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Lord of the Rings Online: PAX Preview

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Turbine Entertainment's Lord of the Rings Online has some big shoes to fill. We saw them at PAX and spoke to Lead Systems Designer Nik Davidson. Here is what we learned.




image The star of the Turbine Entertainment booth at PAX was Lord of the Rings Online. In taking on this second massive license, Turbine has a mighty weight on their shoulders and expectations to live up to.

“This is an MMO for people who love MMOs,” explained Lead Systems Designer Nik Davidson. He made special note of how the game had not tried to “reinvent the wheel” when it came to things like interface, controls and basic mechanism. Lord of the Rings Online will not have change for change’s sake.

That said, there were two fundamental aspects of MMORPGs that Davidson felt their game had to get away from. The first was empty quests. They made it a goal to make every quest and task mean something. Given their IP, this seems like a relatively straightforward task. Although, in the demo, he did have his elf deliver the mail.

You can read more here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • GungaDinGungaDin Philadelphia, PAPosts: 514Member Uncommon

    Some good ideas there.  I think that PVP aspect is kind of neat.   Sure it would be fun to slaughter a hobbit as an elf, but i'm willing to come to a compromise. 

    Looks like I may pick this game up and look forward to winning BETA entry :)

    They seem to want to cover all the bases:  Meaningful Quests, Crafting, PVE, PVP, Housing and Mounts.  That gives the players alot of things to do when they get bored with one area.  Exactly what I think these online games should have to appeal to all types of players. 

    After reading this i'm ranking Lord of the Rings and Age of Conan at the top of my list as far as Hype is concerned.  Now whether they both pan out.....thats for the game testing and playability to decide. 

    So kudos to you LOTR Online,  you may have caught the attention of some of us that were looking elsewhere to spend dollars.

  • docminusdocminus J.Posts: 717Member
    short, but interesting, especially the comment on mounts & player housing/guild hall.
    also the pvp comments were new to me.

    i simply can't wait :D


    imageimage

  • haxxjoohaxxjoo detroit, MIPosts: 924Member

    Thank God! on empty quests.  I hate 99% of pve quests.  So little work is done on good solid story work.

    On the Elve and hobbits in some sort of warring pvp why not? Didn't humans join Mordor?  Why not rogue elves, hobbits, trees.  Distinquishing good and evil wasn't about race in lotr was it?  Smegel was an evil hobbit was he not?

    I hope crafting is deep and the economy is player driven.  A game I use to enjoy once had a great system for complex crafting.  I hope they dont make players simply npcs all handing out completely equal items.

    Playing monsters in an area and being able to pk? Um ya sounds fun.  It also sounds like a sure way to put high level players against noobs to be slaughtered by your "npcs".  The reason most players beat even matched AI is the AI is retarded.  You put a master of combat at the helm of a monster with very powerful specials and abilities its going to be highly frustrating for some groups and low level players.  Alot of npc creatures use highly powerful specials very poorly.  In the hands of a player these become a griefers paradise.

  • andyx1205andyx1205 Vancouver, BCPosts: 4Member


    Originally posted by haxxjoo

    Thank God! on empty quests.  I hate 99% of pve quests.  So little work is done on good solid story work.
    On the Elve and hobbits in some sort of warring pvp why not? Didn't humans join Mordor?  Why not rogue elves, hobbits, trees.  Distinquishing good and evil wasn't about race in lotr was it?  Smegel was an evil hobbit was he not?
    I hope crafting is deep and the economy is player driven.  A game I use to enjoy once had a great system for complex crafting.  I hope they dont make players simply npcs all handing out completely equal items.
    Playing monsters in an area and being able to pk? Um ya sounds fun.  It also sounds like a sure way to put high level players against noobs to be slaughtered by your "npcs".  The reason most players beat even matched AI is the AI is retarded.  You put a master of combat at the helm of a monster with very powerful specials and abilities its going to be highly frustrating for some groups and low level players.  Alot of npc creatures use highly powerful specials very poorly.  In the hands of a player these become a griefers paradise.


     I don't think you get the monster play, the AI from what I've seen also will be really good. Don't worry, let more info on monster play come by, because it will be great.

    For your concern on PvP. Smeagol was not an evil hobbit, he had found the One Ring which had corrupted him and made his lifespan long, and turned him into a weird looking creature, it was his thirst for the ring that made him evil.

