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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:57 pm 
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It's a pity they only support Windows.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:06 am 
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Windows only? Ah, well, that makes my decision easy.

My kids were interested (and so was I, to explore it), but they don't serve our kind in there.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:22 am 
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of Vinyamar
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I'm very, very surprised at the "May Govannen" mistake! These guys have made a huge effort to be consistent with the lore. Also, I started my Dwarf Guardian in Thorins Halls in the Ered Luin, so I had no filmic reference to put me off.

Prim, Faramond, you do realise you can dual boot to Windows on the new Intel based Macs?

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The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:45 pm 
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I'm now at Level 6 (so obviously it can't be that bad! :D), still doing the baby quests in the little valley that comprises both the Elvish and the Dwarven starting areas. I'm going to stick with it through the Beta, and after that my question is going to be whether to go month-by-month or to spring for the lifetime subscription. After an initial period of shock at having the conventions of the genre applied to the Quenta (for example an area in the Elvish camp where you have the trainers for the four classes just standing around, which doesn't seem strange in WoW, but does when placed in a world I know [though it's an argument from silence] isn't supposed to contain such a place), it became more natural, and although the quests are structured in the same maximally episodic way as in other RPG's, the story behind them is more coherent than any I've played before, because, obviously, of the material they're based on.

As Alatar said, there are certain moments, visually, that really do capture ME; the only problem at the moment, since everyone just started new characters, is that there's pretty much a cocktail party going on in all those places! :rofl: That should change very shortly, though. It does lead to some hilarious moments, as characters stand around waiting for a monster to reappear so they can kill it to finish a quest. The problem is that you have to be the first to target it to finish the quest, and I had to run around an obelisk for ten minutes until I got lucky. If I'd been feeling trusting of my fellow players (about 5 percent of whom have names in Tolkien languages, another 60 names that evoke myth [Stormbringer, vel sim.], and the remaining 35 names like "BigPapa" or worse--though I have a feeling Turbine, like Blizzard, will get around to telling them they have to change them) I would have suggested we form a queue! :D

Nice little things:

You earn titles for deeds--I earned "the Wary" for reaching level 5 without dying (not a hard feat, unlike in WoW, where your early quests pose serious dangers).

You can access a world map, and the signage in the game is very good.

Elladan and Elrohir are integral to the plot of my baby quests. I keep thinking that I'm their other brother (I didn't actually take the title "the Wary", but instead stuck with "of Rivendell," which I earned, I think, for Level 3, so that I'd look more like a son of Elrond).

Not so nice:

I did have a little lag--but that's to be expected when you have what must be a nearly full server, and certainly not the norm.

More later!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:24 pm 
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Living in hope
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Alatar, only two of our Macs (the boys' laptops) are Intel. Our three desktop machines are older than that. And you have to buy Windows, which costs hundreds of dollars. It's just not in the cards to do that to play one game, alas—no matter how interesting. (None of us needs Windows for anything else.)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:43 pm 
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I've played about six hours now, and my character's up to Level 7. I joined a Kinship (like a Guild, in other games) yesterday, of like minded older players, none of whom seems to know the Quenta especially well--I had to bite my tongue a couple times to keep from correcting pronunciation--but all of whom seem to be there to experience ME in this new form.

I'm out in the wider world, now, still in Ered Luin at the port of Celondim, and it's less of a cocktail party, and the graphics seem better.

The biggest drawback can be summed up very briefly--it's a game. I have fantasies that they could take what they've got and open a section of the map that would just BE ME: no NPC's with rings over their heads showing that they've got a quest for you, no trainers standing around doing the same thing ad infinitum, no neatly spaced creatures on the landscape for you to slay in pursuit of their paws, claws, and experience points. Who knows? It could happen. :D

But if you like the basic kind of game, you're in for a treat, after you get over the initial shock of having the RPG model applied to ME. The quests are good, the people are mature thus far, the visuals are, in places, really stunning, and above all the story really is involving--I'd compare it to the Main Quest in Oblivion for being well thought out as a story.

More later, if you can bear it!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Amphiaraus wrote:
More later, if you can bear it!

But what we really want to know about is the pH4T L3WtZ. =:)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:31 am 
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Well, I don't know if I'm "moving" to Middle-earth but I'm going to attempt to visit. At some point in the past I'd gotten my name on a list. While checking one of my Yahoo! accounts I discovered that I'd been extended an invitation to join the "World Tour of Middle-earth". Anyway, I'm downloading as I type, and hopefully will be able to play tomorrow. Goldberry will be very upset if I get hooked on this game. :scarey:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:31 pm 
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Overall my visit went very well, if you count spending nearly the entire day playing a silly game going well. (I did take a break to make and eat dinner and watch a DVD with Goldberry. One can't totally abandon one's husbandly obligations, er, I mean joys.)

After trying out a human, a hobbit, a dwarf, and an elf on one server (much lag encountered, particulary in Archet where humans and hobbits start out), I switched to another server where I played an Elf Guardian to much success.

A guardian class is the classic "sword and board" (sword & shield) role, you know, "take a licking and keep on ticking" as the old Timex watch commercial used to say. In modern parlance they call these characters "tanks" because they can take a lot of damage.

Things went so well that I didn't die until I was well into level 7, and then it took three stinking goblins ganging up on me. The things one goes through to pick a few grapes for a quest. :roll:

Overall the game is very good. Great graphics, gameplay is pretty simple (which is good for me). It's very much like Dark Age of Camelot , which I played in the final round of beta before it first came out and for a few months afterwards. I played the old sword & board in that game, too, and had a good time until the content got stale.

