So, for the past month, Ive been playing LotRO on weekdays and DDO on weekends. The reason was simple, after my lengthy hiatus from the MMO world last year, I couldn't help but feel slightly detached from DDO. I still love the game and enjoy the company of the friends Ive made on it, but when I came back I didn't really feel the whole solo thing anymore. I wanted to play with my buddies! But, oh woe was me! Mr. Shinny couldn't play during the day or on weekends anymore. But he went and suggested that maybe Mr. Comic could play with me on weekends! And, lucky for me, he could! But I needed to fill a void during the weekends. I needed something new! In the end, I went with LotRO. Now, I had tried playing LotRO in the past. I didn't get past the introduction because I didn't quite understand how the controls worked. This time though, after giving it a real shot, I couldn't help but face palm myself for not getting how simple it all was before.
There are a lot of things about each game that I like. There are also things in each game that aren't there but I wish were there or things that ARE there that I wish weren't there. So, I'm gonna make a pro/con list for DDO and LotRO just for the fun of it!
XP can be banked. You can either choose to take the next level or hold onto the XP so you don't get hit with XP penalties in quests.
Character Creation. I love how making a character in DDO makes you think about how you want to build or not build your characters.
Character Prettiness. I love love LOVE how pretty or handsome I can make my characters and how well the end results usually are.
Acid Green. The Acid Green Hair Dye. Awesome. :)
Quest Challenge. The challenge of the quests is really good and keeps me on my tosies when I'm doing a quest Ive never done before.
Wilderness Quests. There are days I hop onto DDO. I want to play, but I don't want to actually run any quests. The solution? Hit the wilderness! Do some slayers/explorers/rares! Its a good quick fix!
Wilderness/quest areas. Beautifully done. Regardless of the crap people talk about the games graphics, Its all beautifully created.
Music. There are places within the game, such as Three Barrel Cove, that I love to visit just so that I can have the particular areas music playing in the background. :)
Enhancements. I enjoy the enhancement system a lot. It enables me to strengthen places where I feel a character of mine is a little weak in and to make even stronger areas he or she is already strong in.
TP. Turbine allows players to earn TP through playing. Anytime a games developers allows something like this, it deserves to be mentioned as a pro.
Cosmetics. Every single cosmetic in DDO costs TP. There are a lot of cool and fun looking things for hair and armor, but not one of them costs in game currency. Also, the armor you get, looks the way it looks. You cant change its color or anything. Sure, some armors like the Ringleader one look kinda cool, but outside of that, you're lucky if you find a nice piece of armor that also looks cool.
Music. The number of places with interesting music in DDO can be counted on two or three fingers. Overall, the music is bland and really really dull.
Water. To put it simply, water in DDO sucks. It is the single biggest pain in the ass I have ever encountered in any game. Enemies can move through water with no trouble at all. The player? In order to actually move anywhere with speed, we have to jump. Enemies can attack you underwater. The player? We have to move to a an area that's solid under our characters feet. Additionally, in areas where the water in on a hill, the player is forced back down if they stand still. Again, this doesn't affect the enemies.
Voice overs. They annoy me. I know they're there because its a D&D game and all and people get all starry eyed about the dude who did the voice overing in Deleras Tomb, but I am really really thankful theres an option to turn them off. There are two things that could improve this, 1: The chick who did the voice overing on some of the Korthos quests, she wasn't annoying. She was actually entertaining. They need more people like that to do voicing. 2: When the voice person says, 'You hear a sound...' there's no sound. They NEED to make a sound. Its a video game not some stupid table game. When a video gamer is told that they hear a sound, they want to hear a gorram sound!
Evil Enemies... that serve the light?. It makes absolutely no sense why an enemy, who is obviously related in some way to a devil or another evil evil creature, is able to cast LIGHT spells. The very kind of spell type they are weak to! It boggles my brain.
Mini Map. Now, the map isn't always a problem. But in some quests, it is. You see, some quests, areas on the map overlap each other. So the map changes to show the layer your currently on, right? Nope. The map is purely 2D, single level. Which can make certain quests more challenging or confusing than they need to be.
TP. Even with the ability to earn TP for free, in DDO, its a literal grind to earn any.
Crafting. Crafting in DDO is a pain in the bahookey. Its confusing as hell and the rewards feel more limited than the number of recipes would have me believe.
Hirelings/summoned pets. They are so dumb they make dumb people look not dumb. They attack enemies who are miles away. They don't heal you or themselves when they should. Sometimes, they wont even do what they're commanded. They'll just stand there doing nothing.
Enemy ranged attacks. There's nothing more obnoxious, while playing on a melee character, than getting attacked from a ranged attacker. Except for, maybe, when the arrows push you off a ledge or frak up your jump forcing you to plummet to your death.
Uberness. DDO, while an overall great and fun game, feels like the only way you can succeed in it is if you're an uber elite character with uber elite gear. This creates an atmosphere where the uber elite players try forcing their way onto players who just want some casual fun and even making them might not want to continue playing the game. Not everyone wants to be uber just to complete a quest or have fun.
