I installed the Mines of Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings Online tonight (you can download and install the files ahead of time so you’ll be ready for launch) and then fired the game up to make sure everything was working properly.
And promptly got sucked in.
One of the drawbacks of Warhammer being a massive RvR game is that the graphics can’t be as lush as they can be with a primarily PvE game. When the whole intend is to have 100 player characters on screen at once, you have to keep a close eye on your level of detail.
Thing is, in my time away from LOTRO I’d forgotten how great it looks, so it was a pleasant treat indeed; like having a brand new game in a way! I took some pics to try and share with you, though some of this stuff doesn’t translate well to static screens. But look at this Orc to the right. Can you see the level of detail in his face? That’s one angry ugly!! (As always, click the image to get a bigger, or at least clearer, version.) Most of the mobs have a ton of detail, though often you’ll never enjoy it until you’re much higher level than they are and can take the time to really look at them. 🙂
This one, well, I need to work on my timing. Aethgar is a duel-wielder and he’s about to make a move where he slashes horizontally with both weapons, but sadly it just looks like he’s trying to hug himself. But can you make out the rain coming down, the drops hitting the water? See how the target rings are distorted by the water the combatants are standing in? What I can’t capture in a screenshot are the flashes of lightning that turn everything almost white for an instance, or the rumblings of thunder. And I should definitely have turned the camera up to get some sky shots. LOTRO has great skies.
And what kind of armor is Aethgar wearing? Well, what you see is his “social clothing.” This particular number I got as a gift for registering at mmorpg.com (I think). You can opt to display your real armor or your social stuff. This means everyone can really have a unique look without sacrificing their stats.
None of this is unique to LOTRO, but I’d been away long enough that it was just really pleasing to experience it again. And there are definitely things that bug me about LOTRO, like the lack of autofacing in combat, and the fact that quest items take up inventory slots. But being re-delighted with the game makes giving up Warhammer for a while a bit less painful. Now I wonder how I’ll react to going back to EQ2!!