    Humans joined Mordor? Well, the men from Rhun (Easterlings) and men from Harad (Haradrim) and Khand (a place near Mordor which is like Rohan with Horses) were allied with Sauron. Those lands are far far away, and those guys were Evil since Ages ago. It's a whole different story, no there were not people killing eachother in Eriador (where the initial release will take place),etc. There are still some corrupted Men in Eriador, such as spies,etc but we can't play as them because well, the story of Middle-Earth was told on the Good side's Point of View, not the Bad guys. Anyways, for Evil Elves, yah Elves were corrupted a LONG TIME AGO in the 1st Age my Morgoth (the First Dark Lord, who later corrupted Sauron and then Sauron became his strongest servant, so yes Sauron was once a nice guy). But hmm...yah there weren't really evil elves int he 3rd age I believe.

    But yah, we can't see Elves ganking Hobbits,etc in the Shire or what not, that'll be totally weird :) The crafting will be really good, raiding will not be the only way to get those high-level items, so don't worry Solo-ers and crafters :)

    But well hopefully I get into Beta so I can see more of this game!

    http://lotro.turbine.com/

    Lotro will be the best MMO :)

  • GrindalyxGrindalyx Longview, WAPosts: 691Member

    A rouge elf is called an orc or goblin. By the third age no elf would think of fighting for sauron. Smeagol was a river folk a distant relation to a hobbit. But not a hobbit as we know them. I like the sounds of the pvp system, Monster play sounds like a good way to get to play an evil character and not have to worry about all the lvling up and finding gear for them.

    I am really looking forward to this game. I have read the latest remarks from alpha testers and it has me sitting on edge to play. From what they have said the quests are meaningful and that is important to me. I will have to play all four races now cause i like to do all the quests in a game. I am sure that some quests will be race specific. I will even have to do monster play since there will be missions and quests to do as a monster.

    All in all my mind is racing with all the differant things to do and all the time i will spend in front of my pc. Just may have to put in a order for pizza delivery once a day.  Just joking of course.

    imageimage

  • apocalanceapocalance Jacksonville, FLPosts: 1,073Member

    I liked this information, it all sounds good.

    so...

  • ChaoticaChaotica Second Life, MIPosts: 98Member

    I am sooo frickin excited about this game! The Monster Play sounds so cool. I can't wait to read more about it and try it out. How cool is that? I can't wait to try my hand at playing something spooky!

    I think this is going to end up being THE #1 game on the market. Everything I have read so far just reinforces that.

    I don't know if I can keep it together until Spring of 2007!  I want to play now! LOL

    A Voice From Within

  • starman999starman999 Yuma, AZPosts: 1,232Member

    Im sorry I just dont get it....

    It would seem much easier to just make orcs goblins and trolls playable races. Also allow men to choose alignment with evil or good.It would facilitate deeper more meaningful PVP I think. Imagine the battleground they could make. Helms deep could be an ongoing pvp battleground as well as the area outside mordor.

    I think they are missing a golden opportunity for some realy epic PVP.

    Critical thinking is a desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and hatred for every kind of imposture.

  • PB&JPB&J Fishers, INPosts: 255Member
    I like the sounds of this so far. I'm definetly willing to give it a shot. Just have to win that beta spot.

  • andyx1205andyx1205 Vancouver, BCPosts: 4Member


    Originally posted by starman999

    Im sorry I just dont get it....
    It would seem much easier to just make orcs goblins and trolls playable races. Also allow men to choose alignment with evil or good.It would facilitate deeper more meaningful PVP I think. Imagine the battleground they could make. Helms deep could be an ongoing pvp battleground as well as the area outside mordor.
    I think they are missing a golden opportunity for some realy epic PVP



    What do you not get? Have you read the frikin books? The story was never told on the PoV of Evil. Trolls, orcs,etc never had their own free will. Haradrmin/Easterlings/Men from Khand had only one thing to do, to follow Sauron. The haradrim also did not go to a lot of places in Middle-Earth, we don't want them going to the Shire,etc that would be dumb and break the lore. There weren't orcs raiding the Shire at the time this game will be set (at the time of the Fellowship),etc you need to get that in your head.

    Middle-Earth is the best fantasy set of books out there, nothing matches it and they are sticking to the lore for it.

    http://lotro.turbine.com/

    Lotro will be the best MMO :)

  • DemonOvrlordDemonOvrlord San Antonio, TXPosts: 69Member

    "There, anyone can simply become a goblin or some other low level creature and attack real players as they go by."

    This is the first thing I've heard from the game since they started to give out game mechanics details that makes me want to try it.  I didn't think Turbine could put PvP in their current version of LotRO but this idea really seems like it could work. 

    At least enough to get me to try the game now.

