More Serious Thoughts on Chicken Play

I have made several brief comments about The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™’s session play, so I thought I would make a more coherent statement.

As gameplay, the chickens are disappointing. It is a set of “go talk to x” quests, with poor directions to x. Despite being just outside the hobbit starting area, this is not newbie content. You must know where things are and be able to find them with a blank map while playing a level one character. Taking a chicken through the higher level areas is presumably an interesting challenge, although having a babysitter makes it much easier. The greatest annoyance is uninteresting running. If your quest is “talk to animals in Bree,” your first step is a five-minute run across the Shire to Bree, an almost perfectly safe run with just enough twists to keep you from going AFK with autorun on. Bottom line: not fun once the novelty of “lol chicken” wears off.

As a story, it is without value as far as I have seen. Chickens are scared, you talk to other animals, they say they will not help. Every time. As a tech demo, I suppose it is okay. There must be some technical issues in moving from a PC to a connected one-shot puppet. It is a shame that everything is flushed between sessions, including your map. Building up a chicken could be amusing.

In many ways, chicken play is the logical extreme of The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. If you read The Lord of the Rings and thought, “I wish I could be a secondary character doing sidequests while Frodo carries The One Ring,” The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ is designed for you. Taking it one step further, what if you were a hobbit in The Shire, and you could level by delivering mail or gathering eggs? Taking it one step further, what if you were a chicken in The Shire, laying those eggs? Just $15/month, baby!

I have not tried a troll or ranger in session play. From what I hear in /ooc as a monster, the freeps use rangers as mobile artillery platforms at the center of groups, while the creeps avoid using the trolls for fear that the human players will give up and leave. Your server may vary.

: Zubon

7 thoughts on “More Serious Thoughts on Chicken Play”

  1. “It is a set of “go talk to x” quests, with poor directions to x.”

    That describes a good chunk of LotRO, beyond chicken play.

  2. —QUOTE—

    “It is a set of “go talk to x” quests, with poor directions to x.”

    That describes a good chunk of LotRO, beyond chicken play.

    —QUOTE—

    This actually describes a good chunk of every single MMORPG ever created.

  3. And that’s the fun part of chicken play!
    I never attempted the “run to Bree… Rivendell..etc” quests.

  4. Chicken play was that final straw…the nail in the coffin…made the decision for me and I canceled my account.
    When I saw all the complaints (you know…the ones you never hear about because of the fanboi noise or the tech deletion strategy in use on the LOTRO forums..) being ignored so they could add…

    “Chicken play”

    I thought…these guys are full of Chicken “sh*t”

    I have returned after each book though, but have seen the same issues people have complained about still in existence…

    All I can say is hopefully the “Mines” expansion will add something more to this lackluster copy cat of a game…
    Because as *Treason said
    “ALL MMO’s”
    As they all have these mechanics…so did we need ANOTHER game like that?
    Please save us new MMO’s from the humdrum and give us innovation…something new..

    By the way I will kick the next chicken I see in a an MMO …just to show how I feel..
    (Decides to load up his copy of Fable to take out some frustration on those lovely chickens….http://www.gamergirlsunite.com/reviews/fable/chicken.jpg)

  5. Weird…
    My comment disappeared… [editor note: it was caught in the spam queue, now released]

    Anyways…Chicken play really is as stated a “technical” demo at best. I felt the game had more issues and these should have been approached instead of creating “Chicken Play”…even quite a few posters in the LOTRO forums agreed…
    This is when I left…
    Hopefully as the game moves forward, they can focus on the needs of their players, and not frivolous addons like this…
    Mines of Moria should help in the right direction…

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