Thursday, November 7, 2013

LOTRO: The Balewood

Help, I'm surrounded by Ents!

I wasn't disappointed when Tiger and I ventured into the Balewood: it was full of Ents. In fact, we seemed to be surrounded by them!

A good wood

Har har, that rhymes! I really love the look of this wood. It has a pastel green-blueish teint that is very pretty, and the trees are done in a manner which makes you really feel like you are walking through a wood. I don't know if you remember the first large wood that the developers made, the Old Forest? It is still my favourite wood up until this day, and it created the illusion of being one big maze very well (I always got lost in there, but I did not mind), but Balewood is in all ways its superior. Here there are no impenetrable "walls of trees", a cheap way of filling the forest up, but every single tree is there. It truly feels like walking through a real forest, with dense and less dense parts, although it's sometimes a bit heavy on the computer and trees may appear right in front of you at the last moment. 


My heart broke at the Ent's tale of the bringing down of one of the oldest trees of the Balewood by orcs. The tree fought back and many orcs died because of it, but eventually it was brought down. It was such a terrible thing to have to look at.


This conflicted and helpless feeling only became worse when I had to do a Nurzum session play and actually had to play the monster, having to kill Ents left and right. But but... I don't want to kill Ents! Yet I had to, to continue the story. I also felt a bit sorry for Nurzum, because he had only three skills in total. It must be such a boring existence, you're bound to get frustrated and violent like that, right? I guess it's all to mentally prepare us for our 'challenging' skill trees with Helm's Deep. /sarcasm

We finished all the quests in Balewood, and I must say that I found this the most awesome part of Wildermore. The quests were fun and the wood itself with all the Ent tales felt very immersive. A good ending of the long and very elaborate Wildermore region.

7 comments:

  1. That's one pretty forest! The ent seems smaller than it should though... is it a young ent?

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    1. I've wanted to look that one up for you, but it hasn't come to it yet. In fact all the Ents in LotRO are smaller than the average tree, and I noticed it's the same in the movies. I'm not sure if this is something that was mentioned by Tolkien (I can't recall reading anything about it) or if it's a solution for the game/movie makers to make it easier to visualize them and interact with them. How do you depict an ant talking to an elephant without the one looking extremely insignificant to the other? In order to see a fully sized Ent, your in-game character should be zoomed out, something which would mean unorthodox game design.

      More philosophers on the size of the average Ent, anyone?

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    2. They should be similar, in shape and size, to the kind of trees they're protecting.
      Nice screens by the way :-)

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  2. How are you doing with the whole power creep thing Rav? I soloed a skirmish five levels higher without too much difficulty... quite a lot of deflections and misses, but still... oO

    Still running a LM, still traited for DPS :)

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    1. Good to hear you're still enjoying your lore-master! You'll have to help me on what you mean with "power creep thing" - I'm not super up to date with the latest LotRO developments at the moment.

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  3. Actually I go through fits and starts. Hadn't played lotro in ages and was lucky enough to be able to purchase helm's deep via accumulated turbine points. A good friend dragged me back in again :) Between work and small humans though there isn't a lot of spare time tbh.

    By power creep.... hmmm lets see, apart from things being comparatively much easier (five levels is quite a considerable jump), I also had the luxury of looking at an end game loremasters kit (L95). To say it put the snowborne armors to shame is not an understatement.

    We're talking between two and three hundred more armor points per piece of kit, stat bonuses into the 150 region etc. Per piece. Not as a whole. Per piece. Those become scary numbers when taken together.

    Oh, I did go on a level 95 skirm with one other person and only died the once. Was really ineffective until I changed to raven with some of its debuffs. I suspect that changed things enough for me to get the occasional hit in and even then, not on the elites.

    I'm only L88 at present and don't have the standings yet or the levels for the good gear. Will let you know how it goes.

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    1. Recently started playing LotRO more actively now, and my first impression is that LMs (and I think all most classes really) are very good right now. Landscape stuff dies in seconds. I don't have time to try the funky new LM red line stuff because they die before I can try out multiple skills on top of each other. It's kinda funny.

      I am very happy, though, that the LM has kept its versatility, after all one of the trademarks of the class. All other classes have very few skills now, but for LMs there is still lots to choose from. The red line (which is the only one I'm using now that I'm just leveling anyway) is more clever than before, and while I haven't been able to test it on a longer fight to see how the DPS comparably actually is, I think I like it.

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