Thediesel: First Encounters in Archet

As a complete “noob” of the MMORPG genre, I was pleasantly surprised by not only the depth of the storylines in Lord of the Rings Online, but the freedom within the game to play as uniquely as one would like. I began my entry into this vast and seemingly never-ending world of LOTRO, as a man hunter, thinking it would be a good class for someone new to the game.

At first, I stuck to completing several small tasks for the townspeople of Archet, such as killing the howling duskwolfs who haunted Chetwood farm and retrieving some athelas for Amdir (the ranger who rescued me at the story’s opening.)

But amidst my completion of these almost meaningless quests, I learned of the Blackwolds and their plan to breach the walls of Archet. Before I was even aware it was happening, the Blackwolds had begun their assault on my hometown and I was fighting my way through the lines of traitors. I managed to find my way to Amdir who I followed until I couldn’t any longer due to the excessive fire that was devastating the town. I then had to take a bucket from the nearby well and put the flames out, only to find that Amdir was no longer in fighting condition. Therefore, the fate of Archet was now in my hands as I had to battle Eogan, the leader of the Blackwolds, alone. I treated Eogan just as I had the wolves in my previous battles, using all of the attacks I had learned till that point.

I was triumphant in defeating the Blackwold leader and the town of Archet was now safe once again.

 I had now gained access to the rest of the Middle Earth, and traveled to the neighboring town of Bree, the location of my screenshot below. bree1.jpg

Culthir “Hunts” Alone

screenshot00001-2.jpg

            I just want to on record by saying that this is my first time playing any online RPG, and I can see why someone would get addicted.  I thought that the quests in the begginging were, more or less, a chance for the me to get used to the controls and gain XP points, but this turns out to the reason behind every quest thus far in the game.  It is a lot different than games where your character completes a task, for example, to save a friend compared to a baby cat that you have no conection to.  Granted that I went on a quest to save an Elf from “certain death”, but I recived no XP points for completing the task, and it was just a way to get me out of the intro to the game.

            As a hunter, on a quest to kill a gaint mamoth like animal, I would have liked to gained a special hunting skill for killing the brute instead of XP points.  I do understand that the more XP points I have the higher level I am; therefore, I will have more hunting skills, damage points, life, etc…  But, as a hunter, I can get just as much XP points from going on a quest to get rid a poisonous vine that is growing in the moutains or talking to a random person.  I guess what I am trying to say is I don’t feel like I, speaking as my character, an elf hunter, have gone on a quest that relates directley to me growing as a hunter.

             If I were to go on a quest with a group of characters, and my bow and arrow skills were need to shoot somebody from far away or trap food for the group, then I would relate better to the quest as an Elf.

              LOTR and LOTRO relate in that there are some of the same characters and places in LOTRO as there are in LOTR, but the quests in LOTRO don’t really relate to the movie.  Not that they aren’t tasks that a character would do in middle earth, but rather, that the quests are done by yourself.  LOTRO is based on the first LOTR movie which is is called the Fellowship of The Ring (implying a quest by a group of people).  The online game has almost no quests in which your character must acomplish a task with the help of a group, unlike the movie.

              I enjoy playing LOTRO, but I would like to make it more interactive, so if there is anyone in the class who wants to quest together talk to Culthir.

Racial Tension in Middle Earth

Que interesante! I came into Lord of the Rings Online expecting an MMORPG with basically the same formula as World of Warcraft but with a Tolkienesque backdrop for hobbit fans- little did I know that an immersive narrative experience awaited me. This game is highly story-based: no more grinding your last few bars to level or making a character then leaving it to “rest” for quick leveling, you’ve got to work for it! Immediately I was thrust into an intense civil disagreement- I believe “artifacts” were involved- and some deep seated tension between elves and dwarves surfaced. I don’t know about you other WoW player out there, but I am yet to see Troll’s look down on Tauren or an Orc mutter “paleface” under his breath about a Blood Elf- maybe Blizzard just thinks people aren’t that interested in a realistic storyline (and maybe they aren’t…), but I seriously appreciate the thought put into the complexity of race-to-race interaction. It’s not anything extreme (i.e. elf segregation) but the basic principles that J.R.R. Tolkien set down in his epic trilogy still hold true in this video game published half a century later- and I respect that.
Depressed as I am about being a “n00b” again (I got ellipsed several times in Kinship chat[clearly implying sarcasm…]) this is sure to prove a unique and indeed fun experience- and I look forward to navigating increasingly complex storylines as a part of my questing, leveling, and online “life.”

P.S. It took a lot of work to make that screenshot as 1337 as it is (so appreciate it!)
Aretel, Angel of Destruction

I don’t know why the quality is so bad… can someone help me?