    I agree with Andyx, anyone whose actually read the books knows Lord of the Rings was NEVER about seeing things from the side of evil.   Using the old MMORPG ideas of 'factions' would completely ruin the feel of Middle-earth where players, like the main characters, should be the ones fighting the darkness. 

  • iHatePantsiHatePants Toronto, ONPosts: 33Member


    Originally posted by starman999

    Im sorry I just dont get it....
    It would seem much easier to just make orcs goblins and trolls playable races. Also allow men to choose alignment with evil or good.It would facilitate deeper more meaningful PVP I think. Imagine the battleground they could make. Helms deep could be an ongoing pvp battleground as well as the area outside mordor.
    I think they are missing a golden opportunity for some realy epic PVP.


    Agreed. This game is missing a huge chunk without the abilty to play the evil races. The game would be better and have soo much more potential.
  • RattrapRattrap ZagrebPosts: 1,599Member

    Stop talking about PVP all the time. Not all MMOS are about PVP

    There are pve mmos , perhaps not your cup of tea? Than you will have WAR and many other PVP oriented games to come.

    LOTR should be the game for roleplayers...

    Only problem is that it will suck big time

    "Before this battle is over all the world will know that few...stood against many." - King Leonidas

  • geckomangeckoman Seattle, WAPosts: 8Member


    Originally posted by Rattrap

    Stop talking about PVP all the time. Not all MMOS are about PVP
    There are pve mmos , perhaps not your cup of tea? Than you will have WAR and many other PVP oriented games to come.
    LOTR should be the game for roleplayers...
    Only problem is that it will suck big time


    That being said, and I agree with you :), you have to admit that the PvP concept is intriguing if not a little bit cool!    Hmmmm, what monster shall I play? 
  • ghettochildeghettochilde Barnegat, NJPosts: 50Member


    Originally posted by Rattrap

    Stop talking about PVP all the time. Not all MMOS are about PVP
    There are pve mmos , perhaps not your cup of tea? Than you will have WAR and many other PVP oriented games to come.
    LOTR should be the game for roleplayers...



    QFE

    ( I left out that last part because I hope you're wrong lol)

  • BeeryBeery Boston, MAPosts: 184Member
    Where's the "You can read more here" stuff?  It links to a 'page not found'.
  • BeeryBeery Boston, MAPosts: 184Member

    "The star of the Turbine Entertainment booth at PAX was Lord of the Rings Online. In taking on this second massive license, Turbine has a mighty weight on their shoulders"

    Dammit!  I hate it when people can't decide whether a noun (in this case 'Turbine') is singular or plural, so they decide to mix both in the same sentence.

    If Turbine *HAS* a mighty weight, that weight rests on *ITS* shoulders.  If the weight is on *THEIR* shoulders then 'Turbine' *HAVE* a mighty weight.

  • vickykolvickykol Oakland, CAPosts: 104Member


    Originally posted by Rattrap

    Stop talking about PVP all the time. Not all MMOS are about PVP
    There are pve mmos , perhaps not your cup of tea? Than you will have WAR and many other PVP oriented games to come.
    LOTR should be the game for roleplayers...
    Only problem is that it will suck big time


    This is a major part of the challenge of the LotR IP/lore. The reason that they cannot have evil playable races at this point is that you will have orcs wandering all over Hobbiton, which really doesn't work. The real challenge that I see is that although the world is rich, most of Middle Earth in the regions under discussion for the game were fairly boring, ordinary places (by MMORPG standards). 

    Keeping the balance right will be hard. Look at the problems of SWG -- too many Jedis. The game had problems but I liked it until they redid the whole system to dumb it down, which led to the Jedi inflation. MxO never caught on, although it had good live events and tried to stick to the lore. My expectation is that this game will frustrate a lot of players the same way as DDO, a game which is largely loyal to its roots and therefore awkward as an MMORPG.

    These days big IP --> need for big $$$ --> either: (1) eventual dumbing down and loss of roleplaying ability, or (2) failure to attract a player base and languishing.

    Well, that is my depressing thought for the day.

  • DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member


    Originally posted by Beery

    "The star of the Turbine Entertainment booth at PAX was Lord of the Rings Online. In taking on this second massive license, Turbine has a mighty weight on their shoulders"
    Dammit!  I hate it when people can't decide whether a noun (in this case 'Turbine') is singular or plural, so they decide to mix both in the same sentence.
    If Turbine *HAS* a mighty weight, that weight rests on *ITS* shoulders.  If the weight is on *THEIR* shoulders then 'Turbine' *HAVE* a mighty weight.


    Fair point, but no need to get so worked up. I've corrected the error. Thank you.

