What, you didn't expect them to finish their game, did you?
I've been very addicted to this game. I've recently hit 25, and I've noticed that, first of all, there aren't many quests around. I'm looking in the North Downs and the eastern Lone Lands. Almost all the quests I find are orange or red to me.
More disturbingly, though... 90% of them are "Go Kill Fifty Orcs" or "Gather me up 30 Boars' Stomachs" or the worst "Get me forty Warg paws"(I've had at least 5 "Kill x many warg" quests so far. I must have killed at least 300 of these things so far).
What happened to all the awesome quest variety of the earlier game? Did the designers just peter out at the end, and slapped a bunch of Kill X quests together for the second half of the game?
What, you didn't expect them to finish their game, did you?
There are some weird gaps like that. I hit one in the mid to late twenties. I don't remember when exactly. I thought it was a little later.
Also, do not do the boar stomach (liver?) or bog bug quests in the east lone lands, as their drop and spawn rates are really low. I did eventually finish the bog bug one, but it left me with a profound sense of disappointment.
It gets worse when they give you a whole map area filled with level 27 elites with 3500 hp and expect you to continue the 'get 20 badges' thing. You can't even solo them at level 37 . Yes Agamaur, I'm looking at you.
I'm also getting disappointed with the lack of creativity of the vast majority of the quests. After the initial excitement of taking on a new creature, forcing you to then kill the same thing 100 times is like rubbing your nose in shit. Hell, even the unusual quests like delivering the mail ended up unfinished on my list because I couldn't be bothered to do the same thing over another 15 times.
I should have joined you in Agamaur instead of sticking with my PUG group with the crazy leader. ;)
Even when you can solo elites below your level, they give so little XP as to not really be worth doing. It was depressing killing a light blue troll and barely surviving and getting 35XP for it, then turning around and easily killing a random yellow creature and getting more like 100XP.
What's your class, flyinj? I'm a Guardian and I've found that solo orange quests in the Lone Lands are very doable for me*. I can take out single orange mobs without much trouble as long as I use decent tactics. I've soloed all the warg and spider quests, the bog moss quest, and am now doing the first Chapter 2 quest (kill bog wights), which were/are all orange to me at level 23. In fact, a certain type of bog wight will often summon worms to aid him. Last night I defeated a wight and two of his worms (also orange) with Morale left to spare.
FWIW, I don't even bother with green quests anymore, and rarely bother with light blues. If it ain't blue or better, the experience isn't typically worth the time invested.
As far as quest variety goes, I kind of agree with you. I don't see why they couldn't have come up with something similar to the "avoid nosey hobbits" type of quests in other contexts, for example. On the other hand, in a game of this quality I'm not one of those who throws up their hands at the first imperfection and says, "Oh woe. All is lost." I'm willing to wait and see if this is just a bump in the road and things improve later on. Of course, all the haters are just sitting there, licking their lips over every minor complaint, trying to exaggerate it into a sign of the apocalypse.
I hear that from roughly level 30-40, there's a significant lack of quests in the present game, which is being remedied in next month's free add-on. They're adding like 60 new solo quests and some new group quests for that level of player.
* Group quests in the Lone Lands are a different matter. Our group of three died twice last night trying to complete a quest that was light blue to us. We finally gave up, vowing to come back with a full group later.
I thought I had the same issue at level 25 to 27, around those parts. I was running out of quests, especially solo-able ones, and the chains of nifty related quests were drying up. The problem was I just didn't find all the quest hubs. One day I found a few and opened up some new chains, and suddenly my quest log was 40 quests full for the first time in the game.
1. In the North Downs, make sure you hit Esteldin (east through Kingsfell), Rusfold (run through Esteldin and out the back, then look for the little camp just to the north), Othrikar (north on the road in Kingsfell), and Lin Gilaith (south on the road in Kingsfell). Also, make sure you do the Ranger's quests at Amon Raith. Once you do a couple for him, it opens up like 5 or 6 more for the people around him. Lin Gilaith is like that, too.
2. In the Lone Lands, it's Ost Guruth in the east and the ranger who is camped just on the NW foot of Weathertop that dish out lots of mid-20s type quests. Again, some of these are things where once you accomplish 1 or 2 quests, several more open up.
I had no problem with boar livers or bog bugs (except that there are few bog bug spawns and too many people who need the legs), and I actually kind of like having stacks of Warg quests. In about 20-30 minutes of soloing in eastern North Downs, I completed 3 Warg-killing quests, all in the same spot by killing wargs that satisfied multiple requirements.
Yeah, when you can do a whole bunch of the mindless killing quests they aren't so bad.
There is actually one quest similar to the pie quests, south of Fornost, though there is no eye on the overhead sadly.
