LotRO: Helm’s Deep has me feeling unsure
I have to say I wouldn’t want to be in Turbine’s shoes for a couple of reasons, one being that no matter what they do, someone isn’t going to like it. It’s as sure as the sky is blue, water is wet, pie >cake. Sure, there will be those who see no wrong but those voices are so often lost in a raging Sea of the Upset. Then there’s the choices themselves that Turbine has to make, like merging the Epic with the Professors story versus continuing the (mostly) parallel side lines we’ve gotten used to having. Again, no matter what you do, someone is going to be very unhappy. I’m not sure where I fall in terms of the Helm’s Deep announcements. Nothing has excited me, so far, in either a good or bad way.
When they announced Riders of Rohan I made a complete fool of myself and rode around my house on an invisible Warsteed, smacking my behind while gearing up to fight the also invisible orcs for my husband. Come to think of it, I was riding the hobby horse only I didn’t yet know of the hobby horse. My point, I was MAJORLY excited for Rohan!!! I’ve been looking forward to Helm’s Deep and want to play, fight that most epic battle, but right now? I’m more ‘meh’ than anything else. I think I have reasons for this, possibly, hence my taking the time to write this post.
One of the things I was looking forward to doing was playing my Captain, Condi, as a Captain in the fight at Helm’s Deep. Reading about the Big Battle system coming with the expansion left me a little confused. A level 10 character can play with a level 95 as they’ll be scaled up to max level if I’m understanding this correctly. Does that mean that someone brand new to the game with no idea of how many skills or when to use them can play a level 95 the same as someone who’s leveled *to* 95, or will the fights in Helm’s Deep have a different sort of ‘level 95’ to play with? Like, a session play type of role and skill set. If the auto scaling works like it does when you play on Bullroarer, giving every skill to whatever level you’re being auto-scaled to, will that cause a problem if the new person is your healer? If it’s more like a session play set of skills where everyone in the group is given a role with corresponding skills then I could see that being more friendly to new players in the game. It’s not how I want to fight in those battles, though. I’ve spent years working Condi up and would LOVE to see her as she is (or will be after the class changes) in that fight.
The Big Battle system, as intriguing as it appears to be, has left me with more questions than answers. I want to be excited for it but I can’t picture in my head how it will be experienced.
Class changes. OMG. Why? Ok, they’ve explained why but I still don’t get why we have to keep reinventing the wheel. There are still parts to the legendary systems that I just do not understand and now I have to relearn my classes? I didn’t feel I had a handle on playing Condi enough to really enjoy playing her until the 40s were behind her. Honestly, I hated my Captain until around level 50 and then it suddenly clicked and was FUN. Now we’re getting class revamps and new trait trees and I feel more “UGH” than anything. I didn’t want to relearn how to play her. Tweak this and that? Sure, but an overhaul feels more like work than fun. To me, anyway.
The class changes have me smacking my face on my desk, to put it bluntly.
The pre-order deals don’t look exciting to me. Nothing in them has grabbed my attention, save for the Turbine Points. I do not feel a desire to buy even the base edition because I don’t need another Hauberk. Wardrobe space is a very limited thing for me. I don’t need another title either. I rarely use titles as it is, save for popping a more festive one such as “Fool” or “Creep” (?) when I’m at a party or gathering. The +XP token? That’s nice, really nice as leveling can be a CHORE sometimes. The steed? Don’t need it. Have a ton of horses all ready that I never use. The token I could put a little money towards but the rest? Doesn’t entice me to pre-order at all, not even with the Points. I’ll say this, I don’t know what I want from a pre-order in terms of bonuses or freebies because, mostly, I just want the expansion pack. Maybe a big stack of slayer deed accelerators, a way to level much faster, a basement for my house, … those types of things would have me chomping at the bit wanting to pre-order the base edition.
Mostly, I don’t want to pay $40 for an expansion. I’d rather pay no more than $30.
The Epic Books not being free with Helm’s Deep is another thing that has me feeling more unsure than not. I’ll be honest, it’s not exactly because they’re charging for them in HD but more because they didn’t come right out, up front, and tell us. They didn’t even try to explain to us that this was a change. Instead they waited until someone asked ‘what’s free and what isn’t’ (IIRC, it’s *been* a week. I’m exhausted!) to clue us in. This doesn’t inspire confidence in me. It feels almost underhanded, like they tried to just sneak that bit in. Turbine has said in the past that they need to communicate with us more. Did this not count?
The Epic not being free in Helm’s Deep won’t have an effect on me getting Helm’s Deep. I will buy the expansion regardless. This change could have been handled by Turbine in a much better way. It has tarnished the whole pre-order notion for me as, before hearing about the Epic debacle, I was on the fence on pre-ordering and assumed I would pre-order eventually. Turbine is selling a product that I, as a consumer, want to buy. I love this game too much to stop now. I wish they valued us gamers, their consumers, more, enough to be more forth coming with details like this.
Lastly, OMG WHY IS CLOSED BETA FOR HELM’S DEEP ONLY TWO MONTHS LONG??? Have we not learned from past launches that these new systems need MORE time in beta? Bigger betas? HOLY FREAKING COW! I can almost picturing my Captain sling-shotting across the wall into a pile of a thousand Orcs just trying to launch the ballistas. Or maybe her arms will suddenly be stick thin and her waist as big as a barn, thereby rendering her unable to maneuver the heavy war machines (and then sling-shotting across the wall into a pile of ……..). Or maybe, at a most crucial moment in a Big Battle, she’ll suddenly find herself kneeling, stuck in the wall of a house outside of Cliving because she sling-shotted WAY TO FAR over the wall and was bitten in the bum by the big ole lag monster once again. Please, give this beta more time if it needs it. I can wait to play Helm’s Deep, especially if it means there is more fun than bugs. And lag.
Ok, so the small beta window has elicited more than just a ‘meh’ reaction in me …