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[Preview] Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep - Rich In Lore

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,614MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Turbine has been proudly showing off the locations and environments coming in the next Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Helm's Deep, that is slated to go live in November. We've tagged along on a couple of tours and have some thoughts to share. Read on before leaving your thoughts in the comments.

One of the things the team was eager to point out is that the focus of this expansion is to use "ambient storytelling" as much as to use active, vocalized (or textual) storytelling. Small and large touches bring this ambient story to life. For instance, in our travels, we came upon a caravan that had clearly been ambushed and all party members brutally slain and left there to rot. Other things like smoke billowing in the distance, towns and villages are utterly destroyed. All of this and more is included to give the story a visual twist.

Read more of Suzie Ford's Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep - Rich In Lore.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • ChaaKChaaK hehePosts: 39Member

    Recently re-started to play it, leveling a guardian. I absolutly love the feeling of this game, and the global writing. But damn this is sooooo slooooowww.

    I'd like more dynamics combats.

  • flizzerflizzer Manchester, NHPosts: 1,550Member Uncommon
    Same feeling as you ChaaK.  I love the world and terrific story.  Huge Tolkien fan here.  But the combat is so sloooow.  I'm coming from GW2 and that game has spoiled me for all others I think.  I still think the terrific story, lore, and still great looking game world outweigh the sluggish combat so I expect I will be checking in to Helm's Deep when it goes live.    Now if we only could have a combat overhaul....
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon

    Well, I"m slowly doing my hytbold dailies and awaiting this expansion. I really hope it's good.

    I initially thought Helm's Deep was going to be a pvp map with different criteria for "winning" but apparently it's not.

    By different criteria I mean that though Saruman's forces have to lose I thought those forces would have a different criteria for "winning" such as achieving certain goals within a certain time span or racking up a certain amount of kills.

    Still, I don't know how they are going to do this because the game engine is not great at depicting many characters on the screen.

    Maybe they will do it like dragonage where you look down at Ostagard and see a huge battle but you can't really "go there".

     
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon

    Nice preview. The game is still looking awesome regardless of its 6+ years, and I agree with the rich in lore part in the title. In that matter both RoI and RoR were great (ok, maybe except Hytbold :) ) and I'm positive HD will be good as well.

    The problem with HD is not the story / writing, the lore or the looks, it's the class revamp... Runekeeper's dev diary came out yesterday, seems they'll gut the attunement system and making something like hunter's focus out of it, only it will have two directions of course. Maybe they should rename it from "attunement" to "mood swings"... 

    I'm worrying about what will the warden diary bring tomorrow, they're maybe the best class in LotRO gameplay-wise.

     

    So for your ending questions, Do you still play LotRO?  - yep

    Are you planning to purchase the Helm's Deep expansion?  - I definitely will buy it for the storyline, but not preordering and probably not even buying it this year.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,209Member Uncommon

    I've been playing again. The game is still enjoyable to me. The lore details are nice and the world is immersive. The combat is not so great and we'll see how fun the classes are after the revamp. I don't play the game now for the combat.

    I'm not going to pre-order. In fact I'm not sure when or if I'll purchase the xpac. Maybe later on down the road as the game can be expensive to catch up on. I was deciding between LotRO and EQ2 for the next xpac to play and EQ2 won out this time.

  • maxima29maxima29 iowa, IAPosts: 203Member
    Originally posted by Vivasvan

    This game used to be great. Turbine neglected there old player base. The game is just lore now. Just a story game.

    No raiding exists and no instances are being made. All that is left is a story.

     

    Actually update ten added a few new instances and a raid. And technically battle at HM is just a large instance. But yes they said going forward instance and raids will not be their priority.
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    This game used to be great. Turbine neglected there old player base. The game is just lore now. Just a story game.

    No raiding exists and no instances are being made. All that is left is a story.

    To be honest that is fine with me. What isn't fine is that there really isn't much reason to have it be a multi-player game.

    And I'm usually a solo player. But the need for groups seems to be gone.

    Even if it was just storied quests some grouping should be in the game.

     

    In any case, I purchased Helm's Deep so we'll see what happens. Shame about what hey are doing to Rune Keeper. And I imagine "shame" at what they might do to Warden. That was a very well designed class.

  • maxima29maxima29 iowa, IAPosts: 203Member
    Originally posted by Vivasvan

    As someone pointed out. There is no reason for this he to be an MMO anymore.

    Grouping is not needed or required at all.

    It could quite happily be a Lord of the rings single player game with an online chat channel.

    Such a shame to the best MMO I've played since EQ.

