Five Bars to Mordor

Sammath Gul is the new 6-man dungeon in Lord of the Rings Online Siege of Mirkwood.  Overall, its a well designed dungeon.  The main mechanic deals with the dreaded bone piles.  If a player steps in a bone pile placed all around the dungeon, a couple mobs pop out.  They are easy enough to deal with even if a couple piles are disturbed, but when players are already embattled with the trash mobs things can start to get tough.  The third (final) boss is Gorothul, the sorcerer of Mordor that shook things up in Moria.  The fight takes place in front of enormous glass windows where two Nazgul on felbeasts watch the fight.  And, there are bone piles.

The fight begins with one of my now favorite boss cinematics.  Gorothul basically phones home to big-daddy Sauron, and has a brief discussion about the players’ fates.  The Lidless Eye appears, giving players immense dread, and Gorothul, you know, casually mentions that some Free Peoples are standing in front of him.  I have to say that I was very impressed with the voice acting and dialogue in what could have been a very cheesy setup.  Of course, Sauron commands Gorothul to end the players, and Gorothul responds with a resolved ‘as you wish.’  The fight begins but for the first 30 seconds or so the dread from having Sauron’s eye on the players has to wear off.

I have to say that I have been thoroughly impressed with all the cinematics in Siege of Mirkwood.  The flow of each scene and the emotions presented are usually spot on.  The one mechanic I am getting sick of, though, is the use of the cut-scene stun(especially in the prisoner trade scene).  It’s very anti-heroic when the Enemy has a win-button.  It’s even worse when a silly dwarf breaks the fourth wall and asks what “trickery” the cut-scene stun is.  I’d prefer that either they take camera control away (like Turbine did in the last book of Volume 1) or just freeze my character.  I understand that important things are happening, and I can deal with the loss of character control for that scene.  It’d be much better than my heroic character swaying in the wind like a drunk hobbit that just ate three fermented cherry pies.

–Ravious
the feeling’s irresistible and that’s how we movin’

8 thoughts on “Five Bars to Mordor”

  1. Exactly. There is no need for the avatars in Guild Wars to display a stunned animation, so why can’t they simply make the LOTRO avatars stand still and watch.

  2. When we bust our rhymes, you break your neck!

    Also, yeah, srsly, the camera swooping cinematics were cool. Go ahead and do that.

    Did you know you can still emote while stunned? Drunken hilarity ensues!!!

  3. I love doing handstands while he has his little conversation. I never knew my burg was so flexible!

    I agree that the swooping camera cuts and cinematic effects were fun but I laughed at the slow motion in the tower when X finally gets some fortitude and kills Y with that bladed implement. I know it’s supposed to be a huge moment in the story but all I could think was “matrix move!”.

  4. There’s something about the line, “Through his eyes, you are revealed!” that I really enjoy in that encounter. It’s very Tolkienish. The dread adds a bit of extra urgency at the beginning when there usually isn’t in encountering a boss.

  5. You know, I really enjoy SG as well. I like it. I liked Halls of Crafting as well. The rewards are good, the bosses are challenging enough to keep me entertained, but not so challenging I think my group is going to wipe tons of times. It’s one of the more fun instances, even though I end up farming Sword Halls more because the rewards are slightly better.

  6. Mid-fight stuns are worse, especially when content is way too easy. A boss stunning everyone after every 5 seconds of fight so he can go buff himself up some more? So ridiculous.

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