LOTRO: Free-to-Play

Huh? I still think the game can be stunning in some areas.

It looks exceptionally dated graphic wise especially when you spend time in some of the eastern MMOs and that becomes your new normal.

The upcoming graphics overhaul and push to console will be a welcome update and should be good for them since the Amazon attempt at the game went tits up. When the new show comes out they'll be able to capitalize on the uptick of awareness.

ranalin wrote:

It looks exceptionally dated graphic wise especially when you spend time in some of the eastern MMOs and that becomes your new normal.

I've always preferred LOTRO's graphics to those in eastern MMOs.

Don't get me wrong i love the art 'style'. They captured the lands of Middle Earth about as spot on as you can get. That is impressive. Technically the graphics are very old and dated. When you get close to anything in LOTRO it's ugly, and not much detail and what's there is a skin that's been obviously stretched over a model. That's just the way it was done back then.

In BDO for example, you can look over a field and see bushes and grass move with the breeze and see individual rain drops fall on the leaves and ground and the reflections of the surroundings in the puddles that form. It feels alive. These guys were doing the equivalent to raytracing long before raytracing was introduced.

Sure everyone has their druthers, on what they like to look at but wanted to be clear i was talking about the technical side and not the artistic side.

The big question is how far are they going to go with the graphics update because if they go all the way with Unreal 5... that's some impressive looking tech.

I'm a huge fan of the landscapes in LOTRO. I think they've captured the vibe of each area extremely well.
More importantly, I think, is that M-E is best seen from a big picture point of view, because that's what you can glean from the source material.

The specifics, however, are hard to drill down on, since there's much less detail in the source material. It would be as easy to get the details wrong as it would be to nail them; and it would feel different to every fan of the books: some would feel it was perfect, others completely wrong. So I don't really want that kind of detail in LOTRO. Broad strokes are fine.

And the characters? Well, they don't disturb my suspension of disbelief, so I'll put up with them. And the horses are pretty spot on.

An example of this is Radagast's home. It feels just perfect. But while you can walk around, you can't get anymore detail than an outside view of the house and environs. So the spell is never broken.

In contrast I find that its often easier and more jarring to break the illusion in hyper-realistic models like in games like BDO. They often look SO good that when some elbow bends unnaturally, or fingers look like sticks, that you're wrenched out of immersion.

It probably comes down to my willingness to forgive LOTRO its shortcomings, simply because the world means something to me, whereas I couldn't care less about BDO's world (does it even have a name?), Azeroth, or even Tamriel. Personal preference, obviously.

I always thought LOTROs landscapes and whatnot were the only thing folks enjoyed. The rest was standard mediocre MMO look for the time.

I would imagine for fans that being in the world is the most important aspect of the game followed by lore. I know I'm more than happy to forgive a lot of visual shortcomings just to be in the world.

UI shortcomings, however, are a bit harder for me.