Monster Play

Michael Dorosh

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I finally dipped my toe into the Ettenmoors, out of curiousity more than anything.

Some initial reactions:

  • I'm impressed at how much thought went into designing it; the interface is subtly different than the standard interface - great use of colour (red vs. blue) to highlight notion you are the "bad guys" now. Some interesting skills and such for the "enemy" characters.
  • It strikes me there is some value in just exploring the Ettenmoors as a bad guy, but of course, as Palantir posted in another thread, the attraction of LOTRO in general, and Monster Play in particular, is that it is yet one more level of diversity in the entire experience. You can play in a group of monsters, fight NPCs, fight against other human players, have group quests, solo play - a ton of stuff you can do in this one region.
  • Based on my initial run through, though, I found I couldn't really get into it. I attacked the cutest little Elf guarding a Free People's encampment, and after besting her in single combat - my character cut off one of her ears as a souvenir! A very nice touch, but I just couldn't get into the spirit of commiting these heartless atrocities! :) Maybe for some other people, but not for me.
A tip of the hat to the creators, though. This was a "standard" multi-player approach you see in multi-player shooters like Medal of Honor, tacked on for people who zip through the solo campaigns. I can't say how much replay value it would have since I don't intend to play much of it, but like all of LOTRO I've seen to date, it shows much more depth than I'm accustomed to in the products I've bought. My MOH online PvP combat, for example, was dull as dishwater - it took place on a map the size of a broomcloset, and was with a friend in another city and some buddy of his he knew through the army. My friend "hates" tactical games (turned his nose up at Combat Mission as being too cerebral) and pretty much roped me into MOH online because he liked picking up the bazooka and blasting me everytime I came into range. When I selected one of the "capture the flag" games by mistake, he quickly shut it down - it actually required tactics, you see - and we spent 45 minutes running around some Stalingrad-like maze consisting of about 1/2 a city block shooting each other and his buddy for no apparent purpose. Happily, LOTRO's PvP model seems to be much more than just that.
 

Palantir

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I tried it as well after I started, how could you not want to give being a "real" ORC a go! :nuts:

It was ok: I played a couple of times as different types and can see why some players would like the "King of Hill" aspect. But it always seemed to me that I was wasting time I could be spending in the "game" while there. Then again it was PvP.

On "Monster Play:"
I saw a comment that some Monster players hope the developers in a future expansion would let their evil characters (called Creeps) out of the Ettenmoors occasionally. :crosseye:

So I thought-
This "escape" would be just as thrilling here as in WoW PvE when the "enemy" raided a city or area with 100 guys running amok killing all the NPC's & quest givers & taking resources, then standing around bad mouthing everyone not involved etc. until they got bored (time was up), not a pretty sight.

When this happened in WoW I just logged out or did something else for awhile- like I would in LotRO. If I wanted PvP to disrupt my questing I would have been on a PvP server.

I really don't see a point to this idea of allowing "limited escape" except to feed the egos of some Creep players- "Yea we get to kill other players & NPC's now, wouldn't mean anything but hey!"


Now- if the developers had some LoTR specific lore they were trying to recreate (Helm's Deep - Pelennor Field - Gates of Mordor) there MIGHT be a point to having a Creep side for a bit. But then they'd have to allow everyone a chance to make a "world" Creep, level them, etc. = a WoW environment.

If there was a real World result from it - Gap of Rohan blocked for X-days, entrance to Minas Tirith closed for a week- something so you wouldn't go, "just reset everything back to normal already so I can get back to playing today." How fun would it be to defend those places & have it mean something in game? Get defeated & you have to retake the Gates at MT. Defeat the orcs & fewer orc patrols, or Isengard is now under-defended for X-hours/days... {There would have to be set times for these very RARE "activities"}

But if they made them just a separate instance (like we have now) there would be no point to include them in the "real" game then, except to move the Ettenmoor players (PvPing) into a new landscape. (Which wouldn't bother me)
 
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