South Park Self

where you'll find me now

I have been whiling away the days, or at least so much of the days as are characterised by an absence of Evil Landlord, since I need to use his computer, by playing Dragon Age. This is not quite meeting my deep-seated need for a first-person fantasy RPG (i.e. the sequel to Oblivion), but it’s more than somewhat entertaining. The world-building is, at least this early on in the game, potentially impressive, the scripting and voice acting aren't half bad, and it embellishes its fantasy clichés with an earnest charm.

I am, however, not designed to run a party around a gaming landscape – I hate it, and in tactical terms I am even more of a stunned herring than usual, which puts me in the positively near-death ranges of piscine insensibility. Apart from inevitable click confusion in battle situations and stupid party member AIs rushing them into death-dealing situations because I haven’t set their tactics properly, there’s something peculiarly irritating about wandering around doing quests when there are other people peering over your virtual shoulder. I like to do quests slowly, exhaustively and with a sort of zen contemplation, which is horribly disrupted by companions tagging along. Particularly since my two current companions are embroiled in the kind of heavily snarky banter which simply screams “ROMANCE!” down the line, the whole thing being made all the more surreal because the female character speaks in the sultry and slightly detached tones of Aeryn Sun.

I like the dog, though. Solidly muscled, and with that sort of cheerfully homicidal look characteristic of bull terriers. It's an extremely good sign that I haven't yet managed to accidentally kill it.

The tactics are probably not materially assisted by the fact I’m having a bad couple of days for glandular symptoms, rendered the more hideous by a randomly disrupted night and insufficient sleep. Last night I dreamed the Evil Landlord added two stories to the house and painted it pink, in the process removing the piano and refusing to give it back. The renovation bill was seventeen million rand. The result was something like one of those tall, narrow Victorian semi-detached things with a violent case of embarrassment. I awoke exhausted and bemused. However, I work at home tomorrow, while overseeing the garden service in a probably lackadaisical manner, so Things Are Looking Up. Possibly.
  • Current Mood: drained exhausted, bemused
  • Current Music: for no adequately defined reason, Neutral Milk Hotel
If you want "sequel to Oblivion"-esque first person RPG, try the Fallout series. if you squint, it's fantasy.
The EL has played an awful lot of Fallout, and looking over his shoulder it is indeed what I want in terms of gameplay. However, the current jones is for fantasy fantasy. Swords and magic and horrible Tolkien clichés, and finding myself new and fancier armour and magical weapons. I really, really miss Oblivion. It's also driving me demented that Dragon Age is so D&D-narrow in its characters - you're either a fighter or a mage, and never the twain shall meet. I like to play a sort of warrior mage hybrid. Semi-spell users ftw.
Lotro
By the Great Moons of Phaark, try Lotro already! It fits precisely into the tin you just painted: Tolkien cliche, magic equipment, and no managing of companions if you don't want to. Semi-spell user doesn't really exist, although all the 'magic' classes do whack as well as zap. And a big chunk of it is free and will probably run on your machine. Hell, you wouldn't even need to do the huge download, the installation just needs to be copied over to your PC.
aargh. Online gaming. Fear. Trepidation. Uneasy awareness of (a) tactical ability of stunned herring, (b) dislike of playing in real time, and (c) potential for addiction and huge internet bills. Also, terminal terror of all those Real People out there who may well be nasty to me/laugh at my lack of skill/kick my butt. Computer gaming to me is a fairly private and internal pleasure.

However. I shall, this weekend, download the bloody thing and have a go. I have a dark suspicion my internet connection/computer may not be up to snuff, in which case I have a cast-iron excuse to gaze off into the middle distance in a marked manner when all you mad Lotro affictionados get with the persuade ;>.

Edited at 2011-03-25 08:23 am (UTC)
We'll let you have the DL, please do not waste your bandwidth. G usually comes to fetch it on an external drive as it's huge. I am DLing the latest update at the moment in fact, as it was released yesterday, so if he picks it up this weekend I shall send him past your place.

Our home internets cope with two of us playing at once.

People in-game are amazingly nice on the whole, and for the rest there is an effective ignore function.

The class you'll probably want is Loremaster? I have a little one and am loving playing him. I believe at some stage he will be able to wield a sword, at the moment he can hit things with his staff but that's kind of a last-ditch thing when mobs get too close.
The higher end stuff is aimed at fellowships (parties) though. I have a legal copy of "The Witcher" if you want to borrow it.
Oil upon your brow
Lotro requires little in the way of stupendous gaming skill. You'll easily get the hang of it as you go along. The social side is under your control. You can quite easily play tons of content solo without having to speak to real people. Many do just that.
Minstrels are also fun to play, as apparently are Burglars. Part of the fun is trying the different classes and seeing what works for you.