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Over exaggeration, thy name is Woody. (4/23)

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  • Over exaggeration, thy name is Woody. (4/23)

    It's been a bad month, so I really needed an escape this weekend. I found that escape in the form of Lord of the Rings Online. Ahhh leave it to an open beta to temporarily soothe the soul. And where the comic may be a touch brutal, the graphics aren't that bad. Granted, they're not Vanguard. They're not even EQ2. But the truth is, at least for me, it didn't matter. I enjoyed the game just as much as the more graphically intense MMOGs out there. It didn't hurt that I could crank up the graphics settings as far as they would go and my computer yawned and went back to playing solitaire. No stuttering, no lag.

    That being said, I was disappainted at the quality of the armor texturing, and the lack of details in elements that look great in the distance but look like non-specfic mud close up. I do like that in Vanguard, when I'm standing half an inch from a tree, it looks like I'm standing half an inch from a tree. In LotRO it looks like I'm standing half an inch from a flat polygon with a blurry texture assigned to it. And I'm an armor whore, so when I see poor dithering and pixelation when I zoom in close, my eyes get sad. Again, I went through and made every effort to make sure every graphics related option was set as high as it would go. But, I fully accept that I might not have something toggled properly in the game. So if someone (including Turbine or Midway staff) has some suggestions, fire away.

    Beyond the graphics, I have some other issues with the game. They are mostly personal preferences though. So, I won't go into detail. But, I would like to close this writeup on a positive note. I thuroughly enjoyed the game right up until I hit the open beta level cap. The game's scheduled release date is tomorrow. I would recommend it to the MMOG-lovers in the crowd.

    UPDATE: I didn't realize that open beta had intentionally low rez graphics. (Thanks for the correction forum folks.) I received a copy of the game today, I'll let you guys know my opinions of the regular graphics as soon as possible.

  • #2
    Actually, some people in my kinship were discussing this last night! Evidently, the client that you download for beta does not have the graphics options that the retail version has. So you get kind of a scaled down version of the graphics in the game. Again, that's just coming from non-official sources, so it could be wrong.

    BTW- I love the LOTR Terrence and Phillip


    • #3
      LOL! Do the characters' heads really look like that? Well it sounds like a fun game either way. Awesome comic!
      I'd like to welcome Aedan Robert Gargrave to the world!
      Born April 17th at 4:10 am...7 lbs, 5 oz, & 20.5" long at birth!


      • #4
        I had actually been wondering about that. Things did seem kind of... scaled down. And a lot of the promo screenies showed a lot more armor detail than what I had seen.

        Was in closed beta and didn't play a whole lot unfortunately, but have kicked it up in the later open beta. Have the game pre-ordered and such, should be fun!


        • #5
          I am sooo glad you did a comic/write up on LoTRO!

          I have been debating on whether to get this or not.

          I shattered my ankle in January and haven't played an MMO since. I still love EQII but I need a new game to get my interest back to MMOs.

          Since you give it a thumbs up (at least for parts of it) I will try it out myself!
          Lumile Mindolluin - Dark Elf Fury - Kithicor - EQII
          Lumile, Hero of The North Downs - Elf Minstrel - Vilya - LoTRO


          • #6
            Assuming you downloaded the client and didn't pre-order the game at a store and received the beta disc, you have the low res client. The pre-order disc as well as the retail release discs have the high res client that should correct all of the graphical issues you had with the game.

            I've really enjoyed my experiences with the game so far. I intend to pick up a lifetime subscription so that I can pick up another MMO, probably Warhammer, somewhere down the road and not have to deal with two monthly payments.

            LotRO strikes the balance I had been looking for with its user-friendly gaming ala World of Warcraft, but adds more depth and replayability to the world with the additions of deeds, virtues, story lines, and monster play.


            • #7
              Woody, sounds like you didn't get the high res textures.
              They don't come with the download, you need to get a preorder DvD to get them or get the retail. There is a huge differendce between them.

