LOTRO launch event fun and games

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Ratticus

12 October 2010

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In the last couple of days before the Lord Of The Rings Online beta wound down, the devs put on a special in game event for fun, and also as a thank-you to all the people who had participated.

It started with announcements in chat from the GMs: The northern town of Trestle Bridge was in danger of attack, all available heroes were asked to report there for further instructions.

So I packed jumped on my horse and headed up the Greenway. When I got there, there were already plenty of people milling around.  Then a GM controlled character explained the situation.  In full on RP mode he told us that he had received information that Trestle Bridge was going to be struck the following day by a huge army of trolls and orcs.  We were told that the town’s defence was in our hands  and that we should divide in to groups appropriate to our level and decide what to do.  Then he left us to it.

What followed was an intense debate, the group I was in appointed a leader and command structure and then started formulating plans.  We pored over the maps, discussing the enemy’s likely axis of advance, possible choke points, the best tactics for ambushing etc etc.  We even sent out scouting parties to look at key areas of terrain, trying to visualise how best to utilise them. 

These few hours were highly enjoyable. Everyone was playing more or less in character, and the fact that we didn’t know what to expect gave the whole proceedings an edge.  It was also great to see a bunch of strangers uniting together in a common goal and for fun.

I then logged off for the night and promptly forgot all about it. So when I logged in the next day the event was already under way and all hell was breaking loose.

Instead of spawning a single attack, the devs had organised several separate strikes against multiple targets all over the game map, each differing in size and the levels of the mobs that were attacking.

What resulted was an evening of madcap battles.  The chat channels were alight with calls to arms, and information about the size and composition of the various raids.  Leaders emerged, organising parties to meet the various threats, and players criss crossed the map searching out the battles.

For my part I logged on pretty much on top of a gang of angry trolls which were making their way up the ramp towards the friendly town of Ostrikar.  As they advanced a swarm of players charged down on them, made a line and then started attacking them one by one.  I was mostly a spectator in this fight, being a lot lower level than both the players and the mobs, but that still didn’t stop me getting in on the action!

After 20 minutes or so of fighting we (well they) had killed them all, and the group headed off for the next fight.  I decided to go my separate way and hot foot it over to Trestle Bridge to check out the action.  Which was besieged by bad guys, and on fire, game on!  

As well as being a lot of fun it also got me thinking, why can’t we have more of this sort of thing in MMOs?  I.e. scripted RP events which are organised and run by the game’s developers.  I mean; 99.9% of the time in PvE you’re playing against the code.  You know roughly what to expect from a given encounter and you also know that everyone else has had practically the same experience…

Yet every MMO’s strength is the diversity and sheer randomness of its player base.  This is what sets them out from regular games, and what guarantees that every so often you’ll come across something completely expected.

So come on devs! Why not take time out once in a while: have a couple of beers and start spawning hordes of monsters all over your game map! I guarantee that your players will love you for it :-)

Colonel Ratticus

Holy/Shadow Priest - Azjol-Nerub EU

Comments

1 comment for this story Add a comment

This was an awesome story! It's stuff like this that makes me want to get into MMO's in the first place!

Author: Anonymous | Posted: 20/11/2013 09:53:30

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