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.
the feeling’s irresistible and that’s how we movin’