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Everything posted by Hajile

  1. Of course the new class was going to be a Beorning. How else would they be able to recycle all of DDO's Druid animations? I would be excited at the notion of seeing Dol Amroth et al, but seeing as Turbine now have a track record of dropping every ball they are given, I am full of not caring. And another TWO level cap increases? Why? One of the things they badly fumbled about the class revamps was to front-load almost all of the progression, so adding more upward progression on top of that shambles seems ...counter-intuitive and redundant, I think would be the kindest way to put it. Maybe they realise that progression is superficial and irrelevant now, so they're doing this so at least players have that psychologically satisfying number ticking upwards in the top left of the screen to distract them from the fact that they aren't actually progressing in any significant way. Seems like they're in a mad rush to get to Gondor now, if they're going Paths of the Dead/Dol Amroth/Pelargir so rapidly. Hurrying through Middle-earth like that is unlikely to do it justice. And considering the botch job their world-builders made of Helm's Deep, does anyone expect anything decent from new areas any more? Oh, and more Big Battles? Wasn't it firmly established that everyone thought they were shite? Of all the underdeveloped game systems to throw time and money at, why the one nobody likes? All this is moot, of course. LOTRO is past it. It's so old hat by this point there's nothing to recommend it any more beyond its IP, which is probably why they've changed development tack to start arbitrarily including as many disparate locations from Middle-earth as possible. Dead Marshes? Fangorn? Erebor? Oh, pick some more iconic names out of a hat and include them too, why don't you? How about session play flashbacks to Gondolin while you're at it? Or an underwater raid in the ruins of Numenor, where you discover Ulmo has turned evil and have to defeat him as the boss?
  2. That doesn't sound anything like what goes on elsewhere. They responded to your query in a polite and respectful tone, explained in full the reason why they removed your post and how they arrived at their decision, leaving no room for doubt and even expressed appreciation for your participation regardless. Sounds like everything a CM should be when acting in moderation. No bans, no infractions, no bitterness, no sarcasm and no passive-aggressive player-baiting. Just a well-intentioned CM providing sensible dialogue regarding an event. If only, eh?
  3. A long time ago I detailed a couple of hypothetical new classes I brainstormed, from concept to skillsets to their application in combat. Considering how little effort they're putting in to the game nowadays, I'd only be half-shocked if they nicked one of those ideas.
  4. As an aside, does anyone else find it ironic that MMOS are moving away from subscription-based payment models as if they're a relic of the past while everywhere else - other areas of gaming included - is moving towards them? I can't help but feel that it's counter-productive for everyone to have by now concluded that the sub-based model for MMOs is obsolete, just because a few high-profile and badly-managed games failed to fly while using it. It's an opinion that has been repeated so often that I suspect that the opinion itself has done more to harm the success of games adopting that model than any inherent flaws in the model. It's a lesson I learned from the movie Sneakers. To paraphrase: "If you can make enough people think that a payment model is on shaky ground, then pretty soon that payment model will be on shaky ground. Conclusion - you can make payment models fail." That's exactly what's happened to sub-based MMOs, thanks largely to the gaming press. Considering the only alternative that has been presented as yet is open to far too many abuses by the people running the operation to be beneficial to the customer, maybe this is not a change that we should be championing.
  5. Well, they went after Turbine for their free to play business model, not their properties. Maybe Warner have finally realised that Turbine's business model is ultimately unsustainable in the long term and see Trion's as a superior one to invest in now. As an aside, Warner kind of cheese me off. They're a typical 'outside' organisation with no experience or knowledge of the industry they've entered, swaggering into the gaming industry and expecting to own it all, just because they've done it elsewhere. They adopt the same tactics they use in other media and throw money around and short-change customers, but they don't realise that the gaming industry is unique and tactics used elsewhere won't wash with their new customer base. It wouldn't be so bad if they kept a hands-off policy and simply invested in other developers, leaving them to it. But they've got it into their heads that they can take the creative lead themselves and develop in-house. But they haven't got a clue how to develop decent games or how to foster a non-toxic attitude among their customers. Warner are used to outputting things in a hurry, but you can't fast-track a game through production in the same way you can a film or TV show. You don't have to worry about a film or TV show working properly. Any company that can half-ass the Arkham franchise with Origins and then refuse to patch it should be chased out of the gaming industry as quickly as our collective purchasing power can manage.
