Weekly Wyrm ~ Dec. 28, 2013

Breaking down by game, comments from gaming this week.

LotRO’s New Secret Feature

Justin Olivetti put up a belated article this afternoon about the recent LotRO producer’s letter from Kate Paiz. The most interesting part of the letter for me is the secret addition they are considering.

Justin is predicting a new class. The folks at LotRO Players are also picking a new class. Leveraging the skill trees doesn’t sound exactly like a new class.

And how much can you “consider” a new class, to quote Kate’s verbiage. You do it or not. You starting building it, and at that point it’s a commitment unless you run out of money. It could be a surprise higher-level-start Ent class related to the planned Fangorn forest and Isengard extensions.

I keep wondering about multi-classing or prestige skill trees like Elder Scrolls Online will offer (vampire, werewolf). The new LotRO class trait panels have a lot of vertical space on the left side. They could add more tabs there for a second class or another type of prestige skill advancement like Rift’s attunement panel.

A plan like this would compete with Rift, Elder Scrolls, and Everquest Next in terms of letting one character do more. It solves problems in LotRO while selling store items. I like it, and something like this is my pick for the new LotRO addition to the game.

How would you level that dual/prestige class now and in the future? That’s a problem that would need solving. Also, LotRO already has a lot of leveling.

Max Payne 3 Review

Max Payne 3 is one of the higher quality productions I’ve seen on the PC. The writers do a great job of establishing characters, but the level of feminism through the first four chapters remains in the stone ages. I’ve trashed Rockstar’s dev ethos on this blog, and I’m about to do it again.

There are two female characters so far in the game. One is the rich bimbo who Max insults in his interior monolog, but who then turns out to be the spoiled princess that needs the epic story rescue. The other is a woman Max meets in a bar, a nameless prostitute who gets thrown to the floor by gang types, serving as an inciting event for Max to shoot a hundred or so men.

That’s even more chauvinistic. There are no girl gang-bangers or lady enemy types the likes of which you’d see in Skyrim, Fallout, or Saint’s Row. They’re all men. This is solid, consistent Rockstar game logic. If women are supposed to look pretty and can’t shoot, then they can’t shoot at you either.

The game so far seems like an excuse for killing tons of people in exciting ways. If Max were tender for the boss’ daughter, that would make the game into a better story, a big help. If Fabiana were interesting, complex, and likable instead of a defenseless doll, that would also help.

I’m putting the blame for this on Rockstar’s production values under the Sam Houser regime’s expectations for success. The box cover for the game even sports the typical GTA curves-girl that seems more appropriate for the 1970s than today.

Meanwhile, I’m getting achievements unlocked for things like “100 shots to the legs”, “100 shots to the arms”, “250 kills”, etc. Good job, Rockstar. I haven’t played a shooter in a couple years, but that’s just freaky. Apparently I downloaded 35 GB so everyone I kill has different face and clothing models and textures, which are important for all of those zoom-in closeup head shots.

Don’t get me wrong. I knew I was buying a Rockstar-made game, and Rockstar can make games however the **** they want for their caveman audience. I was still hoping that the Max Payne franchise would stay true to its great roots, because I thoroughly enjoyed the first two games.

It’s not over yet. I have a feeling there are some twists to be revealed when I work through this next rainy night level. I’ve quit the game for now, hoping for the rain to stop.

Twitch TV

Last night I watched Mike Foster stream a couple World of Warcraft dungeon PUGs (pick-up-groups). Massively’s livestreams never seem to fit with my schedule (sure enough I missed the ones going today), but I thoroughly enjoyed the livestream.

Later I watched Mike’s Tera questing for a while and some League of Legends commentary, but it seems hard to find good streams, and the Twitch search feature is awkward. I couldn’t find anyone streaming LotRO or Rift, for example. I’m inspired to do a stream, but honestly I would bore everyone to death.

If anyone knows any good Twitch game streams that I should check out, I’d love to hear about it.

About Silverangel

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3 responses to “Weekly Wyrm ~ Dec. 28, 2013

  • commenter formerly called wumpus

    Turbine has what may be the most versatile multiclass system in MMOs (haven’t played Rift enough to check) with DDO. They haven’t been kind to it (they basically forced the enhancement into a tree system similar to what they later did to LORTO, with even less care as to why in the world the skills were in each place or what you could do with them).

    I can’t see them trying to do anything similar to LOTRO and that really doesn’t seem to be the appeal (or what people pay extra for) of LOTRO at all. I’m just expecting them to try to charge an arm and a leg for the old housing with a proper hobbit hole exterior.

    • Jackie

      Alts have a lot of appeal in LotRO, and the yearly expansions with level increases added to legendary items have largely killed leveling alts. A lot of people decried the dumbing down of their classes/characters with HD, so that would respond to that, and as I said, the competition. I’m not so sure LotRO players don’t want more flexibility from their characters like other MMOs are offering, but you make a good point that people don’t play LotRO for mad builds and theorycrafting or whatever. I thought we could see more and better balanced playable roles per class come in with skill trees eventually, but maybe Turbine is content to leave that to Rift and stick with what WoW is doing instead.

  • More Rockstar Feminism Fail | Kitty Kitty Boom Boom

    […] my last post I’d played through the first four chapters of Max Payne 3 and found two plot-relevant female […]

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