My First Day in Rohan

October 17, 2012

Opinions

ScreenShot00097I was a bit nervous about the first day of Riders of Rohan. I made the decision to go against my better judgment and take the day off from work to see if I would be lucky enough to find myself able to log in. After numerous restarts of the Turbine Launcher to remedy different errors, I was able to finally patch just to find myself staring that the login screen waiting for the servers to come up. Later that day when people were sending out messages that they were finally able to log in I myself decided to try my luck and I shortly found myself heading into the new landmass.

The Bad Stuff

I’d like to start getting “The Bad Stuff” out of the way. There were a number of technical glitches that kept people from playing the game. Of all the issues several seemed to be the most prevalent:

  1. People received an errors when patching
  2. Base pre-orders were not able to do quests in Rohan
  3. People discovered that their Friends List was empty
  4. Client crashing due to a memory leak with Direct X 10 & 11 (And some with DX9)
  5. The 6th bag was not being delivered to those who purchased it in the store

While these errors did render the game unplayable for some, overall it seemed to me that this launch went very smoothly overall. Not to mention that a number of these issues have already been addressed while the others are being looked into as we speak. I know some may disagree with me about the launch being successful, but please know that this view is subjective and that I feel for those of you who could not play.

Open Tapping

ScreenShot00094We talked a lot about Open Tapping ever since its announcement. Some people were worried about the social aspect of the game and how players would react. While I can’t say how it worked from a group aspect I can tell you how it affected me as a solo player.

Simply put, it was glorious.

Let me explain why.  When the Beta first started I had a horrible experience with one of the first set of quests which is to kill salamanders near the town. To this day I am always boggled when a game company chooses this kind of quest to throw in a new area.,  Why?  Because the same thing always happens. During the “land rush” phase of the game (when a ton of players are rushing into the new content) a bottleneck occurs in locations where players are tasked to kill a certain amount of mobs in order to progress in the content.  The result of this bottleneck is a lot of name calling, spawn camping, and overall rage towards one another.  And in the early phase of the Beta before Open Tapping was implemented the same thing occurred as players tried desperately to kill salamanders, making the experience pretty miserable.

On Monday when I reached the salamanders I was interested in seeing what the experience would be like and I was shocked to find that it was vacant of all players. My guess is that in not having to compete with one another meant that there was no spawn killing, no cursing, no camping, and no bottleneck. The players had come, killed, and left. It was a very nice surprise.

When I reached the next quest chain that sent me into a brigand camp I started seeing other players and to my joy they helping one another kill NPC’s as they began to realize that in working together with no penalties they could kill more quickly; thus completing their quests more quickly. In fact at one point when my client started freezing (due to the before mentioned memory leak) I was kept alive by players coming to help me as brigands attacked me. So in my opinion Open Tapping seems to be a great addition to the game.

Remote Looting

image008I’ve often thought that looting mobs was a huge pain in the rear.  I remember running around in World of WarCraft, killing a mob, and then wondering why it was really necessary to loot everything off of it one-at-a-time.  I mean surely there were better ways to handle loot and corpses.  For me, Remote Looting is another evolution of an MMO system that makes realize just how ancient past systems have been; especially when coupled with Open Tapping.

When I was in the brigand camp and I was assisting people killing the mobs it was great to flow from fight to fight; only stopping to let myself regenerate morale and power.  It was also nice to see the billboard messages stating that my quest item counter going up while never having to skip a beat.  It’s also nice to have the Pending Loot system as well, because it means that you don’t have to immediately worry about leaving items on a corpse and figuring out what you’re going to do.

Mounted Combat

Mounted Combat is a fickle beast in my opinion.  It takes some adapting to get used to the mount and how it moves, but once you do it can be a lot of fun.  Personally, as I spent some time on my mount I found myself learning to better time my skills and manage my speed.  However, there were a couple of times that I also dismounted to kill landscape mobs because I knew it would just be faster.  Unfortunately, I did not find the opportunity to go up against any mounted mobs so I can’t give any input there, but after seeing some videos I’m itching to give it a try.

Conclusion

Aside from all the glitches, the worry, the fervor, and the hype; Riders of Rohan has arrived.  It is a visually stunning landscape that brings us new game systems, new quests, and new stories.  Mounted Combat, a long-time requested feature is now possible in the world of LOTRO and while it certainly is fun only time will tell if it lives up to the hype.  I for one am quite optimistic and look forward to seeing what it is that the Horse Lords will bring to us.  How about you?