Matt Shelton’s View from the top

Gazing into the future

Sauntering back form the temporary postal office in Olin lawn, i held in my hand the one box to rule them all. Carrying more parsals than i could manage, i was quick to throw the excess weight onto my bed. Through the clutter of the mail, i found the two boxes that would allow me to begin my adventure and Middle-earth. Armed with only a borrowed computer, the game, and my trusty mouse, i sat into my rather uncomfortable deskchair (thanks Vanderbilt) and began the Epic adventure, Lord of the Rings Online. I came at the game with the usual apprehension i do with most every Mmorpg that i have played in the past, and prepared myself for 2 hours of intense rabbit slaying. But the infamous “Kill seven rabbits that have plagued my field” and “Find my potion, here is the exact position where i left it” were not yet introduced. Quickly choosing a DPS class, I selected to be a Human Champion (the name was enough to instill me with confidence).  I found my character imprisoned in the city of Archet, and a mysterious man helped rid me of my shackles. After teaching me how to walk (interesting because my character looks around 25), he tells me to save a hobbit. This hobbit was no ordinary hobbit, he was blessed with certain knowledge that made him target of the dark lord. After saving him, my mysterious Strider-like ranger friend was attacked by a wraith, and wounded gravely. Gravely wounded, we entered the city of Archet and the normal chain of introductory quests began. Allowing a sigh to escape me, i ran back and forth, from city to a hunter’s lodge, to a farm, and yes, slaying not rabbits, but wolves that were eating sheep. After i hit my quota of sheep, ran thousands of calories off my athletic frame, and talked myself into a politcian, I began to learn of a betrayal that was occurring within the ranks of Archet. Some thieves had planned to overtake the city. While learning minute details through each intro-quest, my destiny became clear. I was the one chosen to stop this terrible occurance. Believe it or not, at the end of this intro, i was thrown into an instance where i was lead by another captian of the prison agisnt the thieves. Naturally, i was taught a new lifeskill, throwing water on a raging fire to extinguish it. Note to self: Right-click to fill water pale. Once i passed the wall of fire (put out with one well-placed water pale), I was faced with my first boss. This intimidating foe was a combination of wraith and human. He reminded me of the wraith who had injured my Ranger friend, and i decided to open a brand new can of Whoop-Ass on his face. Through the battle i spammed my hotkeys 1,2,3 until my foe collapsed. During the battle he brandished a really sweet sword, and i was hoping the whole time i would recieve this “Fat Lewt.” When i went to check his body, i knew something was up. His dead body was relinquishing a single piece of loot, let alone the uber sword i was pining for. The hobbit began to tell me the information the Wraith was after. Just as he let out the juicy details, the Wraith jumps to his feet, Mwhahas, and runs off before i can gank his Uber sword. Thouroughly angry, I was transported to the new Archet, firetorn and battered by the assult. Now the game had truly begun. Impressed with the introductory quests, i didn’t mind the next two hours of Bs’ing. (Bear and Boarslaying).

A Little Hobbit, A Lot of Walking

I must admit that I have never really embarked on the adventure that is the whole MMORPG scene.  I tried guildwars for a time, but I got fed up with it after perhaps a week, so LOTRO is my first true experience.  The beginning, speaking as a hobbit burglar, provided me with some interesting scenes from the Fellowship of the Ring, at least from the movie’s perspective.  As soon as I left the post office I started out in, I find myself right in the middle of the scene where one of the ringwraiths confronts a hobbit and asks him where Bilbo Baggins is.  I remember thinking: is the game going to be like this all the way through?  Am I going to be a sort of witness to scenes in the books and the movies, viewing the universe from my own unique point of view?

An hour later I learned that the answer to these questions is no.

Until I left Archet, I would meet various people with various tasks for me.  Perhaps I was delivering a message, killing some wolves, or collecting some king’s foil (I must concede, that is an element of LOTR). I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t fun delivering messages and killing every wolf pup I found just wandering the fields on their own, but I didn’t feel invested in any sort of storyline. 

Sadly, leaving Archet has been a similar experience, if slightly better.  Now that I’m in the Shire, I am seeing the many of its parts and meeting the various Tooks and Cottons that have been close to my heart since I discoverd the Lord of the Rings universe.  Aside from meeting old friends and learning to play the clarinet, however, I have just been running (and jumping, to be fair) around the shire with a feather in my cap solving the little problems that the little people of the Shire have. Perhaps I need to leave the calm of the Shire to really find some epic adventure, as all ten hobbits to ever leave the Shire have done, but for now, all the walking has gotten a little tedious, and I should probably sit down for a bit before hiking somewhere else.

-PChis

Floating Chair?!

Spudmonkey’s take on: The beginning

In my first few hours playing Lord of the Rings Online, I thought that it was going to be a different beast from the other MMO’s that I’ve played. As much as I’ve probably tried to deny it, I have had plenty of experience in the genre, playing games all the way back to Everquest, Final Fantasy XI, and, of course, World of Warcraft.

At the beginning of my time in game, and this is speaking as a Dwarf Guardian (I don’t know how relative it all is to story experiences), I had a very fun instanced beginning bit wherein I was helping to rescue Thorin’s Hall from the Dourhand dwarves, who apparently had become disillusioned with their complacency and had been tempted to the dark side with promises of power beyond their wildest imaginings (stop me when you’ve heard this one, right?). I had to help a dwarf named Dwalin to fight through and free Thorin’s Hall, which then became the main hub city for all my auctioning, banking, and training needs. This was a great way to start the game, and I had high hopes at this point that the rest of the game would be similar – very story driven, with possibly even more instanced, story-propelling events like this.

However, not long after leaving that intro quest, I realized that LOTRO didn’t totally escape the inane fetch and kill-this-many-pack-rats quests that MMO’s have been recycling since, well, for as long as there have been MMO’s. It didn’t surprise me all that much, but what I found unfortunate was that the story started to get mucked up behind all of those silly little mundane tasks. For a town that had just been liberated from what could have been Sauron’s puppet regime, the Dourhands, it seemed quite like it had just experienced a spot of amnesia. Instead of driving the plot forward, I was back to killing goblins, fetching an old man his medicine, and… killing dangerous, deadly flowers?

All in all, I would say that LOTRO thus far has been immensely fun to play, but I only wish that the main story arch would have been encompassed in more than just the first hour intro quest, and from time to time thereafter.


Blog Assignment: 04 Sep 07

  • Post a Screen Shot of your character at an interesting locale outside of Archet (to this blog).

                            and

  • Write a blog entry commenting on some aspect of a story line you encountered during your interactions with NPCs (i.e. Non-Player Characters) as they give you quests.

Assignment due date: by 1600 (4 pm) Central on Friday  7 Sep 07.

Click here ——> Example of a quest dialog interaction