     

    I would have to disagree. They still have with the skirmishes, raids, six and three mans around 40 dungeons not sure on exact number. A lot of the open world elites especially in update ten require multiple players fighting on their mounts. In HD to get the best items you will need to run the battle for HD in a six or twelve man group. Yes they are moving away from instances and raids but its far from a single player game. That option is available but what's wrong with making some aspects single player friendly for those who wish to be alone?
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,209Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    This game used to be great. Turbine neglected there old player base. The game is just lore now. Just a story game.

    No raiding exists and no instances are being made. All that is left is a story.

    To be honest that is fine with me. What isn't fine is that there really isn't much reason to have it be a multi-player game.

    And I'm usually a solo player. But the need for groups seems to be gone.

    Even if it was just storied quests some grouping should be in the game.

     

    In any case, I purchased Helm's Deep so we'll see what happens. Shame about what hey are doing to Rune Keeper. And I imagine "shame" at what they might do to Warden. That was a very well designed class.

    I'm not sure if I like the sound of the RK changes either. I really didn't like the Minstrel revamp Orion did a year or so ago (I can't remember the exact time). It's not bad I guess, but I liked how the mini felt and played before that. The lore-master changes also worry me a little. I like how my lore-master has played even though it's been nerfed heavily since Shadows. We'll see in a month I guess.

    I want to see how the game feels to me before I buy the xpac and also do the account upgrades I don't have (wallet, mount speed, etc) as they sort of add up quick.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maxima29
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    As someone pointed out. There is no reason for this he to be an MMO anymore.

    Grouping is not needed or required at all.

    It could quite happily be a Lord of the rings single player game with an online chat channel.

    Such a shame to the best MMO I've played since EQ.

     

    I would have to disagree. They still have with the skirmishes, raids, six and three mans around 40 dungeons not sure on exact number. A lot of the open world elites especially in update ten require multiple players fighting on their mounts. In HD to get the best items you will need to run the battle for HD in a six or twelve man group. Yes they are moving away from instances and raids but its far from a single player game. That option is available but what's wrong with making some aspects single player friendly for those who wish to be alone?

    hmmm, There are the larger "on horse" battles in Rohan, true, but I find few to any people actually doing them. If anyting (and much to my amusement) I find myself running for my life from them. Espeically the one time I left a nearby town, hung a right and was immediately attacked by a  roving group mob and its minions.

    It's true they have skirmishes where you can sign up with a group but I suppose its guilds running these as I've yet to see anyone yelling for skirmish groups.

     

  • maxima29maxima29 iowa, IAPosts: 203Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Originally posted by maxima29
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    As someone pointed out. There is no reason for this he to be an MMO anymore.

    Grouping is not needed or required at all.

    It could quite happily be a Lord of the rings single player game with an online chat channel.

    Such a shame to the best MMO I've played since EQ.

     

    I would have to disagree. They still have with the skirmishes, raids, six and three mans around 40 dungeons not sure on exact number. A lot of the open world elites especially in update ten require multiple players fighting on their mounts. In HD to get the best items you will need to run the battle for HD in a six or twelve man group. Yes they are moving away from instances and raids but its far from a single player game. That option is available but what's wrong with making some aspects single player friendly for those who wish to be alone?

    hmmm, There are the larger "on horse" battles in Rohan, true, but I find few to any people actually doing them. If anyting (and much to my amusement) I find myself running for my life from them. Espeically the one time I left a nearby town, hung a right and was immediately attacked by a  roving group mob and its minions.

    It's true they have skirmishes where you can sign up with a group but I suppose its guilds running these as I've yet to see anyone yelling for skirmish groups.

     

     

    Yeah that is one negative thing about lotro it used to have a great community with pugs forming but now its mainly kinships running stuff. I still see groups forming for seals, mounted groups but they don't need to form groups for them its open tagging something I wish every game would implement.
  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon

    Combat feels too slow, travel feels too slow, the entire thing feels too grindy, it takes too long to accomplish anything.  I have a lifetime membership, and I have tried time and time again to come back but it just takes too long to get to the fun bits, and they are far too few and far between.  If they want more people to play it they need a better skill system, they need to loose all the really grindy crap, and improve the pacing of the entire game a lot.

     

     

  • qombiqombi Unknown, LAPosts: 1,180Member

    That game is horrible now because they removed all grouping aspects from the game. LOTRO had some fun raids in the beginning but now it is a single player game. I am also tired of hearing about the "grind". MMOs are about the journey, not instant gratification for the attention deficient children. If they gave everyone everything instantly, everyone would just quit.

     
     
  • marcustmarcust AdelaidePosts: 467Member Uncommon
    We still have a great kinship on the Crickhollow server and its a pleasure to get on and chat with them while running instances. The in-party chat feature of the game has kept many playing.

    Playing: ESO, Submerged
    Favourite games have been: UO, Lineage2, WoW, Darkfall, Lotro, GW2

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    As someone pointed out. There is no reason for this he to be an MMO anymore.

