Review by SilentSurrender
"Quite fun overall, a far better game than the competitors."
Hello there, I've been playing the game for quite some time and have decided to review it here, please allow yourself to enjoy this review and feel free to e-mail me comments about it. I will attempt to be unbiased and neutral when comparing this to other games, especially in the MMO genre.
Leveling 8\10 - Easy, a lot like WoW, and was fun to get into. The story is a good addition, although sometimes I feel it's all thrown at me a bit fast. The fellowship quests are easy, and I can solo just about anything.
My Champion quest was ridiculous. I'm a resourceful player and absolutely could not solo it even after upgrading my gear, despite the quest saying I should be able to solo it. The goblin near Midgewater healed far, far too much to solo.
Game play 9\10 - Good, again it's a lot like WoW, which is a good thing. I feel it's pretty smooth and a lot of the animations are awesome. I think the Hunter is certainly an awkward class compared to my Champion, but it's definitely an awesome game to play. The graphics are amazing, too. I can easily get into this for 4+ hours at a time, just exploring and farming even.
This is also a family-friendly game. The community is great, the people are amazing, and no one will get offended by this game. There's some use of alcohol, but it's easily avoided.
Crafting - 7\10 Some good, some bad. I feel the crafting scales very poorly with the leveling, if nothing else. Even after farming Light Hides in a very low level zone for 15+ hours, I am still not a grand master apprentice tailor. I wish I could keep up a bit easier, without focusing too much on 1 of my 3 crafts.
However, the gear you get from crafting is awesome. I've managed to help my friends a lot with my tailoring, and I enjoy being able to smelt and harvest many different things. I've even had requests for my services as a crafter, which is amazing. In WoW crafting is worthless, and it's very nice to be considered useful in this game.
Community - 10\10 This is the game's shining star, only one person has been rude to me, they called me a scammer because I was offering to boil hides for free, despite not needing skill ups. I was trying to be helpful and got flamed.
The role playing community is great, if not a little touchy\forceful, and asking lore questions is very easy, because it's a very warm and receiving community. There's always plenty of people to talk to and group with.
As for the grouping, the community makes it great. Want to do a quest? Use the LFF channel in game. Want to find some friends? Start a conversation in the OOC channel. Great fun!
Graphics, Sound, Ambiance, etc 10\10 - The game is beautiful, the sound is amazing, the ambiance is very fitting for every area of the game. The forests are sprawling and detailed, the elven cities are intricate and beautiful, and the icy lands are desolate and lonely. Turbine did great here.
PvP 7\10 - I like the system, but I feel it's very overwhelming to get into. They just throw you in there, no tutorial, no help at all. You're also incredibly weak at rank 1, you can't even kill a level 45 freep. I understand ranking up and questing, just wish it was a bit easier to hop into. Fun system, could use some tweaking and a tutorial.
Thankfully, the rewards are great. You get destiny points you can spend on your character that is on the free people (freep) side.
Story 9\10 - The lord of the rings lore is heavily displayed within the game, and you are more or less forced (thankfully) to take part in exploring it, and boy do you ever explore it! There's many group quests that let you meet the iconic characters, and you get the feeling of being an important soldier within Tolkien's brilliant world. You get to see many things that you're familiar with -- Nazgul, Balrog, and ranger alike. Quite easily enjoyed.
Gripes - I feel a lot of stuff is very confusing and has no tutor tool tip to help out with, I have had to use the advice channel quite a bit, on such things as destiny points etc. Figuring out deeds on my own was a bit of a wreck, too. The controls sometimes don't respond to me, or fail to queue skills, which is somewhat frustrating.
Overall - I'm very much so enjoying myself, with just a few minor gripes. I can't wait to log on each day and enjoy my new adventures in middle-earth, and I'm sure you all will enjoy them, too. Don't shy away, the game has a lot of life in it. It's got a very vibrant and lively community!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/05/08
Game Release: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (US, 04/24/07)
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