  6. If it's true that the Paizes are no longer involved in LOTRO, then I doubt they would have been pushed out the door. This would absolutely have been the right time for them to go on their own terms - before the game started to properly founder and it could tarnish their resum├ęs. As it stands right now they can put on their record and recite with straight faces that they took over LOTRO from Steefel, led it to doubling or tripling (or whatever) its revenue and leaving it on a high. The eventual failure of the game? That happened on someone else's watch, after they had left. It's not their fault that the ship sank when the subsequent captain took the helm, even if they were the ones to riddle the hull with holes. They have gotten out while the going is good, and have left Campbell to worry about being tarred with the brush of "the guy who killed LOTRO." That not only makes them consumer-hating vultures of the highest order, but also opportunistic sharks. Utter scum, the pair of them.
  7. Classic Ost Elendil is hands down my favourite ever. Such a brilliantly conceived mechanic to that one. Also strong contenders are Urugarth and Carn Dum, The Rift (natch) and the original Fornost. Latterly the Tham Mirdain instances were nice little ones, while in Moria Forgotten Treasury and Forges were probably the best of the bunch. I quite enjoyed Sixteenth Hall, although like Dark Delvings that was one people seldom ran due to its bloody-minded awkwardness. Finally I always enjoyed Halls of Crafting and Sammath Gul. After that the quality sharply slid off when Turbine's interest in creating new Instances was clearly on the wane. They phoned it in after that point as far as I'm concerned. Thematically they became dumber, less inventive and more haphazard as time went on. Ost Dunhoth was the very last vestige of coherence being wiped from the game.
  8. Sympathies to those affected by the layoffs. I've been laid off before, so I know what it's like, especially at the moment with jobs so scarce. It's a real shame. Turbine had/have some very talented people working for them. It's unfortunate that management at the company has let them down and failed to provide job security.
  9. It's a very good game, and is unjustly only partially successful. I dip in every now and then. It IS very difficult compared to other MMOs though. Even soloing. It must be that people find that offputting.
  10. I was writing a replay on the AUJ Extended thread before realising that I'd just written over 800 words on this subject. Until now I didn't realise the extent of my displeasure for this character, so thought it was worthy of its own thread. It might amuse some of you if I shared my thoughts. I'd like to think that they are well-reasoned... On second viewing I absolutely hated DoS, mainly for the totally unnecessary Tauriel character demanding massive swathes of screen time even though she contributed nothing to the story. Every time the character appeared it felt like events just stopped while the film-makers indulged their own whims. This is not an issue I have with invented characters. Madril, Lindir, Irolas, Gothmog, Morwen et al were all invented for the film adaptations of these books, and their presence was not jarring in any way. They were all created in support of the story or the genuine characters, useful devices to serve the purposes of the film. In short, they were written to fit a requirement of the story. Tauriel does not work that way because she is not written like a supporting character. She is written as a protagonist. She is the only new character introduced in the film to get a properly anthemic leitmotif. Any time she appears she immediately becomes the centre of attention and the focal point of the scene, even though she has no real role in proceedings other than to know better than everyone else in the room. Other characters are written in support of her instead of the other way around, and the story has been re-written in order to fit around her. She is more often than not the point of view character of any scene that she is in, when I was more interested in the points of view of the authentic characters. Authentic characters who were not depicted in any great depth and instead relegated to supporting roles in her story rather than retaining their status as the stars of their own film. In short, she is the Middle-earth equivalent of Poochy from Itchy and Scratchy. There is even a "Where's Tauriel?" scene at one point. That would be egregious enough, but the sub-plot they invented to fit her into the story more is nonsense of the highest order, a mess of vague Middle-earth references shoehorned in to it to make it sound more authentic but with no understanding of their context or meaning. Morgul Blades and Athelas do not work that way. They are very specific things with very specific plot-significant uses, but were most likely arbitrarily used here to make Tauriel seem more like Arwen. To see them bandied around here so badly out of context serves only to illustrate that the writers this time around cared less about the source material than they did about their own pet project character. Which is doubly infuriating because their existence here now strips Aragorn's role in the first part of FOTR of a great deal of its underlying meaning and foreshadowing. And that's before I even get into her badly-written insufferable know-it-all character. She is written as flawless, possessing deeper wisdom and reason than those who surround her, with a moral compass better attuned than any other. At one point in the story she is literally described in unashamedly angelic terms. This is not a character the audience can feel any affinity for, but instead a character to be admired from afar, which totally undermines her supposed status as a 'commoner' among the elves.The writers put her on a pedestal for all to worship and not once does she step down from it. It's poor characterisation masquerading as strength. There are many ways to write a compelling female character, but If "knows better and fights better than all those smelly boys" was the best they could do perhaps they should have gone back to the drawing board before committing such a lazily contrived character to film. The end result is that Tauriel becomes too overpowering and pervasive a character, and characters of stature like Thranduil and Legolas play second fiddle to her. And because she has no part to play in the main quest and her invented scenes only serve to further her own sub-plot and take her further away from the main story she feels simultaneously ubiquitous and redundant. The writers of the film had an ambition to create their own character and they were adamant about that character's insertion, with seemingly no eye on relevance. So great was their desire that they didn't notice that they were disfiguring the entire film just to accommodate it. It's a real shame, because there is good in DoS that is badly undermined by the irrelevance of what is demanding so much screen time. The inevitable fan edit which cuts her out of the film entirely will be a full half an hour shorter and will lose nothing of consequence. If you have to retool a story so comprehensively in order to give a character something to do then maybe she is not be the right character for the story. If only once the film-makers had considered that we might have been spared this major blot on what could have been a very good film.
