Sunday, 16 March 2008

LOOKING TOWARDS MORIA

So, it's Moria after all. The smart money was on Moria all along for the first big expansion; after all, the regions of Middle Earth guaranteed to generate the most player excitement have always been Moria, Rohan, Gondor and Mordor, and it was obvious that in a plot-driven game, Moria had to come first. Lots of goodies are promised, including two new classes, a variety of raids (including more 24-man raids), six new books and a cap level of sixty. Most players seem to welcome the increased cap, though there has been some inevitable grumbling about the extent to which this will devalue the major boss fights in the Rift and Helegrod. Personally, I think it's a good thing - after all, the bosses in the new expansion will inevitably be even tougher, and the new cap will prove an additional incentive to go out there and quest. Plus, in a game obviously designed to have a lifetime of several years, a fixed cap would sooner or later prove a recipe for stagnation.

To my mind, the most exciting innovation sounds like it will be the forging of Legendary Items. According to the official Codemasters release, "Players will be able to forge weapons and class-related equipment and evolve them to build a legacy the likes of Bilbo's Sting and Gandalf's Glamdring. These legendary weapons will level-up along with the player, allowing customization by advancing the item's virtues, adding runic legacies, modifying its titles and forming fables". Now this is something genuinely new and original. If it works along the lines suggested, it could mean an end to the constant upgrading and replacing of weapons (and armour?) as better and better sets become available; this way, once you had acquired, say, a legendary sword (which presumably would in itself require considerable effort), the sword would increase in capabilities alongside you as you leveled up. You might perhaps even be allowed some latitude in selecting the increased capabilities: for instance, higher fire damage or improved speed?

Those who have played Baldur's Gate II will remember that brilliant invention, the talking sword Lilarcor, which apart from an endless stream of wisecracks was also capable of self-improvement.

1 comment:

Willi said...

Honestly, the legendary items is a bigger selling point, for me, than even Moria and Lothlorien.