approve the marriage between Aragorn and Arwen unless Aragorn managed to reclaim the throne at Gondor.

The main trouble I had was that the Ring was indirectly turned down by far too many people. Gandalf and Galadriel, yes. But Aragorn gets a clear shot at it in the movies, and as great a guy as he is, I'm not sure he would have been able to turn it down if offered. And Faramir (in the movies) apparently figures out what the hobbits are carrying and avoids temptation by telling them not to tell him what it is. I suppose this is just to show how much more balanced and cool he is than Boromir, but we lose a lot of the peril of the Ring in the process.

To my mind, the character who suffered most in the conversion was Denethor. This is a guy who's been holding the front line against Mordor for most of his life, has been trying to use a palantir to get info about what Sauron is up to and has more or less lost his sanity in the process, and yet is still noble enough in bearing that Pippin offers to serve him on the spot. In the movie the whole palantir business gets cut, and he comes across as a loony tyrant. Théoden doesn't fare much better - hard to believe he's the kind of man that Merry would swear allegiance to on the spot. I can only suppose the idea here was to further improve Aragorn's standing when compared to the other leaders available, but this kind of manipulation didn't seem necessary to me.

Last edited by nekokami; 02-21-2007 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Elrond
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:15 PM   #5
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I'm now in the beta.

The game seems to be running quite well, only few bus aroundas far as I can tell so far (didn't have much time to play yet).
I can't say yet whether the atmosphere of the books is caputred well or not, it'll take a while to find that out.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:00 AM   #6
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What kind of character choices do you have? Some human, dwarf or elf foot soldier types, I assume? (Can you play a hobbit on the home front, or an orc for Saruman or Sauron?) I wonder if they'll have any of the other wizards show up, e.g. Radagast.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:10 PM   #7
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Well, I'm playing a human captain right now.
You can play hobbits and elves and dwarves. No evil ones, at least not in normal gmae mode. Those are only useable in monsterplay but I did not try that yet.

The characters from the movies are there I guess, but I did not meet them yet.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:24 PM   #8
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Bizarre that you can play a hobbit when the whole point is that they just about never left the shire-- Bree was practically a foreign country.

Can you play a Dunedain?
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:15 AM   #9
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You can play only Hobbit, Elf and Human. I was a bit angry that I could not play a half-elf like Elrond, but I guess it makes sense since there are only a few of those in Middle Earth...

Playing a hobbit is I think a necessary thing in any LOTR game since many people will want to relive the books, so I guess the deviation from the Tolkien Lore is neccessary here...
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
Playing a hobbit is I think a necessary thing in any LOTR game since many people will want to relive the books, so I guess the deviation from the Tolkien Lore is neccessary here...
Me, I'd want to play an Entwife.

You'd think if they could deviate from canon enough to let hobbits out of the Shire, they could let you play a half-elf, or at least a Dunedain or a dwarf. Perhaps they just haven't implemented all the possible options for the first version.
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