              Anyways, got a kick out of that comic, took a me a whole minute to realize the terrence and phillip lookalikes, then I lol'd again


              • #8
                I kinda liked it - it has a slightly different feel to it then other MMO's out there - such as having no 'wizard' class. And it was nice to visit many of the places you read about in the books. But, in the end, there wasn't enough of a change from the 'standard model' of other MMO's out there for me, IMO, to warrant a change of game.

                Still, it was fun runnin' around with one of the original dwarves from the Hobbit.


                • #9
                  I ponder if my tablet PC will be able to run it... right now the only MMO I can run without worries is World of Warcraft.

                  I hear the closest thing to a healer is the bard, does this means that combat in this game is balanced only around offensive classes and not forcing you to rely on defensive ones?


                  • #10
                    Open Beta client has lower graphics

                    The rumblings are true. The downloadable open-beta client doesn't have the highest level textures.

                    You can get those by purchasing the pre-order (or, you know, waiting until tomorrow and just getting the full game).

                    As someone who played EQ2 for a while, I'd have to say that the highest resolution graphics for LOTRO are very comparable. Though the game world doesn't feel nearly as sterile as EQ2 did.

                    So, if you're playing open beta, don't judge the graphics by what you're seeing there.


                    • #11
                      Hullo, whut's all dis then? No LOTR fart jokes?
                      My Warlock pwnz!


                      • #12
                        Definitely sounds like you're running the downloaded graphics pack. The pre-order discs come with a high-res setting, which blows the high settings from the downloaded client away.

                        Glad to finally see a write up on LOTRO. I've been an active member of the beta since early October, and definitely have to say that i'd rank this one at the top of the MMORPG market. Hopefully we'll see more LOTRO comics for the months to come!


                        • #13
                          I played open beta off and on for about a week. Since I always play MMOs / RPGs in 3rd person whenever practical, I really didn't have any complaints about the graphics - found them on par with / better than EQ2 (for the limited time I played that game).

                          What I enjoyed most is the classes didn't have direct equals to most other fantasy mmo's. E.G. - there's a burglar class that can stealth, but it's not the highest dps class. The minstrel (bard) is actually a primary healer, without suffering the same soloing difficulty as healers typically do at low levels in other games. Most (or all) of the classes have buff / debuff capabilities, but there's nothing like buffs you find in traditional MMOs (where you get several 30 / 60 min buffs cast on you before you head into a dungeon). To summarize - the classes were similar to other MMOs, but play a bit differently.

                          Of course, my experience was limited to open beta - and my highest level character was 14 (capped at 15 anyway).

                          All in all a fun game, fast paced combat, good lore, with a neat AA-ish type system (Traits). I'd probably subscribe if I didn't already have to current MMO subscriptions (WoW and EVE).


                          • #14
                            Long time Reader, First time poster. Just want to let you know that you have made my Day brighter for a long time now Woody, keep up the great work. With todays comic I just had to post, because I have been in LotRO since Phase 1 Beta & can make comments that open testers wouldn't know about. The graphics that you see on the Downloaded version of the game are all the Low-Res Versions. The only way to get the High-Res version of the game is to either have gotten the Beta Disk from a gaming Mag or with the Retail version coming out tomorrow, April 24. This is not hear-say, this was actually stated to the Closed testers on the beta forums by the Devs. It was, unfortunately, one of the many post from the closed forums that didn't make to the new open forums. So I hope that you folks that were basing your opinions of the game based on the low-res graphics give it another try once it is live unless you can find a Disk with the beta on it today & check it out. Also so that everyone knows, the graphics have yet to be optimized, which was stated in Closed beta also, & still holds true now.


                            • #15
                              I do so much retro gaming I could care less about graphics. That is one option that never affects me really. I appreciate it when its there, but its hardly necessary for the game for me.

                              But there are people who are graphics buffs. They spend hundreds on keeping a finely tuned computer to run the latest games at max. My one buddy does this and lives on graphics. Even if it is a beta, it could hurt their sales for folks like him. Plus, for an MMO in a fantasy genre that is flooded with MMO games, they need to set their sights high. Bad graphics in a beta will hurt them I think.