Wednesday, 7 May 2008


One of the most impressive atmospheric effects players discovered in their exploration of Forochel was the thick, grey-green fog blanketing the system of ice caverns leading NW from the first settlement. It became more impressive as we groped our way out of the tunnels and moved, very hesitantly, towards the shores of the Bay of Forochel; indeed, a number of us actually stumbled into the lethal, ice-cold waters by mistake. Would the entire region, we wondered, have to be explored in near-obscurity?

It was even more of a shock when some of us ported home to Bree or the Shire, only to find that the fog had traveled with us... Turns out it was a bug, as a Codemasters representative hurried to point out in the forums: "We are currently investigating this issue. This seems to be related to the dayfile override we've employed in the landscape tunnel between Taur Orthon and the tundras in central Forochel. It is not intended that you drag the gloom with you once you leave that space. Relogging will cause the effect to go away - in case it is making your play experience.. well... unplayable".

The real surprise, however, was to discover that far from howling the house down or throwing those all-too-familiar tantrums, the great majority of posters actually quite liked the effect - at least, in moderation. "Serendipity" posted an enthusiastic and very positive response: "What a shame this is a bug, I thought it made the atmosphere the coldest I'd ever experienced in a videogame. Icy wastelands that look like Disney made them - NO. Icy wastelands where you can get lost, get monsters jump out at you, feel disorientated and unsafe - YES. I thought I'd never seen atmosphere used to such good effect in barren dangerous lands. Heck, all the quest dialogues go on about how treacherous the land is. In real life, mountains have mists that roll over and trap you before you can flee, they should be dangerous to traverse. If this is a bug, fix it so it's a weather effect".


No comments: