LOTRO impressions: a few more levels

Got some time tonight to give LOTRO a few hours of my attention. It has gained some points in my book, and I’m not as down on it as I was after last night’s session.

I got my Warden to lvl 8 tonight and realized I get distracted by how beautiful the landscapes look in DX10 graphics, so much so that it distracts me from the small font/ui that bothered me so much initially. I probably played for 2 hours at least, and I’ll say i thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m trying my darnedest to get to 10 without dying, so I can get the title of “Jameseo the Undefeated.”(!)

On a side note, I got a 21-day EVE Online trial loaded up. I’m debating if I should open it up or not, for fear that it will suck me out LOTRO and cancel any momentum that LOTRO had gained on keeping my attention.

First Impressions: Lord Of The Rings Online

So I finally got some downtime tonight after the girlfriend passed out from sheer exhaustion (we’ve been out since 8am) and I had some time to sit down with LOTRO.

I made my little hobbit Warden Jameseo so I could see what this new tank/healer hybrid was all about. Wardens are unique in that they have this gambit system, which is similar to the rogue’s combo-points in World of Warcraft, except it allows for a little more flexibility. Instead of just building up 5 combo-points from any general attack that builds CP, the gambit system builds up two gambits, which then allows you to unleash your main gambit attack, which depends on whichever 2 gambits you had queued up in the two gambit slots, varying from direct-damage attacks, defensive attacks, and dot attacks from what I’ve read in-game. I probably did a poorer job describing it than Turbine has illustrating it in-game, but it’s seems pretty unique so far. Never really seen something like it in MMORPG class.

As far as how the game runs and looks, it’s quite good. I’m running it in DX10 mode with pretty much everything on High or Very High and I haven’t noticed very much slowdown yet. It will hiccup in a few spots when turning the camera or running to a new area, but it’s nothing compared to Warhammer’s obnoxious unreliable inconsistent performance. My main gripe with the game so far, and what could be a deal breaker for me, someone who truly believes that the devil is in the details, is the UI and how tiny and borderline illegible the font is in my native 1920×1200 resolution. I’ve never been one to need my lenses to use the computer, and I’d prefer not to start. Even as I type this I can read it just fine and it’s just simple black on white 12-point font. Having to constantly squint to read quest dialogue after quest dialogue is a real bummer for me, especially now that I’m trying to appreciate the writing in MMORPGs.

As of right now, it’s a toss up. I find myself wanting to log into Guild Wars as I play LOTRO, or even give some more trials a try (EVE online?), but I’ll definitely give it more time – these are simply just first impression ramblings from a tired man.

Merry Christmas and good night!