Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 18

By Shamus
on May 19, 2010
Filed under:
Column

Click on this link and laugh as I am abused by the gleeful sadists at Turbine. This entry is a record-breaking seven pages long, so there’s a lot of abuse for you to enjoy this week. I notice the entries are getting longer. Five pages used to be the norm. Then I started hitting six. And now we have seven. (For the record, I can’t see the page breakdown until it goes live. I just aim for 1,700 – 2,100 words with as many screenshots as are needed to tell the story.) I’m not sure If I’m just pushing the upper limits of the word count more often, or if I’m using more images.

Anyway, like I said: Click this link to read the entry. Or this one. Or this. Just don’t just this link, because that leads to the last page and you’ll end up reading the entry out of order. Furthermore, clicking on this link is probably a bad idea, because I have no idea where you’ll end up.

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201225 comments. Neato.

From the Archives:

  1. Rosseloh says:

    Halros is a bit on the incompetent side (you’d think he’d drag the bodies out of olfactory distance), but you missed one thing: the quest dialogue says he runs off to “scout” the other goblin camp while you’re at one. (There are two on opposite sides of the Greenfields; so it holds water until you go to both camps in the same trip.)

    Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if I only noticed this because I’ve done this quest line 3 or 4 times.

  2. vrittis says:

    regarding the last page thingy, i’m a bit disappointed that the Escapist got rid of its “view on one page to print” feature; i used that all the time to read through your articles in one go (without printing, though :p)

    i wonder if the others newb areas have sidequests this… lets say odd

  3. Uselesstwit says:

    “So… your problem is that half the Shire is idiots?”

    “No!” he objects, pauses, and then furrows his brow. “Well, maybe. Probably, I guess. But the point is that she thinks…”

    That had me laughing for a good five minutes.

  4. Meredith says:

    Ooh, do I smell a grouped instance approaching? Those are probably the biggest barrier to entry for me in MMOs. I just don’t want the hassle of a group when I play games; it’s my me time.

    As for your post lengths: It seems to me that the number of pictures has been increasing over the weeks. Sometimes more pictures make it seem like you wrote less, but it’s probably just an illusion because the paragraphs are more spaced out.

    • Rosseloh says:

      Not yet. You don’t run into a group instance (at least, during the “epic” quest line, which Shamus is currently chronicling) until Book 2 (he is currently in the prologue, after which is Book 1), and with the recent changes you can easily solo even that.

  5. STV says:

    “maybe he finally found a deer as stupid as he was” – reminds me of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUgTRiYmick

  6. SteveDJ says:

    Just a quick comment. The title of this post here, being just “Shamus Plays” without the rest identifying which part it was, kinda scared me at first — I thought you might have moved on to another game. Hopefully it was just an oversight?

    P.S. I LOVE the series.

  7. tremor3258 says:

    So, it really goes from the serious problem of giant goblin encampments back to the fact the Hobbits need to invest in giant shoes for their spider problem?

  8. Andrew F. says:

    Your tale of “Ray” reminds me of the movie “Escanaba in da Moonlight”. Quirky and funny picture; you might like it.

  9. Jarenth says:

    Wait, I’m confused. “This game is really pretty at night, so I’m not going to show it to you, cause that way it’d be less pretty“?

    That’s kind of like saying “I know this great band you’d like, so I’m not going to let you listen to any of their music, because they’re much better live”. I understand your intention, sort of, but it’s a little self-defeating (as I’m not going to check out LOTRO at night anyway).

    Done nitpicking now. Fun installment, as always.

    • Ambience 327 says:

      I believe his point was that while the game looks fantastic at night, and is bright enough for you to get things done during the dark hours – that only works well in a full-screen playing window, and doesn’t translate well to the small-scale screenshots he uses in the “Shamus Plays” articles – thus he won’t subject us to the difficult-to-see-what-he’s-doing images for the sheer sake of them being a bit prettier.

    • Thom says:

      LotRo is indeed beautiful at night. One of my favourite regions is Forochel. Snow and ice everywhere, and the Aurora Borealis at night is just stunning :)
      But it’s indeed hard to capture that on a screenshot.

  10. Ham08 says:

    Hilarious!

    I hope the next part doesn’t require a raid group, especially if Lulzy doesn’t have any friends.