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Avatar of Merric

About Merric

Co-founder of CSTM and an avid LOTRO fan.

View all posts by Merric

34 Responses to “My First Day in Rohan”

  1. Rabbitses Starkfoot Says:

    i fall in the camp of people who couldn’t play. :( ended up having to reinstall, and after having more problems with that, i’m almost done patching as i write this. thanks for your insight merric, i can’t wait to get in game!

    Reply

  2. AdamKickman Says:

    My First Day in Rohan:

    as a beta tester for Rohan I was one of the Lucky that knew exactly what to do and where to go. A noticed that alot of us who were in Beta were taking the route I had decided to go and assist players with questions and concerns that we could answer. Overall, I must say this is a much better launch than Isengard and for those of you just getting in the best expansion since Moria. Hope to see you all in game

    Reply

    • Joshua Says:

      That was my impression, too! Even with the crashing and a little bit of forums bellyaching about Open Tapping, this seems like a MUCH smoother launch than RoI last year!

      Reply

  3. Thunidir Says:

    Merric I too found the launch day entertaining and exciting. I loved being able to get my warsteed much quicker than the in the first beta.

    I will enjoy learning how to handle the aspect of being a guardian on the mount.

    However with open tapping I found on huge glaring feature (or bug) that is defiantly one to consider: when in a fellowship you need to tap each mob. My wife and I were questing the other day and if both of us didn’t tap the mob then we didn’t get credit for each others kills. So if that “feature” remains then you will have to be careful when you are in fellowships to tap all mobs so you get credit.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Merric
      Merric Says:

      I just read about that before coming here. That sounds like a huge issue. What would happen in an instance? Would someone who didn’t tap a boss (maybe they died to adds) not get credit? I’m going to see if I can find out if this is intended.

      Reply

      • Pineleaf Says:

        The last I heard, Open Tapping will not apply to private instances. I haven’t been in a multi-player private instance since launch, so I have not been able to verify this.

        Reply

        • Joshua Says:

          Yeah, as far as I know Open Tapping only applies to landscape mobs. And, maybe, the “Instanced Public Question” areas in Hytbold? (Haven’t got there yet, so I don’t know.)

          But it’s worth pointing out that the original Dev Diary mentioned the fact that Open Tapping works the same whether grouped or solo, so this shouldn’t have been a surprise to anybody. Dunno why everyone is acting like this is some nefarious secret Turbine sprung on us at the last minute.

          Reply

  4. Sigela Says:

    I got in without a lot of problems on launch day. Actually, let me rephrase that. I got in with almost zero problems on launch day and getting in at noon was way earlier than I expected.

    As for open tapping, I LOVE IT! The lore of LOTRO is that we’re all part of the Free People of Middle Earth who are pitching in to protect our home and facilitate the Fellowship’s mission to destroy the Ring and free us from Sauron once and for all. With Open Tapping, everyone I meet really becomes my ally. I have always felt it was wrong, wrong, wrong to come up on another of Middle Earth’s heroes and just stand there watching or worse still just ride on by because fighting as allies was a penalty.

    On the first day, as I took Sigela through the epic quests it was wonderful to see other players both helping and being helped. People stopped to wave at each other. I tossed spot heals on folks and they shouted their thanks to me. It just really improves the experience and lore of the game for me.

    Sigela got stuck in the brigand camp quest chain when she never received the quest to go into the cave. I thought I was so glitched and didn’t know how I was going to advance. So someone in the vicinity ran over, shared the quests with me and then helped me to finish up in the camp because it was win:win to lend me a hand. That’s fantastic.

    Reply

  5. Avatar of andyb
    andyb Says:

    Oddly my steam install broke and needed redone whereas the regular install was fine.

    Not sure why but between beta and now I’m finding that after doing a spell of mounted combat I’m starting to get slightly motion sick. Means I’ve had to limit my playtime quite a bit to avoid unpleasantness.

    Overjoyed to find that warspeech no longer gets toggled off by mounting, although going into warspeech starts a looping drumming sound that needs a relog to get rid of.

    The new crafting thing with the shavings is good although again turbine decided not to apply this new feature to the lower crafting levels, WHY???? Of course farming is as bad as it always has been.

    Other crafting gripe is that cooks get absolutely no practical recipe other than the oak campfire, not even a basic regen food would have saved us the pain of relying of random drops.

