Interview of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
ToTheGame
Advertising on ToTheGame
  LOG IN
  REGISTER
Mainpage PC Games PlayStation 3 PlayStation 4 Xbox 360 Xbox One Nintendo Wii Nintendo Wii U PlayStation Portable Nintendo DS Nintendo 3DS PSV
 
Advertising on ToTheGame
 
   
 
Logo of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
 
 
UK Boxshot of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
US Boxshot of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
PC
 
UK RELEASE: 24-Apr-2007 (Released)  | NORDIC RELEASE: 26-Apr-2007 (Released) |  US RELEASE: 24-Apr-2007 (Released)
PREVIEW
INTERVIEW
UPDATES
CHEATS
   
  Interview of: Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar | By: Justin Fenico
10 Dec-2003
 

Now that the motion picture industry has shown us what a genius Tolkien was, the Lord of the Rings saga is branching out into the MMPOG world. I had the chance to get a few questions answered about this incredibly beautiful title.

  QUESTIONS  
Q: The infamous opening question. Can we get a quick introduction for the folks at home reading? Your name, age, experience, and credit card number will suffice.

A: My name is Christopher Taylor, Producer for MEO. I'm somewhere in the mid-30s, quickly approaching my mid-life crisis (which up till now has been what game shall I play today!?). I've been a designer most of my professional career, working on RPGs like Stonekeep and Fallout. I've also worked on some nifty strategy games, like Starfleet Command and Fallout Tactics. My MordorExpress card number is 01101101110.

.......................................................................................................

Q: One of the most noticeable things about MEO is the beautiful artwork and graphics. This of course means you’ll need a high powered machine to run it. Is there any concern if the mass audience will even be able to run such a game?

A: We're designing a game that will last for many, many years. To keep people from having to upgrade constantly, we're creating some very high-end graphics. The Turbine G3 Engine does allow us to scale down the graphics for lower-end cards, and then if people do upgrade, the engine will be ready for them.

.......................................................................................................

Q: How dedicated is the team to following Tolkien’s literature? Is it 100% Tolkien or are some of the ideas and gameplay made up?

A: Nothing will be 100% Tolkien except what Tolkien wrote. We're creating a version of Tolkien's Works in another medium. We are always balancing what we create with what Tolkien wrote, and we're trying to find ways of making our material fit as well as possible with the text and the spirit of Tolkien. But it's a very hard job, as what works well in a literary sense doesn't always work as a computer game. We are expanding the game to cover areas mentioned but not detailed in LOTR.

.......................................................................................................

Q: Since there is only one “True” fellowship, what exactly will players be doing during their time spent on Middle Earth.

A: There are many things going on in Middle-earth that are mentioned in passing or inferred by the adventures of The Fellowship. Players can take part in those adventures. Players can sit at home and craft, or tell tales in their Kinships. Smoke a pipe, drink a pint, and relax. Or journey to the Barrows, or the northern reaches of Angmar, in search of danger. Track down some Elves, preparing for their voyage into the West. We do have an epic story that all players can go on -- a series of quests and adventures that tell the overall story for the first year.

.......................................................................................................

Q: Of course, it goes without saying, any fan of the books/movies will be drawn to the game, environment, and characters. What is being done, (if anything) to entice those less familiar to Tolkien’s world?

A: If you're a fan of MMPs, you're probably a fan of Tolkien. If you aren't into Tolkien, we still have some new MMP tricks for you -- less time required per week to play, character advancement that matters and is meaningful to the world, an epic quest that puts you into the story, meaningful reasons to group with other people yet there is still the ability to solo.

.......................................................................................................

Q: How big is Middle Earth? Can we expect to see places like Mt. Doom, Moria, Gondor, and Rivendell (my favorite)?

A: Eventually we will take players to those places. We are going to start with about a quarter of the map and add the other areas via expansions. We'd rather detail out a small portion of the world to start and then add to the world. The other option would be to do the whole world, but then it rather bare and plain. Smaller and more detail is better than larger and empty. We're going to start with the area known as Eriador.

.......................................................................................................

Q: What about choosing a side. How will that play into effect? If I was to choose the evil side, would I be attacked by anyone from the good side? Would NPCs spit on me, call me names, and talk about my mother?

A: Player's decisions will impact their morality -- either virtue or corruption. Players cannot play the forces of Evil (at this time, we might expand there someday), but if you go corrupt, the virtuous will have less to do with you. Areas of the map may be closed to you (no getting into Rivendell if you've been naughty), quest-givers may shake their head in disgust and merchants may tell you to take that sword and erm, forget about that thought. But, corruption isn't all bad -- there are skills and abilities, plus other places in the world those goody-goody people cannot get into it, and quests of your own. It's really a question of what players want to do with their characters and how they want to develop them.

.......................................................................................................

Q: Let’s talk a little bit about the combat system. Are we talking about a point-click interface and what is the team doing to make it interesting (skills and such)? From a quick observation I would say hobbits wouldn’t exactly be the choice for fighting.

A: Combat is in the middle of tweaking, balancing and playtesting. Characters have combat skills, even our Loremaster classes, and can specialize in various skills and weapons. Hobbits are not the best for tanking in melee combat, but they are very sturdy and not to be underestimated. Hobbits have natural ranged combat skills, for example.

.......................................................................................................

Q: I’m a big fan of a good video game soundtrack. What can we expect to hear from MEO and how much? Who’s responsible for breathing musical life into the game?

A: We've tapped Chance Thomas, responsible for some of the most dramatic game scores around, to do our major orchestral pieces. Geoff Scott at Turbine is doing the ensemble and ambient pieces within the game. Doing music well for games is an often ignored part of the game development process. Doing music well for MMPs has a whole raft of additional problems and challenges. How do you keep music interesting for two hundred or more hours? How many cymbals can a person hear before they switch to their own MP3 player? These two talented musicians are bringing their diverse skills to the game, so to speak.

.......................................................................................................

Q: With a late 2004 release *crosses fingers*, what has been your favorite moment thus far in bringing Tolkien’s world to life.

A: It's a toss-up between watching the Cave Troll beat me senseless and sending James Altenburg, the associate producer, ahead of me down a dark tunnel, filled with fog and deadly traps. Hmmm.

.......................................................................................................

One can only hope (including myself) that the game lives up to the hype it has quickly gathered. You can be sure that if any new screenshots, movies, or beta info is tossed out, we’ll have it here for you at ToTheGame.

 
  SCREENSHOTS
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
  MEMBER FUNCTIONS
  You are not logged in
  ADVERTISEMENT
Advertising on ToTheGame
 

COPYRIGHT  ©2014 TOTHEGAME.COM