    In my past experience, pickup groups were usually a nightmare. Some folks would go afk, expecting to get credit for the quest without having to do anything to help. Sometimes it was the healer that would go afk, which made the entire raid such a horrible waste of time. This is one of the many reasons that I quit playing MMO games. You cannot depend on the skill, honesty, or reliability of strangers.

    • krellen says:

      My solution: don’t play with PuGs. Solo-friendly MMOs are a godsend for this.

      • evileeyore says:

        But pugs are cute!

        Tell the truth, can you deny this face:

        http://www.pugs.nl/images/pug0607.jpg

      • Raygereio says:

        Wait, there are solo-friendly MMO’s? What the hell is the point of that? Isn’t the sole atraction of a MMO (and having to pay every month) that whole “massive” thing and that you have all these people to interact with?

        • krellen says:

          No.

          Some attraction comes in the gameplay mechanics of the game (which are rarely available in single player form).
          Some attraction comes form vast amounts of content (I don’t think any single player game ever, even with all mods included, matches the amount of content in the average MMO).
          Some attraction comes from playing around people, if not necessarily with people – switching from chatting to fighting back to chatting, chatting with folks while fighting solo, etc.
          Some attraction comes from being able to get shiny new goods without having to find it yourself or deal with outrageous game market nonsense (where you end up fabulously wealthy as you reach end-game and generally can’t buy anything you’d actually want any more anyway).
          Some attraction comes from being able to flip between playing solo and playing with friends as the whim takes you.

          All of this I get out of City of Villains (Heroes are for losers). Obligatory plug end.

          • Jarenth says:

            If City of Heroes / Villains ever gets some actually decent (read: non-100%-grind) end-game gameplay, I’m afraid I might start playing and never stop.

            Also, I’m not a paid shill. Honest.

    • Joshua says:

      Early on(maybe until about 20 or so), even the group quests seldom require more than 3 people, even though a full party size is 6. Also, most of the early group quests aren’t even that long, limiting the problems of PUGs. I don’t think you really encounter many longer quests until about level 30 or so with Garth Agarwen, and that’s an optional area.

    • Pickly says:

      This is a design problem that a lot of MMO’s seem to have a difficulty finding a solution for. (Plus it seems a lot of players don’t think at all about what needs to happen for a group to work well together.)

      I have had more success in Guild wars at least by making sure that groups just have 3-4 members plus heros/henchmen, and these groups usually go well, but this doesn’t really translate well into other games. It would probably help to reduce the amount of time required for certain things, add a rating system so that poor players would get marked in some way, reduce the difficulty of finding groups, or some combination.

  11. Taellosse says:

    I wanted to go back and look at one of the posts from a previous installment of this series, and in doing so discovered that you tagged all the others under your “Escapist” grouping, while this one is tagged under “Let’s Play.” Which makes sense, but is not consistent with the rest, so I thought I’d mention it. If you can, I think it would be most sensible if this series was filed under both headings, since it’s a Let’s Play done for the Escapist. But I can’t recall right now whether these are true tags, where you can attach multiple ones to a single entry, or not.

  12. Zombie Pete says:

    I did a spit-take when you discovered “the secret, hidden, super-clandestine goblin base” — and I wasn’t even drinking anything.

  13. LizJ says:

    “But… I don’t have any friends.”
    Awwwwww. So funny, and yet, so sad at the same time. I love this series.

  14. Joshua says:

    “Verbatim. Yes, the game designers give you a very stupid job and then an NPC makes fun of you for doing stupid jobs. And this is part of the main quest line for Hobbits. I’m telling you, the quest writers at Turbine are unrepentant griefers at heart.”

    Yes, there’s seldom worse in a game than combining with an NPC lecturing you on how stupid you are. Makes you wonder why you paid the game designer for the privilege of mocking you.

  15. Blanko2 says:

    typo at “Just don’t just this link,” on the post. i belive you meant click not just.

    your LP series are always fun
    (havent read this entry yet, will in a bit)

  16. RTBones says:

    Funny stuff!

    Group quest coming? This ought to be interesting, since I’m not really a fan of group quests in general – its a chance for me to see part of the game I might not normally do. I tend to play even MMOs solo.

  17. Blanko2 says:

    hahaha yes. this is great.
    XD
    will you attempt to do the group quest…
    WITHOUT A GROUP???? DUN DUN DUN??!!!!!?!?!?!

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