Tonight I’m coloring installment #4 of Forsaken Inn of Unplayable Races, my labor-of-love sidebar comic strip. (edit- it’s now up.) I’ve been seasonally sick for the last few weeks. I’m starting to feel better.
I bought and played a good bit of Tomb Raider this week, which I’m really enjoying overall. My mage is still stalled at L58 in Rift, while I’ve pushed ahead to L91 with my Lore-Master in LotRO. Helm’s Deep isn’t the best expansion ever, but it’s far from the pile of rubbish that some have labelled it.
Helm’s Deep has some excellent character writing. I’ve rarely seen such characterization in an MMO, from the old fisherman down by the river who is trying to eke out one last cast before he has to leave his love behind, to the depressed and hopeless one-armed town leader who overcomes personal tragedy to fight by your side.
The Turbine writers have thrown the book at this one, digging deep to cast a tapestry of literary quality across the plains of west Rohan. Aside from one small grammar quibble I noticed (“further” down the passage instead of “farther” down the passage), Helm’s Deep is tighter and more polished than the previous Rohan installment.
I continue to have no problem with the class trees, although the additional save slots seem a bit expensive. This is the numero uno cash “extra” in the F2P design. Last year it was the warhorse colors. I bought one at full price.
I’m concerned that upping the expansion ante during an arguably lackluster expansion could have a strangling effect on the game. I personally believe that expansion attendance is down based on GLFF numbers (number of people in global chat).
Maybe players are waiting for the inevitable sale. Maybe they just hate their characters cut into fragments of their former selves.
While the Helm’s Deep writers did Tolkien proud, the Turbine artists have also impressed me with their mead halls presentations, each one lovingly unique. Below are some screenshots from my recent adventures in LotRO and Rift. Have a good weekend, and happy adventuring.
Rift: Ardent Domain. Finally a beautiful Storm Legion zone!
Mead Hall Tapestry. Beautiful artwork, one of many hand-painted works in the Rohan mead halls.
Mead Hall of King Theoden. An odd angle showing pillar art. There are three levels to the mead hall with billowing smoke in the rafters.