Bandwagons Part 2

September 15, 2009 at 5:21 am | Posted in LotRO, Mirkwood | Leave a comment
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Wotcha everyone,

For me, at a rather impressionable age, Mirkwood was one of the standout parts of The Hobbit.  Giant spiders (Arachnaphobic, me), dying of hunger, and escaping nasty elveses in barrels.

When I created Ataulf, I decided that there was absolutely no contest whatsoever; he just had to come from Mirkwood.

Yeah, I suppose I’m a Mirkwood fan.

So hearing about Siege of Mirkwood made me do a little happy dance.  But that’s not long and rambly enough for me, so here is some more rambling for you.  I’m only commenting on what stuck out for me, rather than every part of what’s been released:

The Price; To be perfectly honest, $19.99 will probably turn into £19.99 in Britain, thanks to the rather strange and arcane way that exchange rates sometimes work across the Atlantic Ocean.  I usually blame that Bermuda Triangle thingy, but I digress…  Twenty shiny pound coins for content that doesn’t signify a full expansion for many players?  It’s a bit of a no-brainer for me.  I really like the game.  I remember, back in the dark ages of the last millennium, paying £70 per month on new pc games.  These would be finished with one way or another by the next month, leaving me free to spend £70 on another two games.

MMOs give me a lot more lifespan to a game.  Scarily so.  And yes, we pay subscriptions, but the average subscription is going to be a fifth of what I used to spend.

An extra 20 shinies?  Well, that’s a plate of calamaries and a couple of beers in some European cities (guess who spent a long weekend in Madrid a couple of weeks ago?  Go on!  Guess!)  (You’re right!  It was meeeeee!), which just goes to reinforce just how stupidly cheap a hobby online gaming is.

Even when you factor in such things as buying an entirely new upgraded pc base unit every three years it is still, on a per-hour basis, the cheapest hobby I have.  And I have a lot of hobbies.

Add to that my recent addition of a lifetime sub, and currently Lord of the Rings seems like it’s paying me to play.  So twenty quid will be nothing for me; I have job, and that means being with salary.

The Mounts:  Yeah, whatever.  Because of previously stated ineptitude with in-game currency, Hawley only got his mount at level 46, and I’m still more used to running to places than in getting the horse out.  Cheaper horses would be better for me, but with the best will in the world, I hardly get excited about mounts in any online game.  Unless it was an Ent.  Oh, the happy dance that would be seen, if Ents were to be mounts…

I apologise to any lore-junkies that might be somewhat enraged by thoughts of Ent mounts.  Moving swiftly on, I have known more than one player who would give his or her mount a name, regardless of the fact that the game would not allow them, so this is, as far as I’m concerned, vindication for their efforts.  My own statement, when asked what my mount was called, was: “I never name anything I might have to eat”.  Might have to name it now.  Then again, food that used to have a name always tastes better…

Skirmishes:  Now this seems like it could be fun.  Warhammer Online taught me the error of my ways with regard to new concepts in online gaming.  Before release the Public Quest System just smelled of BAD, yet became one of my favourite things in the game.  I like to think that I can learn from experience, so I’m looking forward to something that sounds like a cross between PvP (just without the vP, and more of a vE), and the fabulous set-piece instances that Lord of the Rings does so well.

Hearing that we’ll be able to tailor these instances by level size and difficulty is really, really good news.  I look forward to trying all of them out at release.

The customisable soldier is something that really did surprise me.  I think they’re an astonishing idea.  I know that Guild Wars (of which, admittedly, I know little) has npcs that can be hired, but this sounds more like a modifiable almost-pet.  I’ve got this picture of a particularly aggressive tamagotchi in my head, but that’s probably not what they’re after.

I shall probably ramble more as we get closer to release, although I must admit there is a large part of me that is hoping that Arbitrary will do her frankly arcane, amazing and quite spookily fast job regarding links to juicy new information.

She really is splendid like that.



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