There’s only 4 more days for the closed beta for LOTRO to end which will wipe all the current characters. On March 30th the open beta for Lord Of The Rings Online will begin for the people who have preordered the product. Everyone will start from level 1 on the first day. I’ll be one of those and all ready to make my permanent characters. I don’t know how much time I will have to play but at least I know the way to get over level 20 and where the dangerous places are.
It took me 3 weeks for my minstrel to get to level 22 but I’m going to probably go slower this time so I won’t fail in a fight. In this game you don’t die but you actually flee from battle after your morale goes down to 0. You will reappear at the nearest respawn location with something called dread. This causes your morale, which is your life status, to be lowered for 10 minutes. It also causes lot of damage to your armour and weapons which you have to repair and can be costly. The benefit of not fleeing from battle is you gain titles like “The Undefeated” which is more of a pride thing to show other players. I was able to get to level 8 before I was defeated in a fight.
These pictures don’t show how amazing this game looks on a really good computer system. I played it on my slower system, which is an amd athlon xp 2500 with 1 gig ram, and kept it on the lowest settings with little lag but can’t play any higher. My brother’s new computer, which is an intel core 2 duo with 2 gigs ram, can be put on the highest settings with almost no lag. More memory seems to make a big difference in this game and obviously a better graphic card.
The most impressive thing about this game is the graphics and the weather system. I haven’t played a intensive graphical MMO before so this gets my notice. Probably in a few months I’ll take it for granted. You will also have day and night changes. The stars are fantastic at night and some of them twinkle if you look closely. Someone mentioned that all the constellations are there but I haven’t checked that for myself.
One day it can be a beautiful day fighting orcs and then the next day you can find yourself in a lightning storm with pouring rain. In some places the fog rolls in and is hard to see what’s coming at you. This can get scary in the old forest where trees and roots move around you. After the rain you might get the chance to see a rainbow.
They recently had to stop the rain because of a bug in the sound system. Hope they get it fixed before open beta because it adds a lot to the realism of the game. My biggest warning for people who don’t want to fail in a fight is not to run through an area with high level mobs. They will chase you and some will hold you with nets or webs. This is how I failed for each of my characters. It would be better to fight 1 or 2 enemies at a time when going into dangerous areas. You can also start a fellowship with other players or a bigger raid party. Lots of fun to have in this game and it’s nice to check out the scenery too.