John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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Rastan, Conan, and the Bravest Little Hobbit of Them All

Rastan
Well, in a nod to dslartoo I'll post here that it is indeed possible to get to the end in Rastan without any cheats. In fact, here it is!

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

I would like to point out a significant detail, however: on every game of Rastan I ever played (including the port I have on my X-Box), if you stopped moving for five seconds (and I counted), you were swarmed by bats and probably killed. Throughout the videos here, not only does the player stand there for several 10-15 second pauses without bats, the bat swarm only even actually appears once. So apparently the versions around here had the difficulty cranked up, or something. The guy playing is better at it than I am, I do not claim otherwise. However, I could be better at it that I am if I was allowed to stop and get myself situated like this guy is.

Conan
I found myself thinking about Age of Conan today and why, Conan Fanboy that I am, I don't have the same driving interest in it as I did in LOTRO. Some of it is because I have concerns about the choices being made by the current owners of the franchise (who seem to be laboring under the impression that Conan = splatter porn), but I think a lot of it is that, much as I like the Hyborian Age, it's not the world in Conan that's important.

The big draw of LOTRO, of course, is to be able to run around in Middle-earth, seeing the Shire, taking (a small) part in the story and gettin' photo-ops with celebrities. The game is packed full of all kinds of sweet little touches for the Tolkien nerd to geek out on.

The draw of a Conan-based game, on the other hand, would be to take the part of Conan, doing all those "what we do is what you just can't do" things like lopping the head off of some self-important magistrate who orders you to be silent in court, then kicking over the bench and jumping onto the next pirate ship to leave port. Conan is the ultimate outsider -- and you just cannot populate a world with outsiders. It becomes nonsense.

This problem, more than silliness like the Black Knight's cameo halfway through the trailer, is what makes the idea of a Conan MMO so problematic. Conan is a character defined by contrast -- to be true to the source material, you'd have to prevent 99% of the players from doing exactly what they've come to the game to do. For a more "authentic" Conan-like experience, you're actually better off going to some other game and finding a more mixed group to join, so that your hulking, sullen-eyed, axe-wielding barbarian is the oddball instead of the standard.

Speaking of LOTRO
Bilbo Baggins, Online

The game actually has Gollum in it, as of the latest content update, as well as dragons, so they oughta remake this. ;) Still, fun!

-The Gneech
Tags: fantasy, gaming, lotro
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