17th June 2013: You Shall Not Pass
A couple of times over the last few weeks I've tried in vain to get into Battle For Middle Earth. But I have unfortunately come to realise why I never played this thing that much back when I first bought it. The game lacks pretty much anything I enjoy in the RTS genre.
Number one problem is without doubt the limits on army size. In the missions I played I could never build more than about 6 or 7 units of 5 men each. That's not exactly an army is it?
Then again, if you could build a bigger army, it would become very difficult to manage, as the game lacks in this area as well. In other RTS games, if you select a bunch of units, you get a visual representation of that via the use of icons on the UI or something, so you can see exactly how many units you currently have selected. In this game, other than the heroes who all have their own icons, there is no such function.
I also hate that you are forced into building your bases in certain places, and are limited to how many buildings you can build. I felt like that game was constantly telling me this: "What's that? You wanna put a tower or barracks here as it seems like a strategically sound or useful thing to do? Well you can't. Go build it where we say you've got to build it! Idiot!"
I know it's an old game, but the graphics are shoddy, and many times I could even see the join where two really crappy textures didn't even match up.
The combat is dull, uninspiring, and sometimes a little difficult to follow. There's not a great deal of visual feedback to help you see what's going on. Exactly just who is attacking who?
The two-tone minimap is also a problem, and doesn't really give much detail about the surrounding terrain at all.
It'll be no surprise to hear that I don't really have any intention of forcing myself any further through this pile of garbage.
Gandalf frazzles some Goblins
Poorest excuse for a base ever
24th December 2012: Let The Madness Begin
Just recently I got Scoob and the JIKmon to give Lord Of The Rings Online a little bit of an effort. I wasn't a massive fan of this game when I tried it on my own a while back, and I was hoping that wandering around in a group would make it a bit more interesting, and allow us to rediscover a little bit of the enjoyment we used to get from back in our WoW days when we first started out as the Skumsplattaz.
I joined them in starting a new character rather than continuing with Kreethen. This time I chose an Elf called Tezzerz, while JIK went with a Dwarf called Giberaldi (after Garibaldi was taken), and Scoob went with his normal Ragnarkharn after his two fave 40K characters.
We only went through the introductory questline, and are all uncertain whether we will continue. I guess the game is ok just for hanging around and killing an hour or two here and there, but there's no denying that we all now find the typical MMORPG game to be a very boring and bland experience. When we first played WoW, it was all very new, and everyone was playing it, even people that didn't really play games that much. These things helped WoW seem like a better game than it really was. I highly doubt we will ever have that enthusiasm for an MMORPG ever again.
Though I guess in one way it would be nice to continue, as for once I'm not playing as the healer character...
Is this the dinner queue?
I hit you with my bommyknocka
Bird! Eat worm!
We look so stylish
24th September 2012: Something About A Ring?
Feels like quite a while since I last played an MMO style game, so I recently started wandering through Middle Earth in Lord Of The Rings Online, as it's gloriously free to play. I created the amazing Dwarf Champion, Kreethen, and got stuck in.
Here's a few pics from the introduction quest chain.
How I usually feel starting any new MMO
Shouldn't have drunk all that ale...
Fighting with Anthony-Hopkins-Dwarf
I know I'm not far into it yet, but my first impressions are that it seems pretty much like a WoW clone. I'm sure this won't be 100% true as I level up and discover new things, but for the most part it's very similar, with all the typical fantasy MMO questing and fighting in there.
The graphics are better than WoW, and the animation of the characters is fairly natural and smooth, something that a lot of other MMOs I've played completely failed to acheive (particularly Star Wars: Galaxies). I do have one massive issue with it so far mind, and that is that the strange reactions to the movement controls. Just tapping the turn button a little can see my character spin almost 90 degrees, and it feels almost like there's some kind of motion acceleration on the keyboard. It's weird. Maybe I need to look harder down the options to see if this can be tweaked.
Again, I don't know if I'll stick to this game that much, as I find MMORPG style games a little bland at the moment. But it doesn't really matter when the game is free like this.
Though I can't help but wonder if I'll miss Star Trek's space combat...