  11. Time to separate the wheat from the chaff. SWTOR is a great game and well worth your time. Instances can make the game feel a bit too modular at times and the worlds can seem a little static at times, but those are small shortcomings. Secret World is atmospheric, unusual and intriguing, with an extremely well realised skill system. Also it's significantly harder than other MMOs, which can be both a plus and a minus. FFXIV is utterly brilliant, a transformed game from its earlier incarnation and hands down one of the best MMOs on the market right now from a gameplay perspective. It's only disadvantage is its relatively recent relaunch, which means that there's less endgame content than you'll find in its competitors. Guild Wars 2 has very scrappy and unfocused combat, with an unusual dynamic levelling path that can make PVE feel like something of an afterthought. However it has the most beautiful and well-realised game world in MMO gaming right now, bar none. Gorgeous and alive. Neverwinter is a fun little action-y game with real time combat. Modular like SWTOR, and very much geared for multiple short sessions and not single lengthy escapades. Nevertheless it plays well, and realises the AD&D world a lot better than DDO ever did. Rift is the epitome of the traditional MMO, deliberately old school but with a number of unique innovations - big sprawling landmass, lots to do, heavily customisable character builds. It seem very conventional to some, and its lore is painfully generic, but the things it does well it does better than anything else. Defiance is good, but I'm not sure if anyone considers that a full-on MMORPG. Much more like a multiplayer shooter with MMO-like questing. That's it. Of all the MMOs on the market presently, I would consider these the only ones worthy of anyone's time.
  12. Heh. Apparently some programmer type has claimed that Shadows of Mordor lifts code and animation directly from Assassin's Creed 2. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/446568/assassins-creed-2-lead-accuses-shadow-of-mordor-of-imitation/
  13. Presumably there is a reason why you insist on repeatedly referring to dwarves as "Dorfs," like we're in a playground and you've discovered a new racial teasy-word. For some bizarre reason you really seem to have a massive axe to grind against what is a fictional species. It's like that one poster here who insists on referring to the director as "Peter Crapson" whenever he mentions him, as if repetition will compensate for its lack of wit. Only less logical because, y'know, Jackson is an actual person that has done things in the real world that some people dislike.
  14. Two points: Firstly, the figures in that chart are suspect. Estimated really means that in this case. As has been pointed out, if they're over 4 million out from the known figure with their WOW 'estimate,' so it casts a lot of doubt on the rest of the chart. (Incidentally, I just realised that if Blizzard's 7.7 million figure is accurate, that game is pulling in 115.5 million bucks per month. The mind boggles.) I also have no doubt in my mind that despite that chart, Rift and Neverwinter are both making more dough than LOTRO and that SWTOR is pulling in more than that amount from subscribers. This chart just looks like something quickly thrown together after the bare minimum of research in order to demonstrate that subscriptions are still very profitable. That point is the only thing about the chart that I think is accurate. Secondly, if the estate get a win in that lawsuit, LOTRO is certainly done for, license extension or no. If the license has been extended, it may just be Middle-earth Enterprises granting it in a hurry now to rake in the cash while they still have the ability to grant it. Presumably they have the common sense to have entered a clause that spares them from litigation from their licensees if their rights get pulled as per the lawsuit.
  15. Something has just occurred - all of the news Turbine have been releasing since Helm's Deep has been in the negative. As in all the things that they are NOT going to do during the next 12 months and beyond. No instances, no housing revamp, no this and no that. It's a long list, and doesn't leave them a lot of places to go regarding what they ARE going to do. I'm wondering what they're going to put in these "more regular updates" considering the amount of stuff they've already ruled out.
