So this has been pretty much occupying my available free-time of late as I’ve really enjoyed this game. Which partially explains my lack of posting and lack of LOTRO time. The storylines are all very well written which is not surprising for a Bioware game, and there are lots of places where different decisions and storylines overlap. I’m not going to post any spoilers, so if you want to talk specifics send me an email or twitter about it.
So far, I have beaten the game on normal mode (decent challenge without being too hard for me) with my daelish elven rogue. I built her as an archer which turned out to be pretty darn effective, I didn’t have as many AOEs as I’d like but things did go down pretty quick. I also have a male noble warrior I’m working on as well as a male human mage. I’m finding myself really only drawn to a few of the companions due to their skills and attitudes, but they all have amazing depth and you do have pretty decent flexibility in how you set them up. I love the random banter they get into while walking around towns – it really does make it feel like a real group. Like other Bioware games you do have to gain reputation (and possible romance) with your companions, which is a good idea, but unfortunately there are way too many gifts in game to make this really challenging. I didn’t have to try with anyone and if I wanted them maxed out I had them there easily enough. The tactics system takes a bit to get used to but you can really script out how your folks act during battle, which you’ll find you’ll need to do for many of the boss fights.
Even though I’ve gone through 2 of the possible ending options for my rogue, I’m still playing to see how different decisions play out and what the other endings look like. Certainly some very tough choices as you work through the game and the outcomes are not always obvious.
There are some issues with the game no doubt, but I feel the good far outweighs the bad. I did have some performance issues at times which I haven’t fully nailed down – but re-starting the game seems to help. Overall I enjoyed the graphics but can understand how people might be less then ecstatic over them. Crowd control was a little ridiculous at times (on both sides) and there were lots of insta-death moves mobs could do that got a tad annoying when they did them repeatedly. For example, dragons, dogs, and ogres all have an attack where they incapacitate you and beat the tar outta you. You can’t use health pots in this mode and it is really hard to out-heal it. And then if you are lucky enough to have multiples of such mobs (which is quite common) the next once will go right ahead and pounce again. So I was able to work through it by just saving often and if I got unlucky, re-loaded right quick but it just seemed a little cheap at times.
I’m really looking forward to the modding community getting going I’m sure there will be some more cool stuff coming out – and surely will look to fill in a few of the gaps in the game.
There are lots of other reviews out there so I’m not going to say too much more about it, if I find any cool screenshots I’ll post them but otherwise unless there’s more news on this topic I probably won’t touch on it again.
More LOTRO news coming I promise.