So there I am playing the
Lord of the Rings Online on the Bullroarer test server, in the
middle of researching a bunch of guides for Riders of Rohan,
due out in a scant couple of weeks. I'm all worried about it because the new
systems are huge and complex and bewildering, and we Ten Ton Hammer writers
have deadlines to meet. It came as something of a mixed blessing, then, when
Turbine announced that they are pushing
back the launch of RoR until October 15.
On the one hand, I was very much looking forward to seeing this great new
stuff on live servers and running my stable of long-time characters through it
all. Despite the bugs and glitches that are in need of improvement before
launch, there is a lot of very cool stuff coming out this fall, and my
four-year tenure in the game has been building up to this expansion. So the
delay is kind of a disappointment in that respect. Understandable, sure, but
On the other hand, I'm still nursing the wounds from the state of the Pits of
Iron in Nan Curunir when Rise of Isengard launched last year. The rest of that
expansion up to that point was great, but the Pit of Iron was so buggy it
brought the game to a screeching halt. Nobody wants to have to go through that
again, and I saw hints of it in my own beta experience. Mounted combat
instances were less than stellar.
I entered one mounted combat instance near Harwick, a large-ish settlement in
the Wold. The goal seemed simple enough - keep all four of your companions
alive and take out the enemy riders. Unfortunately, simple goals were
confounded by wonky mechanics. The four companions rode off in four separate
directions, leaving me with no way to determine whether or not they were even
still alive, and the enemies we were supposed to hunt down immediately
bee-lined past the instance boundaries. At one point, I saw one of the enemy
riders charging around and fighting one of my companions in an enemy
encampment outside the instance boundary, where I could do nothing about it.
Personally, I would rather wait another month and see issues like this fixed.
The other option would be to release a half-broken version, deal with
mountains of complaints and dissatisfaction when people get frustrated by it,
and then fix it with a patch. No thank you. Been there, done that, bought a
T-shirt. Take the time to iron out the bugs first, and I'll be much happier
for it later.
This seems to be how the majority of players are viewing the delay:
disappointed, but appreciative of the attention to details, and hopeful that
it means the big game-breaking bugs will be fixed for launch. Call it cautious
Turbine has been classy about the delay - producer Kate Paiz said in her
delay statement that pre-order customers would get a goodie bag and 500 free
Turbine Points to help those 40 days pass easier. 500 points may not seem like
much - VIP subscribers get that much every month without having to wait on an
expansion delay - but it's a nice chunk of buying power. Here's a sampling of
the kind of stuff you can buy for 500 TP:
- 5 Daily Task Count Resets, or 3 Daily Task Limit Increases
- 10 Wardrobe slots
- A bonus character slot (currently on sale for 35% off!)
- A good handful of emotes
- 3 or so cosmetic items or a bunch of dyes
- 5 Simple Rally Horns
- 10 maps
- A property guard for your house
- Loads of crafting stuff
- The Riding skill for 5 alts
Obviously, this is just a partial list compiled from a simple and brief scan
made with a decked-out, 4-year-old main.
40 days in LotRO is a lot of time - easily enough to level a brand new
character to 75 and have it Moors- or raid-ready if you're playing full-time.
If you only have a few hours a day to put into it, you can still rack up some
serious levels in 40 days' time, and earn all that TP that comes with it. So
if the 500-TP make-up gift isn't quite enough for that one item you've been
hankering for, a brand-new alt might be a viable option.
Personally, the delay also provides an extension for things I've been
procrastinating with - banking crafting guild rep items, hammering out the
repeatable quests with the horse at Hengstacer farm for the deeds, that sort
of thing. It also provides the opportunity to follow my own advice and get
some alts Ramped
Up for Rohan.
With the NDA
being lifted (right around the same time as the delay announcement came
out), you can spend that 40 days combing through the Riders
of Rohan section of the Official Forums to read beta-testers' opinions
on what they experienced during closed beta. Even the beta-testers are
generally expressing positivity about the delay - the general tone has been
that it will be worth the wait.
In the meantime, there's the Lithe Festival to enjoy. It's a little different
this time from previous years - the Dwarves' keg race and Hobbits' eating
contest are staged in instanced spaces, accessible by new horses at the
Thorin's Hall and Michel Delving stables, respectively. There's no change to
the mechanic of the races - you bet on one of the runners to win and he or she
mostly comes in last because s/he decides to slowly walk away from the very
last station - but when you lose, you are entitled to a Consolation Prize of 1
There's also the usual assortment of Summerfest activities at the usual
places, but the festival vendors this year are all tucked away inside the race
instances. In a way, this is good news - it means all those people spamming
the Hypnotoad juice and dragon-breath for the consumable deeds are typically
confined to those areas, where they have captive audiences, and not running
around annoying people and ruining screenshots in the wild.
The festival offers up a new mount for us obsessive-collector types:
So how do you plan to spend your 40-day waiting period? Let us know in our
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