Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to Lotro - not enough vuvuzelas!

So Turbine released a kinda cool ad for F2P, but it was missing something very important, they could have included a coda referencing a certain trailer, which could have gone something like this:

Gandalf stands looking pleased with himself having floored the crowd with the shockwave created by his staff (surely that's lore-breaking, right?), only for an annoying droning sound to start up in the stunned silence he'd just created. He scans the crowd and glowers at the offending article, jabbing his finger at it and causing the instrument to crumple and abruptly stop with a last shrill squeak. *cue titles and the playing of a rather jaunty tune.

That was enough to keep me amused oh for about 5 secs while the bad news of a delay to F2P in Europe was sinking in, (there’s probably a joke about the existing community and unwashed masses there too) which was kinda short-lived when Codemasters did the unthinkable and reactivated 'welcome back week'. Sure they are people still thirsting after the drought of content since earlier this year, but for returning/trial players this is a real boon, it's even freer than F2P changes incoming. It's a generous move and impels them to get it sorted or lose out on all the revenue. Oh and complaints in the US keep piling in.

Got in a good bit of playing this weekend. Had in mind that I should level my captain up fast to get him a mount so I don't have to pay for one, and while I'm at it unlock as many deeds as possible. This lasted two levels before it got boring and deciding it wasn't worth it, and yeah I'll probably more than likely need to buy porting abilities to Rivendell as well so yeah yeah on the list those go. Tried to fathom this conundrum out, there's time I'm happy to spend in game, until it becomes a grind or maybe I tell myself to suck it up until it's over and done with, but then to put a value on how much time I'm willing to sacrifice to grind, on the one hand it's certainly not a few cents and on the other side wanting to remove travel time for a few euros. I've tied myself in knots, but the upshot is that the choice is good but isn't there something a bit evil of spending money to get rid of grind. That's the genius of the system I suppose.

Once I decided that I'd be willing to buy the damn horse and instant travel, went and did something a little more fun. Took my warden past the front entrance hall in Moria and had a blast. This complex 3D maze is so appealing to me at least, like to figure out all the passageways and see every nook and cranny. Had already made brief excursions into it using the Moria keg, that’s how I got in this time funnily enough, ended up in chamber of the crossroads and rode back to the start, well the first time I jumped down the well and had to go back to my house and hope to get sent to the same place twice. It was nice to ride through an unknown map and then work back through it corridor by corridor, and putting the various sights together. Arrived at the palace of nĂ¡in, and had a feeling I'd been here before, oh right up there in the colonnades (another drunken excursion then). Enjoyed the questing up until I'd almost completed Dolven-view before getting sent back to kill more insects for the epic book, though it was a good time to call it quits. Anyways here's a picture of one section near the start, there's 2 levels visible below, to get to the bottom room just a short trek to the left, to get to the middle section with the ledges a long trek to the right, through a goblin camp, a confusing dark cavern with cave-claws to arrive there, this is my idea of a spatial puzzle and yes I did have to figure it out.