Pro and Con, I'm sure there are things I missed. It happens!
Music. The music in LotRO is absolutely one of the best game soundtracks I have ever heard. Having bought game soundtracks in the past(Halo 1 &2, Elderscrolls III & IV and The Witcher 1 &2), I have to say, if the entire LotRO soundtrack ever was put together and sold, Id totally buy it. LotRO is one of the few games Ive played where I don't want to turn off the sound.
Ponies. LotRO has ponies. Lots and lots and lots of ponies. Sure, you need either to be a VIP or spend a small (95) amount of TP to get the skill, but... Ponies.
Cosmetics. LotRO has WAY more cosmetics in it than any game I have ever played. The best part is, not all of it costs TP. You decide the hairstyle/color you chose at the start isn't so great anymore? Head on over to a tavern and get it changed for a couple silver! Sure, the stuff that costs TP looks way cool, but you know what? Not all the in game currency cosmetics are dreadful. I actually found 7 so far that I really like! Then there's the dyes. You can dye your armor various colors. This makes the game a TON of fun.
Water. I can move around unhindered in water and my character can fight while swimming. Nuff said.
The big wide world. LotRO is a very big world. It can also be a bit scary. But after a while, its hard not to become engrossed in it. Its a very very beautiful place to explore.
Rooster. Great Alice in chains song, a fun thing to play as. Play as?! Yup. In LotRO, there are some quests you can run where you turn into a Rooster, of all things. This makes the Pros list because, well, its goofy. Its fun. The stuff can actually be a challenge too. But mostly, you know they put it in because they thought it'd be funny.
TP. Earning TP in LotRO is easy. Real easy. Sure, you don't earn it in massive amounts, but the fact is, you can earn it faster in LotRO than you can in DDO.
Character leveling. Leveling your character in LotRO is simple. You level. You go to your Class Trainer. You buy the skills. You're done! Most importantly, you don't have to worry about the whole 'Am I uber enough to play with others?' type of thing. So it makes playing nice.
Voice overs. The voicing in LotRO is simple. But they're unobtrusive and as such, not a bit annoying. I don't even notice them half the time!
Titles. Completing deeds earns your characters titles. There are lots to be earned and five that are awarded for not dying until you hit level 20. My favorite so far is the 'Slug Squisher' title. :)
Crafting. Crafting in LotRO is nice and simple. Sure, unlike in DDO where you can do it all on one character, you need more than one character of your own or a friend or two to help you out with certain crafts, but overall, the rewards are much much bigger, in my opinion.
Starting locations. You start in locations that fit the race you chose on creation. With this also comes the prologue quests being for your particular race as well.
Friend list. If I'm on server 'Blah' and have a buddy on that server, all I have to do is add his or her name to a characters friend list and its added to ALL my characters lists for that server. Even ones that get created afterwards. It makes things easier when it comes down to keeping in touch with peeps.
Player houses. An F2P player can buy a standard house. But a VIP or a player who has bought the currency cap removal, can buy a Deluxe house. In your house, you can hang up trophies, buy chests to hold loots and if it fits your fancy, hold a party! Just like in real life though, you gotta pay the rent! The more expensive the house, the more expensive the rent! Kins can even have houses.
Character Leveling. You level way to fast. At first this didn't bother me but then, I realized there were drawbacks to leveling to fast. The best example of this is the Class Skill Deeds. Each class has certain skills, that when used on an enemy open up a Class Deed that when accomplished, allows you to use the skill better or improve your character in some way(after equipping the improvement). However, if you use the skill on an enemy that's name is in grey(no XP), the usage of the skill doesn't count. Thankfully, there's an item called the...
XP Disabler. Whats this? An item that does some good being put on a 'Con' list? Yeah. The item stops your character from gaining XP making doing Tasks or slayers or what have you easier without having to worry about out leveling content. So whats the big deal? Well, for starters, it costs 495 TP. Yeah. Ouch. That's a huge price tag. But that's not what makes it so bad. What makes it so damn bad is that its 495 TP PER CHARACTER. Meaning people(like me) who have lots of alts that they don't want to level(but level now anyway with the addition of crafting XP), need to spend 495 TP per character they want to use it on. for that price, they should have let every character a person makes on the server it was bought on have one. At least then it would have made sense!
Kins. Call it what you want Kin/Guild/Alliance. We all like to join them in games. Mostly, we all like to make them. Either for ourselves or to see if anyone else is interested in joining us. LotRO makes this both easy and hard. Its the hard part that makes this a solid con over pro. The good? You can start one with in game currency! Really! Its like 15 Silver I think. The bad? You need 8 other people to join and you only have a week to do it. After that week, if you don't meet the quota, it gets erased from the realm for forever. Well, until you make a new one I suppose.
Crafting XP. When I first started playing, you could do crafting and not gain XP. After a certain update though, you now gain a set amount of XP for using crafting skills. Levelling in LotRO was easy enough as it was, now its much much easier. Which isn't always a good thing.
Pro and Con, I'm sure there are things I missed. It happens! I'm only human after all!
Anyways, that's my blog for the day! Hope everyone stays well!