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Riders of Rohan Unleashed October 16, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Lord of the Rings Online.
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Marking events, the Lord of the Rings Online expansion Riders of Rohan went live yesterday with the usual fanfare and updates.

Like so many of the new things coming this Fall, it is not on my list.  This will be the first LOTRO expansion I have skipped, but I am so far from the content, still being back in Moria with my highest level character, that there seemed no point.

I will, however, be looking into buying that extra bag slot with my accumulated Turbine Points.  I get 500 every month for being a lifetime subscriber, so long as I log in… and I make sure I log in at least once a month.

Still coming up in the season are expansions for Rift, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and EVE Online, along with some sort of reset/upgrade/do over for Darkfall.

Of those, I am only really signed on for the Storm Legion expansion for Rift.

And the EVE expansion of course.  But that is more like a patch update, not something I have to go out and buy.

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1. bhagpuss - October 16, 2012

It’s looking odds on that Mrs Bhagpuss and I will be getting Storm Legion at launch. Don’t think either of us has the willpower to hold out til next year as originally planned. I may just go for the 12-month pre-order deal and get it over with, because with a year paid up front I won’t feel compelled to play *right now* or waste my money.

The EQ2 expansion is a definite. Today’s PSS1 U-turn removes the only sliver of doubt. Don’t need it yet, though. Sometime next year I would guess.

EQ expansions are a thing of the past for me, I think. Haven’t felt the need to buy the last three.

LotRO remains a pop in for free once in a blue moon pleasure and so far I have resisted the lure of either EVE or Darkfall. Never say never, though.

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2. Coppertopper - October 16, 2012

As much as I respect Trion for the effort they are putting in, Rift just needs some huge kick-me-in-the-teeth world changing update to pull me away from GW2. At best right now they are competing with EQ2 in feature set. Loved the soul system that added so much variety to play style, but even the upcoming housing doesn’t bring much to what is essentially a quest hub hopping experience.

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3. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 16, 2012

@Coppertopper – Each game has its own draw.

For our regular group it is actual “you need to form a group” group content and perform certain functions that works for us and which GW2 has steered away from. Rift is, in its way, a WoW surrogate. Some people hate that, we happen to like it.

Without that sort of group content, GW2 just seems to be a huge version of playing alone together. Parallel play writ large. Some people like that and never want to have to worry about grouping again, but it has no real pull on me.

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4. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 16, 2012

And speaking of expansions, what the hell is up with dead (or sleeping) Firiona Vie on the box art for the EQII expansion? Chains of Eternity means what now?

First, isn’t she the EQ poster girl? Weren’t Antonia Bayle and half dressed night elves enough for EQII?

And then, why is she dead? And what message does that send? Dead FV is better than living Antonia?

Or if she is sleeping, can we expect some sort of sleeping beauty-esque heritage quest?

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5. bhagpuss - October 16, 2012

Having just read that Chains of Eternity blurb, my worry is that we are going to be up there in the Ethernere for the next six expansions as we work our way through the ethereal version of every zone on Norrath.

Also it came as news to me that Firiona Vie was dead. That’s what you get for moving worlds. I just read the quest dialog at Zam so I am sort of up to speed. It actually looks like quite an interesting set-up.

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6. Actonicus - October 16, 2012

I really hope to never see another MMO released that enforces grouping to progress through content. It is fast becoming such an archaic gaming concept. Bring on the new world order!

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7. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 16, 2012

@Actonicus – Playing as a group is becoming an archaic gaming concept? I am afraid you have lost me there.

That the parallel play style of GW2 is available does not make group content archaic. It may be more to your taste, but I suspect a lot of people would disagree with you.

I am not of the “you must group to do everything” mindset. I like to have things I can do on my own in an MMO. But having no group content sounds like the opposite extreme, and thus equally unappealing.

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8. Actonicus - October 16, 2012

Of course I still like grouping (maybe I wasn’t clear in my previous post). I group with fellow guildmates. I am more talking about having a gameplay mechanic that encourages natural grouping without having to manually create a group. This is where I find GW2’s gameplay mechanics groundbreaking. No kill stealing, no fighting over mining nodes, encouraging good behavior and also encouraging others to help without the need to group.

To a lesser degree Rift also has this mechanic. Rift’s form and it is very easy to defeat the rift as a shared experience amongst strangers without having to group.

GW2 still has grouped content – the 5-man’s – so I am surprised you make the comment “playing alone together”. I think you really need to revisit your comments. Dont join the GW2 hate train simply because you feel it is different. What makes a group anyway? A private chat channel and a party UI on a screen? Much ado about nothing.

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9. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 16, 2012

@Actonicus – And what I am talking about is the good, old fashioned five person dungeon crawl, which it sounded very much like you were saying was “archaic” and you wished no MMO would support again. I will strongly disagree with anybody who suggests that, and it appears you were.

I mentioned “playing alone together” and “parallel play” … or “natural grouping” if you prefer… because that sounds like what everybody is praising about GW2 while they are busy arguing about what is really “social” and what is not.

I am not at all on the “hate train” about that. But as you note, I get that from Rift as well, so it isn’t a compelling factor for me either.

Meanwhile, everything I have read so far about actual five person dungeons in GW2 indicates that they are broken, chaotic, unfun, and unrewarding. SynCaine was asking me to get GW2 just because he wanted to see me complain about them. And other people have told me directly that the GW2 dungeons are probably not for me. Again, a lack of compelling content.

As for what makes a group? In our case, five friends who get together most Saturday nights to run such content together as a team because they enjoy playing together. A group is clearly more than a chat channel and UI to us.

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10. Actonicus - October 16, 2012

“Meanwhile, everything I have read so far about actual five person dungeons in GW2 indicates that they are broken, chaotic, unfun, and unrewarding. SynCaine was asking me to get GW2 just because he wanted to see me complain about them. And other people have told me directly that the GW2 dungeons are probably not for me. Again, a lack of compelling content.”

Well you need to experience GW2 5-man’s for yourself. They are fun, chaotic, occasionally broken, and rewarding. We run the 5-man’s almost every night and as long as everyone understands their class and how to support each other it makes for very interesting fights. Yes there is less focus on the old tank/dps/healer mechanic but I feel the fights are far more dynamic and interesting.

And please don’t use SynCaine as the benchmark for what makes a good or bad game. Judging by your previous blog posts you are at least still open to new experiences. Syncaine’s utter hatred of themeparks tends to tarnish any comments he makes about such games.

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11. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 17, 2012

@Actonicus – Well, we have two members of our regular group already trying GW2 and the reactions have been lukewarm. So given all that I have on my plate already (Rift, EVE, WoW nostalgia, and World of Tanks) GW2 will have to wait for some later date.

As for SynCaine, I hardly use him as a benchmark. He doesn’t like Rift either, yet I play that. It is just after nearly six years of arguing with him over so many things (see him, for example, trying to explain away the lame Altdorf Sewers instance back when he was still a WAR fan) that we have a pretty good idea of how things would play for each other.

So SynCaine not liking GW2… well, he doesn’t like a lot of things I like, so not a big influence. SynCaine actually thinking *I* might not like something… well, he has some experience in that regard.

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12. Coppertopper - October 17, 2012

Yes I can understand that about the grouping thing. Dungeon progression and the chance for getting best in slot and completing gear sets is a fun draw. Also at times It’s a strange thing not having a trinity dynamic in a game. Outside of rezzing, you don’t get any positive feedback from other players for good gameplay.

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