Fluff or Grunge? Beauty or Beasty?

So after 30+ years of gaming, it finally hits me.. the type of game I enjoy… Grungy with good dash of Beasty’ness.  I realized while romping around in LoTRO last night that one of the major reasons I am disappointed, is the graphics.  There is far too much fluff.  The game is gorgeous.  That is all that can be said for its appearance.  I can only think of a few other games that are that pretty.  My Wife, Final Fantasy, and Myst, and Oblivion.  So what’s wrong with that?  Nothing, if you simply enjoy graphics, but the game play doesn’t match the graphics.  The game play in WoW fits the graphics.  And Warhammer is grubby, and so is PvP.  I guess it is another case of the game fitting the person as much as the person fits the game.

I just seem to enjoy games that are decorated for the occasion.  It’s sort of like putting out X-Mas decorations on Halloween.  It just doesn’t fit the experience.  So, last night I went around my cave and looked for titles that seemed to miss the match…not much luck there.  The only things that turned up were a few Star Wars games that didn’t have interactive objects, and a couple dusty boxes of Tribes and Tribes II.  So, to get myself out of my funk I jumped into Warhammer and got killed several times.

Ah… I love the smell of my blood in the morning.  RvR, more specifically PvP, is just damned fun. The scene is just set for fighting.Everywhere you look there is war, destruction, and chaos!  The entire game seems rough and grungy; which fits the setting of the game.  In LotRO I just never really get the feeling that we are in a world at war.  Even my wife wants to just go back to War and WoW.  She feels as if LotRO has too many time sinks in it.  It was her comments that started making me see the distances having to be traveled to get to minor quest objectives.  On the other hand, she does like the travel system of using horses to get from town to town.  She just has a thing for horses.  The cost involved is another thing though.  Why does it cost you more to travel than it does to buy armor?  Ouch.

Anyway, this is my third round of playing LotRO, and it probably isn’t my last.  I honestly want to like the game, but it has a ways to go yet before I feel comfortable with it. One argument that has been used is that I have never gotten to 40 to start the “real” adventuring.  True enough, but as I see it, if you don’t grab a person at the beginning of the game, then you have done something wrong.  Even WoW sucks you in from level 1 to 20, then 40 to 60 is a boring grind, then it gets good again from 61 to 80.  ESPECIALLY from 70 to 80.  Damn Lich King is awesome… but it is still a bit of a grind, and kill ten worgs at some points.  But hey, they all are, right? I think, and this is just my opinion, so feel free to state your own, but it appears to me that each MMO out there is coming up with one or maaaaybe two sort-of innovative ways of doing something…  But for the most part they are starting to become like books and movies.  How many times can you innovatively blow up a building, crash a car, have a plane crash, and chase a terrorist?

Let us bow our heads and pray to the gaming Gods that this, the year 2009, is the birth of our savior, and his name shall be Innovation, his cause shall be revolutionary, his throne shall be polished, and his followers shall not tithe while still in beta.  Amen…I’m Ark, and that’s my angle on it!

3 Comments to Fluff or Grunge? Beauty or Beasty?

  1. January 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s my fault for publishing it with Google Chrome. I’ll try and fix it right now. The same thing happened to Julien’s post. Sorry to both of you.

  2. Julien's Gravatar Julien
    January 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree travel distance is sometimes daunting in LOTRO, but are you sure you’ve gone through all your options? When Angmar used to be the only way to get to 50, I’d have agreed completely with you, but now there are multiple zones so if you get tired of going to far flung locations (which tends to occur later in the quest progression of a zone) just go to another. I’m not sure what level you are, but LOTRO is usually good about clustering a bunch of quests in the same area. Though late teens to early twenties can be a bitch, that’s really the only speed bump I’ve encountered.
    As for the graphics, I’m not sure I agree with you about not fitting the setting. Rather I think the setting is mild compared to what people imagined. Most of Middle Earth is not a war torn no-man’s land. I’ve always liked Trestlebridge though because it is a city in a war zone. I think graphically, when you first step into it and ash is blowing through the city and all the buildings have their color washed out, it was impressive. There just ins’t enough burning in LOTR though. Hell even the PVP area is sometimes just a pretty green landscape. As the game expands westward towards Mordor I think a lot of that will change.

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