    Grouping is not needed or required at all.

    It could quite happily be a Lord of the rings single player game with an online chat channel.

    Such a shame to the best MMO I've played since EQ.

    Then you have skipped about 50% of the game if you don't group.  I really get tired of people who solo all the time and then come whine on the boards that there is no group action.

  • GardavsshadeGardavsshade Cedar Springs, MIPosts: 762Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maxima29
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    As someone pointed out. There is no reason for this he to be an MMO anymore.

    Grouping is not needed or required at all.

    It could quite happily be a Lord of the rings single player game with an online chat channel.

    Such a shame to the best MMO I've played since EQ.

     

    I would have to disagree. They still have with the skirmishes, raids, six and three mans around 40 dungeons not sure on exact number. A lot of the open world elites especially in update ten require multiple players fighting on their mounts. In HD to get the best items you will need to run the battle for HD in a six or twelve man group. Yes they are moving away from instances and raids but its far from a single player game. That option is available but what's wrong with making some aspects single player friendly for those who wish to be alone?

    What's wrong is that in Riders of Rohan quest areas there are many, and I mean MANY quests that force you to drop out of Fellowship just to complete them, quests that are rich in lore yes, but not multiplayer at all.

     

    My Wife and I wanted to do them together... nope, not allowed because the quests are single player only.... want to do them with my Wife and Daughter... nope. This kind of thing shouldn't happen in MMOs as far as I am concerned.

     

    As others have said above, LotRO is fast becoming a Single Player RPG. To me that is a shame considering all the work that was put into LotRO in the first place to make it an expansive and immersive multiplayer experience.

     

    Yes the old content in LotRO is still very much group oriented, but the new content in last two years is NOT, and the pace of this redesign is speeding up rapidly.

     
     
     
  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon
    So another expansion releasing in november. Did WB/Turbine confirm they will renew the license which ends in 2014? I wouldnt waste a dime on game with an almost expired license unless a renewal happens.

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  • sethman75sethman75 the gongPosts: 212Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    This game used to be great. Turbine neglected there old player base. The game is just lore now. Just a story game.

    No raiding exists and no instances are being made. All that is left is a story.

    Geez who would want a story in a game based off LOTR??

    Only one of the best stories of the past century.

    I for one am happy that LOTRO is different than other MMO's who create a forced group based experience.

    If you want to play with your friends you can and their is a shedload of group based stuff to do BUT you are not forced to do it if you don't want. And if recent trends are showing...most people don't.

    I really don't understand some people's obsession that for a MMO to be good it has to have pvp or massive raids.

    That is wrong on many levels.

    Why people are getting sick to death of MMO's is because most of them try to copy each other and they all feel the same.

    Turbine are playing to the strengths of the license and basing the game around something that no other MMO has......a story and an amazing world.

    If you want to replay the same pvp maps over and over everyday or lose 6 hours per week on a raid, go elsewhere.

    The rest of us will be enjoying ourselves in middle earth and a game that is thankfully different than the rest.

     

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sethman75
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    This game used to be great. Turbine neglected there old player base. The game is just lore now. Just a story game.

    No raiding exists and no instances are being made. All that is left is a story.

    Geez who would want a story in a game based off LOTR??

    Only one of the best stories of the past century.

    I agree :)

    If you want to replay the same pvp maps over and over everyday or lose 6 hours per week on a raid, go elsewhere.

    Actually both can be done in LotRO as well, Ettenmoors and the raids are still there.

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by qombi

    That game is horrible now because they removed all grouping aspects from the game. LOTRO had some fun raids in the beginning but now it is a single player game. I am also tired of hearing about the "grind". MMOs are about the journey, not instant gratification for the attention deficient children. If they gave everyone everything instantly, everyone would just quit.

     
     

    There is a fairly big gap between "instant gratification" and "grind".  It is the middle ground that is desired.  LotRO is deep into "grind" territory.  Also MMOs are about the journey, and the journey should be interesting not "kill 60 frogs just because".   The games that get it right,  have somewhat of a grind but disguise it so it doesn't feel like a grind and is actually fun.  If it feels like a grind, they are doing it wrong.

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rojo6934
    So another expansion releasing in november. Did WB/Turbine confirm they will renew the license which ends in 2014? I wouldnt waste a dime on game with an almost expired license unless a renewal happens.

    What we know:

    Wide scale root changes to all classes / may be popular    may not be

    Removal of the storyline from the F2P option / may be tolerable may not be

    Removal of group content and raids replaced by "Big Battles" witch no one really know anything about good, bad, indif

     

    What we do not know:

    detailed breakdown of class changes

    Clear explanation of what "Big battles" gameplay really is

    the remote possibility the license could be allowed to expire shortly after HD launch

     

    ^ well thought out marketing; we'll see how it works out for them

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