  16. An Elder Scrolls game is buggy? This never happens!
  17. Did they really just say that they won't scale The Rift because nobody really liked it back in the day? I remember The Rift the first time around, and I also remember the general consensus - it was loved. I said myself at the time, and still will say to this day that it was the single most enjoyable and best-designed raid I've ever encountered in any MMO. Period. It was an excellent example of pitch-perfect design that played to every strength that every class could demonstrate and required everyone to be at the absolute top of their game. No doubt, and no question. It was magnificent. No challenge modes required. Brilliantly balanced, and brilliantly executed. That all changed with Moria of course. But that was nothing to do with the Rift itself and everything to do with the fact that when designing LOTRO's systems they plateaued everything in the SoA days, leaving no room for future expansion. That in turn required that as of MoM they had to start mucking around with fundamental systems like traits, stats and BPE calculations etc. Why they didn't originally design their systems with inevitable later expansion in mind I don't know, but that's besides the point. If they want to use a raid's popularity as an excuse to not scale it, then why did they scale Helegrod? Nobody liked it or ran it back in the day. But then they scaled Helegrod back when they were still assigned a development budget worth a damn. Methinks they can't be honest and say "we'll never scale The Rift becuase we can't afford it any more" so they're having to make up nonsense.
  18. Cameron's filter was never about child porn. It was about forcing through controlling measures that disrupt the free flow of information, and it has never, ever been a good thing when a government starts doing that. Because once measures are in place to suppress information, all that needs to change is the kind of information that is suppressed and boom - you're living in a totalitarian regime. Thankfully, this new filter was implemented by idiots who don't understand how the internet works and think all they need to do to get people to toe the line is loom menacingly and say "because we say so." I'm proud of the internet at large that it took precisely three hours and fifteen minutes for someone to implement a simple browser plugin that will be the first of many, many solutions to this problem. Three hours and fifteen minutes. What else can you say except - lol.
  19. Another Scorsese movie presenting the worst kind of manipulative, materialistic criminal scum as the "heroes" because they are superficially charming. I have a strong distaste for such characters and have no attraction to stories that feature them. Infernal Affairs was an infinitely better film than The Departed. It did a much better job of humanising the characters.
  20. Other MMO companies don't mis-sell their expansions, either. They have the good sense to be up front about what the customer is paying for so they don't fall foul of any potential refund-enabling laws or regulations.
  21. Different circumstances. And considering the legal wranglings concerning LOTR and The Hobbit, I can hardly blame the Estate for being overprotective of the rights that they still hold.
  22. Indeed it was! When I went to their website to ask them a few things regarding the enforcement of their refunds policy and false advertising, it was to Coventry with me. I was never impolite, but was very persistent. It seems that Turbine do not like it when you ask uncomfortable questions and try to keep their customers informed of their rights. I can't vouch for the letter of US law, but I did my homework and Turbine refusing refunds was in violation of at least two UK laws and one EU regulation, all of which put their actions firmly in the realms of the criminal. Their false advertising of free features as part of a paid product also put them in for fraud, too. There is a summary of the points I raised in my letter of complaint on this forum somewhere if anyone wants to look into it. Digital RIver, Paypal, Consumer Direct and the Office of Fair Trading all agreed with me. The only ones that didn't agree were Turbine themselves, presumably because they have never bothered to look into whether what they do is illegal or not in their second-largest territory. Which is either staggering incompetence or breathtaking arrogance. Thinking about it, now they are in the middle of a legal battle, perhaps I should forward my letter to the Estate. It might make for additional ammunition for them.
  23. I've kept an eye on the general tone of Massively articles about specific games, and like articles about LOTRO almost always having a decidedly positive slant, their SWTOR material more often than not leans in the opposite direction. Even their complimentary articles have at least a sliver of scorn in them. It's clickbait, of course, but clickbait is something that Massively do very well. And why not? SWTOR's player base is very large, and their Negative Nancy articles always elicit hundreds of comments. That's probably the reason why they don't bother writing anything negative about LOTRO - you can't generate hundreds of comments by writing smearing articles about a game that very few people play any more.
  24. I especially loved the bit where they said that TESO will flop because everyone is sick of story-driven MMORPGS. The story-driven MMORPG experience is a recent development that has been around for less than two years. It was only heralded as a movement for post SWTOR-era games like TSW, GW2 and the FFXIV relaunch. Just more of Massively's background anti-SWTOR ambience, I guess.
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