Tuesday, July 3, 2007

One Flies Over...

Keen already touched on this over at his place, and he's none to happy about the idea. I can understand where he's coming from, but I have to disagree with the sentiment that this is not something the game needs.

You see, just today Turbine announced the mysterious new gameplay feature that will be coming in August to LotRO: Session Play. Obviously, as any sane person would, Keen is focusing on the fact that with this you'll be able to play as Chickens for a special goofy quest line, and some special items and deeds, even destiny points.

If this was something we were supposed to take seriously, as some massive new addition to a game that needs way more content in the 40-50 gap, I'd be miffed too. But it's not. It's merely a small part of a new feature. What Keen seems to have missed, and I'm sure many more will miss it, is that they also mention being able to play Trolls and Rangers too, presumably in the Ettenmoors. Now, if their part of the Session Play system is as fleshed out as the Chickens' seem to be, it'll be yet another thing to do at the level cap for those who are there already.

Will it be what those power gamers want (I'm not using that term derogatorily here)? Probably not. But there will likely be still more coming with the Book 10 patch besides Session Play with Chickens, Trolls, and Rangers. I'd count on plenty of new stuff, just like Evendim brought.

Then why focus on this bit of info with a press-release? Because, in all honesty, this is the kind of stuff the game's true intended audience cares about. Not Tolkien fanatics. Not power-gamers. I'm talking about the casual adult player, who likes to use LotRO for a game foremost, and a job lastly. Monster-play is a casual alternative to leveling, albeit with PvP. Crafting is the same. Music. Deeds. And now Chicken-play.

What I think a lot of people forget about MMORPGs is that they're not always just about levels and advancement. They started as more than that. They started as worlds. They started without exclamation point quests, and level caps. I for one, am glad that Turbine is remembering there's plenty of room in their game for more than just levels and dungeons and loot.

I look forward to the day I get to flap around like a hobbit with its head cut off. I hope more games remember that there are more than a few kinds of content to be made and appreciated.

(EDIT: This was not meant to be a dig at you, Keen. Just used your post as a frame of reference. I'm sure many players are wondering what the hell Turbine was thinking right along with you.)

Another EDIT: I don't normally pull material from the VN boards, mainly because I can post my thoughts there. But being at work I can't. This ties into this post about LotRO's content, so I thought I'd add it here. There's a few posters over on the the Vault that keep bringing up the fact that they have nothing to do at 50. Though often enough they're shot down by the numerous tales of what one can do at 50, if it doesn't involve dungeons or "true PvP" (whatever that is) they just continue to spout their hatred.

And yet, each time their points are proven wrong, they come back with more of the same argument, which is inevitably torn apart again. One such post, has Rathulfur addressing one of our regular "whiners" (I hate that term, but it really is the case). This, above all, is what anyone who wants to complain about LotRO's "not enough content" should read:

*Nameless person*, the problem is that your dire predictions came as no surprise to anyone but you.

From the very start, especially those of us who played in Beta, we already knew that the gameplay was repetitive, there was a lack of solo content at higher levels, and there's nothing to do at 50. We already knew this because: (a) Turbine told us as much, (b) other Beta players told us as much, having done it in Beta, and (c) that's typical for a newly-released MMORPG.

We had ample, fair warning that LotRO was being developed and targetted for Explorers/Socializers, not Achievers/Killers. Turbine repeatedly stated that they weren't catering to power-gamers that race to max level. They admitted that they couldn't possibly hope to keep up with the delivery of content at the fast pace that a MINORITY of players consume it. So they announced that they were planning to deliver content at their own pace, and in their own fashion. Those players willing to go along with that would not be disappointed. The game is officially only 2 months and 1 week old, and Turbine has ALREADY delivered one content update, and the next one is slated for release next month.

If anyone is a non-stop loop, it's you, *******. You keep coming here to repeat "the sky is falling!" and "see: I told you so!" over and over again. You and a couple of other players are not satisfied with either the SPEED or TYPE of content being delivered. Turbine isn't delivering what YOU want, when you want it, and because of that, you're disappointed. Hey, I can understand that, but there isn't anything to be done about it. It's not something that's going to change to suit you any time soon.

The rest of us are merely trying to point out the obvious conclusion. You have only two options: either (a) sit down, shut up, and take what's offered, or (b) move on to something else. I'm not saying that you cannot or should not voice your opinion, as long as it's constructive. But simply repeating "I told you so!" posts over and over again isn't valid opinion, and it isn't constructive.

If you're at max level with nothing to do, and you don't like the ALTERNATIVE (i.e., non-combat, non-advancement, non-leveling) content (e.g.: Deeds, Traits, Titles, chicken-ball, pub crawls, pipe-weed, fireworks, etc.), then all we are saying is: perhaps you don't really like LotRO. LotRO is about more than just hacking and slashing one's way to max level. LotRO is about more than just phat lewt. LotRO is about more than just ganking or zerging other players. LotRO is about more than just grinding out quests. LotRO is about more than just role-playing, pipe-smoking, beer-swilling, and chicken-chasing. LotRO is about more than just any ONE of those things, but it is about ALL of those things.

We're not disagreeing with you, or even accusing you of going too fast: we're simply pointing out that you need to adjust your expectations or move on. It's that simple.

Adjust your expectations or move on. Couldn't have put it better myself. Rathulfr is right. It may not be the end all/be all of MMOs, and it's certainly not for everyone. But man couldn't every MMO forum do without the people who seem to constantly whine and bitch instead of just moving on?


Keen said...

Oh I don't take it as a dig my friend. :) Discussions are good!

I made an addition to my post as well. :)

Bildo said...

I saw that, commented there too. But might as well keep tossing it around here. The way I see it is that it's not that bad, really. It's another one of the fluff items I love seeing in this game. Even if I don't personally adore it, I'm glad it's there.

Why? Because Turbine making a conscientous effort to diversify their game is a good thing... even the silly attempts like Chicken-play.

Pixie Styx said...

Its all about having fun and if this samll additional gives fun to some people even if it is a small portion of the players then the devs have done a good job.
People seem to forget its a game for entertainment purposes.... not a job