I regret to announce that this is the END: LotRO officially in maintenance mode


Forewarning: I think I should start out by saying that it’s no secret about what my feelings are for this game. I have been highly critical of LotRO since Mines of Moria. And I think that’s to be expected of any fan of an MMO who has been with it since the beginning. For all intents and purposes, I am still a fan of LotRO, despite how Turbine has treated its community. With that out of the way, I’m ready to give this my one last hurrah. Also, if you just want to read about Update 14, skip the Helm’s Deep and Update 13 sections (there is also a slight tl;dr imgur gallery here if that is more of your speed as well).

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Welcome to the realm of the horse-lords: LotRO enters into Rohan, finally


Well, after going on a year-long hiatus, I’ve returned. Well, I returned awhile back, actually, in preparation for Riders of Rohan, but that’s neither here nor there. Instead it’s time for me to be my usual hyper-critical self and draw upon the pros and cons of the new Lord of the Rings Online expansion and get doom-and-gloomy about the future of the game. Are you teeming with unimaginable excitement as much as I am? I thought so!

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TOR goes F2P: So what?

The development team for Star Wars: The Old Republic has announced that they mean to switch to F2P by fall of this year. The announcement has led to widespread “sky-is-falling” comments from detractors, saying that this is “proof” that “TOR is dying”. Me? I just shake my head, as usual. What was that bit about history? Ah, right. We’re doomed to repeat it over and over again.

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I delete data like you on the way to real let-downs

Originally I had typed a 4,000 word draft of this review. I stopped and deleted it all after I realized that I was tackling it like it was any other review. The only problem that it isn’t. It’s not like other games where it kept me guessing for most of the time on whether or not the overall sensation would be worth my time and money. No, not in the slightest. It came to me that Mass Effect 3 wasn’t just some other game–it was a game I had been waiting for. Ever since Mass Effect first graced its presence back in 2007, I had been intrigued by the shooter with RPG elements that focused more on the dialogue than anything else. And, what’s more, it was a BioWare title, a developer I held in high regard for being one of the last developers in which I felt like I hadn’t been betrayed by. Please note the past tense.

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New LotRO Low: Update 6 (and then some)

That’s right sports fans, Mr. Doom and Gloom isn’t quite finished with this ride just yet. While I did plainly spell out in my last writeup on LotRO of how I felt about the game and how I was no longer putting my time into the game, I still like to keep tabs and make an effort to at least try to see what has happened since my hiatus. Funnily enough it wasn’t Update 5 that brought me back, but the glimpse of someone’s “favorite cosmetic outfit” on the forums wearing what looked to be a Ranger’s outfit. As someone who has been doing his best to mimic such an outfit since 2007, I was immediately intrigued. As you can guess, this obviously led me down the path of Update 5 and some more fun tidbits I had missed in my previous observations of the state of LotRO. So, shall we continue to a point where you find one thing wrong with this writeup and then attempt a blanket statement that everything I say is untrustworthy? Good, then let’s continue!

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Help me Hepler you: Bioware in the limelight

So I’ve noticed an increase of complaining on Reddit (more than usual), which led me to reading an article on Kotaku, which led to a much better article on RPS. Needless to say, I’m obviously pretty late to this party, but if you got here even later than I did, then holy crap. Anyway, it all started with a usual /hate post on Reddit. This time it was aimed at a writer for Bioware who’s lead on the Dragon Age series. Her name is Jennifer Hepler and she’s been catching a lot of flak for some things she said back when 300 was just starting its path to memedom. It all started on Reddit (big surprise) when a user kicked off the hate machine with a five-second MSPaint job in which they took a few things she said out of context, added a derogative play on her name, and then added some weasel words that had nothing to do with anything like, “cancer” and “sewage”. Read more of this post

Nothing is true, everything is permitted

I’ve been wary of what I like to call the “new kids on the block”, or, specifically, feature title series that have been making headlines in the past few years (such as Uncharted). What I mean by wary, however, is that I’m wary of whether or not it’s worth the time to investigate such titles when it seems like they’re developed around the console. Which, if you haven’t guessed by now, doesn’t exactly sit well with me because I don’t own any consoles (and I don’t plan on changing that). However I was led on by a trusted friend who does mingle in that part of the gaming world that the PC versions of Assassin’s Creed were worth trying. Honestly, I’m glad I did.

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Gibbets and crows: Rise of Isengard and the state of LotRO

It's only a model.

If you are unawares, you’ll probably want to know that my feelings on LotRO haven’t really been that nice. At least, that is to say that I’m less and less impressed with the things Turbine attempts to do in trying to continue developing for LotRO, an MMO that has drastically changed in one short year prior to its four years running. Once again we find ourselves waiting for what seems like eons (six months since Book 3—or, if you’re a true defender, I suppose you’d say five months because of the Rift coming back in June) for scraps from the master’s table. At the very least Turbine is still operating under their previous year’s update schedule, which essentially means they are only able to release one Book update before then spending the next seven months working on an “expansion.” Was it worth it? Has F2P actually turned the game around to pave the way for Turbine’s way of success?

The short answer: no.

The long answer: If by ‘success’ you mean ‘greed’, then yes.

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