Ah, that's helpful. As for the ranger at Weathertop, are you talking about the guy who is in that little valley, who eventually gives you the "Taking Back Weathertop" quest? If so, I don't remember getting any other quests from anyone in that camp but him, and they were kinda low-20s quests.Originally Posted by Jason Cross
Yes, that is the guy.
I didn't know about Rusfold. My guardian is lvl 29 and hasn't been there yet - guess I know what I'm doing tonight - thanks!
This is actually a smart and likely very deliberate development strategy adeptly demonstrating Turbine's past experience in the genre. Concentrate on the initial experience to get players invested in the title and then add content later on as the majority of players level up to hit it. Good plan.Originally Posted by muttbunch
He's the ranger in Lone Lands, yeah. But I'm talking about the Ranger at Amon Raith in North Downs. One of your first quests from the town should have you visiting him - he's up on a plateau not far north of Thestlebridge, with a group of refugees from the farms to the east. You do a couple of goblin-related quests, and then each of the refugees has a quest or two for you (sometimes a two-part chain each).Originally Posted by flyinj
Yeah, I love the idea of the "large zone, 60-ish quests" free content model every couple of months, if they can keep it up. Much better than the guaranteed (and thus sometimes rushed or lame) monthly updates from AC, or the "once every 6 months and only for super high end raiders" updates for WoW.
At 26 so far I'm seeing this kick in a little, but helped a lot to get to North Downs and explore around there. Having a full fellowship for the harder quests helps a lot too but don't underestimate the fun of just ripping through "soloable" quests with a buddy. At least as a Guardian my DPS is so crappy that a partner really helps.
I see Turbine have worked hard to bring to life the spirit, grace, depth and beauty of Tolkien's writing.Originally Posted by flyinj
You have no idea how many times some of these quests were reimplemented. I would say that hundreds were discarded over time. The North Downs in particular was actually thrown out and done over from scratch... and most of the Lonelands should have been. I think Breeland was done at least three times.
Originally Posted by flyinj
"Go Kill Fifty Orcs" or "Gather me up 30 Boars' Stomachs" or the worst "Get me forty Warg paws"I sense some disparity here.You have no idea how many times some of these quests were reimplemented.
By "reimplemented" he may mean that the quests were rethought and rewritten to better fit in with the storyline. Yeah, "kill 50 wargs" is pretty lame and generic the way WoW does it, but LOTRO makes a real effort to provide some rationale for what you're doing. I'm not saying it always succeeds, since "kill 12 wargs" is still "kill 12 wargs," but it does make it easier to stomach.
P.S. I have yet to see a "kill 50" of anything, except as a prerequisite for a deed reward. There seem to be no such quests in LOTRO. 24 is the highest number I've seen in a quest.
Such quests suck, not matter how you slice it. The only redeeming factor is that if you hold onto them long enough you'll probably have another quest that takes you through the area where such beasts live, such that you'd have had to fight them anyway. Then you can essentially finish it for free.
Again with this! How is WoW's rationale for these quests any worse than LoTRO's, I should very much like to know.Originally Posted by muttbunch
You are merely allowing your subjective preference for the setting to make it easier for them to give you grind incentives that you will stomach.
I don't mind the quests where you have to kill x of y as long as y is plentiful enough. What I don't like is when I have to get x items from y, and then kill x+z mobs to get x items. Up until the Snapper Turtle soup quest I did it seemed that the appropriate mob would drop the quest item at 100% and I'd only have to x mobs. I hated that I'd kill a turtle and not get anything, especially when they were so sparse. It kills me to hear that this continues at the higher levels.
The Snapper Turtle quest wasn't actually so bad. I went to the NE edge of the lake and headed south along the shore. I came across turtles at pretty regular intervals. The boar stomach quest is much worse. :) What is really bad is the deed inflation. In North Downs, for many things it takes 120 kills just to get the title, let alone the trait bonus.
Really, I meant that some work was rather rushed due to decisions to throw away old content and old stories, and due to decisions about what to emphasize. I didn't mean to say because the North Downs had been reimplemented it was therefore better in terms of quest complexity or quality -- in fact I think the overall story coherence of the region improved, but in terms of gameplay I'd say it's relatively dull for solo players.Originally Posted by muttbunch
But anyhow, though there are various complex, drama-intensive, or idiosyncratic solo quests throughout the game at all levels, for the most part due to the economics and mechanics involved, not to mention the tools, it's natural that a substantial number will be conventional in structure.
Compare, for example, the superb Earth & Beyond quest arcs up to around level 30 in that game. These are IMO the best MMO quests ever written in terms of story, dialogue, and apparent gameplay consequences, but really for the most part they had extremely simple structures, often with very minimal scripting, and if there was any gameplay surprises at all, usually it was that some foe popped up after a specified event like a kill count. But of course E&B was a huge war between excellent story content and awful game systems; game systems obviously won the internal departmental fight but lost the game as a result.