    And thankfully they got rid of the selfpleasuring noises when using LIxp runes.

    Reply

  6. Tori Says:

    Thanks for the info, Merric. I watched a few minutes of your livestream on Monday and was really impressed with the remote looting, and the music sounds just fantastic. I’m not quite ready for Rohan yet but I’m looking forward to it!

    Reply

  7. Elyanna Says:

    I’m loving my time in Rohan–everything flows so smoothly with open tapping, remote looting, and quest autogranting (available from checking an option in UI–those quests that appear when you kill a certain mob or walk into an area will automatically be added to your quest log). So much of what ate up time in unfun ways is gone, gone, gone!

    Reply

  8. Watson Says:

    I’ve been holding off getting the expansion due to having way too may things to play.. The introduction of open tapoing has peaked my interest. Does it work the same way as GW2 … ie anyone contributing to a kill gets full xp and loot? Is it a complete implementation or ROR only?

    Ive been playing A LOT of GW2 and I absolutely love how open tapping works. It releases people from needing to formalise groups and leads to a lot of spontanious cooperative play. If they had it in LotRO, I’d be back in a shot.

    Reply

    • Joshua Says:

      You’ve got it. Everyone who participates in killing a mob (doing damage or healing someone doing damage) gets full XP and loot.

      The Open Tapping rules only apply to Rohan at the moment, but XP penalties for assisting kills have been removed from in all zones.

      Reply

      • Watson Says:

        A shame its only in Rohan. With lower level zones so deserted, some spontaneous cooperative gameplay would be the best thing for the game. Hell! I haven’t played in a while and t would make levelling so much more fun and less tedious.

        I hope they implement open tapping game wide very soon. After playing GW2, its hard to go back to a game that has any tapping rules.

        Reply

  9. Sig Says:

    Open tapping has been good for some aspects but how it negates the previous standard fellowship rules has been a bit of a chore to get used to.

    There was one instance where my partner did not get credit for the warband because apparently she didn’t tap it while she was busy tanking all the adds, and I took out the leader to fast. There is no doubt in my mind she did more work towards killing the warband in it’s entirety, yet she did not get credit for the kill that mattered.

    Reply

    • Joshua Says:

      Yeah, the only problem I have with Open Tapping is that it doesn’t count threat or CC skills toward a tap. That seems like an oversight to me, and definitely more troublesome than the other complaints people have brought up.

      Reply

  10. Danania Says:

    Yay Merric!
    I am so glad you had a great first day! :D

    One thing I learned about a Warband… when in range, the quest pops up, be sure to accept it BEFORE killing the warband. (I’m sure I am the only one who wil ever have that problem though… hehe)

    Reply

  11. Twithers Says:

    Had fun with Rohan in beta, loving it on the live servers.

    Some people are complaining about MC, but I think most of that will go away once they get beyond the learning curve. During Beta round 1 I did not like MC at all until I learned how to use it. Don’t engage an enemy on foot at a full gallop. Slow down a bit, apply points in maneuvering and know that your camera can zoom out so much further on your warsteed. Those three things will go a long way in mitigating the unpleasantness people are experiencing with MC.

    Reply

    • Joshua Says:

      I’ve had good results in the East Wall by making an initial charge at full speed (and full Fury!), then quickly dialing back to come around and finish the fight. Works very well!

      Reply

  12. Avatar of Carica
    Carica Says:

    As someone who never participated in beta, I must say I’m in love with Rohan.
    It looks great, sounds amazing, and mounted combat is fun!
    Open tapping has been working really great.

    My only complaint (other than the numerous bugs, but they can be fixed) would be the store items. War-steed color packs, cosmetics, trait slots, Li slots… all so expensive, especially considering that none of them are account-wide.

    Reply

  13. susan Says:

    Im one of the lucky ones that had no problems downloading or entering in RoR, and my game time had no lag what so ever as well. That aside, its been ….wonderful.. or can i cop the same tag line… glorious!

    I havent had this much fun in lotr in a long long time. The music is incredible, the immersion is high, the graphics are ramped up, I adore the stream lined questing that leads you slowly more and more into the story. no repetitive ‘fetch’ quests so far!

