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Champion of the Rings

When I bought a Lifetime subscription for Lord of the Rings Online as the game launched, I expected to play it for a long time, but not very intensively. That has been proven true as my highest level character is only somewhere in the 30’s (level cap is 60 at this moment, going to 65 in December). For some reason I never found the right class to play exclusively in this beautifully looking PvE game. I thought CO and Lotro together would be a good fit to satisfy my MMO gaming needs. However, CO was so much fun that I have not touched Lotro again till this weekend. I decided to dust off my Champion as I was more in the mood for fast melee leveling than in the tricky but satisfying play of the Loremaster.

The difference between the two games is stunning and it makes me appreciate the design decisions in both games more. Where Champions shows a comic world with bright colours, Lotro paints a rich but realistic landscape. Both work well for their genre. Walking and riding (using the stable masters) in Lotro from one quest spot to another can take ages. It makes the world feel big. On the other hand, the CO zones are big but the world is much more closely packed and travel powers trivialize most distances. When one would take a list of features in an MMO both games would be able to check most points, but the depth of all those features is much deeper in Lotro than in CO. This is as expected given the different in age of both games.

Combat…how enormously combat differs. I ran into a group of mobs in Lotro and got slaughtered. A similar group in CO would have been dispatched in moments. I really had to get back in the mindset that a similar level mob is a decent challenge. It is not easy going from superhero to a hero. I am glad that combat in Lotro will get revamped a bit in less than a month, because it is truly slow now and I know this is one of the reasons that I have not leveled more. The upcoming Skirmish system will also give Lotro a big new combat appeal, I think.

The grass is always greener on the other side. However, I am glad that I can easily step between worlds. My idea that both games would complement each other is true, for myself at least. However, if I had to choose between either at this moment, I would go for Champions Online. It may still be a shallow game, but the PvP (even with all its issues) would keep me better entertained than Lotro’s Monster Play.

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  1. January 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm

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