That boar stomach quest was the biggest fucking virtual kick in the balls I've ever been submitted to in any game, and really soured me on what up until then was a really smooth experience with the game.Originally Posted by AndrewM
If I recall correctly, you needed 12 of those things. I got the first 11 relatively pain-free - it was about a 30% or so drop rate I would say. But after the 11th stomach the 12th did not drop until twenty-fucking-four boars later. Yes I started keeping track after about the 5th one because somewhere in the back of my mind I felt like some stupid shit like that was gonna happen.
I had a huge problem just finding the boars. I think I've only seen about 8 of them total.
Your story is also pretty bad. Things like that happen with random chance, but it would be nice if they had some kind of failsafe like "If the guy hasn't gotten the quest item from the last five kills, just give him one!"
This make me sad because I don't feel the game needs that nonsense. For me I though the turtles were pretty scarce, one on an island and only 3 or so along the shore. It took me, I think, 3 circuits of the lake to get enough drops for the soup. What bothered me was that this morning I needed 7 more meat items, but had to find and kill 15 to get those seven (now, if it was frog soup or black fly soup, I would have been done in 5 min.). I know this is a staple of MMO's, but given how it worked for my first 20 levels I had hoped LotRO evolved the genre beyond random quest drops.Originally Posted by AndrewM
It's not exactly the setting, Soapy. It's the fact that there's a real story there. I'm getting the sense that many or most of you can't fathom what it means to invest your imagination in a game. You seem to expect to be led by the hand every inch of the way, as in a movie. But I look at games a bit differently. To me, they're little alternate worlds, and I'm perfectly willing to meet a game halfway by investing some of my own effort into making it "real."Originally Posted by Soapyfrog
To that end, most MMOG's are an insult to my (and I would hope anyone's) intelligence. Far from making any real attempt to construct a coherent, consistent world with a plot and a story for me to meet them halfway in, they churn out cookie cutter verbage designed merely to fill up space. It's not an MMOG, but I reloaded Sacred just the other day and it's a perfect example of this. The quests in Sacred are so generic and stupid, I can't bear to play the game. You ride into a town and meet some guy who never even states his name, who sends you on a mission to save his daughter from the evil monsters, upon the successful completion of which he throws you some money and says, "Thanks." There is absolutely no sense at all that what you've done is important or virtuous or fits in in any way with the supposed goal of the game, which is to (whatever the fuck it is; I can't even remember).
The cynical will say that that's all that happens in LOTRO, too, but for those who are making an attempt to meet the game halfway, LOTRO at least provides some rationale within the narrative, however meager, for what you're doing. When you kill 12 wargs, an attempt is made to explain why it was necessary and what the effect on the world (and more importantly, the other actors in the story) is.
Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned WoW in my criticism, since I only played it a little during the beta and didn't like it much, so I haven't played it since. As I remember the quests in WoW, though, the writing and rationale for them was pure boilerplate. But let's say I'm wrong, and WoW's quests aren't that bad; choose another MMOG then. Everquest will do just fine, I think, as an example for the point I'm trying to make.
WoW has indeed a continuous story while you quest.Originally Posted by muttbunch
The problem is that most people don't read it. They just see "Bring 40 Murloc fins" and that's it.
Often those 40 Murloc fins then lead to 2-3 gathering quests but then result in a poison brewed by the quest giver and your final quest is to deliever this to some enemy to get rid of him for example.
Also WoW leads you from zone to zone as part of on-going stories (please take this letter to my brother who serves in the Badlands etc.).
One thing that I loved in WoW were these little things that immersed you a lot in that world.
I only played WoW so far as MMORPG so I can't comment on other games of that genre.
To echo intruder's post, WoW did indeed include a lot of stories and quest chains that give reason to the quest. Killing 20 murlocs to stop an eventual invasion into Elf-lands or hunting down 10 ghost because one of them carries the letter to the dead girl provided enough incentive and entertainment to be immersive in the world.
For all the story-telling in WoW, it always seemed pretty scattershot and unconnected to the main world at large. It was amusing at the start, but the sheen quickly wore off and I started to see the individual mechanics of the story just as easily as I would see "Kill 20 wolves" or "collect 10 gear pieces"
LOTRO takes this one step further because it ties in all those little stories with a properly coherent plot and backstory. It of course has the benefit of a much mroe fleshed out world, backstory and main arc that WoW. The epic quests which directly involve you in Tolkien's main story are far more immersive than any story present in WoW.
A lot of the instance dungeons in LOTRO also reflect the storied nature of the questing. WoW dungeons all sort of devolve into linear combat corridors with bosses for checkpoints.
LOTRO dungeon's layout, feel and look more immersive while at the same time, providing a place for the quest stories to really take shape. Something like Book 1: Chapter 11 in you head down to the great barrows to stop dwarves but eventually end up fighting a wight summoned from the disturbance.
Isn't Book 1: Ch 11 also a linear combat corridor with bosses at various points? :P