    Dana Massey
    Formerly of MMORPG.com
    Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  • hairytrooperhairytrooper Hendrik Ido AmbachtPosts: 2Member

    This game looks so cool. Every time I look some screens and movies and the new stuf they are putting in this game. oh its just like a dream come true. this is really gona be a big mmorpg game !

  • VallenarVallenar Madison, WIPosts: 124Member


    Originally posted by starman999

    Im sorry I just dont get it....
    It would seem much easier to just make orcs goblins and trolls playable races. Also allow men to choose alignment with evil or good.It would facilitate deeper more meaningful PVP I think. Imagine the battleground they could make. Helms deep could be an ongoing pvp battleground as well as the area outside mordor.
    I think they are missing a golden opportunity for some realy epic PVP.


    You have to think of these orcs much differently than orcs in other MMO's like WoW.  The Orcs of Middle-Earth are not free-thinkers.  They are pawns created and controled by the dark powers and are litteraly slaves to its will.  They do what they are told and that's it.  It would be unheard of in Middle-Earth to have an Orc venture out on its own to complete some kind of quest or objective.  Their strength is in brute strength and numbers not intelligence or thought.

    I think their monster play idea rocks.  It's going to be great.  Plus I'm really looking forward to raiding in the Angmar, I can't wait to see where the Witch King once rained down terror on Arnor. :)


  • SaracorSaracor Seattle, WAPosts: 8Member
    This world just doesn't support that type of interaction. Would you want to play on a side that was doomed to failure? Sure you can play Helm's Deep BG but the defenders always win in the end and all the orcs get killed. There's a completed storyline already and they are following it. Monster play lets you at least interact with others in the world while playing on the evil side and not worry that you will lose. It's no big deal because just by doing so will give you a reward for later.

    Some games aren't meant for epic PvP and this is one of them. Warhammer Online is and is doing a good job with it.

    Personally, I loved what I've seen so far in this game and can't wait for it. With concentration on smaller group play (fellowships and smaller raids) it will be easier to experience more of the game.



  • volanorvolanor Stillwater, OKPosts: 4Member
    i'm really interested to see how in depth the crafting is going to be! The most in depth crafting system i have ever seen was in SWG, but sadly the game dwindled. but i hope turbine has put some thought into their crafting system, because personally crafting helps make a great mmo.  There is a time when pvp and combat just gets old and you need a break just to make somthing new.
  • Solon22Solon22 St. Louis, MOPosts: 21Member

    Real player PvP where you can actually be evil characters is completely against the rules of Lore with Lord of the Rings. LotRO is completely and utterly all about lore. Turbine does their very best not to break any of it. If you're a die hard PvP fan, then I'm sorry to say that this game won't be for you. I'm looking forward to LotRO because I think it will attract a much more mature crowd, and leave all the 1337 kids playing WoW.

    LotRO is about content, rich and vibrant. Has anyone seen the latest video that shows parts of Rivendell, Archet, and Ered Luin? The graphics are just stunning, and alpha seems to be going extremely well. There's no doubt in my mind that this game doesn't have the potential to become the next big MMO out there. PvP isn't everything, but even so, Turbine has decided to allow Monster Play which I think is great. They've also allowed raiding but on a smaller scale, which is the same thing Blizzard is doing in BC expansion, because 39 other players was just too much for me.

    But, hats off to Turbine. They've done a tremendous job thus far, and as the days come closer to release, and beta rolls in, this game will continue to jump up the hype chart. 

  • Furious5kFurious5k LondonPosts: 7Member

    I agree with that which the above person stated.

    I may be merely on the line of becoming completely mature, or perhaps it's exactly because I am on the line, but I am often frustrated in other games with the little kids or people with mind age far below their biological age. A game such as Lord of the Rings is all about the story and the feel of the world it is set in.

    If I am confused about something and I ask a question, I want a decent answer. I do not wish to be either ignored or called a "noob" (when most of the people who say this do not even know the meaning of the word and simply say it out of ignorance). I want a friendly answer with decent spelling and maybe even *gasp* grammar. Not that mine is any good, but at least I try.

    Large scale PVP might seem good when you imagine it in your mind - a large battlefield, humans, elves, orcs, trolls and other races meeting in a fierce battle. But that is not what it would become. It would be just another episode of who has the highest level, who has the best equipment and who can shout the most derogatory words in one sentence.

    Monster play is an excellent idea that brings in the fun you can have with PVP without breaking the feel of the setting and not focusing on it, whilst also creating a new and interesting feature for the game. Anything more then that just feels wrong and would certainly make me re-evaluate my interest in the title.

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