February 12, 2007

They Put Magic on My Lord of the Rings Online!

Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO) has dropped it's NDA. Tobold has his quick hit review up here. The following quote just destroyed the game for me:
"I created a hobbit minstrel as my character. You can also play humans, dwarves, or elves. And there are 6 more classes: Burglar, Captain, Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-master. If you wonder why there are no "priests" or "mages", this is due to the Tolkien lore. There is no commonly available "magic" in the game. But that is only semantics, the abilities of the character classes in practice work exactly like magic spells in other games. The minstrel I'm playing is a kind of healer / bard, and plays very nicely. Besides a healing spell, an improved melee attack, and a "cry" that works like a direct damage spell, I have a series of ballads to sing. These ballads combine a short-duration buff with some direct damage to the enemy. Thus I can't buff before the combat, I need an enemy target to hit to use them. The ballads exist in several tiers, tier 1, tier 2, etc., and I can only use a tier 2 ballad if I have a tier 1 ballad buff currently on me. So keeping up all the buffs during a longer combat isn't trivial, and makes for some quite interesting gameplay. If there are still enough people remembering the original Everquest, I'm sure that this will be called "twisting" ballads, after the EQ bard gameplay."
LotRO has failed the "something here is not like the others" test. If you lined it up next to WoW or Everquest in terms of gameplay, there would be no discernible differences. What a way to fuck up the most beloved fantasy work of all time. First Dungeons and Dragons and now Lord of the Rings. Someone please stop licensing top notch intellectual properties to Turbine!