By the time I finally quit around 12:30 last night I had gone on a rather lengthy journey and found myself in Hobbiton. I think I found Bag End, but was not certain. (It's up the hill from the Bywater Bridge and Ted Sandyman's Mill, right?) Daddy Twofoot (one of Gaffer Gamgee's cronies) was in front of his house. I also saw Mayor Will Whitfoot during my visit to Michel Delving. While in the the Shire I performed a quest to become a Bounder. Yes, this Elf is now wearing a feathered hat! As any good Bounder would, I ended my rounds with a round, that is, a frosty pint at the Green Dragon.

The phat lewtz was very easy to come by. I don't think I purchased a single piece of equipment, gaining all I needed either through quests or spoils. Speaking of phat lewtz, there were a few "d00d" names, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of legitimate character names. I think the naming info the game provides on the character creation screen probably helps a lot in that regard.

This game would be especially fun if a group of friends could get together and play. Unfortunately, my time of whiling away hour after hour playing silly games is over. *sigh*

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:33 am 
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I'm at level 14 with my Elf Minstrel, based in Celondim, now (I also have a Human Guardian in the Bree-land). Yesterday, I took the elf to the Shire, and spent a couple hours doing odd-jobs for hobbits. For some reason, the one thing that got me choked up was not Bag End (which is very well done), but Great Smials. I've always had a thing for the Tooks (as, I think, did JRRT).

I'm getting the lifetime sub.

Over on TORC, Gandalf's Mother is getting a kinship together on the Landroval server for some medium-to-heavy RP; I'm going to try to make a 'toon (as they call them) there.

It really is like moving to ME, once you get past the generic conventions. Anyone who did alright with the films (Pragmatist to Revisionist) should really enjoy it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:53 am 
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Prim has apparently moved to Middle-earth. How do I know? I saw her there, of course. (See the images below.)

She's apparently traded in her salmon of correction for a spear of correction, though. She's keeping on eye on patrons as they exit the Ivy Bush Tavern. She's especially keeping on eye on Daddy Twofoot.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:21 am 
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Living in hope
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Merciful Heavens! :shock:

However, I must look into this Spear of Correction idea. Piscatorial reproof appears to be losing its punch. Just imagine if I were to—

Erm.

Excuse me.

<goes off for a rest cure with seaweed packs and lots of cooling washcloths applied to the forehead>

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:41 pm 
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And here's--ladies let your hearts be still--my Elven character somewhat modeled after Elu Thingol (note the silver-gray hair):

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He has yet to meet the Maia of his dreams, however, but then this is the 3rd Age afterall. ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:09 pm 
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My Kinship on Windfola made the dangerous run to Rivendell last night (only one part is really dangerous, climbing out of the Bruinen Fords towards the final pass into Imladris Vale, where there are beasts that can kill you with one hit). It was amazing.

Looking towards the falls, and the Last Homely House:

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Me and Aragorn, in the great hall:

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I'm kicking myself for not having taken one of Bilbo in the Hall of Fire. I think I can get back there easily now, though!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:29 pm 
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Living in hope
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These are just amazing, Amphiaraus. I wish I could see it for myself!

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:39 pm 
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Amphi, please do go back and get us a picture of the Hall of Fire!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:20 pm 
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Well, I'm PO'd enough at WoW to at least download the open beta for LOTRO. Even though I hatehatehate the fact I can't hook up with the European players. Sigh.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:29 pm 
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Besides the stunning graphics, the most fun was finding the members of the Fellowship, plus Elrond. It was like an Easter Egg hunt, and you would hear people in our group say "I found Boromir!" or "I found Gandalf." I'm proud to be the one who found Frodo, Aragorn, and Legolas first. :D

I won't tell you where they are (except Aragorn, obviously, whose location is easy), so as not to spoil it for those who are going to go themslves.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Elf and Dwarf newbies start in the Ered Luin (Blue Mountains) in the northwest of Middle-earth. In the opening sequence for Elves Elrond appears. Elrond is apparently a lefty. :D

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Elrond's two sons Elrohir and Elladan remain behind in the newbie area after Elrond has apparently returned to Rivendell. (I haven't taken screenshots of them.)

I've ventured back and forth between the Shire and Ered Luin a couple of times. I've been working on a quest to obtain ingredients for a hobbit woman in Tuckborough to make fireworks for Lobelia Sackville-Baggins' birthday party. Lobelia wants fireworks to outdo those at Bilbo's 111st birthday party. (At present Lobelia and her son, Lotho, occupy Bag End and, according to Rosie Cotton, Sam and Mr. Frodo have moved to Crickhollow.)

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I'm sure you all will recognize Ted Sandyman's mill.

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I ventured a short ways into the Old Forest the other day, but I do not believe that I could have survived the journey. When my character is more advanced, I'm hoping I can make the trip to the House of Tom Bombadil. The Open Beta has a level limit of 15; I'm currently 11. I was a few levels less than 11 when I took a peak in the Old Forest.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:11 am 
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I ventured forth and, despite the great onslaught from the LAG monster, I made it to Bree. In the image below you can see Bree from the distance. (I swear I heard someone grumble, "It's just a model".)

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Bree is a veritable metropolis compared to the hobbit holes and other small structures spread over the rolling hills of the Shire. Here is one of its more infamous denizens, Harry Goatleaf. He looks a bit like George Lucas to me.

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And, of course, the Prancing Pony.

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Run off his feet as usual but not too busy to exchange a few words with this lag-weary Elf, Barliman Butterbur. Butterbur has a surprisingly pleasant voice, nothing at all like the actors in PJ's movie or the BBC dramatization (who in my opinion sound remarkably similar to each other).

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