    I adore the autoloot and open tapping has been a blessing.

    alot of times random groups would cheer and congratulate each other, it was a hoot. sitting in the chair at amon hen was spectacular and one of those ‘game moments’ ill remember forever.

    well done turbine

    Reply

  14. mmicnova Says:

    my question is, why did it take them so long to implement open tapping? why not do it from the start? if you ask me, it’s the major point of the mmo experience. yes, i am looking at GW2 when i’m saying this. imagine open tapping bogbereth with 30+ allies for example. that’s the kind of stuff that would have saved lotro from becoming a chore for me – and i’m pretty sure i’m not the only one. i still have friends online, people that play, and i want to play with them but whenever i log in i get flashbacks of grinding angmar, grinding moria, grinding mirkwood and isengard, just killing mobs to get the deeds because there’s nothing else to do at high lvl, grinding pages at 39, grinding slugs for the 45 class quest, it seems like all the years i’ve played, sadly, 80% was a grind. and yes, i want to play with my friends, but just logging in now and seeing a mob gives me a feeling of yuck. there’s just no more fun for me, i’m all grinded out.
    i will actually have to gather my strength and go to rohan to see what it’s like, because i payed for it. and that’s the only motivation – and a poor one. they may have fixed it, and it may be wonderful now, but still, it’s a fight for me: play lotro or have fun in GW2. and that’s sad.

    Reply

  15. Emma Says:

    So far I’m impressed with the expansion. We’ve been taking it slow to really appreciate everything in there. The music is beautiful (especially after the irritating tuba solos in Dunland) the scenery is lovely, the epic book is gripping, the pop up of the auto quests in an area is a fantastic idea, and the open tapping has brought out a real community feel. Adam and I were off killing salamanders, and other players in the vicinity were all working together, bringing mobs and the boss into a central area so everyone could get the quest done quickly. It was really refreshing! The only disappointing thing with the open tapping is that there is no benefit to being in a fellowship. We primarily play as a duo, and it is tricky making sure we both tag the same mobs. We only just got our Warsteed so can’t comment too much on that yet. And I will certainly not be buying mount colours or cosmetics from the store any time soon, as a per character price, Turbine are being way too greedy.

    Reply

  16. Neldoria Says:

    no tech issues whatsoever for me, only fun fun and some more fun
    welldone LOTRO

    Reply

  17. Twitcheetwitch Says:

    I had a pretty smooth first day. The launcher got hung up on examine program for about 10 minutes, so I restarted it and it breezed on through. Had only one crash during multiple switching between alts on the first day. Rohan is bringing back memories of the early days playing LOTRO where I’d just ride around and explore as much as I would do quests. I’m in no rush to complete the content… three evenings of playing and my two mains are still level 75.

    I just got the warsteed with my minstrel, and it’s a bit tricky. I’m looking forward to seeing how it works in practice rather than just running around the training track.

    Reply

    • LilyRose Says:

      Remember to get some points in Agility (or the yellow trait line) fairly early on. It makes a big difference for maneuverability.

      See you on the plains of Rohan!!!

      Reply

  18. Alawon Says:

    I haven’t got to Rohan yet (not even got to Dunland yet, despite having bought it black friday last year), but several things about the new update concern me. The fellowship open taping sounds badly thought out. Fine for those in the fellowship who can do AoE attacks, less good for those that don’t.

    The new noises are irritating. There’s now an annoying clanky-jingle while on a mount that is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I don’t know why anyone thought that was a good idea. They’ve also changed some emotes. /sigh now sounds like a grumble, /kiss is just horrible and they’ve taken away several like /chuckle. Emote sounds were not broken, they should not have been messed with.

    Reply

  19. Bellebrian Says:

    I hate what they’ve done to gameplay so much that I cancelled my subscription. I hate open tapping, I don’t care for mounted combat, and I utterly loathe that groups no longer share kills, etc. And easy much? Can’t believe what wusses those orcs are. The only reason I’m playing at all is to spend time with my friends. I used to love this game so much, but now, the only way I can tolerate it is to treat it like WoW — just a passtime with no real engagement.

    Reply

  20. Avatar of beriahim
    beriahim Says:

    I’m starting to love the game play more than I ever have before but this whole dye thing still makes me sad.

    Reply

  21. Avatar of Andang
    Andang Says:

    Will there ever be a second day in Rohan? The world may never know.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Warsteed Roundup | WARSTEEDS - October 19, 2012

    [...] Casual Stroll to Mordor brings us a few good pieces (anyone surprised?): Merric talks about his first day in Rohan and then later in the week, CSTM posts an interview they did with Chance Thomas, the man behind [...]

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