Archive for November, 2013

Helms Deep NDA dropped

November 4, 2013

I’ve been quiet for quite some time now, but there’s been a good reason for it.

I’ve been in the Helms Deep Beta since Beta1, and simply didn’t want to risk breaking the NDA by mistake. But today the NDA has been dropped, and I think it’s time I give my view on what can be expected Nov 18 when HD rolls out.

Class revamp
It’s been known for quite some time now that there would be a major class revamp with Helms Deep. I completely understand the reason why the decision to revamp the classes this way was made, but I can tell you that I am very, very dissapointed in the way it’s been done.
You will not recognize your class anymore.
Hybrid builds will barely exist
Many of your skills will be gone.

I’ve played this game for almost five years now, and in that time I have gotten to know, and learned to love, the classes in this game. I love the way I have a massive array of skills to choose from, and the fact that I have had the option to choose exactly what traits I’ve wanted. And I would actually say that this is what really sets Lotro apart from many other MMO’s.

The problem with this system is that while this was all well and balanced at 60, or even 65, it has now become evident that most classes are actually very overpowered. Just take a look at the champion, they have 2 big bubbles, a full morale heal, massive single target and AOE dps. It’s going to be really difficult to create challenging endgame content when all classes are basically godmode. So under normal circumstances, I would actually be ok with this change, because even if it’s poorly implemented (which it unfortunately is), it’s something that needed to happen sooner or later.

But if the reason for the changes to the classes were to enable the developers to once again create challenging content for the players, why is there no such endgame coming with Helms Deep?

Because noone in their right mind will be able to call the Epic Battles and endgame. First of all, you can start them at level 10, so what’s the point of raising the level cap to 95 in the first place? There is no new endgame that actually requires you to be at the level cap, and there’s no such endgame in sight either, as Turbine have stated that the Epic Battles is the only group content planned for HD.

The only reason I see to level up to 95 would be to experience the old scaled content with the nine new classes we get with this expansion, it’s just a shame I won’t ever get to try them again with the nine old classes, because they are gone forever.

How Turbine could go forward with these changes after the uproar among beta testers from day one is beyond me, and it really proves that Turbine has completely stopped listening to a major part of their players.

I’m sure there will be a major boost in player numbers when HD goes live, there always is when a new expansion comes. But that boost will pale in comparison to the drop of players we will see within a few months of the release. Turbine has already gotten rid of a large chunk of raiders and PvP’ers, and now the axe comes down hard on those who have endured the hard times of horrible RoR lair-raids and massive lag in Etten in the hopes of brighter times ahead. But instead of actually fixing what is broken in the game they throw more things noone asked for at us.

I have not bought HD, and have no intention of doing so, paying that much for another 3 books of the epic quest line and a few glorifed skirmishes is something I wont do. I will probably play for quite some time yet as no other (released) game has really caught my interest, but I think that I will probably spend most of my time creep side until the day it’s time for me to find another game.